Romance of Spanish History - John S. C. Abbott

The Early History of Spain

(From 500 B.C. to 44 B.C.)

Geography of Spain.—Its Aborigines.—Colonial Settlements.—Its Conquest by Carthage.—Designs of Rome upon Spain.—Strife between Rome and Carthage for its Possession.—Siege of Saguntum.—Campaigns of the Scipios.—Roman Extortion.—Exploits of Viriatus.—His Assassination —Achievements of Sertorius.—Campaign of Pompey.—Governorship of Julius Cesar.

The Spanish peninsula, separated from France on the north by the Pyrenees, and bounded on the three remaining sides by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, contains an area of 225,600 square miles, being a little larger than France. Nature has reared a very formidable barrier between Spain and France, for the Pyrenees, extending in a straight line 250 miles in length, from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean, and often rising in peaks more than ten thousand feet in height, offer but three defiles which carriages can traverse, though there are more than a hundred passes which may be surmounted by pedestrians or the sure-footed mule. The soil is fertile; the climate genial and salubrious; and the face of the country, diversified with meadows and mountains, presents, in rare combination, the most attractive features both of loveliness and sublimity.

History does not inform us when and how this beautiful peninsula—called Hispania by the Romans—first became inhabited. Whether the earliest emigrants crossed the straits of Gibraltar from Africa, or came from Asia, coasting the shores of the Mediterranean, or descended from France through the defiles of the Pyrenees, can now never be known. The first glimpse we catch of Spain, through the haze of past ages, reveals to us the country inhabited by numerous barbaric tribes, fiercely hostile to each other, and constantly engaged in bloody wars. The mountain fastnesses were infested with robber bands, and rapine and violence everywhere reigned. The weapons grasped by these fierce warriors consisted of lances, clubs, and slings, with sabres and hatchets, of rude fashion but of keen edge. Their food was mainly nuts and roots. Their clothing consisted of a single linen garment, girded around the waist; and a woollen tunic, surmounted by a cloth cap, descended to the feet. As in all barbarous nations, the hard work of life was performed by the women.

The names even of most of these tribes have long since perished; a few however have been transmitted to our day, such as the Celts, the Gallicians, the Lusitanians, and the Iberians. Several ages before the foundations of Rome or of Carthage were laid, it is said that the Phoenicians, exploring in their commercial tours the shores of the Mediterranean, established a mercantile colony at Cadiz. The colonists growing rich and strong, extended their dominions and founded the cities of Malaga and Cordova. About 800 years before Christ, a colony from Rhodes settled in the Spanish peninsula, and established the city of Rosas. Other expeditions, from various parts of Greece, also planted colonies and engaged in successful traffic with the Spanish natives.

Four hundred years before Christ, the Carthaginian republic was one of the leading powers, and Carthage was one of the most populous and influential cities on the globe. The Carthaginians crossed the narrow straits which separate Africa from Spain, landed in great strength upon the Spanish peninsula, and, after a short but severe conflict, subdued the foreign colonies there, brought the native Spaniards into subjection, and established their own supremacy over all the southern coast. Cadiz became the central point of Carthaginian power, from whence the invaders constantly extended their conquests. Though many of the interior tribes maintained for a time a sort of rude and ferocious independence, still Carthage gradually assumed dominion over the whole of Spain.

In the year 235 B.C., Hamilcar, the father of the illustrious Hannibal, compelled nearly all the tribes of Spain to acknowledge his sway. For eight years Hamilcar waged almost an incessant battle with the Spaniards. Still it was merely a military possession which he held of the country, and he erected Barcelona and several other fortresses, where his soldiers could bid defiance to assaults, and could overawe the surrounding inhabitants. He was a stern conqueror, and the subjugated people regarded him with dread. In one insurrection, which his severity provoked, two-thirds of his army perished, and Hamilcar himself also was slain. His son-in-law, Asdrubal, was intrusted with the supreme command.

Asdrubal adopted a conciliatory policy, courting alliance with those tribes whom he could not easily vanquish. He founded the city of Carthagena, on the gulf to which he gave the same name. He had intended this place for his capital, having formed the plan of organizing Spain into a kingdom, independent of Carthage, over which he designed to assume the monarchy.

Rome was now rising rapidly into power, and, with insatiable lust of conquest, turned her eyes to Spain, wishing to wrest the important province from her rival, Carthage. Asdrubal, with great energy, was preparing for this approaching strife, when he was assassinated by a slave, whose master, a native prince, he had put to death. Hannibal was now twenty-six years of age, when he succeeded his brother-in law in command of the army and as governor of Spain. He was a man of heroic mould; merciless, in accordance with the ferocity of the times, but singularly sagacious, bold, and self reliant, and endowed with the rare ability of embracing the most extensive combinations, while, at the same time, he could attend to the minutest details.

Hannibal when a child, before his father's death, had taken a solemn oath never to make peace with the Romans. He now, with all his amazing energy, made preparations for a death-struggle with Rome, which was then threatening the supremacy of Carthage everywhere, both on the land and on the sea. Rome had entered into alliance with one of the powerful Spanish tribes, the Saguntines. Their principal city, Saguntum, was situated upon the Mediterranean, on the site of the present city of Murviedro. Hannibal commenced his war upon Rome by marching at the head of an army 150,000 thousand strong against Saguntum. The siege and destruction of this city are described by Livy with great graphic skill.

According to the narrative of Livy, the besieged made the most heroic resistance. The destruction of Saguntum is regarded as one of the most sublime and terrible of the tragedies of war. For nine months the storm of battle raged incessantly around the walls. Every assault was successfully repelled. In many fierce sorties the works of the besiegers were demolished, and the plain was strewed with the dead. On one occasion Hannibal himself was very severely wounded. As he effected breaches in the walls with his battering-rams, he found other walls reared behind them still more substantial, and lapping over the gaps. But Hannibal was a man whom no disasters could dishearten. Obstacles only nerved him to greater effort and endurance. He reared enormous towers on wheels, and rolled them up to the walls, that his men might fight on a level with those who defended the ramparts. Thus month after month of this truly demoniac strife lingered away, until famine commenced its cruel devastations in the city. The women and children perished by thousands. Gaunt and skeleton spectres stalked through the streets, none having food but those for whom it was indispensable to enable them to fight. The end now drew nigh. Human endurance could accomplish nothing more. There was plenty in the camp of Hannibal, and his broken ranks were continually filled up by fresh recruits.

The Saguntines, finding that they must fall, resolved with barbaric heroism that their fall should be the sublimest act in the drama; an act which should fill the world with their renown. They accomplished their design. For more than two thousand years, the story of the fall of Saguntum has echoed through the corridors of history.

In the heart of the city they collected an enormous mass of every thing combustible, so that upon the touch of the flambeau it would blaze and glow like a furnace. Upon this vast pile they placed their wives and their children, and all their valuable effects. The fathers, husbands, and brothers capable of bearing arms then formed themselves into solid columns, and suddenly rushing from the gates, fell upon the besiegers with the utmost fury. No man thought of self protection, but strove only to sell his life as dearly as possible. The slaughter was awful. In the midst of the terror, uproar, and tumult, the torch was applied to the majestic pyre, and it flamed, crackling and roaring, to the skies. It was but a short agony ere all the writhing victims were consumed to ashes. The Carthaginians, having overpowered and cut down their desperate assailants, rushed into the city to find it but a mass of flame, with scarcely a living inhabitant. Mercilessly they destroyed the few stragglers who were left in the streets.

Thus perished Saguntum, one of the most flourishing cities of ancient Spain. This event, which occurred in the year 219 B.C., ushered in the Second Punic War—a war which swept nearly the whole then known world with fire, and almost deluged it with blood. The destruction of Saguntum was a fitting prelude to the scenes which ensued. Spain was now a captive in the hands of Carthage; many of the tribes being willingly captive, but others restless and struggling to be free.

The Spanish tribes, who had been hostile to Carthage, were indignant that Rome had not sent her legions to aid her allies, the Saguntines. The remissness of the Romans in this affair seems inexplicable. They, however, as soon as they heard of the fall of Saguntum, prepared to send an army into Spain to conquer the country from Carthage. Ambassadors were dispatched to visit the disaffected tribes, and to incite them to coalition with Rome. But the Spanish chieftains received the ambassadors with great coldness.

"Are you not ashamed," said an Iberian chief, "to expect that we should prefer your friendship to that of the Carthaginians? Can we forget your perfidy to the Saguntines, who perished because you came not to their aid? Go seek allies elsewhere, among those who have not heard of the fate of Saguntum."

The ambassadors could make no reply, and, in confusion, returned to Rome, having entirely failed in their mission. Publius Scipio was then consul at Rome. As Hannibal was marching across the Alps for the invasion of Italy, Publius Scipio sent his brother Cnaeus Scipio, a distinguished general, with an army to Spain by water. He landed at Ampurias, in Catalonia, a little north of the river Ebro, with the very inadequate force of 10,000 infantry and 700 cavalry. Hannibal had left a Carthaginian general by the name of Hanno in command of the troops in Catalonia, though Hasdrubal, the brother of Hannibal, was commander-in-chief in Spain.

Scipio, conscious of his weakness, moved with great caution, doing every thing in his power to conciliate the natives, and to enlist them on his side. He was extremely affable and friendly, complimenting the chiefs upon their bravery, and soon he so won their confidence that large numbers gathered around his banners. Ere long he was in a condition to offer battle to Hanno, and, encountering him upon the plains of Catalonia, defeated him with great loss. His little fleet also met the Carthaginian fleet near the mouth of the Ebro, and sinking a portion of the ships, dispersed the rest. Thus the whole of Catalonia and the coast from the Ebro to the Pyrenees fell into the hands of the Romans.

These successes were followed by others still more decisive. Many of the tribes joined the conquering Romans. The consul, Publius Scipio, soon embarked for Spain with large re-enforcements, and joined his brother. By their vigorous co-operation nearly the whole peninsula was soon wrested from the Carthaginians, and Spain became a Roman province. A few fortresses only still held at bay the legions of Scipio. But Hasdrubal possessed many of the qualities of his heroic brother Hannibal. He gathered re-enforcements from Carthage, formed alliance with several tribes, and wretched Spain became the bloody battle-field where Rome and Carthage struggled for the supremacy of the world. The fortunes of war as usual ebbed and flowed on many a hard-fought field; now the banners of the one party, and again those of the other, floating amidst the huzzahs of victory. At length, in two terrible battles, both Publius and Cnaeus Scipio were slain, and the Roman army was nearly exterminated.

The Carthaginians, flushed with victory, approached the fortified camp where the remnants of the Roman legions were entrenched. Their escape was hopeless, and their doom seemed sealed. A Roman general, Lucius Martins, by an earnest harangue roused the soldiers to the bold resolve to avenge the death of the Scipios, and to sell their lives as dearly as possible. At midnight he led his whole band, who were inspired with the energies of despair, into the Carthaginian camp, bursting the barriers with shrieks and fury as of incarnate fiends. The Carthaginians were totally unprepared for such an attack, not dreaming that their crushed foes would dare to leave their ramparts.

Every Roman had his especial duty assigned him; some fired the tents; some plunged into them with sword and battle-axe; some guarded the avenues to cut off the fugitives. The flames, the clamor, the butchery, the utter bewilderment of the Carthaginians, the heroic efforts of the Romans, the gloom of night illumined by the lurid flames of the conflagration, presented a scene of horror which can not be conceived. The massacre was awful, and before the morning dawned nearly the whole Carthaginian army was destroyed. All who were not slain were dispersed in wild disorder, leaving the whole Carthaginian camp in the hands of those whom, the evening before, the Carthaginians had regarded but as victims awaiting their execution.

The Roman Senate, animated by this astonishing achievement, immediately dispatched a strong armament to Spain under the leadership of Publius Cornelius Scipio, a son of the consul who had recently perished in battle. This young man, then but twenty-four years of age, who subsequently obtained the surname of Africanus, in honor of his exploits in Africa, had already acquired much celebrity in Rome, not only for his heroism, but for the earnest religious character which he had remarkably exhibited. Being peculiarly endowed with those qualities which attract the affections as well as the admiration of men, he soon became the idol of the army, and many of the Spanish chieftains with enthusiasm espoused his cause.

But Hasdrubal was not wanting either in energy or sagacity. He gathered large re-enforcements from Carthage and from his Spanish allies, and was soon again in condition to take the field. Both parties prepared with great vigor to submit the possession of Spain to the arbitrament of battle. Scipio, upon landing, marched directly upon Carthagena, and laid siege to the city. This movement was so rapid and unexpected, and the siege was prosecuted with such vigor, that the city was soon compelled to capitulate, and all its vast pecuniary and military treasures fell into the hands of the conqueror.

The conduct of Scipio on this occasion has given him great and enviable renown. There was among his captives a native maiden princess, of marvellous beauty, who at sight inspired him with the most passionate attachment. But so soon as Scipio learned that she was the affianced bride of a young Spanish chieftain, Allucius, he restored her to her lover. The parents of the maiden were overjoyed, and, in their gratitude, sent Scipio a very large present, as the gift-ransom for their child. Scipio bestowed this ransom upon the youthful pair, as the dowry of the maiden. Allucius immediately entered the Roman service, attached himself enthusiastically to Scipio, and contributed very essential aid to his subsequent enterprises.

The magnanimous victor, instead of making, according to the custom of the times, the citizens of Carthagena slaves, and sending them to the market to replenish his purse, gave them all their liberty, and restored to them their property. He did all in his power to alleviate the inevitable horrors of war, and to promote the happiness of the vanquished. Such conduct was as politic as it was unparalleled in those dark and cruel days. The fame of his clemency spread rapidly, and his popularity daily increased. Still the Carthaginians were too strongly established in Spain to be easily driven out. Campaign after campaign ensued, with all their awful accompaniments of tumult, blood, and woe.

After three campaigns in as many years, which campaigns extended the devastations of war over nearly the whole peninsula, the Romans attained the decisive superiority. Steadily now Scipio advanced in his conquests, wresting fortress after fortress from the Carthaginians, until they were left in possession of Cadiz alone. Finding it impossible to hold this city, the Carthaginian troops abandoned it, escaping in their ships, and thus the whole Spanish peninsula was surrendered to Rome. The conquerors divided their prize into two provinces, which they called Hither and Farther Spain, the River Ebro constituting the boundary between them. Each of these domains was intrusted to a Roman governor, who sometimes held the title of proconsul, and again that of praetor. Tarragona was the capital of Hither Spain. Farther Spain being of larger extent, the governor moved about, closing his place of residence according to his pleasure. Such was the condition of the Spanish peninsula 200 years B.C.

Most of the Roman governors were inexorable tyrants, who made it the primary object of their administrations to wring as much money as possible from the miserable people. Their oppressions and outrages were constantly goading the tribes to revolt, which revolts were quelled by cavalry charges and dripping swords. For half a century there was seldom a day in which some of the tribes were not in open insurrection. Not unfrequently nearly the whole peninsula would be in a blaze of war. Some of the mountain tribes, indeed, were never thoroughly subjugated, but in their wild retreats maintained a rude independence. Occasionally a Roman governor would be ignominiously defeated, but then some successor of surpassing energy would regain all that his predecessor had lost. War was the normal condition of the people; peace its transient exception.

The Roman Government was thoroughly detested by the Spanish people; and if the tribes had possessed sufficient intelligence and virtue to combine, the invaders might easily have been driven from the land. But the Romans, with superior sagacity, ever succeeded in fomenting the jealousy of the tribes, and thus, by arraying them against each other, held them all in subjection. The enormities perpetrated by these Roman governors in Spain can never be described. Let but one be mentioned in illustration of many. A Roman army was marching along the banks of the Tagus, on an expedition of conquest and plunder. A deputation from several tribes waited upon Lucullus, the proconsul in command of the army, offering to submit to Rome on certain terms which they proposed. Lucullus received them with apparent cordiality, and, with strong expressions of sympathy for the hardships to which they were exposed, said:

"Come to us, and we will conduct you to happier homes. We have, in Italy, abundance of uncultivated land, very fertile, beneath bright and sunny skies. There you can live almost without labor, and your lives will glide along like a cloudless summer day. Come in as large numbers as you please, and we will conduct you safely to those new homes, will provide farms for you all, and I will be your father."

The poor mountaineers, rendered wretched by war and anarchy, were delighted with these cheering prospects. Thirty thousand of them were soon assembled in the Roman camp. Lucullus received them with great cordiality, and divided them into three bands, as he alleged, in preparation for their march. He relieved them of their arms, which he said would be only an encumbrance to them on their way. Then, when they were disarmed and helpless, he fell fiercely upon them with his prepared legions, and ten thousand were speedily slain. The remaining twenty thousand were bound, and driven off into Gaul, where they were sold as slaves. Lucullus was now prepared to return to Rome, enriched by the spoil which he had thus amassed.

A few escaped the massacre and the captivity. Among them was a man by the name of Viriatus, who subsequently performed exploits which have given him world-wide renown. Fleeing to the mountains, he soon gathered around him a bold band of Lusitanians, who acknowledged him as their leader. With an eagle eye he watched the invaders, and not a magazine could be left unguarded or a detachment leave the Roman camp, but his heroic band was urged to the assault with the speed of the whirlwind and the destructive energies of the thunderbolt. Totally disregarding for himself the wealth he thus acquired, he distributed it to his impoverished countrymen, to whom he was a most bountiful benefactor. Incessantly harassing the Romans wherever they presented the slightest exposure, when assailed by a superior force he retired to the mountain fastnesses.

His wonderful achievements spread his name far and wide, and his followers so rapidly increased that soon several powerful tribes were rallied around him as their chieftain. From the cloud-enveloped cliffs his well-trained bands were ever descending, like the mountain storm, upon the plains of Lusitania. More than once he braved the veteran legions of Rome in a pitched battle, and vanquished them. The energies of the provincial governments of both Hither and Farther Spain were combined to crush this insurgent chief. Viriatus met their united armies on the banks of the Tagus, and they were scattered before the impetuous charges of his horsemen.

Passing from victory to victory, the heroic conqueror was soon in possession of one-half of the peninsula, and Rome herself was alarmed lest Spain should be wrested from her. The Senate consequently dispatched the consul, Quintus Fabius Maximus, at the head of 17,000 troops, to combine with the broken legions in Spain and overwhelm their bold assailant. For twelve months he did not venture to meet the Spanish chieftain on the field, waiting for his forces to acquire the discipline and the endurance of veterans. At length the opposing hosts met again and again in the shock of war. Roman diplomacy succeeded in detaching several tribes from the ranks of Viriatus, and he was compelled to retreat to the mountains. The Romans eagerly and incautiously pursued. Viriatus turned upon them, and routed them with terrible slaughter. The war had now proved so destructive to the Roman arms, and the prospect of success seemed so remote, that the Romans proposed terms of peace, to which Viriatus acceded.

But Rome, with characteristic treachery, after ratifying this solemn treaty sent Caepio as proconsul to Farther Spain, with secret orders to take advantage of the defenselessness of Viriatus, who, unsuspicious of treachery, had dismissed most of his forces. Caepio, watching his opportunity, and having lured Viriatus into a trap, as he supposed, fell fiercely upon the heroic little band he had surrounded. But Viriatus, eluding his foe, escaped into Castile, where he soon rallied another army. With characteristic magnanimity, he sent three ambassadors to the camp of Caepio to inquire the reasons for an aggression apparently so perfidious. Caepio, by the proffer of immense rewards, bribed these barbaric messengers to assassinate their chief. On their return they stole into his tent when he was asleep, and plunged their swords into his bosom. The murderers lost their reward; for Caepio doubled his infamy by refusing to pay the thirty pieces of silver, through the promise of which he had incited them to their Judas-like treachery.

For eleven years this heroic chieftain had held at bay the legions of Rome. His enemies stigmatize him as a rebel and a robber. He was neither. He owed Rome no allegiance; but, with exalted patriotism, he struggled to deliver his country from remorseless plunderers. Even his most bitter foes can not withhold their tribute of admiration for his heroism, his genius, his magnanimity, the temperance of his habits and the purity of his life. But the death of Viriatus did not terminate the war. His followers, exasperated by the treachery which had deprived them of their chieftain, chose a new leader, and the conflict was prosecuted with renewed bitterness, and with the usual vicissitudes of victories and defeats. Cities were besieged, and taken by storm. The tempest of war swept shrieking over extended plains, and many battle-fields were drenched with blood. Campaign succeeded campaign, as Romans and Spaniards, in the deadly strife, devastated the fair land with smouldering ruins, famine, and woe.

Numantia, in the north-east corner of Old Castile, on the River Douro, where Soira now stands, was the stronghold of the Spanish patriots. The Romans resolved to destroy the city, and invested it with an army 60,000 strong. The fortress was garrisoned by but 6000 Spaniards. The Romans constructed wall against wall, and bastion against bastion, resolved, by a strict blockade, to avoid all the risks of battle, and to subdue their foes by the simple yet terrible energies of famine. The Roman consul, Scipio Aemilianus, a son of the renowned Scipio Africanus, conducted the siege. He had already attained celebrity in his wars in Africa against Carthage, which city was now entirely demolished. As months passed away, during which the beleaguered garrison made many but unavailing sorties, every thing which by any possibility could be eaten was consumed. Famine was now slaying its thousands, and there was no alternative for the survivors but to die, or to surrender themselves to slavery; a doom worse than death. The indomitable Spaniards scorned to capitulate. The account which the ancient historians unite in giving of the scene which ensued seems absolutely incredible. And yet we have no light but such as they give to guide us, and their narrative is apparently well authenticated.

According to these accounts, the indomitable inhabitants of Numidia resolved upon mutual and entire extermination. Deliberately and determinedly they entered upon this enterprise. Husbands killed their wives; parents their children. Some fell upon their own swords. Some solicited friends to perform the kind act of death. Some set fire to their houses and perished in the flames. Thus every individual in Numidia was slain. Not a solitary inhabitant survived. And when the Romans clambered over the walls, they found a smouldering city without a living being in its streets. Not a captive remained to grace their triumph. Not a gem could be found for the Roman coronet. Life and wealth had been consumed together.

If this narrative be true, it is the most extraordinary event in the annals of war. The fall of Saguntum was awful. But the fall of Numantia stands without a parallel as the most energetic act of desperation time has witnessed.

This tragic event took place 132 years B.C. The destruction of Numantia paralyzed the energies of the Spanish patriots, and two-thirds of the peninsula despairingly submitted to the Roman sway. Nearly all the tribes tremblingly sent deputations to implore the clemency of the conqueror. A few of the mountain clans, in their inaccessible retreats, who, in their poverty, were not worth the trouble of conquering, remained in independence. But still the extortions of the Romans were continually goading the enslaved people to insurrection; and the peace of Spain was only that peace to which the plantation slaves submit when crouching beneath the uplifted lash. Rapacity, lust, cruelty ever marked Roman domination in Spain. For half a century from this time the whole peninsula continued to exhibit the same unvarying picture of abject bondage. Occasionally, goaded to desperation, the victim would turn upon his oppressor but to be smitten with a mailed hand in bloody death.

In the year 81 B.C. the merciless dictator Sylla was at the height of his power in Rome. Among the innumerable victims on his proscription list, there was an illustrious general by the name of Quintus Sertorius. He was then in the prime of life, and was endowed with great physical energy and mental vigor. As a leader of armies he had no superior; and his ambition was as boundless and unscrupulous as was that of Sylla, before the terror of whose arm he had been compelled to flee.

Sertorius, in his flight, succeeded in reaching Spain. The natives, ever eager for an opportunity to rise against their oppressors, encouraged by his military renown and his inextinguishable hatred of the Roman usurper, rallied around him. He soon found himself at the head of 9000 troops, ripe for any enterprise, no matter how desperate. But the Romans, to hold the restless Spaniards in subjection, had four armies in the field, amounting, all together, to 120,000 men. With amazing energy and military skill, Sertorius baffled his foes and multiplied his victories, until he united the two powerful tribes—nations they were then—called the Lusitanians and Celtiberians, into one central republic. Giving them a government exactly similar to that of Rome, he advanced in such a career of conquest, and of accumulating resources, that Spain seemed upon the eve of being rescued entirely from its foreign oppressors.

He established two capitals, Evora, in the heart of Lusitania, and Osca, now Huesca, in Celtiberia. Both of these capitals were embellished with the noblest works of art. A Senate, consisting of 300 of the most distinguished citizens, most of them Romans by birth, administered the general affairs of the nation. The army was organized upon the Roman model. There was a university established at Huesca, to which Sertorius invited distinguished Latin and Greek professors, and which attained very considerable renown, attracting students from all parts of the peninsula. Industry, in all its branches, was encouraged. Arms were manufactured, arsenals reared, mines opened, and the hour of Roman expulsion and of Spanish disenthrallment seemed to be at hand.

The imperious Sylla, alarmed at the strength rebellion was assuming in Spain, dispatched the consul Metellus Pius, at the head of several Roman legions, to crush the audacious foe. Sertorius hurled upon them his exultant troops, and trampled them in the dust: Sylla died miserably, and went to the bar of God with the blood upon his soul of one hundred thousand men whom he had sent to the scaffold. The Roman Senate, conscious that the emergency of Spanish affairs demanded the most decisive action, sent to the peninsula several veteran legions, under Cnaeus Pompey, a young general whose star was just beginning to rise, lurid and gleaming, over a war-scathed and smouldering world. The storm of battle now swept Spain with terrible devastation. When Pompey and Sertorius crossed swords, then the mightiest energies of the demon of war were called into requisition. There were many fierce and sanguinary battles, in which both parties struck their swiftest and heaviest blows, and then rested from the conflict, bleeding, panting, and equally exhausted. Rome poured in her re-enforcements to replenish the thinned ranks of Pompey. But with equal ardor the Spanish tribes contributed their recruits to strengthen the diminished battalions of Sertorius.

At one time the Spanish forces were so pressed by the Roman legions marching upon them in overwhelming masses, that they could not even hope for a successful encounter. Sertorius dispersed his army, at a given signal, through a hundred diverse paths, leaving the foe utterly bewildered by their sudden vanishment. In a few days they were all re-assembled, with recruited strength, at an appointed rendezvous. Rome now offered an immense reward for the head of Sertorius, hoping thus to secure his assassination by some of his followers. Perpenna, one of the generals of Sertorius, entered into a conspiracy to overthrow the illustrious chieftain, not for the sake of the offered reward, but to obtain the supreme command. At a convivial supper in celebration of a victory, Sertorius fell, pierced to the heart by a dozen poniards.

Perpenna attained his object, and was recognized as the leader of the army. But in his first battle the genius of Pompey triumphed over him; his troops were slain or dispersed, and he was taken captive. The wretch sought to purchase pardon by acts of the utmost perfidy and meanness. Pompey, despising him, sent him to the scaffold. With the death of Sertorius, the last glimmer of Spanish independence expired; but his memory was cherished by the natives with undying love. The genius of Pompey now dominated over Spain. Most of the tribes submitted to the conqueror, and as he swept his armies from Andalusia to the Pyrenees, he found no occasion to draw his sword. Thus Spain, in the year 72 B.C., became again subject to Rome; and the tranquility of the vanquished people for twenty years was disturbed but by occasional and partial insurrections, which were promptly crushed, and with merciless severity.

Pompey, from this successful expedition, returned to Rome, and for a time Julius Caesar, a young man whose fame was rapidly rising, and who married a daughter of Pompey, was intrusted with the governorship of Spain. Though the tremendous energy of Caesar overawed all opposition, still, as he espoused the popular cause, in opposition to the aristocracy, he was decidedly a favorite with the masses. By his military prowess, and his wonderful administrative skill, he obtained much celebrity, and soon returned to Rome laden with the wealth which, in accordance with universal custom, he had extorted from the Spanish people. By means of this wealth he secured his election to the consulship, the highest office to which a Roman could then attain. Becoming thus powerful, he entered into a coalition with Pompey and Crassus, thus forming that famous triumvirate, who divided between themselves the dominion of the then known world.

Spain, Roman and Gothic

(From 44 B.C. to 673 A.D.)

The Strife between Pompey and Caesar.—The Victory of Caesar.—Spain under the Caesars.—The beneficent Reign of Augustus.—Tiberius Caligula.—Nero.—The four good Emperors.—Invasion of Spain by northern Barbarians.—Introduction of Christianity.—Martyrdom.—The Gothic Invasion and Empire.—Euric.—Theodoric.—The Crown elective.—The Arians and Trinitarians.—Jealousy of the Nobles.—Adoption of the Catholic Faith.—Collection of Wamba.—Whimsical Letter of Paul.

In the division which the triumvirs made between themselves of the Roman world, Spain, with other vast possessions, was assigned to Pompey. But when civil war arose, and Pompey had been driven out of Italy by the successful usurpation of Caesar, the conqueror marched to Spain, to win that country from the three lieutenants to whom Pompey had intrusted its administration. Surmounting the Alps, and marching through Southern Gaul, Caesar entered Spain by skirting the extreme eastern termination of the Pyrenees, where they abut upon the Mediterranean. The first encounter between the troops of Caesar and those of Pompey was at Lerida, upon the Segre, one of the tributaries of the Ebro. Caesar routed his foes, and was then so strengthened by the native tribes crowding to his banners that Pompey's lieutenants found it impossible to continue the conflict, and were compelled to make an unconditional surrender. Spain thus passed, almost without a struggle, into the hands of Caesar. This great achievement was accomplished, after entering Spain, in a campaign of but forty days. Caesar, thus victorious, assigned the two great provinces of Hither and Farther Spain, one to each of his lieutenants, Cassius and Lepidus, and then returned to Italy to prosecute the war against Pompey.

Upon the fall of Pompey in Africa, his eldest son fled to Spain, with many of his father's partisans. The memory of Pompey was still dear to many of the inhabitants, and several of the tribes rallied around his son. Again there was civil war in Spain. Victory crowned the first efforts of the young Pompey, and soon nearly all the peninsula was in his possession. The emergency was so great that Caesar himself hastened, at the head of his legions, to reconquer the country. After several indecisive battles, the two contending forces met in great strength on the plains of Monda, twenty-four miles from Malaga. It was manifest that, on that day of blood, the fate of the peninsula was to be decided. At the commencement of the battle the tide of war turned against Caesar, and his ranks were rapidly melting away before the stern blows of his assailants. Caesar was for a moment thrown into a state of terrible agitation. Raising his helmet, he spurred his horse into the midst of his soldiers, shouting:

"Soldiers, I am your Caesar! Veterans, after so many victories, will you suffer yourselves to be conquered by a boy? Do you thus abandon your chief? Rather will I perish by my own hand than by the sword of Pompey."

Thus speaking, he made a movement as if determined to kill himself, should the battle continue to go against him. This dramatic appeal accomplished its purpose. The wavering ranks again became firm, and with redoubled vigor they pressed forward, and gained a complete victory.

The young Pompey fled, leaving 30,000 of his followers dead upon the plain. The unhappy son of a sire whose woes had been as great as were his abilities, was pursued, taken, and cruelly put to death. Caesar, deeming the country subdued, returned to Rome, where the dagger of Brutus and his confederates terminated his brilliant career.

Under the long reign of the Roman emperors who succeeded Julius Caesar, the founder of the Empire, Spain continued one of the Roman provinces, with but little to distinguish it from any other part of the realm. Octavius Caesar, the successor of Julius, ascended the throne of the empire about the year 38 B.C. Octavius, who soon, from his achievements, acquired the title of Augustus, relinquished the former division of Spain into Hither  and Farther, and instituted instead a threefold division. The whole north-eastern part of the country was organized into a province, called Tarraconensis. The southern section was called Baetica. The western district, embracing what is now Portugal, and its adjacent sections, was named Lusitania.

Spain, thus organized, thickly peopled with a warlike race, and containing immense resources of revenue, was deemed one of the most important provinces of the Roman Empire, and Augustus Caesar decided to visit it in person. With imperial pomp he traversed the realm, studying its capabilities and the character of its inhabitants. He speedily discerned that the restless disposition of the natives was such that the country could only be held by military occupation. He therefore reared many fortresses, garrisoned them strongly, and quelled the slightest indications of revolt with a relentless hand. Thus the spirit of the nation was subdued, and Spain, under Roman law, shared in the general peace and prosperity, such as they were, which the Roman Empire enjoyed.

Spain had never been so happy before as under the reign of Augustus Caesar. He did what he could to curb the rapacity of the local governors; constructed roads and bridges, and conferred high dignities of government upon deserving natives of the country. The following anecdote is related, illustrative of his magnanimity, and the reputation he acquired.

There was a celebrated robber by the name of Baracota, ranging the mountains, at the head of a determined band. He had for a long time been the terror of the country, either eluding or cutting to pieces all the forces sent to oppose him. At length Augustus offered a large reward for his head. Baracota, knowing that any of his followers would gladly murder him for the reward, boldly delivered himself up to the Emperor, confessing his crimes, promising to abandon his lawless course of life, and demanding the reward which had been offered for his apprehension. The intrepidity of the bandit, and his confidence in the imperial clemency, so touched the Emperor that he pardoned the robber and conferred upon him the proffered reward.

The reign of Tiberius Caesar, who followed Augustus, was a scourge to Spain, as to all other parts of the Roman Empire. His own rapacity was exceeded only by that of the praetors, or governors, who ruled over the province. The taxes were doubled, the property of the rich confiscated; children were deprived of their inheritance, and any person whose property the tyrant coveted was sent into banishment or to the scaffold.

The reign of the infamous Caligula was still more ruinous for Spain than was that of Tiberius Caesar. The remorseless tyrant, having exhausted the revenues of Italy, plundered Spain pitilessly. Claudius and Nero followed in his footsteps, and Spain sank deeper and deeper in the abyss of poverty and woe. At length, goaded beyond endurance by crime and outrage of every kind, Galba, the governor of Tarragona, in Spain, raised the standard of revolt against Nero. He was declared emperor of the army which he had under his command, but was soon assassinated. Vespasian, and after him Titus, endeavored to repair the wrongs which ages of oppression had inflicted upon Spain; and prosperity was just beginning to dawn upon the long-afflicted land, when the accession of Domitian to the throne of the empire, again introduced, through all the provinces of the Roman world, the reign of rapine and misery.

The Emperor Trajan, who was invested with the imperial crown about the year of our Lord 97, was a Spaniard by birth. He proved one of the noblest sovereigns who ever swayed the Roman sceptre. His reign was a gala-day for Spain. Loving his native land, he did every thing in his power to promote its happiness by encouraging all the arts of peace. New roads were constructed, and magnificent bridges thrown across the streams. Arches, colonnades, and aqueducts arose, and Spain, from the Pyrenees to Europa's point, clapped her hands for joy. Adrian, who succeeded Trajan, was also a Spaniard, and, though he inherited not the high genius of his predecessor, he was equally attached to his native land. Many monuments still remain in the Spanish peninsula indicative of his devotion to the province which gave him birth. His successor, the great and good Antoninus Pius, was a Gaul, and, under his reign, Spain, with all the rest of the Roman world, enjoyed prosperity. He was succeeded by Marcus Aurelius, a Spaniard, who also secured the well-merited affection of his subjects.

The reign of these four good emperors was extended over eighty-two years, and during all that time Spain was prosperous and happy. But then came again the reign of darkness, and the whole world groaned beneath the iron rod of despotism. With all the rest of the empire, Spain was crushed beneath the weight of intolerable oppression. But as years rolled on, and corruption ate into the vitals of the Empire, the imperial arm became weakened, and the governors of the provinces assumed more of independence, and their extortion and tyranny passed all bounds. The people, goaded to madness, were continually rising in blind insurrections, only to be trampled down in blood by the Roman legions. The only object of the government seemed to be plunder; robber bands swept the country, and poverty reigned in all dwellings excepting those of a favored few in the large cities.

To add to these almost unearthly woes, there came, about A.D. 260, a flood of foreign invasion. Barbaric tribes, from the wilds of Germany, fierce as wolves, came sweeping through Gaul, and, clambering the Pyrenees, ravaged Spain with the most savage mercilessness. They trampled down the crops, burned cities and villages, and the wretched inhabitants of the peninsula were exposed to every outrage which the imagination can conceive. For twelve years this inundation of woe rolled over Spain almost unchecked. The wretched Roman Empire was at this time distracted by the conflicts of no less than thirty pretenders to the throne, and anarchy reigned throughout the known world. At length an energetic governor, who had extended his sway over both Spain and Gaul, arrested the barbaric flood and turned it in another direction. But so dreadful had been the ravages of these savage hordes, that they were not repaired by one hundred and fifty years of succeeding peace.

The introduction of Christianity into Spain is lost in the obscurity of the past. It is however certain that, in the early periods of the second century, Christian churches were established in the peninsula, and that the flames of martyrdom had also been kindled there. The martyrdom of Fructuosus, Bishop of the Church of Tarragona during the reign of Galienus, is well authenticated. The Emperor issued a decree commanding the Christians, under penalty of death, to sacrifice to the Roman gods. Fructuosus paid no regard to the decree, and was consequently dragged before Emilianus, then the Roman governor of Spain.

"Art thou acquainted," inquired Emilianus, "with the decree of the Emperor?"

"What is that decree?" replied Fructuosus.

"That thou must sacrifice to the gods of Rome," was the answer.

"I adore one God only," Fructuosus replied, "our Heavenly Father, who has created heaven and earth."

"Art thou ignorant, then, that there are many gods?" responded the governor.

"I am," was the meek reply of the bishop.

The soldiers were commanded immediately to seize him, bind him hand and foot, and lead him to the stake. Ile was seated upon a vast combustible pile, which was prepared to burst into flame at the touch of the torch. Looking around upon his weeping friends, he said:

"My brethren, fear not that you will ever want for pastors. God will never forsake you. Weep not for me. These pangs will soon be over, and I shall enter those joyful realms to which martyrdom conducts me."

As the flames wreathed around him, consuming the cords with which he was bound, he kneeled, amidst the roaring fire, apparently as tranquil as if in his own closet; and with clasped hands, and breathing a fervent prayer, passed away to the martyr's crown.

During the reign of Diocletian the fires of persecution blazed through the whole Spanish peninsula. Sometimes hundreds perished together. The governor of the populous city of Saragossa, weary of hunting out Christians and executing them one by one, issued a decree that if the Christians would abandon the city and meet at an appointed place without the walls, he would pardon them all, and assign them lands, where they might build a city and live by themselves, and enjoy their religion unmolested.

Trusting to the honor of the governor, a great multitude of Christians—men, women, and children—issued from the gates. He then treacherously fell upon them with soldiers held in ambuscade, and every individual was massacred. Their bodies were all thrown together upon one funeral pyre and consumed.

The martyrdom of Fructuosus, Bishop of Tarragona.


As corruption sapped the foundations of the Roman Empire, the northern barbarians became more bold in their assaults, and wave after wave of invasion rolled over the provinces of Southern Europe. In many localities the barbaric tribes established themselves permanently under their bold and sagacious chieftains. During the whole of the fifth century Spain was the battle-ground where the savage nations of the North met and struggled for the ascendency. In the early part of the century three Germanic tribes, the Suevi, the Alans, and the Vandals, came rushing over the Pyrenees, and, after perpetrating every imaginable enormity upon the native inhabitants, took possession of the country and divided it between them.

But soon there came another people, the Goths, more powerful than the three tribes united which had preceded them, and commenced a desperate struggle to wrest Spain from its conquerors, and to appropriate it to themselves. Many campaigns of blood and woe ensued, with conflagrations, massacres, murders, and violence, which could not have been exceeded had the combatants been demons instead of men. In the progress of this war the Alans were annihilated. Still the war continued with occasional lulls, the Goths gradually gaining ground, until finally the Vandals abandoned the country, and crossing the Straits, a tribe of 80,000 souls, carried the terror of their arms into Africa. This was in March, 427 A.D.

The Suevi and the Goths were now alone left to struggle for the supremacy. It is true that there were some slight lingerings still of Roman power in portions of the peninsula, but so slight as scarcely to deserve notice. In a series of campaigns, extending through ten years, the Suevi gradually gained the entire ascendency.

But they were not permitted long to enjoy their triumph. Another contestant suddenly appeared upon the bloody arena, as the war-cry of the Huns resounded through the defiles of the mountains, and roused anew the clamor of battle. Suevi and Hun now rushed upon each other with gory clubs, and bit the dust together. But again, in the midst of these scenes of demoniac crime and misery, the banners of another host are seen hurrying to the battle. The Heruli landed from their boats upon the coast of Calabria, and plunged eagerly into the thickest of the fight. As wolves frantically struggle over the bones they have already gnawed bare of all their flesh, so did barbarian contend with barbarian over the skeleton remains of miserable Spain. There was no longer any law in the land. Spain had become barbaric. Robbery, violence, murder devasted the country from the Pyrenees to Gibraltar's rock.

About 466 A.D., Euric, at the head of an immense Gothic force, descended from Gaul upon Spain, and soon succeeded in bringing the whole realm into subjection to his sway. The Suevi were driven into the south-west portion of the kingdom, where they were permitted to live in peace, as the vassals of the conqueror. Euric, surrounded by his invincible warriors, was now recognized as the monarch of Spain, and is regarded as the founder of the Gothic kingdom there. The Emperor, Julius Nepos, was glad to make peace with this warlike and triumphant sovereign by surrendering to him not only Spain, but the whole country beyond the Alps. Thus France, then called Gaul, and Spain became one Gothic empire, under Euric, more powerful at that time than decaying Rome itself.

Euric established the seat of his empire at Arles, in Gaul, on the Rhone, about thirty miles from its mouth. The Roman sway had now disappeared from these realms forever. Thus, what is called the Gothic kingdom was founded and consolidated in Spain. All the remnants of the various tribes who had inundated the country were gradually blended, with the native inhabitants, into a homogeneous people. Euric appears to have been a man of much intelligence, and vigorously he engaged in the work of reducing his realms to order. He established the famous code of Gothic law, still known as the Forum Judicum. He was nominally a Christian, though he adopted the Arian doctrine, and with merciless cruelty persecuted those Christians who adhered to the Trinitarian faith. Euric died at Arles in the year 483, and his son, Alaric, was elected by the warlike chieftains to succeed him on the throne.

Alaric was unable to retain the empire which his father's sword had won. Clovis, from Northern Gaul, came down upon him, at the head of his warlike Franks, and the armies of Alaric were dispersed, and the king himself slain. A northern nation, called the Ostrogoths, had now taken possession of Italy, and Theodoric, their king, wrested Spain from Gensealic, the feeble successor of Alaric. Thus the peninsula became a province of the Italian Ostrogoths, governed by a general whom Theodoric intrusted with the administration. This general, Theudis, was also an Arian, but, unlike Euric, he left those of a different faith in the undisturbed enjoyment of their religion. His rule was upright and sagacious. Laws were ordained, churches constructed, public improvements encouraged, and councils convened to settle important and disputed doctrines of the Christian faith. Theodoric was the first who introduced the custom of temporal sovereigns appointing to offices in the Church of Christ. His favorites he placed in the Episcopal chairs, thus secularizing the Church, and placing its offices of influence and honor by the side of those of the army and the navy.

Theodoric, just before his death, surrendered the dominion of Spain, with the southern portion of Gaul, to his grandson, Amalaric, and thus Spain became again an independent kingdom. Seville was chosen as the metropolis of this realm, which embraced the Pyrenees, and extended for many leagues along their northern slopes. But Amalaric soon fell in battle, engaged in a war with the Franks. A Gothic chieftain by the name of Theudis, was elected to the vacant throne. He was soon deprived of his inheritance in Gaul, and his soldiers were driven across the Pyrenees into Spain. The triumphant foe even pursued the fugitives down into the plains of the peninsula, and ravaged its provinces with their merciless arms. After a stormy reign, Theudis fell beneath the dagger of an assassin.

Theudisel succeeded to the throne. He was a monster of wickedness, indulging in brutal passions without restraint, and trampling with grossest violence upon all the most sacred relations of domestic life. A Gothic king in that day was elevated but little above his warrior nobles, and the dagger was the facile instrument with which to remove an obnoxious incumbent from the throne. One evening Theudisel was supping with his court in his palace at Seville, in commemoration of a recent victory, when, at a given signal, the lamps were extinguished, and a dozen swords, wielded by the nervous hands of outraged husbands and fathers, pierced his body.

Agilan succeeded him. His short reign was an incessant tempest. Many parts of Spain refused to acquiesce in his election. Civil war raged cruelly. The king was driven from his capital, and forced to take refuge in Merida. Surrounded by defeat, and with insurrection triumphant all over the land, he was slain by his own soldiers.

Athanagild, a Gothic noble, who was the leading spirit in this triumphant revolt, obtained aid in his rebellion from the Emperor Justinian. The death of Agilan however did by no means end the strife; on the contrary, it was but the signal for a still more deadly conflict among the combatants for the booty. The troops of Justinian were fighting for the Emperor, and not for Athanagild, and they remained for some time in Spain struggling for the possession of its provinces. They were eventually overcome, and the victor, with his sword ever unsheathed, maintained his throne.

In this day, when the Church had come to be regarded as one of the most potent institutions of the State, religious disputes necessarily became the dividing line between political parties. The great conflict between the Arians and the Trinitarians agitated all Christendom. The rancor of feeling was as severe, and the persecution as bitter, as has ever existed between Catholic and Protestant, or Aristocrat and Democrat. It was political rather than religious zeal which envenomed the dispute. It would be tedious to follow the details of the strifes and the battles to which this division led. There was a succession of sovereigns whose reigns were agitated by this politico-religious contest. One of these sovereigns, Leovigild, in his exasperation, caused the head of his son to be cleft by a hatchet, because he refused to abjure the Catholic faith and adopt that of Arius.

Leovigild persecuted the Catholics fiercely. He plundered their churches and monasteries, and extorted vast sums from the rich as the penalty of their faith, while others were sent into exile, to the dungeon, and even to the scaffold. With the money thug acquired, he surrounded his court with unwonted splendor. He was publicly crowned, a pageant in which no other Gothic king had indulged, for the king had heretofore been considered but very slightly elevated above the chieftains who elected him. He reared a magnificent throne in his palace, and studiously surrounded himself with all the pomp and pageantry of royalty. For the first time, under his reign, the effigy of the king was stamped upon the coin, with a diadem upon his brow.

Upon the death of Leovigild, in the year 589, his son, Recared I., was unanimously chosen as his successor. Apparently from sincere conviction he gradually abandoned the tenets of Arius, and espoused the Catholic cause. With singular sagacity, he adopted measures to bring back the whole Arian portion of the Spanish Church to the ancient faith. The treasure which had been wrested from the Catholic Church was restored. Public discussions were encouraged, at which the king presided, exerting a gentle but decided influence in behalf of the cause he had secretly espoused. By a merciful yet firm government, and by great kindness to the poor, he won general popularity. Having thus prepared the way for his attempt to establish unity of religious faith throughout his realms, he assembled a general council of his clergy and nobles at Toledo on the 8th of May, 589. After the council had devoted three days to fasting and prayer, the king, in a carefully prepared speech, opened the subject for which he had convened them. The substance of his address was as follows:

"Religion is a subject more important than all others to man, since it involves not only his prosperity in this life, but also his eternal welfare in the life to come. Unhappily antagonistic schemes of religion divide the Church in Spain. The most careful consideration has convinced me that the ancient Catholic system is the religion of the Bible, and I wish now publicly to make a profession of my Christian faith in connection with that Church. Though my conscience impels me to this step, still I have no wish to constrain the conscience of any other man. But if unity of religious faith can by any possibility be restored to Spain, it will prove the greatest blessing which could be conferred upon the realm, introducing peace to the distracted kingdom, and promoting national prosperity and individual happiness. I do therefore now publicly abjure the errors of Arianism, and declare my belief in the co-equality of the three persons of the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and I submit myself to the authority of the Catholic and Apostolic Church. It is also my earnest desire that all who are present should follow my example."

The king was beloved, and love is far more potent in promoting conversion than argument. Denominational differences are ordinarily social in their origin, the result of elective affinities rather than of intellectual conviction. Religious theses and political platforms were at this time so blended that partisanship rather than enlightened conscientiousness controlled in the Church as well as in the State. The speech of the popular king was received with a general burst of applause. Nearly all the prelates and nobles, who were present, with enthusiasm followed the king. Their assent was given with such singular unanimity that immediately it was decreed that the Catholic religion should be henceforth the religion of the State, and that no person should be admitted to the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, who would not first give his assent to the orthodox creed sanctioned by the Council of Constantinople. Some of the more vigorous or conscientious of the Arian prelates denounced this apostasy, as they deemed it, in unmeasured terms. Their indignation led so far as even to incite them to conspire against the life of the king.

The Gothic kingdom of Spain, at this time, extended across the Pyrenees into Gaul; and, though the Franks sent a force of sixty thousand men to recover Southern Gaul from Recared, they were utterly routed, leaving nine thousand of their number dead upon the field. The reign of Recared was singularly prosperous and happy. He seems to have devoted all his energies with great sagacity to the promotion of the welfare of his subjects. He died A.D. 601.

Several kings succeeded, during whose reigns nothing of moment occurred. Liuva, after a weak and brief reign, was assassinated. Witeric succeeded, and closed a few years of shame and calamity by being murdered at his own table, and his body was thrown contemptuously into a ditch. Gundemar, in whose hands the sceptre was next placed, was a warrior, and, after a few military exploits of some renown, died in his bed. Sisebert then accepted the perilous diadem. He was an energetic king, and he displayed a degree of humanity marvelous in those days, even weeping over the gory spectacle of the battle-field, and doing every thing in his power to mitigate the inevitable horrors of war. And yet, with this humanity for Spaniards and Goths, and all included, even nominally, within the Christian pale, he was merciless beyond all bounds in his treatment of the Jews. He issued a decree that every Jew, unless he would submit to the ordinance of baptism, and profess the Christian faith, should be publicly scourged, stripped of all his possessions, and turned loose to starve. By this horrid intolerance, eighty thousand were compelled to receive baptism. Many escaped into France, and many, sternly adhering to the faith of their fathers, suffered, to the bitter end, this cruel persecution.

The Jew, while thus forcibly submitting to baptism, and partaking of the bread and the wine, cursed Christ in his heart; and it soon became so evident that this violence was promoting hypocrisy, not Christianity, that by a council convened at Toledo the very sensible resolve was adopted that the sacrament should henceforth be administered only to those who wished to receive it. Independently of this persecution, which the darkness of the age explains but does not excuse, Sisebert was a wise and patriotic sovereign. He took much interest in mercantile affairs, and commenced the construction of a fleet. He was also much of a scholar, and several of his letters still remain. At the time of his death, in the year 621, Spain was probably in a higher state of prosperity than it had ever been before.

His son, Recared, who was elected to succeed him, after a short reign of three months sank into the grave, and the Gothic nobles placed Swintila in the supreme command. With amazing energy he commenced his reign, and singular prosperity crowned his administration. But success and power fostered pride and cruelty. He become arrogant and despotic, and endeavored to change the elective crown into an hereditary one by decreeing that his son should succeed him. This so exasperated the proud Gothic nobles, who considered the king but as one of their own number whom they elected to lead their armies, that indignantly, after a pretty stern conflict, they succeeded in deposing Swintila, and the sceptre was placed in the hands of Sisenand.

The Franks in Gaul, aided the Spanish Goths in the deposition of Swintila; and the Gothic chieftains, as a remuneration, presented their allies with a large sum of gold. The Franks appropriated this treasure to the construction of the magnificent Church of St. Denis, near Paris, which has since served as the mausoleum of the kings of France.

Sisenand, to consolidate his power, convened a council of high ecclesiastics and influential nobles of the laity at Toledo, A.D. 633. The political supremacy which the Church had then attained is indicated by the acts of this council. Swintila, the deposed sovereign, was excommunicated, with his wife, his child, and his brother. All their property was confiscated, and they were placed, unprotected by law, at the mercy of the king. It was also decreed that henceforth no election of a king should be valid until confirmed by a council, regularly convened, of the clergy and the nobles.

Chintila was elected to succeed Sisenand in 636. A council of the clergy, and of nobles of the laity, was promptly convened to ratify the election. This council issued the singular decree that in the future no one should be nominated king unless he were of noble blood, and of pure Gothic descent. Another decree was soon promulgated, that the elected king should always take an oath not to suffer the exercise of any other religion than the Catholic, and to enforce the laws rigorously against all dissidents, especially against "that accursed people the Jews." There were however many Christians who, better understanding the mind of Christ, protested against this intolerance, and even Chintila disapproved of the ordinance.

Tulga next ascended the throne, in 640. He proved so inefficient, allowing the laws to be broken with impunity, that, after disgracing the throne for two years, the nobles shut him up in a monastery, and placed the sceptre in the hands of Chindaswind, a stern old man, who, with a mailed hand, boxed all insubordination into pliant obedience. His authority became so indisputable, and the terror of his arm so great, that he was enabled to associate his son, Reces wind, with him in the royal dignity, and to transmit to him the crown.

The Gothic nobles, proud of their independence, and of their right of electing their sovereigns, were alarmed by this advance towards the hereditary transmission of the throne, and rose in revolt. An army was speedily gathered on the north side of the Pyrenees. They crossed the mountains, but soon meeting the king's troops, they were dispersed, and almost annihilated. Thus the opposition to the royal authority was crushed. Receswind proved a worthy prince, and seems to have been a man of piety. The temptation was very great for the sovereign to avail himself of his position in acquiring vast wealth to transmit to his children. The clergy issued a decree, which the king sanctioned, that thenceforth all the wealth acquired by the king after his accession to the throne should be transmitted, not to his children, but to the crown. Receswind died at an advanced age, in the year 672, and was succeeded by Wamba.

The new sovereign was chosen by the electors. The name of Wamba is one of the most illustrious in the annals of the ancient kings of Spain. He was truly a noble in character as in blood. He had already filled many of the most important posts in the State, and, weary of active life, had sought retirement. When informed of his election, he earnestly begged to be excused from accepting the proffered dignity, alleging his advanced age and consequent incapacity for the labors which the responsible post required. The importunity, however, was such that he was virtually compelled to accept the crown. Wamba had hardly taken his seat upon the throne in Toledo ere the Goths, on the other side of the Pyrenees, rose in rebellion, and chose Flavius Paulus, a Greek duke, for their king. They crowned him at Narbonne. Paulus sent the following whimsical letter, as a declaration of war, and a challenge to his Southern rival:

"In the name of the Lord, Flavius Paulus, King of the East, to Wamba, King of the South. Tell me, warrior, lord of woods and friend of rocks, Nast thou ever run through the sharp rocks of uninhabitable mountains? Hast thou ever, like the strongest lion, broken down with thy breast the thickets and trees of the forest? Hast thou ever outstripped the deer in speed, or outleaped the stag, or subdued the devouring bears? Hast thou ever triumphed over the venom of vipers and serpents? If thou hast done all this, hasten unto us, that we may be abundantly regaled with the notes of the nightingale. Wherefore, thou wonderful man, whose courage rises with the occasion, come down to the defiles of the Pyrenees. There thou wilt find the great redresser of wrongs, whom thou canst engage without dishonor."

The Moorish Invasion

(From 673 A.D. to 821 A.D.)

Conflict between Wamba and Paulus.—Reign of Wamba, and his singular Fate. —Conspiracy of the Jews.—The Reign of Roderic.—Invasion of the Saracens. —Death of Roderic.—Triumph of the Moorish Invasion.—Conflicts of the Caliphs.—Damascus against Bagdad.—Civil War in Spain.—Invasion of Gaul by the Moors.—Charles Martel, and the Battle of Tours.—Moorish Splendor in Cordova.—The Moorish Monarchy.

Wamba calmly but resolutely assembled his forces, and marched to encounter Paulus, the vainglorious boaster. He divided his army into three bodies, one of which was conveyed by sea, and the other two proceeded by different land-routes towards the Pyrenees. Crushing all opposition before him, he advanced to the very walls of Narbonne. Paulus, humiliated by defeat, left a portion of his troops to defend the city and fled to Nismes, there to make his last stand. Duke Wittimer was intrusted with the defense of Narbonne. The royal troops, with Gothic ferocity, speedily scaled the walls of the city, cut down all opposition, and the streets ran red with blood. Wittimer, having been seized in a church, to which he had fled as a sanctuary, was publicly scourged as a rebel.

Narbonne being thus reduced, the monarch advanced, with determined strides, to Nismes. Here Paulus was strongly intrenched with the bravest of his troops. The assault was terrible, but for a whole day no impression could be made upon the defenses. As night came, both besiegers and besieged, still grasping their arms, threw themselves upon the ground for repose. With the earliest dawn of the morning the strife was renewed. Paulus, who, notwithstanding his braggart spirit, was by no means a coward, viewed from a tower the dense columns of the enemy preparing for the assault. With the following harangue he endeavored to animate his desponding troops:

"Old Wamba has triumphed only where he met little resistance. He finds that be has now to deal with solid walls, and with hearts still more impregnable than those walls, and he begins to discover big natural cowardice. He has brought his whole force against us. Let us now rush upon them, and destroy the handful of men we see before us, and we can march unopposed from Nismes to Toledo."

But the soldiers could not be induced to make a sally. They preferred to fight behind their ramparts, replying to Paulus, "These Goths are no cowards." For five hours the battle raged, the besieged defending themselves with all the fury of despair. But at length the gates were set on fire, the walls scaled, and, after a short but terrific struggle in the streets, the troops of Wamba remained in undisturbed possession of the city. There was but little mercy shown the insurgents. The avenger pursued them everywhere, and the streets were clogged with the gory bodies of the dead. Paulus, in disguise, hid in the immense vaults beneath the amphitheatre. There he crouched, through the long night, enduring pangs more bitter than death.

In the morning, Wamba, who had pitched his tent at some distance from the walls, entered the gates, and gave orders that no more blood should be shed. The inhabitants who survived crowded around him in abject submission, imploring pardon. Paulus was discovered, dragged from his retreat, and led into the presence of his conqueror. His courage had now vanished entirely, and, in utter humiliation, he prostrated himself at the feet of Wamba, pleading for life.

"Thy life and those of thy companions," said Wamba, " I have promised to spare, though ye deserve not the indulgence."

He then condemned Paulus and his surviving generals to have their heads shaven, and to be consigned to perpetual confinement in one of the monasteries of Toledo. After devoting some time to the reparation of the ruins of Nismes, and having pacified the whole of Gothic Gaul, deposing some governors and appointing others, Wamba returned to Toledo. His entrance into his capital was in imitation of the old Roman triumphs. A large number of captives preceded him, their chins and heads shaven, their feet bare, and clothed in the coarsest garments, made of camel's hair. Paulus occupied a conspicuous position, having a leathern crown placed derisively upon his brow, and being surrounded with mock homage. After enduring for hours the jeers of the populace, and all the mental anguish which insult and contempt could inflict, he was sent to pass the remainder of his days in the cells of a cloister.



Tranquillity being thus secured, Wamba devoted all his energies to the promotion of the welfare of his subjects. The prosperity of Spain was greatly advanced during his vigorous and sagacious sway. Education was encouraged, purity of religion countenanced, and all the arts of industry fostered. The foresight of the monarch was so remarkable that, in anticipation of the invasion of the Saracens, he had a large fleet constructed for the defense of the Spanish coasts. The wisdom of this caution was soon manifest. The fleet was just equipped for battle when, in the year 677, a powerful army of the Saracens, crowding one hundred and seventy barques, crossed the Straits of Gibraltar from Africa, and attempted to effect a landing in Spain. These fierce barbarians, called Arabs in their Oriental haunts, but taking the name of Saracens and Moors in Europe, had already overrun nearly the whole of Northern Africa, holding many nations in subjection by the terror of their arms. But the fleet of Wamba advanced to meet them, and the wolfish assailants were driven back to Africa with great slaughter.

The end of Wamba was curious indeed, and singularly illustrative of the superstitions of that day. From the beginning of the fifth century the custom had prevailed that, when any one was dying, he should assume the tonsure and the monkish habit, thus devoting himself to the service of God as a priest for the remainder of his life. This became gradually the universal custom, so that a man would be deemed infamous, and an infidel, who should neglect to make this preparation, sanctified by the Church, to meet God in judgment. From these vows there was no release, so that, if one chanced to recover, the vows made under such solemn circumstances could not be annulled. If the dying man were too far gone to take the monastic vow for himself, his friends assumed the obligation for him, and, though in a state of perfect insensibility, his head was shaven, he was clothed in the monastic robes, and the rite was considered equally binding as if it had been assumed at his own request. Of course, under ordinary circumstances, both the dying and their friends were very careful not to assume these vows unless it were very evident that death was at hand.

Wamba, in the midst of all the vigor of his administration, wielding, with almost unparalleled energy and sagacity the sceptre of empire, had a severe fainting-fit, in which he appeared to all to be dying. In great alarm his friends gathered around him, expecting every moment to see him breathe his last. His head was hastily shorn, the monastic garb placed upon him, and he was invested with all the sacredness of the priesthood. He however revived, and in twenty-four hours was as well as ever. But the irretrievable deed was done. The king was a monk, and from those monkish vows there was no escape but at the peril of his soul. Indeed, had he disregarded them, the whole Christian world would have regarded him as an apostate, stained with the most awful perjury of which a mortal soul could be guilty. Wamba, piously inclined, doubtless regarded the event as providential, as indicative of the divine will. We hear no murmurs from his lips. Submissively he entered the cloister, and passed the remainder of his days in solitude, fastings, penance, and prayer.

A council was convened in Toledo of clerical fathers and nobles of the laity, and Ervigius, whom Wamba had nominated, was declared king. But the affections of the people still lingered around Wamba. To court favor, Ervigius granted unconditional pardon to all who had taken up arms against Wamba in the rebellion of Duke Paulus, and remitted all taxes due to the treasury. To secure the crown in his family, he united his daughter in marriage with Ejica, a brother of Wamba. When he died, after an inglorious reign of five years, Ejica succeeded to the throne. There were at that time in Spain many Jews who, though they had, through compulsion, received the rite of baptism, still, in heart, held to the faith of their fathers, and, groaning under the oppression they endured, longed for deliverance. They were, of course, eager to engage in any enterprises of rebellion which promised them relief.

The Jews were accused, and probably with reason, of entering into a conspiracy with their brethren in Africa, who, in confederacy with the Saracens, agreed to invade Spain, and, by overthrowing the Gothic power there, were to establish the Saracenic sway, under which the Jews were to enjoy toleration. Alarmed by the whisperings of danger which reached his ears, the king summoned a council. The bishops, appointed by him, and regarded as officers of his Government, were of course submissive to his will. By this council it was decreed that any baptized Jew who should relapse should be consigned to perpetual slavery, and that the children of the Jews, when seven years of age, should be taken from them, and educated under the protection of Christians appointed for that purpose. After an energetic but intolerant reign of about thirteen years, Ejica died, and his son, Witiza, received the diadem.

The new king was one of those monsters of depravity who have occasionally appeared upon almost every throne, converting the palace into a harem of debauchery which neither Sodom nor Gomorrah could outvie. He was unblushing in his vices, filling his saloons with concubines; and it is recorded that he became so lost to all sense of shame that he even published an edict authorizing all his subjects, ecclesiastical as well as lay, to take as many concubines as they could obtain. The remonstrances of the Pope he rejected with contempt. The utter dissoluteness of his life is indicated by the innumerable and incredible stories to his disadvantage with which the ancient annals are filled. He placed his own creatures in episcopal chairs, vice rather than virtue constituting a recommendation. It is recorded that he murdered the Duke of Biscay with his own hand, that he put out the eyes of the Duke of Cordova, and that finally one of the sons of this duke raised a rebellion, and, by the aid of a Gallic alliance, dethroned Witiza, and, having torn out his eyes, threw the wretched tyrant into a dungeon, where he perished no one knows when or how.

In the year 709 Roderic ascended the Gothic throne of Spain. The sons of Witiza repaired to Africa, and engaged the co-operation of the Saracens to wrest the throne from Roderic. The Goths had now become greatly enervated by luxury; a voluptuous climate, and a fertile soil requiring but little labor. There were also in Spain the two numerous classes of Jews and slaves, eager to join any invading host whose banners promised emancipation. On the 30th of April, 711, the Saracens landed, in great force, at the foot of the rock of Gibraltar, then called Calpe. This embarkation led to results which occupy a very prominent place in the history of Spain. The governor of this province of Andalusia, terrified by the apparition, wrote to Roderic for help.

"A horde of Africans," said he, "have just landed on our coasts, so strange in appearance that one might take them as much for inhabitants of the sky as of the earth. They suddenly assailed me. I resisted as well as I could their entrance into the country, but their number and impetuosity have prevailed. In spite of my efforts, they are now encamped on our soil. Send me more troops without a moment's delay. Collect all who can bear arms. So urgent is the occasion that I consider even your own presence necessary."

The king immediately dispatched a large cavalry force to the aid of his general. Tarik, the leader of the Saracens, as an indication of his confidence, and to prevent his followers from thinking of retreat, burned his ships. The Christians and the Moors soon met again upon the field of battle. The Christians were again vanquished, and the Moorish horsemen swept the country in all directions, gratifying their passions of lust and cruelty, and plundering without restraint. Roderic was now thoroughly alarmed, and, at the head of his whole force, amounting to ninety thousand men, marched to meet the invaders. He first caught sight of their banners as they were drawn up in challenge of battle, upon the western banks of the Guadalette, about six miles from Cadiz. The Saracen army consisted of but thirty thousand men, but they were all picked soldiers, veterans in war, and accustomed to victory.

In the earliest dawn of the morning, with clash of weapons, and whoops of war which rent the skies, the two armies rushed upon each other. Through the long hours of one of the hottest of July days, until the sun sank below the horizon, the battle was waged with unabated fury, neither party gaining any decided advantage. Night alone separated the combatants. As soon as the light of another morning appeared, the warriors sprang to their arms, and renewed the fight. Again, through the hours of another summer's day, with crash of armor and cry of onset, the bloody surges of battle swept to and fro, till the gloom of another night rendered it impossible to distinguish friend from enemy. The exhausted hosts slept upon their arms, but to renew the battle with increasing frenzy as soon as the rays of the third morning appeared in the east. It was nearly noon of this third day ere the battle was decided.

Tarik, recognizing the Gothic king by his pompous surroundings, called upon a few of his most resolute warriors to follow him, and, plunging through the thickest of the enemy's squadrons, cut down Roderic with his own scimeter. The Christians, whose diminished ranks were already wavering, now turned and fled. The victory of the Moors was complete. Thus ended the monarchy of the Goths in Spain, after one of the longest-fought battles recorded in history. The native tribes of Spain had first passed under the dominion of all-conquering Carthage. The Roman legions next took possession of the peninsula. After the lapse of a few centuries the Goths drove the Romans from the land, and established the Gothic kingdom in Spain. And now their dominion is at an end, and the Moorish sway commences.

Theodomir, with the fragments of the Gothic army, fled to the mountains of Granada, and, for a time, kept up a sort of guerrilla warfare which merely annoyed the foe without checking his career of conquest. The Crescent of the Moslem was soon floating victorious over the towers of Malaga, Cordova, and Toledo. Tarik, having made a triumphant entrance into the capital of Spain, exultingly took possession of the 'royal palace, where, it is said, he found twenty-five crowns of gold, each of which had decorated the brow of some one of the Gothic kings who had preceded him.

Damascus was at this time the Mohammedan capital, where the Caliph Walid was enthroned, who extended the sceptre, both of temporal and spiritual power, over the whole Moslem world. Muza was the governor, or emir, as he was called, who reigned over the subjugated provinces of Northern Africa. From his ports he had sent the expedition into Spain, under the command of Tarik, who was one of his generals. The marvellous renown which Tarik was gaining by his conquest alarmed the jealousy of Muza, and he hastened in person to Spain to assume the command and reap himself the harvest of glory.

He landed upon the peninsula with a large re-enforcement, and, seeking to outdo his successful general, immediately laid siege to Seville, which in one month he reduced. Thence entering Lusitania, he advanced in a career of unchecked conquest until he arrived before the almost impregnable battlements of the ancient city of Merida. Here the Goths, behind ramparts which ages had reared and strengthened, made a desperate stand. The conflict was long, and very bloody, but at length the city capitulated, and the Crescent supplanted the Cross upon the towers of this renowned capital of Old Spain. Among the hostages surrendered upon this occasion there was the widow of Roderic. The head of that unfortunate king had already been sent to Damascus as one of the trophies of victory.

From Merida, Muza hastened to Toledo, where he established his court, and devoted himself to the consolidation of his power over the vast kingdom his arms had won. But there was a feud daily growing more bitter between Muza and Tarik, which at last became so unrelenting, each being sustained by his troops, that the strife reached the ears of the caliph, and he summoned them both to appear before his throne in Damascus. This summons was a terrible disappointment to Muza, for, intoxicated with success, he had formed the ambitious plan of conquering Gaul, Italy, and Germany; of marching down the valley of the Danube, subduing and plundering, to the Euxine Sea; thence to advance to Constantinople, and overthrow the Greek Empire there. He was not, however, sufficiently strong to resist the imperial mandate, and relinquishing, for a time, all these visions of glory, he intrusted the command of Spain to his oldest son, Abdelasis, and sadly turned his steps, through his African provinces, towards Syria.

He returned, however, with the pomp of a conqueror. Many thousand captives followed in his train, among whom there appeared four hundred Gothic nobles splendidly apparelled. He also conveyed in his army-chests enormous treasure to propitiate his master. It was near the close of the year 714 when Muza approached Damascus. But Walid was then upon the bed of death, and in a few days after the arrival of Muza he was conveyed to the tomb. Suleyman, a brother of the departed caliph, ascended the Moslem throne. He, being bitterly hostile to Muza, cast him into prison, ordered him to be scourged, and inflicted upon him a fine, prodigious in those days, amounting to four hundred thousand dollars.

Suleyman then sent secret orders to Spain for the deposition and death of Abdelasis, who had married the widow of Roderic, and who was energetically bringing the whole of the peninsula into subjection to his sway. The unsuspecting prince was poniarded by assassins as he was assisting at morning prayers in the mosque at Seville. His head was cut off and sent to the caliph, in proof that his commission had been faithfully executed. Suleyman inhumanly exhibited the gory trophy to Muza, asking him if he recognized the features. The grief-stricken father uttered a cry of anguish, and soon sank into his grave. Sad as was his fate, it is the general testimony of the historians of that day that he merited no pity. In his conquering career, he had proved a monster of rapacity and cruelty, and he was plotting still more awful inflictions of woe upon the nations.

Upon the assassination of Abdelasis, the Arab chiefs chose Ayub, a nephew of Muza, as governor, or emir, of Spain. He was eminently a just and merciful man, and his sway was alike acceptable to Christian and Moslem. But the caliph was indignant that the sheiks should assume the power of appointing the emir, and he immediately deposed Ayub and appointed Alhaur to the vice-royal dignity. The rapacity of the new governor was boundless. It was a prominent object of his administration to extort money from the province, not only to enrich himself; but that, by transmitting vast sums to the caliph, he might retain his favor. But at length complaints so loud and bitter were uttered by both Spaniards and Moors that Alhaur was replaced by Alsama.

The new emir, gathering a large army, of which he took the command, crossed the Pyrenees, captured Narbonne, and, advancing to Toulouse, laid siege to the city. The garrison made a vigorous sortie from the walls, and, aided by re-enforcements from a distance, after a bloody battle repelled the Moors. The emir himself; a large number of his sheiks, and many thousands of his soldiers, were left dead upon the plain. The shattered army, under the efficient leadership of Abderaman, a lieutenant of the emir, effected a retreat to Narbonne. Here Abderaman was chosen emir, and the choice was confirmed by the home Government. Emir now succeeded emir in rapid succession, and, as a general rule, oppression, outrage, and violence filled the land.

After a lapse of years, Abderaman, who had conducted the retreat from Gaul, and who, after temporarily occupying the post of emir, had been deposed, was reinstated in that office. He made preparations, such as had never been formed before, for the invasion and the conquest of Gaul. It was his intention to carry the banner of the Prophet in triumph through Europe; and all Europe was in dismay in view of a menace so terrible, accompanied by a force which, apparently, there was no power in Christendom able to resist.

He commenced his march across the Pyrenees with such an armament as had not been seen since the days of Attila. An army of fiends could not perpetrate greater atrocities than marked their progress. There was no conceivable outrage which these barbaric hordes did not inflict upon suffering humanity. The blaze of dwellings, the blood of the slain, the shrieks of matrons and maidens accompanied their steps. They speedily took possession of all the provinces of Southern and Central France, advancing even to the banks of the Loire. It is not known how numerous they were, but, according to some accounts, the bannered host amounted to three hundred thousand.

The renowned Charles Martel, mayor of the Franks, gathered throughout Northern Gaul, Belgium, and Germany a select army, though by no means equal to that of the Saracens, and offered them battle on the extended plain between Tours and Poitiers, both of which cities were in possession of the foe. The date of this important battle is not with certainty known, though it was probably in the year 733. The battle was long and bloody, equal desperation being displayed by both parties. But at length the tide of victory set in favor of the Franks. But the darkness of night now enveloped the combatants, and, repairing to their tents, they slept upon their arms.

When the morning dawned the Franks prepared to renew the struggle. The white tents of the Arabs still covered the plain, extending as far as the eye could reach. But they were silent and solitary. The victory of the Franks proved far more signal than they had imagined. The leader of the Saracens, Abderaman, was slain, and the slaughter of his troops had been enormous. Historians assert, probably with much exaggeration, that three hundred thousand of the Franks and the Saracens were left dead upon the field. In the darkness of the night the thinned and bleeding battalions of the foe stole from their tents, and silently commenced a precipitate retreat. They indulged in no delay for refreshment or repose until their drooping banners disappeared through the southern defiles of the Pyrenees. Christendom was thus saved from the ravages of the Moslem; and throughout all Christian Europe the churches were thronged with worshippers returning thanks to Heaven for their almost miraculous deliverance. It is impossible now to conceive of the enthusiasm which this marvellous victory excited throughout Christendom. It was from this renowned battle that Charles acquired the title of Martel, or the Hammer.

Abdelmelic was appointed to succeed Abderaman, and was ordered by the caliph immediately to invade Gaul anew, that the dishonor which had befallen the Moslem arms might be retrieved. He made the attempt, but the Frank "Hammer" fell upon him with such sturdy blows that his hosts were dispersed, and in wildest route, hotly pursued, fled through the defiles of the mountains. With these disasters the hopes of the Saracens for the conquest of Gaul were terminated.

The Moors established their capital at Cordova. A few Christians had fled to the extreme northern province of Asturias, washed by the Bay of Biscay, where they were essentially unmolested, simply because they were not worth the trouble of subduing in the midst of their mountain fastnesses. For twenty years there was civil war among the Moors, emir contending against rival emir, and the Moors were consumed and weakened by their own swords. The mass of those called Christians in those days had even less of the spirit of piety than the irreligious masses of those who are merely nominal Christians now. There were then, as now, many sincere followers of Jesus Christ, possessing his spirit. But the multitude of the people denominated Christians merely because they belonged to a nation called Christian were, in intelligence and virtue, but slightly, if at all, superior to the Moors.

The Spanish people now consisted of an amalgamation and a conglomerate of the aboriginal Spanish tribes, the Greek colonists, the Carthaginians and Roman conquerors, and of the innumerable Gothic rations, Vandals, Huns, Alans, Suevi, and Visigoths, who had in successive waves surged over the land.

While the Moors were engaged in their domestic broils, sweeping the wretched realm with incessant storms of battle, desolating provinces with fire and blood, the Christians in Asturias were gradually increasing in numbers, concentrating their strength, and planting the germs of a new kingdom, which in its growth was destined to expel the Moors from Spain. Alphonso I., an elected sovereign of this little band, enlarged his domains by invading and annexing a large portion of the adjacent provinces of Galicia and Leon.

The civil war which had distracted the Moors in Spain pervaded the whole Moslem world. About the middle of the eighth century there were two rival caliphs struggling against each other with the most implacable ferocity. The Mohammedans of Arabia rallied around Ali; those of Syria sustained Moavias. From this conflict is to be dated the schism which still separates the Turks from the Persians. The caliphs of Damascus and the caliphs of Bagdad long waged against each other inexorable war.

About forty years had now elapsed since the conquest of the peninsula by the Moors, and during that time twenty different emirs had swayed the sceptre of Moslem power in Spain. Bagdad was now struggling against Damascus; and Spain was the theatre of unspeakable horrors, as two emirs there, each at the head of a powerful army, were fighting for the supremacy. Some of the more judicious of the sheiks, conscious of the ruin which this strife must secure, formed the plan to break away entirely from both the caliphs and to establish an independent monarchy in Spain. There was a fugitive prince, named Abderaman, who had escaped from the general massacre of his kindred in Damascus, and, through the wildest adventures, had reached Mauritania, in Northern Africa. A deputation was sent to offer him the crown. The heroic prince, though fully informed of the difficulties and perils he must encounter, promptly accepted the proposal.

"Noble deputies," said he, "I will unite my destiny with yours. I will go and fight with you. I fear neither adversity nor the dangers of war. If I am young, misfortune, I hope, has proved me, and never yet found me wanting."

In the year 755, Abderaman, accompanied by seven hundred and fifty Moorish horsemen, young men who had enthusiastically espoused his cause, landed on the coast of Andalusia. He was received with general acclamations, and his march to Seville was a continued triumph. An army of twenty thousand now surrounded his banner. He advanced to Cordova, the Moorish capital. A terrific battle was fought beneath its walls, and Cordova capitulated. A few more conflicts terminated the strife, and in less than a year Abderaman was in undisputed possession of Spain. He devoted himself with great energy to the promotion of the welfare of Spain, and especially to the beautifying of his capital of Cordova. He introduced the palm into the peninsula, and the amiability of his character is indicated by the exclamation he is said to have uttered when he first contemplated one of those Oriental trees in the garden of his palace.

"Beautiful palm," said he, "thou art, like me, a stranger here. But the western breezes kiss thy branches, thy roots strike into a fertile soil, and thy head rises into a pure sky. Like me, too, wouldst thou weep, if thou hadst the same cares. But thou fearest not the chances of evil to which I am exposed. Beautiful palm, thou canst not regret thy country."

Though the Moorish monarchy was now established, peace was of but short duration. Conspiracies and insurrections succeeded each other without intermission. But the royal arms were victorious, and, as the years advanced, the royal authority became more confirmed and extended. But a new foe suddenly appeared, menacing the Moorish king with peril greater than had as yet assailed him.

The feeble Christian nation, cooped up in the mountains of Asturias, Leon, and Catalonia, sent an embassage to Charlemagne, urging him to co-operate with them in driving the Moors from Spain. They offered to recognize his feudal supremacy should success crown their efforts. Charlemagne dispatched a powerful army, in two columns, through the defiles of the Pyrenees. The renowned monarch of the Franks, whose fame was filling the world, in person headed the division which penetrated Navarre. Pampeluna surrendered at his summons. Levelling the walls with the ground, he advanced to Saragossa, where he effected a junction with the other wing of his army, and the whole country from the Ebro to the Pyrenees acknowledged his supremacy. It is not improbable that he might have pressed on in his career of conquest until the whole of the peninsula had been brought into subjection to his sway, had not a revolt of the Saxons arrested him, and compelled him to retrace his steps.

As Charlemagne retired, the troops of Abderaman advanced, and again took possession of the country thus vacated by the foe. Under the reign of Abderaman, Spain consisted of six great provinces—Toledo, Merida, Saragossa, Valencia, Granada, and Murcia. The king, as advancing years admonished him that the close of his reign drew nigh, summoned the governors of these provinces, and other leading men, in council, and secured the nomination of his youngest and best-beloved son as his successor. By the virtues of his reign he merited the surname of The Just, which was conferred upon him. From all Spain the Mohammedans made annual pilgrimages to Cordova, as the Oriental Moslems were accustomed to repair to Mecca. He commenced a magnificent mosque, the remains of which, more than six hundred feet long and two hundred feet wide, and supported by three hundred columns of alabaster, jasper, and marble, still excite the admiration of every visitor. To this grand edifice there were twenty-four doors of bronze, covered with golden sculpture. The mosque was illumined every night by five thousand lamps. Abderaman, uniting in his own person both the civil and sacerdotal authority, regulated the ceremonies of the Mohammedan religion, which were celebrated at Cordova with the utmost pomp and magnificence.

Though the Moorish sovereign sagaciously refrained from persecuting the Christians, he was the unrelenting foe of their faith. He encouraged marriages between the Moors and the Spaniards, and in various indirect ways successfully opposed the advancement of Christianity. It is said that he so far brought the Christians of Asturias into subjection to his sway, as to compel them to pay him abundant tribute. It is a fact illustrative of the mental darkness and the social immorality of those times that a hundred beautiful Christian girls composed a portion of this tribute. After a brilliant reign of thirty years, Abderaman died, A.D. 788, and his son Hixem succeeded to the crown.

Though nearly all Spain hailed with acclamations the elevation of Hixem to the throne, his two elder brothers revolted, and at the head of an army of fifteen thousand men attempted the deposition of the king. After a few battles the rebellion was crushed, and the royal authority was effectually established. This success inspired the young monarch with new ambition, and be organized two expeditions, one for the entire subjugation of the Christians in Asturias, and the other for the conquest of Gaul. In both enterprises he was unsuccessful. The Christians drove his troops, thoroughly beaten, out from their mountainous domain, and the army which penetrated Gaul, after advancing as far as Narbonne, plundering without mercy, met one of the armies of Charlemagne, before whom they were compelled to retreat precipitately, though they carried with them across the Pyrenees an immense amount of booty.

These signal defeats proved a salutary lesson to Hixem, and he now devoted himself to the arts of peace. He thus won the gratitude of his subjects, and died universally lamented, after a reign of but seven years, A.D. 796. His son Alhakem succeeded him. A fierce tempest instantly burst upon the young sovereign. His two uncles, with immense resources, rose in stern revolt, claiming the rights of primogeniture. At the same time the Franks invaded the northern provinces of his kingdom. The rebellious uncles were soon crushed. But the Spaniards of Asturias joined the Franks, and a long and bloody war ensued, with varying success. Alhakem gradually developed a character of the most debasing licentiousness, and the most pitiless cruelty. Tortured with the apprehension of assassination, the slightest suspicion doomed the suspected to death. Blood flowed in torrents, and the frown of the king caused all Cordova to tremble. He died, universally execrated, A.D. 821.

The Conflict Between the Moors and the Christians

(From 821, A.D. to 1118 A.D.)

Peril of the Moorish Monarchy.—Growth of the Christian Kingdoms.—Invasion of the Norman Pirates.—Death of Mohammed.—Moorish Insurrections.—The Reign of Caliphs.—Luxury of the Moorish Monarchs.—Splendors of Zarah.—Griefs of Abderaman.—The Challenge.—Battle of Soria.—Scenes of Anarchy.—Decline of Moorish Power.—Perfidy of Yussef.—His Conquest of Moorish Spain.

Abderaman II ascended the throne of his detested father. His right to the sceptre was disputed by his uncle; but after a short yet sanguinary conflict, the king quelled all opposition. This constant recurrence of civil war to settle the right of succession induced the king to convene all the members of the royal family, and, with their united consent, to proclaim a law that the crown of Spain should henceforth be hereditary with the children of the sovereign, according to their primogeniture, and that, if there were no children, the crown should descend to the next nearest of kin.

Many and formidable foes began now to press the Moorish monarchy. The Franks from Gaul were crowding down into Catalonia. The little Christian kingdom of Asturias was steadily extending its domain. Navarre had become a Christian kingdom. The province of Aragon struck for independence. Thus nearly the whole of Northern Spain had risen in armed opposition to the Moors. At the same time the Normans, in fifty-four vessels, spread terror along all the coasts of the peninsula. Wherever booty invited they landed, plundering towns and churches, committing to the flames every thing which they could not remove, gratifying their passions without restraint, and putting to the sword indiscriminately men, women, and children. Demons could not have perpetrated crimes more atrocious. They even attacked the city of Lisbon, continuing an incessant assault for thirteen days; and they would probably have captured the city, had not art army been hastily dispatched by the king, which drove the pirates to their boats. They, however, re-embarking, continued their ravages along the coast, landing at every defenseless point where booty could be obtained. They boldly ascended the Guadalquiver, plundering and burning on both shores, and, advancing as far as Seville, destroyed the greater part of the city. Their reputation for fiend-like ferocity was such that neither Spaniard nor Moor ventured to annoy them on their retreat.

The forays of these Norman pirates became so formidable that the Moorish sovereign constructed lines of fortresses from the principal sea-ports to his capital, with facilities for rapid communication and transmission of intelligence between them. But, notwithstanding all these difficulties and perils, Abderaman II., with administrative ability rarely equaled, checked internal rebellion, repelled foreign foes, and promoted the prosperity of his kingdom by encouraging all the arts of elegance and of industry. He furnished the poor with employment, embellished his capital with edifices of great architectural beauty, paved the streets, constructed baths and aqueducts, and encouraged learning in all its branches by inviting to his court men of distinguished intellectual attainments from all lands. He devoted the most careful attention to the education of his sons, providing them with tutors of the greatest distinction, while, at the same time, he minutely superintended their studies himself.

In accordance with the religion of Mohammed, Abderaman crowded his harem with the most voluptuous beauties of his kingdom. He died, universally regretted, in the year 852, leaving forty-five sons and forty daughters. His son, Mohammed I., ascended the throne. But he did not inherit his father's genius. The Christian realm of Asturias during his reign made rapid advances. By constant encroachments, gaining step by step, the Christians wrested from the Moors, Leon, Old Castile, Estremadura, and a considerable portion of Lusitania. The reign of Mohammed I. presented but a constant series of disasters. His armies were defeated by the Christians. Civil war devastated his whole kingdom, calling into requisition his utmost energies to quell rebellion. Drought, and consequent famine, caused the death of thousands; an earthquake overwhelmed several of his cities, burying multitudes beneath the ruins, and another invasion of the Normans spread dismay throughout all his coasts.

One summer evening, Mohammed, surrounded with luxury, was sitting in one of the bowers of his garden, conversing with several of the members of his court.

"How happy," exclaimed one of his courtiers, "is the condition of kings! The pleasures of life were created expressly for them. Delightful gardens, splendid palaces, boundless wealth, all the instruments of luxury—in short, every thing has been granted them by the decrees of fate."

"The path of kings," replied the monarch, "is indeed, in appearance, strewed with flowers; but thou seest not that these roses have their thorns And is it not the destiny of the mightiest prince to leave the world as naked as the poorest peasant? Our lives are in God's hands. But to the good the end of this life is the commencement of everlasting bliss."

He retired to rest, and his lifeless body was found in the bed in the morning. In the darkness of the night, from a stroke of apoplexy, his spirit took its flight to the eternal world.

Almoudhir, the eldest son of the departed king, succeeded to the throne. But unanticipated rebellion was immediately developed, and the banners of revolt were unfurled from the battlements of Huesca, Saragossa, and Toledo. Marching at the head of his troops to suppress this rebellion, he fell upon the field of battle, and the sceptre of the Moorish kingdom passed into the hands of his brother Abdalla. But his own son headed a revolt against him. He was, however, defeated in a bloody battle, and his indignant father threw him, a captive, covered with wounds, into a dungeon, where he miserably perished. Still the rebels, under a renowned chieftain, Calib, maintained themselves against all the power of the crown. From their head-quarters at Toledo they not unfrequently sent into the field an army of sixty thousand men.

During the whole of the reign of Abdalla this insurgent chieftain maintained his independence and his attitude of defiance. Abdalla was a virtuous prince, and his reign was beneficent. Upon his death, in the year 912, he set aside his own son, a dissolute young man, to whom he was unwilling to intrust the happiness of his people, and placed upon the throne Abderaman III., the child of that rebel son of the king who had perished in a dungeon. The virtues of the new sovereign were so conspicuous in the eyes of the Mohammedans that they invested him with the sacred attributes of the caliph. He thus became the Pope of the Mohammedan Church of Spain, wielding the sceptre of both temporal and spiritual power. With great vigor the sovereign gathered up his strength to exterminate the audacious rebellion with which the kingdom had so long been distracted. After a long series of desperate and bloody battles he was successful, and the whole of Moorish Spain became subject to his sway.

Abderaman now turned his arms against the Christians of Leon and Asturias. Ramiro II., then king of the Christians, advanced to Madrid in. the year 932, wrested the city from the Moors, and almost entirely demolished it. In revenge, Abderaman sent an army into Galicia, where he inflicted most terrible reprisals, plundering, ravaging, burning, slaying, and leading away into endless slavery many thousand captives. The Christians, no less ferocious than the Moslems, thus exasperated, rushed down the valley .of the Ebro, through the heart of Aragon, as far as Saragossa, and laid siege to the city. They would have destroyed the place utterly, had not the governor capitulated, and joined his conquerors, acknowledging himself a feudatory of the King of Leon. At length the two hostile armies met, in great strength, on the plains which spread out between Zamora and Salamanca. The Christians under Ramiro were one hundred thousand strong. The Moors, under Abderaman, numbered eighty thousand. The battle which ensued was one of the most ferocious which had been fought for ages between the Moors and the Christians. Abderaman was defeated with terrible loss. During the continuation of the conflict, which was waged, with occasional lulls, for several years, the Christians gradually gained strength, and extended their sway.

The luxury of these Moorish monarchs, who gleaned the resources of an empire to give splendor to the crown, who doomed millions to destitution that a fairy-like sumptuousness might surround their thrones, was very conspicuous in the city of Zarah, which Abderaman built two miles from the city of Cordova, in honor of one of his favorite wives. The city was reared at the base of a mountain, from whence crystal streams meandered through all its streets, now spouting in jets of spray, now lingering and slumbering in mirrored basins. The houses, all built upon the same model, were surrounded by gardens and terraces, where trees from all climes spread their foliage, and where all shrubs of beauty and all flowers of fragrance were blended in the highest artistic skill. The statue of Zarah, the king's beautiful favorite, was placed over the principal gate.

But all the other glories of the city were eclipsed by the fairy-like palace reared for the favorite of the harem. The roof was supported by four thousand pillars of variegated marble. The floors and walls were of the same material, highly polished. The ceiling glittered with gold, and with burnished steel incrusted with the most precious gems. Countless crystal lustres illumined these apartments with almost celestial brilliance, the light flashing from mirrors, gems, and fountains, in a combination of splendor which a dream of fairy-land could hardly outvie.

This palace was embowered in the midst of a garden, where the resources of Eastern and Western art were exhausted in multiplying the devices of luxury and delight. One is tempted to feel that such descriptions must be exaggerated, and that such recitals are merely Oriental tales. But these facts are well attested by many Arabian writers, and by travellers of unquestionable veracity.

But the marble walls of Zarah could not shut out disappointment and grief from those gilded saloons and voluptuous gardens. The human heart there, as everywhere else, experienced the doom that man is born to mourn. Abderaman's eldest son, Abdalla, grew up but to develop vice in its most hateful forms. The sorrowing father set him aside from the inheritance, and assigned the crown to his second son, Alhakem. Abdalla formed a conspiracy to assassinate his brother. The father, believing that there was no safety for Alhakem but in the death of Abdalla, ordered the guilty prince to be put to death. Alhakem plead for the life of his brother.

"Thy humane request," replied the king, "becomes thee well. Were I a private individual, it should be granted. But as a king I owe, both to my successors and to my people, an example of justice. I deeply lament the fate of my son. I shall lament it through life. But neither thy tears nor my grief shall save him."

The wretched youth was suffocated in the cell of his prison. But public opinion did not sustain the father in his severity. The conscience of the king soon condemned him for his extreme rigor, and he was seldom after seen to smile. Haggard and woe-stricken, he wandered through the saloons of his palaces, exciting the pity even of the humblest of his courtiers. A few verses still remain, penned by the king, in which he gives utterance to his grief. The following is a free translation:

"The sorrows of a troubled heart will vent themselves in sighs.

Can we be happy while the tempest rages?

It has scattered my flowery vines,

and how then can I be happy over the sparkling cup?

Glory crowned my youth, but now she abandons me.

The keen blasts of affliction have withered all my joys.

My days of sunshine are past.

Dark night approaches, with gloom which no morn will ever dissipate."

The reign of Abderaman III. has been considered the most brilliant period in the history of the Moorish dominion in Spain. The kingdom made great strides in wealth; public works of much grandeur were constructed; a powerful navy was created, and all the arts of industry, fostered by the crown, rapidly advanced. But at the same time the Christian kingdom in the north-western part of Spain was also increasing in wealth, population, and power.



Abderaman III. died in the year 961, and was succeeded by Alhakem II. Ile was a young man of superior abilities, remarkably studious in his tastes, averse to war, and seeking for himself and for his subjects the joys of tranquillity. Ike wrote personally to distinguished authors in all lands, and accumulated an immense library. During nearly the whole of his reign there was a truce between the Moors and the Christians of Castile and Leon. After a reign of twelve years, illustrated by many virtues, Alhakem died, and his son, Hixem II., ascended the throne. The regency was intrusted to a Moor by the name of Almansor, who, by the sagacity and vigor of his administration, gained great renown. He was very anxious to check the growth of the Christians, and waged incessant war against them. At one time the two armies met near the walls of Leon. As the soldiers on both sides were drawn out, in immense masses, in battle array, a Christian knight, magnificently mounted, and glittering with coats of mail, rode from the Spanish ranks and challenged any Moorish knight to meet him in single combat.

After a short delay a Moor rode upon the plain. The conflict was soon terminated, as the spear of the Christian transfixed the Moor, and he fell lifeless from his horse. The victorious knight stripped his vanquished foe of his arms and, leading by the bridle the splendid steed of the Moor, returned to the Christian camp with these trophies of his victory. He was greeted with enthusiastic shouts, which burst from the Christian lines.

Again mounting a fresh horse, he advanced from the ranks of his friends, and again challenged the whole Moorish army to send him a combatant. Another Moslem rode out to meet him, and encountered the fate of his predecessor. The triumphant shouts of the Christians caused the Moslems almost to foam with rage. A third time the conquering knight appeared. There was now delay in the Moorish camp, that their most powerful warrior might be selected.

"Shy do ye loiter?" shouted the Christian knight. "I am ready to meet you all, one by one. And, if that does not please you, come two at once."

An Andalusian chief, mounted upon an Arabian charger, now left the ranks, and advanced to encounter the knight. He also fell, stricken by a mortal blow, and was conveyed by his victor, a fainting, dying captive, into the Spanish camp. A fourth time he returned, and threw his challenge into the face of the whole Moslem host.

There was no one who ventured now to accept it. The knight rode to and fro, with many a jeer and taunt, till Almansor, the regent, exclaimed,

"I can bear this dishonor no longer. Hear his insulting bravadoes. If there is no one else who will accept his challenge, I will go myself."

One of the most renowned of the Moorish generals said, "I will go," and, spurring his horse, galloped out upon the plain. The Christian, haughty in chivalric and ancestral pride, keenly eyed his antagonist for a moment, and said,

"Who and what art thou?"

"This spear," exclaimed Mustapha, shaking his lance, "is my title of nobility."

The duel immediately commenced. It was long and fiercely contested. But this time the fortune of war decided against the Christian. By a skillful thrust, the Moor, who was the better mounted of the two, pierced the armor of his antagonist, and the victor in three conflicts now reeled from his saddle and fell, severely wounded, to the ground. The Moor cut off his head, and returned with the spoils to Almansor.

With shouts which rent the skies, the two armies now rushed upon each other. Both parties fought with all the courage which implacable rage could inspire. At the close of a bloody day each claimed the victory, and each retired, exhausted and bleeding, from the tremendous blows it had received. Campaign succeeded campaign, fruitful in all the miseries of war, and, in general, disastrous to the Christians. The Moors captured several important cities, wrested from the Christians wide portions of their territory, and overran and laid waste the whole of Galicia. The bells of the churches were sent to Cordova to be melted into lamps for the Moslem mosques. Still the march of the Moors was, in general, one of plunder rather than of conquest. As they retired with their booty, the Christians, issuing from their mountain fastnesses, returned to their homes, rebuilding their demolished cities and planting again their devastated fields.

There were now three independent governments of the Christians in the north of Spain: that of Leon, of Navarre, and of Castile. These governments were generally in alliance when pressed by the Moors, but were almost invariably fighting against each other when not menaced with Moslem invasion. Almansor, encouraged by his wonderful successes, made preparation for the utter extermination of these Christian powers, and for the extension of the Moslem sway over entire Spain. The Christians, thus imperilled, entered into an alliance to resist the foe.

In two immense armies, the Moors ascended the upper waters of the Douro in the mountainous heart of Spain. At a short distance from the city of Soria Almansor came in sight of the encampment of the allied army of the Christians. Their tents spread far and wide over the plain, indicating the presence of a much more formidable force than the Moors had expected to encounter. The battle commenced at break of day, and ceased not until the last ray of evening twilight had disappeared. The conflict extended over a region so extensive that neither of the generals was fully conscious of the successes or the disasters which had attended his battalions.

Almansor retired to his tent, anxious to hear from his lieutenants the results of the day. One after another came in with the most dismal tidings of the slaughter which had been effected in their ranks. The loss was so appalling that Almansor, chagrined beyond expression, ordered an immediate midnight retreat. The Moorish chieftain was so heart-stricken by this blow, that on the retreat, refusing all consolation and even nourishment, he pined away and died. With the death of this illustrious prince, the Moorish sway in Spain began rapidly to decline. In a despotic government, where there is no constitution and no written laws, every thing depends upon the character of the sovereign. As there are no established institutions to fall back upon, the loss of a sagacious and energetic ruler is fatal to the State unless it so happen that another strong man succeed him. Hixem, the nominal sovereign, was so imbecile that his name is rarely mentioned. Almansor had thus far been the real monarch of the realm. Soon conspiracies began to be organized. Rival chieftains plotted to eject the impotent Hixem from the throne, and to grasp his sceptre.

A Moorish general, at the head of a successful insurrection, seized the king, thrust him into an obscure fortress, where he was incarcerated in a dungeon, and the report was circulated that he was dead. Even his funeral was solemnized, a dead body, strongly resembling the person of the king, being placed in the coffin. The usurper, Mohammed, had hardly taken possession of the palaces of Cordova ere another chieftain, Suleyman, leading an army of Moors from Africa, crossed the Straits of Gibraltar, purchased the co-operation of the Christians by promising to surrender to them some of the northern fortresses, overthrew the usurper in a bloody and decisive battle, and entering Cordova in triumph, took possession of the throne. Mohammed fled, rallied another army, returned to Cordova defeated his rival in a sanguinary fight, and again grasped the sceptre, which had been by violence wrested from his hands. But soon again Suleyman appeared at the head of another vast army, and, encamping before the walls of Cordova, laid siege to the city.

In the midst of these scenes of confusion and blood, Hixem escaped from his dungeon, and, like an apparition from the dead, presented himself before his party. The fickle people, who had before despised him, now rushed to his banner. They seized Mohammed, cut off his head, and threw it into the camp of Suleyman. The insurgent chieftain still pressed the siege against Hixem. By aid of recruits from Africa he stormed the city. Hixem was slain in the horrible tumult, and again Suleyman ascended the throne. After maintaining his hold upon the palaces of Cordova for a few months by the energies of his bloody sabre, another Moorish chieftain from Africa, by the name of Ali, greedy for the dignity and the spoils of sovereignty, marched upon Cordova, took Suleyman a captive, cut off his head, and seized the crown.

But a few months passed away ere the officers of the household of Ali drowned him in his bathing-tub, and their leader, Alcassem, snatched up the falling diadem. He had but just placed it upon his brow, when conspirators, with their gleaming poniards, rushed into his palace, and Alcassem, after seeing all his guard struck down, escaped with the utmost difficulty from the city in disguise. Abderaman V. now grasped the sceptre of that Moorish empire of Spain, which civil war and anarchy were rapidly crumbling into fragments. He endeavored to promote some reforms. The exasperated nobles broke into his palace, pierced him with more sabre-thrusts than could be counted, and, wiping their bloody weapons, placed the sceptre in the hands of one of their number, Mohammed II.

After a reign of seventeen months, Mohammed II. was poisoned, and by a part of the chieftains the crown was offered to Yahia. He accepted it, and marching to crush the insurgents who rose against his sway, was drawn into an ambuscade and slain. The city of Cordova chose Hixem III. as their sovereign. He was a very worthy man in private life, and manifested no little nervousness in view of accepting so perilous a gift as the Moorish crown. The Christians were now making rapid encroachments. They had over-run the whole of the north of what is now called Portugal, and were crowding down even into New Castile. Hixem III., instead of remaining in Cordova, where he would be almost sure to encounter assassination, placed himself at the head of his armies, and marched to the north to assail the Christians.

For three years there was a struggle, not very fiercely waged, in which neither party gained any decisive advantage. At length the king, leaving his troops, returned to Cordova. The mob rose against him, and parading the streets with banners and arms, demanded his deposition. The king, not unwilling so easily to escape from the perils of royalty, renounced the throne and retired to private life, where he was left to die in peace. His memory, however, is cherished in the Moorish annals with great veneration, and he is eulogized by all pens as one of the most humane and unselfish of kings.

The Moorish kingdom in Spain was now effectually broken into fragments. The governors of the different provinces assumed the sovereignty over their several domains, and thus the realm was filled with petty kings, often contending against each other. In the short space of thirty years the Moorish kingdom had fallen beyond redemption. The Christians, who had been driven into an obscure corner of the country, were now in possession of two-thirds of the peninsula. History can hardly present a parallel to a fall so sudden and so astounding.

The governors of each of the leading cities of Spain assumed independence, and each one became a petty king, extending his sway from his fortress over the immediately adjacent villages. The inhabitants of Cordova chose for their king Gehwan, a chief of much renown for political sagacity and military power. Instructed by the calamities which had overwhelmed his predecessors, Gehwan selected a council of the most respectable citizens, and took no important step without their concurrence. He assumed the position merely of president of the council, casting his single vote with the rest, and thus his government assumed the character of a republic. Though he resided in the gorgeous palaces of the caliphs, he laid aside very much of the pomp of royalty. His undivided energies were devoted to the promotion of the comfort and the elevation of the people; but all his efforts to induce the governors of the other cities, who had assumed the independence of kings, to take the oath of allegiance to him, were unavailing.

The alliances, battles, annexations, and partitions which ensued among these rival kings are no longer worthy of record. For a season they filled Spain with woe, and made life to millions a burden. The King of Seville had twenty-five towns subject to his jurisdiction. Emulating the splendor of the caliphs, he surrounded his throne with all the pageantry he could command, and filled his harem with eight hundred of the most beautiful females to be found in his dominions. Gradually, with his arms, he overran all the south of Andalusia. Granada was annexed to his domain. Flushed with this military success, be resolved to extend his sway over the renowned city of Cordova. The King of Cordova was then fighting against the King of Toledo, a city on the Tagus one hundred and fifty miles north, in the heart of New Castile.

The arms of Cordova had just encountered a disastrous defeat, and the victorious battalions of Toledo were besieging the ancient Moorish capital. From a bed of sickness and pain Mohammed, the King of Cordova, arose, and, flying to Seville, implored the aid of its king. With the most hypocritical avowal of friendship, Almoateded, the King of Seville, sent an army, which, uniting with the citizens of Cordova, utterly routed the beleaguering foe. Almoateded, thus introduced into the city as a friend, seized all the important posts, and thrusting the king and his son into a dungeon, proclaimed himself sovereign of Cordova. The royal captives soon died in grief and despair. The fickle people received the usurper with acclamations. He dazzled them by his magnificence, and purchased their favor with immense largesses. The whole of Andalusia, with Cordova for its capital, thus passed under the sway of Almoateded. But man is born to mourn, and the conqueror in his pride has no protection against earth's calamities. Death entered the palace, and a beautiful, idolized daughter of the king was borne to the tomb. The bereavement broke the heart of the father, and, after a few months of gloom and tears, his body was deposited in the grave by the side of that of his child.

Mohammed, the son and successor of Almoateded, added Murcia and Valencia to the realms which he had inherited from his father. Thus the kingdom of Andalusia became far more powerful than that of any other of the petty Moorish kings of Spain. It embraced a domain about two hundred and fifty miles in length, and one hundred and seventy in width, containing about one million inhabitants.

The Christian kings in the north, led by the most powerful of their number, Alfonso, King of Leon, availing themselves of these conflicts among the Moors, pressed down into New Castile, conquering and annexing, until they arrived before the walls of Toledo. After a siege of three years, the city was compelled to capitulate. On the 25th of May, 1085, Alfonso, the Christian king, took possession of the ancient capital of his Gothic ancestors. The Moors. had held the city 374 years. The Christians had now regained more than two-thirds of the whole territory of Spain. All of New Castile was now in their hands, and both banks of the Tagus to the ocean. The Moorish kings of Badajoz, of Saragossa, and of several other cities, were compelled to pay tribute to the Christians.

All the Moorish kings were terrified. The sovereign of Andalusia endeavored to form a coalition of all the Moslem cities against the Christians. But those who were within easy reach of the armies of Alfonso were afraid to invite the attack of a foe so formidable, and who had already destroyed the thrones of so many of their brethren. In this dilemma, Mohammed, the Andalusian king, assembled two or three of the neighboring potentates at Seville, and, after anxious deliberation, it was decided to appeal for aid to a celebrated Moorish conqueror in Africa, who, with legions apparently invincible, had overrun nearly all the northern provinces of that continent. The fierce chieftain, whose scimeter they were thus summoning to their aid, had trampled remorselessly upon all those states which had been swept by his wolfish bands. The son of Mohammed ventured to remonstrate with his father against inviting into his realms a despot so powerful and so unscrupulous.

"This Yussef," said he, "who has subdued all whom he has approached, will serve us as he has served the people of Almagreb and Mauritania. He will expel us from our country and assume the sovereignty for himself."

"Anything," rejoined the father, "rather than that Andalusia should become the prey of the Christians. Dost thou wish that the Mussuhnans should curse me? I would rather be the driver of Yussef's camels, than be a king tributary to these Christians dogs. But my trust is in Allah."

At the head of a mighty armament, Yussef, leaving to a regent the care of his vast empire in Africa, landed on the coast of Spain. Alfonso, King of Leon, was besieging the city of Saragossa, in the heart of Aragon, when be received tidings of the disembarkation. Yussef encamped his army on the banks of the Guadiana, upon an extensive plain between Badajoz and Merida. In accordance with the Moslem custom, he sent a message to the Christian king, commanding him either to embrace the faith of the Prophet or to pay a heavy annual tribute.

Alfonso took the letter from the envoy, read it deliberately, and then, tearing it into fragments, trampled it beneath his feet. Turning to the messenger, he said,

"Go tell thy master what thou hast seen. Tell him not to hide himself on the field of battle, and I will soon meet him face to face."

Descending rapidly the valley of the Tagus, with a numerous army, Alfonso crossed to the valley of the Guadiana, and in April, 1086, arrived in sight of the Moorish banners. A terrible battle ensued. Both armies fought with valor and skill equal to their renown. At the close of the bloody day nearly fifty thousand lay dead upon the plain. Each army had suffered equally, and neither, was prepared to renew the strife on the morrow. Alfonso was severely wounded, and in the night ordered a retreat, which the foe did not attempt to disturb. Yussef, probably disappointed in encountering a more formidable foe than he had expected to meet, soon after returned to Africa, entrusting the command of his army to Syr, one of the most able of his generals. New Moorish recruits were sent over from Africa, while the Christians replenished their diminished ranks, and for several campaigns the billows of war surged to and fro with no decisive results.

At length Yussef, despairing of conquering the Christians, resolved to annex to his African empire all the Moorish kingdoms in Spain. He landed again in person, in command of a powerful army. He first seized Menada, then Malaga, and now, totally regardless of the rights of the Andalusian king, Ali, traversed his realms with the strides of a conqueror. In his despair, Mohammed sent to the Christian king, Alfonso, soliciting an alliance. But before any effectual aid could reach him, Seville was captured by Yussef, and Mohammed, with all his family, were sent in chains to Africa. The king, in this his terrible fall, displayed great fortitude and resignation.

"My children," said he, "let us learn submissively to bear our griefs. In this life joys are but loaned us, to be resumed when Heaven wills. Sorrow and gladness succeed each other; but the truly noble heart rises superior to the reverses of fortune."

With inhumanity which must forever disgrace the character of Yussef, the King of Andalusia was thrown into a prison at Agmat, where he lingered in extreme penury and suffering for four years, until he died. His children, in utter destitution, were thrown loose upon the world, and even his daughters were compelled to earn their daily bread by the labor of their own hands. One after another, nearly all the petty kingdoms of Moorish Spain fell into the hands of the conqueror, they having maintained themselves about sixty years.

For some years after the accession of Yussef there was peace between the Christians and the Moors. Toledo became the prominent fortress of the Christian powers. The Christians in Spain, disregarding their foes near at home, devoted all their energies to the Crusades for the recovery of the Holy Land. Yussef adopted Cordova as the capital of his Spanish possessions. He died at Morocco, at the advanced age of ninety-seven in the year 1106. He was succeeded by his son Ali, a young man but twenty-three years of age.

Moorish Spain was now but a province, or rather a subject kingdom, of the great African empire. One of the first acts of Ali was to visit Cordova and declare war against the Christians. He entrusted the command of the army to his brother Temim. Again wretched Spain was devastated by the sweep of hostile armies. There were battles and sieges and conflagrations, with violence and woe in every form the imagination can conceive. Though with many ebbs and floods, the tide of fortune gradually set in favor of the Christians. Saragossa, in the year 1118, fell into their hands, and, with the loss of that important city, the whole of Northern Spain was forever freed from the dominion of the Moors.

Spain a Battle-Field

(From 1118 A.D. to 1369 A.D.)

Contentions of African and Spanish Moors.—The Kingdoms of Castile, Leon, and Portugal.—Navarre becomes a Kingdom.—Degeneracy of the Christians.—Illustrious Moors.—Terrible Battle of Toloza.—Cordova wrested from the Moors. —The Moorish Kingdom of Granada.—Capture of Seville.—Granada tributary to Castile.—General Embroilment.—Illustrative Anecdotes.—Decisive Battle of Tarifa.—Declension of the Moors.—The Three Peters.—Desolate Condition of the World.

The Spanish Moors and the African Moors were now devouring each other. They had never pleasantly commingled, for the Africans were far more uncultivated and savage than their brethren of the peninsula. The fierce warriors of the desert regarded with contempt the domestic habits and luxurious indulgences of the inhabitants of Spain. There were at this time several rival chieftains struggling for the sovereignty in Africa, and the whole Moorish empire there was in such a state of distraction that the affairs of Spain were for a time quite forgotten. Alfonso, King of Aragon, defiantly made a tour through Andalusia, plundering and destroying. He carried his victorious banners even to the shores of the Mediterranean. The Moors ventured not to meet him in the open field, but shut themselves up in their fortresses. Alfonso, in accordance with the savage customs of the times, carried back with him, as trophies of his triumph, a large number of prisoners, whom he settled in the vicinity of Saragossa. At length Alfonso, who had acquired a sort of imperial authority over the several smaller Christian kingdoms of Spain, died.

About the same time Abdelmumen, one of the rival kings in Africa, obtained the entire ascendency in that country. He formed the plan of reconquering Spain. Proclaiming a holy war, he summoned the children of the Prophet in all lands to rally for the defense and the extension of the Mohammedan faith. All the fierce tribes of Western and Northern Africa were immediately on the march. He had assembled an enormous force, consisting, it is said, of one hundred thousand horse and three hundred thousand foot, on the African side of the Straits of Gibraltar, and was upon the eve of crossing to the Spanish coast, when death summoned him to the world of spirits.

His son Yussef, who succeeded to the throne, for some unknown reason dismissed the army, and for several years devoted himself to the arts of peace. But in the year 1170, with a formidable military array, he crossed the straits, and brought the whole of Moorish Spain into subjection to his sway. Thus the Moors of Spain and of Africa were again united under one common empire. For nearly a century the Moors and the Spaniards had been engaged in almost constant warfare, with no very decisive advantage gained by either party. There had now arisen in the northern and central portions of Spain several small Christian kingdoms, among the most prominent of which were Leon, Castile, and Aragon. These kingdoms were almost constantly engaged in wars against each other. By uniting, they could easily have driven the Moors out of Spain. But the slightest victory over the common foe led to a conflict between themselves for the spoil.

The kings of Castile and Leon united their forces, and wrested the whole of the region now called Portugal from the Moors, and placed over it, as count and governor, the son of the French Duke of Burgundy, who had married the daughter of Alphonso VI. of Castile. About the year 1145 this realm assumed the dignity of a kingdom, taking the name of Portugal from its prominent harbor of Oporto. Navarre also emerged into a kingdom, about as large as the State of Massachusetts, extending across the Pyrenees into France. All these kingdoms, called Christian, were devouring each other, when not struggling against the Moors. Though there were doubtless, at this time, individuals somewhat enlightened in the Christian faith, and living in obedience to the precepts of our Saviour, still the masses of the people were in heart heathen. Christianity was to them merely a superstition, requiring certain external observances, while it exerted no perceptible influence over their lives. The degraded masses, at scarcely one remove from barbarism, were Christians in the same sense in which the crew of an English man-of-war or the rank and file of a French or Austrian army are Christians.

In the wars between the Moors and the Christians we can discern but very little evidence of any moral principle on either side. Indeed many of the Moorish princes give more indication of the spirit of Christ than many of those princes who assumed the Christian name. But Christianity must bear the reproach of having those called Christians who compose the heathenism of a Christian land, or who defend "The Church" simply as an instrument of superstition with which to extend the sway of pride and power.

Among the Moors there were some men of high moral worth and intellectual culture, who deserve honorable notice. One of these, Averroes, was a fine Greek scholar. He translated the works of Aristotle into Arabic, and wrote valuable commentaries upon them. As a philosopher, a physician, and a man of literary accomplishments, he attained wide-spread renown. Though nominally a Mohammedan, he had no faith in the Moslem delusion. Some of his observations upon the religion of the Prophet excited the hostility of the Moslem priests, and he was arraigned as a heretic before their Inquisition. The punishment inflicted was worthy of the darkest days of the Papal Church. He was sentenced to do homage at the door of the mosque, while every true Mussulman, who came there to pray for his conversion, was to spit in his face. He bore patiently the infliction, merely repeating the words, "Let me die the death of the philosopher."

One incident may be mentioned illustrative of the character of the Spanish kings of that day. Yacub, who succeeded Yussef in the sovereignty of the Moorish empire in Africa, landed in Spain with an immense army and invaded Valencia. Alfonso, king of Castile, hastened to meet him. To resist this formidable invasion, he had entered into an alliance both with the King of Leon and of Navarre. But before the arrival of his allies he attacked the Moors, and was thoroughly beaten by them, with the loss of twenty thousand men. On his disastrous retreat, he met his allies advancing to his aid. In his exasperation, he reproached them so insultingly for not arriving sooner that they both, in high dudgeon, withdrew their troops, and commenced a march back to their own kingdoms. Whereupon the King of Castile, though retreating before the pursuing Moors, made a ferocious and deadly assault upon the columns both of the Kings of Leon and of Navarre. Fortunately for him, his clergy interfered to arrest these measures of madness, and, in view of the tremendous peril impending, secured a reconciliation. The united force then turned upon the foe, and the tide of Moorish invasion was thus arrested.

By the marriage, which soon followed, of the son of the King of Leon with the daughter of the King of Castile, the two crowns became united in their son Fernando. In the year 1211, Mohammed of Africa, son of Yacub, invaded Spain with an enormous army, which, joined by the Spanish Moors, amounted, it is said, to six hundred thousand men. The King of Castile, Alfonso the Noble, applied to all the courts of Christian Europe for aid. Pope Innocent III. proclaimed a crusade, and lavished indulgences upon all those who should engage in this Holy War. From all parts of Europe the crusaders flocked to Toledo, in the heart of Castile, the headquarters of the Christian armies. Sixty thousand troops from Italy and France were soon assembled there, in conjunction with the Castilian forces. Aragon, Navarre, and Portugal also dispatched large armies to the scene of conflict.

In July 1212, these two immense armies met at Toloza, on the southern declivity of the mountains which separate Andalusia from Castile. Of the memorable battle which ensued, detailed accounts are given by four eye-witnesses. The Christians, in preparation for the dreadful strife, passed two days in religious exercises. Hymns were chanted, banners blessed, prayers offered, and the sacrament of the Lord's Supper administered. On the morning of the 15th, the Christians, who had been advantageously posted upon the summits of the mountains, descended into the plains, where the Moors were assembled in tumultuous masses which could not well be counted. The right wing was led by the King of Navarre, the left by the King of Aragon, and the centre by the King of Castile.

For many hours the result of the battle was doubtful, as over the vast plain nearly two hundred thousand horsemen and more than half a million of foot-soldiers, with spear and arrow and battle-axe, rushed upon each other, and, with clash of weapon and shriek of onset, writhed in the death-grapple. Mohammed stood upon a mound commanding a view of the field. He was surrounded by a powerful reserve, and also protected by a vast iron chain. As the afternoon wore away, it was manifest that the Christians were gaining the victory. The plain was covered with the dead, and the Moors were flying in all directions. The three divisions of the Christian army, combining, rushed impetuously upon the eminence where Mohammed in the midst of a dense mass of his troops, was almost franticly endeavoring to restore the lost battle. One of his staff rushed to his side, leading a mule of remarkable strength and fleetness.

"Prince of the faithful," said be, "how long wilt thou remain here? Dost thou not perceive that thy Mussulmans flee? The will of Allah be done. Mount this mule, which is fleeter than the bird of heaven, or even the arrow which strikes it. Never yet did she fail her rider. Away! for on thy safety depends that of us all."

Mohammed, accompanied by a few of his followers, was soon beyond the sight and the sound of the dreadful carnage, which surged over the field until the last ray of light disappeared. The victors took possession of the tents of the Mohammedans, with all the riches they contained. The prelates, who in great numbers had accompanied the army, chanted Te Deums in gratitude for the greatest victory the Christians had gained over the Moors since the days of Charles Martel. The Moors admit that they lost in this decisive battle one hundred and sixty thousand men. The Christians claim that they slew two hundred thousand. From this battle is to be dated the ruin of the Moslem Empire in Spain.

The allies returned in triumph to Toledo. The Moorish Emperor fled to Morocco, where he sought solace for his military disgrace in abandoning himself to licentious pleasures. But a few months elapsed ere he died, probably of poison. Yussef, who succeeded him, was a boy but eleven years of age. The Moorish governor of Spain availed himself of the weak reigns which ensued to usurp independence of the African Empire. Ferdinand III., King of Leon and Castile, a kingdom which thus united embraced nearly one-third of Spain, pressed the Moors severely, and rapidly encroached upon their territory of Andalusia.

The city of Cordova possessed a sacred character in the eyes of the Mohammedans. Here rose the domes and minarets of their renowned mosque, and here their caliphs had swayed the sceptre of both temporal and spiritual power. Bitter was the chagrin of the Moors when this renowned capital, in the year 1234, fell into the bands of the Christians. Mohammedan Spain was now in a deplorable state. The Moors of Africa were so weakened by bloody civil feuds that they could no longer send expeditions across the straits, and the Spanish Moors were seriously threatened with expulsion from the peninsula.

Granada became now the capital of the Moslem power, and nearly all the Mohammedans, abandoning the provinces which the Christians had wrested from them, assembled on The plains of Granada, and combining their strength, resisted for two and a half centuries all the efforts of the Christians to drive them from their strongholds.

Mohammed Ben Alhamar was the founder of this celebrated kingdom of Granada. He was, in all respects, an illustrious man—an energetic warrior, and yet a lover of the arts of peace. He was fond of that splendor which dazzles the eyes of an unlettered people, singularly sagacious and comprehensive in his views, impartial in the administration of justice, and anxious to secure the good-will of his subjects by the beneficence of his reign.

The little kingdom of Granada, into which the vast Moorish empire of Spain had dwindled, was two hundred miles long and forty wide, containing about as much territory as the State of Massachusetts. But by the constitution of the government every male inhabitant was a soldier, and the defense of his country was one of the most imperative duties enjoined upon the Moor by his religion. Fernando, the King of Castile, with a well-appointed army, invaded Granada and laid siege to the strong fortress of Jaen, which commanded the frontiers. The Moorish king marched to the relief of his fortress, but was utterly routed and driven back behind the ramparts of Granada. For a year Fernando prosecuted the siege, and just as the fortress was falling into his hands, Ben Alhamar, conscious that the next step would be the siege of his capital, and that he could not make successful resistance, adopted the following extraordinary measure.

He proceeded alone, and in disguise, to the camp of Ferdinando, obtained and interview with him, and then, announcing his name, offered to become the vassal of the Castilian crown, and kissed the hand of the Christian king in token of feudal homage. Fernando was capable of appreciating the confidence which the Moor had reposed in his honor. He embraced him as a friend and an ally, and the two kings sat side by side in friendly communion, adjusting the measures of their future policy. Jaen was surrendered to Fernando, an annual tribute was also to be paid to him, and a stipulated number of Moorish horsemen to be furnished him whenever he called for their services. The Moorish king was also bound, like other feudatories, to attend the Cortes of the Christian kingdom. In return, Ben Alhamar was allowed to retain his possessions unmolested, and was placed on the footing of cordial friendship with the Castilian king. But for this arrangement Ben Albamar's kingdom would have been overrun, and he would have been driven into exile.

The King of Castile was soon in possession of both sides of the Guadalquiver from Jaen to the mouth. In the capture of Seville, which was held by Moors from Africa, Ben Alhamar was compelled to aid the King of Castile in person, with six hundred horsemen. After fifteen months of blood, famine, and misery, Seville surrendered, A.D. 1248. By the treaty of capitulation, the Moorish inhabitants were allowed to leave the city if they wished, taking with them their property. Three hundred thousand abandoned the city, most of whom took refuge with their brethren of Granada. In the month of December Fernando made a triumphal entry into the magnificent city of Seville. In gorgeous procession he entered the grand mosque, which the Christian prelate immediately purified and, in the celebration of a pontifical high mass, dedicated to the service of the Papal Church. Soon after this all the Mohammedans were expelled from the rich and beautiful provinces of Valencia and. Seville. The Moorish king received them kindly in Granada, assigning to them lands, and exempting them from taxation for several years.

Alhamar was overwhelmed with grief. He was compelled to purchase the existence of his own kingdom by aiding the Christians to wage war against his own countrymen. All the other Moorish kingdoms of Spain were now absorbed by the Christians, and Granada alone remained, having lost its independence in feudal vassalage to Fernando of Castile. Conscious that the strength of a kingdom consists in the prosperity and wealth of its citizens, with much sagacity Alhamar devoted himself to the promotion of the welfare of his subjects. He established hospitals for the sick, houses of entertainment for travellers, schools and colleges. Roads, bridges, and warehouses were constructed, and all the arts of industry were encouraged. Christians and Mohammedans were treated with equal justice; and with untiring diligence all the departments of the administration were watched, that equal justice might be meted out to all.

This Moorish king, six hundred years ago, administered his absolute government, if reliance can be placed in the testimony of ancient annals, upon the principles subsequently avowed in the Declaration of American Independence. In the eye of the law all men were regarded as equal, and alike entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The taxes were necessarily heavy; but they were borne without a murmur, for they were imposed with the strictest impartiality. Men are ever willing to surrender a portion of their natural liberty, if all surrender alike. But when one portion of the community is entitled to privileges which are withheld from another, then an irrepressible conflict is excited, which invariably leads to insurrection and blood.

While Fernando lived there was peace between him and Alhamar, his feudal vassal, and the little Moorish kingdom of Granada enjoyed eminent prosperity. After the death of Fernando, the crown passed to his son, Alfonso. In the year 1252 the Moors who remained in Algarve openly revolted against the Christian king. The King of Granada was immediately summoned, in obedience to his feudal obligations, to aid in quelling the rebellion. Instead of obeying the summons, by advice of his council he joined the rebels, and called upon all the Moors, whether in his own territories or in other parts of Spain, to rise to the assistance of their brethren in Algarve. A general war was promptly commenced, introduced by terrible massacres. In a decisive battle at Alcada Real, the Moors were utterly routed. The insurgent Moors were then driven from Algarve, and sought refuge among the mountains of Granada. The Portuguese laid claim to the vacated province, and, by treaty stipulations with Alfonso, it was surrendered to them.

Alfonso, thus triumphant, commenced his march upon the provinces of Granada. Alhamar, in consternation, sued for peace. The Castilian king was magnanimous, and, to spare the feelings of the Moor, allowed him to pay an annual tribute to his liege lord, instead of furnishing a supply of troops. It is probable that Alfonso was the more inclined to this moderation, from the fear that Alhamar might appeal to the African Moors for aid.

But soon revolt broke out in the court of Alfonso, who, with vain ambition, was lavishing immense sums in the hope of attaining the imperial crown of Germany. Don Felipe, the king's brother, was at the head of this revolution, and, in the sternness of the strife which ensued, he applied to the Moors for aid, both to Alhamar of Granada and to Yussef of Morocco. The rebels were however defeated, and, being driven from Castile, they took refuge in the Moorish cities. But in the mean time several of the governors of the cities of Granada rebelled against their king, and, affirming the right of secession, grasped their swords to establish independence. Thus was Spain involved in inextricable embroilment, Christians and Moors all blended together, and fighting with ferocity which threatened the entire depopulation of the southern kingdoms. In the midst of these scenes of tumult and blood Alhamar died, in his tent, surrounded by his warriors, both Christian and Moors. Don Felipe and many other Castilian nobles stood in tears around the royal couch as the Moorish monarch bowed his head to the sway of the king of terrors.

The son of Alhamar, with the title of Mohammed IL, succeeded to the throne of Granada. A truce was agreed to, as all parties were thoroughly exhausted and impoverished. The domains of the Moors and the Christians were alike filled with widows and orphans, smouldering ruins and trampled fields. Mohammed II., a man of highly cultivated mind and polished manners, visited the Christian king in his court at Seville. The royal Moor was received with great distinction, and quite charmed the inmates of the palace by his fascinating address and his remarkable powers of conversation.

Soon after Mohammed returned to Granada he renewed the conflict with his insubordinate governors, and applied for assistance to Yussef of Morocco. The African king soon crossed the straits with a large army, and, as the King of Castile encouraged the revolted governors, war again, in all its brutal and insane barbarity, flamed over the mountains and through the valleys of woe-stricken Spain. The Christians met with several severe defeats, and the Moors ravaged their territory even up to the walls of Cordova. The Infante, Don Sancho, archbishop of Toledo, was taken prisoner. Both the Spanish and the African Moors claimed the illustrious prize. In the midst of their hot contention, a Moorish horseman spurred his steed between the two contending parties and thrust his lance through the heart of the captive, exclaiming:

"Allah forbid that so many brave men should cut one another's throats for the sake of a dog."

This incident led to a compromise. The Africans took the head and the Spanish Moors the right hand of the prince, and with these gory trophies each party seemed satisfied. But suddenly the tide of battle turned in favor of the Christians. The Moors were routed in a hard-fought and bloody conflict, and were driven back into Granada. The King of Castile also swept the straits with a fleet, and prevented any supplies from being sent across from Africa to the peninsula. The King of Aragon also sent his forces to aid the King of Castile. Under these circumstances, the Moors again sued for peace, and there was another short respite from the horrors of war.

Mohammed II. improved this short interval of leisure in enlarging and embellishing his capital. The gorgeous palace of the Alhambra, which his father commenced, rose in majestic proportions which still astonish axed delight every beholder. From the whole civilized world men of genius and culture were welcomed to the sumptuous saloons of the Moor, and Granada became for a time the most intellectual and refined city, not only of Spain, but of Europe. But in that day it seems to have been impossible for any people long to remain at peace. War was the normal state both of Christians and Moors. Every man was ready to grapple his brother-man by the throat, if there were any chance that he might thus wrench from him either gold or power.

Again there arose the most serious complications. Sancho, an energetic Christian prince, conspired against his father, Alfonso, King of Castile. The King of Morocco, hoping to subserve his own interests, listened to the supplications of the father for aid. The King of Granada, for the same reason, espoused the cause of the son. The Cross waved defiantly against the Cross, and Crescent challenged Crescent on the field of blood. The Pope at Rome now interfered, and threatened to hurl the thunderbolt of ex-communication upon the head of Sancho if he should persevere in his unnatural rebellion. But providentially at this moment, in the year 1284, Alfonso died, and thus Sancho became legitimate king. Yussef, however, and Mohammed still continued the struggle, it being the great object of the African king to bring Granada into subjection to his sway.

Thus the weary years rolled on, years of war and woe. Whenever the Christians were not fighting the Moors, they were fighting each other. In the Moorish kingdom there was also an interminable succession of conspiracies, rebellions, and insurrections, and the scimiter of the Moslem ever dripped with blood. The rock of Gibraltar about this time fell into the hands of the Christians. The passion of love blended its romance with these tragedies of war. In the year 1323, Ismael, then King of Granada, in ravaging the frontiers of Castile, sacked and destroyed the city of Martos. Among the captives there was a young maiden of extraordinary loveliness. A fierce conflict arose among the Moslem chieftains for the possession of the prize. As in the fury of their quarrel they were about to cut her in pieces, Mohammed, a young prince of the royal house of Granada, succeeded in rescuing her.

The beautiful Christian maiden had inspired him with the most ardent passion. But the king, as soon as he saw her, became equally enamored, and, in the exercise of absolute power, wrested her from Mohammed and consigned her to his harem. The wrong fired the bosom of Mohammed with implacable fury, and he formed a conspiracy for the assassination of the king. The enraged young prince took his station at one of the gates of the Alhambra, and approaching the king, when leaving the palace, as if to salute him, plunged a poniard into his bosom. The assassin, protected by his companions, effected his escape. The king, drenched in his heart's blood, was borne into his palace and placed upon a couch, where he immediately died.

The tidings flew through the streets, and Granada was shrouded in gloom, for Ismael was much beloved by his people. The tumult of the times was, however, such that most of the assassins escaped punishment. Mohammed IV., son of Ismael, succeeded to the throne. He was a man of energy, and fought bravely to repel the Moors from Africa and the Christians from Castile. One incident illustrates a generous trait in his character. In a combat under the walls of Baena, the king hurled his lance through the body of a Christian knight. As the royal lance was of great value, being incrusted with jewels, some of the king's attendants rushed forward to regain it. But the king arrested them, saying,

"Let the poor wretch alone! If he should not die of his wound, let him, at least, have something to pay for his cure."

The Moors, under this energetic king, regained many of their lost fortresses, and among others, that of Gibraltar. At length Mohammed IV. was assassinated, by some of his own chiefs, when engaged in hunting. His brother Yussef was immediately raised to the throne. This prince developed great sagacity and rare administrative skill. He immediately procured a truce of four years with Alfonso, King of Castile. These years were devoted to strengthening the kingdom, and to the cultivation of all the arts both of peace and war. As soon as the truce expired, hostilities were resumed.

Yussef applied to the African Moors for aid, and an immense army was sent across from Morocco to the shores of Andalusia. The Christians attempted to intercept the fleet, but they were overpowered, and their own fleet was annihilated. At length a fleet came from Genoa to the aid of Castile. But Providence seemed to favor the Moors, for a tempest so disabled this armament that all the ships which were not sunk by the gale fell into the hands of the foe. The King of Portugal in person led an army to the support of Alfonso. The Moors, both African and Spanish, were besieging the city of Tarifa, an important place, situated upon the coast, about forty miles from the rock of Gibraltar. The annals of that day estimate the army of the Moors at four hundred and sixty thousand men. This is doubtless an exaggeration, but it is certain that the Moors vastly out-numbered the Christians.

It was in the month of October, 1340, when the combined army of Portugal and Castile, numbering but sixty thousand men, arrived in sight of the camp of the besiegers encompassing Tarifa. The two Christian kings, in preparation for a desperate and decisive conflict, visited the confessional, and partook of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Alfonso was to engage the African, and the King of Portugal was to direct his forces against the Spanish Moors. At an early hour in the morning the horrid scene of carnage commenced. As the storm of war swept the plain, at one time the person of Alfonso was in great danger. A vast mass of Moors came rushing like a whirlwind, and encircled the eminence upon which the king stood, surrounded by his guard. Alfonzo, rallying his guard around him, prepared immediately to penetrate the dense columns of gleaming swords and glittering spears.

"Do not forget," said he, "that your king is here; that he is about to witness your valor, and you his."

But the Archbishop of Toledo seized the bridle of the king's horse, and entreated him not thus to peril his own life, since his death would necessarily doom the whole army to destruction. At that critical moment troops from another part of the field arrived, and the Moors were driven back. The bloody strife continued hour after hour, with no decisive advantage gained on either side. But soon after the sun had passed the meridian the Moors began to give way. A scene of slaughter almost unparalleled now ensued. The whole Moorish camp, with all its treasures, and even the royal harem, fell into the hands of the victors. The Christians claim that they killed on that day of blood, two hundred thousand Moors. It is certain that the slaughter was enormous, and that mourning was sent into almost every family in Granada. The wreck of the Moorish army fled to Gibraltar, and the Africans crossed to their own country. Soon after this, the Christians succeeded in destroying the African fleet.

Alfonso, flushed with victory, was in a career of conquest, assailing fortress after fortress of the Moors, when Yussef sued for peace. A truce of ten years was assented to, Yussef paying the heavy penalty of surrendering Algeziras to the Christians, in addition to the fortresses which they had already captured. Yussef was also compelled to humble himself by doing homage to Alfonso. Before the truce expired Alfonso laid siege to Gibraltar, the possession of which fortress would enable him to command the approaches into Granada. Just as the garrison were reduced to the last extremity, and were on the point of surrendering, the heroic Castilian king was seized by a contagious disease in his camp, and suddenly passed from his tumultuous life into the silence and solitude of the grave. Yussef speedily followed him, being stabbed by a madman as he was at prayers in the mosque.

Yussef the Moor developed, to a very remarkable degree, the character of a truly religious man. Indeed, Christianity was then so corrupted that it is difficult to assign to the Christians in general any superiority in moral excellence over the Moors. Yussef ordered that daily prayers should be offered in public, and appointed stated days for the explanation of the Koran to the people. Every Mussulman was required to be present at these religious exercises. That no one might have an excuse for neglecting this worship, he commanded that no house should be built at a distance of more than six miles from some mosque unless twelve habitations were to be reared at the same time, when a mosque was to be erected in the midst of them.

The laws were very severe; fornication and adultery, with murder, being punished with death. For the first offense of theft, the culprit lost his right hand; for the second, his right foot; for the third, his left hand; and for the fourth, his left foot. The soldier who fled from the field of battle, unless assailed three to one, was punished with death. The humane command was issued, that of captives taken in war, the sick and the aged, women and children, and those consecrated to God in a religious life, were not to be massacred, unless taken with arms in their hands.

Soon after the battle of Tarifa, which proved so disastrous to the Moors, the Christians marched to the attack of the strong fortress of Algeziras, which was the principal arsenal and military depot of Granada. In the defense of this city by the Moors, in the year 1342, cannon were used; and it is said that this is the first authentic account which history gives of the employment of these destructive engines of war. The battle of Cressy, where they were again used by the English, was fought four years later.

Peter, called the Cruel, was now King of Castile, and Mohammed V. King of Granada. There was a revolt in the Moorish court, and Abu Saib usurped the throne. Mohammed, disguised as a female slave, fled from his palace, and effected his escape to Africa. A series of sanguinary campaigns ensued, which deluged Granada in blood. Both of the claimants for the throne appealed to the King of Castile for aid. Peter espoused the cause of Mohammed, and Abu Saib was driven to such an extremity that he adopted the chivalric resolve of visiting in person the Court of Peter, and throwing himself upon his magnanimity. But Peter had no soul to appreciate this chivalry. He seized the Moorish prince, robbed him of his treasure, led him half naked, seated upon an ass, through the streets of the city, cut off the heads of all his followers in his presence, and then the infamous Castilian king, with his own spear, pierced the heart of Saib. The Moslem sovereign, as he expired, reproachfully exclaimed,

"Oh, Peter, Peter, what a deed for a cavalier!"

Three Peters at this time occupied the principal Christian thrones of Spain. The character of Peter the Cruel, of Castile, is sufficiently indicated by his treatment of Abu Saib. His whole career was that of unmitigated brutality. Peter IV. of Aragon was a merciless executioner, sending, upon the slightest irritation, his most devoted friends to the scaffold. Peter I. of Portugal has attained renown in the pages of romance for his passion for the beautiful Inez of Castro. Her assassination by three Portuguese lads inflamed his soul with the spirit of a demon. He swept blindly, with fire and death, those portions of his realms in which the assassins dwelt. Two of the assassins, whom he succeeded in capturing, he exposed to the most exquisite torture, and then tore out their quivering hearts while they were yet living. He took from the grave the body of his murdered mistress, clothed it in robes of state, and placed the imperial crown upon the livid and wasting brow. The grandees of the court were then summoned, and compelled w do homage to this revolting mockery of royalty.

This sad world has never perhaps experienced a darker period than that at which we have now arrived. Charles the Bad swayed his gory sceptre over terrified Navarre. The whole of Spain groaned beneath the rod of unrelenting tyranny. Anarchy desolated France. Richard II. was commencing his turbulent reign in England. Italy and Germany were agitated, as with earthquake throes, by the contentions between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. Two rival popes claimed the tiara, and two rival emperors were struggling for the Germanic crown. The ferocious hordes of Tamerlane were sweeping the plains of Asia. The whole world, through man's crime, seemed but an arena of tears and blood.

Chivalry and Crime

(From 1369 A.D. to 1468 A.D.)

Gentleness and Cruelty of the Moors.—The Moorish Ladies.—Anecdote.—Granada a Fief of Castile.—A Queen besieged.—Independence of the Nobles.—Anecdote of the King and the Nobles.—The Kingdom of Aragon.—Its Civil Dissensions.—Strange Scene in the Palace.—The Deposition of Henry IV. of Castile.—War between Henry and Alfonso.—Griefs of Isabella.—Her Matrimonial Engagements.—Declared Heir to the Castilian Throne.

In the character of the Moors of Spain there was a remarkable blending of softness and of ferocity. They often developed many of the most gentle virtues, and the most chivalric sense of honor, in connection with crimes the most cruel and barbaric. When Gibraltar was taken by the Christians, and all its inhabitants were driven into exile, an aged Moor, with his white beard floating upon his breast, approached Ferdinand, and said,

"King of Castile, what injury have I done to thee or to thine? Thy great-grandfather drove me from my native city of Seville, and I sought an asylum at Xeres. Thy grandfather expelled me from that place, and I took refuge in Tarifa. Thy father drove me from that retreat, and I came to Gibraltar, hoping there to find a peaceful grave. But thou hast pursued me even here. Tell me, now, if there be any spot upon this globe where I can die unmolested by the Christians?"

"Cross the sea," sternly replied the Castilian king; and the unhappy exile was driven over the straits into Africa.

Among the Moors of Spain there were poets, painters, sculptors, architects, philosophers, and physicians of much eminence. Most of their literary works perished at the final conquest of their country. The fanatic Cardinal Ximenes ordered every copy of the Koran to be burned. The ignorant soldiery mistook, for that work, every thing which was written in Arabic, and committed a vast multitude of manuscripts to the flames. The libraries of these Moors, who were passionate lovers of story-telling, abounded in novels and romances. Lords and ladies met night after night beneath the gilded domes of the Alhambra, and groups of the populace were assembled in the huts of the peasants, to listen to legends of passionate love and chivalric daring. Popular enthusiasm was peculiarly aroused by the charms of music and song. The Moorish lover who warbled the most plaintive ditties beneath the balconied window of his mistress, took especial pride in chipping off the head of his enemy by a single blow of his sabre, and in dangling those gory trophies at his saddle-bow, and impaling them before his gate as the memorials of his achievements.

It is the universal declaration that the Moorish ladies were distinguished for their beauty. A Moorish historian, who wrote at Granada early in the fourteenth century, thus describes his countrywomen:

"Their beauty is remarkable. But the loveliness which strikes the beholder at the first sight afterwards receives its principal charm from the grace and gentleness of their manners. In stature they are above the middle height, and of delicate and slender proportions. Their long black hair descends to the earth. Their teeth are embellished with the whiteness of alabaster, and their vermilion lips perpetually smile with a bewitching air. The constant use which they make of the most exquisite perfumes gives a freshness and brilliancy to their complexions, possessed by no other Mohammedan women. Their walking, their dancing, their every movement is distinguished by a graceful softness, an ease, a lightness which surpasses all their other charms. Their conversation is lively and sensible, and their fine intellects are constantly displayed in brilliant wit or judicious sentiments."

The devastations of war at this time were dreadful, almost beyond conception. The spirit of utter destruction animated both Christians and Moors. In both armies there was a special corps, called cutters down, whose duty was to destroy effectually the possessions and the property of the foe. Every house was demolished. All fruit-trees and vines were destroyed, and every field of corn and every garden trampled to ruin. Those who were not slain in battle or massacred in cold blood were usually sold into slavery.

In the year 1450 there were two rival Moorish kings struggling for the supremacy in Granada, and the little kingdom was distracted with the sorest internal dissensions. At the same time the King of Castile was making the most destructive irruptions upon the frontiers. At that time the Christian kings of Spain, by combining, could, with perfect ease, have driven the Moors out of the peninsula. But the kings of Castile, Aragon, Portugal and Navarre were even more hostile to each other than they were to the Moors.

The following anecdote beautifully illustrates the chivalry and magnanimity at times displayed, both by Christians and Moors, in these days of violence and blood. We give the story as narrated in Marie's Condé.

On the eve of an expedition, Narvaez, the Christian governor of Antequera, detached some horsemen to reconnoitre the country. The men, perceiving no enemy, were going back to Antequera, when, on turning a hill, they suddenly fell in with a Moorish horseman, and made him a prisoner. He was a young man about twenty-three years of age, of prepossessing appearance, richly habited, wearing a sword and buckler of exquisite workmanship, and mounted on a fine horse. He evidently belonged to some distinguished family of the country. He was brought before Narvaez, who asked him who he was, and whither he was going. He replied, in considerable emotion, that he was the son of the Alcalde of Ronda, but on endeavoring to continue his relation, his tears fell in such abundance that he could not utter another word.

"Thou surprisest me," said Narvaez. "Thy father I know to be an intrepid warrior, but thou weepest like a woman. Dost thou not know that this is one of the ordinary chances of war?"

"I do not lament the loss of my liberty," replied the Moor, "but a misfortune a thousand times heavier."

Being pressed to explain the cause of his agitation, he said,

"I have long loved the daughter of a neighboring alcalde, and that love is returned. This very night was to see her mine. She is now waiting for me, and I am taken a captive by your soldiers, and I can not describe my despair."

"Thou art a noble cavalier," replied the chivalric Christian. "If thou wilt promise to return, I will allow thee to go and see thy mistress."

Full of gratitude, the Moor accepted the condition and departed. Before daylight he reached her dwelling. On learning the cause of his evident dejection, she said,

Before this fatal moment thou hast always shown affection towards me; and now thou givest me new proofs of it. Thou fearest that if I follow thee I shall lose my liberty, and thou wishest me to remain; but dost thou think me less generous than thyself? My fate must be united with thine. Whether free or enslaved, thou shalt always find me at thy side. In this casket are jewels, sufficient either to pay thy ransom or to support us both in slavery."

The two lovers immediately departed, and towards evening arrived at Antequera. They were nobly received by Narvaez, who passed the highest praise on the fidelity of the cavalier and the affecting devotedness of the maiden. He not only dismissed them both, but loaded them with presents, and sent an escort to conduct them safely to Ronda. The news spread throughout the kingdom of Granada, and became the subject of many romances, in which the chivalry of Narvaez was sung by his enemies—a pleasing reward for his beneficence.

In the year 1460, Henry IV., King of Castile, had captured so many Moorish fortresses, and was advancing so resistlessly in his career of conquest that Aben Ismael, then king of Granada, implored peace, and humiliated himself by submitting to hold his kingdom as a fief of Castile, and to pay an annual tribute of twelve thousand pistoles in gold. But Hassan, after his accession to the Moorish throne, in the year 1469, taking advantage of the civil war then raging in Castile, renounced the vows of fealty, and mercilessly ravaged the Castilian frontiers. The chronicles of these interminable and bloody forays are interspersed with narratives of deeds of courtesy which soothe the mind weary of the contemplation of horrors.

The empress-queen of Alfonso VII. was besieged in the castle of Azeca. She reproached the Moorish knights for their want of chivalry in assailing a fortress defended only by a woman. The cavaliers acknowledged the justice of the reproach, and requested that the queen would but show herself upon the battlements of her castle. She did so; when the Moslem chivalry, bowing before her in the most respectful manner, immediately ordered the siege to be raised, and departed.

Moorish homage


In times of peace the Moors and the Christians visited each other's courts freely, in the interchange of the most cordial courtesies. The Castilian king, Alfonso XI., sent two captive Moorish princes back to their father, not only exacting no ransom, but loading them with costly presents. When this Castilian sovereign died, after a career of almost constant conquest over the Moslems, the King of Granada and his court put on mourning.

"He was a noble prince," said they, "and one that knew how to honor his enemies as well as his friends."

Castile was so called from the numerous baronial castles which crowned almost every eminence of a magnificent realm embracing nearly fifty thousand square miles, being about as large as the State of Georgia. The reigning king was but slightly raised above these imperious nobles in rank, and often inferior to many of them in wealth and princely state. The estates of the Lord of Biscay embraced eighty towns and castles. Alvaro de Luna, by the blast of his bugles, could summon twenty thousand vassals beneath his banners. Many of these Castilian nobles were in the receipt of an annual income equal to five hundred thousand dollars of our money. Gold and silver plate of the most elaborate enchasings were spread upon their banqueting-tables. All these haughty nobles claimed the revolutionary right of seceding from the central government whenever so disposed; and thus the king, even upon the eve of battle, was liable to see any of his lords marching from the field with their vassals.

These nobles maintained their independence of the king, and their supremacy over their serfs, only by their valor and heroism. Their lives were mainly passed in the saddle and on fields of blood. Scorning indulgence in effeminate luxury, even the boys of noble lineage followed their fathers into the hottest of the battle. The son of Ponce de Leon, when but thirteen years of age, rode by the side of his father in the fiercest frays which the Christians waged against the Moors. The only son of Alfonso VI., but thirteen years old, was slain when manfully fighting in the ranks at the battle of Ucles, beneath the banners of his father.

These nobles took the liberty of expressing their opinions very freely to the king whenever he displeased them. In the year 1258 the lords sent a communication to the King of Castile remonstrating against the extravagance of his personal expenses and the number of courtiers he maintained, and bluntly calling upon him to "bring his appetite within a more reasonable compass." When there chanced to be a weak king, he was trampled upon by his nobles; but occasionally an energetic sovereign would arise who, with a hand mailed in steel, would box his insubordinate lords into submission.

The higher ecclesiastics also had acquired enormous wealth, and rioted in licentiousness and luxury unsurpassed by that of the baronial lords. The martial noble, who had squandered his life in violence and sin, purchased peace of conscience on a dying bed by immense largesses to the Church. In every battle which was waged against the Moors, the favor of Heaven was implored, with promises of large portions of the spoil which might be taken. The ravages of war left many of the daughters of the noblest families in a state of friendlessness, and they sought refuge in the nunneries. These nunneries became thus very important establishments, and they were very richly endowed.

The monastery of Burgos contained one hundred and fifty ladies of the noblest families of Castile. The abbess was considered next in rank to the queen, and exercised jurisdiction over fourteen capital cities and fifty smaller towns, drawing from them immense revenue. The Archbishop of Toledo was deemed, next to the Pope, the highest ecclesiastic in Christendom. His income amounted to nearly a million of our money annually. Beneath his martial banner of the cross he could muster a greater number of vassals than any other noble in the realm; and no steel-clad baron could plunge into the heady fight with a more earnest good-will than this professed disciple of the meek and lowly Jesus.

The power of the king was greatly limited by a privy council, called the Cortes, composed of the principal nobility, both lay and clerical, of his realm. No important enterprise could be undertaken without their consent. There was a constant conflict, more or less open and avowed, ever raging between these nobles and the king. In the following story we get a glimpse into the palace and the castle, and obtain a vivid picture of the habits of life in that day.

One night Henry III. of Castile returned to his castle from hunting, fatigued, cold, and hungry. There was no money in the king's purse, and nothing in the castle to eat, excepting the game which the king brought home. The steward ventured to contrast the indigent condition of the sovereign with the voluptuousness in which his nobles were revelling, and informed the monarch that a party of the nobles were feasting that very evening with the Archbishop of Toledo.

Henry resolved to view the banquet with his own eyes, and obtained an introduction, in disguise, into the archiepiscopal palace, where he beheld a scene of splendor, luxury, and voluptuousness such as even royal eyes had seldom beheld. The next day he summoned these courtiers into the audience-chamber of his palace, and took his seat upon the throne with a drawn sabre in his hand. Turning sternly to the nobles, and alluding to the scene of the preceding evening, he said,

"You are the real sovereigns of Castile, enjoying all the rights and revenues of royalty, while I, stripped of my patrimony, have scarcely wherewithal to procure the necessaries of life."

Then, at a signal, his guards entered, accompanied by the public executioner with the instruments of death. The nobles were terrified, for it would have been in perfect accordance with the character of the times that every head should have fallen. They dropped upon their knees imploring forgiveness, and promising to restore to the crown those sources of revenue which they had wrested from it. The king detained them as hostages until many fortresses and cities were placed in his hands, and then they were set at liberty. Though this story wears the garb of romance, it is found in many of the most authentic of the Castilian annals, and is certainly in perfect harmony with the spirit of that age.

North-east of Castile, extending from her frontiers to the summits of the Pyrenees, was the kingdom of Aragon, a beautiful realm, containing about thirty-five thousand square miles. Aragon then embraced Catalonia and Valencia, and possessed a sea-coast on the Mediterranean of nearly three hundred miles. The nobles of Aragon were equally haughty and fierce, and even more barbaric than those of Castile. They also claimed the right, upon any pretext which they judged sufficient, of renouncing their allegiance to the sovereign, and, by secession, of throwing themselves back upon their reserved rights of independence. The Aragonese devoted special attention to the navy, successfully competing with the fleets of Pisa; and they even achieved the conquest of the Balearic Isles, of Sardinia, and of Sicily, annexing them to their proud realm. At one time this navy penetrated even the Levant, and acquired vast renown by the subjection of Athens to the Aragonese kingdom.

The King of Aragon distributed among his great barons the provinces which, one after another, he had wrested from the Moors, reserving a certain portion, sometimes one-fifth, for the royal domains. Upon capturing a city, it was divided into districts, each of which was assigned to some noble in fief, the king receiving in homage a certain portion of the revenue. The kingdom was almost incessantly convulsed, when not engaged in foreign wars, by struggles among these barons for the supremacy, each lord regarding himself rather as the rival than the subject of his sovereign.

The reign of John I. of Castile was one incessant tempest of war. He was continually struggling in the most desperate conflicts, either with the Moors, or his neighbors the Portuguese, or his own rebellious nobles. His son, Henry III., surnamed the Infirm, succeeded him when but eleven years of age. Six prelates, six barons, and six deputies from the cities constituted the Council of Regency during the minority of the prince. The haughty Archbishop of Toledo, a prominent member of this council, endeavored to engross in his own person all its authority. The dissensions which arose filled the kingdom with confusion; and when, in the year 1393, the young monarch attained his majority, the ship of state, as with a feeble hand he took the helm, was rolling and plunging amidst the billows of a storm-swept sea. He died the first day of the year 1407, leaving his battered crown to an infant son, John II., then but two years of age. The royal babe was, with great pomp, crowned in the Cathedral of Segovia, the queen-mother, aided by Fernando, brother of the deceased king, being entrusted with the regency.

Soon after this Fernando was declared to be the legitimate heir to the throne of Aragon, upon the death of Martin, the king, in the year 1410. John II. in due time was entrusted with the sceptre of Castile, and after an inglorious reign, in which he secured the reputation of being the weakest and most despicable prince who ever sat upon a throne, he died in 1454, leaving, besides two sons, an infant, Isabella, who afterwards became so renowned, not only in the annals of Spain, but in those of the world. John on his death-bed, reviewing the sorrows of a reign of forty-eight years, expressed regret that he had not been born the son of a mechanic instead of King of Castile. Henry IV., the eldest son, succeeded to the throne. The following scene which occurred in the palace at Madrid throws light upon his character, his domestic state, and the manners of that age.

On one occasion the king proclaimed a bull-fight in the plaza before the palace of Madrid, in honor of one of his beautiful mistresses, Dona Guiomar. The indignant queen not only refused to witness the spectacle, so insulting to her wifely dignity, but forbade any of the ladies of the palace from appearing at the windows, ordering them all to retire to the apartments in the rear. The haughty favorite, relying upon the protection of her royal paramour, appeared, in magnificent attire, upon one of the balconies of the palace, and enjoyed the feats of the day.

The queen, half crazed with jealousy and rage, took her stand at the foot of the staircase, and, as the minion descended, fell upon her like a tigress, with tooth and nail. The astounded mistress was knocked down and rolled over and over, and dragged along the floor by the hair of her head. Her shrieks summoned the king. He seized his consort by the arm, and hurled her from him with such violence that she fell insensible, and in that state was carried to her apartment. The king, to avoid the repetition of such scenes, erected a very splendid villa for his guilty favorite at some distance from Madrid.

The nobles conspired against Henry IV, and marshaled their vassals to drive him from the throne, and to place the crown upon the brow of his brother Alfonso. The insurgent barons met in great strength upon the plains of Avila, about one hundred miles north-west of Madrid, and, with barbaric pomp, proceeded to the ceremonial of the deposition of their king. On the plain which spreads out before the walls of the city the baronial army was encamped, and the gleam of tents and banners and polished armor, the prancing of cavalry and the mazes of military evolutions filled the eye, while strains of martial music from multitudinous bands pealed through the air. The whole city of Avila crowded out upon the plain to witness the imposing ceremony. A vast, elevated platform was erected, in the centre of which there arose a throne, upon which was seated an effigy of Henry IV. robed in imperial purple, with a crown upon his head and a sceptre in his hand.

A herald mounted the platform, and, with a loud voice, declared the king no longer worthy to reign, charging him with incompetency, and with many atrocious public and private vices, and declaring that the welfare of the realm imperiously demanded his deposition. The Archbishop of Toledo, the most turbulent man of that turbulent age, then advanced and wrested the crown from the royal brow; the Marquis of Villena wrenched the sceptre from his sand; a third baron seized the sword; a fourth tore off the royal robes; a fifth and a sixth grasped other emblems of royalty; and then all together, with curses and insults, kicked the despoiled effigy to the ground, where it was torn to pieces.

Alfonso, but eleven years of age, was then brought upon the stage, and, placed on a shield, was raised upon the shoulders of the nobles. He was received with the flourish of trumpets, the beating of drums, and the acclaim of all the surrounding thousands, shouting, "Long live Alfonso, our King of Castile."

But Henry, though thus easily deposed in effigy, still grasped the sceptre, and was at the head of a powerful army. The two brothers, with their accompanying troops, soon met near Olmedo, and a fierce, sanguinary, but indecisive battle ensued, in which each party claimed the victory. The Pope espoused the cause of Henry, and threatened Alfonso and his associate rebels with the terrors of ex-communication. But the menaces of the distant Vatican only excited the ridicule of these rough warriors. The Pope's legate was hooted from the camp, and in terror of personal violence he mounted his mule and precipitately fled. While affairs were in this state, Alfonso was suddenly taken sick and died. The rebels then proposed to place his sister Isabella upon the throne. But this young princess, possessing sagacity above her years, declined the perilous honor. Still, notwithstanding this declinature, many of her pretended partisans proclaimed her as queen, at Seville and other parts of Andalusia. Her refusal to encourage these measures secured the good-will of her brother, and he declared his intention of pronouncing her his heir to the crown.

John, King of Aragon, had a son, Ferdinand, who at ten years of age was, with imposing ceremonies, proclaimed heir to his father's throne. The queen-mother, an ambitious and imperious woman, then took her child to Catalonia to receive the homage of that province. But the turbulent Catalonian nobles were at that time exasperated against the king, and gave such unmistakable indications of hostile measures that the queen, with her son and a few adherents, fled from Barcelona and took refuge in the fortress of Gerona, about fifty miles from the Catalonian capital.

Roger, Count of Pallas, with a strong military band, pursued her. The queen, with her party, retreated to a tower attached to the principal church in the fortified town, which tower, as was the custom in those warlike days, was built according to the rules of military art, and was capable of maintaining a formidable resistance. The besiegers erected, opposite, an antagonistic tower, upon which they planted their rude artillery, which was then coming into use, and other engines of war. For many days an unintermitted discharge of bullets and other destructive missiles was kept up against the little garrison. The defense was so desperate that the besiegers dug a subterranean passage, endeavoring thus to secure an entrance beneath the tower, but they were repulsed with great slaughter.

The queen, during these stormy hours, displayed all the qualities of a heroine. With intrepidity unsurpassed by any of her soldiers, she shared all their perils; visiting in person every port of danger, and encouraging the defenders by her valor and words of cheer. While she was thus heroically holding her foes at bay, the king marched with his troops to her relief. The sudden approach of these horsemen with archers and artillery compelled the insurgents to raise the siege and flee with such precipitancy as to leave many of their cannon in the hands of the king.

The Catalans were so exasperated that they resolved to secede from the monarchy and to establish a republic. They issued a proclamation, renouncing allegiance to King John and his son Ferdinand, declaring that it was their right to depose the sovereign for any infringement of the liberties of the nation, and that the welfare of the people should always be paramount to the personal interests' of the prince. The secessionists then offered the crown of their republic to Henry IV. of Castile, but he refused the offer. It was then presented to Don Pedro of Portugal, who accepted the gift, which he could only maintain by the sword. The King of Aragon with great vigor pushed the insurgents, capturing, in bloody assaults, one after another of the fortresses of Southern Catalonia. The Portuguese prince, in harassment and exhaustion, suddenly fell ill of a fever and died.

Still the Catalans were so resolute that they would allow no one to express an opinion in opposition to this dismemberment of the Aragonese kingdom. Two of the most illustrious nobles who had ventured to suggest compromise were dragged to the scaffold. The crown was then presented to John, Duke of Calabria and Lorraine, a knight of such renown that adventurers from all parts of Europe flocked to his standard. With eight thousand men beneath his flaunting banners he descended through the defiles of Roussillon into the plains of Catalonia.

The prospects of the poor old King of Aragon were indeed melancholy. His treasury was empty; his health was very infirm; from the exposure of a winter's campaign a disease had seized his eyes, which had rendered him totally and hopelessly blind; he was assailed in Catalonia by foes outnumbering any forces he could raise; and the most threatening rebellions were breaking out in other parts of his realms.

In this dark hour his heroic wife came to his aid, with that marvellous energy which woman often shows when man yields in despair. With her son, Ferdinand, riding at her side, she placed herself at the head of such forces as she could collect, and fell upon the Duke of Lorraine with such impetuosity as to drive him in confusion from Gerona. In this fierce encounter the youthful Ferdinand came near being taken captive. He was only rescued by the devotion of his officers, many of whom sacrificed their lives to secure his safety.

Still the chivalric Duke John, magnificent in his bearing and in the trappings of his steed, excited universal enthusiasm, and especially the admiration of the ladies. Wherever he appeared the people thronged around him with the most ardent acclamations, and the ladies loaded him with their jewelry to defray the expenses of the war. To add to the griefs of the broken-hearted king, the queen, Joan Henriquez, exhausted by the toils of the tented field, sickened and died. But in the evolutions of those romances of fact, which so often exceed the imaginings of fiction, a Jewish physician appeared; who induced the king to submit to the operation of couching his eyes, which proved perfectly successful. The spirits of the octogenarian king were so cheered by the restoration of his sight that he resumed the administration of affairs with almost the vigor of his early years. And teen again fortune, as it is termed, proverbially so capricious, struck down the Duke of Lorraine, and the hopes of the Catalonians sank into the grave, in which their heroic leader, plumed and robed in martial array, with his polished sabre by his side, was entombed.

The king now invested Barcelona. Humanely anxious to save the city from the horrors of being taken by storm, he instituted a rigorous blockade. The garrison attempted a sally, but were repulsed with a loss of four thousand men. Farther resistance was unavailing. The Barcelonians surrendered, and Catalonia returned to its allegiance after ten years of war and woe.

While these scenes were transpiring Isabella was living, in comparative quietude, at Madrid, in the court of her brother, Henry IV. of Castile. The king was fond of magnificence, and was boundlessly extravagant in his tastes and his expenditures. A body-guard of three thousand six hundred lancers, gorgeously equipped, surrounded his palace. The sons of the most illustrious nobles were the officers of this splendid corps. The constant object of his ambition was to expel the Moors from Spain, and to extend his sway over the beautiful realm of Granada. He proclaimed a crusade against them, and, assembling his chivalry from the remote provinces, assailed Granada in incessant incursions of devastation and misery. These forays, however, accomplished nothing decisive. Fields were trampled, orchards cut down, villages burned, men butchered, and captives dragged into slavery. Henry was no soldier. He loved merely the pomp and the pageantry of war.

The wife of Henry IV. was a very gay, vivacious, beautiful but wicked woman, the sister of Alfonso V., King of Portugal. With her retinue of maidens of brilliant charms, she caused the palace ever to resound with wassail, and was as voluptuous in her tastes and as indulgent in her gallantries as the dissolute king himself. The handsomest cavaliers in the kingdom were ever hovering around her. The corruption of the court could hardly have been surpassed by that of Babylon when the denunciatory hand-writing of God appeared upon the wall of Belshazzar's palace. The religious houses were involved in the general corruption, while bishops and archbishops vied with nobles and princes in unbounded license of sensuality.

The queen, in the year 1462, gave birth to a daughter, Joanna. The king called for an oath of fealty to her, as presumptive heir to the crown. The nobles refused to take this oath, boldly declaring that Joanna was riot the child of the king. Isabella was at this time about fourteen years of age, and perhaps as unhappy a maiden as could then be found in Spain. She had been trained in her earliest years, by her widowed and pious mother, in the little town of Arevala, far from the corruptions of the court, where she had been faithfully instructed in the purest principles of morality and religion. The strong probability that the crown of Castile would descend to her, brought many royal suitors to the court where she now resided to solicit her hand. She had sufficient intelligence to perceive that her person was to be sacrificed for political combinations, and in anxiety and sadness she secluded herself from the bacchanal festivities of the palace.

Very resentfully she remonstrated with her brother against his selfish policy, which would wreck her happiness by forcing her into a marriage merely to promote his own interests. She was first promised to Carlos, eldest son of the King of Aragon, and brother of Ferdinand, whom she subsequently married. But Carlos was near fifty years of age, and she but fourteen. Raving once seen him, she declared that neither threats nor entreaties should induce her to so unsuitable a match. The death of Carlos fortunately released her from this trouble. She was then promised to a rich, powerful, debauched old noble, the grand-master of Calatrava, a man whose character was stained with the most revolting vices. The anguish of Isabella, upon contemplating this doom, was so great that she retired to her chamber, and for a day and a night did nothing but weep, refusing all nourishment.

Her prayers were so piteous that God would come to her relief and save her from the dishonor, by either taking away her life or that of her enemy, that one of her attendant ladies, Beatrice of Bobadilla, a high-spirited woman, provided herself with a dagger, and vowed before God that if the grand-master of Calatrava should dare to appear and claim Isabella for his bride, she would plunge that dagger into his heart. The gay ladies of the court were amazed and amused by the scruples of Isabella. It mattered but little to them who the husband might be, provided only that he were rich and powerful, since they could indulge in gallantries with more agreeable lovers to their heart's content.

The grand-master made the most sumptuous preparations for his wedding, and, with a gorgeous retinue of friends and vassals, set out from his palace at Almagro for Madrid, to receive his bride. At the close of the first day's journey he reached the little village of Villambia, where he passed the night. Here he was suddenly and violently seized with an attack of quinsy, which, after a sickness of four days, terminated his life. It is not to be supposed that Isabella shed any tears over his grave, and still not the slightest shadow of suspicion rests upon her as having been in any way accessory to his death.

Isabella for a time withdrew to a convent at Avila, where she pertinaciously refused the entreaties of many of the nobles to allow herself to be proclaimed Queen of Castile, in opposition to her brother Henry. At length the nobles, who had been waging war against the king, came to a compromise with him, in which it was agreed that the king's dissolute wife should be divorced and sent back to Portugal; that Isabella should be immediately recognized as heir to the united crowns of Castile and Leon, with suitable revenue to maintain the dignity of her rank, and that while she should not marry any one without the consent of her brother, she should not be forced into any nuptial alliance in opposition to her own wishes.

Marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella

(From 1468 A.D. to 1481 A.D.)

Demands for the Hand of Isabella.—Suit of Richard, Duke of Gloucester; of the Duke of Guienne.—Claims of Ferdinand.—Opposition of Henry IV. to Ferdinand.—Marriage with Ferdinand.—Rivalry of Joanna.—Conflict between Isabella and her Brother Henry.—Coronation of Isabella.—Civil War.—Ecclesiastical Soldiers.—Career of Alfonso.—Union of Castile and Aragon.

In ratification of the compromise which the nobles had extorted from the king, Henry met his sister at a place called "The Bulls of Giusanda," so designated from four bulls having been left there, sculptured in stone, in commemoration of a victory achieved upon the spot by Julius Caesar. Henry and Isabella approached the place, each accompanied by a splendid cortege. The king, who had no occasion to be dissatisfied with his sister, embraced her tenderly, and, with imposing ceremonies, pledged to her the transmission of the crown. Soon after the Cortes assembled at Ocana, and Isabella was announced to all the courts of Europe as the successor to the thrones of Castile and Leon.

The hand of Isabella was now in greater demand by the neighboring princes than ever before. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, renowned in the annals of crime, brother of Henry IV. of England, sought, it is said, the ambitious alliance, fortunately in vain. The Duke of Guienne also, brother of Louis XI. of France, and heir-presumptive to the French monarchy, was eager, by marriage with Isabella, to unite the crowns of Castile and Leon with that of France. But this alliance, for political considerations, was rejected.

Isabella was quite disposed to consult her own inclinations, and her own sagacious judgment, in the choice of a husband, and she turned her eyes to her kinsman, Ferdinand of Aragon. The union of these two contiguous realms would indeed constitute a magnificent kingdom, homogeneous in language, manners, and religion. Ferdinand was also young, very handsome, of noble bearing, and decidedly chivalric in character—just the man to win an aspiring maiden's love.

But nothing in this world ever roes smoothly. The most successful life is made up of but a series of stern conflicts. An influential portion of the nobles espoused the cause of the infant Joanna. They appealed to the Pope for aid, and in the night nailed up against the door of Isabella's palace a protest against her claims. At the same time another party appeared, demanding the hand of Isabella for Alfonso, the widowed King of Portugal. And it was proposed to secure the support of Henry for this alliance by marrying Joanna to the son and heir of the Portuguese monarch.

The King of Portugal was of course eager to annex Castile to his throne. He accordingly, encouraged by the nobles of Castile, dispatched a very imposing embassy, with the Archbishop of Lisbon at its head, to make another attempt to secure Isabella for his bride. But he was decidedly rejected. Henry, goaded by his partisans, was much annoyed, and threatened to imprison his unyielding sister in the royal fortress at Madrid. But the citizens at Ocana, where she then resided, rallied around her for her protection. The utmost enthusiasm was inspired in her behalf. Even the boys paraded the streets with banners emblazoned with the arms of Aragon, and singing songs contemptuously contrasting the old King of Portugal with the youth and chivalry of Ferdinand. The Archbishop of Toledo, who was almost the rival of the king in wealth and power, entered warmly into the interests of Isabella and Ferdinand. The king was a man naturally good-natured, and more interested in his own sensual enjoyments than any thing else. He would probably have left his sister to her inclinations, had he not been urged onward by the haughty Marquis of Villena, who had attained an entire ascendency over his weak mind.

With these two factions it now became a struggle for power. Ferdinand would lavish the regal gifts of office upon the bishop and his friends. The King of Portugal, on the contrary, would rally around his throne the marquis and his followers. As Henry had now violated unscrupulously the treaty of the Bulls of Giusando, Isabella considered herself released from its obligations, and immediately, without consulting her brother any farther, accepted the proffered hand of Ferdinand.

The marriage articles were signed on the 7th of January, 1469. Isabella was aided in these movements by the absence of her brother and the Marquis of Villena, they both having been called to the south to suppress an insurrection. She removed her residence from Ocana to Madrigal, where, aided by a mother's sympathy, she was more favorably situated for the conduct of her important negotiations. The Marquis of Villena, however, kept a constant spy upon her, and, alarmed by the progress she was making in her plans, ordered, with the concurrence of the king, a troop of horse under the Archbishop of Seville to proceed to Madrigal and arrest her.

Isabella, informed of her peril, succeeded in communicating with the Archbishop of Toledo, when he precipitately rallied a regiment of dragoons, and advanced to Madrigal with such speed as to anticipate the marquis. The placid yet determined maiden was borne off, in military triumph, to Valladolid, where her arrival was greeted with unbounded enthusiasm by the whole population. Ferdinand was then residing at Saragossa, in Aragon, about two hundred miles east of Valladolid.

It was now the great object of the king to prevent Ferdinand from entering Castile to marry Isabella. The King of Aragon was so sorely pressed by a war with some of his insurgent nobles, and his treasury was so exhausted that be could not afford his son an armed escort sufficient to secure his safety. Ferdinand adopted the resolution to go in disguise as a merchant, diverting the attention of Henry by making very ostentatious preparations to accompany a public embassy from the Court of Aragon to that of Castile.

The small party of half a dozen merchants started on their adventurous expedition, Ferdinand assuming the dress and position of a servant, grooming the mules and serving at the table. To avoid observation, they travelled mostly by night. With great vigilance, and amidst a thousand perils, they pressed on their way, greatly embarrassed by losing one night at an inn the purse which contained all their money. At length they were met by an escort sent by Isabella for their protection. On the 9th of October Ferdinand reached Buenas, in Leon, where a large party of Castilian nobles, the friends of Isabella, with their retainers, were assembled to welcome him. The young prince, surrounded by such defenders, was now safe.

Isabella, with her little court, was a few miles distant, at Valladolid. Communications immediately passed between them, and on the evening of the 15th of October, Ferdinand, accompanied but by four attendants, rode privately from Duenas to Valladolid, where he was received by the Archbishop of Toledo and conducted to the presence of Isabella. The young prince was exceedingly handsome, but eighteen years of age, tall, fair, and with an intellectual, expanded brow. He was well educated, temperate in all his habits, of courtly manners, and so devoted to useful activity that business seemed to be his pleasure. Isabella was nineteen years of age, a beautiful blonde, of queenly figure, exquisitely chiselled features, and with mild blue eyes. "She was," says a contemporary, "the handsomest lady whom I ever beheld, and the most gracious in her manners."

Isabella was a highly educated woman for that day, speaking the Castilian language with much grace and purity, and quite well versed in the current learning of those times. After a brief lover's interview of two hours, Ferdinand returned at midnight to Duenas. Preparations were immediately made for the marriage, and their nuptials were solemnized at the palace of one of the nobles in Valladolid, on the morning of the 19th of October, 1469.

Queen Isabella.


Ferdinand having left home in disguise, and having lost his slender purse by the way, had not a copper. Isabella also, a fugitive from her brother's court, was equally unprepared for the expenses of the wedding. They however, without difficulty, borrowed the sums which were necessary; and with splendor moderately conforming to their rank, in the presence of several of the highest of the nobility and about two thousand spectators, the life-long destinies of Ferdinand and Isabella were united. For a week Valladolid resounded with merry-making, and illuminations rendered the night as brilliant as the day. An embassy was sent to Henry IV., soliciting his approbation of the match and repeating their assurances of loyalty. The king received the embassage very coldly, and replied, "I must consult with my ministers."

The Marquis of Villena and his party were thoroughly enraged at this circumvention of their plans. In the royal council it was decided to cast aside Isabella, and place the unhappy Joanna upon the throne. To strengthen the claims of the child, then but nine years of age, her hand was offered to the Duke of Guienne, one of the rejected suitors of Isabella, and brother to the infamous, but powerful and sagacious Louis XI. of France. The gallantries of the queen had been so unblushing that Joanna was universally regarded as the child of sin and shame. To obviate the inconvenience resulting from this impression, the king and queen took a solemn oath in public that Joanna was their legitimate offspring. Having submitted to this humiliation, the nobles, who were partisans of the king, took the oath of allegiance to Joanna, and she was solemnly affianced to the Duke of Guienne.

This was a heavy blow to Isabella, for all the energies of the Court of Castile, together with the influence of the monarchy of France, were combined against her reign. Ferdinand and Isabella held their little court at Duenas in the most humble style, being, like many other less princely couples, exceedingly embarrassed by the emptiness of their purse. Still the Archbishop of Toledo, with his vast revenues and his exalted ecclesiastical rank, was a powerful friend. He was, however, haughty and domineering in the extreme, and so much disposed to use Ferdinand and Isabella as the tools for his own aggrandizement that, on one occasion, the young prince indignantly said to him, "I will never submit to be put into leading-strings, like so many of the sovereigns of Castile."

In the midst of these intrigues Ferdinand received intelligence that his father, with a small force in Perpignan, was sorely pressed by the armies of the King of France. He immediately, with the cordial approval of his heroic wife, placed himself at the head of a body of Castilian horse furnished by the Archbishop of Toledo, and, hastening to Aragon, raised an army of thirteen hundred cavalry and seven thousand infantry, with which he crossed the Pyrenees in a pelting storm, and fell, like the sweep of the avalanche, upon the rear of the foe. The attack was so impetuous and so unexpected that the French, setting fire to their tents, retreated in the utmost consternation, leaving their military stores, their sick, and their wounded, to be consumed by the flames.

The father, with tears of gratitude and pride, embraced his heroic son, who had rescued him from destruction, and the two united armies fraternized in rapturous triumph within the walls of Perpignan. In the mean time the prospects of Isabella began to brighten. The Duke of Guienne, deeming Joanna's chance of obtaining the crown of Castile rather doubtful, sought the hand of the daughter of Charles, the Duke of Burgundy, in reckless contempt of his engagement with the Princess of Castile. Soon after this he was taken sick and died, under circumstances which left the impression that he was poisoned by his brother, Louis XI., a monarch who was capable of committing any crime, apparently, without a pang.

Efforts were immediately made to negotiate a marriage for Joanna with some other prince who could support her claims with military power. These efforts were, however, unavailing, for the doubts which hung over the birth of the young princess operated with melancholy force against her. Isabella, on the other hand, by the quiet energy of her character, and the wisdom of all her movements, was continually gaining friends from the most illustrious of the nobles.

The Archbishop of Seville espoused her cause. Andrew of Cabrera was governor of the impregnable citadel of Segovia, where the royal treasure was deposited. He had married the spirited Beatrice of Bobadilla, that heroic woman who had threatened to poniard the debauched old master of Calatrava, should he dare to demand the hand of Isabella against her will. Beatrice influenced him to lend his support to the cause of her former mistress. It was necessary to move with much circumspection, for Henry IV. not unfrequently resided at Segovia, and Isabella would have much occasion to fear that any advances from that quarter were indicative of treachery. Isabella was at this time at Aranda, about fifty miles north from Segovia. Beatrice dressed herself in the clothes of a peasant, and leaving the walls of the city by night, with her staff in her hand, through many romantic adventures reached the saloon of her astonished mistress, and gave her an invitation to go to Segovia, with full assurance of protection. Isabella did not hesitate to comply, and, accompanied by the Bishop of Toledo, she soon entered the iron portals of that battlemented castle, where even her royal brother would find it difficult to make a forcible entrance.

Here she, after a short time, had an interview with Henry. He, a careless, good-natured man, devoted to sensual pleasures, was but a pliant tool in the hands of others. Circumstances were now such that he easily became reconciled to his sister, manifesting his reconciliation by appearing with her in public, walking by her side, and holding the bridle of her horse as she rode through the streets of the city. Ferdinand, upon his return to Castile, was received by the monarch in Segovia with the utmost cordiality. Several days were devoted to gorgeous festivity, in testimonial of the heartiness of the reconciliation.

Not many weeks elapsed ere the other party got Henry IV. again into their power, and persuaded him to make an effort to seize the person of Isabella. In this attempt, however, he was foiled. Four years of such intrigues passed away, during most of which time Castile was engaged in petty warfare against the Moors, and Aragon was embroiled in incessant conflicts against the perfidious King of France. Henry IV. was now far advanced in years, and, after a lingering and painful sickness, died, on the 11th of December, 1474. After a brief season of hesitancy, the Castilian Cortes recognized Isabella as the successor to the crown.

Isabella was at that time in Segovia, where she was immediately proclaimed queen with the usual solemnities. On the morning of the 13th of December she was conveyed, accompanied by a very splendid escort, under a canopy of rich brocade, to one of the public squares of the city, where a platform had been reared, with gorgeous adornings, for the ceremony of coronation. Isabella rode upon a beautiful steed, whose bridle was held by two of the high officers of the crown. As she took her seat upon the elevated throne, with the eyes of a countless multitude fixed upon her, a herald cried out, with a loud voice,

"Castile, Castile for the king, Don Ferdinand, and his consort, Dona Isabella, queen proprietor of these kingdoms."

This announcement was followed by the waving of banners, the ringing of bells, the explosion of artillery, and the enthusiastic shouts of the people. The queen took the oath of office, and then repaired to the cathedral, where, after the chanting of the Te Deum, she prostrated herself before the altar and implored divine aid.

Ferdinand was at this time in Aragon, and there was earnest discussion among the dignitaries of Castile respecting the share he might be permitted to take in the administration of affairs. At length a document was very carefully prepared, declaring that Isabella alone was heir to the throne of Castile, but associating Ferdinand with her in the performance of many of the acts of royalty. Ferdinand was so much displeased with this arrangement that Isabella had no little difficulty in dissuading him from abandoning Castile and returning to his native Aragon.

The coronation of Isabella.


Though the great body of the Castilian nobles rallied around Isabella, still there were a few who adhered to the fortunes of Joanna. Some of these were lords, of immense resources, who could bring into the field large armies of retainers. Exasperated by the frustration of their plans, they applied to Alfonso V. of Portugal, urging him to marry his niece Joanna, and in her name to claim the crown, assuring him of their most cordial support. Alfonso, who had so signalized himself in the conflict with the Barbary Moors as to obtain the surname of the African, was so dazzled by the brilliant proposal as to be quite blind to the difficulties of the enterprise.

With an army of six hundred horse and fourteen thousand foot the chivalric King of Portugal invaded Castile, having sent before him a summons demanding the crown in favor of Joanna. The disaffected nobles, with their retainers in strong military array, met him at Placentia, taking with them Joanna, a child then but thirteen years of age. Here, on the 12th of May, 1475, the King of Portugal was solemnly affianced to the hapless maiden, and immediately the royal pair were proclaimed sovereigns of Castile.

Isabella, with energy and heroism rarely surpassed, prepared to meet this storm. She often spent the whole night dictating dispatches. She performed long and fatiguing journeys on horseback to visit garrison towns and confirm the allegiance of the wavering, and this when in so delicate a state of health that she came very near paying her life as the forfeit. Ferdinand lent his zealous co-operation, and early in July they were at the head of what they deemed a sufficient force to offer battle to the foe.

The two armies met at Toro, on the banks of the Douro, but about forty miles from the Portuguese frontier. On the morning of the 19th of July Ferdinand drew up his army, about forty-two thousand strong, before the walls of this renowned city of Leon, which Alfonso had captured. Ferdinand dispatched a herald to the camp of his foe, challenging him to a fair fight with his whole army, or, if he preferred, to single combat. There was a brief space of diplomacy and manoeuvring, when Ferdinand found it necessary to retreat with the utmost precipitation. At the same time the haughty Bishop of Toledo, who had been exasperated by some want of pliancy on the part of Ferdinand and Isabella to his wishes, joined Alfonso, at the head of five hundred horsemen, uttering at the same time the insulting threat,

"I have raised Isabella from the distaff, and I will soon send her back to it again."

During the whole summer the war was prosecuted with vigor, and with the usual alternations of success. Winter came, and still the hardy battalions kept the field. Early in March the two armies again met, for a decisive battle, on a plain between Toro and Zamara. There were, however, such had been the waste and dispersion of war, but about ten thousand men on either side. The two monarchs in person led their several hosts, and inspired them with the most enthusiastic bravery. Man grappled his brother-man in a hand-to-hand fight along the whole line. It is said, in attestation of the fierceness of the struggle, that the royal banner of Portugal was torn to shreds, as the combatants contested for it like famished wolves over a bone. The standard-bearer, Edward of Almeyda, having lost first his right arm and then his left, grasped the silken folds with his teeth, and held them with a gripe which death alone relaxed. The armor of this knight was preserved for ages in the Church of Toledo, in memorial of this act of heroism.

The Archbishop of Toledo on the one side, and the Cardinal of Mendoza on the other, exchanging sacerdotal robes for steel corslet, struck as sturdy blows as any belted knight upon the plain. Every sinew being strained to its utmost capacity, the strife was too desperate to last long. A storm rose; night blackened the sky; a deluge of rain fell, and a gale swept the field, strewed with the dead, and flooded with mingled water and blood. The Portuguese now were utterly routed, and escaped total destruction only by taking refuge in the darkness and the tempest.

The morning exhibited a dreadful spectacle. Multitudes of the fugitives were drowned in the swollen torrent of the Toro. The peasants had stripped the ghastly bodies of the slain, and smote down mercilessly all the Portuguese soldiers who could be found in their dispersion. Ferdinand displayed humanity quite unusual in those days, in his endeavors to arrest these horrors. He treated all his prisoners magnanimously, providing them with food and clothing, and securing their safe return to their own country.

Isabella was at Tordisillas, on the river, about twenty miles above Toro, anxiously awaiting the result of the battle. Upon receiving tidings of the decisive victory, in expression of gratitude to Heaven she ordered a procession to the Church of St. Paul, in which she walked barefooted, and in the garb of a penitent.

All the wavering now flocked to the banners of Isabella. Many of the insurgent nobles implored pardon, and were forgiven. The Bishop of Toledo and the Marquis of Villena had sinned too deeply to be thus easily pardoned. Their castles were battered down, their most important towns captured, their revenues sequestrated, their vassals taken from them, and then, thus despoiled and humiliated, their pride was still more abased by an act of forgiveness. But a few months passed ere the whole kingdom of Castile acknowledged the supremacy of Ferdinand and Isabella.

Alfonso, taking Joanna, his "virgin bride," with him, repaired to the Court of Louis XI. of France, to seek his aid in a renewal of the strife. With a small but brilliant retinue of two hundred knights, he galloped over the hills of France to the court of the French king. For a year he exhausted all the arts of diplomacy in the attempt to secure the alliance of the crafty and treacherous monarch, when, to his utter dismay, he found that Louis XI., while deluding him with the most shameless guile, had at the same time been entering into a confederacy with his mortal foes, Ferdinand and Isabella.

Alfonso was so chagrined that he had been thus duped, and was so annoyed at the thought of the ridicule he would be sure to encounter on his return to Portugal, that, with a few attendants, he secretly withdrew to a castle in Normandy, surrendering the crown to his son John. In renunciation of the throne, he wrote as follows to his son:

"As all earthly vanities are now dead in my bosom, I am resolved to lay up an imperishable crown by performing a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I shall then devote myself to the service of God in some retired monastery. I beg you, my son, to assume the sovereignty at once in the same manner as if you had heard of your father's death."

John not unwillingly assumed the crown. In five days after his coronation, to his surprise, and probably not a little to his annoyance, a fleet of French ships put in at Lisbon, and Alfonso, with his attendants, was politely sent ashore. Louis XI., the most executive of monarchs, with all the courtesy consistent with the necessary violence, had sent the Portuguese sovereign back to his dominions.

It is said that John was walking with some of his nobles upon the banks of the Tagus, when he received the unwelcome tidings of his father's return. He seemed struck with dismay, and, after a moment's reflection, turned to the Archbishop of Lisbon and said,

"How ought I to receive him?"

"How," the archbishop replied, "but as your king and father?"

John knit his brows, and, nervously picking up a stone, skimmed it over the water. The archbishop whispered to the Duke of Braganza,

"I shall take good care that that stone does not rebound upon me."

John, upon further reflection, peaceably resigned the sceptre to his father, and in chagrin abandoned Portugal and took up his residence in Rome. Alfonso, with renewed desperation, commenced warfare against Castile, hoping, by the performance of feats hitherto unparalleled in chivalry, to repair the reputation he had lost Sallying from his castles with steel-clad knights, he ravaged the western frontiers of Castile, burning mansions, robbing granaries, driving off cattle, trampling down harvests, and performing all other similar chivalric deeds, until a large portion of the province of Estremadura presented a smouldering expanse of desolation.

Ferdinand had been summoned from Castile to meet his father, the King of Aragon, upon business of momentous importance at Biscay. Isabella hastened to the seat of war, and established her head-quarters at Truxillo, where she could most easily direct operations, though the position exposed her to much personal peril. To the remonstrances of her friends she replied,

"It is not for me to calculate perils or fatigues in my own cause. I will not by unseasonable timidity, dishearten my friends. I am resolved to remain with them until the war is brought to a conclusion."

At length a reconciliation was effected between Alfonso and Isabella through the mediation of the sister-in-law of the Portuguese king, who was the maternal aunt of Isabella. By this treaty Alfonso renounced his claim to the crown of Castile and to the hand of Joanna. Ferdinand and Isabella had at this time a daughter, and also a on who was an infant. Poor Joanna was required to make her election, either to engage to marry this infant John so soon as he should be of a marriageable age, or to go into exile, or to retire to a convent and take the veil. Alonzo, one of the sons of the King of Portugal, was also affianced to Isabella, the daughter of the Castilian sovereigns.

Thus terminated the war of the succession in the signal triumph of Isabella. Joanna, youthful as she was, had become utterly weary of the world, and she decided to seek escape from all further storms by burying herself in the seclusion of the cloister. Taking upon herself the irrevocable vows, the unhappy princess descended into those tombs of an ever-living death. Alfonso himself, bitterly disappointed in his ambitious plans, soon after imitated the example of Joanna, and, renouncing the joyless sceptre, entered the bleak monastery of Varatojo. He was suddenly seized by illness, and expired on the 28th of August, 1481.

A few months before this event, on the 20th of January, 1479, the King of Aragon died, in the eighty-third year of his age; and all the extensive dependencies of Aragon, including Navarre, which the grasping old king had annexed to his domains without the shadow of justice, passed into the hands of Ferdinand. Aragon and Castile were thus united, and the foundations were laid of that great Spanish monarchy which ere long became the leading power in Europe.

The Conquest of Granada

(From 1483 A.D. to 1492 A.D.)

The Siege and Capture of Malaga.—Chivalry of Ferdinand.—Desperation of the Moors.—Terms of Capitulation.—Doom of the Captives.—Siege of Baza.—Influence of the Queen.—Brilliant Pageant.—The Affiance of the Infanta Isabella.—The Tournament.—Siege of Granada.—Chivalric Encounters.—Santa Fé.—The Fall of Granada.—The Extinction of the Moorish Empire in Spain.

Ferdinand and Isabella now commenced vigorously the enterprise of conquering Granada, and of thus expelling the Moors from their last foothold in Spain. The city of Malaga, on the coast of the Mediterranean, was perhaps the strongest of the Moorish fortified towns. It was a beautiful morning in April, 1487, when Ferdinand, at the head of a formidable host of forty thousand infantry and twelve thousand cavalry, marched from the fair city of Cordova upon this renowned campaign. The most chivalric nobles of his realm, on gayly-caparisoned chargers, had gathered from all quarters of the kingdom to join the enterprise. In that warm and sunny clime April has all the charms of June in higher latitudes. 'The fields were full of verdure and bloom, and the groves resounded with bird-songs. The inhabitants of Cordova were assembled to witness the departure of the troops, and greeted them, as they defiled through the streets, with acclamations.

The march, through a wild and hilly country, was slow, as the roads were bad, and the rivers were swollen with excessive rains. On the 17th of April the Spanish army sat down before one of the outposts of Malaga, called Velez-Malaga. The Moors were aware of the importance of this position, and had stationed a very strong force for its defense. Clouds of soldiers were seen mustering along the heights by day, and their innumerable camp-fires illumined the horizon by night. The Moors were as brave as the Christians, and as ably led by their heroic chieftains. The battle on both sides was fiercely urged with ambuscades and nocturnal sallies, and every other artifice of the most desperate warfare.

One day Ferdinand was dining in his tent, where he commanded a wide view of the field of conflict, when he saw a party of Christians, who had been sent to fortify an eminence near the enemy's works, retreating in disorder, hotly pursued by a squadron of moors. The impetuous king leaped upon his horse, and, though divested of all defensive armor except his cuirass, rallied his men, and, placing himself at their head, charged gallantly into the midst of the enemy. Having thrown his lance, he endeavored to draw his sword from its Scabbard, which hung from the saddle-bow. By some accidental indentation the sword was held fast, so that he could riot extricate it.

Just then several Moors fell fiercely upon him. He would inevitably have been slain but for the prompt action of two brave cavaliers who, with their attendants, rushed to his rescue, and, after a severe skirmish drove off the assailants. The nobles remonstrated with the king against such wanton exposure of his person, saying that he could serve them far more effectually with his head than with his hand. Ferdinand replied, in words which endeared him to the whole army, "I can not stop to calculate chances when my subjects are periling their lives for my sake."

Velez-Malaga, after a siege of ten days, fell into the hands of Ferdinand. Then the Spanish army pressed triumphantly forward to the assault of Malaga itself. This city was second only to Granada, the capital of the Moorish kingdom. Enjoying one of the finest harbors upon the Mediterranean, it was the seat of opulence and refinement. In architectural splendor it was unsurpassed, its splendid mansions being surrounded with gardens blooming with flowers and sparkling with fountains. A series of fortifications of massive strength surrounded the city. The suburbs presented a delightful expanse of gardens fragrant with groves of pomegranate, olive, and orange, while vast vineyards, rich in time of vintage with blushing grapes, everywhere met the eye. The city was well provisioned, and abundantly supplied with artillery and ammunition. A renowned Moorish warrior, Hamet Zeli, was entrusted with the defense of the city, and the place was garrisoned by picked men, veterans in the hardships and the horrors of war.

Ferdinand first attempted to induce a capitulation by making very liberal offers to the Moorish commander and his garrison. The heroic reply was returned, "I am stationed here to defend the place to the last extremity. The Christian king can not offer a bribe large enough to induce me to betray my trust."

By gradual approaches, Ferdinand encompassed the city by land and by sea. In these encounters Christian and Moor frequently fought with desperation which could not have been surpassed by human valor or mortal sinews. Often they threw away their lances, precipitated themselves upon each other, and grappling, rolled in the death-struggle over the ground and down the ravines. Neither party either asked for mercy or granted it.

Early in May the Christian host had gained all the important points, so that the beleaguered city was encompassed with bristling lines extending over the hills and the valleys from the sea below to the sea above. At the same time a Spanish fleet blockaded the port, so as effectually to cut off all communication by water.

We will not attempt to describe the slow operations of the siege, the breaches, the assaults, the repulses, the invasion of the plague, the hopes, and the many fears. At last Ferdinand, to cheer his soldiers, who were beginning to despond, sent for Isabella to join him. The young and beautiful queen, with a brilliant train of ladies and cavaliers, repaired to the camp of Ferdinand. An imposing escort was sent out to meet her, and she was conducted with great magnificence of parade and with every demonstration of joy to the quarters prepared for her. The presence of the queen not only inspired the soldiers with new hopes, but induced gallant young men from all quarters to throng the camp. It was the age of chivalry, and thousands were eager to fight beneath the eye and to win the smile of a queenly woman.

The assault was now renewed with heavier ordnance, and more fiercely than ever. The Moors, conscious that the fall of Malaga would probably prove to them a fatal blow, fought with all the desperation which pride or religious zeal could inspire. The determination of the combatants may be inferred from the following incident:

A party of Moors attempted to hew their way through the Christian lines into the city. A few succeeded. Many were cut to pieces. One was made prisoner. He begged to be conducted to the tent of Ferdinand and Isabella, as he could communicate important information. He was led To the royal tent. It was early in the afternoon, and Ferdinand was taking a nap. The queen deferred the audience until her husband should awake, and directed the captive to be conducted to an adjoining tent.

It so happened that this tent was occupied by Isabella's intimate friend, Dona Beatrice de Bobadilla, the heroic lady of whom we have above spoken who threatened to poniard the infamous grand-master of Calatrava if he should venture to appear demanding Isabella for his bride. Beatrice was conversing with a Portuguese nobleman. The Moor did not understand the Castilian language. Deceived by the rich attire, the regal figures, and the courtly bearing of these personages, he mistook them for Ferdinand and Isabella.

Watching his opportunity, while pretending to refresh himself with a glass of water, he drew a concealed dagger from beneath this mantle, and, darting upon the nobleman, gave him a severe wound in the head. Then, springing like a panther upon Beatrice, he endeavored to bury the dagger to its hilt in her side. Fortunately the point was turned by the heavy embroidery of her robes, and she was save from death. Attendants, alarmed by the shrieks of Beatrice, rushed upon the wrench, and he was instantly cut down. His mangled remains an hour after were hurled by a ponderous catapult, through the air and over the walls into the city. The Moors took barbaric revenge by immediately slaying a Spanish gentleman, binding the bloody corpse astride a mule, and driving the animal, thus laden, out of the gates into the Christian camp.

Famine at length commenced it hideous reign in the crowded streets of Malaga. An incessant cannonade had consumed most of the ammunition of the besieged. From all parts of the peninsula Spanish volunteers swarmed to swell the ranks of the besieging army, till their numbers amounted, according to different estimates, from sixty to ninety thousand men. Religious discipline was rigorously enacted. Neither oaths nor gambling were allowed, and all women of immoral character were banished from the lines. The exercises of religion, in accordance with the rites of the Roman Catholic Church, were performed with the most imposing splendor.

Ferdinand, yielding to the solicitations of the queen to spare as much as possible the lives of his soldiers, had endeavored to starve the garrison into submission, avoiding the slaughter which would inevitably attend an assault. But as the months rolled on, and there were no signs of capitulation, preparations were made to storm the works. Immense towers were built on wheels, to be rolled up to the ramparts. Galleries were dug to sap the walls. But the Moors were as vigilant as the Christians were enterprising. Along the ramparts, underneath the ground, and upon the sea the battle raged without intermission. The Moors, by the desperation of their defense, won the admiration of their enemies. "Who," exclaims one of the Christian annalists of the times, "does not marvel at the bold heart of these infidels in battle, their prompt obedience to their chiefs, their dexterity in the wiles of war, their patience under privation, and undaunted perseverance in their purposes!"

Gradually the Christians gained ground until they succeeded in blowing up a tower, and thus obtaining a pass into the city. Three months of the siege had passed away. The citizens of Malaga, suffering from famine and pestilence, were in despair. For some time they had been living upon nothing but the flesh of horses, dogs, and cats. Many were dying in the streets. Everywhere there was presented the most appalling aspect of starvation, misery, and death. The inhabitants demanded capitulation. In view of their sufferings, Hamet Zeli humanely gave the citizens permission to make the best terms they could with their conqueror. A deputation was accordingly sent to the Christian camp; but Ferdinand would listen to no terms but unconditional surrender.

After a tumultuous debate, in which counsels were inspired by despair, the deputation returned to Ferdinand with the declaration that they were willing to resign to him the city, the fortifications, and all the property, if he would spare their lives and give them their freedom.

"If these terms are refused," said they, "we will take the six hundred Christian captives who are in our hands, and hang them like dogs over the battlements. We will then inclose our old men, women, and children in the fortress, set fire to the town, and sell our lives as dearly as possible in the attempt to cut our way through our enemies. Thus, if you gain a victory, it shall be such a one as will make the name of Malaga ring throughout the world to ages yet unborn."

Unintimidated by these threats, Ferdinand firmly replied, "If a single hair of a Christian's head is harmed, I will put to the sword every man, woman, and child in the city."

The whole population anxiously thronged the gates to hear the reply of the embassy on its return. Gloom and despair sat upon every countenance. Some in their frenzy were in favor of resorting to the most violent measures. But in the end moderate councils prevailed, and it was decided to cast themselves upon the mercy of Ferdinand. The city was unconditionally surrendered. The Spanish troops, in all the triumphant pageantry of war, entered the city, and the banners of Christian Spain were proudly unfurled from all its towers.

It was the eighteenth day of August, 1487. Ferdinand and Isabella, with great military and ecclesiastical pomp, repaired to the cathedral, where the Te Deum was for the first time performed within its walls, and the whole Spanish army prostrated itself in ceremonial adoration before the Lord of hosts. The Christian captives were liberated from the Moorish dungeons. Dreadful was the spectacle they presented. All eyes were bathed in tears, as this band of sufferers, haggard, emaciate, heavily manacled with chains, were brought from the dark cells, where many of them had lingered for ten or fifteen years, and were led into the presence of the sovereigns who had redeemed them. They were addressed by Ferdinand and Isabella in kindest words of sympathy, and were dismissed with rich presents.

The heroic chieftain, Zegri, who had so gallantly defended the place, was brought, loaded with fetters, to the tent of his conquerors. Upon being asked why he had so obstinately persisted in his rebellion, he replied, "Because I was commissioned to defend the place to the last extremity. And if I had been properly supported, I would have died sooner than have surrendered."

And now came the doom pronounced by the Christian upon the Moor. The whole population of the city, men, women, and children, were assembled in the great square. The surrounding ramparts, overlooking the scene, were garrisoned by the Spanish soldiers. First, the whole population of the city was consigned to perpetual slavery. Then one-third of these slaves was selected to be sent to Africa in exchange for an equal number of Christian captives detained there. Another portion was sold to the highest bidders, to obtain indemnity for the expenses of the war. The remainder were distributed to friends of the court. The Holy Father at Rome received a gift of one hundred carefully selected Moorish soldiers, whom he incorporated into his guard, and whom he succeeded by argument, menaces, or bribes, more probably by all united, to convert into "good Christians."

The Moorish girls were renowned for their personal loveliness. Fifty of the most beautiful damsels were sent by Isabella as a present to the Queen of Naples, and thirty were sent to the Queen of Portugal. Thus the whole population of Malaga was disposed of. All the property of the victims, whether consisting of lands, jewels, or plate, were seized by the Crown. It is estimated that the population within the walls of Malaga at the time of the capture amounted to not less than twenty thousand. Humanity recoils in view of the utter ruin which thus overwhelmed them. And yet their doom, dreadful as it appears, was deemed mild, in the estimate of that barbaric age. It is said that Isabella was urged by her spiritual guides to put every man, woman, and child to the sword, as a warning to others. When we reflect that not four hundred years have elapsed since such scenes were enacted by the very best court then in Europe, it must be admitted that the world has made progress.

Malaga, thus depopulated, was immediately filled again with the subjects of Isabella. The tide of Christian population flowed rapidly into the city, as houses and lands were freely given to those who would take possession of them. The Spanish soldiers, elate with the success of their brilliant campaign, returned to Cordova, there to enjoy a winter's repose, and to prepare to resume their conquests in the spring.

In the autumn the royal couple made a visit to Ferdinand's kingdom of Aragon. Early in the summer of the next year Ferdinand took the command of a small army of twenty thousand, and directed his march from the east upon the city of Granada, the capital of the Moorish kingdom of the same name. The campaign was a failure. The Christians were driven back, and the exasperated Moors pursued them into their own territories, plundering and destroying in all directions. Undismayed by this reverse, Ferdinand and Isabella prepared to prosecute the war, in the following year, on a grander scale. An army of eighty thousand infantry and fifteen thousand cavalry was collected. The cavalry was composed of the highest nobility of the realm, knights who, magnificently mounted and attended by stately retinues, composed a military arm which has never had its superior.

The advance of this host was first upon Baza from the east. As the Christian troops surmounted the summit of the ridge of hills which border the west of the beautiful valley in which the city reposes, they were charmed with the vision of loveliness which was spread out before them. The city, brilliant in the gorgeous display of Moorish architecture, was encompassed with groves, gardens, and villas, which were rendered doubly attractive at the time by the bloom and verdure of opening summer. The fortifications of the city were of great strength. Twenty thousand disciplined men garrisoned them. The town was victualled for fifteen months, and the troops were ordered to bold it to the last extremity.

The Moors bravely sallied from their walls to meet the Christians upon the fields in front of the city, in the midst of gardens, pleasure-houses, precipitous ravines, and dense masses of foliage. The battle raged for twelve hours, the troops being often lost in groves and valleys, from the view of their commanders, and frequently engaging in a hand-to-hand combat. Gradually the Moors were driven back behind their intrenchments, and the Christians encamped upon the field. The conflict had however been so severe and sanguinary that, in the morning, Ferdinand found it necessary to withdraw his troops to their former position, and to convene a council of war. The council advised, in view of the difficulties which had been developed, to abandon the siege of Baza until some of the surrounding places had been captured. Ferdinand, fully conscious of the commanding mental endowments of the Queen, sent dispatches to her at Jaen, soliciting her opinion. The reply she returned was so encouraging in its tone and so cogent in argument, that it reanimated all hearts.

New vigor was immediately infused into the whole Christian army. Four thousand troops, carefully protected from assault, were employed in cutting down the groves; trenches were dug, ramparts reared, and the city on one side was thus completely invested. Still the work went on. In less than two months, by herculean labor, an unbroken line of circumvallation was constructed around the whole city. In the mean time there were daily skirmishes and chivalric personal encounters between the equally brave and high-spirited knights on either side.

The summer passed away, and the cool breezes of autumn came, foreboding the chill gales and driving rains of winter. Ferdinand ordered a thousand huts to be built for his soldiers. Suddenly a city sprang up of apparently substantial dwellings, with its streets and squares laid out in regular order. The inhabitants of Baza gazed with amazement upon the vision which seemed, as if by magic, to unfold itself before them. Engaged in these works, and in almost an incessant battle, five months had glided swiftly away.

And now the black and menacing clouds of winter began to gather upon the brows of the mountains. Providence seemed to bring its battalions to the aid of the Moors. A tempest of terrible severity swept the plains, tearing into shreds the canvas tents which remained standing, and sweeping away many of the more substantial edifices reared for the soldiers. The rain fell in floods, and, rushing down the rocky sides of the mountains, inundated the camp of the besiegers. The roads were so gullied as to be rendered almost impassable, and for a time the line of communication between Jaen and the army of Ferdinand was completely cut off.

The energetic queen was ever at hand in hours of disaster. She immediately dispatched six thousand pioneers to repair the roads by constructing causeways, rebuilding bridges, and filling up the gullies. Two roads were soon in good condition, along which Isabella forwarded ample supplies to her husband. She also raised large loans to meet the expenses of the war, and even pawned the crown jewels and her own personal ornaments.

But no signs of despondency appeared among the besieged. They had an ample supply of provisions, and their courage was unwavering. The Moorish women manifested as much zeal in defense of their cause as even Isabella had exhibited in behalf of the Christian banners. At length the Spanish troops began to despond, and Isabella was sent for to revive their waning courage by her presence. On the 7th of November, the queen, accompanied by her daughter Isabella, several ladies of honor, a choir of beautiful maidens, and a brilliant escort, entered the camp of Ferdinand.

The inhabitants of Baza crowded their walls and towers, to gaze upon the glittering pageant as it wound its way through the defiles of the mountains and emerged upon the plain, with gold embroidered banners and strains of martial music. The Spanish cavaliers sallied forth in a body from their camp, to receive their beloved queen and to greet her with an enthusiastic reception. The presence of this extraordinary woman, in whose character there was combined, with feminine grace, so much of manly self-reliance and energy, not only reanimated the drooping spirits of the besiegers, but convinced the besieged that the Spanish army would never withdraw until the place was surrendered. Though there was no want of food for the beleaguered Moors, their ammunition was nearly expended, and the garrison was greatly reduced by sickness, wounds, and death.

Soon after the arrival of the queen, the Moorish garrison, much to the joy, and not a little to the surprise of Ferdinand, proposed to capitulate. So eager was the king to get possession of the place without a continuation of the struggle, that he acceded to terms of capitulation which allowed the garrison to march out with the honors of war, and the citizens to retire with their personal property wherever they pleased. On the 4th of December, 1489, Ferdinand and Isabella took possession of Baza, celebrating their great victory with all the most imposing pageants of civil, religious, and military display.

The fall of Baza secured the surrender of many other of the most important strongholds of the Moors in the eastern part of the kingdom of Granada. Thus the campaign was so eminently successful, as not only to elate all Christian Spain, but also to send a thrill of joy throughout Christendom. In the spring of the year 1490 the queen's eldest child, Isabella, was affianced to Alonso, heir to the crown of Portugal. Isabella was a tender mother, and so fondly loved this gentle and affectionate child that the thought of separation from her was exceedingly painful.

The ceremony of affiance took place at Seville, in the midst of rejoicings which were magnified by the triumphant campaign from which Ferdinand and Isabella had but just returned. The fetes which were got up in honor of the occasion attracted to Seville a very brilliant assembly of high-born ladies and renowned cavaliers from all parts of the peninsula. A smooth and beautiful plain upon the banks of the Guadalquiver was selected as the arena for the chivalric display. Galleries of ascending seats were reared, draped with satin and cloth of gold, and sheltered from the sun by silken awnings richly embroidered with the armorial bearings of the old Castilian families.

The spectacle was as brilliant as the art and opulence of the fifteenth century could create. Isabella, with the beautiful young bride, occupied the central position. They were attended by seventy of the noblest ladies of the realm in splendid and costly attire, while a hundred pages, fresh and blooming, in picturesque costume, augmented the fairy like character of the scene. The tournament was thronged by the proudest cavaliers of Castile and Aragon, old and young, magnificently mounted, and with long trains of followers. Ferdinand himself, who was alike renowned for bravery, horsemanship, and military prowess, broke several lances on the occasion.

In the evening the somewhat perilous feats of mimic warfare gave place to the more effeminate pleasures of music and dancing. After long familiarity with the stern hardships of war, all seemed to enjoy the return to scenes of festivity. The young, beautiful, and loving bride was escorted by a splendid retinue to Portugal. Her dowry was so great as to attract the special and admiring remark of the chroniclers of those times. Her husband, the prince Alonso, was young, chivalric, affectionate, and the heir of an important crown. But man is born to mourn. The palace as well as the cottage is exposed to the inevitable doom,

"Sorrow is for the sons of men,

And weeping for earth's daughters."

But a few months passed away ere Alonso was thrown from his horse, fatally wounded, and soon died. Isabella was left, a heart-broken widow, with every joy of earth blighted.

Granada, the capital of the Moorish kingdom, was still in the hands of the Moors; and, upon the withdrawal of the armies of Ferdinand, many other strong places, which had for a time bowed to his supremacy, assumed the attitude of revolt. Ferdinand again raised an army, variously estimated at from fifty to eighty thousand horse and foot, and on the 26th of April, 1491, encamped within six miles of the battlements of Granada. Scenes of war's pomp and pageantry, as well as of its misery, ensued, which have tasked the pens of the historian and of the poet, and to which the artist has in vain endeavored to do justice on canvas.

Abdallah, the king of the Spanish Moors, was in personal command at Granada. The city was admirably situated for defense, and was supported by the strongest fortresses which the military art of the time could rear. Crowded by immigration from the surrounding country, the city presented a population of two hundred thousand souls. Twenty thousand of the proudest and the bravest of the Moslem cavaliers, who had passed through the perils of innumerable battles, aided in garrisoning the works. A wild, rugged mountain barrier, whose summits were white with ice and snow, protected the city upon the south. On the north, .an undulating plain, blooming with flowers, rich in gardens, groves, and vineyards, spread out, over a distance of thirty leagues, towards the setting sun. The towers and walls of the city, facing this plain, were of such massive solidity as seemed to bid defiance to any assault.

Upon this arena the most attractive exhibitions of human nature—heroism, chivalric courtesy, and magnanimity—were blended with the most revolting scenes of destruction and carnage, investing the fall of Granada with deathless renown. At times a company of Moors, incased in steel, mounted upon the proudest Arabian chargers, would ride forth from the gates, while bugle-blasts echoed over the hills and plains, and challenge an equal number of Christian knights to mortal combat. Promptly the defiance was ever met. The housetops, battlements, and towers of Granada would be crowded with interested spectators, gazing upon the exciting spectacle. Both armies would lean upon their weapons, awaiting, without any interference, the issue of the strife, until the one party or the other was destroyed. Again a single knight, glittering in armor, and mounted upon a steed proudly caparisoned, would ride forth from the ranks of the Christians, and challenge any Moorish cavalier to meet him in single combat.

The level ground in front of the walls of Granada was the arena where these warriors, inspired by the highest principles of humor, met to display their prowess in the presence of both armies. The ladies of the two hostile courts each cheered their respective champion with smiles, as they awaited, with throbbing hearts, the event of the conflict, which was always the death of the one or the other. The victor retired, amidst shouts of applause from his friends, with the horse and the accoutrements of his slain antagonist, as the trophies of his victory.

Isabella witnessed all these scenes from the Spanish camp. She was accompanied by her children, and ever attended by a train of courtly ladies, selected for their birth and beauty, and embellished with the most picturesque and richest costume of the day. The memory of these brilliant yet deadly tourneys still inspires the songs of the Castilians.

"The Spanish ballads glow with picturesque details of these knightly tourneys, forming the most romantic minstrelsy, which, celebrating the prowess of Moslem as well as Christian warriors, sheds a dying glory round the last hours of Granada."'

Isabella took an active part in all the military operations, developing martial genius which commanded the respect of her ablest chieftains. She often appeared upon the field mounted on a splendid steed and incased in full armor, inspiring, wherever she appeared, the enthusiasm of the troops. Upon one occasion an accident occurred which came near proving fatal to the life of the queen. It was a sultry night in July. The blazing sun of Southern Spain had so thoroughly dried all combustible matter as to convert the camp into a tinder-box which a spark would throw into flame.

Isabella occupied a pavilion very richly draped with flowing hangings. A gust of wind blew some fringe into the flame of a lamp, and the whole pavilion was almost instantly in a blaze. It was midnight. All were asleep except the sentinels. The trumpet immediately sounded to arms. It was supposed that the Moors had made a sortie. Instantly, with clang of weapons and loud outcries, both hosts rushed to their appointed positions marshaled for battle. The flames, fanned by the wind, spread from tent to tent with fearful rapidity, and the peril for a time was great that the whole camp would vanish in a general conflagration. The queen and her children were rescued with the greatest difficulty. At length the fire was extinguished. But nearly all the tents of the nobility, which surrounded the pavilion of the queen, were destroyed, and with them a vast amount of property in jewels, plate, and other costly decorations.

To guard against the recurrence of such a calamity, the king ordered a city to be built of substantial houses upon the spot occupied by his army. Only enough soldiers were reserved from the work to act as a guard. Every other man was employed in the peaceful labor of creating, not destroying. In three months a large and stately city arose, with its substantial houses, stables, gardens, its broad avenues, its thronged thoroughfares. The soldiers wished to call it Isabella. But the queen, modestly declining the honor, named it Santa Fe, in devout recognition of her faith in Divine Providence. The city still stands, a monument of the martial energies of those times, "the only city," writes a Spanish annalist, "which has never been contaminated by the Moslem heresy."

As this city, in its enduring strength, rose rapidly upon the plain, the hearts of the Moorish chieftains were smitten with dismay. It was demonstration to them that the war was to be permanent until the Crescent in Spain should everywhere give place to the Cross. The inhabitants of Granada, beginning to feel the pressure of famine, were in despair, in view of the miseries of starvation, pestilence, and death which must inevitably ensue. The Moorish king, convinced that the place could not be much longer maintained, sent a messenger by night, and with the utmost secrecy, to negotiate for the surrender. The martial Moors, ever hoping for re-enforcements from Africa which Abdallah knew could not reach them, were unwilling to entertain a thought of capitulation. The conferences were consequently conducted with the greatest caution, sometimes in a retired cottage about three miles from the city, and again in a chamber within the walls of Granada. The terms were at length concluded.

The city, its artillery, and fortifications were all to be surrendered to the Christians, and the whole region was to become subject to the Spanish sway. The Moorish inhabitants of the territory of Granada, though under the control of a Spanish governor, were to retain their mosques and the free exercises of their religion; they were also to be unmolested in their ancient usages, and were to be permitted to retain their language and style of dress. Their property was to be respected, and they were to enjoy the liberty of migrating whenever and wherever they pleased. A small mountainous territory in the midst of the Alpuxarras Mountains was assigned to the unfortunate King Abdallah, where he was to reign as governor, doing homage to the Christian crown.

When the Moors were informed of the terms of the capitulation, which ended forever the Moorish dominion in Spain, the exasperation was so great as to give rise to an insurrection in the city which menaced the life of Abdallah. The surrender was consequently hurried, and took place on the 2d of January, 1492. This last great act in one of the sublimest of historical dramas—the invasion of Spain by the Moors—was performed with the most imposing martial and religious rites. The Alhambra was first taken possession of by veteran Christian troops, including the body-guard of the king.

Ferdinand, surrounded by a very brilliant cortege glittering in polished armor, took his station near an Arabian mosque, now called the Hermitage of St. Sebastian. At a short distance in the rear the queen, Isabella., took her position, accompanied by a no less splendid retinue, her high-born warriors proudly displaying the armorial bearings of their families. The immense column of the Christian army commenced its march up the Hill of Martyrs into the city. Abdallah, accompanied by fifty cavaliers, passed them, descending the hill to make the surrender of himself to Ferdinand. The heart-broken Moor threw himself from his horse, and would have seized the hand of Ferdinand, kissing it in token of homage, but the Christian king magnanimously spared him the humiliation, and threw his arms around the deposed monarch in a respectful and affection ate embrace. Abdallah then presented the keys of the Alhambra to the conqueror, saying,

"They are thine, O king, since Allah so decrees it. Use thy success with clemency and moderation."

He then, not waiting for the words of consolation which the king was about to utter, rode on to offer the same acts of submission and homage to Queen Isabella. In the mean time the Castilian army, winding slowly up the hill and around the walls, entered the city by the gate of Los Molinos. The large silver cross which Ferdinand had ever borne with him in his crusade against the Moors was now elevated upon the Alhambra, while the banners of the conqueror were proudly unfurled from its towers.

It was the signal for the whole army to fall upon its knees in recognition of that Providence which had granted them so signal a victory. The solemn strains of the Te Deum, performed by the choir of the royal chapel, then swelled majestically over the prostrate host. The Spanish grandees now gathered around Isabella, and kneeling, kissed her hand in recognition of her sovereignty as queen of Granada.

The last sigh of the Moor.


The Moorish king did not tarry to witness these painful scenes. With his small retinue he rapidly continued his route towards the mountains of Alpuxarras in the east. Here, upon one of the rocky eminences, he stopped his horse, and looked sadly back upon the beautiful realms over which his ancestors had reigned for a period of seven hundred and forty-one years. The emotions which the scene was calculated to inspire so overcame him that, after an ineffectual struggle to repress his feelings, he burst into tears. His mother, in cruel reproach, exclaimed, "You do well to weep as a woman for what you could not defend like a man."

"Alas!" rejoined the king, "when were woes ever equal to mine!"

The bluff from which the king cast his last, lingering, tearful look upon the fair realms of Granada is still pointed out to the tourist. It is called by the appropriate name of El Ultimo Sospiro del Moro—"The Last Sigh of the Moor." The heart of Abdailah was broken. For a few months he pined away in his narrow and barren domain until, unable to endure such a reverse any longer, almost in sight of the theatre of his ancient glory and power, he the next year sold out his petty sovereignty to Ferdinand and Isabella for a small sum of money, and retiring across the sea, soon fell in battle in the service of an African prince.

The fall of Granada, terminating the Moorish dominion in Spain, was hailed with rejoicing throughout all Christendom. The Pope and his cardinals celebrated the event with all the appliances of religious pomp in the Cathedral of St. Peter. Corrupt as was the Christianity of those days, it probably contained within itself elements of progress not to be found in the religion of the Moors. The following sentiments are from the pen of one of the most illustrious historians of the events of those days: "With all our sympathy for the conquerors, it is impossible, without a deep feeling of regret, to contemplate the decay and final extinction of a race who had made such high advances in civilization as the Spanish Arabs, to see them driven from the stately palaces reared by their own hands, wandering as exiles over the lands, which still blossomed with the fruits of their industry, and wasting away under persecution until their very name as a nation was blotted from the map of history."

Christopher Columbus

(From 1435 A.D. to 1492 A.D.)

Birth of Columbus.—Early Life.—Struggles and Disappointments.—His Cause adopted by Isabella.—Sailing of the Expedition.—The Voyage.—Mutinous Conduct of the Crew.—Land discovered.

While Ferdinand and Isabella were at Santa Fé, the city which they had reared in front of Granada, a very extraordinary man, then about fifty-five years of age, arrived at the camp, whose career in connection with the history of Spain deserves particular mention. He was a native of Genoa, Christopher Colombo by name. According to the custom of the times, he Latinized it into Christopher Columbus, and finally, adopting the Spanish form, signed his name Christopher Colon.

The date of the birth of Columbus is not certainly known, but it was near the year 1435. His father was a wool-comber, an industrious and worthy man, who labored hard for the support of his household. The shipping in the harbor of Genoa excited the imagination of the boy, and created in him a passion for adventure. At fourteen years of age he became a sailor.

The Atlantic Ocean was then a region unexplored. The Mediterranean was almost the only scene of nautical enterprise. A few bold navigators had crept along the shores of Africa, but, appalled by the imaginary terrors of the vast Atlantic, even the most intrepid did not venture far from land. It was a rude period of the world. Piratic warfare raged so generally that the merchant and the corsair were often the same. Every mariner was a warrior. Wherever he went he was liable to meet a foe. His guns were always loaded, and pikes and cutlasses were at hand. Through this rough tutelage Christopher grew to manhood. He was in many conflicts, and through them all manifested the same serene spirit and unflinching courage which embellished his subsequent life.

In the course of his wanderings Christopher found himself at length at Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. He was then a tall, serious, dignified man, about thirty-five years of age. He had married a lady of congenial character, but without fortune. By the construction of maps and charts, then in great demand, he obtained an ample competence, and no little celebrity. His profession led him to study all that was then known of geography. Every intelligent mariner who returned from a distant cruise was put under contribution by Columbus for more accurate information respecting the land and the sea.

A small portion only of our globe had then been visited. As Columbus sat at his table, constructing his charts, he became profoundly excited in contemplating those vast regions of which nothing was known. His pencil rapidly sketched the shores of the Mediterranean, and the coast of Africa from Cape Blanco to Cape Verde. He then dotted down the Canary, the Madeira, and the Cape Verde Islands. Then pushing out three hundred leagues into the Atlantic, he sketched the Azores. Here his maritime knowledge terminated. Pencil in hand, he paused and pondered, and grew excited. What is there beyond? Is the earth a plain? Where, then, does it end? Is it a globe? How large, then, is it? If it take the sun so many hours to pass from the eastern to the western end of the Mediterranean, how large a space could it traverse in twenty-four hours, from noon to noon.

His whole soul became engrossed in the exciting study. Rumors were continually reaching his ears of islands which had been dimly discerned in the western horizon. Excited mariners had transformed the clouds of sunset into fairy lands with towering mountains and wide-spreading savannahs.



There was a general interest at that time in new discoveries. The boldest adventurers were frequently in the studio of Columbus, to obtain charts and to communicate intelligence in reference to the realms which they had visited, or which they imagined to exist. Devoting himself to these studies, Columbus became convinced that the earth was round, and that it was about as large as it has since been proved to be. He consequently inferred that, by sailing directly west, one could reach the eastern shore of Asia. The great island of Japan was then dimly known. Columbus judged that Japan was in about the situation of Florida, and he expected to find many islands in the ocean between.

Columbus, as we have said, was a devout man. Religious enthusiasm influenced him above all other considerations. "These realms," said he, "are peopled by immortal beings, for whom Christ has died. It is my mission to search them out, and to carry to them the Gospel of salvation. Wealth will also flow in from this discovery. With this wealth we can raise armies and rescue the holy sepulchre at Jerusalem from the hands of the infidels."

Columbus was quite unable to undertake the fitting out of an expedition himself. It was not to be supposed that private individuals could be induced to run the necessary risk. His only hope was in governmental favor. A sovereign state would not only, by the discovery, obtain wealth and power, but would also be enabled to confer upon him those titles and that authority which he deemed essential for the accomplishment of his religious and philanthropic plans.

He consequently applied to the Portuguese Government, and succeeded in obtaining an audience with King John II. The king listened with interest to his statement. But when Columbus demanded, as a reward, that he should be appointed viceroy of the realms he might discover, and that he should receive one-tenth of the profits of the expedition, the king declined embarking in the enterprise. He was, however, so much impressed by the statements of Columbus that he assembled a council of the most scientific men in Lisbon to consider the matter. The majority of the council pronounced the views of Columbus visionary.

The king then stooped to a measure exceedingly ignoble. Taking advantage of the information which Columbus had communicated, he fitted out a secret expedition, which was sent ostensibly to the Cape Verde Islands, but with orders to the commander to push on in the track which Columbus had marked out. The captain obeyed. But the sailors became terrified in a fierce Atlantic tempest which arose, and he was compelled to return.

This dishonorable act roused the indignation of Columbus. He resolved no longer to remain in a land whose court could be guilty of such perfidy. Disappointed, deeply wounded, but with purpose still unshaken, he took his only child, Diego, his wife being dead, and returned to his native city of Genoa. This was the home of his boyhood. Columbus was destined here to find the truth of the adage, "A prophet is not without honor save in his own country, and in his own house." He applied to the Genoese Government to aid him in his undertaking. But his application was contemptuously rejected, he not being able to obtain even a respectful hearing.

Columbus was now in a state of deep poverty. But the one idea still filled his mind. After forming and abandoning several plans, he decided to try his fortune in Spain. Embarking at Genoa with his little son, Diego, he landed at Palos, a small Spanish sea-port near the mouth of the River Tinto. Ferdinand and Isabella were then at Cor- dova, about one hundred miles distant, superintending the war against the Moors. It was an unpropitious moment to interest them in an expensive, hazardous, and novel enterprise.

Columbus, pale, thin, pensive, with coarse and thread-bare garments, and with no luggage to encumber him, took Diego by the hand, and set out to traverse the weary leagues to Cordova. Having walked about a mile and a half they came to the gate of a convent. Diego was hungry and thirsty. The father knocked at the gate and asked for a cup of water and a slice of bread for his child.



The prior of the convent chanced at that moment to pass. Struck with the dignified air and intellectual features of the stranger, he entered into conversation with him. The prior, an intelligent man, was much impressed with the earnest character of Columbus, and with the grandeur of his views. He detained him as a guest, and sent for a scientific physician in the neighborhood to meet him.

In the quiet cloisters of La Rabida these three men pondered the enterprise of the discovery of a new world. The prior, a man of influence in the Court as well as in the Church, detained Columbus and his son for some time with generous hospitality. He took charge of the education of the child, and gave the father a letter of introduction to the confessor of the queen. Cheered by this good-fortune, Columbus again set out for Cordova. The Court presented the aspect of a military camp. All the chivalry of Spain were there congregated in battle array. Plumes and banners gleamed in the sunlight. Martial strains from the military bands filled the air. Squadrons of horse and vast masses of artillery crowded the streets of the city, and were encamped around the walls.

Undismayed by the aspect of affairs, Columbus presented his letter to the confessor, Fernando Talavera. But Talavera was a cold, calculating man, unsusceptible of generous impulses. After listening with silent civility to the statement of Columbus, he dismissed him, saying that he should deem it an intrusion to present so chimerical a project to the sovereigns when oppressed with the weighty cares of war. The courtiers, contrasting the magnificent plans of Columbus with his threadbare aspect and his poverty, made themselves merry at his expense. Columbus found no encouragement at Cordova. Soon both of the sovereigns advanced with their armies into the province of Granada, where the Moors had their last foothold, and through the summer the war was prosecuted with uninterrupted vigor.

In the fall they returned to Cordova, exulting over their victory. After a few days of public rejoicing they repaired to Salamanca, nearly three hundred miles distant, to pass the winter. Columbus remained all this time at Cordova, unable to approach the court, and gaining a frugal living by designing maps and charts. He had, however, in the mean time produced a deep impression upon the minds of many thinking men in Cordova by the dignity of his demeanor, the elevation of his views, and by the remarkable conversational eloquence with which he advocated them.

A wealthy and intelligent gentleman became so much interested in him that he received him to his house as a guest, and introduced him to the grand cardinal, who had more influence than any other man in the councils of the sovereigns. The cardinal listened with profound attention to Columbus; and, deeming his project worthy of state consideration, secured for him the long-wished-for audience with the king. This interview was to the enthusiastic adventurer an hour of intense yet solemn exaltation. Deeming himself the heaven-chosen instrument for the most important of earthly enterprises, even the splendors of royalty could not dazzle him. Eloquently he plead his cause.

The king, shrewd, sagacious, and ambitious, was excited by the idea of discoveries and acquisitions which would place Spain in the foreground of all the nations. With characteristic caution, he declined forming any judgment himself, but appointed a council of the most learned astronomers and cosmographers of the kingdom to hold an interview with Columbus, carefully to examine his plan, and to report their opinion.



The conference was held in a large hall in the old Convent of St. Stephen's at Salamanca. The assembly, convened by royal missives, was imposing in numbers and in dignity. Exalted functionaries of the Church, professors in the universities, and statesmen of high rank presented .an array which must have overawed any plain man of ordinary capacity. Columbus, a simple mariner, with unaffected majesty of demeanor and of utterance, and with every fibre of his soul vibrating, in the intensity of his zeal presented himself before his examiners, sanguine of success.

But he soon found, to his extreme chagrin, that learned men may be full of prejudice and bigotry. His statements were assailed with what were deemed antagonistic citations from the sacred prophets and the Psalms, and with extracts from the religious writings of the Catholic fathers. The declaration that the earth was round was declared to be absurd.

"What!" exclaimed several of these sages of the fifteenth century, "can any one be so foolish as to believe that the world is round, and that there are people on the side opposite to ours, who walk with their heels upward, and their heads hanging down, like flies clinging to the ceiling? that there is a part of the world where trees grow with their branches hanging downward, and where it rains, hails, and snows upward?"

The doctrine of Columbus was stigmatized not only as absurd, but also as heretical; since to maintain that there were inhabitants in those distant lands would be an impeachment of the Bible; for it was deemed impossible that any descendants of Adam could have wandered so far.

Others, in the pride of philosophy, with great complacency urged the objection that, admitting the world to be round, should a ship ever succeed in reaching the other side, it could never return, since no conceivable strength of wind could force a ship up the mountainous rotundity of the globe.

Columbus, far in advance of his age, gave to the theological objection the same answer which is now given when the revelations of science seem to militate against the declarations of God's word. To the self conceited philosophers he replied with arguments which, though unanswerable, were not to them convincing.

The reasoning of Columbus produced, however, a profound impression upon some minds in that assembly. Diego de Deza, a divine of noble character, who afterwards became Archbishop of Seville, warmly espoused his cause. The majority were hostile to his views, and they drew up a report declaring that it was both false and heretical to assume that land could be found by sailing west from Europe. And this was but about four hundred years ago.

Columbus was bitterly disappointed, but still not discouraged. The conference had made his scheme widely known. The attention of all the learned in the realm and of all the dignitaries about the court was called to the subject. And though Columbus was insulted with lampoons and jests, still individuals of exalted worth in increasing numbers supported and consoled him.

Columbus had been received as an attache to the court during the months in which, with many interruptions, this all-important question was under discussion. The vicissitudes of the war against the Moors caused the court to move from place to place. There were but few moments of repose when Columbus could get any one to listen to his story. During the summer of 1487, when the king and queen were with the army encamped before Malaga, conducting its memorable siege, Columbus could be seen silently moving about amidst all the pomp and pageantry of the embattled host, entering tent after tent, urging his claim whenever he could find a listening ear.

In September, Malaga having surrendered, the court returned to Cordova, and then, for eighteen months, it was constantly on the move, still surrounded by the din of arms. Columbus followed the court, vainly seeking again to obtain hearing. In the spring of 1489 be succeeded in obtaining from the king an order for another conference of learned men to be assembled at Seville. But suddenly a new campaign was opened, and the meeting of the council was postponed, as all the energies of the Government were engrossed in the siege of Baza. Another year of tumultuous war passed away. Columbus during many of these weary months lingered at Cordova, still supported at the expense of the court.

As the king and queen were making preparations, on the grandest scale, for the siege of Granada, Columbus, conscious that when the campaign was once fairly opened no thought could be turned to him, with renewed zeal pressed his suit. At length he received the disheartening reply that no more attention could be given to the subject until the conclusion of the war. The blow fell heavily upon Columbus. But with an indomitable spirit he made no surrender to despair. Resolute, yet saddened, he now looked around for his next resource.

There were at this time in Spain many feudal nobles, rich and powerful. From their own impregnable castles they led strong armies of retainers into the field. One of these, the Duke of Medina Sidonia, furnished for the siege of Malaga quite an army of cavaliers, a hundred vessels, and large sums of money. Columbus turned to him. At first the duke listened eagerly to his suggestions, but closed the interview by contemptuously declaring the scheme nothing but the dream of an Italian visionary. To another duke Columbus applied, but with similar results.

He now resolved to try his fortune at the Court of France. Before setting out for Paris, he desired to visit the Convent of La Rabida, at Palos, to take leave of his son Diego, who was still there. Again he approached the gates of the hospitable convent. His purse was empty, and his thread-bare clothes were covered with the dust of travel. Seven years of incessant toil and disappointment had passed since he first asked for a cup of water at that gate. Care and sorrow had whitened his locks, and ploughed deep furrows in his cheeks. The worthy prior received him with sympathy and affection.

Upon learning that Columbus was about to direct his footsteps to Paris, he was alarmed at the thought that Spain would thus lose the glory of so great a discovery. He immediately sent for the physician of whom we have before spoken, and for other influential friends, to hold a consultation. Among the rest came Martin Alonzo Pinzon, the illustrious head of a family which had obtained wealth and renown through maritime adventures. Pinzon could appreciate the views of Columbus. He warmly espoused his cause, and freely pledged his purse to aid him in his further prosecution of his suit at court.

The prior, as we have mentioned, had formerly been confessor to Isabella. He immediately wrote to the queen in the most earnest terms, urging that Spain might not lose so grand an opportunity. An old sailor mounted a mule and carried the letter to Isabella, who was then about one hundred and fifty miles distant, at Santa Fé, conducting the siege of Granada. The queen returned an encouraging reply, requesting the prior to come and see her. This response excited intense joy in the hearts of the little coterie at the convent, and the worthy prior, though it was midwinter, saddled his mule and departed from the court-yard to urge the claims of Columbus upon Isabella. It was a glorious mission, and the good old Catholic ecclesiastic was worthy of it.

The queen had a warm heart as well as a strong mind. Her affections came to the aid of her intellect, and she listened sympathizingly to the plea of her revered confessor. She had never heard the cause thus plead before. She had never been thus personally and directly appealed to. She was the independent sovereign of Castile. Her husband was King of Aragon. She immediately took Columbus under her care, requested him to come to Santa Fé, and, with woman's thoughtful kindness, sent him a sum of money that he might purchase a mule and provide himself with raiment suitable for his appearance at court.

Great was the joy which these tidings infused to the world-weary heart of Columbus. He was speedily mounted upon his mule, and was trotting along over the hills and valleys of Andalusia to the city of Granada. He arrived there just in time to see the Moorish banner torn down and the flag of Spain unfurled upon the towers of the Alhambra. It was the most exultant hour in Spanish history.

In the midst of these rejoicings Columbus was introduced to the cabinet of the queen. With unaffected majesty he presented himself before her, feeling by no means that he was a needy adventurer imploring alms, but that he was a heaven-sent ambassador, with a world in his gift, which he would bequeath to Spain if Spain were worthy of the legacy.

"I wish," said he, "for a few ships and a few sailors to traverse between two and three thousand miles of the ocean, thus to point out a new and short route to India, and to reveal new nations majestic in wealth and power. I ask only, in return, that I may be appointed viceroy over the realms I discover, and that I shall receive one-tenth of the profits which may accrue."

The courtiers of the queen were astonished at what they deemed such audacious demands. They urged upon Isabella that it was the extreme of arrogance that an obscure sailor, merely the captain of a successful maritime expedition, should demand wealth and honors which would place him next in rank to the crown. Isabella, influenced by these representations, offered him terms more moderate, yet honorable. But Columbus refused to make any abatement whatever in his requisitions. He would not go forth the discoverer of a world as merely the hireling of any prince.

Sadly yet resolutely he saddled his mule and rode out from Santa Fé to return to his friends in Palos, thence to go and offer his services to the King of France. But "blessings brighten as they take their flight." The queen was troubled by the departure of Columbus. The character of the man had produced a profound impression upon her mind. She was bewildered in contemplating the magnitude of the loss to her crown and to her fame should the scheme of Columbus prove a reality. Ferdinand came into the cabinet. She expressed her anxiety to him. He replied,

"The royal finances are absolutely drained by the war. We have no money in the treasury for such an enterprise."

The enthusiastic response burst from the lips of the queen, "I will undertake the enterprise for my own crown of Castile, and I will pledge my own private jewels to raise the necessary funds."

The thing was settled. Columbus was triumphant. And yet how little at that moment was he conscious of his victory! He was then on his mule, four miles from Santa Fé, toiling through the sand, returning in the deepest disappointment to his friends in Palos. A courier overtook him just as he was entering a gloomy defile among the mountains. For a moment Columbus hesitated whether to return. The disappointments of eighteen years had led him to distrust the encouragement of courts. Assured, however, by the courier, his sanguine temperament again rose buoyantly, and, turning his mule, he spurred back to Santa Fé. The queen received hint with great kindness, and immediately assented to all the demands he had made.

He was appointed admiral and viceroy of all the realms he should discover, and was to receive one-tenth of all the profits which might accrue. These honors were to be transmitted to his heirs. He was also to contribute, through his friend Pinzon, one-eighth of the expenses of the expedition, for which he was to receive one-eighth of the profits.

The matter being thus settled, Columbus again set out for Palos, probably the happiest man in the world. A royal decree was issued for the town of Palos to furnish two small vessels, suitably victualled and manned for the voyage. Columbus succeeded in obtaining three small vessels, two furnished by the Government, and one by Martin Alonzo Pinzon. Two of these vessels were light barks, called caravals, without decks, but with forecastles and cabins for the crews. The third vessel, upon which Columbus embarked, was larger, and completely decked. The total number of persons who joined the expedition was one hundred and twenty. The enterprise was deemed so hazardous that it was with extreme difficulty that the crew could be obtained. Many of the seamen were impressed by authority of the Government.

As the sun was rising over the waves of the Mediterranean, on the 3rd of August, 1492, the little squadron unfurled its sails for the world-renowned voyage. Anthems were sung, prayers were offered, and the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was partaken of by both officers and crew before the anchor was raised. No huzzahs resounded from the groups upon the shore. No acclamations were heard from the ships. Tears, lamentations, and dismal forebodings oppressed nearly all hearts.

Columbus steered first for the Canary Islands. A strong wind drove them swiftly along, and as the hills of Spain sank rapidly beneath the horizon, the terror of the seamen increased. There were many indications of mutiny. On the third day out one of the vessels was disabled by the unshipping of the rudder, which was supposed to have been intentionally done by some on board. The injury was, however, soon repaired to such a degree that the crippled vessel could keep up with the others by their shortening sail. At the close of the week they arrived at the Canaries, about one thousand miles from the port of Palos. Here they were detained three weeks in obtaining a new vessel for the one which was disabled, which was found in other respects unfit for service, and in making sundry repairs.

On the 6th of September Columbus again spread his sails. He was now fairly embarked upon his voyage. The Canaries were on the frontiers of the known world. All beyond was unexplored. A calm kept the vessels rolling for three days within sight of the islands. But on the 9th the wind sprung up, and in a few hours the mountains of Ferro disappeared beneath the horizon. It was the Sabbath, serene, sunny, and beautiful. But on board the vessels it was a day of lamentation.

As we have mentioned, many of the sailors were forced to embark. As they took their last view of land they uttered murmurs loud and deep, which reached the ears of the admiral. He did every thing in his power to inspire them with his own enthusiasm, but in vain. By threats and promises he succeeded, however, in maintaining his authority. Perceiving that every league of distance intervening between them and their homes would but increase their terror, he resorted to the artifice of keeping two records of their daily progress, one correct, for himself, the other for the public eye, in which he made their advance much less than it in reality was.

Day after day passed on, while the intrepid navigator urged his ships through the billows towards the long-wished-for goal. Every object was watched with the keenest scrutiny. A weed upon the water, a bird, the color of the sea, of the sky, the form of the clouds, the rain, the variations of the wind, every thing was examined with the closest attention. The lead was often thrown, but no bottom could be found.

By the first of October they had sailed two thousand three hundred miles nearly due west; but according to the reckoning shown to the crew they had sailed only seventeen hundred miles. The weather was delightfully mild and serene. They had fallen in with the trade-winds, which blowing incessantly from the same direction, bore them prosperously on their way. But this phenomenon added still more to the alarm of the seamen, for they thought that it would be impossible for them ever to return.

At one time the murmurs of the crew became so intense that they even contemplated open mutiny, and a plan was formed to throw Columbus overboard. Still the admiral, by combined firmness and gentleness, held them in subjection. Another anxious week passed away. To inspirit the seamen, a reward had been offered of about a hundred and twenty-five dollars to the one who should first discover land. But there had been so many false alarms that Columbus announced that whosoever should give the startling cry of land, and it not prove to be true, should thenceforth forfeit all claim to the reward. The massive clouds were often piled up in the western heavens in forms so strikingly resembling mountains and valleys as to deceive the most practised eye.

The murmurs of the crew at length became so loud that the situation of Columbus was all but desperate. He was compelled to assume the attitude of defiance, and to declare that no consideration should tempt him to abandon the enterprise upon which he had entered, and which he was sure perseverance would conduct to a successful termination. The next morning they met with several indications of their vicinity to land. Fresh seaweed floated by them. A branch of a shrub with leaves and berries upon it was picked up, and a small piece of wood, curiously carved, was also found drifting upon the water.

The sailors, like children easily elated and depressed, were now all exultation. Their fears were dispelled, their murmurs forgotten, and with perfect subjection they yielded themselves to the dominion of their commander. From the commencement of the voyage every evening religious services had been observed on board the vessel of the admiral. The vesper hymn floated solemnly over the wide waste of waters, and the voice of prayer ascended to God.

The evening after witnessing these indications of land, Columbus, at the hour of vespers, stood upon the poop of his vessel, with the mariners assembled around him, and in an impressive address pointed out to them the goodness of their Heavenly Father in bearing them thus far on their way, and set strongly before them the evidences that their great achievement was now upon the eve of accomplishment. He told them that he thought it probable that before the sun should rise they would make the land. He urged them to keep a vigilant lookout, and promised to the one who should first make the discovery a velvet doublet in addition to the purse of gold. It is remarkable that Columbus should have found the land almost exactly where he expected to have found it. His only error was in supposing that Asia extended its unbroken surface to where the line of the American continent is found.

Sixty-seven days had now passed since the highlands of Spain had disappeared from their view. It was the 11th of October, 1492. The evening was brilliant, the fresh breeze was balmy and invigorating. Intense excitement pervaded every heart. Not an eye was closed in either of the ships that night. As the sun went down, and the short twilight disappeared, and the stars came out in the ebon sky, Columbus took his station upon the poop of his vessel, and with anxious glance ranged the horizon.

About ten o'clock he was startled by the gleam of a torch, far in the distance. For a moment it burned with a clear flame, then suddenly disappeared. Was it a meteor? Was it an optical illusion, or was it a light from the land? Suddenly the light again beamed forth distinct and indisputable. Columbus, intensely agitated, called to some companions and pointed it out to them. They also saw it gleaming like a fitful star for an instant, when it again disappeared, and was seen no more.

The darkness of a moonless night again brooded over the solitary ships, and nothing was heard but the moan of the wind and the sweep of the wave. Rapidly the frail barks rose and fell over the billows as the hours of the night wore on, while the prow of every vessel was crowded with the crew, each one hoping to be the first to catch a glimpse of the shore. The Pinta, being the best sailor of the three, was in the advance. At two o'clock in the morning a seaman from its mast-head discerned the obscure but indisputable outline of the land. He shouted land, land, land. Every voice echoed the cry. In a few moments more all eyes beheld the mountains dark and sombre, but clearly defined, and not two miles distant from them. They immediately took in sail and laid to, while the report of a cannon booming over the waves conveyed the transporting tidings to the two ships in the rear.

It is in vain to attempt to imagine the feelings of Columbus during the hours in which he impatiently awaited the dawn of the morning. He was then probably about fifty-six years of age. The energies of nearly his whole life, while struggling against ridicule, contempt, and the most terrible disappointments, had been devoted to the attainment of this one object. And now was he to find barrenness, solitude, and desolation—a gloomy wilderness, silent and unpeopled, or was he to find powerful nations, with a new civilization, and all the embellishments of wealth, splendor, and power?

The New World

(From 1492 A.D. to 1493 A.D.)

Land discovered.—Scenery of the New World.—Sail from Island to Island.—Disappointment.—The return Voyage.—Landing at Portugal.—Arrival at Palos.—Reception by Ferdinand and Isabella.

The few remaining hours of night passed swiftly away. The day dawned, upon the entranced eye of Columbus, in brilliance paradise could hardly have rivaled. It was a morning of the tropics. The air breathing from the spicy shore made even existence a luxury. A beautiful island was spread out before their eyes green and luxuriant, with every variety of tropical vegetation. Weary of gazing for so many weeks only on the wide waste of waters, the scene opened before them with the enchantment of a fairy dream. The voyagers thought that they had really arrived at the realms of primal innocence and blessedness.

The boats were lowered and manned. The banner of Spain, emblazoned with the cross, floated from every prow. Columbus, richly attired in a scarlet dress, entered his boat, and the little squadron was rowed towards the shore. As they drew near, the scene grew more beautiful. The picturesque dwellings of the natives were scattered about among the groves. Trees of gigantic size and dense foliage embellished the hill-sides and the vales. Flowers of marvellous beauty bloomed abundantly. Fruits of every variety of form and color hung from the trees. Upon the beach and on the headlands multitudes of the natives were seen, remarkably graceful in figure, entirely naked, and gazing with astonishment upon the ships and the boats which had so mysteriously appeared in their silent waters. It seemed as though they had found another Eden, into which the serpent had not entered.

The Landing of Columbus.


Columbus leaped upon the shore, and, falling upon his knees, with clasped hands and uplifted eyes gave thanks to God. The excitement of his spirit was contagious, and pervaded the whole band. They gathered around their illustrious leader in this his hour of triumph. Many wept. Many implored his forgiveness for their murmurings and rebellion. Columbus, unmindful of all the sorrows of the past, found the woes of a lifetime obliterated by the rapture of a moment. With imposing ceremony the banner of Spain was planted upon the soil. The name of San Salvador was given to the island in devout recognition of the protection which Providence had vouchsafed to the enterprise. The oath of allegiance to Columbus as viceroy and admiral of all these realms was then administered to the whole company of the ships. It was the morning of the 12th of October, 1492.

During these ceremonies the natives gathered timidly around, gazing with amazement at the strange beings who had thus suddenly landed upon their shores. The complexion of the Spaniards, their long and flowing beards, their helmets and cuirasses of glittering steel, their polished armor, and their silken banners struck the natives with admiration. They had dim conceptions of a celestial world, and doubted not that the strangers were from the skies. The ships, whose sails had been so gracefully folded before them, they deemed birds who had borne the visitors, on gigantic wing, from their aerial home. The lofty stature of Columbus, his commanding air, and his gorgeous dress of scarlet, particularly arrested their attention.

The amazement and admiration were mutual. It was indeed a novel scene upon which the Spaniards gazed. The clime, in its genial yet not sultry warmth, was perfect. The landscape, novel in all its aspects, the birds of every variety of plumage and of note, the trees, the fruits, the flowers, differing from aught they had ever seen before, and, above all, the groups of men and women who surrounded them, of clear, golden complexion, whose limbs were rounded into symmetry which rivaled the statues of Venus and Apollo; all this impressed the Spaniards with as much wonder as they themselves excited in the bosoms of the islanders.

Columbus, supposing, as we have mentioned, that he was on the confines of India, called the inhabitants Indians. The natives were gentle, confiding, and affectionate. They lavished upon the strangers all kindness of smiles and hospitality. The Spaniards passed the whole day wandering beneath the charming groves, and eating the luscious fruits of San Salvador. The natives led them to their houses and to their favorite haunts, and the voyagers passed a day of excitement and bliss such as is rarely enjoyed on earth. The sun had gone down, the short twilight of the tropics had faded away, and the stars were again beaming in the sky ere they entered the boats to return to their ships.

Columbus, who was one of the most kind-hearted and benignant of men, had smiled upon the natives as a loving father smiles upon his children. He had completely won their confidence and their hearts by the trinkets, to them more estimable than gold or pearls, which he had freely distributed among them. A glass bead, a glittering, tinkling hawk's-bell, a sharp-pointed nail was to them a treasure of value quite inestimable. No language can express the delight with which these beautiful maidens, apparently perfectly modest, in the attire of Eve before the fall, would hang around the neck or the waist a few hawk's-bells, and then dance with delight as they listened to the tinkling music. Blissful indeed in those days did the sun rise and set upon San Salvador. Since then how sad, in these islands, has passed the tragedy of life. The landing of the Europeans upon those shores proved to the artless natives a calamity of awful magnitude.

Spanish Conquests in America.


As the sun rose next morning, the shore and the sea were covered with the natives, some running to and fro upon the beach with joyful exclamations, others paddling canoes, and others swimming around the ships almost with the agility of fishes. But the novelty was already gone, and civilized man began to inquire for the only object of his ceaseless worship, gold. The seamen wished for gold, that they might return to their native land with the wealth and the dignity of princes. Columbus wished for gold to enrich the sovereigns of Spain, to magnify the grandeur of his achievement, and to aid him in his majestic plans of regaining the Holy Sepulchre and of Christianizing the world.

He immediately embarked in the boats to explore the island. The day was, as yesterday, full of enjoyment, as beneath sunny skies and upon a mirrored ocean they glided along by headlands and vales, and entered the mouths of winding, forest-shaded rivulets. Occasionally they landed and walked through villages where thousands greeted them with smiles. They sauntered through groves where Nature seemed to have lavished her most luxurious embellishments. Finding the island to be of comparatively small extent, and as there were many other islands rearing their mountain-summits in the distant horizon, Columbus, in the evening, again weighed anchor and set sail. Seven of the natives willingly accompanied him. Columbus wished to teach them the Spanish language, and have them serve as interpreters. Seeing in the south, at the distance of about fifteen miles, apparently a large island, he turned his prows towards it. They reached the island early the next morning.

Here the same scenes were renewed which had transpired at San Salvador. The natives were the same simple, gentle people, equally compliant, affectionate, and unsuspecting, and equally destitute of gold. As there was nothing here to induce delay, Columbus turned to an island which he saw in the south-west, having first given to the island he was leaving the name it still retains, of Conception. He soon passed over the few intervening leagues, and before the dusk dropped anchor in waters of such crystalline transparency that every stone could be discerned at a depth of more than forty feet. An Indian whom they had picked up in a canoe by the way was sent on shore laden with presents, to prepare the natives for their landing the next morning.

In the earliest sunrise they rowed to the shore, where they witnessed the same scene of peace, simplicity, and beauty with which they now had become familiar. They spent a few hours upon the island, charmed with the artlessness of the natives, with the neatness and picturesque beauty of their pavilions of reeds and palm-leaves, and especially admiring the taste with which the natives selected for their dwellings situations of the most romantic beauty. Still, however, disappointed in finding no gold, Columbus in the evening again spread his sails, and leaving this island, to which he gave the name of Ferdinand, but which is now called Exuma, he continued his cruise towards the south-east.

They soon reached another still larger island, to which Columbus gave the name of Isabella, but which is now known as Yuma. This was by far the most important island they had yet seen. Columbus was quite entranced with the scenes of loveliness ever opening before him. Indeed it was a spectacle to exhilarate even the most phlegmatic temperament.

"I know not," writes the enthusiastic admiral in his journal to the king, "where first to go, nor are my eyes ever weary with gazing on the beautiful verdure. Here are large lakes, and the groves about them are marvellous, and every thing is green, and the herbage is as in April in Andalusia. The singing of the birds is such that it seems as if one could never be willing to depart hence. There are flocks of parrots which obscure the sun, and other birds, large and small, of so many kinds, and so different from ours, that it is wonderful. There are also trees of a thousand species, each having its particular fruit. As I approached this cape, there came off a fragrance so good and soft that it was the sweetest thing in the world."

Still Columbus and his men were disappointed. They had found apparently a fairy realm of contentment, abundance, and peace, but no gold. Gradually the admiral began to create a language of intercourse between himself and the natives. They informed him of an island many leagues to the south-west of great magnitude, abounding in gold and pearls and spices, where merchant-ships came and went, and where powerful nations dwelt. All this Columbus, who was excited by hope, understood their signs to signify. This island the natives called Cuba, a beautiful name which this gem of the ocean fortunately still retains.

Columbus concluded that this island must be Japan, which he had expected to find near that spot, and that a ten days' sail towards the west would bring him to the coast of India. Thus elated with hope, every sail was spread as the little squadron was pressed along, by a favorable breeze, towards the island of Cuba. Passing several small and beautiful islands on the way, at which he did not deign to touch, after a three days' sail the mountains of the Queen of the Antilles hove in sight. It was on the morning of the 28th of October. The magnitude of the island, the grandeur of its mountains, the wide sweep of its valleys, the stately forests, and the rivers, calm and deep, with banks of enchanting beauty, impressed every beholder with the highest feelings of wonder and admiration.

Anchoring at the mouth of a river, Columbus, with a small party, took the boats to explore the stream. The inhabitants, having observed the approach of the strange phenomenon of the ships, fled affrighted from the shore. As the voyagers ascended the river, vistas of beauty were ever opening before them. The banks were covered with trees and shrubs, whose branches were filled with birds of great brilliance of plumage—parrots, humming-birds, flamingoes of gorgeous colors, and innumerable others of the feathered tribe of almost every variety of size, form, and brilliance. Columbus was quite entranced.

"Cuba," he wrote, "it is the most beautiful island that eyes ever beheld. One would live there forever."

He approached several villages, but the terrified inhabitants had fled to the mountains. The houses were more substantial than any others he had yet seen. There were many indications that the inhabitants had attained a higher civilization than those upon the smaller islands. Returning to his ship, he again spread his sails and followed along the coast, hoping to approach some large Oriental city. But cape stretched beyond cape, and headlands melted away beyond headlands, and nothing met his eye but the luxuriance and the beauty of a fairy creation, thronged with an artless and a happy people. The weather was mild, and the most delightful serenity pervaded these peaceful scenes.

After coasting along the shore for three days, Columbus came to the conclusion that this could not be the island of Japan, but must be the mainland of India. Approaching a populous region, he sent his boats ashore, and, after much difficulty, succeeded in obtaining some intercourse with the natives. Misinterpreting their signs, he understood that at the distance of four days' journey into the interior they would find a great city and a powerful king. This confirmed Columbus in his conviction that he was upon the Asiatic continent. He dispatched two envoys, under native guides, to penetrate the interior in search of the fabulous metropolis. The envoys bore presents, and a very grandiloquent letter to the monarch, who was supposed to be enthroned in palaces of splendor.

While the deputation was absent, Columbus employed the time in repairing his ships, and in making an excursion into the surrounding country. He ascended one of the rivers in his boats for many leagues. The weather was beautiful. Morning after morning the sun rose in cloudless splendor. As he glided along over the stream, beneath the luxuriance of the tropics, meeting everywhere friendly greetings, feasting upon new and delicious fruits, seeing nothing but beauty, hearing nothing but melody, it is not strange that he should have felt that he had indeed entered a fairy realm.

In the journal which he carefully kept for the sovereigns of Spain he is continually giving utterance to exclamations of delight. During this short tour up one of the beautiful streams of Cuba he met with a bulbous root, about as large as an apple, which the natives used as food, roasting it in the ashes. The natives called it batatas. It has since become an indispensable article of food throughout the whole civilized world. Though Columbus attached no importance to the discovery of the potato, it has proved of more value to the human family than if he had discovered a mountain of solid gold.

The envoys soon returned. The great Oriental metropolis which they had sought consisted of fifty wigwams. The envoys were received with the greatest hospitality. One who had been selected for this important mission was a very learned man, familiar with the Hebrew, the Chaldaic, and the Arabic. He was selected for the mission in consequence of his acquaintance with these languages. He tried all his learned tongues in vain upon the Cuban chieftain. As he was returning from his fruitless expedition, he saw the natives with dried leaves of a peculiar plant in their hands, which they rolled up into small tubes about as long as one's finger. Lighting one end, they put the other into their mouths, and drawing in the smoke, puffed it out again. This little roll of dried leaf they called tobacco. This was the origin of the cigar.

Columbus decided to follow along the coast towards the south-east, hoping to find some spot where be could establish commercial relations with the natives. A few Indians, males and females, willingly accompanied him. He wished to take them to Spain, that they might be instructed in Christianity, so that, upon their return, they could be instrumental in the conversion of these heathen nations. Coasting along the shore, he soon reached the south-eastern extremity of Cuba, which he at first supposed to be one of the capes of the mainland. But far away through the transparent air he discerned the blue outline of mountains just rising above the level of the sea. A favorable breeze drove them rapidly through the water, and, as they drew near, the altitude of the mountains and the wide sweep of the plains indicated an island of extraordinary extent and beauty. Columns of smoke ascending through the foliage gave evidence that the region was populous.

It was on the evening of the 6th of December when Columbus entered a spacious and beautiful harbor on the western extremity of this island. The natives, seeing the approach of the ships, fled in terror to the woods. For six days Columbus skirted the shore, occasionally penetrating the rivers with his boats, without being able to obtain any intercourse with the inhabitants. He frequently landed with parties of the crew and entered their villages, but ever found them empty, the natives having escaped to the forest. On the 12th of December he landed in a pleasant harbor, which he called La Natividad—The Nativity. Here he took formal possession of the island in the name of the sovereigns of Spain, and with many imposing ceremonies erected the cross.

As the sailors were rambling about they fell upon a party of the islanders, who fled like deer. The sailors pursued, and seeing a beautiful young girl perfectly naked, and graceful as a fawn, who was unable to keep up with the more athletic runners, they succeeded in capturing her. They brought their fascinating prize triumphantly to the ships. Columbus received her with the utmost kindness, and loaded her with presents, particularly with the little tinkling hawks'-bells, which had for the natives an indescribable charm. She found sympathizing friends in the native women who were on board, and in an hour was so perfectly at home and so happy that she was quite indisposed to leave the ship to return to the shore.

This beautiful Indian girl wore a ring of gold, not through the ears, but more conspicuously suspended from the nose. The sight of the precious metal greatly excited the adventurers, for it proved that there was gold in the country. By the aid of this maiden they soon opened communication with the inhabitants. They were living in the same state of blissful simplicity with the inhabitants of Cuba. The natives called the island Hayti; Columbus named it Hispaniola; the French and English have since called it Saint Domingo. The island is still burdened with its triple appellation.

Erecting the cross.


If we are to credit the narrative of Columbus and his companions, the inhabitants were living in truly an enviable state, free from the wants, the diseases, and the crushing cares of civilized life. They had no party politics, no religious feuds. They needed no clothing, enjoying, like Adam and Eve in Eden, a genial climate of perpetual summer. They were neat in their persons and in their dwellings; graceful in form, and attractive in complexion and features. Their rivers were alive with fishes. Fruit of delicious flavor hung from almost every bough. Their food was thus always at hand, and life was to them apparently but a long and pleasant summer's day. It would appear, from the very unanimous and emphatic testimony of the voyagers, that there was no other known portion of the globe at that time where there was so little wickedness, so little sorrow, or where more true happiness was to be found.

Many of the sailors were so delighted with the warm-hearted friendliness of the natives, with the climate, the enchanting scenery, the fruits, the bird-songs, the apparent entire freedom from toil and care, that they could not endure the idea of returning again to the anxieties of life in Old Spain. They entreated Columbus to allow them to settle upon the island. It so happened that just at this time one of the vessels was wrecked upon the coast. One of the other boats, the Pinta, had parted company with the little squadron, the captain having mutinously separated from the admiral, in pursuit of adventures in his own name.

Columbus was now left with but one vessel, which was exposed to innumerable perils in navigating unknown seas. Should that vessel be wrecked, they could never return to Spain, and the knowledge of their discovery would be lost to the world. Under these circumstances Columbus decided that it was his first duty to retrace his steps to Europe as speedily as possible, to announce the success of his enterprise, and that he might then return with a more efficient fleet to prosecute further discoveries.

The wrecked caravel was broken up, the guns were taken to the shore, and a fortress was constructed, as the nucleus of a colony. A tribe of natives resided in the immediate vicinity of the fortress. They manifested the utmost kindness and sympathy, and rendered efficient aid in rearing the bastions and buttresses which were to prove in the end the destruction of their race. The chieftain of this artless people, Guacanagari, wept in unaffected grief in contemplating the calamity which had befallen Columbus. He ordered all the effects from the wreck to be placed near his own dwelling, guarded them with the utmost care, and had buildings reared to protect them from the weather. Treasures of inconceivable value, in the eyes of the natives, were strewed around, hawks'-bells, glittering beads, knives, gaudy ribbons, and yet there was not the least attempt made to pilfer. Though the natives aided in transporting these valuables from the wreck to the shore, not an article was found missing. What was the basis of this honesty? The solution of the problem will puzzle both the philosopher and the Christian.

"So loving," writes Columbus, "so tractable, so peaceable are these people, that I declare to your majesties that there is not in this world a better nation or a better land. They love their neighbors as themselves. Their discourse is ever sweet and gentle, and accompanied with a smile. And though it is true that they are naked, yet their manners are decorous and praiseworthy."

While here, considerable gold was brought in dust and small lumps, any amount of which almost, the natives would gladly exchange for a hawk's-bell. The eagerness of the Spaniards for gold induced the natives more eagerly to engage in its search; and they gave very glowing accounts of mountains of gold in the interior, and of rivers whose sands were but the glittering dust of this precious metal. The gentle and amiable cacique, Guacanagari, seeing that Columbus was much depressed by the loss of his vessel, manifested true refinement of sympathy in his attempts to cheer him and to divert his melancholy. He invited Columbus to dine with him, and prepared a very sumptuous entertainment, according to the custom, of fish, fruit, and roots. After the collation the polite chieftain conducted his guests to a grove whose overarching foliage shaded a smooth and verdant lawn. Here Guacanagari had collected a thousand natives to amuse the careworn admiral with an exhibition of their games and dances.

Columbus, to impress the natives with an idea of his power, ordered a military display of the Spaniards. As they wheeled to and fro in their martial manoeuvres, their burnished armor and their polished swords glittering in the rays of the sun, the Haytians gazed upon the spectacle in speechless admiration. But when one of the cannon was discharged, and they saw the flash and heard the peal and perceived the path of the invisible bolt through the forest, crashing and rending the trees, they fell to the ground in dismay.

In a few days the fortress was completed, the guns mounted, and the ammunition stored safely away. Columbus deemed the discipline of a garrison necessary to keep the Spaniards under subjection rather than as any protection against the natives. Having given the men very minute directions respecting their conduct during his absence, on the 4th of January, 1493, he spread his sails for his return to Spain. The hour of parting was one of much emotion. Those who were to be left behind found their hearts failing them. Should the one single shattered bark which bore Columbus and his band founder beneath the storms of the ocean, there would be buried with it all knowledge of the discovery of the New World, and the colony at The Nativity would be left to its fate.

The return voyage.


By a singular chance, when Columbus had advanced on his way along the coast but about fifty miles he met the Pinta, which had so shamefully abandoned him. He however deemed it prudent to overlook the crime, and to appear satisfied with the lame apologies offered by the captain. After a short delay to prepare the Pinta for the long voyage, the two vessels again spread their sails for their return.

The voyage was extremely tempestuous. The vessels were soon separated by darkness and the gale. Columbus, with intense anxiety, buffeted the waves, which often threatened to overwhelm him. A calm, bold man, he entirely forgot his own life in his solicitude that the important discovery which he had made should not be lost to Europe. After thirty-eight days of almost uninterrupted and terrific storms he reached the Azores. Here they encountered humiliating indications of the vices of civilized life. The King of Portugal, apprehensive that Columbus might make some important discovery which would redound to the glory of Spain, had sent orders to all of his colonies that Columbus, should he make his appearance, should be arrested and held as a prisoner. Consummate treachery was employed to ensnare the admiral at the Azores, but by his vigilance he escaped, and again spread his sails.

A week of pleasant weather and of favoring winds brought his storm-shattered vessel within about three hundred miles of Cape St. Vincent. Suddenly another fearful tempest arose, and for ten days they were at the mercy of the winds and the waves, in hourly peril of being engulfed. During the gloomy hours of this voyage, when it was often extremely doubtful whether Columbus would ever see Spain again, he wrote an account of his discovery upon parchment, wrapped it in a waxed cloth impervious to water, and inclosing the whole in a water-tight empty barrel, set it adrift. A copy similarly prepared was also kept on the poop of the ship, so that, should the vessel sink, the barrel might float away, and thus, by some fortunate chance, the knowledge of the great discovery might be preserved.

On the morning of the 4th of March Columbus found himself at the mouth of the Tagus. A tempest still swept the ocean, and his vessel was in such a leaky condition that he was compelled, at every hazard, to run into this Portuguese river. He dropped anchor about ten miles below Lisbon, and immediately sent a message to the king and queen informing them of his arrival, of the success of his expedition, and asking permission to go up to Lisbon to repair his sinking vessel.

No tongue can tell, no imagination can conceive the excitement which these tidings communicated. The king and queen had almost contemptuously dismissed Columbus as a hare-brained adventurer. And now he had returned in perfect triumph, with a new world, teeming with inexhaustible wealth and resources, to present to a rival nation. The chagrin of the Portuguese court was unutterable.

Should a balloon alight in the vicinity of New York, from an excursion to the planet Jupiter, bringing back several of the inhabitants and many of the treasures of that distant world, it could hardly create more excitement in the city than was then created in Lisbon by the return of Columbus to the mouth of the Tagus. The whole city was in commotion. Every thing that could float was brought into requisition to sail down the river to the ship. The road was thronged with vehicles filled with multitudes impelled by intense curiosity. Columbus, who had not forgotten the days of anguish when he was a rejected and despised adventurer at the Court of Lisbon, must have enjoyed his triumph. But he was not a man for ostentatious exultation.

The king, who was at Valparaiso, about thirty miles from Lisbon, immediately dispatched a messenger inviting Columbus to his court. The admiral was treated with great external deference, but encountered many annoyances. The Portuguese court endeavored to get from him all the information which could be obtained, that an expedition might be stealthily fitted out to take possession of the newly-discovered lands. The assassination of the heroic admiral was seriously deliberated.

At length Columbus again spread his tattered sails, and on the 15th of March, just seventy-one days from the time he left The Nativity at Hayti, he entered the harbor at Palos, having been absent not quite seven months and a half. The appearance of the storm-battered vessel sailing up the harbor was the first tidings the inhabitants had received of the adventurers since their departure. One ship only was seen returning. Two had disappeared. It was an hour of great suspense, for there was hardly a family in Palos who had not some friend or relative who had joined the expedition. As soon as the tidings reached the shore of the success of the enterprise the joy was indescribable. A scene of universal exultation ensued. Like a mighty billow, the tidings surged over Spain, accompanied with bonfires, hurrahs, pealing bells, and roaring cannon. We have not space to record these scenes of national rejoicing. The king and queen were at Barcelona, at the farther extremity of the peninsula.

The sovereigns immediately wrote to Columbus, in reply to the dispatch which he had sent to them, requesting him to repair to the court. Columbus probably could not regret that this involved the necessity of a triumphal route of seven hundred miles through the very heart of Spain. It was a delightful season of the year, and the jubilant welcome which Columbus met, every mile of the way, from Seville to Barcelona, the world has probably never seen paralleled.

The Indians whom Columbus had brought back with him were conspicuously exhibited, decorated with gold, and brilliant plumes from tropical birds. All the most showy products of the New World were presented to admiring eyes. A very imposing cavalcade surrounded the admiral, who sat on horseback, attracting universal admiration by his majestic form, his pale and pensive features, and his gray locks. About the middle of April he reached Barcelona. The cavaliers and nobles of Catalonia had assembled in large numbers, not only to gratify their curiosity, but also to pay their tribute of homage to the discoverer.

Columbus, Ferdinand, Isabella


In a numerous cavalcade they met Columbus at the gate of the city, and escorted him to the presence of the king and queen. The royal pair, with their son, Prince John, were seated beneath a silken canopy, to receive the admiral with the most imposing ceremonies of state. As a remarkable act of condescension, both Ferdinand and Isabella rose upon the approach of Columbus and offered him their hands to kiss. This was indeed an hour of triumph, one of the proudest moments of his life, after years of neglect, reproach, contempt.

All being seated, Columbus gave a brief narrative of his adventures, dwelling particularly upon the field of missionary effort now open for extending the knowledge and the blessings of Christianity to the unenlightened heathen. It is said that this consideration affected the heart of the queen more deeply than all others,

The Glory and the Shame of the Spanish Court

(From 1492 A.D. to 1517 A.D.)

Effects of the Inquisition.—Expulsion of the Jews.—Their Sufferings.—Attempt to assassinate Ferdinand.—Second Expedition of Columbus.—Intellectual Culture of Isabella.—Royal Alliances.—Marriage of Joanna to Prince John.—Death of John.—Death of Isabella, Queen of Portugal.—Death of her Son.—Expulsion of the Moors.—Cardinal Ximenes.—His Character and Death.

While Columbus was engaged in his first world-renowned voyage of discovery, extraordinary scenes were transpiring in Spain. There were at this time three very distinct religious parties, the Christians, the Moors, and the Jews. Ferdinand and Isabella were rigid Catholics, zealously devoted to the interests of the Catholic Church. The Inquisition, which had somewhat mildly existed before, was re-established by them, with almost unlimited power over the property and the lives of all suspected of heresy.

It is a melancholy truth, as illustrative of the frailty and bewilderment of human reason, that there can be no question that many of the inquisitors were actuated by conscientious motives while perpetrating the most fiend-like deeds of cruelty. Heresy, which was deemed destructive of the immortal soul, was considered the most heinous of all crimes, as being the most ruinous to the interests of humanity. Consequently cases occurred in which mild, humble, charitable men, officers of the Inquisition, performed, with tears in their eyes, acts of cruelty which demons incarnate could scarcely have surpassed.

There were several of these inquisitions in operation. One shrinks from recording the woes thus inflicted. In Seville alone four thousand were committed to the flames in the space of thirty-six years. A much larger number were condemned to other very severe punishments. The Christians were especially exasperated against the Jews. The most false and cruel accusations were circulated against them. It was charged upon them that they kidnapped Christian children and crucified them, in derision of the Saviour; that their physicians and apothecaries poisoned their Christian patients. No rumor could be spread to their disadvantage too gross to be accredited by the credulity of those days. All ordinary measures for their conversion proving unavailing, it was urged by the inquisitors that the land should be purified from their presence by the banishment of every Jew from Spain.

The Jews, informed of the terrible doom with which they were menaced, sent a deputation to Ferdinand and Isabella at Santa Fé just after the fall of Granada, with a present of thirty thousand ducats to aid in paying the expenses of the Moorish war. They hoped that this act of patriotism would purchase for them some favor. The renowned inquisitor-general, Torquemada, rushed into the royal presence during the negotiation, and, brandishing a crucifix before Ferdinand and Isabella, angrily exclaimed,

"Judas Iscariot sold his master for thirty pieces of silver. Your Highnesses would sell him anew for thirty thousand. Here he is. Take him and barter him away."

Thus saying, he threw the crucifix down upon the table, and, turning upon his heel, left the room. The sovereigns, instead of chastising the ecclesiastic, were overawed by his insolence. It is said that the queen, naturally humane, with great reluctance resorted to the severe measures which her spiritual advisers urged as essential to the welfare of her subjects and the advancement of religion. Torquemada had been the queen's confessor during her childhood, and had acquired a great ascendency over her mind. On the 30th of March, 1492, scarcely three weeks before the engagement was entered into with Columbus to send him in search of a new world that the blessings of the religion of Jesus might be conveyed to the heathen residing there, the cruel and unchristian edict was issued for the expulsion of the Jews from Spain.

All unbaptized Jews, of whatever sex, age, or condition, were ordered to leave the realm by the end of the next July. They were prohibited from returning under penalty of confiscation of property and death. The severest punishment was pronounced upon any who should harbor, succor, or minister to the wants of a Jew, after the expiration of the term assigned for their departure.

This decree fell like the crush of the avalanche upon the doomed race. It is impossible to ascertain how many Jews were then in Spain. The data for judging were so unreliable, that while some compute the number at but one hundred and sixty thousand, others estimate it at not less than eight hundred thousand souls. The former is the more probable sum. The Jews as a class were wealthy. Many of their families, highly cultivated and refined, were accustomed to lives of ease and luxurious indulgence. Spain was their native land; the home of their ancestors for many centuries. Driven from the houses they had built and the lands which they had cultivated, they, with the brand of infamy upon their brows, were to flee into exile to other lands, where they would be received only with hatred, contempt, and persecution.

But three months were allowed them to dispose of their property. Driven thus to a compulsory sale, and with so large an amount thrown suddenly upon the market, they could obtain but a small portion of its value. "A house," writes one of the annalists of the times, "was often exchanged for a donkey, and a vineyard for a suit of clothes." Those who unfortunately chanced to be in debt had their property confiscated for the benefit of their creditors. In addition to the cruelty of the deed, they were not allowed to carry any gold or silver out of the kingdom.

The three months quickly passed away, and all the routes leading out of Spain were thronged by the unhappy fugitives. The melancholy groups consisted of men, women, and children—helpless infancy and infirm old age. The sick and the dying were borne sadly along in litters. Even the Christians pitied them, but no one dared to speak words of sympathy or lent them any aid. About eighty thousand entered Portugal, and many took ship there for Africa. John II. allowed them to pass through his realm, every individual paying a tax for the privilege. Some thousands remained there.

Several large bands repaired to Cadiz, in the extreme south of Spain, where they embarked for the Barbary coast. Crossing the sea to Ercilla, they commenced their weary march by land, when they were assaulted by the roving tribes of the desert, and not only robbed of all the small sums they had saved from the wrecks of their fortunes, but they, their wives, and their daughters were the victims of outrages which one shrinks from recording. Many were reduced to such extremities by famine that they were compelled to eat the withered grass of the desert for food. Not a few perished of starvation. In the extremity of their misery, large numbers retraced their steps to the Christian colony at Ercilla, where they consented to receive the rite of baptism, hoping thus to be permitted to return to their native land.

"Thus," writes a fanatic Castilian annalist, "the calamities of these poor, blind creatures proved, in the end, an excellent remedy, which God made use of to unseal their eyes. So that, renouncing their ancient heresies, they became faithful followers of the cross."

Some sailed for Naples. A malignant disease sprang up among them, engendered by the crowded state of the vessels and the long voyage. Upon their landing, the contagion spread with such frightful rapidity that twenty thousand of the inhabitants of the city were cut down by this plague in the course of the year. Sweeping on resistlessly, the whole Italian peninsula was finally devastated by its ravages. Some of the exiles sought the ancient home of their race on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. A few took refuge in France, and even in England. A Genoese historian, describing the scenes which were witnessed in that celebrated sea-port, writes:

"No one could behold the sufferings of the Jewish exiles unmoved. A great many perished of hunger, especially those of younger years. Mothers, with scarcely strength to support themselves, carried their famished infants in their arms, and died with them. Many fell victims to the cold, others to intense thirst; while the unaccustomed distresses incident to a sea voyage aggravated their maladies. I will not enlarge upon the cruelty and the avarice which they frequently experienced from the masters of the ships which transported from them Spain. Some were murdered to gratify their cupidity, others forced to sell their children for the expenses of the passage.

"They arrived in Genoa in crowds, but were not suffered to tarry there long, by reason of the ancient law which interdicted the Jewish traveller from a longer residence than three days. They were allowed, however, to refit their vessels, and to recruit themselves for some days from the fatigues of their voyage. One might have taken them for spectres, so emaciated were they, so cadaverous in their aspect, and with eyes so sunken. They differed in nothing from the dead except in the power of motion, which indeed they scarcely retained. Many fainted and expired on the mole, which, being completely surrounded by the sea, was the only quarter vouchsafed to the wretched emigrants. The infection bred by such a swarm of dead and dying persons was not at once perceived. But when the winter broke up ulcers began to make their appearance, and the malady, which lurked for a long time in the city, broke out into the plague in the following year."

The latter part of May, 1492, the king and queen left the city of Granada, and, after a short sojourn in Castile, visited, in the month of August, Ferdinand's realm of Aragon. Here at Barcelona, the capital of the province of Catalonia, the king narrowly escaped with his life from the dagger of an assassin. As Ferdinand, on the 7th of December, was leaving his palace at noon, an insane man, a peasant sixty years of age, moved by the delusion that he himself was the rightful proprietor of the crown, sprang upon the king and aimed a blow at the back of his neck with a poniard. The attendants rushed upon the assassin and arrested him after giving him three stabs. He would have been instantly killed but for the interposition of the king. The wound inflicted upon Ferdinand was very severe, and for a time it was apprehended that it would prove fatal. The queen, upon receiving the tidings, fell into a swoon. Upon recovering from the first shock, she watched over her husband by night and by day with the tenderest assiduity. The whole city was thrown into consternation, and crowds daily gathered around the palace where the king lay, with eager inquiries for his health. Three weeks elapsed before the beloved sovereign was able to show himself again to his subjects. So great was the rejoicing his recovery occasioned that all the churches were crowded with the multitudes who thronged them in offerings of thanks to God. Many, in accordance with the superstition of those dark days, in expression of their gratitude to God, performed painful pilgrimages to Barcelona from great distances, over the rough and mountainous ways, with bare feet, and even upon their knees.

The king, convinced of the mental derangement of the poor old man, would gladly have set him at liberty; but the popular indignation could not thus be appeased. He was accordingly executed, though the dreadful doom of torture, which was the usual fate of regicides, was not inflicted.

Ferdinand and Isabella were at Barcelona when Columbus, as we have before mentioned, returned, and gave them the narrative of his adventures. Seven months had elapsed since he sailed. No tidings had been heard from him. A winter of great severity had been accompanied by the severest gales experienced within the memory of the oldest mariners. It was generally supposed that Columbus and his crew had perished. The combined courts of Castile and Aragon lavished their honors upon the great discoverer. Columbus frequently rode out by the side of the king, brilliant entertainments were given in his honor, and he was in all respects treated with deference never before paid to any but nobles of exalted birth.

Vigorous preparations were immediately set on foot for another expedition on a far more extensive scale. There was now no lack of adventurers eager to join the enterprise. Seventeen vessels were fitted out, three of them of one hundred tons burden. Fifteen hundred persons crowded this fleet, many of them of high rank. The Indians who had accompanied Columbus to Barcelona having been baptized, and thus converted into Christians, after receiving such instruction as was deemed necessary, were sent back as missionaries to aid in propagating the Christian faith. Twelve Spanish ecclesiastics were also commissioned upon this service. Among the rest was the celebrated missionary, Las Casas, renowned for his piety, his humanity, his devotion to the temporal and spiritual welfare of the Indians. It is a melancholy illustration of poor human nature that this truly good man should have proposed to relieve the Indians from cruel, compulsory labor by substituting for them negroes purchased in Africa. Thus originated, from the mind of this sincere Christian, the slave-trade, which has inflicted woes upon humanity which the omniscience of Deity alone can gauge. This second expedition, buoyant with hope, and greeted with the enthusiastic adieus of the populace, sailed from Cadiz on the 25th of September, 1493.

Ferdinand was not a man of much intellectual culture. He had but little acquaintance with books. From the age 11 of ten years he had lived mostly in the tented field. But he was eminently a wise man, being by nature richly endowed with that strength of mind which acquires the most valuable wisdom from experience. Isabella was far superior to her husband in literary attainments. Her early years she had spent in seclusion under her mother's care, and had been carefully instructed in all the learning of those days. She understood several modern languages, and had the Spanish tongue quite at her command, both speaking and writing it with elegance and fluency. After her accession to the crown, notwithstanding the immense cares devolving upon her, she devoted herself to the acquisition of the Latin language. One of her contemporaries writes: "In less than a year her admirable genius enabled her to obtain a good knowledge of the Latin language, so that she could understand without much difficulty whatever was written or spoken in it."

It is to be supposed that such a mother would take the deepest interest in the education of her children. The best teachers Europe could afford were employed in their instruction. Thus all her children made attainments such as were rarely acquired in those days. Very special attention was devoted to the education of her son, Prince John, who was the heir of the united crowns of Castile and Aragon. A class of ten lads, selected from the highest nobility, was composed, five being of his own age and five of maturer years. They all resided in the palace, and he was instructed with them. Thus were obviated, in a degree, the disadvantages of a private education. A mimic council was also organized to discuss the great measures of public policy, that from his earliest years he might be familiar with European diplomacy and the important measures of state. The young prince presided over this body. The pages in attendance upon him were selected from the sons of the highest nobility in the realm. Nothing was omitted to prepare him for his exalted station of sovereign of one of the most powerful kingdoms on the globe. Conscious that the nobility of Spain could not maintain their ascendency unless really superior, not merely in wealth, but in character and attainments, the queen was untiring in her efforts to secure for the children of the nobles that broad and thorough culture which would invest them with the power which knowledge always confers.

One of the most important elements of national greatness was found then, as still in Europe, in matrimonial alliances. The family of the queen now consisted of one son and four daughters, all of whom, as we have mentioned, were very highly educated. The encouragement given to learning was extended to both sexes. There were not a few ladies then whose genius and culture gave them renown which has extended even to our days. They took part in the public exercises of the gymnasium and delivered lectures in the universities. The queen's instructor in the Latin language was Dona Beatriz de Galindo. A lady lectured upon the Latin classics in the University of Salamanca, and another lady occupied the chair of rhetoric with much celebrity at Alcald.

All the children of Isabella seemed to inherit the virtues of their mother. They were dignified in manners, exemplary in private life, and strongly imbued with that spirit of devotion which too often, in those days, was sullied with bigotry and superstition. The marriage of the queen's eldest daughter, Isabella, with Alonso, the heir of the Portuguese crown, and the untimely death of Alonso, has already been mentioned. The Court of Lisbon was then celebrated above any other court in Europe for its regal splendor. The heart-stricken bride, after the death of her husband, unable to endure the anguish which the scenes around her continually revived, returned to her own country, seeking consolation in the arms of her sympathizing parents. Naturally of a pensive temperament, she retired from all the gayeties of the court, and devoted herself to works of charity and piety.

Upon the death of King John of Portugal, Emanuel succeeded to the throne. He had seen, admired, and loved the beautiful Isabella during her brief residence in Lisbon, where the weeds of the widow had so soon taken the place of bridal robes. Emanuel sent an embassy to Spain, soliciting the young widow to accept his hand and share with him the crown. Though the father and the mother of Isabella urged the connection, her saddened heart clung so fondly to the memory of her first love that she declined the proposals.

A very brilliant double nuptial alliance was secured by a treaty of marriage of Prince John, the only son of Ferdinand and Isabella, the heir of their united crowns, with the Princess Margaret, daughter of the Emperor Maximilian of Austria; while at the same time the Archduke Philip, son and heir of Maximilian, and in his mother's right king of the Low Countries, was betrothed to Joanna, second daughter of the Spanish sovereigns. A few months after a treaty of marriage was formed between Arthur, Prince of Wales, son of Henry VII. of England, and Catharine, the youngest daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella. This unhappy princess, who occupies so conspicuous a position in English history as Catharine of Aragon, has obtained renown both for her virtues and her griefs. Indeed, sad was the doom of all these parties. Catharine and Henry were but eleven years of age at the time of their betrothal. Consequently their marriage was deferred for several years.

Joanna was to be sent to Flanders, there to be received by the youthful bridegroom Philip. Spain was at that time at war with France. There could be no communication by land. The sea swarmed with French cruisers. A fleet was collected strong enough to bid defiance to all assault. It was the most numerous and powerful armada which had ever yet emerged from a Spanish harbor, consisting of about one hundred and thirty ships, conveying a military force of twenty-five thousand soldiers. A gallant band of the chivalry of Spain accompanied the expedition. A brilliant and numerous suite attended the youthful maiden.

The fleet sailed from the port of Laredo the latter part of August, 1496. The queen, a very tender mother, accompanied her child to the place of embarkation, and, with tearful eyes, bade her adieu. Frightful tempests soon swept the western coast of Europe. The armada was shattered and dispersed. Several of the vessels foundered, and many lives were lost. The storm-torn ships put into the harbors of England for repairs. A long time elapsed ere any tidings were heard from the squadron. The anguish of the queen was extreme. She sent for the most experienced mariners, to consult them respecting the probabilities of the safety of the squadron. Through great perils and sufferings, Joanna at last reached Flanders, and her marriage was celebrated with much pomp in the city of Lisle.

The same fleet, after being thoroughly repaired; a few months later conveyed to Spain Margaret, the destined bride of Prince John, a beautiful and highly educated girl of seventeen. She has left many published works, which give indisputable evidence of her genius and her culture. It was mid-winter when the voyage was undertaken. Such gales were encountered that at one time shipwreck and death seemed inevitable. The heroic Margaret quietly sat down in the hour when death seemed close at hand and wrote, even playfully, her own epitaph. But the ship which bore the princess fortunately outrode the storm, and she landed at Santander, in Spain, early in March, 1497.

The young Prince John, accompanied by his father, hastened to meet his bride. A royal escort conducted her to Burgos, where Queen Isabella affectionately received her to a maternal embrace. The marriage ceremony took place on the third of April, with pomp such as had never before been equaled on a similar occasion. Margaret had been educated in Paris. She loved the gayety for which that metropolis has ever been renowned. The courtiers whom she had brought with her from Flanders were pleasure-loving cavaliers, but little disposed to conform to the comparative puritanism, which reigned in the Court of Isabella. The fetes, tourneys, games, dances, tilts of reeds, and military pageants, assembling all the chivalry and illustrious rank of the peninsula, were such as never before had dazzled the eyes either of Moor or Christian, The Flemish and Castilian nobles vied with each other in investing the scene with splendor. The plate and jewels presented to the princess on the day of her marriage are said to have been of such value and perfect workmanship that the like was never before seen.

But man, says the poet, is but the pendulum between a smile and a tear. The storm always succeeds the calm. Though to-day may. be sunny, the morrow will come, when clouds and darkness will shroud the sky. Six months passed swiftly away, and on the 3rd of October Prince John lay gasping upon the bed of death. In the midst of the rejoicings with which the youthful couple were greeted on their bridal tour to Salamanca, the prince was seized with a fever. The violence of the attack baffled all the skill of the physicians, Ferdinand, who had hastened to Salamanca, sat weeping by the side of his dying son, who was heir to the proudest inheritance which Europe could then afford. It is an affecting comment upon the equality of trials in the palace and in the cottage that the young prince was not unwilling to die. He assured his father that he was prepared to leave a world where experience had already taught him that all was vanity and vexation of spirit. He only prayed that those whom he left behind might experience the same resignation which he felt. The prince died on the 4th of October, 1497, retaining to the last moment the same spirit of Christian or philosophic resignation which he had manifested during the whole of his sickness.

Isabella was not present at the death of her son. But almost hourly dispatches were sent to her giving an account of his gradual decline. When the tidings came that he had breathed his last, the grief-stricken mother meekly bowed her head and said, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."

This death clothed Spain in mourning. The grief was deep and universal. The funeral ceremonies outvied in melancholy splendor the glittering pageantry of the nuptials. The tolling dirge thus rapidly succeeded the chimes of the marriage bell. The requiem and the funeral procession, and the black plumes of the hearse, took the place of martial airs and tournaments and dances. The cities were draped in sable-colored banners, and all offices, public and private, were closed for forty days. There is no contradiction to the testimony that the young prince, in all the attributes of a noble character, was worthy of the affection and regret which followed him to the tomb.

Soon after the death of her husband, Margaret gave birth to a lifeless babe. Thus widowed and bereaved, she returned to the home of her childhood in Flanders, which a few months before she had left flushed with joy, and cheered by as brilliant prospects as were ever before opened to mortal vision. She subsequently married the Duke of Savoy, who died in less than three years from the day of their marriage. The remainder of her life she passed sadly in widowhood, invested by her father with the government of the Netherlands, where she died in the fiftieth year of her age.

Just before the death of John, his widowed sister, Isabella, reconsidered her rejection of the offer of marriage with Emanuel of Portugal, and accepted his hand. It is saddening to reflect that this young princess, gentle, loving, charitable, in heart ever desiring to do right, was so influenced by the bigotry of those times that she made it a condition of her marriage that Emanuel should expel from Portugal every Jew. The cruel edict was at once promulgated. Thus the second marriage of the young Princess Isabella was accompanied by the tears and despair of thousands.

Isabella, now Queen of Portugal, became, by the death of her brother John, heir to the united crowns of Castile and Aragon. But the Archduke Philip, who had married the youngest daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, had the effrontery to assume the title for himself and Joanna. Serious difficulty began to arise, when, in the midst of the controversy, the Queen of Portugal gave birth to a son, and one hour after fell asleep in death. Thus blow after blow fell upon the hearts of Ferdinand and Isabella. The motherly affections of the queen had already encountered shocks so severe that she never recovered from this grief. Her health and spirits sank, and all her remaining days were clouded with gloom. Life ever after remained to her a wintry day, cold, dark, and dreary.

The infant whose birth had caused its mother's death received the name of Miguel, and was promptly recognized as heir to the throne of Spain. None denied the legitimacy of his claims. In a magnificent litter the babe was conveyed through the streets, and exhibited to the people as their future king. Ferdinand and Isabella were recognized as the guardians of the child until he should attain his majority, which would be at the age of fourteen. Thus this babe became the undisputed heir to the crown of the three monarchies of Portugal, Aragon, and Castile. But scarcely a year passed away ere this infant, unconsciously destined to such opulence, rank, and power, sank into the grave.

The king and queen, much under the control of a very remarkable man, Cardinal Ximenes, a prelate alike distinguished for his piety and his bigotry, undertook, with great energy, the work of converting the Moors, who still in large numbers inhabited the south of Spain. Arguments, bribes, and menaces were all employed. The success was wonderful. The Moorish doctors, in consideration of the rewards so munificently offered, and the pains and penalties so sternly menaced, consented to have a few drops of water sprinkled upon their brows in the name of Christian baptism. Their illiterate disciples imitated their example in such numbers that four thousand in one day presented themselves as converts. The difficulty of baptizing so many individually was such that resort was had to a large mop, or hyssop, as it was called, by which the drops of the holy water were sprinkled over the prostrate multitude.

Perhaps the followers of Mohammed, who had been accustomed to make converts to the Islam faith through the persuasive influence of the sword alone, with less reluctance yielded to the potency of a weapon which they had so often used, and with so much efficacy. It is said that Ferdinand and Isabella had some doubts whether they could lawfully compel the Moors to become Christians, even to secure their eternal salvation, after having pledged their royal word that the Moors should be protected in the free exercise of their religion. A council of the most learned ecclesiastics was convened to give advice upon this question. "It was decided," writes Ferreras, "to solicit the conversion of the Mohammedans of the city and realm of Granada by ordering those who did not wish to embrace the Christian religion to sell their property and leave the kingdom."

Ximenes wielded these physical powers of moral suasion with furious zeal. All who refused to be baptized were ordered to leave the realm. They could take with them neither gold nor silver, nor certain prohibited articles of merchandise. The penalty of death was the doom of all who refused baptism or exile. That Spain might be purified from every trace of the Moslem heresy, every Arabic manuscript which could be found, of whatever Nature, was thrown into an enormous pile in one of the great squares of the city and committed to the flames. The cultivated Moors had large libraries, many of their books being sumptuously bound. But the flames consumed nearly all. Only a few volumes upon medical science escaped the torch.

This barbarian deed, perpetrated by a highly intellectual Christian prelate, inflicted an irreparable loss upon the literature of the world. Its counterpart can only be found in the celebrated Alexandrian conflagration eight hundred years before, said to have been ordered by the Caliph Omar. The rigor of the persecution troubled the king and queen. They wished to see its severity mitigated. But Cardinal Ximenes replied,

"A tamer policy might indeed suit temporal matters, but not those in which the interests of the soul are at stake. The unbeliever, if he can not be drawn, should be driven into the way of salvation."

And yet there can be no doubt that Ximenes, like Saul of Tarsus when breathing threatenings and slaughter, verily thought that he was doing God service. When in the night a band of insurgent Moors, roused to frenzy, surrounded his palace clamoring for his blood, he replied heroically to those who besought him to make his escape,

"No I will stand to my post, and wait there, if Heaven wills it, the crown of martyrdom."

It is estimated that about fifty thousand Moors received baptism. Those who refused were speedily dispersed through distant lands. Thus ere long the name and the race of the Moors disappeared from Spain. But many traces of their wealth, culture, and power still remain to attract the steps and excite the wonder of the modern tourist. Ximenes, instead of receiving the execration he deserved, was rewarded with great renown. The Archbishop of Talavera exultingly writes,

"Ximenes has won greater triumphs than ever Ferdinand and Isabella achieved. They conquered only the soil, while he has gained the souls of Granada."

The Moors, thus nominally converted, were called Moriscoes. Adopting the language as well as the religion of the Christians, they gradually blended with the conquering race. But there were some who regarded with great indifference the few drops of water which had accidentally fallen from the bishop's mop upon their heads in what was called the rite of baptism. Others secretly relapsed into their old Moslem faith, affording wide scope for inquisitorial energies in searching out the latent heresy. The execrable spirit of intolerance which reigned almost undisputed at that day, may be inferred from the following memorial which the Archbishop of Valencia addressed to Philip IV.

"Your Majesty may, without any scruple of conscience, make slaves of all the Moriscoes, and may put them into your own galleys or mines, or sell them to strangers. And as to their children, they may all be sold at good rates here in Spain; which will be so far from being a punishment that it will be a mercy to them, since by that means they all will become Christians; which they never would have been had they continued with their parents. By the holy execution of which piece of justice, a great sum of money will flow into your Majesty's treasury."

Cardinal Ximenes died in 1517, eighty-one years of age. Death for him had no terrors. Even in those solemn hours when he was conscious that all his work on earth was finished, and that he was about to appear before his final judge, he said, "I have never intentionally wronged any man. I have rendered to every one his due, without being swayed by fear or affection." The humility he displayed, and his child-like trust in the mercy of God, deeply affected all who stood around his dying bed. His last words were, "In thee, Lord, have I trusted."

Subsequent Voyages of Columbus

(From 1493 A.D. to 1506 A.D.)

Columbus and the Egg.—The Destruction of La Navidad.—Exploring Tours.—The third Voyage.—Columbus superseded by Bobadilla.—Columbus in Chains.—The fourth Voyage.—Wrecked upon the Island of Jamaica.—The Eclipse of the Moon.—The Rescue.—Return to Spain.—Death and Burial.

Before Columbus left Barcelona to enter upon his second voyage he experienced many annoyances. Distinction ever excites envy. Enemies to Columbus, bitter and unrelenting, sprang up around him. He was an Italian, a foreigner. The Spanish nobles were not well pleased with his elevation, and were very restive when, under any circumstances, they were compelled to yield to his authority. It was during his sojourn at Barcelona that the incident occurred which gave rise to the universally known anecdote of the egg. The Grand Cardinal of Spain had invited Columbus to dine with him. An envious guest inquired of Columbus if he thought that there was no man in Spain capable of discovering the Indies if he had not made the discovery. Columbus, without replying to the question, took an egg from the table and asked if there was any one who could make it stand on one end. They all tried, but in vain. Columbus then, by a slight blow, crushed the end of the egg, and left it standing before them, thus teaching that it is easy to do a thing after some one has shown how.

We must briefly narrate the subsequent career of this illustrious man. It is but a melancholy recital of toils, disappointments, and sorrows. As we have mentioned, Columbus sailed from Cadiz, upon his second voyage, on the 25th of September, 1493. After a prosperous sail of thirty-eight days, in the early dawn of the morning of the 2nd of November the lofty mountains of an unknown but majestic island appeared in the distance. It was the morning of the Sabbath. The crews of all the vessels were assembled upon their decks, and prayers and anthems of thanksgiving floated over the peaceful solitudes of the ocean. Columbus, as the island was discovered upon the Sabbath, gave it the name of Dominica. He was now in the beautiful cluster called The Antilles. During the day he passed six of these gems of the ocean, appearing on those smooth waters beneath the bright sun of the tropics, like fairy islands in a fairy sea.

Columbus and the egg.


As he cruised along, he gave to the more important islands he met the names of Marigalanti, Guadaloupe, St. Juan Bantistu, since called Porto Rico. On these islands he found a fierce and warlike race, who were the terror of the more peaceful inhabitants of the other islands. The evidence seemed indubitable that they were cannibals, devouring the victims of war. It now became manifest that the New World was by no means an Eden of primal innocence, but that it was inhabited by the fallen race of Adam, who groaned beneath the burden of life.

On the 29th of November Columbus again cast anchor in the harbor of La Navidad. He expected to find a happy colony, and that by trading with the natives they would have obtained by this time a ton of gold for him to transfer immediately to his ships. Instead of this, to his great disappointment he found but desolation and ruin. The Spaniards had quarrelled and fought among themselves. They had abandoned the fortress, that they might live among the natives, where they soon excited intense disgust and hatred by their brutal licentiousness, and their haughty disregard of all the feelings of the Indians. A warlike tribe from the interior fell upon them, as they were scattered about, and every man perished. The natives also, who were friendly to Columbus, were overwhelmed by the assault of the fierce tribe, and nothing remained of the colony but desolation and mouldering bones.

The sanguine adventurers who had accompanied Columbus, lured by the account he had given of this golden realm, were bitterly disappointed. Sickness broke out. Murmurs loud and deep rose on every side. Columbus was denounced as a deceiver, and hardly an individual could be found to lend him any cordial co-operation. Many of the haughty young nobles of Spain had accompanied him. They openly insulted the admiral, refusing obedience to his commands. Columbus was not sufficiently strong to enforce authority.

The colony destroyed.


Harassed and perplexed in every conceivable way, he organized an expedition to explore the interior for gold, and commenced the establishment of another colonial city, which he called Isabella. Twelve of the ships were sent back to Spain to obtain supplies. Columbus was mortified that he could send so little gold. He however wrote a letter to Ferdinand and Isabella full of brilliant anticipations, with which his sanguine temperament ever inspired him. Crushed by care and anxiety, he was prostrated upon a sick bed, which he could not leave for several weeks. During his sickness his mind retained all its vigor, and he gave his commands as usual. His enemies, taking advantage of his apparently helpless condition, formed a conspiracy to seize the five remaining ships and return to Spain, where they would defend themselves for this mutinous act by a combined assault upon the character of Columbus. With great energy and sagacity the admiral frustrated their plans. In the endeavor, in some degree, to divert the general discontent, he arranged an expedition, of which he himself took the command, to explore the coast of Cuba. The vessels were soon ready, and some degree of enthusiasm animated the crews as they weighed their anchors and spread their sails.

After following along the southern coast some sixty or seventy miles, meeting with many pleasing incidents of the same general character which we have previously related, he turned to the south, and sailed but a few leagues when the blue mountains of another majestic island seemed to emerge from the sea. This was his first sight of Jamaica. Fortunately the island has retained its original name. The natives, a bold and warlike race, opposed the landing. The Spaniards, with cross-bow and bloodhound, put them all to flight. This was probably the first time in which this animal, of execrable notoriety, was employed in such services. But Columbus could find here no gold. He returned to Cuba and sailed along its southern coast many days, and for so many leagues as to satisfy every one on board the ships that Cuba could not be an island, but that it was the mainland. After continuing his tour for nearly five months, and having discovered many new islands, Columbus returned to his colony at Isabella. Here he again found that the arrogance and oppression of those he had left behind had so exasperated the natives that a coalition was formed, of all the tribes, for the extermination of the Spaniards.

The wildest adventures of Indian warfare now ensued, a faithful narrative of which would fill volumes. The flames of war swept over doomed Hayti, and the island at length being entirely subjugated, the wretched inhabitants were enslaved. But the victors were compelled to drink deeply of the cup of misery which they had mingled for others. The most envenomed complaints were preferred against Columbus before the Spanish sovereigns. A commission was sent out to investigate his conduct. These commissioners treated the admiral with such contumely and insult that his situation became absolutely unendurable, and on the 10th of March, 1496, he again set sail for Spain to seek the redress of his wrongs. After a long and stormy passage of three months, he landed at Cadiz.

Ferdinand and Isabella received him with kindness. But all the plans and wishes of Columbus were thwarted by a series of incessant and mortifying annoyances. He found his popularity greatly on the wane. Many of the nobles, indulging in unworthy jealousy of him as a foreigner, did every thing in their power to embarrass his movements. More than two years passed away before Columbus could obtain another squadron. But on the 30th of May, 1498, he again sailed, on his third voyage, with six vessels.

Pursuing a more southerly course, the first land he made was a large island on the coast of South America, which he named La Trinidad—The Trinity—from three lofty peaks, united at their bases, which first hove in sight.

He coasted for many leagues along the shore of South America, supposing it to be an island. The natives he found to be almost white. They were bold, but friendly. At length, turning his prows towards the north, he made sail for Hayti, where he arrived on the 30th of August. Though his mind remained vigorous as ever, his physical system was shattered by care, toil, and suffering. Beautiful Hayti, which he had originally found so populous, peaceful, and happy, was now war-scathed and desolate. The Spaniards had converted a blooming Eden into a dreary wilderness. Sickness and famine brooded over the island, and the conquered and the conquerors were alike wretched. The colony was in a state of anarchy, and the Spaniards were intensely exasperated against each other.

South American Coast.


It was long before Columbus could restore even the semblance of order. In the mean time the disappointed and angry colonists were more bitter than ever in their denunciations of the admiral, and the court was flooded with complaints against him. Columbus had left two of his sons as pages in the household of the queen. These lads could not appear in public without being followed and insulted by a crowd of vagabonds assailing them in the coarsest language "as the sons of the adventurer who had led so many brave Spanish hidalgos to seek their graves in the land of vanity and delusion which he had found out."

It was perhaps the general sentiment of the corrupt Christianity of those days that the heathen were the inheritance of the Christian. This sentiment controlled the conduct of the Spanish and Portuguese navigators. Columbus, a devout and humane man, deeply anxious for the spiritual welfare of the poor pagans, was apparently sincere in his conviction that to sell the natives as slaves in exchange for European commodities would be the most effectual way of securing their conversion, and of thus conferring upon them the blessings of an eternal home in heaven.

But Isabella, more enlightened, whose comprehensive and well-balanced mind had no superior at that time, recoiled from such views. When a number of slaves were offered for sale in the markets of Spain, she ordered the sale to be suspended until she could obtain the opinion of a council of ecclesiastics upon the matter. Additional missionaries were sent out, some of whom were truly good men. But their efforts were greatly paralyzed by the conduct of the vagabond Spaniards who disgraced the Christian name. It was not found difficult to convert the simple-minded natives to Roman Catholic Christianity. The pageants of the Church, its music, robes, censers, processions, and tinkling bells, delighted them. The attractions of the new worship were far superior to their ancient pagan rites. It was only necessary to be baptized to become Christians, with the assurance of salvation.

Among the records of those days we read that "the Indians were so obedient, from their fear of the admiral, and at the same tithe so desirous to oblige him, that they voluntarily became Christians!" And again, "Among other things that the holy fathers carried out was a little organ and several bells, which greatly delighted the simple people, so that from one to two thousand persons were baptized every day."

In the summer of 1500 two vessels arrived in Spain from the West Indies with three hundred natives on board, to be sold as slaves, whom the admiral had granted to the mutineers. The queen was quite displeased, and exclaimed, "By what authority does Columbus venture thus to dispose of my subjects?"

She immediately issued a decree that all the native Indians who had been enslaved in her provinces should be without delay restored to their own country.

The complaints against Columbus had now become so loud and bitter that another commission was sent out to Hayti, with authority to supersede him in command should he be found guilty. An officer of the royal household, named Bobadilla, was intrusted with this important commission. This man proved totally unfit for the delicate duty intrusted to him. Immediately upon his arrival he assumed the supreme command, and the venerable admiral, to his utter amazement, was summoned to his presence as a criminal. Bobadilla had the brutality to order Columbus to be seized, aged and infirm as he was, and to be manacled with chains. The heroic admiral, too proud to make unavailing remonstrances, submitted to his fate in dignified silence. The iron had entered his soul.

He was plunged into a prison until a ship could be got ready to transport him across the ocean. He was then placed on shipboard while still in chains and sent to Spain. The commander of the ship, moved with grief and indignation in view of such indignities heaped upon so noble a man, wished during the voyage to strike off his chains.

Columbus in chains.


"No," exclaimed Columbus; "their majesties commanded me by letter to submit to whatever Bobadilla should order in their name. By their authority he has put these chains upon me. I will wear them till he shall order them to be taken off. And I will preserve them ever after, as relics and memorials of the rewards of my services."

These outrages inflicted upon a man so illustrious roused a general voice of indignation throughout Christendom. Ferdinand and Isabella were not only shocked, but alarmed. They feared that the voice of Christendom would attribute the crime to them. Immediately upon learning that Columbus had arrived at Cadiz in irons, they dispatched a messenger in the greatest haste, to release him from his fetters, to express to him their sympathy and regret for the indignities to which he had been exposed, and to invite him to repair immediately to the court, which was then assembled at Granada. An imposing escort was sent to accompany him on the journey, and an ample sum of money to defray his expenses.

Upon his arrival at Granada he was at once favored with an audience by the king and queen. Tears filled the eyes of Isabella as she greeted him with the warmest expressions of sympathy and regret in view of the treatment he had received.

These words of kindness so touched the heart of the noble old man that his emotions entirely overcame him. Throwing himself upon his knees, he wept and sobbed like a heart-broken child. Both the king and queen did every thing in their power to soothe him, assuring him that his injuries should be redressed, and that he should be reinstated in all those dignities which were so justly his due.

An expedition was immediately fitted out to overawe the factions in the colony, and to prepare the way for the return of Columbus. A fleet of thirty-two vessels, abundantly equipped, conveying twenty-five hundred persons, many of them the most illustrious Spanish families, set sail in September,1501. Don Nicholas de Ovando, a man in many respects well qualified for the position, was intrusted with the command. He was commissioned with a decree declaring that the poor natives, who were rapidly dwindling away, should no longer be enslaved; he was also directed to secure full indemnification to Columbus and his brothers for all their losses, and to send Bobadilla home for trial.

Some months after the sailing of this expedition Columbus was fitted out with a small squadron for his fourth and last voyage. Supposing the lands he had discovered to be a portion of the continent of Asia, he hoped to find some passage through the Isthmus of Darien to the East Indies. His little fleet of four small vessels, the largest of which was of but seventy tons' burden, sailed on the 9th of March, 1502. Columbus was now far advanced in years, infirm, and weary of the toil and strife of life. It appears that it was with some hesitancy that he undertook the command of this expedition.

"I have established," he wrote, "all that I proposed—the existence of land in the west. I have opened the gate, and others may enter at their pleasure; as indeed they do, arrogating to themselves the title of discoverers, to which they can have little claim, following, as they do, in my track."

The leaky condition of his ships rendered it necessary for Columbus to touch at Hayti on his outward passage, contrary to his intentions. The fleet which was to convey Bobadilla to Spain was just about to weigh anchor. The experienced eye of Columbus foresaw a violent approaching hurricane. He advised that the departure should be delayed. His counsel was disregarded. The fleet sailed. The hurricane came. Only one ship survived its fury. The rest foundered. Bobadilla and his companions sank to a fathomless grave. Columbus, riding safely through many tempests, at length reached the continent at what is now called Central America, near Yucatan. Sailing by a conspicuous headland, which he named Cape Gracias a Dios, he cruised southerly along the coast for many leagues, hoping to find a passage through the Isthmus. Not succeeding, he attempted to establish a colony at the mouth of a river called Belem. But the natives were aroused by the licentiousness and oppression of his men, and the whole country was soon in arms against the Spaniards. The colonists were attacked in such force that they were driven to their ships.

This voyage was but a series of disappointments. "My people," writes Columbus, "are dismayed and down-hearted. Almost all my anchors are lost, and my vessels are bored by worms as full of holes as a honeycomb." One of his ships was left a wreck upon the Isthmus. The other ships being in a sinking condition, he was compelled to run ashore upon the island of Jamaica. He converted the wrecks into a fortress to protect himself from the natives, who seem now to have become everywhere hostile.

Columbus found himself in as deplorable a situation as can well be imagined. He was, as it were, imprisoned in his two wrecked vessels, which he had drawn side by side and fortified. Severe sickness confined him to his bed, and he was suffering excruciating pangs from gout. The natives were manifesting hostility. He was on a distant and unfrequented island one hundred and twenty miles from Hayti, with apparently no possibility of sending there intelligence of his condition. The position of affairs was so alarming that a bold mariner undertook the desperate enterprise of crossing the ocean in a canoe to Hayti. Month after month lingered away, and there were no signs of relief. Columbus, tortured with bodily pain, remained confined to his berth. His men, despairing of ever again seeing their homes, broke away from all restraints, bade defiance to the authority of the admiral, and in armed bands ranged the island, visiting upon the poor natives every species of lawless violence.

The natives, exasperated beyond endurance, secretly united in a plan for the destruction of the Spaniards. Columbus saw indications of the rising storm. But in this dark hour the character of this marked man shone illustrious.

By his knowledge of astronomy he ascertained that a total eclipse of the moon was to occur in a few days. He summoned the principal caciques, informed them that the Deity he worshipped was in the skies; that this Deity was offended with the Indians for their unfriendly feelings, and for withholding supplies; and that in token of the fearful punishment which awaited them, they would soon see the moon fade away. Some scoffed, some were frightened, and all felt secret solicitude.

The night came, brilliant in tropical splendor. The moon rose effulgent over the waves. All eyes were fixed upon it. Soon some dark destruction seemed to be consuming it. The beautiful luminary was rapidly wasting away. The terror of the natives became intense; and when at last the whole moon had disappeared, and portentous gloom shrouded the face of nature, the natives actually shrieked in their dismay. They ran to and fro, and implored Columbus to intercede in their behalf. Columbus said he would retire and commune with the Deity. When the eclipse was about to cease, he informed them that God would pardon them upon condition that they would fulfill their promises and furnish supplies. The shadow passed away, and the moon, with apparently renovated brilliance, shone forth in the serene sky. The natives were completely vanquished. They regarded Columbus with unspeakable awe, and were henceforth ready to do his bidding.

The eclipse


In this imprisonment, with but little hope of ever being rescued, Columbus, with a few men who were still faithful to him, remained in the wrecked and shattered ships. Day after day they scanned the horizon till their straining eyes ached, but no sail appeared. There was hardly a possibility that the frail canoe could have reached its destined port; and as the months wearily passed, bringing no relief, despair, to which the seamen had long since resigned themselves, began to settle gloomily over the mind of Columbus. In one of those dismal hours he wrote in his journal,

"Hitherto I have wept for others; but now have pity upon me, Heaven, and weep for me, O Earth! In my temporal concerns, without a farthing to offer for a mass, cast away here in the Indies, surrounded by cruel and hostile savages, isolated, infirm, expecting each day will be my last, weep for me whoever has charity, truth, and justice!"

At length, after a year had passed, two vessels were seen approaching the island. Despair was succeeded by delirium of joy. The mutineers, weary of license and crime, hastened from their dispersion, and implored the forgiveness of the kind-hearted admiral. He pardoned the wretches; and all who survived the dissipation and the hardships of the year were transferred to Hayti.

Here an appalling spectacle of oppression and of wretchedness met the eye of Columbus. New rulers were in command. The off-scouring of Spain had flocked as adventurers to the doomed island. The natives, who had received Columbus with almost celestial kindness, were converted into slaves, and were driven by the lash to the fields and the mines. If, in irrepressible yearnings for liberty, they attempted to escape and fled to the mountains, their brutal taskmasters, with guns and bloodhounds, pursued them and hunted them down as if they were beasts of prey. Las Casas describes these outrages in terms which excite in every humane heart emotions of grief and indignation. Many of the natives in despair killed themselves; mothers destroyed their own children to save them from the doom of slavery. In less than twelve years, under these atrocities, several hundred thousand of the natives had perished, and before one short half century had passed the whole native population had sunk in misery to the grave.

The rescue.


Columbus was by nature eminently a humane man. These awful calamities, which he had been instrumental in bringing upon the island, lacerated his soul. His whole life had been a sublime tragedy, with but here and there a gleam of joy. Again he embarked for Spain. Disasters seemed to pursue him every step of his way. Storm after storm beat fiercely upon his crazy bark. When he arrived, he was so exhausted by pain and mental suffering that he could not sit upon a horse. He was removed to Seville, where he hoped to find a little repose. Poverty now stared him in the face. Isabella was upon her death-bed, and soon breathed her last. Ferdinand was heartless, and incapable of generous impulses. In a letter to his son, Columbus sadly writes:

"I live by borrowing. Little have I profited by twenty years of service with such toils and perils, since at present I do not own a roof in Spain. If I desire to eat or sleep, I have no resort but an inn, and for the most times have not wherewithal to pay my bill."

Still the fires of heroic enterprise glowed in the veins of this strange and indomitable man. While helpless on his bed at Seville, and having already passed his three-score years and ten, with undying enthusiasm he was still planning new and gigantic enterprises, when death came with that summons which all must heed.

It was the 20th of May, 1506. With pious resignation he surrendered himself to the king of terrors. He was perfectly willing to depart "beyond the cares of this rough and weary world." Uttering devoutly the words, "Into thy hands, O Lord, I commit my spirit," he breathed his last. His remains were deposited in the Convent of St. Francisco at Seville. Thirty years afterwards they were removed to St. Domingo, on the island of Hayti. Upon the cession of the island to the French, in 1795, they were transferred by the Spanish authorities to the Cathedral of Havana in Cuba.

In this brief sketch of the career of Columbus, a career more full of wonderful adventure than that of almost any other man, we have of course been compelled to omit many occurrences of great interest. But we could not say less than we have done, consistently with our plan of giving a faithful narrative of the Romance of Spanish History.

Domestic Sorrows

(From 1500 A.D. to 1516 A.D.)

Visit of Philip and Joanna to Spain.—Insanity of Joanna.—Scene in the Court yard of the Castle.—Jealousy of Joanna.—Death of Isabella.—Death of Philip.—Marriage of Ferdinand with Germaine.—Sad Fate of Joanna.—Ferdinand's Tour to Naples.—Royal Revels.—Death of Ferdinand.

We must now turn back a few pages in the volume of history to inquire into the scenes which were transpiring in Spain. On the 24th of February, 1500, Queen Isabella's second daughter, Joanna, who had married the Archduke Philip, son of the Emperor Maximilian, and sovereign, in the right of his mother, of the Low Countries, gave birth to a son, who subsequently became the world-renowned Charles V. Queen Isabella., when his birth was announced to her, predicted that the crown of Spain would descend to his brow. Philip and Joanna, with the infant-prince, visited Spain the latter part of the year 1501. Passing through France, they were received and entertained at the French court by Louis XII. with the most profuse hospitality. A succession of fetes of the most brilliant character were given in their honor at Blois.

Magnificent preparations were made by Ferdinand and Isabella to receive the royal pair, the parents of the heir to the Spanish throne, with that dazzling pageantry which was characteristic of the times, and which was deemed essential to impress the masses of the people with the superiority and the grandeurs of royalty. Their progress through the principal cities of the north presented a continued series of processions, illuminations, and all other marks of public rejoicing. Ferdinand and Isabella met them at Toledo. The warm, motherly heart of the queen, saddened by so many bereavements, was transiently solaced in again receiving to her arms her beloved daughter Joanna, from whom she had so long been separated.

The joy of the queen, however, was soon dimmed as she perceived the frivolous and worthless character of her son-in-law Philip. Joanna was not beautiful, and was very sensitive. Philip gave her abundant occasion for jealousy. She was consequently very wretched. At times she would lavish upon her husband endearments which annoyed him, and again would give utterance to reproaches with which he was exasperated. The court of Ferdinand and Isabella was stately and decorous. Rigid propriety governed all its observances. They both recognized that power had been placed in their hands by Providence, to be used only for the welfare of the people over whom they were appointed to reign. The good of their subjects was the first thought in their minds. For this they were ready to sacrifice ease and pleasure.

But Philip was merely a man of pleasure, entirely devoted to voluptuous indulgence. He regarded the people, as the shepherd his sheep, as animals to be shorn. He soon wearied of the stately ceremonial and the reserve of the Court of Spain, and longed for the sensual excitements to which he was accustomed in the Netherlands, and in which he had revelled at the court of Louis XII. The babe Charles having received the oaths of allegiance of the Cortes of both Castile and Aragon, as heir to the Spanish crown, Philip abruptly announced his intention of an immediate return to the Netherlands by the way of France. No arguments or entreaties of his parents-in-law could dissuade him from this determination. Both the king and the queen were disgusted with the character of the prince to whom the destinies of their daughter were inseparably united, and who so cruelly requited her love. Philip departed from Spain, leaving Joanna and the little prince behind.

Louis XII. of France knew well how to pander to the appetites of Philip, and to convert him into an instrument for the accomplishment of his own ambitious purposes. The French court met Philip at Lyons, and again lavished upon him the most flattering attentions. The archduke and the king endeavored to cement their friendly alliance by the betrothal of the babe Charles, then three years of age, to the Princess Claude, an infant in the cradle, daughter of Louis XII. The Archduke Philip, exceeding the powers which had been granted to him by Ferdinand, arranged a treaty for the division of Naples between France and Spain—a treaty which gave France so greatly the advantage that Ferdinand refused to ratify it.

The French and Spanish forces in the kingdom of Naples immediately met in sanguinary conflict. The French were utterly routed. Philip had not yet left France. Louis XII. bitterly reproached him as guilty of perfidy in not obtaining the ratification of the treaty. The archduke was so chagrined at the failure of the treaty, which placed him not only in a dishonorable but also in a ridiculous position, that he was thrown into a violent fever which confined him to his bed for several days. His frivolity was for a time effectually checked. He wrote to the Spanish court, indignantly demanding that the treaty, which he assumed that he had made pursuant to orders, should be ratified, and that France should receive indemnity for the loss incurred through its violation. But Ferdinand paid no attention to the expostulations of his frivolous son-in-law further than to send word to France that the treaty, made in contempt of his orders, he never would ratify.

Worn down with cares and sorrows, the health of Queen Isabella was now rapidly failing, when a new grief came, and the heaviest which had ever yet fallen upon her heart. Philip was so remarkable for his personal beauty that he is known in history as Philip the Handsome. Joanna, not-withstanding her frequent pangs of well-founded jealousy, doted upon him with an excess of fondness. Immediately upon his departure she sank into a state of the deepest dejection. Her strange conduct soon began to excite alarm. Day and night she would sit almost immovable, gazing silently upon the ground, taking no interest in the scenes which were occurring around her.

About three months after the departure of Philip, on the 10th of March, 1503, Joanna gave birth to another son, who was named Ferdinand, after his grandfather. Still no change occurred in her conduct. Her mind seemed entirely engrossed in desires to see Philip. Eight months passed sadly away, when, taking advantage of a wish he expressed in one of his letters to have her return, she resolved immediately, and at all hazards, to set out for Flanders. Her parents remonstrated with the most affectionate earnestness. She could not traverse France, for the two kingdoms were at war. It was mid-winter, and she could not safely, at that inclement season, brave the terrors of the northern seas.

Soon the insanity of Joanna was developed beyond all doubt. She was residing in a castle at Medina with her mother. One evening, Isabella having been called away to Segovia, about forty miles distant, Joanna left her apartment, and in deshabille, without any ostensible purpose or any announcement to the attendants, sallied out alone to leave the castle. Great was the consternation. None dared to use violence, and all entreaties to induce her to return were in vain. The Bishop of Burgos, who was in charge of the household, finding all other efforts unavailing, ordered the gates of the castle to be closed.

Thus baffled in her plan, Joanna was thrown into a state of the utmost excitement and indignation. She loaded her attendants with reproaches, sat down in the court-yard of the castle, and positively refused to return to her apartments. The night was cold. She would allow no additional clothing to be placed upon her. No one felt authorized to use violence, and there she remained, sleepless, angry, and shivering, until morning. The queen was hastily sent for. Shocked by the tidings, and in very feeble health, she dispatched two of the most influential members of her court, Admiral Henriquez and the Archbishop of Toledo, with all possible speed to Medina, while she prepared to follow as rapidly as her health and strength would allow.

The two nobles found the hapless Joanna still in the courtyard. At last she so far yielded to their earnest entreaties as to repair for a short time to a miserable kitchen in the castle. Soon again, however, she returned to her station on the barrier, where she persisted in remaining. Here Isabella found her crazed child, and the heart of the loving mother sank, crushed as never before, beneath the blow. The death of her children had overwhelmed her with anguish, but here was a grief whose glooms were deeper than those of the grave.

In the midst of these domestic sorrows, national troubles demanded all the energies of her mind. France, enraged by what was termed a violation of treaty obligations, and by the signal defeat she had encountered in Naples, prepared a large army and a powerful fleet for the invasion of Spain. Ferdinand placed himself at the head of his armies to meet the foe, while Isabella, though with rapidly-failing health, was unwearied in her endeavors to send troops and supplies to her husband. So large a force was gathered that the French, who had entered Spain, upon its approach, confident that defeat alone awaited them, hastily broke up their camp and retired through the defiles of the mountains. A truce with France for three years was the result. Still the French and Spanish soldiers met in many bloody battles upon the plains of Italy, struggling for the possession of that unhappy country.

The devout Isabella, with ever-failing health and increasing sorrows, bowed with resignation to the will of Providence, and in the exercises of piety sought preparation for the great change which she was assured must ere long come. In the spring of 1804, Joanna, after an absence of about a year and a half from her husband, her mind having partially regained its composure, embarked for Flanders. But the conduct of Philip caused her mental alienation soon to burst forth with renewed violence. The dissolute archduke fell deeply in love with one of the beautiful ladies of Joanna's suite, and he took no pains to disguise his passion. The shattered mind of his wife was so much disturbed that in one of her paroxysms she fell upon the frail fair one with all the fury of a maniac, scratching her face and tearing her beautiful ringlets in handfuls from her head. Philip was so enraged that he assailed Joanna in the coarsest terms of vituperation, and refused all further intercourse with her.

The tidings of this domestic outbreak, when it reached the ears of Ferdinand and Isabella, caused them the most poignant grief. They both fell ill of a fever. The cup of Isabella's sorrows now seemed full to the brim. Her husband she feared was dying. Her daughter, the heiress to the crown of Castile, was crazed, and in heart as wretched as probably any woman who could be found in Spain. Ferdinand gradually recovered, but the queen sank beneath the malady. On the 12th of October Isabella executed her last will and testament, a document which will ever testify to the purity and the grandeur of her character.

She directed that her body should be buried in the Alhambra at Granada, with a simple inscription on her tombstone. "But," she added, "should the king, my lord, prefer a sepulchre in some other place, then my will is that my body be there transported and laid by his side; that the union we have enjoyed in this world, and, through the mercy of God, may hope for our souls in heaven, may be represented by our bodies in the earth."

The crown she settled upon Joanna as "queen proprietor" and the Archduke Philip, her husband. In consequence of the incapacity of Joanna, Philip was appointed regent of Castile until the majority of her grandson Charles. After sundry bequests to friends and to objects of benevolence, she concludes with the words, "I beseech the king, my lord, that he will accept all my jewels, so that, seeing them, he may be reminded of the singular love I always bore him while living, and that I am now waiting for him in a better world; by which remembrance be may be encouraged to live more justly and holily in this."

Three days after this a friend wrote from her bedside, "You ask me respecting the state of the queen's health. We sit sorrowful in the palace all the day long, tremblingly awaiting the hour when religion and virtue shall quit the earth with her. Let us pray that we may be permitted to follow hereafter where she is soon to go. She so far transcends all human excellence that there is scarcely any thing of mortality about her. She can scarcely be said to die, but to pass into a nobler existence, which should rather excite our envy than our sorrow. She leaves the world filled with her renown, and she goes to enjoy life eternal with her God in heaven. I write this between hope and fear, while the breath is still fluttering within her."

Seeing her friends bathed in tears around her bed, she said to them, "Do not weep for me, nor waste your time in fruitless prayers for my recovery, but pray rather for the salvation of my soul."

On Wednesday, November 26th, 1504, Isabella died, in the fifty-fourth year of her age, and thirtieth of her reign. Through a terrible tempest of wind and rain the body was borne on its long journey to the grave. The rain continued to fall in floods, and the gale of one of the gloomiest of winter days howled around the towers of the Alhambra as the remains of Isabella were consigned to their final resting-place.

"Life's labor done, securely laid

In this her last retreat,

Unheeded o'er her silent dust,

The storms of life shall beat."

The death of Isabella, Queen of Castile, rendered it necessary for Ferdinand to resign the crown of Castile, which for thirty years he had worn as her husband. Joanna, in conjunction with her husband Philip, was immediately proclaimed as succeeding to the throne. In consequence of the queen's mental infirmity, the Cortes requested her father Ferdinand to administer the government in her name. There was not, however, unanimity of sentiment upon this subject. Many wished to invite Philip to assume the government, as the natural guardian of his wife. Conspiracies were formed and intrigues commenced to promote this end. At length Philip, who was still in Flanders, was induced to claim the throne for himself, and to write to Ferdinand demanding that he should renounce the government of Castile and retire to Aragon. A bitter family quarrel ensued. Joanna espoused the cause of her father. A letter which she wrote expressing these views was betrayed to Philip. He seized his unhappy wife and placed her under rigorous confinement, which greatly aggravated her malady.

Ferdinand, under these circumstances, anxious to detach France from the interests of Philip and to secure the powerful co-operation of that court in his favor, made proposals for the hand of the Princess Germaine, a gay, frivolous young lady of eighteen, daughter of one of the sisters of Louis XII. The French king, who had already become somewhat alienated from Philip, eagerly entered into the arrangement, though it involved the rupture of the nuptial alliance between the infant children of Louis and Philip. By the terms of the treaty the alliance between France and Spain was to subsist "as two souls in one and the same body." This treaty of marriage was ratified by Ferdinand eleven months after the death of Isabella, he being then in the fifty-fourth year of his age.

Philip thus thwarted, and prohibited by Louis XII. from passing through France to enter the kingdom of Castile, perfidiously entered into an arrangement, which he had no intention of respecting, by which the government of Castile was to be administered in the joint name of Ferdinand, Philip, and Joanna, while Ferdinand should be entitled to one-half of the public revenue. Aided by this artifice, Philip, with Joanna, early in January,1805, embarked on board a powerful fleet for Spain. A terrible storm arose. The fleet was scattered. The ship which conveyed Philip and Joanna took fire and came near foundering. A shattered wreck, it with difficulty reached the harbor of Weymouth, in England. In splendor the royal pair were escorted to Windsor, where they were entertained for three months with profuse hospitality. At length they re-embarked, and landed at Corunna.

In the mean time Ferdinand led his young bride to the altar. The marriage ceremony took place at Duenas where thirty years before, inspired by youthful love, he had pledged his faith to Isabella. Spain regarded these nuptials of ambition with strong disapprobation.

"It seemed hard," says Martyr, "that these nuptials should take place so soon, and that too in Isabella's own kingdom of Castile, where she had lived without peer, and where her ashes are still held in as much veneration as she enjoyed while living."

Philip brought with him three thousand well-trained German infantry. An additional force of six thousand Spaniards was speedily mustered. The chivalry of Castile with enthusiasm rallied around his banner. Philip now threw off all disguise, and claiming exclusive possession of the crown for Joanna and himself, bade defiance to his father-in-law. Ferdinand was abandoned by all in Castile. The walled cities closed their gates against him. "A sad spectacle," exclaims Martyr, "to behold a monarch, yesterday almost omnipotent, thus wandering a vagabond in his own kingdom, and refused even the sight of his own child." Thus circumvented, Ferdinand in the end was constrained to sign an agreement by which he surrendered the entire sovereignty of Castile to Philip and Joanna.

The unhappy queen was still sunk in the depths of melancholy. There was reason in her madness, for her heart was broken by the infidelity and the cruelty of her husband. He was a dissolute man of pleasure, and had long since ceased to treat his wife even with outward respect. Poor Joanna had however friends who sympathized with her, and who braved the wrath of the king by refusing to accede to his request to confine the queen as a lunatic, and to confer upon him the whole charge of the government. The Cortes took the usual oaths to Joanna as queen, to Philip as her husband, and to Prince Charles, as heir and lawful successor to the throne upon the death of his mother. Philip held his wife in cruel duress, and ruled infamously, filling most of the posts of emolument and honor with foreign favorites whom he had brought with him from Flanders. Low mutterings of discontent were heard, deep and wide-spread, indicating a rising storm.

Ferdinand, with his young wife, set out on a tour to visit the kingdom of Naples, whose crown had been conferred by Louis XII. as a dowry upon Germaine. The fleet, which sailed from Barcelona on the 4th of September, 1506, touched at Genoa on the 24th, and was soon after driven by contrary winds into the harbor of Portofino. Here Ferdinand received the startling intelligence of the sudden death of Philip. He fell a victim to a malignant fever, which speedily terminated his dissolute life on the 25th of December, 1506, in the twenty-eighth year of his age. The queen sat in silence and gloom at his bedside during the whole of his sickness. No tear dimmed her eye. No words of lamentation escaped her lips. When he breathed his last she fixed her eye upon him with a vacant stare, lost in the stupor of insensibility.

And there she remained immovable, in the darkened chamber of death, her head resting upon her hand, her features expressive of profoundest melancholy, and mute as a statue. She was requested to give her signature, which was needful for the assembling of the Cortes. Sadly she replied,

"My father will attend to this when he returns. He is much more conversant with business than I am. I have no other duties now but to pray for the soul of my departed husband."

Ferdinand decided to continue his voyage to Naples. He was enthusiastically received in these his new Italian dominions. A fleet of twenty vessels came out to escort him into the port of Naples. Thunders of artillery from ship and shore, the ringing of bells, and the shouts of the multitude greeted the royal pair as they landed. The king was gorgeously arrayed in robes of crimson velvet. He wore a black velvet cap, glittering with gems, and was mounted on a white charger splendidly caparisoned. The queen rode by his side on a milk-white palfrey decorated in robes of rich brocade. The escort was correspondingly gorgeous. Nobles of highest rank led by the bridle the horses upon which Ferdinand and Germaine rode. A richly-embroidered silken canopy was held by the principal officers of the city over the heads of the royal pair to protect them from the sun.

In commanding positions the procession halted, when the king and queen were greeted with bursts of music, shouts of acclaim, and crowds of knights and high-born dames crowded around their majesties to render them homage by kissing their hands. After passing through the principal streets, the procession entered the great cathedral, where the most imposing religious rites closed the ceremonies of the day.

In the mean time a provisional government was organized at Burgos, in Castile. Joanna, plunged into the deepest melancholy, occasionally exhibiting the wildest freaks of insanity, not only refused to sanction any of their proceedings, but even to grant an audience to any committee. Three months after the death of her husband she determined to remove his remains to Granada, and insisted upon having the coffins of wood and lead opened that she might view the corpse. Opposition only roused her to frenzy. Without a tear, without any exhibition of emotion, she gazed upon the revolting spectacle, and placed her hand upon the mouldering brow. It is said that she had never been known to shed a tear after she detected her husband's infidelity to her.

The funeral car, of magnificent proportions and adornment, was drawn by four horses, and was accompanied by a long train of ecclesiastics and nobles. The procession left Burgos on the night of the 20th of December, and moved only during the hours of darkness. "A widow," said poor crazed Joanna, "who has lost the sun of her own soul, should never expose herself to the light of day."

Every morning before the dawn the body was deposited in some church or monastery, where funeral ceremonies were performed, as at his burial. An armed guard was also stationed to prevent any female from approaching the remains. In the disordered state of Joanna's intellect, she cherished the same jealousy of her sex which had embittered her days while her husband lived. One morning, by order of the queen, the body was taken into the courtyard of a convent which she supposed to be occupied by monks. To her horror, she found it to be a nunnery. In the utmost haste she ordered the remains to be taken to the open fields. It was still dark, and a high wind was blowing. Here the party all encamped, and Joanna insisted that the coffins should be opened, that, by the flaring light of the torches, she might satisfy herself that the presence of the nuns had not disturbed her husband's remains. Continuing the journey, they at length reached their destination. The wild aspect of the queen, her haggard features, and emaciate frame, rendered more revolting by the squalid attire which alone she could be persuaded to wear, greatly shocked her friends. The remains were finally deposited in the Monastery of Santa Clara. Joanna selected rooms in the palace from which she could behold his sepulchre. And here the poor, crazed queen remained, at her melancholy watch, for forty-seven years. She never left the walls of the palace until her body was borne in burial to moulder by the side of her unfaithful husband. Seldom has history recorded a more affecting tragedy than the fate of this princess, apparently born to the most exalted earthly destiny.

Leaving Joanna to her melancholy vigils of nearly half a century, we must return to her father Ferdinand, who, with his young bride, was making a triumphal nuptial tour through the kingdom of Naples. The death of Philip and the insanity of Joanna led Castile to avow allegiance to Ferdinand. Sailing from Naples on the 6th of June, 1507, the royal fleet entered Savona, in France, on the 28th. Here Louis XII., with a splendid array of land and sea forces, was waiting to greet Ferdinand with a royal welcome. The vessels on both sides were decorated with the most gorgeous drapery of carpets, flags, and silken awnings. All the seamen of Ferdinand's fleet were dressed in gaudy-colored livery of yellow and scarlet. As the royal couple landed with their suite, richly-caparisoned steeds awaited them. Louis XII, mounted upon a magnificent charger, took his niece Germaine, the bride of Ferdinand, behind him en croupe. The rest of the cavaliers followed his example. Thus the whole party, gentlemen and ladies, two on each horse, galloped off in high glee to the royal residence. The dead Philip and the crazed Joanna were already forgotten.

Wine flowed freely. Feasting, songs, dances ensued, and for four days the place resounded with the mirth of the royal revels. Re-embarking, the king and queen reached Valencia, in Spain, on the 20th of July. Soon after the king took the oath of administrator of the realm of Aragon in the name of his daughter and as guardian of her son and heir, Charles V.

The Moors of Africa, exasperated by the cruel treatment they had received, occasionally retaliated by descents upon the southern coasts of Spain. Cardinal Ximenes urged the king to fit out an expedition to punish them, and to conquer, in behalf of the cross, all those Moslem cities which lined the shores of the Mediterranean, and which had become nests of pirates. The king objected for want of funds. The proud cardinal offered to supply the funds from his own purse if he might be placed in command of the expedition. The energetic prelate had ample means. In the course of a few months he had ninety vessels, thoroughly equipped, in the harbor of Carthagena, with four thousand horse and ten thousand foot, with provisions for four months. The extraordinary man who created this force, and who was to take its military command, was over seventy years of age, and had spent his life in the seclusion of the cloister. The wags of the day made themselves merry with the thought that the monks were to fight the battles of Spain, while the great captains remained at home to count their beads.

The fleet sailed on the 16th of May, 1509, and crossed rapidly to the African shore. The Moors were ready to meet the foe. Ximenes, dressed in pontifical robes, and accompanied by a staff of monks in their monastic frocks, exhibited military ability of a high order. Inspiring his troops with intense religious enthusiasm, he led them to one of the fiercest assaults recorded in military annals, though the cardinal himself; in obedience to the earnest entreaties of his soldiers, remained in a place of safety. The Moors were routed. Their strong city of Oran was taken by storm. The Spaniards abandoned themselves to butchery and the most brutal license. The officers lost all control over them, and deeds were perpetrated which fiends in pandemonium could not rival. The spoil of the captured city amounted, it is said, to half a million of gold ducats. Three hundred Christian captives were liberated from the dungeons of Oran. Crowned with this wonderful success, Ximenes returned to Spain, leaving the army under the command of Count Navarro. With his combined fleet and land force Navarro advanced, through a series of victories, capturing all the Moorish cities and region as far as Tripoli. The inhabitants were all received as vassals of the Catholic king, paying to Ferdinand the taxes which they had been accustomed to pay to their Moslem princes.

Nothing of special interest occurred during the remainder of the reign of Ferdinand. There were some bloody conflicts in Italy, and the kingdom of Navarre was invaded and annexed to the crown of Castile. The king was much disappointed in the failure of issue by his young wife. In the spring of 1513 the health of Ferdinand began sensibly to decline. He became impatient, irritable, and deeply dejected in spirits. He seemed to lose not only all interest in amusements, but also in public affairs. Restless and discontented, he moved from place to place, finding content nowhere. A slight attack of paralysis, probably, threw him one night into a state of insensibility from which his attendants found it difficult to rouse him.

Death is as humiliating and painful in its ravages in the palace as in the cottage. Indications of dropsy soon became decisive. The king found great difficulty in breathing. He complained of being stifled not only within the spacious walls of the palace, but anywhere in crowded cities. Consequently he lived as much as possible in the fields. As the weather grew colder, he directed his steps towards the south. Having reached the little village of Madrigalejo, he was unable to go any farther. The king seemed to be very unwilling to admit that his life was in any danger, and would not consent to any spiritual administrations which would imply that death was near.

At length the medical attendants felt constrained to in- form the king that his case was hopeless. He calmly listened to the announcement, received the sacrament, and called his friends around his bed to advise with them respecting the disposition of the government. Poor, crazed Joanna was still living, day after day watching the sepulchre of her husband. She was the legitimate heir of the united crowns of Castile and Aragon. Her eldest son and heir, Charles, was then sixteen years of age. A regency was appointed until he should attain his majority. The queen, Germaine, arrived but a few hours before her husband's death. Ferdinand breathed his last on the 22nd of January, 1516, in the sixty-fourth year of his age. He died in a small room of the obscure village where disease had arrested his steps. "In so wretched a tenement," writes Martyr, "did the lord of so many lands close his eyes upon the world."

Charles V and His Son Philip

(From 1516 A.D. to 1558 A.D.)

Reign of Charles V.—Election as Emperor.—His melancholy Temperament.—Death of his Mother.—His Abdication.—The Monastery of St. Just.—Cloister Life.—The mock Burial.—Death.—Wretchedness of the Nations.—Early Life of Philip.—His Marriage with Mary of Portugal.—Death of Mary.—Marriage with Mary of England.—Joylessness of the bridal Couple.—Nuptial Rtes.—Philip summoned to the Abdication.

Charles V was sixteen years of age when the united sceptre of Castile and Aragon, with the kingdom of Naples and immense dependencies in the New World, passed into his hands. Though nominally he shared the throne with his mother, yet, in consequence of her incapacity, he was the real sovereign. He had previously, through his father, inherited that portion of the dukedom of Burgundy which comprehended Franche Comte and the Netherlands. Three years after, when but nineteen years of age, upon the death of Maximilian, he was elected Emperor of Germany. Then, for the first time, appeared upon the globe an empire of which it could be said that the sun never set within the borders of its dominions.

Under the long reign of Charles V. but little transpired in Spain worthy of special notice. Charles V. spent but little time in the peninsula. He was born in the Netherlands; his early attachments were there: he was more familiar with the German than with the Spanish language; and throughout all his reign, as in subsequent times, he has been renowned rather as Emperor of Germany than as King of Spain. Indeed he regarded the crown which he inherited from his mother as chiefly valuable for the resources it afforded him in the prosecution of his ambitious plans. Consequently the wonderful career of Charles V. does not justly pertain to Spanish history. The closing events of his life, however, must be recorded.

Charles V. undoubtedly inherited from his mother a disordered intellect. Joanna terminated her sad life of delirium and of gloom on the 4th of April, 1555. About six months afterwards, in the month of October, Charles resolved to abdicate the throne. He had not unfrequently, during his long reign of thirty-nine years, developed traits of character indicative of insanity. When but thirty years of age he was attacked by the gout, and rendered so helpless that he nearly lost the use of his limbs. The deepest melancholy oppressed his mind. He secluded himself from all society, spent his whole time in reading books of devotion, and for several months refused to pay any attention to public affairs.

The death of his mother affected him deeply. He imagined that he continually heard her voice calling upon him to follow her. His religious interests absorbed his thoughts. His shattered health led him to feel that death could not be far distant. Though but fifty-five years of age, he was prematurely old, worn down with care, toil, and disappointment. In one of his hours of weariness and dejection, when travelling in Spain, he came upon the Convent of St. Justus, in Estramadura. It was beautifully situated in a vale secluded from all the bustle of life. Forest-covered hills encircled it, and a rivulet murmured by its massive walls. Silence and solitude reigned there unbroken. As the world-weary monarch gazed upon the enchanting scene he exclaimed, "Behold a lovely retreat for another Diocletian!"

For years he had contemplated resigning the crown and seeking these cloistered solitudes in which to prepare for his latter end. After the death of his mother, and when his son Philip had attained sufficient age to assume the cares of empire, Charles decided upon the act of abdication. The imposing ceremony took place at Brussels, on the 25th of October, 1555, in the great hall of the royal palace. Careful arrangements were made to invest the scene with dramatic effect. The large apartment was gorgeously furnished for the occasion, and was crowded with the dignitaries of the realm. A platform about five feet high was erected at one end of the room, upon which there was placed a throne for the emperor, and other seats for the great lords.

After attending mass, Charles, accompanied by his son Philip and a numerous retinue, entered the hall. Charles was so infirm that he needed the double support of a staff and the arm of the Prince of Orange. He was dressed in deep mourning for his mother. In a somewhat boastful speech he recapitulated the acts of his administration, his wars, his weary journeys, his innumerable cares. In conclusion, he said:

"While my health enabled me to perform my duty, I cheerfully bore the burden. But as my constitution is now broken by an incurable distemper, and my infirmities admonish me to retire, the happiness of my people influences me more than the ambition of reigning. Instead of a decrepit old man, tottering on the brink of the grave, I transfer your allegiance to a sovereign in the prime of life, vigilant, sagacious, active, and enterprising. With respect to myself; if I have committed any error in the course of a long administration, forgive me, and impute it to my weakness, not to my intention. I shall ever retain a grateful sense of your fidelity and attachment, and your welfare shall be the great object of my prayers to Almighty God, to whom I now consecrate the remainder of my days."

As the emperor, deadly pale, and exhausted by his efforts, sank back upon his seat, exclaiming, in broken accents, while he gazed upon his people, "God bless you! God bless you!" "nothing was to be heard throughout the hall," says an eye-witness, "but sobs and ill suppressed moans." Charles V., having thus descended to the rank of a private gentleman, embarked with a numerous retinue, in a fleet of fifty sail, for Spain. The passage was stormy. On the 28th of January, 1556, he landed at Loredo, in Biscay. As he stepped upon the shore he prostrated himself upon the ground, exclaiming, "Naked I came into the world, and naked I return to thee, thou common mother of mankind." Then, holding a crucifix before him, with streaming eyes, and all unmindful of the group around, he uttered an impassioned prayer for the divine guidance and blessing. By slow stages, and with some delays, Charles reached the convent.

There is considerable diversity in the accounts transmitted to us of the cloister life of Charles V. The narrative given by Robertson, carefully collated from original manuscripts, is different, in some of the details, from those given by Prescott and Motley, who were no less painstaking and careful in their investigations. We tell the story here in accordance with the best evidence which can be found.

The emperor, in preparation for his retirement, had caused a small building, two stories high, with four low rooms of moderate size on each floor, to be erected against the south wall of the monastery. The house faced the south, with a hall passing through the centre. Piazzas ran along the east and west sides. A window of the chamber which Charles occupied opened into the chapel of the monastery, so that Charles could attend mass without leaving his chamber, or even his bed.

The rooms were comfortably furnished, and the emperor's wardrobe was ample. His bed-chamber was tapestried, in mourning, with black cloth of the finest texture. Large clocks were in the rooms, and the emperor was not only served from silver plate, but the meanest utensils of his chamber and kitchen were also silver. A choice collection of paintings adorned the walls. A pleasant garden, with a high inclosure, which sheltered the recluse from all observation, invited the emperor, beneath those sunny skies, to shady walks, over-arched with chestnut, walnut, and other trees of dense foliage, and to the culture of fruits and flowers. Though fond of art, Charles was not of a literary turn of mind, and his library was meagre, consisting mostly of books of devotion. The retinue which accompanied him to this retreat consisted of about fifty persons.

As Charles entered the chapel of this his last earthly home, the whole brotherhood chanted the Te Deem. The emperor then knelt in prayer before the altar, and all the monks gathered reverentially around him. Charles, who could not lay aside his life-long airs of a sovereign, received them graciously, and expressed himself as well-pleased with the arrangements which had been made for his accommodation. Indeed Charles was still officially emperor. Though the throne of Spain had passed entirely from his hands, renunciation of the imperial crown of Germany had not taken effect, as the Diet had not yet held its session.

The life of the emperor in the convent was methodical and monotonous. He attended mass every morning in the chapel, and dined at an early hour at the refectory of the convent. After dinner, which with its conversation generally occupied much time, the emperor listened to the reading of some book of devotion. As the evening drew on, he listened in the chapel to the preaching of a sermon from one of three or four clergymen who, in consequence of their eloquence, had been brought to the convent for the benefit of the emperor. He was attentive to all the fasts and festivals of the Church, and imposed upon himself vigorous penances. He scourged himself with such severity of flagellation that the cords of the whip were stained with his blood. No woman was allowed to approach within two bow-shots of the gates of the convent under penalty of two hundred stripes.

Being naturally fond of mechanical pursuits, Charles beguiled many hours in carving puppets and constructing children's playthings, and even some articles of household utility. He was much interested in the mechanism of watches, and his rooms were filled with time-pieces of every variety of construction. It is said that when he found how impossible it was to make any two of them keep precisely the same time, he exclaimed upon the folly of attempting to compel all men to think alike upon the subject of religion. Occasionally some of the nobles residing in the vicinity were admitted to the presence of the emperor, and he conversed with them with interest and animation. Charles had two sisters, dowager-queens of France and Hungary, both of whom visited him in his retirement.

There was also a bright little boy, twelve years of age, in the imperial household, who was an object of especial interest and attachment to Charles. This child, who afterwards obtained renown as Don John of Austria, it was subsequently ascertained was a natural son of the emperor, though at the time the fact was known only to one member of the imperial family. It seems to be pretty well established, though such has not been the general impression, that Charles took a lively interest in the progress of public affairs. His son Philip constantly consulted him upon great questions of public policy. The emperor's daughter Joanna was appointed regent of Castile. She resided at a distance of about fifty leagues from the convent, and kept up a constant correspondence with her father, soliciting his advice. The income which Charles settled upon himself was twenty thousand ducats (about $40,000), payable quarterly in advance.

Charles, a very severe sufferer from general debility, was quite helplessly crippled, and endured the severest pangs of the gout. Under the pressure of this bodily suffering and perhaps of constitutional gloom, inherited from his insane mother, he sank gradually into a state of the profoundest dejection. It was evident to all that his life could not be much prolonged. Under these circumstances he adopted the extraordinary idea of rehearsing his own funeral. Quite different accounts are given of the details of this act. Indeed modern researches have thrown doubt upon the whole statement. But the act was in harmony with the character of Charles; and it seems incredible that such a narrative as a mere fabrication, could have obtained such credence. Some represent the emperor as placed in the coffin, and thus passing through the whole ceremony until deposited in the tomb. Others represent him attending as a spectator, muffled in a dark mantle. The mock burial, as usual in the monastery, took place at night. The chapel was lighted with tapers, and hung in black. The monks were all present in their monastic garb. A huge catafalque shrouded in black, in the centre of the chapel, supported the coffin, which held, or was supposed to hold, the body of the emperor. The death-knell was tolled by the convent bells, requiems were chanted by the choir, and the burial service was performed.

After the service was closed, and the procession had retired from the chapel, the emperor, either rising, in his shroud, from his coffin, or emerging from some place of concealment knelt before the dimly-lighted altar in prayer, and then, exhausted by emotion and chilled with sepulchral cold, returned from his burial to his chamber, to pass the remainder of the night in prayer. The shock of this solemn scene was too much for the old monarch's enfeebled frame and weakened mind. He was soon after seized by a fever, and it became evident that his end was approaching.

When informed of this, he expressed much satisfaction, saying that it was what he had long desired. The devout, prayerful, shall we say conscientious bigot, with dying breath urged his son Philip to extirpate heresy from his realms by all the energies of the Inquisition, without favor or mercy to any one. "So," says he, "you shall have my blessing, and the Lord shall prosper all your undertakings." Philip fulfilled these injunctions with cruelty which one would think must have flooded with tears the eyes of angels. The emperor found consolation in having passages of Scripture read to him: the ceremony of extreme unction was performed, and he partook, after it, of the communion, saying that it was a good provision for the long journey upon which he was about to set out. He knelt at his bedside, uttering such expressions of contrition, and pleading so earnestly for the forgiveness of his sins, as to bring tears to the eyes of all who were present.

On the 21st of September, two hours after midnight, the emperor perceived that the death-summons had come. "Now is the time," he exclaimed. A lighted taper was placed in his right hand. With his left he feebly held a silver crucifix. The empress had held it in her dying hour. Both earthly and heavenly love were blended in the gaze which he fixed upon the sacred emblem. The archbishop was reading the solemn words of the Psalm, "Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord," when the dying man, slightly raising his head, pressed the crucifix to his lips, and saying, in feeble accents, "Yes, Jesus," sank back dead. It is well that God, who is to pass judgment upon such a character, is infinite in wisdom and in love. Human judgment is here quite bewildered. But one thing is certain. As with Charles V., so with every other man, there can be no true repose in death, but in the well-grounded assurance that one's peace is made with God.

Charles V. died the 21st of September, 1558, in the fifty-ninth year of his age. His pathway through life, along the summits of power, was ever enveloped in clouds and storms. He could seldom have experienced an emotion of joy. In resigning his crown, he said to his son, "I leave you a heavy burden; for since my shoulders have borne it I have not passed one day exempt from disquietude."

Indeed there could have been but little happiness for any one in those dark days of oppression and blood. Europe was as the crater of a volcano, ever in violent eruption. The Turks were advancing upon Europe by the valley of the Danube, sparing neither age nor sex, burning the cities and devastating the country. The Christian nations were also engaged in incessant wars with one another, baron against baron, duke against duke, king against king. From all lands an almost incessant wail of misery ascended to the ear of God.

The son of Charles V., Philip II., who succeeded his father upon the throne of Spain, was born at Valladolid, in 1527. His mother Isabella was the daughter of Emanuel, King of Portugal. She died when thirty-six years of age. Charles V., who was but four years her senior, was thrown into an agony of grief by her death, and testified to the devotion of his attachment by never marrying again. All contemporaneous history describes Isabella as worthy of this love. She seems to have been one of the noblest of women, Philip, at the time of his mother's death, was but twelve years old. In December, 1543, Philip married Mary, daughter of the King of Portugal. His destined bride, whom Philip had never yet seen, left Portugal for Castile, accompanied by the Archbishop of Lisbon and a numerous train of nobles. A splendid embassy was sent out to meet her, and to accompany her to Salamanca. The palace at Badajoz was decorated for her reception with Oriental magnificence.

As Mary, with an escort which numbered thousands, approached Salamanca, Philip, eager to catch a sight of his bride, sallied out in disguise, with a few attendants, to meet her a few miles from the city. He wore the dress of a huntsman, with a slouched hat and a gauze mask. Thus he could mingle with the crowd, draw near the princess, and examine her person and features at his leisure.

Mary was beautiful, having a pleasing countenance and a very fine figure. She was dressed in cloth of silver embroidered with golden flowers. Her mantle and hat were of violet-colored velvet, figured with gold. She was mounted upon a mule with a silver saddle and housings of rich brocade. A numerous procession from the city, composed of the professors of the university, in their academic gowns, the judges and municipal officers, in their gorgeous robes of office, the military, horse and foot, in very brilliant uniform. Thus accompanied by the peal of martial bands and the shouts of the populace, Mary entered the gates of the gorgeous and sumptuously-furnished palace of Badajoz.

The next evening they were married. The marriage festivities were prolonged for a week. The proudest aristocracy of Europe vied with each other in the display, as feasts and tournaments succeeded each other. Both bride and bridegroom were eighteen years of age. The new-married pair soon repaired to Valladolid. A few months passed swiftly away, when Mary gave birth to a son, Don Carlos, and sank herself into the grave. Thus rapidly did the dirge succeed the merry ringing of the marriage bell. The body of Mary, beautiful even in death, was conveyed to Granada, and was afterwards removed to a magnificent mausoleum reared by her husband to her memory in the Escurial. The babe of this young mother lived to endure a fate more sad than has often fallen to the lot of humanity.

It will be remembered that Catharine of Aragon, youngest daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, married Arthur, Prince of Wales, son of Henry VII. of England. Five months after their marriage Arthur died. She then married Arthur's brother Henry, who subsequently became Henry VIII. After a union of twenty years Henry obtained a divorce, that he might marry the beautiful Anne Boleyn, one of the queen's maids of honor. Mary, the daughter of Catharine and Henry VIII., succeeded to the throne of England in 1553. She was an earnest Roman Catholic, as was also her mother Catharine.

Charles V., an ambitious father, who was then upon the throne, influenced solely by affairs of state, without consulting the inclinations of his son, chose this maiden queen for the next bride of Philip. She was unattractive in person, gloomy in disposition, eleven years older than Philip, and austerely a religionist. The cruelty with which she pursued heresy has given her the unenviable title of "Bloody Mary." Philip, though zealous for the Church, placed but little restraint upon his sensual indulgences. He loved power, was accustomed to obey his father, and made no objections to the match.

The marriage contract was settled without either of the parties having seen each other. It was fitting that the son of the emperor should go in great state to obtain his bride. A fleet of a hundred sail was riding at anchor at Corunna, ready to receive him. Four thousand of the best troops in Spain were embarked in splendid uniforms. In addition to these, there was a numerous retinue of all the flower of the Spanish nobility, with their wives, vassals, minstrels, and merry-makers. A prosperous sail brought this fleet within sight of the shores of England, where it was met by the combined fleet of England and Flanders. On the 19th of July, 1554, the squadron anchored in the port of Southampton. A number of gorgeously-decorated barges immediately put out from the shore, conspicuous among which was the royal barge, with a very rich silken canopy embroidered with gold. It was manned by sailors in the royal livery of white and green. This, which was called the queen's barge, conveyed Philip to the land, while the rest took the nobles and their retinues.

A large assemblage of English nobles met Philip on the shore. The prince was dressed in a suit of black silk velvet, richly decorated with ornaments of gold. Carriage-roads were then rare in England. A very handsome horse was provided for him, which he mounted and, being a very fine rider, he attracted much admiration by the grace with which he managed his spirited steed. In accordance with the religious customs of the times, the procession at first moved to the church, where mass was performed, and thanks offered to God for the prosperous voyage.

Philip remained for several days in Southampton, gracefully receiving and requiting the attentions which were lavished upon him, until the Earl of Pembroke arrived with a brilliant company of two hundred mounted gentlemen to escort him to Winchester. The splendor of the escort was also increased by a large body of English archers showily dressed in uniform of yellow and red, the livery of the house of Aragon.

The appointed day for the journey was unpropitious. A fierce storm raged of wind and rain. Regardless of the tempest, Philip wrapped his red coat around him, and, with a broad slouched hat over his eyes, galloped on to Winchester, a distance of about twenty miles. As he advanced, his retinue rapidly increased by accessions from the neighboring gentry until it amounted to several thousands. Late in the afternoon they reached Winchester, spattered with mud and drenched with rain. That evening Philip had his first private interview with Mary, who had come there to meet him. The next day there was a public reception in the great hall of the palace. The courtiers from England, Spain, and Flanders thronged the hall, while Philip and Mary conversed side by side under a stately canopy. On the next ensuing day the marriage took place. Mary had provided her youthful husband with his bridal suit. It was composed of white satin, embroidered with gold, and richly frosted with precious stones. Mary also was dressed in white satin, richly decorated with golden embroidery, studded and fringed with the most costly jewels. With this dress, bright red slippers and a mantle of richly-embroidered black velvet formed rather a curious contrast.

The marriage ceremony was performed in the cathedral, with pompous rites, which occupied four hours. Philip and Mary were seated beneath a royal canopy upon a platform, with an altar before them. The remainder of the vast edifice was thronged with the nobility of England, Flanders, and Spain. After the utterance of the marriage vows mass was performed, and then Philip led his faded bride from the church. "The effect of the spectacle," it is said, "was heightened by the various costumes of the two nations; the richly-tinted and picturesque dresses of the Spaniards, and the solid magnificence of the English and Flemings mingled together in gay confusion. The glittering procession moved slowly on to the blithe sounds of festal music, while the air was rent with the loud acclamations of the populace, delighted, as usual, with the splendor of the pageant."

A sumptuous banquet was prepared in the great ball of the episcopal palace. Philip and Queen Mary, with the officiating bishop, sat under a gorgeous canopy upon a dais. The royal table was spread with dishes of gold. The nobles sat at tables below; which also glittered with gold and silver plate. Exquisite music enlivened the repast. Feasting was succeeded by a ball. And yet all the nuptial festivities were closed by nine o'clock in the evening. After a few days of rejoicing at Winchester the bridal couple repaired to London. They made their public entry on horseback, greeted by all the customary demonstrations of popular joy. Weary of these pageants, the royal pair sought a brief period of retirement at Hampton Court. Both Philip and Mary were earnest Christians, in accordance with the views of the Catholic Church at that time. Heresy was deemed the greatest of crimes. "Better not reign at all," said Philip, "than reign over heretics." Henry VII, the father of Mary, had broken off from the Holy Father at Rome, and had virtually announced himself as Pope of the English Church. Both Philip and Mary were very anxious to re-establish the relations of the English Church with Rome. Successfully in pursuit of this end they made use of all the influences of bribery and persuasion.

Parliament met at Whitehall. Mary, the queen, sat with Philip under a canopy. The Pope's legate sat by the side of the queen. A petition was then presented by the chancellor of the realm, praying, in behalf of the lords and commons of England, for reconciliation with the Papal See. The whole assembly kneeled before the Papal legate, re-receiving absolution and benediction. Thus was England purified from heresy and restored to the communion of Rome. The event was hailed with rejoicing in all the great capitals of Christendom. There were of course in the nation dissentients. The fires of persecution against such raged fiercely. Many perished at the stake.

The health of the queen became feeble. It was supposed that she was about to give birth to an heir to the throne. It proved but an attack of dropsy. Philip soon tired of his unattractive spouse, whom he had married without love, influenced solely by ambition. His position was uncongenial. He was not King of England, but merely husband of the queen. His Spanish and Flemish followers quarrelled with the English. There was no happiness in the palace. Such was the state of affairs when Philip, to his great relief, and to the joy of his followers, was summoned by his father to Flanders to attend the ceremony of abdication, which we have already described.

Mary loved her young and handsome husband, and bitterly mourned over his departure. With a heavy heart she accompanied him down the Thames as far as Greenwich, where they parted. Philip passed on to Dover, and crossed to Calais, which was then held by the English. A military escort, sent forward by his father, met him on the road, and in the latter part of September, 1555, he entered Brussels in truly imperial splendor.

The Reign of Philip II

(From 1558 A.D. to 1568 A.D.)

Extent of the Empire of Philip IL—Sadness of Queen Mary.—Her Death.—Philip solicits the Hand of Queen Elizabeth.—Marries Elizabeth of France.—Disappointment of his son, Don Carlos.—Death of Henry I.—The Auto de Fe.—Sorrows of Isabella.—Fate of Don Carlos.—The Father accused of the Murder of his Son.

By virtue of the abdication of Charles V. his son, Philip, became one of the most powerful monarchs upon the globe. He was king of united Spain. He was also King of Naples and Sicily and Duke of Milan. He was sovereign of the Low Countries, which comprehended some of the most enlightened, populous, and powerful provinces in Christendom. As husband of the Queen of England, who doted upon him, he had much influence with the British Cabinet. The Cape Verde Islands and the Canaries were under his sway. A large portion of the Mediterranean coast in Africa acknowledged his dominion, as also the Philippine and Spice Islands in Asia. He inherited those islands which Columbus had conferred upon Spain in the West Indies, and also the vast realms of Mexico and Peru, which subsequent discoverers and adventurers had won for the Spanish crown. Such was the power which passed into the hands of a young man not thirty years of age, of moderate abilities, in religion a fanatic, and in morals a debauchee. The power of this young man was absolute. There was no constitution to restrain him. In the Netherlands indeed there was a slight show of independence. It was the shadow only. The crown had completely triumphed over the nobles in Spain, and the Cortes, which was occasionally assembled, became a mere state pageant.

Philip, wielding this colossal power, which eclipsed that of every other monarchy in Europe, established himself at Madrid. From his palace there he sent forth his edicts to the remotest bounds of his almost boundless realms.

A year and a half elapsed before Philip, in March, 1557, revisited England. His fond wife, in many affectionate letters, had importuned him to return. His object seems to have been, not so much to pay her an affectionate visit, as to constrain her to unite with him in his war against France. In this he succeeded. After a visit of four months, during which he was annoyed by the excessive fondness of his infirm, emaciate, and dejected wife, he returned to the Netherlands. Poor Queen Mary was as unhappy as a woman well could be. Her health was wretched; her love was not requited; her husband was only anxious to avoid her; she had no children, really no friends, and not only her throne but her life was menaced by conspiracies. The humblest subject in the realm could not envy the lot of the queen. On the 17th of November, 1558, Mary died, utterly weary of the world. Her half-sister Elizabeth ascended the throne of England.

Philip was at Brussels when the news of the death of his wife reached him. Though her obsequies were attended with all the external demonstrations of respect, and though Philip doubtless regretted thus losing his hold upon the crown of England, it can not be supposed that the loss of a wife whom he had never loved caused him any real sorrow. The remains of the unhappy Mary had not reposed one month in Westminster Abbey ere Philip made proposals for the hand of Elizabeth, her successor upon the throne. But Elizabeth espoused the Reformed religion. Parliament reversed the decree establishing the Roman Catholic faith. Philip could not think of marrying a Protestant. Thus the negotiation ended.

Philip seems to have been impatient for new nuptials. But a few weeks elapsed ere an alliance was effected with the Princess Elizabeth, daughter of the King of France. She was fourteen years of age, and had been espoused to Philip's only son, Don Carlos, who was also fourteen. Queen Elizabeth was very much piqued in seeing how easily her lover could turn to another. Assuming that she had not given a positive refusal to his application for her hand, she testily exclaimed to the Spanish minister, "Your master must have been much in love with me, not to be able to wait for one month." The marriage ceremony with Elizabeth of France took place on the 24th of June, 1559, the Duke of Alva acting as his sovereign's proxy. Philip was then thirty-two years of age. The marriage festival was attended by all those brilliant displays which were characteristic of that spectacle-loving age. A sad event closed these days of rejoicing.

The French king, Henry II., delighted in those martial exercises of the tournament, in which he greatly excelled. He challenged a young Scotch noble, the Count of Montmorency, to run a tilt. The two powerful horses, bearing their armored riders, met with a furious shock in the middle of the lists. The lance of Montmorency struck the helmet of Henry with such force that the rim gave way, and a portion of the splintered lance pierced the eye of the king. The wound proved mortal. At the expiration of ten days of great agony the king died, in the forty-second year of his age. This event took place a few months after the death of Charles V.

Philip had not forgotten the injunction of his father to prosecute what the Church deemed heresy with the utmost rigor. Much of his time he spent in Germany, leaving the regency of Spain in the hands of his sister Joanna. In August, 1559, he returned to Spain and resumed the government, of which his sister was heartily weary. The Reformation was silently and rapidly advancing in Spain. Philip returned breathing threatenings and slaughter, determined to crush it. Pope Paul IV. issued a brief to the Spanish inquisitor-general ordering him to bring to condign punishment all suspected of heresy of whatever rank or profession. The wretched bigot Philip followed this brief with an edict condemning all who bought, sold, or read prohibited works to be burned alive. Decree followed decree in quick succession, in which the Pope, Philip II., and the Spanish inquisitor-general, Valdes, combined all their energies to detect and mercilessly to punish any swerving from the established faith of the Roman Church.

By secret spies and with consummate cunning the preliminary intrigues were prosecuted, until simultaneously, all over the kingdom, every person without exception suspected of heresy was arrested and thrown into the prisons of the Inquisition. In Seville alone eight hundred were arrested on the first day. The accused were dragged, one by one, from their dungeons, without counsel, without any friend to cheer, and terrified, bewildered, were placed often upon the rack until every joint had been wrenched from its socket, in the attempt to extort such confession as the inquisitors desired to obtain. We can not enter into the detail of these tortures. They are too horrible. The reader could not endure the recital. What must it have been for those who had to endure the reality? All this was done in the name of the meek and lowly Jesus. Outraged humanity, with eye moistened and check flushed with indignation, in view of this fiendish cruelty, can not but pray that if these ecclesiastical torturers escaped the penalty of their crimes in this world, they may not escape it in the world to come. God, a loving God, has implanted in every human breast a sense of justice which demands that such crimes should not pass unpunished.

The doctrine of legitimacy, of divine right to govern nations, in placing Philip II upon the throne of Spain, had surrendered the Spanish people to the dominion of one utterly despicable, both morally and intellectually. The first act of burning, under these decrees, took place at Valladolid in May, 1559. The example was followed in twelve of the principal cities of the kingdom which were the appointed seats of the Holy Office. A second auto de fé, or act of faith, as this demoniac burning alive of human beings was called, took place in Valladolid in October of the same year. The Pope wished to invest the scene with all the terrors of the Day of Judgment. That he might draw an immense crowd, an indulgence of forty days was granted to all who should be present at the spectacle.

The tragedy was enacted in the great square of the city. At one end of the square a large platform was erected, richly carpeted and decorated, where seats were ranged for the inquisitors. A royal gallery was constructed for the king and his court. Two hundred thousand spectators surrounded the arena. At six o'clock in the morning all the bells of the city. began to toll the funeral knell. A solemn procession emerged from the dismal fortress of the Inquisition. A body of troops led the van. Then came the condemned. There were two classes; the first consisting of those who were to be punished with confiscation and imprisonment, and the second of those who were to suffer death. The latter were covered with a loose gown of yellow cloth, and wore upon the head a paper cap of conical form. Both the gown and the cap were covered with pictures of flames fanned and fed by demons. Two priests were by the side of each one of the victims, urging him to abjure his errors. Those who were merely to incur loss of property and to be thrown into the dungeons of the Inquisition were clothed in garments of black. A vast concourse of dignitaries of state and of the common people closed the procession. The fanaticism of the times was such that probably but few of the people had any sympathy with the sufferers.

The ceremonies were opened with a sermon by the Bishop of Zamora. Then the whole assembled multitude took an oath, upon their knees, to defend the Inquisition and the purity of the Catholic faith, and to inform against any one who should swerve from the faith. Then those who, to escape the flames, had expressed penitence for their errors, after a very solemn recantation, were absolved from death. But heresy was too serious a crime to be forgiven, even upon penitence. All were doomed to the confiscation of property and to imprisonment—some to imprisonment for life in the dungeons of the Inquisition. Their names were branded with infamy, and in many cases their immediate descendants were rendered ineligible to any public office. These first received their doom, and under a strong guard were conveyed back to prison.

And now all eyes were turned to the little band of thirty, who, in the garb of ignominy and with ropes around their necks, were waiting their sentence. Many of these were men illustrious for rank, and still more renowned for talents and virtues. Their countenances were wan and wasted, their frames emaciate, and many of them were distorted by the cruel ministry of the rack. Those who were willing to make confession were allowed the privilege of being strangled before their bodies were exposed to the torture of the fire. After being strangled by the garrote, their bodies were thrown into the flames. Enfeebled by suffering, all but two thus purchased exemption from being burned alive.

One of these, Don Carlos de Seso, was a Florentine noble. He had married a Spanish lady of high rank, and had taken up his residence in Spain, where he had adopted the principles of the Reformation. For fifteen months, with unshaken constancy, he had suffered in the dungeons of the Inquisition. When sentence of death at the stake was pronounced upon him, he called for pen and paper in his cell. His judges supposed that he intended to make confession. Instead of that, he wrote a very eloquent document, avowing his unshaken trust in the great truths of the Reformation. De Seso had stood very high in the regards of Philip's father, Charles V. As he was passing before the royal gallery to be chained to the stake, he looked up to Philip and said, "Is it thus that you allow your innocent subjects to be persecuted?" The king replied, "If it were my own son I would fetch the wood to burn him, were he such a wretch as thou art." He was chained to the stake. As the flames slowly enveloped him in their fiery wreaths, he called upon the soldiers to heap up the fagots that his agonies might sooner terminate. Soon life was extinct, and the soul, we trust, of the noble martyr was borne on angel wings to Heaven.

The fellow-sufferer of De Seso was Domingo de Rexas, son of the Marquis of Posa. Five of this noble family, including the eldest son, had been victims of the Inquisition. De Rexas had been a Dominican monk. In accordance with usage, he retained his sacerdotal habit until he stood before the stake. Then, in the midst of the jeers of the populace, his garments were one by one removed, and the vestments of the condemned, with their hideous picturings, were placed upon him. He attempted to address the spectators. Philip angrily ordered him to be gagged. A piece of cleft wood was thrust into his mouth, causing great pain. He was thus led to the stake, and through such sufferings attained the martyr's crown. The burning-place was not in the public square where sentence was pronounced, but in a selected spot just outside of the walls of the city. The cruel exhibition occupied eight hours, from six o'clock in the morning until two o'clock in the afternoon.

In this spirit the persecution raged year after year. Neither age, sex, nor rank were exempt. Nine bishops were doomed to the most humiliating penance. Carranza, Archbishop of Toledo, was of illustrious Castilian birth. He had accompanied Philip to England upon the occasion of his marriage to Queen Mary. His elevation to the archiepiscopal see of Toledo had excited the rancorous jealousy of the grand inquisitor Valdes. Carranza was accused of believing in the doctrine of justification by faith. A ruffian band of the inquisitors entered the episcopal palace at midnight, dragged the prelate from his bed, and thrust him into the dungeons of the Inquisition. Here he was kept in solitary confinement for two years without the slightest knowledge of what was transpiring in the outside world. Pius V. then made efforts to have the illustrious prisoner brought before his own tribunal. By the artifice of Philip and the grand inquisitor this plan was thwarted until five more years of cruel imprisonment had passed away. He was then sent a prisoner to the Castle of St. Angelo, with charges filed against him in a vast complication of papers. Six more years of captivity passed ere he was brought to his trial. Every nerve was strained by the Spanish inquisitors to secure his destruction. Pope Gregory XIII. was now upon the Pontifical throne. Three more years were employed in the investigation and in coming to a decision. Before the tribunal of the Pope and the cardinals the archbishop stood alone, without a friend, without any assisting council. With bare head, and wan, and wasted with nearly eighteen years of imprisonment and woe, Carranza kneeled before his brother-man, called a Pope, to receive his doom. His views were declared heretical. He was suspended from his episcopal functions for five years, during which time he was to be imprisoned in the Convent of Orvieto. He was then required to do penance in seven of the principal churches of Rome.

As the poor old man, unnerved by protracted misery, listened to this sentence, tears streamed down his cheeks. Bowing meekly in submission, he returned to his cell, and in sixteen days died of a broken heart.

So fiercely was this persecution pushed throughout all Spain that nearly every trace of the Protestant religion was eradicated from the kingdom. Spain lapsed into a state of semi-barbarism. No freedom of conscience was allowed; education was discouraged; civil as well as ecclesiastical despotism trampled upon all human rights, and Spain became one of the most debased, impoverished, and wretched nations in Europe.

Elizabeth of France, or Isabella, the corresponding name by which she was called by the Spaniards, who had been married by proxy to Philip, crossed the Pyrenees, to join her royal husband. An escort of French nobles accompanied the royal bride, a child of fourteen years. The renowned Duke of Infantado, one of the proudest of the Spanish grandees, met the queen, with pomp of retinue and etiquette of which it is difficult to form a conception in these more rational modern clays. The duke was attended by fifty pages dressed picturesquely in the gayest colors of satin and brocade. The nobles in his train were followed by twenty-five hundred gentlemen mounted on splendid steeds. The caparisons of their horses were embroidered with gold and gems. The duke received the bride at Roncesvalles, and conducted her to Guadalajara. At the entrance of the town a forest had been planted stocked with deer, through which the young queen rode. She was mounted on a milk-white horse, and was clad in ermine. The duke rode upon one side of her, the Cardinal of Burgos on the other.

After repairing to the church where the Te Deum was chanted, the princess was conducted to the ducal castle. Here Philip was awaiting his bride. They had never before met. Isabella, whose artlessness, self possession, and gayety won all hearts, gazed so intently upon her destined lord that Philip asked her playfully "if she were looking to see if he had any gray hairs in his head." She was slightly disconcerted, for by the side of the king stood his son, Don Carlos, who was of the same age with Isabella, and for whom she had been originally intended. It is said that Isabella looked upon her youthful lover with great tenderness, while her charms inspired Don Carlos with passionate attachment. This theme, the loves of Carlos and Isabella, has furnished the Spanish romancers with materials for many an exciting tale.

Isabella was very beautiful, tall, graceful, with luxuriant tresses shading a very fair complexion, and with dark eyes soft and languishing. "So attractive was she," writes a Spanish chronicler, "that no cavalier durst look on her long, for fear of losing his heart, which, in that jealous court, must have proved the loss of his life." Don Carlos could not repress feelings of resentment in being thus robbed by his father of so beautiful a bride. The nuptials were celebrated with all the customary pomp of music and feasting and dancing. The next morning the royal pair, with their suite, left for Toledo. Here the young queen was received with all the splendor with which the Spanish court could invest the occasion. Triumphal arches spanned the streets. Wreaths of flowers garlanded verandahs and balconies. Gorgeous processions paraded the streets. Beautiful maidens, in picturesque attire, passed through the mazes and performed the astonishing evolutions of gipsy dances. Three thousand Spanish infantry engaged in a mock encounter with a body of Moorish cavalry, whose uniforms and caparisons were picturesquely trimmed in arabesque fashions; and last, though not least, in these nuptial festivities, there was an auto stele. Toledo was one of the principal stations of the Inquisition. This revolting scene of fanaticism and cruelty, more revolting than the gladiatorial butcheries of pagan Rome, is represented as one of the most imposing, both in the number of the victims and the quality of the spectators, which Toledo had ever witnessed.

Sorrow, in this world, ever treads closely upon the foot-steps of festivity. In the midst of these public rejoicings, of music, dancing, feasting, and burning victims alive at the stake, Isabella, as we must now call her, was seized by the small-pox. Great was the consternation. Even though her life might be spared, it was feared that the loathsome disease might destroy all her beauty. Fortunately the young queen escaped without a scar.

There seems to be no abiding peace for any one in this world. Even where providence appears to lavish its best gifts, the imperfection of human nature invariably introduces the elements of bitterness and woe. Isabella had brought many ladies from France with her as friends and the embellishments of her court. The Spanish ladies were jealous of them, and quarrelled with them. After scenes of contention and strife which poisoned all joys in the palace, Isabella was compelled to send her countrywomen back again to France. If brilliant state could make one happy, Isabella had no cause to complain. Her jewelry was priceless, her wardrobe rich in the extreme. No expense was spared in furnishing her with gorgeous robes, and she seldom wore the same dress twice. She dined in state, thirty ladies being usually in attendance upon her. While some served her at the table, the rest stood around in the apartment.

From Toledo the royal pair proceeded to Madrid, where Philip had prepared and furnished for his bride one of his most magnificent palaces.

The richly carved and gilded ceilings of this palace, situated in a clime then deemed delicious, the tapestried walls, the paintings and statuary which embellished the saloons and galleries, the noble park stocked with deer, all combined to render this royal mansion as attractive as earthly taste and opulence could create. But Philip found but little joy in this princely abode. The care of his wide-spread realms pressed upon him. Bitter complaints were continually reaching his ears from the Netherlands. To his sister, the regent, he wrote:

"I have never had any other object in view than the good of my subjects. In all that I have done I have trod in the footsteps of my father, under whom the people of the Netherlands must admit that they lived contented and happy. As to the Inquisition, whatever people may say of it, I have never attempted any thing new. With regard to the edicts, I have been always resolved to live and die in the Catholic faith. I could not be content to have my subjects do otherwise. Yet I see not how this can be compassed without punishing the transgressors. God knows how willingly I would avoid shedding a drop of Christian blood—above all, that of my people of the Netherlands; and I should esteem it one of the happiest circumstances of my reign to be spared the necessity."

In accordance with these views of supreme devotion to the Church, the king stated, in a subsequent dispatch, "I would rather lose a hundred thousand lives, if I had so many, than allow a single change in matters of religion." As our theme is Spanish history, we can not turn aside to the interesting and painful events transpiring in the Netherlands. Don Carlos, as he advanced to manhood, developed a character of violence, lawlessness, extravagance, and profligacy for which it is difficult to account, except upon the supposition of insanity. And yet, with these repulsive eccentricities, he inspired those who approached him with very strong feelings of personal attachment. His father distrusted him, disliked him, and studiously excluded him from all share in the business of state.

Many foreign courts coveted an alliance with the heir of the Spanish monarchy. Catherine de Medicis of France wished to secure his hand for a younger sister of Isabella. The Emperor and Empress of Germany endeavored to promote his union with their daughter Anne. But Philip, for some unexplained reasons, did not favor these proposals. The father became so alienated from his hot-tempered and violent son that he refused to hold any intercourse with him. Under these circumstances Carlos resolved to escape from Spain, probably to take refuge in Vienna, where he hoped to find a royal greeting and a bride. He was destitute of funds. A confidential agent was sent to obtain loans. While these negotiations were in progress, Christmas of 1567 came. It was customary for the royal family upon that occasion, on what was called the Day of the Innocents, to take the sacrament in public. For any one of the family to neglect this would have been a very great scandal. In preparation for this Carlos went to confess and receive absolution. At the confessional he stated that it was his full intention to kill a man with whom he had had a quarrel. Upon being closely questioned, he said that the man was his father, the king. The priest refused to grant absolution. Another was applied to. In his embarrassment he called a council of divines. There was great consternation. Absolution was refused, and a messenger was sent to acquaint the king with the whole matter.

In the mean time the prince had obtained by loan a hundred and fifty thousand ducats, and was making arrangements to have horses in readiness for his flight. His conduct for some time had been more that of a maniac than of a sane man. He had felt insecure in his father's palace at Madrid. He slept with a sword and dagger by his side, and a loaded musket within reach. A peculiar bolt fastened his door. No one doubted the determination of the desperate man. The king was informed of all this.

About midnight, preceded by a guard of four or five lords, with twelve privates, the king cautiously approached the door of his son's chamber. An artisan had deranged the machinery of the bolt so that it would not work. The king was carefully protected by armor over his clothes and on his head. The guard crept softly to the bed and secured the weapons. Carlos started up, demanded who was there, and leaped from the bed, endeavoring to grasp his arms. His father, who had prudently deferred approaching until the weapons were secured, then came forward and ordered his son to return to bed and remain quiet.

"What does your Majesty want of me?" inquired Don Carlos.

"You will soon learn," the father sternly replied. He then ordered the nobles who were present to hold him closely as a prisoner, not to allow him to leave the room, and to guard him with care, under penalty of being held as traitors.

"Your Majesty," exclaimed Carlos, "had better kill me than keep me a prisoner. It will be a great scandal to the kingdom. If you do not kill me I will make way with myself."

"You will do no such thing," the king replied, "for that would be the act of a madman."

"Your Majesty," rejoined Carlos, "treats me so ill that you force me to this extremity. I am not mad, but you drive me to despair."

The poor young man, then twenty-three years of age, wept passionately, his sobs rendering his words scarcely audible. The unfeeling father searched the room and took all his papers, appointed six lords to guard him, two of the six to serve in rotation each night. His meat was cut before it was brought into his chamber, and he was allowed no knife lest he should injure himself or others. A guard of twelve armed men was stationed in all the passages leading to the tower of the castle in which the prince was confined. The windows were so strongly barricaded that he could not look out from them. He was cut off from all communication with his friends, and was deprived of all books except a few devotional treatises.

The two nobles who in turn remained in his room by day and by night were ordered not to talk to him upon any affairs of government, to make no allusion whatever to his imprisonment, or any reply to his remarks upon the subject; to bring no message to him, and to bear none from him to the world without. No one was allowed to enter his apartment besides his guard, excepting his physician, his barbero, and body-servant. The king's young wife, the beautiful Isabella, was effectually prevented, not-withstanding several attempts, from visiting the captive prince. It was very evident that the obdurate king intended that his son should never emerge alive from that prison.

This living burial of a young prince, the heir to the Spanish monarchy, created a profound sensation throughout Spain and Europe. There were not a few found who entirely discredited the story of an attempt upon the king's life. Several foreign courts interposed in behalf of the prince. The feeling in Spain was so strong that though it was considered very unsafe to make any allusion to the subject, the king could not be blind to the excitement, and was haunted with the apprehension that there would be a popular outbreak for his rescue. Obviously not much reliance can be placed in the accounts which the king caused to be given of the conduct of Don Carlos during his imprisonment. No one could doubt that it would be a great relief to the king to have him die. In the course of a few months he did die. There are two stories upon this subject. It is impossible to ascertain with certainty which is true. The reader must judge which is most probable.

It is said that the prince was thrown into a state of frenzy, and vainly endeavored to dash out his brains against the walls of his prison-house; that his health rapidly failed under the effect of mental excitement, combined with want of air and exercise; that daily, as the fever burned more furiously in his veins, he became more emaciate; that in order to hasten his death he would deluge the floor with water, and walk for hours with naked feet on the cold stone pavement; that he would cause a warming-pan to be filled with ice and snow, and placed in his bed; that he would gulp down incredible quantities of ice-water; that sometimes for days he would take no food whatever, and then, with his stomach debilitated by fasting, he would eat gluttonously, drinking three gallons or more of iced water; that thus he brought on in the course of a few months vomiting, dysentery, death; that in his last moments he repented, confessed, and died in the true faith.

Another account, certainly as reliable in its authenticity as the above, is that the king submitted the case to a secret tribunal; that it was decided, upon the evidence which the king presented, that Don Carlos was guilty of treason, the penalty of which was death; that the king had power to mitigate or dispense with the penalty; that the king declared that he ought not to allow his private feelings to interfere with the course of the law, but that the health of the prince was in so critical a state that his own excesses would soon bring him to the tomb; that the guards of Don Carlos were instructed that they would serve the king by doing nothing to hinder the speedy death of Carlos; that his physician was informed that it was very desirable that the death of the prince should appear to result from natural causes; that medicine was administered to the unsuspecting patient, in which there were powders which slowly accomplished the end desired.

Such are the two accounts. Certainly the character of Philip does not dissuade us from accepting the last. It is certain that many of the best informed of writers, and, among others, the noble Prince of Orange, boldly denounced Philip as the murderer of his son. At seven o'clock in the evening of the day in which the prince died his body was borne to its burial on the shoulders of several grandees. There was quite a gathering in the courtyard of the palace on the occasion. The king stood at an open window looking down upon the scene, but did not accompany the remains to their burial. The young queen wept bitterly over the death of Carlos. His remains were soon after removed to the gloomy vaults of the Escurial. The king ordered that no funeral honors should be paid to his memory, and that no mourning should be worn. Such was the life, and such the death of a prince of twenty-three years, who was born the heir of one of the mightiest of earthly monarchies. Terrible as was his fate, his character was such, if any reliance can be placed upon the testimony of his contemporaries, that if he had lived and reigned, his tyranny, brutality, and profligacy would have plunged thousands of hearts into despair.

Philip II., III., and IV.

(From 1563 A.D. to 1699 A.D.)

Death of Isabella.—Anne of Austria.—Oppression of the Moriscoes.—Their Insurrection.—Horrors of the Conflict.—Don John of Austria.—Anecdotes.—Religion and Bigotry.—Character of Philip.—The Escurial.—Death of Philip.—Reign of Philip III.—The Regency.—Death of Don John.

Three months after the death of the wretched Don Carlos, his unhappy mother-in-law, the young and beautiful Queen Isabella, gave birth to her third child, and, with her babe, sank into the grave. This sad event gave a new impulse to the imaginations of those who had imagined a strong passion to exist between the prince and his stepmother. Though no one has cast reproach upon the fair fame of Isabella, many have attributed the death of both the prince and the queen to the jealousy of Philip. The Prince of Orange openly charges the king with the murder of both his son and his wife. The queen, when informed that she must die, seemed perfectly resigned to leave the world. With loving words she endeavored to cheer those who were weeping around her bedside. She partook of the sacrament, and the rite of extreme unction was administered.

"The queen," writes one of the Spanish annalists, "spoke to her husband very naturally, and like a Christian. She took leave of him forever, and never did princess show more goodness and piety. She commended to him her two daughters and her principal attendants, beseeching him to live in amity with the King of France, her brother, and to maintain peace."

Philip seemed much affected in this last interview with his wife. Retiring to his chamber, he sent her a fragment of the true cross, richly studded with gems, to sustain her in her last moments. Immediately after the king left, the French ambassador was summoned to her dying bed.

"You see me," said Isabella, "in the act of quitting this vain world, to pass to a more pleasant kingdom, there, as I hope, to be forever with my God. Tell my mother the queen, and the king my brother, to bear my death with patience, and to comfort themselves with the reflection that no happiness on earth has ever made me so content as the prospect now does of approaching my Creator. I shall soon be in a better situation to do them service, and to implore God to take them and my brothers under his holy protection. Beseech them in my name to watch over their kingdom, that an end may be put to the heresies which have spread there. And I will pray Heaven in its mercy to grant that they may take my death with patience and hold me for happy."

Then, in response to a few words of sympathy which the ambassador addressed to her, she said, "God has given me grace to despise the world and its grandeur, and to fix all my hopes on him and Jesus Christ. Never did a thought occasion me less anxiety than that of death."

She remained perfectly conscious almost until the moment when the last breath left her body. The tolling of the bells of the city announced her death. The excitable populace filled the air with their lamentations. Her burial was attended with all the most imposing and affecting ceremonials of woe. Dying suddenly, at the early age of twenty-three, she was exceedingly beautiful in death. None could gaze upon her lovely remains, her babe by her side, without tears.

Eighteen months after this event the king led to the altar his fourth bride, Anne of Austria. It is a singular fact that this lady was also destined for Don Carlos. The Emperor and Empress of Germany had earnestly sought the alliance of their daughter with the young heir of Spain. Philip did not favor the match. The reputation of Philip may be inferred from the fact that he was openly accused of having murdered Isabella, that he might marry the young Anne of Austria.

We must now turn from these domestic scenes to others of more national moment. It will be remembered that in Southern Spain there was a very considerable population of the descendants of the Moors. They were called Moriscoes, and had been constrained, by bribes and threats, nominally to embrace Christianity. They still, however, in secret clung to their old religion, adhering to the customs of their ancestors, and speaking the Arabic language. They were denounced by the clergy as heretics, and the king resolved upon measures to effect their more thorough conversion. It was accordingly decreed that the Moriscoes should all exchange their national dress for that of the Spaniards; that the women should not veil their faces; that weddings should be conducted in public, and after Christian forms; that on the day of a marriage ceremony the doors of the house should be left open, that all passers-by might see whether they practised any Mohammedan rites; that all bathing-vessels should be destroyed; that they should no longer employ the Arabic language either in speaking or writing, but should adopt the Castilian tongue; and that all Arabic names were to be exchanged for Spanish ones. These edicts were enforced by the severest penalties of banishment, fine, and imprisonment.

On the first of January, 1568, the Moriscoes were assembled by the public crier, and by an imposing procession of Spanish officers, accompanied by music, in the principal squares of their cities. The cruel ordinance was read to them. With grief and indignation they listened to the atrocious decrees depriving them of their language, their customs, the privilege of bathing, and compelling their women to shock all their ideas of delicacy by appearing abroad unveiled. Some moaned piteously, wringing their hands in anguish. Some bit their lips with rage, and vowed to die rather than submit to such outrages. An immediate tumult was prevented by some of the more discreet persuading the excited multitude to appoint a committee to implore a mitigation of the decree. The most strenuous and persevering efforts were made to avert the doom. All were unavailing. In their despair the Moriscoes were goaded, after twelve months of unendurable oppression, into a general insurrection. Thus far all our sympathies are with them. They were as lambs devoured by wolves.

Suddenly our sympathies vanish. They are converted into tigers, more merciless than the most ferocious beasts of the forests. It would seem, from the history of man, that there is in his bosom a latent demon, waiting for an opportunity to burst forth. Early in 1569 the Moriscoes rose in a general insurrection. Immediately they commenced the massacre, with every conceivable circumstance of cruelty, of all the Christians, men, women, and children within their reach. Language can scarcely exaggerate the horrors which ensued. Imagination can not conceive of greater cruelty. The Christians were burned to death in the buildings to which they had fled for refuge. They were tortured with all the appliances of suffering which human ingenuity could devise. The Moorish women and children vied with the men in the most diabolical deeds of vengeance. Many a Moor had perished in the flames of the Inquisition. They now retaliated, exposing their victims to the most terrible tortures which fire could inflict. The recital of such scenes of fiendish cruelty causes the blood to curdle in one's veins. In less than a week three thousand of the Christian population thus perished. It is awful to contemplate such scenes of woe caused by man's inhumanity to man. As simply one of the incidents of the struggle, a large party of Christian families fled, protected by a small band of cavalry, on foot across the flinty paths of the mountains. Many of them had neither stockings nor shoes. Their locks were disheveled by the wintry tempests, and their whole aspect presented an expression of unutterable woe. With their homes demolished, in abject poverty, their husbands and brothers killed, there was nothing before them but life-long wretchedness.

And yet these very Moors, before they had been goaded to desperation by the outrageous edicts of Philip, had been kind neighbors and friends. The Moriscoes were so numerous, rich, and powerful, that they raised an efficient army of eight or ten thousand men, and fought several battles with intensest fury. But it was impossible for them long to withstand the power of the Spanish monarchy. The atrocities perpetrated by the triumphant Christians were almost equal to those which the Moors had inflicted.

There were many noble men inspired by the spirit of true religion who tried to avert these horrors. But infuriate soldiers are not easily restrained. The unchained tiger, who can cage?

"The cruelties committed by the troops," says a Spanish writer, "were such as the pen refuses to record. I myself saw the corpse of a Morisco woman, covered with wounds, stretched upon the ground, with six of her children lying dead around her. She had succeeded in protecting a seventh, still an infant, with her body; and though the lances which pierced her had passed through its clothes, it had marvellously escaped any injury. It was clinging to its dead mother's bosom, from which it drew milk that was mingled with blood. I carried it away and saved it."

Religious rites were blended with the most atrocious acts of cruelty. The Spanish army, before entering into battle, knelt in prayer, invoking God's blessing. And after a victory, when weakened by debauchery, glutted with booty, and crimsoned with the blood of women and children, these fanatics, marching under the banner of the cross, repaired in solemn procession to the churches, where they prostrated themselves in adoration and chanted the Te Deum. From these acts of devotion they would proceed to divide their pillage. On one occasion sixteen hundred Moorish girls, many of them exceedingly refined and beautiful, were delivered up to the brutal soldiery. For a fortnight the Christian camp presented a carnival of riot and debauchery.

The country of the Moriscoes was ere long overrun and subjugated. "Wretched bands wandered among the mountains, perishing of hunger and cold. A young man now took part in these proceedings who deserves especial notice. He is known in history as Don John of Austria. Charles V., attracted by the beauty of a German girl, Barbara Blomberg, took her as his guilty favorite. She gave birth to a child, Don John, about the year 1547. The emperor settled a small annuity upon the mother, but for some time paid no attention to the child. He was left to grow up among the boys of the village, with no other instruction than such as he received from the parish priest. But from his earliest years he developed unusual vivacity of mind and energy of character. At length the emperor, often influenced by religious spasms, seemed to awake to the consciousness that he ought not to allow his own child to receive no better training than could be found in the cottage of a peasant.

Though not openly recognizing him, the child was transferred to the care of a capable guardian in the neighborhood of Valladolid. This gentleman, Luis Quixada, who is represented as, in zeal for the faith and in devotion to the king, one of the noblest of the Spanish grandees, received Don John into his family. The wife of Quixada, a lady of illustrious birth, was even more distinguished by her virtues than by her rank. This lady was not informed of the secret of the lad's birth. Her husband told her that he was the son of a very dear friend; and that he wished to adopt him, as they had no children of their own. The good lady received the child lovingly, for some time suspecting that he was the offspring of her husband from some intrigue previous to his marriage. This boy, whom they called by the name of Geronimo, was remarkably beautiful, and so gentle and affectionate in his nature as to win the most tender regard of his stepmother. In this noble family Geronimo acquired all those knightly qualities which were so highly esteemed by the Spanish chivalry.

When Charles V., after his abdication, retired to his cloister life, the interest he took in the child was such that Quixada was directed to bring his family to the adjoining village of Cuacos. How often the emperor saw the child is uncertain, as he carefully kept the secret of his paternity. It is not improbable that the boy had no suspicion that the emperor was his father. A Spanish writer records that "the boy sometimes was casually seen by the emperor, who was careful to maintain his usual reserved and dignified demeanor, so that no one could suspect his secret. Once or twice the lad entered the apartment of his father, who doubtless spoke to him as he would have spoken to any other boy."

Gradually, however, rumors began to rise in the neighborhood in reference to his birth. After the emperor's death there was found a sealed testamentary paper, addressed to his son Philip, in which he acknowledged the child, gave directions in reference to his education, and settled upon him an estate in the kingdom of Naples with an annual income of about forty thousand ducats. In the mean time the queen's daughter Joanna, then regent in Spain, had heard rumors of her relationship to Geronimo. Through her secretary she wrote to Quixada. He endeavored to evade the question. She then wrote, when he was absent, to his wife. It seems, that she by this time had become enlightened upon the subject. Arrangements were made for her to bring the boy to a place where Joanna could see him. It is singularly illustrative of the times that the place selected was at an auto de fé  in Valladolid. As in modern days an appointment would be made to meet at the theatre or the opera, so then the appointment was made to meet at an exciting festival where human beings were to be burned alive.

On the appointed day Dona Magdalena, the wife of Quixada, took her seat, with Geronimo, on the platform erected for the grandees, in full view of the scaffold where the victims were to suffer. As Joanna, the regent, approached with the royal train, she looked eagerly for the boy. The child shrunk back before her long and intense gaze. In his bright blue eyes, his ample forehead, his golden locks, she felt sure that she recognized the lineaments of his race, and her heart yearned over the beautiful boy with a sister's love. She approached him, in the presence of all threw her arms around his neck, and kissed him fondly, calling him her brother.

This curious scene attracted the spectators, and quite a crowd gathered around. One of the nobles then took Geronimo in his arms and carried him to the royal carriage. All mystery was now dispelled. Philip soon returned from the Netherlands, and made arrangements for a public interview with his brother and a recognition of his birth. The spot assigned was an extensive park near Valladolid. Quixada, richly dressed, and mounted on a splendid charger, with Geronimo simply attired, on a plain steed by his side, and followed by numerous vassals, reached the place appointed. Soon they heard the clattering of the royal cavalcade. Quixada pointed out the king to Geronimo, saying that his majesty had something of importance to communicate to him. The boy, previously instructed, drew near to Philip, and, kneeling, begged to kiss his majesty's hand. The king fixed his eyes very intently upon the youth and said, abruptly, "Do you know who is your father?" Geronimo, disconcerted by the question, fixed his eyes upon the ground and made no reply. Philip then, alighting from his horse, embraced him cordially, saying, "Take courage, my child. You are descended from a great man. The Emperor Charles V., now in glory, is your father as well as mine."

He then presented the lad to the accompanying lords as his brother, and the son of their late sovereign. They thronged around him with expressions of homage, and the scene was concluded by the king's buckling a sword upon his brother's side and throwing around his neck the collar of the Golden Fleece. The news of the strange event spread rapidly. As the king and his retinue, with the wonderfully handsome young prince, returned to Valladolid, the whole city was in commotion, and the streets resounded with cheers. An establishment suitable to his condition was immediately provided for the young prince. One of the most splendid mansions in Madrid was assigned to him, and he was furnished with a numerous band of retainers. His name was now changed to John of Austria. It would be difficult to find in the dreams of fiction a more wonderful and sudden change than this elevation of a peasant-boy to the station of a prince of the blood. He was sent to the University of Alcala, where he had for his associates his nephew Don Carlos, whose sad fate we have already recorded, and Alexander Farnese, son of Margaret of Parma, who was also a natural daughter of Charles V.

Don John seems to have been born for chivalric deeds. After three years of efficient study, he left the University in 1564. His heroic character won for him troops of friends. His fairy-like change of condition seems only to have inspired him with nobler aspirations. In 1658 he was placed in command of a fleet to punish the Barbary corsairs. He was so successful that on his return after an absence of eight months the nation greeted him with applause.

Don John was not long after sent by Philip to quell the insurrection of the Moriscoes, and to adopt measures which should prevent the possibility of any future uprising. Like sheep, the poor creatures, bound with cords, were driven from their beautiful cities in bands of thousands, and were scattered over the less populous districts of Spain. Their sufferings were dreadful. No suitable provision had been made for such a transportation. Many perished of hunger and fatigue. Not a few were kidnapped and sold as slaves. In all the arts of peace, in agriculture and the mechanic arts, the Moriscoes were superior to the Spanish Christians. The desolation which the ravages of war and exile spread over their sunny and beautiful country, contributed greatly to that impoverishment into which Spain so rapidly sunk.

Still there were many bands, often numbering thousands of warriors, who amidst the defiles of the mountains fought desperately, resolved to sell their lives as clearly as possible. In these encounters Don John, like a paladin of romance, was ever in front of the battle, seeming to court danger. Not unfrequently the Spanish chivalry were repelled with fearful loss. Upon one occasion Don John, enraged at a reverse of his arms, exclaimed:

"The infidels shall pay dear for the Christian blood they have shed this day. The next assault will place Galena in our power. Every soul within its walls, man, woman, and child, shall be put to the sword. Not one shall be spared. The houses shall be razed to the ground, and the soil they covered shall be sown with salt."

Such barbarity was not inconsistent with what is called chivalry. The event proved that this was not an empty threat. The city of Galena, after as firm a resistance as history can record, was taken by storm. Don John sat upon his horse looking calmly upon the indiscriminate massacre, undeterred by shrieks, as men, women, and children were hewed down by his soldiers. At last he chivalrously consented that the remaining women, and the children under twelve years of age, should be spared, that they might be distributed among his brutal followers. The city, after having been despoiled of all its treasures, was utterly demolished. Such were the scenes which took place in Christian Spain only three hundred years ago. In view of them, statesmen and ecclesiastics thronged the churches to give God thanks for the signal victories which He had vouchsafed to the faithful. In the light of such events it must be admitted that the world has surely made progress.

One is bewildered in reading of the lives and the death of many of these men, in seeing how conscientiously they enacted the part of fiends. Quixada was slain in one of these battles of extermination against a people goaded, by the most outrageous injustice, to despair. His chronicler writes, "We may piously trust that the soul of Don Luis rose up to heaven with the sweet incense which burned on the altars of St. Jerome. For he spent his life, and finally lost it, in fighting like a valiant soldier the battles of the faith."

The king, who had urged the iniquitous war against the rights of humanity, wrote in reference to the death of Quixada, "We may be consoled by the reflection that, living and dying as he did, he can not fail to have exchanged this world for a better." And Quixada was a good knight. Though he could plunge his sword into the bosoms of maidens, and hew off the heads of babes at their mothers' breasts, he was, in accordance with the estimation of the times, the soul of honor, and his integrity was unsullied. Don John was a man of warm affections. After the death of Quixada, his foster-father, he wrote the following letter of condolence to Dona Magdalena, his foster-mother, whom he tenderly loved:

"Luis died as became him, fighting for the glory and safety of his son, and covered with immortal honor. Whatever I am, whatever I shall be, I owe to him, by whom I was formed, or rather begotten, in a nobler birth. Dear, sorrowing, widowed mother, I only am left to you. And to you indeed do I of right belong, for whose sake Luis died, and you have been stricken with this woe. Moderate your grief with your wonted wisdom. Would that I were near you now, to dry your tears or mingle mine with them. Farewell, dearest and most honored mother. Pray to God to send back your son from these wars to your bosom."

Don John distributed his army into detachments, sending them out to scour the country in all directions. The wretched creatures were pursued as the huntsman pursues wolves. At length they were so crushed that further resistance was impossible. They were all driven into the interior of Spain, and Christian emigrants flocked in to occupy their abandoned houses and fields. It is impossible to state with accuracy the number of Moriscoes who survived the exterminating war, and who were thus expelled from their homes. They must, however, have amounted to many thousands. They clung together, preserving their nationality, and so rapidly increased that ere long they became again quite a power in Spain. And here we must for a time take leave of Don John, though the nodding of his plume was often afterwards conspicuous in many a desperate encounter. He soon again appears in the arena of Spanish affairs.

Philip was a solitary man—like all his race, of melancholy temperament. There were no sports in which he took any interest. He never conducted military expeditions in person, was reserved, and difficult of access. But he was unwearied in the toil of the Cabinet, often laboring in solitude long into the hours of the night. The Escurial was his favorite place of retreat. His household, however, was formed on a very extravagant model, and was the most magnificent in Europe. Its host of officers, nearly all nobles or cavaliers of family, numbered fifteen hundred persons. The queen also had her establishment on a similar scale. She had four physicians and twenty-six ladies in waiting. It is said that the king spent many lonely hours in meditation and prayer. His recluse habits did not please his subjects. One of the dignitaries of the Church in the following terms ventured to remonstrate with him:

"Your Majesty's subjects everywhere complain of your manner of doing business, sitting all day long over your papers, from your desire, as they intimate, to seclude yourself from the world, and from a want of confidence in your ministers. Hence such interminable delays as fill the soul of every suitor with despair. The Almighty did not send kings into the world to spend their days in reading or writing, or even in meditation and prayer, but to serve as public oracles, to which all may resort for answers. If any sovereign have received this grace, it is your Majesty."

The great lords had vast estates, with large revenues. They lived upon their estates in the summer, but in the winter generally repaired to Madrid, where they vied with the sovereign in the splendor of their equipages, the richness of their liveries, and the throng of their retainers. The millions were impoverished to enrich the few. And yet, in God's system of compensation, it is not improbable that the poor Spanish peasant in his cottage was no more unhappy than the haughty lord in his castle. It is very certain that few families in Spain could have been more wretched than the royal family was, generation after generation.

The Castilian court, enslaved by etiquette, was universally regarded as formal, sombre, and melancholy. The courtiers, proud and illiterate, furnished no topics for interesting conversation. Some of the nobles had domains whose vassal families numbered thirty thousand. Their halls were filled with retainers. A body-guard of two hundred armed men accompanied them wherever they went. Institutions, which time had formed, invested them with this unnatural and odious power of one man over multitudes of his brethren.

The magnificent palace or monastery of the Escurial, which had required twenty-one years in building, and upon which had been lavished incredible wealth and labor, became, as we have mentioned, the favorite retreat of Philip. Here Philip brought his fourth bride, Anne of Austria. She was his niece, and but twenty-one years of age. With a stately escort, she proceeded to Spain by way of the Netherlands. The match was popular with the Spaniards. They were very anxious for a male heir to the crown. The king had, since the death of Carlos, only daughters. The marriage was solemnized with great pomp in the Cathedral of Segovia on the 14th of November, 1570. Anne was pretty, devotional, amiable, and fond of her needle. For ten years she enjoyed apparently a tranquil life, until she died in 1580, in the thirty-first year of her age. Her children all died in infancy excepting her third son, who survived his mother, and lived to succeed his father upon the throne as Philip III.

Spain was now rapidly on the decline. Civil war, religious persecution, banishment, and emigration were rapidly depopulating the peninsula. Vast treeless wastes appeared, covered with briers, thorns, and rank grass, where flocks of sheep, under the care of shepherds, wandered slowly. Villages and towns fell into ruin. Agriculture was neglected. The poverty was so exhausting, and the difficulty of obtaining subsistence so great, that there were scarcely any marriages. The population rapidly diminished from ten millions to six. Madrid declined from four hundred thousand inhabitants to one hundred and eighty thousand, and other cities in the same proportion. The emigration to America—to Mexico and Peru—was enormous. These emigrants were nearly all young men. Two hundred thousand persons, as priests, monks, and nuns, were devoted to a life of idleness and celibacy. God seemed to frown upon the kingdom, and pestilence and earthquakes added to its woes. The destruction of the immense Armada fitted out for the conquest of England was almost a death-blow to the Spanish monarchy. Philip, with a bankrupt treasury, his own mind enveloped in the deepest gloom, his body tortured by the combined attacks of gout, dropsy, fever, and the most loathsome ulcers, the consequence of his early debaucheries, where vermin swarmed which the physicians endeavored in vain to destroy, died miserably on the 13th of September, 1598.

His son, Philip III., succeeded him in a weak and languishing reign, during every year of which Spain was rapidly falling into decay. By his insane edicts all the Moriscoes were banished from the kingdom. Large numbers took refuge in Africa. One hundred and fifty thousand crossed the Pyrenees, and found homes in France. Philip III. was an ultra religionist. His reign was called the golden age of churchmen. He multiplied monasteries and ecclesiastics. The Cathedral of Seville alone had one hundred religious officials. It is however the uniform testimony that the peasants and tenantry of the ecclesiastical bodies were far more humanely treated than those who held land of the nobles. It was estimated that one-fifth of the land was owned by the Church. During the reign of Philip III. Spain was rapidly sinking into the abyss of impoverishment and disgrace. In 1621 Philip III. died, and Philip IV. ascended the throne.

The reign of Philip IV. was marked only by increasing abuses, imbecility in the administration, and the progress of decay. There was no happiness in the palace or in the cottage. Both the Court and the Church frowned upon popular education, and upon that spirit of commercial or industrial enterprise which would elevate the masses, and thus instruct them in their rights. It was deemed dishonorable and wicked to take interest for money. Thus treasure could only be hoarded up in plate, jewels, and coin. Men in high stations were often poorly clad and hungry.

Philip IV. died in the sixtieth year of his age, leaving an only son, Charles, a sickly child of four years, under the regency of his mother, a weak but very ambitious woman. The queen took a Jesuit priest, Father Nitard, as her adviser, and thus he became in reality the sovereign of Spain. The haughty airs which the upstart assumed offended the proud old Spanish grandees. Don John, whose lineage as son of the emperor, and whose chivalry and popular manners had rendered him a general favorite, marched upon the queen at the head of seven hundred cavaliers. The silly woman was in an agony of despair. She threw herself upon the floor, wrung her hands, and exclaimed frantically,

"Alas! alas! what does it avail me to be queen and regent if I am deprived of this good man, who is my only consolation. The meanest individual is permitted to choose a confessor. I alone am deprived of my spiritual guide."

She was compelled to dismiss her favorite, and the unhappy man came near being torn to pieces by the populace of Madrid. The queen soon chose another favorite, Don Valenzuela, a man of humble birth, but of fascinating manners. His vanity, his ostentation, his assumption of the airs of a successful lover, his motto, "I alone have permission," drew the most scandalous imputations upon the character of his royal mistress, and rendered him exceedingly obnoxious to the nobles.

When Charles was fifteen years of age, he had, by the royal law, attained his majority. This weak, puny boy thus, by the law of hereditary descent, became the absolute monarch of a nation numbering from to eight twelve millions of inhabitants. His mother, with her tears and blandishments, still governed her feeble child, and conceited Valenzuela governed his doting mistress. It is difficult to record these facts without feeling the risings of indignation. And yet it has been well said that every nation has as good a government as it deserves. The people of Spain were so debased that they were satisfied with this. They were delighted to witness the agonies of heretics burned at the stake. They would have fought with desperation, nobles and peasants, to defend their king against any one who should attempt to introduce free institutions. Such a people can only be gradually lifted up from their ignorance and debasement.

Some wise men gained access to Charles II., as the title of the frail child was, and induced him by night to escape from the palace, where, to use a popular but expressive phrase, he had been "tied to the apron-strings of his mother." There was general rejoicing as he assumed the reins of government and appointed Don John prime minister. But the treasury was bankrupt. There was every where misery, which no governmental reforms could immediately remove or alleviate. There were powerful influences opposed to all reform. Don John experienced the inevitable fate of all who attain power. Popular favor rapidly gave place to popular odium.

To strengthen the rapidly-waning power of Spain, Don John negotiated the marriage of the young king Charles with Maria Louisa of France, daughter of the Duke of Orleans, who was brother of Louis XIV. But the minister was assailed with incessant clamor. From every quarter voices of denunciation reached his ears. The chivalric prince could recklessly brave danger; but contumely and abuse it was hard for him to bear. Sinking into a state of deepest melancholy, his health rapidly declined. A lingering and incurable disorder seized him. On the 17th of September, 1679, he died, in the fiftieth year of his age.

The Spanish Bourbons

(From 1699 A.D. to 1788 A.D.)

Claimants for the Crown of Spain.—War of the Succession.—Vicissitudes of Battle.—Recognition of Philip V.—Death of Maria Louisa.—Elizabeth Farnese.—Abdication of Philip V.—Accession of Louis.—His Bride.—Her Waywardness.—Death of Philip V.—Accession of Ferdinand VI.—Accession of Charles III.—Power of the Jesuits.—Doom of Olivede.—Siege of Gibraltar.

After the death of Don John, the Spanish monarchy was left in a state of utter demoralization. The weak king was governed by a cabal of intriguers, whose only object seemed to be their own gratification and aggrandizement. The king himself, a prey to hypochondria bordering upon insanity, was distracted by the quarrels between his wife and his mother. In 1690 the queen died, and Charles married Eleanora, an Austrian princess. The French monarch, with impunity, wrested from Spain several provinces. The king become a hopeless invalid. After four years of languor and suffering, he passed from a joyless life into the tomb, leaving no heirs. His whole reign had been but a series of mortifications and calamities. His haughty wife despised her imbecile husband, and cruelly domineered over him. Charles II. was the sport of the factions which agitated his court. His dying hours were additionally embittered by the prospect of the ruin which was coming upon his country. The succession to the throne would be disputed.

There were several claimants ready immediately to put forth their pretensions upon the death of the king. Louis XIV. of France founded a claim for his grandson the Duke of Anjou from the fact that the dauphin had married the Spanish infanta, Maria Theresa, eldest daughter of Philip IV. But the princess upon her marriage had solemnly renounced, in behalf of herself and her heirs, all claims to the succession.

The Emperor Leopold of Germany founded his claims, first, upon his descent from Philip and Joanna of Castile, and, secondly, on the rights of his mother, Mary Ann, daughter of Philip III. To obviate the jealousy of the European powers, in view of the union of the Spanish monarchy to the already immense possessions of Austria, the emperor and his eldest son Joseph relinquished their claims in favor of the second son, the Archduke Charles.

A Bavarian prince claimed the crown upon the ground that his mother was the only daughter of the Spanish infanta Margaret by the Emperor Leopold. But in Margaret's case, at the time of her marriage, a solemn renunciation was extorted of all rights to the succession.

Philip, Duke of Orleans, also demanded the throne because his mother Anne, wife of Louis XIII., was a Spanish infanta. Victor Asmadeus, Duke of Savoy, put in a claim in virtue of his descent from Catharine, second daughter of Philip II. These inferior claimants were, however, soon lost in the superior power of the French and Austrian contestants. Louis XIV. and the Emperor Leopold were antagonists who could trample the minor dukes and princes of Europe beneath their feet.

The wretched vacillating king, harassed by the claims of these rival parties, a little while before his death sent an embassage to the Pope for counsel.

"Having no children," the king observed, "and being obliged to appoint an heir to the Spanish crown from a foreign family, we find such great obscurity in the law of succession that we are unable to form a settled determination."

The Pope had already been engaged by Louis XIV. to act as his agent. After affecting to take forty days for prayerful deliberation, he sent a reply, in which he said, "The French claimants are the rightful heirs to the crown, and no member of the Austrian family has the smallest legitimate pretension,"

Charles II. hated the French. Louis XIV. had robbed him of territory, and treated him with contempt. Enfeebled in body and mind, and on a bed of suffering, his ecclesiastics, obedient to the will of the Holy Father, denounced upon him the terrors of eternal damnation if he did not bequeath the crown to the Bourbons of France. Thus appalled, the half delirious king signed the decree which was awaiting his signature. Then, bursting into tears, he sank back upon his pillow, exclaiming, "I am already nothing." Soon after this he died, in the year 1700, in the fortieth year of his age.

Louis XIV. was prepared for energetic action. He had gathered an army of one hundred thousand men in his fortresses near the Spanish frontier, and had filled the adjacent harbors with ships of war. Immediately upon the death of Charles II. the Bourbon prince, with the title of Philip V., was proclaimed king, and took possession of the throne. Thus commenced the reign of the Bourbon dynasty over the Spanish peninsula. The other powers of Europe were much alarmed. The transference of the crown of Spain to the grandson of Louis XIV. virtually united the two kingdoms of France and Spain. As the King of France took leave of the young King of Spain, he said to him, "The two nations should consider themselves but one. Henceforward there will be no Pyrenees." This boy-king, who had just entered his seventeenth year, was greeted apparently with the unanimous acclamations of the Spanish people. He soon married Maria Louisa of Savoy. She was an exceedingly beautiful child, just entering her fourteenth year. From the smallness of her stature, she appeared even more youthful than she was; but in spirit and understanding she was quite mature. To the most captivating manners and graceful deportment she added powers of fascination which gave her almost the entire control over her indolent, timid, indecisive husband.

Louis XIV. feared that she might exert an influence over her enamored husband unfriendly to France, and in favor of Turin. Orders were therefore issued that none of her Piedmontese attendants should accompany her beyond the Spanish frontier. The poor child, thus separated from her friends, wept bitterly. Her excessive grief only increased the love and sympathy of her doting and pliant husband. Louis XIV. wrote to Philip the following cruel advice:

"The queen is the first of your subjects. In this quality, as well as in that of your wife, she is bound to obey you. You should love her. But you will never love her as you ought if her tears have power to extort from you indulgences derogatory to your glory. Be firm, then, at first. I well know that your first refusals will grieve you. But fear not to give a slight uneasiness to spare real chagrin in future. Restrain her at first. She will be obliged to you in the end."

But the charms and the fascinations of the young bride were far more potent than the advice of the old king. It soon was manifest that no expedient could prevent her from obtaining the entire ascendency over the mind of Philip. The next and more successful effort was made by the French party to guide, through her agency, the measures of the king.

The spirited little child, Maria Louisa, mortified by her husband's want of energy, wrote to Louis XIV., "I humbly request your Majesty to employ all the authority which you have over the king, your grandson, that he may say, with a firm tone, I will or I will not. He would be a perfect prince if he could attain this."

Leopold of Germany was enraged by the successful usurpation which Louis XIV. had achieved. He proclaimed his son, the Austrian prince, King of Spain, with the title of Charles III. England allied herself with Austria. Other powers sustained the claims of France. Thus commenced the war of the Spanish succession, which for many years deluged Europe in blood. A British fleet conveyed Charles III. to Lisbon. It was during one of the campaigns of this war that the British, in 1704, took the rock of Gibraltar which they have held, to the extreme chagrin of the Spaniards, to the present day. The Spanish people, with almost entire unanimity, defended the cause of Philip.

We have not space for the details of this sanguinary war. Early in the summer of 1710, Charles III., with a strong force of English and Germans, landed at Barcelona. The army of invasion met the Spaniards under Philip near Saragossa, and utterly routed them. The English general, Stanhope, and the German general, Staremberg, led the conquering troops. Here for the first time the two rival claimants for the throne met each other in battle. Both Charles III. and Philip V. were but puppets in the hands of their generals. After another short and bloody conflict, the English and German troops entered Madrid. Charles rode through the deserted streets, encountering only sullen silence, There were no voices to greet him. Nobles, clergy, populace, all alike stood aloof. Charles exclaimed in his chagrin, "Madrid is a desert."

Philip established his court at Valladolid, about one hundred and fifty miles north-east from Madrid. The peasants rose in great numbers and cut off Charles's communications with his fleet at Barcelona. Three thousand steel-clad cavaliers from France swept down through the defiles of the Pyrenees to the aid of Philip. The situation of Charles was desperate. He was in an enemy's country. Famine and sickness wasted away his troops. Not a soldier could leave his camp without danger of assassination. He had taken Madrid, and Madrid was his prison.

Philip advanced in great strength upon his capital. The English and Austrians retreated. As their last battalions left the streets, the ringing of bells, explosions of cannon, and shouts of the people announced the triumphant return of Philip. Charles, protected by a guard of two thousand cavaliers, put spurs to his horse and galloped over the mountains to Barcelona. The army, emaciate and dejected, cautiously followed, over wretched roads, through rugged mountain-passes, where the people were all hostile, and it was almost impossible to obtain any provisions. The cold blasts of November pierced the clothing of the shivering troops. Philip pursued. The sufferings of the retreat can not be described. Cold, hunger mud drenching freezing storms, cruel battles, wounds, groans, death, all combined in the creation of scenes of misery which it is dreadful to contemplate. With but a feeble remnant of seven thousand men, having abandoned all his artillery and most of his baggage, General Staremberg at length reached Barcelona, behind whose fortified walls, protected by the fleet of England, his wearied troops found repose. The English and German army had left Barcelona but a few months before, numbering thirty thousand combatants.

When the war commenced Charles was a genteel young man of eighteen. He was then engaged to be married to the daughter of the King of Portugal. But the young lady died just before the day appointed for their espousals. Ten years had since passed away. Charles was now twenty-eight years of age, a war-worn soldier. Protected by a feeble garrison, he was closely besieged in the city of Barcelona. The English fleet had retired, and twenty-eight French ships blockaded the harbor. Days and weeks of the vigorous siege passed on. Anxiously, from the crumbling ramparts, the beleaguered troops gazed into the distant horizon, hoping to see the sails of an English fleet coming to their rescue. The garrison was reduced to two thousand. At length, on the 3rd of May, 1706, their eyes were gladdened by the sight of fifty sail of the line approaching with a large number of land troops. The force was so great that the siege was immediately abandoned. Soon after this there was an armistice between France and England, and the English troops withdrew from Spain. By the death of Joseph, Charles became Emperor of Germany. Europe generally recognized Philip V. as king of Spain. Gradually the war of the succession ceased, having continued nearly eleven years.

The queen, Maria Louisa, died, and the king took another bride, Elizabeth Farnese, of Parma. This renowned woman exerted a still more controlling influence over her doting husband than the young and beautiful princess who had sunk into the tomb. She was highly educated, of pleasing countenance and graceful figure, and possessed fascinating powers of conversation. For years she governed her husband with wonderful adroitness. She was indefatigable in her devotion to him, caressing and flattering him. She seemed ever to approve of his plans, never speaking a word in contradiction, and yet she invariably led him to adopt her views as if they were his own. She encouraged him in his aversion to society, and by her gayety and vivacity so ministered to his melancholy humor as to render herself indispensable to his comfort. Thus she became the real sovereign of Spain. Years rolled on of intrigues and machinations, of crimes and sorrows, which at that time embittered many hearts and darkened the lot of humanity. The reader may be interested in taking a look into the palace to witness the daily routine of the life of a king and queen of Spain. We have a very graphic description of regal etiquette from the pen of St. Simon, an inmate of the household.

At nine o'clock in the morning the first woman of the bed-chamber drew aside the curtains of the royal couch. A French valet followed with a restorative cordial, composed of milk, wine, yolks of eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. Their majesties then said their morning prayers. The king's prime minister, or secretary of state, then came in for the transaction of business, the king and queen being both still in bed. The lady of the bed-chamber brought the queen her tapestry. As she worked upon it, she very freely gave her opinion upon the questions which were brought forward. As the minister retired, an attendant brought the king his dressing-gown and slippers. His majesty then passed into his dressing-room, where three French valets and two Spanish noblemen aided him in adjusting his toilette. He then passed a quarter of an hour alone in devotion with his confessor.

As the king retired to his dressing-room the queen rose from her bed, and enjoyed about five minutes alone with the lady of her bed-chamber. These were almost the only minutes in the four-and-twenty hours which she could call her own. The queen then repaired to her toilette, "which was attended," writes St. Simon, "by the king, accompanied by two or three principal officers of his household, the children, and their governors."

The queen having finished her toilette, the royal couple repaired to the drawing-room. Here they received foreign ministers and other persons of distinction who sought a private audience. It was observed that Philip never gave any answer to any business of importance without consulting the queen. After the audience the king and queen both attended mass. They then at twelve o'clock dined. None were admitted to the table but those who had been present at her majesty's toilette. The dinner, we are informed, was always essentially the same, soup, fowls, boiled pigeons, and roast meat. There was neither fruit, salad, or cheese, and rarely any pastry. They both drank champagne. After dinner they said their prayers, and then the king and queen entered a carriage together for what was termed the chase, or the diversion of shooting. The royal couple took their station in an avenue of the park. The peasants, forming a circle, drove the game before them. They shot promiscuously at stags, boars, foxes, hares, as they were driven by. After this dull and melancholy pastime, they returned to the palace and partook of a collation of pastry, fruit, and wine. The children were then admitted for a quarter of an hour to the presence of their regal parents. After this the king held a short interview with his minister.

"This was the time," writes St. Simon, "in which the queen confessed once a week. She retired with the confessor into a cabinet adjoining; and if the king thought the confession too long, he would open the door and call her. The minister entering, they again said their prayers or read some book of devotion till supper. After supper, conversation or prayers tete-a-tete  till they retired to rest."

It is not strange that a life so monotonous and dreary should have plunged the king, constitutionally dejected, into the depths of melancholy. At length Philip decided to abdicate the crown in favor of his son Louis. In anticipation of this event, he had reared the magnificent palace of St. Ildefonso. It was delightfully situated in a luxuriant valley among the mountains, where the heat of central Spain was mitigated by cool breezes from the north. The secret of the intended abdication was revealed to no one but the queen. On the 10th of January, 1724, Philip V., in the following terms, announced his design to the Council of Castile:

"Having reflected, with due consideration, upon the miseries of life, and on the infirmities, woes, and troubles with which God has visited me during the twenty-three years of my reign, seeing also that my son, Don Louis, is of competent age, married, and endowed with discretion, judgment, and talents sufficient for governing this monarchy justly and wisely, I have determined to retire wholly from the government, renouncing all my states, kingdoms, and lordships in favor of the said Don Louis, in order to lead at St. Ildefonso a private life with the queen, that, freed from all other cares, I may serve God, meditate on a future life, and devote myself to the important work of my salvation."

His son, in accepting the crown, said, "God grant that, after treading awhile in your steps, I may have the same opinion of the vanity of the greatness of this world; and that, being sensibly affected with its nothingness, I may likewise imitate you in your retreat, and prefer great and solid happiness to transitory and perishing honors."

Philip, unlike Charles V., had no idea of retiring to a cloistered life. His palace of St. Ildefonso was one of almost unsurpassed magnificence. He reserved to himself a yearly pension of six hundred thousand dollars, to be continued to the queen in case of his death. He also settled upon each of his sons an annuity of one hundred thousand dollars, and upon each of his daughters fifty thousand.

Superstition, indolence, and the love of ease were probably the inspiring motive to this act. It was said also that he was influenced by the hope of succeeding to the throne of France. He judged that the opposition of the other powers to his assumption of the French crown would be obviated by his abdication of the throne of Spain. This might have induced the ambitious queen to approve of the measure.

Louis, the eldest son of Philip by the child-mother, the beautiful little Maria Louisa, was but in the seventeenth year of his age, when he was thus raised to the throne. As he was a Spaniard by birth, he was welcomed with universal acclaim. He was a very handsome young man, and so cordial in his manners that he won the epithet of the well-beloved. Still he was but a boy, and for a time amused himself with many boyish freaks. In disguise he would stroll through the streets of Madrid at midnight. He would stealthily strip the royal gardens of the choicest fruit, and amuse himself with the vexation of the gardeners. He had married Elizabeth, the third daughter of the Regent-duke of Orleans, a child twelve years of age. Such were the sovereigns of Spain invested with absolute power. It does indeed seem strange that a European nation numbering millions, could, but about one century ago, tolerate such trifling as to accept these children as rulers governing a kingdom with unlimited sway.

Poor little Elizabeth had been brought up in the palace of the Duke of Orleans, in a school of utter profligacy. She was beautiful, accomplished, and united elegance of manners with vivacity of spirit. But her father was one of the most profligate of men. Her two elder sisters were renowned for their fashionable dissipations. She was a spoiled child, full of wayward and capricious fancies. She bade defiance to all those stately forms of etiquette which were deemed of such vital importance in the Spanish court. Often she would have what were called the sulks, shutting herself up in her apartment and treating her husband and his mother with much disdain. The young king, by the advice of his father, resorted to the stringent measure of endeavoring to subdue her spirit by a public disgrace. He accordingly one night, when she was absent, in her carriage, from the palace Bueno Retiro, which was their residence, issued the following order to the officer in charge:

"The disorderly conduct of the queen, being highly prejudicial to her, health, and no less degrading to her royal dignity, I have endeavored to prevent it by remonstrances; and in my anxiety for her amendment I even prevailed on my pious father to admonish her with great severity. But, perceiving no change, I am resolved that she shall not sleep this night at the palace in the city. And I hereby require you, and the persons whom I have selected for the purpose, to employ every requisite care for her accommodation and precious health."

As Elizabeth returned at a late hour in the night, she was met at the gate of the palace by a guard who refused her admittance, and directed her to retire immediately to the old palace in the city. The rage of the queen was as violent as it was impotent. She was by force conveyed to the apartments provided for her, where she was held in close confinement for six days. A circular letter to all the foreign ministers announced her arrest. Assuming that at the close of the six days her spirit was somewhat subdued by confinement and disgrace, the French ambassador, a man venerable in years and character, was sent to converse with her. In the interview she frankly acknowledged her frivolity, coquetry, and imprudence, but solemnly denied any criminality. She entreated forgiveness, and promised amendment.

The young king, whose aversion to her was invincible, made an outward show of reconciliation. They met again publicly as if amicable relations were restored. The queen kissed the hand of her husband, and he kissed her cheek. But both kisses were alike cold. They occupied different apartments, and lived no longer as husband and wife. Philip and his wife, Elizabeth Farnese, who still really held all the power in their hands at their retreat at St. Ildefonso, declared the young queen to be insane, and commenced measures to obtain a divorce. While the domestic affairs of the royal family were thus troubled, the young king was seized with the small-pox, which in twelve days hurried him to the grave, in the eighteenth year of his age, and the eighth month of his reign. As soon as Louis was pronounced to be in danger, Philip, already satiated with his nominal retirement at St. Ildefonso, determined to resume the crown. He drew up a suitable document to secure that end, and obtained the signature of his son to it the evening before his death, though he was then in a state of delirium.

To this strange movement it seems that the imbecile monarch was impelled by his far more capable and extremely ambitious wife. The hope of obtaining the French crown was fading, and Elizabeth Farnese was anxious to reclaim the crown of Spain. Though there was considerable opposition on the part of the Spanish people to this tossing about of the crown, the energetic queen, operating through the Pope, was triumphantly successful.

The young queen, who by the death of Louis was saved from the humiliation of a divorce, caught the infection of which her husband died. The strength of her constitution saved her life. She received the accustomed appointments of a widowed queen. Disgusted with the restraints of Spanish etiquette, she ere long returned to Paris and took up her residence in the palace of the Luxembourg. Here she maintained a splendid establishment, and gave full swing to her taste for gallantries. A life of pleasure and of sin is always short, and always terminates in gloom and despair. The court at Madrid withheld her pension. Youth fled, beauty waned, poverty pressed, sickness invaded her frame, gloom darkened her spirits. She retired to the Convent of the Carmelites, and in the cloister en deavored to make amends, by penance and prayer, for a life of licentious amour. Shrouded in melancholy, with remorse for the past preying upon her, she died sadly, of dropsy, in the year 1742.

Philip V., resuming the crown, returned to the Escurial to receive the homage of his court. A series of intrigues ensued in reference to marriages and alliances, which, though no longer of any interest, then shook all the thrones of Europe. The people were nothing but hewers of wood and drawers of water. Their interests seem never to have been thought of. The world moved for kings and nobles alone. Elizabeth Farnese became a power in Europe. The king was a confirmed hypochondriac, and at times manifestly insane. Often he spent whole days in bed, and gave audiences at midnight. He often declared his intention to abdicate. The queen watched over and guarded him as a physician watches over an insane patient. The guards were strictly enjoined not to permit him to leave the palace. At one time he succeeded in secretly writing his abdication, and in sending his favorite valet with it to the Council of Castile. But the vigilant queen detected the movement. The dangerous paper was recovered and destroyed. An oath was extorted from the king that he would not renew his clandestine attempt to abdicate. The queers conducted all operations in his name, signing decrees with a stamp which had been prepared with his signature. Philip was peculiarly jealous of his authority, and it required consummate adroitness on the part of his wife to disguise her dictatorship, and to make her decisions appear like the suggestions of his own mind.

The bodily and mental maladies of the king gradually increased. He became very moody. Frequently he would neither transact any business himself nor allow it to be transacted by others. Occasionally he would revive and push matters with the utmost vigor. But generally he dragged on a miserable existence in a state of extreme dejection, passing most of his time in bed. No one could fail to be struck with the deplorable contrast which his existence presented between human wretchedness and regal splendor. He died suddenly, in a fit of apoplexy, in July, 1746. He left several children, all of whom, aided by the intrigues of his wife, attained eminent positions of wealth and power. His second son, Ferdinand, succeeded his father. The queen had an annual income of seventy thousand dollars settled upon her, with the palace of St. Ildefonso. This ambitious woman survived her husband, many years, retaining to the last her energy and vivacity.

Ferdinand VI., the only surviving son of Philip and Maria Louisa of Savoy, was thirty-four years of age upon his accession to the throne. His stepmother, Elizabeth Farnese, had never treated him kindly. All her energies were devoted to the promotion of the interests of her own children. He however generously forgave his mother all her injustice, and manifested no spirit of revenge. He was short in stature, of unprepossessing personal appearance, moderate in his abilities, and subject to violent fits of passion. He was economical, truthful, and anxious to promote peace at home and abroad. Unfortunately he inherited the melancholy temperament of his father, and that hypochondriac malady which plunged him almost into insanity upon the slightest sickness or anxiety. Averse to business, incapable of application, he left the burden of affairs with his ministers, and devoted himself to the chase and other pursuits of pleasure. Apparently he was conscious of his utter want of administrative ability. When some one complimented him upon his skill in shooting, he replied, "It would be extraordinary if I could not do one thing well."

The wife of Ferdinand VI., Maria Magdalena Theresa Barbara, was the daughter of John V., King of Portugal, and was two years older than her husband. She was unwieldy in figure and plain in features, but so amiable, sprightly, and agreeable in address that she won the warm affection of Ferdinand. She was however subject to occasional seasons of extreme dejection, when her mind brooded upon the terrors of sudden death or of lasting poverty. She had no children, and had sorrowfully relinquished all hope of offspring.

The shrewd men who gathered the reins of government in their hands, one of whom was a successful opera singer, paid no attention to the wants of the people, but were all engrossed by the intrigues and plans of alliance which then agitated the courts of Europe, engaged as they were in the innumerable and complicated wars to which dynastic ambition gave birth. England and France, ever two rival powers, each had their agents in Madrid, endeavoring, by bribes and by threats, to obtain the alliance of Spain. England even proposed, as the price of an alliance, to surrender Gibraltar to Spain. Ten or twelve inglorious and uneventful years thus passed away, when Barbara, who had long been in declining health, died, in August, 1758.

The blow was fatal to the semi-insane king. He was plunged into the deepest state of melancholy. Immuring himself in one of his palaces, he assumed obdurate silence, refusing to attend to any business, and at times even to partake of any food. For seven days he kept his bed, refusing to see any persons but his two physicians. Then again for days and nights he would not enter his bed. Apparently he did not sleep at all, but would walk about his room with no other covering but his shirt, occasionally sitting down for half an hour in his chair. Death came to the relief of the unhappy man on the 10th August, 1759, in the forty-seventh year of his age, and the fourteenth of his reign.

By the death of' Ferdinand VI. without issue, the crown devolved upon his half-brother, the son of Elizabeth Farnese, then King of Naples. He assumed the title of Charles III. His mother, then living, was appointed to the regency until he could arrive in Spain. The king's first-born son was idiotic. In arranging for the succession, the king appointed his second son, Charles, heir to the Spanish crown, and his third son, Ferdinand, he appointed King of Naples and Sicily.

The king, with all the royal family excepting Ferdinand, was conveyed in a fleet of sixteen ships of the line to Spain. It is said that the Neapolitan people gathered around him upon his embarkation with tears. A four day's voyage conveyed the royal family to Barcelona. Charles III. was cordially received in Spain, where he was born. His mother he had not seen for twenty years. In his little realm of Naples Charles had devoted much attention to the subjects of finance, commerce, and agriculture. The new king is represented as a man of respectable abilities, good memory, and of uncommon command of himself. Being of the House of Bourbon, he ever retained a strong affection for France, and favored the French rather than the English alliance.

The Jesuits had now attained so much wealth and power that they became rivals of the king and the court. It was an age of ignorance. The priests were at every dying bed. Many a remorseful sinner, hoping to make some amends for his crimes, bequeathed large sums, if not all his possessions, to the Church. Thus the Jesuits, bound together by the most rigorous rules which fanaticism could frame, became the most powerful society ever known upon earth. Adopting the maxim that "the end sanctifies the means," there was no crime of falsehood, treachery, murder, which in their eyes did not become a virtue, if its perpetration aided in promoting the interests of what they called the Church. Conscious of their power, they caused kings and courts to tremble before their arrogance. It was long before any statesman was found bold enough to strike at this formidable spiritual Colossus.

In 1757, in consequence of some bold intrigues in which the Jesuits were engaged in Portugal, and their implication in a memorable attempt to assassinate the king, the Portuguese court, roused to desperate action, issued a decree confiscating the property of the Jesuits and banishing them from the kingdom. These bold measures against the formidable organization in some degree dissipated the terror which their name and power had inspired. The literati of France opened upon them a merciless warfare, with assaults of ridicule and contempt so fierce as to create against them a general feeling of aversion. The result was that, in 1764, they were expelled from France. The decree declared them to be a political society dangerous to religion and devoted to self-aggrandizement. There was not much sense of right in those days. The end sanctified the means. Their assailants did not hesitate to resort to any measures whatever which would excite odium against the Jesuits. Forged letters were circulated in the names of the chiefs. False charges of the most horrible nature were propagated against them.

The Jesuits, or Society of Jesus, had originated under Ignatius Loyola in Spain. There can be no question that Loyola was as sincere  and conscientious  as was ever fanatic in this world. The Duke de Choiseul, who had contributed much to the expulsion of the Jesuits from France, now consecrated all his energies to secure their expulsion from Spain. Rumors were circulated, no one can tell whether true or false, of their conspiracies against the Spanish Government. A forged letter was presented from the head of the order at Rome, calling upon the leaders in Spain to promote an insurrection.

It so happened that at this time, much to the chagrin of Charles III., the English party in Madrid gained the ascendancy. The populace of Madrid, in wild insurrection, swept the streets, shouting "England forever;" "Down with the French." They demanded the dismissal of the king's favorite minister Squilaci. A conflict was the result. For forty-eight hours Madrid was in the hands of the mob. Many of the king's guard were killed. Their bodies, shockingly mangled, were dragged through the streets, and were burned upon bonfires. Charles was compelled to yield to the clamors of the mob, and was consequently almost frantic with mortification and rage. At the same time there were similar insurrections in other parts of the kingdom.

The skill with which these insurrections were managed clearly indicated that they originated in and were controlled by some secret intelligence far superior to any thing which was to be found in the minds of the besotted populace. The king, brooding over his humiliation, was led to suspect the Jesuits. In his sullen humor he retired to Avanjuer, and for eight months refused to take up his residence again at Madrid. The French minister was unwearied in his endeavors to induce the king to imitate the example of France. Thus influenced, Charles III. became the implacable foe of the Jesuits. But their power was so great, from their numbers, their talents, and their various opportunities of controlling the public mind, that it was necessary for the king to move with the utmost caution.

Charles sent circulars to the governors of each province, with secret instructions that they were to open them only at a particular hour and in a particular place. At the appointed moment, at midnight on the 31st of March, 1767, the colleges of the Jesuits in all parts of Spain were surrounded with troops, and all their inmates arrested. They were then led, carefully guarded, to carriages previously collected for their transportation, and were thus conveyed to different places on the coast, where frigates were in waiting, which bore them to Civita Vecchia, in Italy. So perfect were the precautions and so prompt the execution, that nothing was known of their arrest by the inhabitants of the places of their residence until the next morning.

In this movement, as everywhere in the events of this sad world, we see the suffering caused by the cruelty of man. The Pope forbade their landing in his dominions, saying that his treasury was too poor to maintain them. The weather was hot; they were crowded like convicts in the transports; many perished. For three months they were beating about in the Mediterranean. At last they were landed upon the island of Corsica, where they were crowded into warehouses, without beds or any of the necessaries of life. The Pope finally permitted them to be landed in Italy, where he settled upon them a maintenance which Spain promised to pay, amounting to one shilling a day for each. However dangerous may have been the character of this society, dreadful is that despotism which enabled a weak, passionate man to arrest, simply at his own good pleasure, a large religious order, without trial, without accusation even, and to banish them forever from their native land, under circumstances of cruelty more to be dreaded than death. Under this despotic proscription, the Jesuits were forbidden to make any attempt whatever in justification of their conduct. In the edict for their expulsion every inhabitant of Spain was prohibited from publishing any thing for or against them; and it was declared that if a single Jesuit should send forth the slightest apology in their favor, the pensions of all should instantly cease.

In a letter to the Pope the king announced that the tranquillity of his states and the honor of his crown rendered it necessary for him to expel the Jesuits, but that he would assume the expense of their maintenance. The Pope very reluctantly acquiesced in the expulsion of such zealous partisans of the Holy See. In the correspondence which ensued, both the pontiff and the king, in words at least, breathed the spirit of humanity and of piety. The Pope, after warmly eulogizing the order, implored the king, "as he loved his wife then in heaven, who on earth manifested so much attachment to the Society of Jesus; as he loved the Church, the spouse of Christ; as he regarded the wishes of the Pope himself; as he loved the sweet name of Jesus, which was the glorious device of the sons of Saint Ignatius, that he would revoke or suspend the execution of his order." But the king, in a reply full of expressions of respect and affection, remained firm in his resolve.

The Jesuits, though persecuted, still had power. The king had daily proofs of the success of their secret intrigues. The year after their expulsion the king showed himself upon the balcony of the palace to the people. To the surprise and confusion of the whole court, the immense multitude simultaneously, and as with one voice, demanded the return of the Jesuits. A new Pope was ere long elected, Clement XIV. Spain exerted so powerful an influence in his elevation that, in gratitude, he yielded to the solicitations of Charles III., accompanied by those of other Catholic courts, and abolished the Order of Jesus in 1793. The Inquisition had by this time lost somewhat of its sanguinary power. And yet the intolerance which remained may be inferred from the following incident:

A gentleman by the name of Don Olavide, a man of wealth, who stood high in court favor, and who was distinguished for his literary acquirements, established a journal in Madrid which attracted considerable attention. Extensive travel had enlarged his mind, so that he regarded with strong disapproval the fanaticism of the Papal Church. He even ventured to ridicule the idleness and licentiousness of the monks, and to point out the varied mischiefs which arose from the celibacy of the clergy. The jealousy of the Church was aroused, his words were carefully watched, and a formal accusation of heresy was preferred against him before the tribunal of the Inquisition. After two years of imprisonment, during which the irresponsible inquisitors, in their secret conclave, investigated his offenses and decided his fate, Olavide was called before them to receive his doom, from which there was no appeal.

The hall of the Inquisition was a long gloomy apartment with windows near the ceiling. Under a black canopy at one end of the room a crucifix was placed, as if constituting a throne. In front of this stood a table, with chairs, at which the two inquisitors sat. Their functions were invested with so much solemnity and awe that the highest grandees of the realm stood at their side as servants, without hat or sword. Before the table there was a stool for the prisoner, and two stools for his guards. There were benches along the walls which were crowded with spectators, who were summoned to witness the scene. The accused, emaciate and enfeebled by long and cruel imprisonment, was brought before his judges. An eye-witness thus describes the ceremony:

"Olavide soon appeared, attended by brothers in black, his looks quite cast down, his hands closed together, and holding a green taper. His dress was an olive-colored coat and waistcoat, white canvas breeches and thread stockings, and his hair was combed back into a bag. He was seated on the stool prepared for him. The secretaries then read, during three hours, the accustomed accusations and proceedings against him.

"They consisted of above a hundred articles, such as his possession of free books, loose pictures, letters of recommendation from Voltaire, his having neglected some external duties of devotion, uttering hasty expressions, his inattention to images, together with every particular of his life, birth, and education: all were noted. It concluded declaring him guilty of heresy. At that moment, in utter exhaustion, he fainted away, but was brought to the recovery of his senses, that he might hear the sentence pronounced against him.

"It was no less than this: deprivation of all his offices; incapacity of holding any office hereafter, or of receiving any royal favor; confiscation of his property, banishment to thirty leagues from Madrid, from all places of royal residence, from Seville, the new colony, and from Lima, the place of his birth; prohibition from riding on horseback, or wearing gold, silver, or silk; and eight years imprisonment and monastic discipline in a convent.

"The sentence being read, he was led to the table, where, on his knees, he recanted his errors and acknowledged his implicit belief in the articles of the Roman Catholic faith. Four priests in surplices and with wands in their hands then came in. They repeatedly laid their wands across his shoulders, while a miserere  was sung. He then withdrew. The inquisitors bowed, and the strangers silently departed, with terror in their hearts but discretion on their lips."

Rigorous as this punishment was, it was mild compared with that which would inevitably have been inflicted upon the accused but a few years before. He then could not have escaped being burned alive, probably after having experienced terrible tortures.

The possession of Gibraltar by England was a great mortification to the pride of Spain. Innumerable were the efforts of the Spanish Government, by diplomacy, by purchase, by intrigue, by war, to obtain possession of that portion of its territory. But all was in vain. The British Government held its conquest with a grasp which no influence or power could relax. About the year 1781, Spain, in alliance with France, made one of the most desperate and energetic attempts recorded in history to regain Gibraltar. The world-renowned rock, burrowed into innumerable chambers and galleries, was garrisoned by seven thousand veteran troops. They were supplied with an abundance of the heaviest artillery and all the munitions of war. An allied army of French and Spaniards advanced, by trenches, along the low and narrow neck of land which connects the stupendous rock with the mainland. A squadron of ten immense floating batteries made the attack by sea, aided by a powerful fleet of gun-boats and ships of the line. These batteries were of enormous strength and magnitude. They bore an armament of two hundred and fourteen of the heaviest guns, and were manned by over five thousand men.

The front of these floating fortresses was covered by three massive layers of solid heavy timber three feet thick. A shelving roof was contrived, to glance off shells and grapeshot. The exterior was covered with cordage and wet hides, to prevent conflagration. Beneath the roof there were reservoirs of water, which, by an ingenious contrivance, was conveyed by channels through all the woodwork of the structure like veins in the human body, so that red-hot shot cutting these pipes would be immediately inundated. These batteries were to be aided in the attack by numerous bomb-vessels and gun-boats and ten ships of' the line. The assault was to be made simultaneously by both the land and the sea forces.

These majestic preparations roused the ardor of all Spain. The king was exceedingly excited. He could talk of but little else, and was sanguine in his conviction that the British invaders would soon be driven from Spanish soil. As the hour for the tremendous cannonade approached, thousands of spectators lined the adjacent hills. The most distinguished of the nobility of France and Spain had gathered to the spot. The attack commenced on the morning of the 13th of September, 1781. The batteries were moored at regular distances within six hundred yards of the works. The cannonade which ensued was the heaviest which earth had then ever known. Four hundred of the heaviest pieces of artillery were pealing forth their sublime thunderings every moment.

Hours elapsed while the conflict continued unabated, and no one could perceive any superiority on either side. The floating batteries seemed to baffle all the powers of the Gibraltar guns; and no more impression seemed to be made upon the rock itself than if the shot had been hurled against the eternal cliffs of Sinai. The English commander inquired with surprise, as the hours passed away, and his heaviest shells rebounded harmless from the batteries, and his balls of fire kindled no conflagration, "What can be the composition of these machines, on which red-hot balls produce no effect?"

At last, as night came on, some of the shot penetrated. Two of the batteries were on fire. Billows of smoke were followed by bursting flames. Rockets were thrown up as signals of distress. Numerous boats were instantly sent from the fleet to rescue the crews from these floating masses, which were now furnaces of flame. But the English, to baffle this attempt, sent out twelve gun-boats, which swept the water with grape and canister, and drove back the rescuing boats to the fleet. At this awful moment numbers were seen hanging to the burning sides of the vessels, shrieking as the flames enveloped them. Others were floating upon pieces of timber, with agonizing cries imploring help. From others of the batteries flames began now to ascend. The fate of the enterprise was decided, and the assailants, no longer continuing their fire, as far as possible withdrew.

The fire of the garrison immediately ceased, and the English commander did every thing in his power to rescue the perishing. But, notwithstanding all his efforts, two thousand perished in the flames or in the sea. The Spaniards themselves set fire to the remaining batteries to avoid their capture. Before the morning dawned the majestic armament had vanished. The semblance of a siege was for a time kept up, but at the approach of a powerful naval force from England the allied fleet retired.

The possession of Gibraltar by England has ever been, and so long as it continues must ever be, a thorn in the side of Spain—an insuperable obstacle in the way of the establishment of any cordial alliance between the two nations. In the year 1788 Charles III. had attained an advanced age. Though he had encountered political disappointments and domestic sorrows, he endeavored to find recompense for them in the pleasures of the chase, to which he was passionately attached. This pastime was the peculiar foible of the Bourbon race of kings. We are told that Charles was irreproachable in his morals. After the death of his wife, Amelia of Saxony, who bore him thirteen children, he lived a pure life, and manifested his attachment to his departed companion by declining repeated and pressing offers of the most beautiful and accomplished princesses in Europe.

He was scrupulously devoted to the interests of his religion, while jealous of any encroachments of the Pope or clergy on the civil authority. He was, on the whole, a well-meaning, kind-hearted man. His ruling passion, the love of shooting, absorbed every other feeling, and took the precedence of every other pursuit. He considered that day lost in which he had taken no part in his favorite amusement. He kept a minute diary of his exploits as a sportsman. To a foreign ambassador, just before his death, he boasted that he had killed with his own hand five hundred and thirty-nine wolves, and five thousand three hundred and twenty-three foxes; adding, with a smile, "You see that my diversion is not useless to my country." Being a member of the House of Bourbon, his natural bias was strongly in favor of France. The people generally spoke of him as the good old king. An English traveller who visited his court writes:

"I believe that there are but three days in the whole year that he spends without going out a-shooting, and those are noted with the blackest mark in the calendar. No storm, heat, or cold can keep him at home; and when he hears of a wolf, distance is counted for nothing. He would drive over half the kingdom rather than miss an opportunity of firing upon that favorite game. Besides a numerous retinue of persons belonging to the hunting establishment, several times a year all the idle fellows in and about Madrid are hired to beat the country and drive the wild boars, deer, and hares into a ring, where they pass before the royal family."

The latter part of the year 1788 Charles was seized with a cold. This led to an inflammatory fever, which hurried him to the grave, in the seventy-third year of his age, and the seventeenth of his reign. He gathered his family around his dying bed, and affectionately took leave of them, entreating them earnestly to adhere to the religion of their ancestors. The crown thus descended to his son Charles IV., then thirty years of age.

Charles IV. and Maria Louisa

(From 1788 A.D. to 1808 A.D.)

Character of Charles IV. and his wife.—Manuel Godoy.—The Insurrection in Madrid.—Domestic Quarrels.—Forced Abdication of the King.—Appeal to Napoleon.—Views of the Emperor.—The Interview at Bayonne.—Testimony of Alison; of Thiers; of Napier.—The Spanish Bourbons sell the Crown.—Remarks of the Emperor.

We know but little about the early life of Charles IV. save that it was a life of sin and shame. He was a man of weak intellect, impotent in action, and dissolute beyond all restraint in his habits. His wife, Maria Louisa, a Neapolitan princess, was a woman thoroughly abandoned to sensuality, without any apparent sense of her utter degradation. Soon after the accession of Charles IV. to the throne, the throes of the approaching French Revolution began to be felt throughout all Europe, giving rise to the Republic and the Empire in France. The pollution of the Spanish court under Charles IV. and Maria Louisa can not be described. It is admitted by all, denied by none. Neither the king nor the queen made any attempt to disguise their profligacy.

Both of them had become so corrupt as to lose not only all sense of religious obligation, but even that sentiment of honor which usually accompanies nuptial vows. The guilty favorites of the king and the paramours of the queen, undisguised, unabashed, mingled with the courtiers amidst the festivities of the palace, in scenes of sin and shame which could scarcely have been exceeded in the courts of the most degraded of the Roman Emperors or of the Babylonian kings.

In the body-guard of the king there was a handsome young soldier by the name of Manuel Godoy. He became the especial favorite of the queen, and, strange as it may seem, of the king also. There was no attempt to disguise the guilty relations existing between Godoy and Louisa. And yet the king was so lost to all self-respect as not only cordially to acquiesce in that relation, but also to make Godoy his confidant and friend. There seemed to be an understanding between the king and the queen that neither of them should interfere with the untrammeled license of the other.

Wealth and dignities were lavished upon Godoy. Though he never gave any evidence of statesmanlike ability, he must have been a man of considerable tact and cunning. He gathered all the reins of government in his own hands, and for a time reigned absolute monarch of Spain. The king, entirely devoted to pleasure, did not wish to be annoyed with the cares of state. He therefore gladly accepted the relief which the paramour of the queen readily afforded him. In consequence of a treaty of peace which Godoy effected, he received the title of the "Prince of Peace," by which title he is generally known in Spanish annals. Such was the condition of Spain under the Bourbons when all the thrones of Europe were trembling beneath the thunders of the great battles of Marengo and Austerlitz.

"Every day," said Charles IV. to Napoleon, "winter as well as summer, I go out to shoot from morning till noon. I then dine, and return to the chase, which I continue till sunset. Manuel Godoy then gives me a brief account of what is going on, and I go to bed, to recommence the same life on the morrow."

Louisa had three sons, Ferdinand, Carlos, and Francisco. Ferdinand, the heir-apparent to the throne, was, at the time of which we write, about twenty-five years of age. He inherited the characteristic traits of both father and mother, possessing but little education or mental ability, being very profligate, and entirely devoted to dissipating pleasure. Louisa expressed her estimate of this son in saying, "Ferdinand has a mule's head and a tiger's heart." The heir-apparent was anxious to ascend the throne, and was exasperated in seeing all the power of the kingdom in the hands of Godoy, whom he mortally hated. As his father, Charles IV., was in comparatively vigorous health, and gave no indication of any intention to die, Ferdinand decided to attempt to expedite his departure by administering to him poison. At least so his parents say, and we are not aware that Ferdinand ever took any special pains to deny it.

Godoy detected the plot. Ferdinand was arrested. No one supposed that he was the child of Charles IV. It is therefore, perhaps, not surprising that the old king should have been very eager to send him to the scaffold. A mother's love is generally proof against any amount of ingratitude or sin. But the wretched Louisa had no mother's love in her heart. She hated her son, and was equally anxious with the king that he should be removed from their way by an ignominious death. Godoy both feared and hated the young prince, and was determined upon his destruction.

But the populace of Madrid espoused the cause of Ferdinand. They could more easily make allowances for what they deemed youthful indiscretions, than for the scandalous lives of hoary old debauchees. Intense excitement pervaded the streets of Madrid. Excited masses, ripe for insurrection, swarmed in the squares of the city. Portentous mutterings were heard. Cudgels rang upon the pavements. Poniards gleamed in the lamplight.

The gilded chariot of Godoy appeared in the street. It was the spark in the magazine. Fearful was the explosion. Stones, clubs, brick-bats, and every other attainable missile were hurled at the wretched man. His horses were goaded to the utmost speed. A rushing, roaring mob pursued. The carriage entered the portals of the palace, and the oaken doors closed behind it. Like the rush of ocean tides, the frenzied mob encircled the buildings, so numerous, so maddened, that the few troops stationed there for the defense of the favorite did not dare to fire upon them. The terror-stricken man fled to the garret, and rolling himself up in some old mats covered with the accumulated dust and cobwebs of ages, concealed himself behind a chimney. The mob dashed in the doors, swept through halls, parlors, chambers. The palace was sacked, sofas, mirrors, paintings, all the luxurious furnishings of wealth were hurled from the windows, broken into fragments, and burned upon the pavements.

Every room, crevice, corner was searched for the wretch. Sharp-edged knives were drawn. Assassination is the pastime of a Spanish mob. Godoy, almost smothered in his burial amidst rags and dust and spiders, trembled in every nerve as he listened to the angry tramp, execrations, and menaces which surrounded him. But his concealment eluded the search. The night came, and its long hours of terror passed slowly away. The day dawned. The sun attained its meridian, and sank again in darkness. Still Godoy dared not move. The second night came, and the roar of the mob, swelling through the palace and through the streets, fell appallingly upon the ear of Godoy. The king and queen had no energy of character, no courage of heart, even to attempt to interfere and save him.

Thirty-six hours had tolled. The wretch was dying of thirst and hunger. In the dim light of the third morning he crept from his concealment, and stealthily endeavored to find his way clown some back stairs in search of food. A watchful eye detected him. The alarm was given. The cry ran through the streets, and the mob again rushed to seize their victim. Godoy, pallid and haggard with starvation and terror, was dragged out-of-doors, his clothes soiled and torn, his hair disheveled, and as they were hurrying him to the lamp-post a squadron of the king's mounted guards came clattering through the streets to his rescue. Two of the stoutest of the grenadiers seized him, one by each arm, between their horses, and dragged him upon the full gallop, partially suspended from their saddles, over the rough pavement to the nearest prison. Half dead with fright, starvation, and bruises, he was thrust into a cell, and the iron doors closed upon him. He was now safe beyond the reach of the mob.

The surging masses, thus baffled, were only the more exasperated. They rushed to the palace of the king, demanding the release of Ferdinand, the dismissal of Godoy, and the abdication of the crown in favor of Ferdinand. Charles and Louisa were terror-stricken. The storms which had overwhelmed the Bourbons in France were now howling around their throne. Visions of dungeons and of the guillotine appalled their guilty spirits. The king, to appease the mob, issued a proclamation dismissing Godoy and abdicating the throne in favor of his "well-beloved son, Ferdinand."

The fear of a violent death had driven the king to this measure. It was a perfidious act, to which he had been compelled by threats, and which he had no intention whatever of respecting. Charles IV. immediately wrote to Napoleon to assist him to regain the crown which his son had thus forcibly wrenched from his brow.

"I have resigned," he said, "in favor of my son. The din of arms and the clamor of my insurgent people left me no alternative but resignation or death. I have been forced to abdicate. I have no longer any hope but in the aid and support of my magnanimous ally, the Emperor Napoleon."

Ferdinand also, well aware that he could not retain the crown, should the Emperor espouse the cause of his father, wrote to Napoleon in the most fawning phrases of sycophancy and adulation.

"The world," he said, "daily more and more admires the greatness and goodness of Napoleon. Rest assured that the Emperor shall ever find in Ferdinand the most faithful and devoted son. Ferdinand implores, therefore, the paternal protection of the Emperor. He also solicits the honor of an alliance with his family."

Thus both father and son appealed to Napoleon for help. To understand the curious events which ensued, and which resulted in the removal of the Bourbons from the throne of Spain for several years, it will be necessary to turn back a few pages in the book of history. The scenes which we have above described took place in the year 1807.

A few months before England, Russia, and Prussia had formed a new coalition against Napoleon. The Prussian army, two hundred thousand strong, headed by Frederick William, the king, commenced its march upon France, and, entering Saxony, compelled the king to join the alliance. "Our cause," said Frederick, "is the common cause of legitimate  kings, and all such must aid in the enterprise." The Emperor Alexander, anxious to wipe out the stain of Austerlitz, was hurrying across the plains of Poland with two hundred thousand soldiers in his train, to join the Prussian king in his march upon Paris. England, with her omnipotent and omnipresent fleet, was crowding the shores of the Mediterranean and of the Channel, dealing her heaviest blows upon any exposed point, and striving with her gold to lure other nations into the coalition against the Republican Emperor, the monarch of popular choice, whom they stigmatized as "the child and the champion of democracy."

With deepest sorrow Napoleon gathered his strength to meet the rising storm, which he had done nothing to provoke. In the Moniteur  the Emperor had made an appeal, in the following terms, to the combined monarchs who were threatening him:

"Why should hostilities arise between France and Russia? If the Emperor of France exercises a great influence in Italy, the Czar exercises a still greater influence in Turkey and Persia. If the Cabinet of Russia pretends to have a right to affix limits to the power of France, without doubt it is equally disposed to allow the Emperor of the French to prescribe the bound beyond which Russia is not to pass. Russia has seized upon the Crimea, the Caucasus, and the northern provinces of Persia. Can she deny that the right of self-preservation gives France a title to demand an equivalent in Europe? Let every power begin by restoring the conquests which it has made during the last fifty years. Let them re-establish Poland, restore Venice to its Senate, Trinidad to Spain, Ceylon to Holland, the Crimea to the Porte, the Caucasus and Georgia to Persia, the kingdom of Mysore to the sons of Tippoo Sahib, and the Mahratta States to their lawful owners; and then the other powers may have some title to insist that France shall retire within her ancient limits."

As the Emperor left Paris for the campaign of Jena and Auerstadt, he said to the Senate: "In so just a war, which we have not provoked by any act, by any pretense, the true cause of which it would be impossible to assign, and when we only take arms to defend ourselves, we depend entirely upon the support of the laws and upon that of the people, whom circumstances call upon to give fresh proofs of their devotion and courage."

Napoleon was soon at the head of his army, and by skillful manoeuvres had so effectually surrounded the Prussians, cutting them off from all their supplies, that he felt sure of a signal victory. Under these circumstances he wrote as follows to the King of Prussia:


I am now in the heart of Saxony. Believe me that my strength is such that your forces can not long balance the victory. But wherefore shed so much blood? To what purpose? Why should we make our subjects slay each other? I do not prize victory which is purchased by the lives of so many of my children. If I were just commencing my military career, and if I had any reason to fear the chances of war, this language would be wholly misplaced. Sire, your Majesty will be vanquished. At present you are uninjured, and may treat with me in a manner conformable with your rank. Before a month has passed you will treat, but in a different position. I am aware that I may, in thus writing, irritate that sensibility which naturally belongs to every sovereign. But circumstances demand that I should use no concealment. I implore your Majesty to view, in this letter, nothing but the desire I have to spare the effusion of human blood. Sire, my brother, I pray God that he may have you in His worthy and holy keeping.

Your Majesty's good brother,


No reply was returned to this letter. The evening of the 13th of October, 1806, had come. Both armies were prepared for a desperate battle. At midnight Napoleon was bivouacked upon the summit of a high and steep hill, called the Landgrafenberg. The camp-fires of the two hosts, spread over an extent of eighteen miles, illumined the sky. It was a gloomy hour. The forces opposed to each other were nearly equal. Alexander, as we have mentioned, was hurrying forward with two hundred thousand troops. Should the Emperor be worsted in the conflict, Austria, Sweden, and all the minor monarchies would immediately fall upon him.

Napoleon was roused from a transient sleep to read important dispatches which were placed in his hands. These dispatches informed him that the Bourbons of Spain, while professing friendship and alliance, had entered into a secret treaty with England to join the Allies should Napoleon be defeated. They had agreed to cross the Pyrenees with a powerful army and to attack France in the rear. There was never a more unprovoked act of treachery. Napoleon, as he folded the papers, calmly remarked, "The Bourbons of Spain shall be replaced by princes of my own family."

The next morning, in the terrible conflicts of Jena and Auerstadt, the Prussian host was shivered and scattered as by the fabled thunderbolts of Jove. Godoy and the Spanish Bourbons were terrified by this unanticipated result. They instantly sheathed the sword which they had drawn, disbanded their armies, and hypocritically sent an ambassador to congratulate Napoleon upon his victory. The Emperor smiled as he received the document, saying, "This letter was intended for the Allies; the address simply has been changed."

Such were the relations existing between France and Spain when the insurrection at Madrid drove Charles IV. from the throne. The event was unexpected to Napoleon, and he seems to have been much embarrassed as to the best course to pursue. Charles IV. and Godoy were so despised and hated that it would be in vain to attempt to restore them to the throne. If it were indeed true that Ferdinand were the wretch that rumor described him to be, and that he had actually endeavored to poison his father, Napoleon could not consistently advocate his claims. To remove them both by violence, and place one of his brothers upon the throne, would exasperate anew all the dynasties.

Napoleon was at the palace of St. Cloud when he first received tidings of the abdication of Charles IV. in favor of Ferdinand. In earnest conversation upon the subject with General Savary, the Duke of Rovigo, he said:

"Charles IV. has abdicated. His son has succeeded him. This change has been the result of a revolution, in which the Prince of Peace has fallen. It looks as if the abdication were not altogether voluntary. I was prepared for changes in. Spain. They are taking a turn altogether different from what I had expected. I wish you to go to Madrid. See our ambassador. Inquire why he could not have prevented a revolution in which I shall be forced to intervene, and in which I shall be considered as implicated.

"Before I can recognize the son I must ascertain the sentiments of the father. He is my ally. It is with him that I have contracted engagements. If he appeal for my support he shall have it. Nothing will induce me to recognize Ferdinand till I see the abdication duly legalized. When I made peace on the Niemen I stipulated that if England did not accept the mediation of Alexander, Russia should unite her arms with ours and compel that power to peace. I should be indeed weak if; having obtained that single advantage from those I have vanquished, I should permit the Spaniards to embroil me afresh upon my weak side. Should I permit Spain to form an alliance with England, it would give that hostile power greater advantages than it has lost by the rupture with Russia. I fear every thing from a revolution of which I know neither the causes nor the object.

"I wish above all things to avoid a war with Spain. Such a conflict would be a species of sacrilege. But I shall not hesitate to incur its horrors if the prince who governs Spain embraces such a policy. Had Charles IV. reigned, and the Prince of Peace not been overturned, we might have remained at peace. Now all is changed; for that country, ruled by a warlike monarch, disposed to direct against us all the resources of his nation, might perhaps succeed in displacing by his own dynasty my family on the throne of France. You see what might happen if I do not prevent it. It is my duty to foresee the danger, and to take measures to deprive the enemy of the resources they might otherwise derive from it. If I can not arrange with either the father or the son, I will make a clean sweep of them both. I will re-assemble the Cortes, and resume the designs of Louis XIV. I should thus be in the same situation with that monarch when he engaged, in support of his grandson, in the war of the succession. The same political necessity governs both cases. I am fully prepared for all that. I am about to set out for Bayonne. I will go on to Madrid, but only if it is unavoidable."

It seems, however, that if Napoleon had not then come to a decision as to the course he was to pursue, his mind soon inclined very strongly towards the overthrow of the Bourbons, for the next morning he wrote to his brother Joseph, and after informing him of the revolution which had taken place in Spain, he remarked:

"Being convinced that I shall never be able to conclude a solid peace with England till I have given a great movement on the Continent, I have resolved to put a French prince on the throne of Spain. In this state of affairs I have turned my eyes to you for the throne of Spain. Say at once what is your opinion on that subject. You must be aware that this plan is yet in embryo. Though I have one hundred thousand men in Spain, yet, according to circumstances, I may either advance directly to my object, in which case every thing will be concluded in a fort-night, or be more circumspect in my advances, and the final result appear after several months' operations."

In a letter which, two days later, he wrote to his brother-in-law, Murat, Grand-duke of Berg, who was then in command of the French troops at Madrid, he very fully unfolded the difficulties with which the subject was embarrassed. In this letter he writes:

"I find myself very much perplexed. Do not imagine that you can, merely by showing your troops, subjugate Spain. The Spaniards still possess energy. They have all the courage, and will display all the enthusiasm shown by men who are not worn out by political passions. The aristocracy and the clergy are the masters of Spain. If they are alarmed for their privileges and existence, they will bring into the field against us levies in mass which might eternize the war. I am not without partisans. If I present myself as a conqueror, I shall have them no longer. The Prince of Peace is detested. The Prince of the Asturias (Ferdinand) does not possess a single quality requisite for the head of a nation. I will have no violence employed against the personages of this family. England will not let the opportunity escape her of multiplying our embarrassments.

"Spain is, perhaps, of all the countries in Europe, the one that is least prepared for a revolution. Those who perceive the monstrous vices in the Government, and the anarchy which has taken the place of the lawful authority, are the fewest in number. The greater number profit by those vices and that anarchy. I can, consistently with the interests of my empire, do a great deal of good to Spain. What are the best means to be adopted? Shall I go to Madrid? Shall I take upon myself the office of grand protector in pronouncing between the father and the son? It seems to me a matter of difficulty to support Charles IV. on the throne. His Government and his favorite are so very unpopular that they could not stand their ground for three months.

"Ferdinand is the enemy of France. To place him on the throne would be to serve the factions which for twenty years have longed for the destruction of France. A family alliance would be but a feeble tie. My opinion is that nothing should be hurried forward, and that we should take counsel of events as they occur. I do not approve of the step which your imperial highness has taken in so precipitately making yourself master of Madrid. The army ought to have been kept ten leagues from the capital.

"I shall hereafter decide on what is to be done. You will behave with attention to the king, the queen, and Prince Godoy. You will manage so that the Spaniards will have no suspicion which part I mean to take. You will find less difficulty in this, as I do not know myself. You will make the nobility and clergy understand that if the interference of France be requisite in the affairs of Spain, their privileges and immunities will be respected. You will assure them that the Emperor wishes for the improvement of the political institutions of Spain in order to put her on a footing with the advanced state of civilization in Europe, and to free her from the yoke of favorites. You will tell the magistrates, the inhabitants of the towns, and the well-informed classes, that Spain stands in need of having the machinery of her Government reorganized, and that she requires a system of laws to protect the people against the tyranny and encroachments of feudality, with institutions which may revive industry, agriculture, and the arts. You will describe to them the tranquility and plenty enjoyed in France, notwithstanding the wars in which she has been constantly engaged. You will explain to them the advantages they may derive from political regeneration—order and peace at home, respect and influence abroad.

"I enjoin the strictest maintenance of discipline. The slightest faults must not go unpunished. The inhabitants must be treated with the greatest attention. Above all, the churches and convents must be respected. The army must avoid all misunderstanding with the bodies and detachments of the Spanish army. A single flash in the pan must not be permitted on either side. If war is once kindled, all would be lost."

Such was the state of affairs when Napoleon received a letter from Charles IV. imploring the Emperor to interpose in his behalf. "My son," the king wrote, "has attempted to poison me. My only hope is in the aid of my magnanimous ally, the Emperor Napoleon. Restore to me my crown, and I will be your Majesty's most devoted friend."

Godoy also wrote in similar terms of supplication, entreating the Emperor to reinstate Charles IV. upon the throne, from which an unnatural son had driven him.

Ferdinand also wrote to the Emperor still more fawningly, entreating the recognition of his right to the Spanish crown, and begging the Emperor to confirm the alliance by giving him one of his nieces for a wife.

The situation of the Emperor, in view of these appeals, as is sufficiently manifest, was very embarrassing. There was no course of action or of inaction which he could pursue which was not fraught with peril, or which would not expose him to the most severe denunciations.

Business summoned the Emperor to Bayonne, near the frontiers of Spain. Through his ambassador he informed the antagonistic members of the Spanish court that if they wished they could meet him there. Napoleon and Josephine reached Bayonne on the fifteenth of April, 1808. Ferdinand was endeavoring to discredit Godoy by accusing him of being the paramour of his mother. Napoleon wrote to him from Bayonne as follows:

"You will permit me, under present circumstances, to speak to you with truth and frankness. I pass no decision upon the conduct of the Prince of Peace. But I know well that it is dangerous for kings to accustom their people to shed blood. The people willingly avenge themselves for the homage which they pay us.

"How can the process be drawn up against the Prince of Peace without involving in it the queen and the king your father? Your Royal Highness has no other claim to the crown than that which you derive from your mother. If this process degrades her, your Royal Highness degrades your own title. The criminality of Godoy, if it can be proved against him, goes to annihilate your right to the crown. I say to your Royal Highness, to the Spaniards, and to the world, that if the abdication of Charles IV. is unconstrained, I will not hesitate to acknowledge it, and to recognize your Royal Highness as King of Spain."

Ferdinand was at this time doing every thing in his power to blazon abroad the shame of his mother, and to bring Godoy to trial as her paramour. Napoleon endeavored thus delicately to intimate to him that by dishonoring his mother he dishonored himself, and invalidated his own title to the crown. But this wretched mother was so lost to all sense of shame that it is said she reproached her son with being the child of ignominious birth, telling him to his face, and in the presence of others, that her husband was not his father.

Ferdinand, hoping by a personal interview to secure the support of Napoleon, repaired to Bayonne to meet him. He was accompanied by a magnificent escort. Charles IV. and the queen, learning of this movement, resolved also to hasten to Bayonne to plead their cause before the sovereign who, at that time, held the destinies of so many monarchs in his hands. Godoy followed after. Thus unexpectedly, Napoleon found the whole royal family of Spain suppliants at his feet; for Charles had taken with him his two younger sons, Carlos and Francisco.

Thus all the members of the Spanish royal family were assembled at Bayonne. Napoleon received them with every mark of attention, and entertained them with imperial hospitality. Though he was prepared to meet a very degenerate family, he was amazed at the development of imbecility and depravity which was presented to him. Charles IV., Louisa, and Godoy were not reluctant to relinquish the cares of regal state, could they but retain the means for the gratification of their appetites and passions. M. Thiers, speaking of the journey of Charles IV. and his court to Bayonne, says:

"It had been impossible to inspire them with a moment's confidence since the 17th of March. Spain had become hateful to them. They constantly spoke of quitting it, and of going to occupy even a humble farm in France, a country which their powerful friend Napoleon had rendered at once so calm, so peaceable, and so safe. But the case was altered altogether when they learned that Ferdinand VII. had set out in order to have a personal interview with Napoleon. Although they had neither any great hope nor a great ambition of resuming the sceptre, they were filled with envy at the idea of Ferdinand gaining his cause with the arbiter of their destiny—of his being recognized and settled as king by the acknowledgment of France, thus becoming their master and that of the unfortunate Godoy, and of being able to decide their fate and that of all their creatures. Not being able to bear this idea, they conceived an ardent desire to proceed in person to plead their cause against their unnatural son in the presence of the all-powerful sovereign who was approaching the Pyrenees."

The Emperor, in order to accommodate the Spanish royal family in the apartments which he occupied in Bayonne, purchased the beautiful chateau of Marac, about three miles from the city, which he hastily prepared for himself and Josephine. This chateau was delightfully situated in the midst of a blooming garden, and in a climate as serene and sunny as Southern Europe can afford. The Imperial Guard encamped in the garden. Ferdinand, upon his arrival at Bayonne, was conducted to the apartments which Napoleon had vacated for his reception. He had scarcely alighted from his carriage ere Napoleon met him with courteous greeting, addressing him, however, not as king of Spain, but as prince of the Asturias. After a brief interview the Emperor retired, and an hour after his chamberlain waited upon the prince to invite him to dine at the chateau of Marac. Here he was again received with marked courtesy, and though the subject of politics was avoided, the conversation at once revealed to the eagle glance of the Emperor the mental poverty of the prince and his palpable moral degeneracy.

Having dismissed Ferdinand and most of his small retinue, Napoleon retained Escoiquiz, the learned preceptor of the prince, and informed him of his determination to dethrone both the father and the son; that he was fully informed of their treachery; that it was not safe for France, assailed by coalition after coalition of all dynastic Europe, to leave such perfidious foes in her rear; that there was an irrepressible conflict between the two systems of feudal despotisms and equal rights for all, and that the interests of Spain demanded that she should be rescued from the debasement into which ages of misrule had plunged her, and take her place by the side of those nations of regenerated Europe which had inscribed equal rights for all men upon their banners.

It would seem that there were but four plans open before Napoleon. The first was to support the claims of Charles IV. and Godoy. But in objection to this arose the fact that they were so degraded and tyrannical as to be unworthy of support, and so unpopular that even the influence of the Emperor, though sustained by a strong military force, would be unavailing to maintain them on the throne. The second plan was to recognize and maintain the claims of Ferdinand. But he was an infamous character, who had obtained the crown by treachery, and who had attempted the life of his parents. He was thoroughly unreliable, and would probably unite with the Allies against regenerated France at the first chance of success. A matrimonial alliance would have but little restraint upon him, neither could Napoleon think of uniting one of his nieces to a man so degraded. The third plan was to do nothing; to leave the Bourbons of Spain and the people of Spain to fight out their own battles and to settle their own feuds. But this would be to surrender Spain to the English, and would speedily wheel all the military force of the kingdom into the line of those banded despots who were assailing France on every side.

The only remaining plan was, by the combined influence of intimidation and remuneration, to remove the Bourbons from the throne, and replace them by some prince of the Bonaparte family who would be in sympathy with the order of things then reigning in France. The objection to this was that it would greatly exasperate the reigning dynasties, as an indication of the intention of Napoleon to overthrow all the feudal thrones of Europe, and to rear upon their ruin sovereignties pledged to maintain the new principles of the French Revolution. The execution of this plan would also expose the Emperor to the accusation of trickery and deceit, as this end could only be accomplished by taking advantage of the baseness of the royal family of Spain, and of the difficulties in which that baseness had involved them.

It seems to be admitted even by those least friendly to the policy of the Emperor that he had good cause for removing the Bourbons, though some of them differ in judgment as to the best mode of accomplishing that object. The Emperor Alexander said to M. Caulaincourt:

"Your emperor can not suffer any Bourbon so near him. This is on his part a consistent policy which I entirely admit. I am not jealous of his aggrandizement, especially when it is prompted by the same motives as the last."

Sir Archibald Alison, though he loses no possible opportunity to denounce the Emperor, says, "The assertion, frequently repeated by Napoleon, that he was not the author of the family disputes between Charles IV. and Ferdinand, but merely stepped in to dispossess them both, is perfectly well-founded. It is evident also, such was the fascination produced by his power and talents, that no difficulty was experienced in getting the royal family of Spain to throw themselves into his hands; nay, that there was rather a race between the father and son which should first arrive at the head-quarters to state their case favorably to the supreme arbiter of their fate."

Thiers, speaking of the eagerness of Ferdinand VII. and his counsellors to plead their cause before Napoleon, writes: "They would have been a hundred times better pleased to see Napoleon reign in Spain than to see the queen again in possession of the royal authority. The same feelings were entertained by the old sovereigns in their turn. This feeling caused the sceptre of Philip V. to fall into the hands of the Bonaparte family."

Napoleon said at St. Helena, "The unfortunate war in Spain proved a real wound; the first cause of the misfortunes of France. If I could have foreseen that that affair would have caused me so much vexation and chagrin, I would never have engaged in it. But, after the first steps taken in the affair, it was impossible for me to recede. When I saw those imbeciles quarrelling and trying to dethrone each other, I thought I might as well take advantage of it to dismiss an inimical family. But I was not the contriver of their disputes. Had I known at the first that the transaction would have given me so much trouble, I would never have attempted it."

The decision to which Napoleon finally came to purchase the crown of Spain and place it upon the brow of his brother Joseph became, through the hostile interposition of the British fleet and army, eminently disastrous. The oligarchy which then governed England preferred any rule, no matter how corrupt, of feudal aristocracy, to any government, no matter how beneficial, of equal rights for all. Speaking of the difficulties which the new government of Joseph Bonaparte immediately had to encounter in Spain, Colonel Napier writes:

"But the occult source of most of these difficulties is to be found in the inconsistent attempts of the British Cabinet to uphold national independence with internal slavery, against foreign aggression with an ameliorated government. The clergy of Spain, who led the mass of the people, clung to the English because they supported aristocracy and court domination. The English ministers, hating Napoleon, not because he was the enemy of England; but because be was the champion of equality, cared not for Spain unless her people were enslaved. They were willing enough to use a liberal Cortes to defeat Napoleon, but they also desired to put down that Cortes by the aid of the clergy and of the bigoted part of the people."

Again he writes: "It was some time before the Church and aristocratic party of Spain discovered that the secret policy of England was the same as their own. It was so, however, even to the upholding of the Inquisition, which it was ridiculously asserted had become objectionable only in name. The educated classes in Spain shrunk from the British Government's known hostility to all free institutions."

Napoleon, at St. Helena, instructed by the results, expressed himself as convinced of the impolicy of the measures which he had adopted. "The impolicy," said he, "of my conduct in reference to Spain is irrevocably decided by the results. I ought to have given a liberal constitution to the Spanish nation, and charged Ferdinand with its execution. If he had acted in good faith, Spain must have prospered and harmonized with our new manners. The great object would have been obtained, and France would have acquired an intimate ally, and an additional power truly formidable. Had Ferdinand, on the contrary, proved faithless to his engagements, the Spaniards themselves would not have failed to dismiss him, and would have applied to me for a ruler in his place. At all events, that unfortunate war in Spain was a real affliction.

"I was assailed with imputations for which I have given no cause. History will do me justice. I was charged in that affair with perfidy, with laying snares, and with bad faith; and yet I was completely innocent. Never, whatever may have been said to the contrary, have I broken any engagement or violated my promise either with regard to Spain or any other power.

"The world will one day be convinced that in the principal transactions relative to Spain I was completely a stranger to all the intrigues of the court; that I violated no engagement either with the father or the son; that I made use of no falsehoods to entice them both to Bayonne, but that they both strove which should be the first to show himself there. When I saw them at my feet, and was able to form a correct opinion of their total incapacity, I beheld with compassion the fate of a great people. I eagerly seized the singular opportunity, held out to me by fortune, for regenerating Spain, rescuing her from the yoke of England, and intimately uniting her with our system. It was, in my conception, laying the fundamental basis of the tranquility and security of Europe.

"Such, in a few words, is the whole history of the affair of Spain. Let the world write and say what it thinks fit, the result must be what I have stated. You will perceive that there was no occasion whatever for my pursuing indirect means, falsehoods, breach of promises, and violation of my faith. In order to render myself culpable, it would have been absolutely necessary that I should have dishonored myself. I never yet betrayed any wish of that nature."

Colonel Napier, in his History of the Peninsular War, alluding to this subject, says:

"The Spanish Bourbons could never have been sincere friends to France while Bonaparte held the sceptre. And the moment that his power ceased to operate, it was quite certain that their apparent friendship would change to active hostility. The proclamation issued by the Spanish Cabinet just before the battle of Jena was evidence of this fact. Had he, before he meddled with their affairs, brought the people into hostile contact with their Government—and how many points would not such a Government have offered 7—instead of appearing as the treacherous arbitrator in a domestic quarrel, he would have been hailed as the deliverer of a great people."

The plan which Colonel Napier recommends was deliberately to involve the nation in the woes of civil war. Napoleon hoped to attain, without the effusion of blood, the end which Napier admits he was justified in attempting to attain.

Charles IV. and Louisa reached Bayonne soon after Napoleon's interview with Ferdinand. Charles had sent forward to Napoleon a protest against his abdication in favor of Ferdinand, which protest was published in the Bayonne Gazette on the 29th of April, 1808. Upon the king's arrival the next day, the Emperor held immediately a private interview with him, the queen, and Godoy. They all three hated Ferdinand so intensely that they preferred to see any one, even an enemy, on the throne of Spain rather than Ferdinand. There were many Spaniards of the highest rank who had been drawn to Bayonne by the novelty of these scenes. Napoleon and these Spaniards, disregarding the forced abdication, received Charles IV. as king, and Ferdinand simply as Prince of the Asturias. Both the king and queen took pains publicly to express their abhorrence of their son.

The proposition to resign the crown to Napoleon, says Thiers, "neither astonished nor afflicted them." They were well aware that it was in vain for them to think of retaining the throne. They were rejoiced to think that Ferdinand was not to have it. And they welcomed the prospect of relinquishing the cares and perplexities of sovereignty for a secure and princely retreat in France, where ample means would be placed at their disposal for the indulgence of' all their tastes. With alacrity they yielded to Napoleon the crown, leaving it to his magnanimity to furnish them with a suitable indemnification. It seems, however, that Ferdinand was not quite so willing to make the surrender. While the subject was in deliberation he sent out secret agents, who roused the peasants and the populace of Madrid into an insurrection against the French soldiers there, which was only quelled after much bloodshed.

As soon as the tidings of this untoward event reached the Emperor he summoned the whole royal family of Spain to a personal interview, and communicated to them the intelligence. The old king was greatly enraged against Ferdinand.

"See what you have done, sir!" exclaimed Charles IV. "The blood of my subjects has flowed, and the blood of the soldiers of my friend, my ally, the great Napoleon, has also been shed. See to what ravages you would expose Spain if we had to deal with a less generous conqueror! It is you who have unchained the people, and there is no longer a master over them to-day. Restore that crown which is too weighty for you, and give it to him who alone is capable of bearing it."

While thus speaking, the enraged monarch brandished his gold-headed cane over the head of his son, threatening him with personal violence. Louisa, the queen, was even more bitter and vengeful than her husband. She had a marvellous command of vituperative language, and lavished upon the prince the most vulgar epithets in the vocabulary of abuse. Ferdinand remained immovable, silent, as if stunned by these fierce invectives. His mother approached him with a menacing gesture as if she intended to box his ears.

Spanish princes.


"Why do you not answer?" she said. "Yes, I see that you are just what you have always been. Whenever your father and I wished to give you any exhortations for your own good, you held your tongue, and only replied by silence and hatred. Speak to your father, sir, to your mother, to our friend, our protector, the great Napoleon."

Napoleon was greatly shocked and embarrassed by the revolting scene. As he left, he coldly remarked to Ferdinand that unless he immediately resigned all his claims to the crown to his father, he would be treated as a rebel who had entered into a conspiracy to deprive the legitimate sovereign of his crown. As Napoleon returned to the chateau of Marac, his mind engrossed with the painful scene which he had witnessed, he said to those around him,

"What a mother! what a son! The Prince of Peace is certainly a very inferior person, but, after all, he is the least incompetent of this degenerate court. He proposed to them the only reasonable idea—an idea which might have led to great results had it been carried out with courage and resolution. It was this, to go and found a Spanish empire in America, there to save both the dynasty and the finest part of the patrimony of Charles V. But they could do nothing that was noble or great. The old people by their want of energy, the son by his perfidy, have ruined this design."

After prolonged remarks, characterized by that eloquence which marked all his utterances, Napoleon added:

"What I am doing now is not good in a certain point of view. I know that well enough. But policy demands that I should not leave in my rear, and that, too, so near Paris, a dynasty inimical to mine."

That evening Marshal Duroc concluded a treaty by which Charles IV. resigned the crown to Napoleon, upon the condition that the integrity of the soil of Spain should be preserved, that the Catholic religion should be exclusively maintained, and that Charles IV. should enjoy for his life the chateau and forests of Compeigne and the chateau of Chambord in perpetuity, together with an income for himself and court amounting to about one million nine hundred thousand dollars annually, to be paid by the treasury of France, with a proportionable revenue for all the princes of the royal family.

Ferdinand now saw that it was in vain for him to make any further resistance. He accordingly, in his turn, signed a treaty by which he and his brothers, Carlos and Francisco, renounced all their claims to the Spanish throne, in consideration of the chateau of Navarre being secured to him for his residence, with a net revenue of two hundred thousand dollars. Each of his brothers was to receive an annual income of eighty thousand dollars.

Thus the throne of Spain passed temporarily from the House of Bourbon to the House of Bonaparte. "If the government I had established had remained," said Napoleon to O'Meara, "it would have been the best thing which ever happened for Spain. I would have regenerated the Spaniards. I would have made them a great nation. In the place of a feeble, imbecile, superstitious race of Bourbons, I would have given them a new dynasty, which would have no claims upon the nation except by the good it would have rendered unto it. I would have destroyed superstition and priestcraft, and abolished the Inquisition and monasteries, and those lazy beasts of friars."

The Exile and Return of the Spanish Court

(From 1808 A.D. to 1814 A.D.)

Life at Valencay.—Letter from the Emperor to Talleyrand.—Proclamation to the Spanish People.—Interview between the Emperor and Joseph Bonaparte.—Restoration of Ferdinand.—Debasement of the Spanish People.—Despotic Measures of Ferdinand.—Birth of Isabella and Louisa.—Death of Ferdinand.—Civil War.—Reign of Isabella II.

On the 10th of May, 1808, Ferdinand, the Prince of the Asturias, and his two younger brothers, Carlos and Francisco, with their court, consisting of ten or twelve gentlemen and ladies, and about twenty-five servants, left Bayonne for the splendid retreat of Valençay. To Talleyrand, Prince of Benevento, was assigned the task of receiving Ferdinand and his associates at the chateau, and of seeing that the provisions of the treaty, in the gratification of all their wishes, were faithfully observed. In a letter which Napoleon wrote to Talleyrand on the 19th of May, be said:

"I desire that the princes be received without external pomp, but heartily and with sympathy, and that you do every thing in your power to amuse them. If you have a theatre at Valençay, and can engage some comedians to come, it will not be a bad plan. You had better bring Madame de Talleyrand thither, and some four or five other ladies. If the Prince of the Asturias should fall in love with some pretty woman it would not be amiss, especially if we were sure of her. It is a matter of great importance to me that the Prince of the Asturias should not take any false step. I desire, therefore, that he be amused and occupied. Stern policy would demand that I should shut him up in Bilche or some other fortress; but as he has thrown himself into my arms, and has promised to do nothing without my orders, and that every thing shall go on in Spain as I desire, I have adopted the plan of sending him to a country-seat, surrounding him with pleasure and surveillance. This will probably last through the month of May and a part of June, when the affairs of Spain may have taken a turn, and I shall then know what part to act."

At the same time that the young princes left for Valençay, Charles, Louisa, and Godoy, with a congenial train of followers, retired to Compeigne. The impotent old king spent the remnant of his days chasing rabbits and foxes. For a time he sought the more congenial climate of Rome for his residence. In December, 1818, Queen Louisa died. A few weeks after this Charles followed her to the judgment-seat of God. He died in the year 1819, while on a visit to his brother the King of the Two Sicilies.

In the castle of Valençay, the three princes, Ferdinand, Carlos, and Francisco, revelled in every indulgence which wealth could confer. They were virtually prisoners, though bound by no chains which could be either seen or felt. Their obsequious attendants were also vigilant guards. As Napoleon could have no confidence in their plighted word, and as they could plausibly excuse themselves for breaking their treaty obligations on the ground that they had entered into those engagements under the influence of moral compulsion, any movement towards a return to Spain was carefully watched.

Still it does not appear that they had any disposition to escape, or that they had any consciousness that they were not entirely free. They were more than contented with their inglorious but voluptuous lot. Their admiration of Napoleon, real or feigned, was such that they wrote him letters of congratulation upon his successive victories, and celebrated them by illuminations and bonfires at the expense of the forests of Valençay. Thus they continued entirely absorbed in the pursuit of pleasure for five years.

Immediately after the crown of Spain had, by these measures, passed into the hands of Napoleon, he wrote to his brother Joseph, then King of Naples, under date of May 11th, 1808:


You will find annexed the letter of King Charles to the Prince of the Asturias, and a copy of my treaty with the king. King Charles starts in two days for Compeigne. The Prince of the Asturias is going towards Paris. King Charles, by his treaty with me, surrenders to me all his rights to the crown of Spain. The prince had already renounced his pretended title of king, the abdication of King Charles in his favor having been involuntary. The nation, through the supreme council of Castile, asks me for a king. I destine this crown for you. Spain is a very different thing from Naples. It contains eleven millions of inhabitants, and has more than one hundred and fifty millions of revenue, without counting the Indies and the immense revenue to be derived from them. It is, besides, a throne which places you at Madrid, at three days' journey from France, which borders the whole of one of its frontiers. At Madrid you are in France. Naples is the end of the world. I wish you, therefore, immediately upon the receipt of this letter, to appoint whom you please regent, and to come to Bayonne by the way of Turin, Mont Cenis, and Lyons."

Four days after writing the above letter the Emperor, on the 25th of May, addressed the following proclamation to the Spanish people:

"Spaniards! After a long agony, your nation was on the point of perishing. I saw your miseries, and hastened to apply a remedy. Your grandeur, your power, form an integral part of my own. Your princes have ceded to me their rights to the crown of Spain. I have no wish to reign over your provinces, but I am desirous of acquiring eternal titles to the love and gratitude of your posterity. Your monarchy is old. My mission is to pour into its veins the blood of youth. I will ameliorate all your institutions, and make you enjoy, if you second my efforts, the blessings of reform, without its collisions, its disorders, its convulsions.

"I have convoked a general assembly of deputations of your provinces and cities. I am desirous of ascertaining your wants by personal intercourse. I will then lay aside all the titles I have acquired, and place your glorious crown on the head of my second self, after having secured for you a constitution which may establish the sacred and salutary authority of the sovereign, with the liberties and privileges of the people. Spaniards! reflect on what your fathers were; on what you now are. The fault does not lie in you, but in the constitution by which you have been governed. Conceive the most ardent hopes and confidence in the results of your present situation, for I wish that your latest posterity should preserve the recollection of me, and say, 'He was the regenerator of our country.

Joseph Bonaparte reached Bayonne on the 7th of June. It was with intense regret that he had received the summons of the Emperor, for he was exceedingly reluctant to exchange the crown of Naples for that of Spain. The Emperor rode out to meet his brother, having the previous day proclaimed him King of Spain and of the Indies. He exerted his utmost powers of persuasion to induce his brother to accept the heavy burden of the Spanish crown. He represented to Joseph that the deadly quarrel in the royal family had precipitated a crisis which he would have gladly postponed; that Charles IV. preferred to resign the throne and retire to France rather than to reign without Godoy; and that both Charles and Louisa had much rather see a stranger on the throne than their hated son, Ferdinand; that Charles IV. and Godoy were so unpopular that neither Ferdinand nor any other Spaniard wished them restored to the throne, and that it would be impossible to maintain them upon it; that Ferdinand was so imbecile and unreliable in character that he could not think of trying to force upon the Spanish people so unworthy a sovereign; that it would be derogatory to his own honor to attempt to maintain the claims of a son who had by violence dethroned his father, attempting his life; that no re-generation of Spain was possible under such a rule; that a large assembly of the most influential men, convened in a National Congress at Bayonne, were of this opinion; that this Congress was unanimous in the wish that Joseph should accept the crown, and that such, doubtless, would be the wish of the Spanish nation. He urged, moreover, that the Spanish princes had all ceded their rights to the crown to him, and had withdrawn to the palaces assigned to them in France, and that it was exceedingly important, both for the interests of France and Spain, that Joseph should immediately accept the Spanish crown.

The Emperor and Joseph rode along on horseback side by side, thus conversing, until they reached the chateau of Marac, the residence of Napoleon and Josephine. Here the Spanish Junta, or Congress, was assembled, and the body received Joseph as the sovereign of Spain. The Duke del Infantado and Don Pedro Cevallos, Spaniards of the highest distinction, who had been regarded as the warmest partisans of Ferdinand, had a long interview with Joseph. They made him a full offer of their services, .assuring him that if he were destined to confer upon Spain the same blessings which he had conferred upon Naples, the whole nation would with enthusiasm rally around him. All the members of the Junta, nearly one hundred in number, in succession called upon Joseph and addressed him in the same language.

"In fact, the courtiers of the father and of the son were united upon one point, the absolute impossibility of their living together under either of them. Joseph alone, by sacrificing the throne of Naples to ascend that of Spain, appeared to unite all parties, and promised, as they fondly hoped, to restore, and even to surpass the reign of Charles III. The assurance given by all the members of this Junta, without a single exception, to Joseph, that his acceptance of the crown would quiet the troubles, insure the independence of the monarchy, the integrity of its territory, its liberty and happiness, finally induced him to accept the throne, and he prepared himself to set out for Spain. But he would not leave the throne of Naples without obtaining a pledge that the free institutions he had introduced there should be preserved, and that the Neapolitans should enjoy the benefits of a constitution which was, in a great measure, a summary of his own most important laws. A constitution, founded nearly on the same principles, was adopted by the Junta of Bayonne for Spain, and also guaranteed by the Emperor. Joseph and the members of the Junta swore fidelity to it. Had events permitted them to maintain their oaths, it would have contributed much to the regeneration of that people. The recognition of national sovereignty represented in the Cortes, the independence of their powers, the demarcation of the patrimony of the crown and the public treasure would have extricated Spain from the abyss into which she had been sinking for centuries. The accession of Joseph to the throne of Spain was notified by the Secretary of State, Don Pedro Cevallos, to the foreign powers, by all of whom, with the exception of England, he was formally recognized."

We have not space here to enter into a detail of the Peninsular War which ensued. England, regarding Spain as the most favorable point upon which to attack Napoleon, and resolved, at whatever expense of treasure and of blood, to force back upon both France and Spain the crushing tyranny of the old regime of the Bourbons, encompassed the coasts of Spain with her fleets, inundated the .peninsula with her armies, and lavished her gold in profusion, to rouse priests and peasants against the liberal government of Joseph. Her attempts were too successful. All Spain was soon involved in a desolating civil war. The ignorant populace, roused to frenzy by the priests, fought in advocacy of civil and religious despotism. The armies of France, which Napoleon had led to Russia, were buried beneath the snows of the North. All the dynasties of Northern Europe rose against the republican empire. It was necessary for Napoleon to withdraw his best troops from Spain to meet the hosts pouring down upon France from the allied courts of despotism. The feeble remnants left behind in Spain struggled heroically against the vastly outnumbering armies of England, under the Duke of Wellington, aided by the aroused and infuriated peasantry of the peninsula. After many bloody battles, Joseph was driven across the Pyrenees into France.

In December, 1814, Napoleon entered into a treaty with Ferdinand, called the treaty, of Valençay, by which the Spanish crown was restored to Ferdinand. The terms of this treaty prove the friendly relations which still existed between Ferdinand and the Emperor. The Spanish prince agreed immediately to expel the British troops from the kingdom, to respect the dominions of France and the rights of its flag, and that Port Mahon and Ceuta should never be ceded to Great Britain. He also agreed that Joseph Bonaparte should receive an annuity of one million five hundred thousand dollars, and the queen-dowager one million in case of her survivance.

The British Cabinet was exceedingly chagrined by the terms of this treaty. Alison gives vent to his feelings in saying: "Thus had Napoleon and Talleyrand the address, at the conclusion of a long and bloody war, in which their arms had been utterly and irretrievably overthrown, to procure from the monarch, whom they had retained so long in captivity, terms as favorable as they could possibly have expected from a long series of victories. And thus did the sovereign who had regained his liberty and his crown by the profuse shedding of English blood, make the first use of his promised freedom to banish from his dominion the Allies whose swords had liberated him from prison and placed him on the throne."

Indeed the Spaniards were far more ready to fraternize with the French than with the English. The outrages perpetrated by the British troops were dreadful. The testimony of even the British officers upon this point is very explicit. The Duke of Wellington professed to the Government his utter inability to maintain discipline. In one of his dispatches he writes:

"I have long been of opinion that a British army could bear neither success nor failure, and I have had manifest proof of the truth of this opinion in the first of its branches, in the recent conduct of the soldiers of the army. They have plundered the country most terribly."

Again he wrote to Lord Castlereagh on the 31st of May, 1809, "The army behave terribly ill. They are a rabble who can not bear success, any more than Sir John Moore's army could bear failure. I am endeavoring to tame them; but if I should not succeed I must make an official complaint of them and send one or two corps of them home in disgrace. They plunder in all directions."

Three weeks after this he wrote again to Lord Castlereagh, "I can not, with propriety, omit to draw your attention again to the state of discipline of the army. It is impossible to describe the irregularities and outrages committed by the troops. Notwithstanding the pains I take, not a post or a courier comes in, not an officer arrives from the rear of the army that does not bring me accounts of outrages committed by the soldiers who have been left behind on the march. There is not an outrage of any description which has not been committed on a people who have uniformly received us as friends."

In Spain, as everywhere else, the British Government was consecrating all its energies to upholding the civil and religious despotisms of the old r6girnes. "The alliance," says the Encyclopaedia Britannica, "with the Spanish nation was proclaimed, and a struggle began which every one will admit to have led, as far as respected Spain, to nothing but evil."

To restore the miserable Ferdinand to Spain, and with him the debasement, fanaticism, and unrelenting despotism of the old regime of the Spanish Bourbons, England expended, on her own operations, five hundred million dollars. She also subsidized Spain and Portugal, supplying clothing, arms, and ammunition to both her armies, including even the guerrillas. From thirty to seventy thousand British troops were constantly employed, in addition to the numbers who manned the fleet, which was incessantly busy on the coasts. Forty thousand British troops perished in the conflict.

Unfortunately in Spain the masses of the peasantry, entirely under the control of the priests, and ignorant and fanatical almost beyond conception, had no desire for either civil or religious liberty. While they hated the haughty, merciless, plundering British soldiers, all their enthusiasm was roused, to fight against the introduction of free institutions, by the cry that the Church was in danger.

On the 20th of March, 1814, just ten days before the Allies entered Paris, Ferdinand returned to Spain. There was a small Liberal or Republican party, composed of very energetic men, and mainly confined to the great cities. The millions of the peasantry, who formed the great mass of the people, and who were extremely ignorant, fanatical, and almost entirely in subjection to the priests, were monarchists, ready at any moment to die for the king and the Church.

The Liberals met, by their representatives, in a congress at Cadiz, and drew up a constitution, which was a great advance upon any degree of liberty which the Spaniards had enjoyed under their ancient kings. According to this liberal constitution, every man over twenty-five years of age, of whatever race or color, was entitled to vote. The Legislature was to consist of but one chamber—undoubtedly a mistake. Every seventy thousand inhabitants were entitled to a representative. The king—for even the Liberal party was in favor of a constitutional monarchy, a throne surrounded by republican institutions—could twice veto a bill. If it passed a third time it became a law, not-withstanding his veto. The Cortes was to be elected every two years. No man could be elected twice. This was certainly an unwise provision, depriving the Legislature of the benefits of that skill and wisdom which experience alone can give.

This Congress was in session when Ferdinand returned. A decree was immediately passed, refusing to recognize him as king unless he first accepted the Constitution. Wellington, the firm advocate of aristocratic usurpation, was unrelentingly hostile to this liberal constitution. "If the King should return," he wrote, "he will overturn the whole fabric, if he have any spirit."

Thus had England restored what the British Government termed liberty to Spain. Sir Walter Scott, speaking of the efforts of England in this struggle, writes: "The exertions of England were of a nature and upon a scale to surprise the world. It seemed as if her flag literally over-shadowed the whole seas on the coasts of Italy, Spain, the Ionian Islands, and the Baltic Sea. Wherever there was the least show of resistance to the yoke of Bonaparte, the assistance of the English was appealed to, and was readily afforded. The general principle was indeed adopted that the expeditions of England should be directed where they could do the cause of Europe the most benefit, and the interests of Napoleon the greatest harm; but still there remained a lurking wish that they could be so directed as to secure what was called a British object."

"The assumption," says Richard Cobden, a member of the British Parliament, "put forth that we were engaged in a strictly defensive war, is, I regret to say, historically untrue. If you examine the proofs as they exist in the unchangeable public records, you will be satisfied of this. And let us not forget that our history will ultimately be submitted to the judgment of a tribunal over which Englishmen will exercise no influence beyond that which is derived from the truth and justice of their cause, and from whose decision there will be no appeal."

The nature of the liberty which England, at such an expenditure of blood and treasure, restored to Spain, may be inferred from the following incident: Some years after the Spanish Bourbons were firmly reseated upon the throne, the wife of an English clergyman, Rev. Dr. Thompson, agent of the British and Foreign Society at Madrid, suddenly died in Madrid while her husband was absent from the city. As she was a member of the Episcopal Church, she was deemed a heretic, and it was with difficulty that her remains were allowed to be kept in the room of her hotel until they could be prepared for burial. No assistance could be obtained to dress the body for the grave. Mrs. Colonel Stepford, wife of an English officer who had long resided in Madrid, alone performed the sad duty. It was with the utmost difficulty that a grave could be obtained for the remains. All the consecrated burial-grounds were closed against them. At length permission was obtained to bury the body on the premises in the obscure yard of a glass factory, which was owned by an English gentleman. Afterwards the owner, in selling the property, incurred a heavy loss in consequence of a heretic having been buried on the grounds.

Ferdinand had spent several years, with his two younger brothers, Carlos and Francisco, in entire devotion to pleasure, in the luxurious chateau of Valençay and in its spacious hunting-grounds. The armies of England, aided by the Spanish peasantry, having driven Joseph Bonaparte and the French troops from the peninsula, Napoleon was forced to restore the crown to Ferdinand.

The Spanish Cortes, as we have mentioned, composed almost exclusively of delegates from the cities, had formed a constitution highly democratic in its character. This Cortes, reassembled at Madrid, refused to ratify the treaty into which Ferdinand had entered with Napoleon. They consequently did not advance to meet their returning sovereign, and manifested their displeasure by very decisive words and deeds. They loudly demanded that the king should accept the Constitution; forbidding him, until he should do so, to adopt the title or exercise the functions of 'King of Spain.

Ferdinand, wedded to the doctrine of absolute power, under these circumstances hesitated to trust himself with the Cortes; and after having, by slow journeys, reached the provincial town of Valencia, remained there for a whole month, fearing to proceed to Madrid. The Cortes, it is said, represented but about five hundred thousand persons, who, residing in the large cities, had adopted democratic principles. The peasantry, numbering twelve millions, who were dispersed in the villages, were very unintelligent. Being almost entirely under the dominion of the priests, they were bitterly opposed to the Constitution. Strange as it may seem, the proof is unequivocal that they rallied around the king, received him with great enthusiasm, and clamored loudly for the re-establishment of the old regime of civil and ecclesiastical despotism. From the moment he entered the frontiers of Catalonia he was greeted with cries, in every town or village through which he passed, of "Down with the Cortes!" "Long live our absolute king!" Petitions were crowded upon him to reverse all the liberal decrees which had been enacted during his absence, and to reign in the spirit of his ancestors. It will be so difficult for an American reader to credit this that we give the statement of Alison, corroborated by abundant Spanish and French testimony:

"The king was literally besieged with petitions, addresses, and memorials, in which he was supplicated, in the most earnest terms, to annul all that had been done during his captivity, and to reign as his ancestors had done before him. The Constitution was represented, and with truth, as the work of a mere revolutionary junta in Cadiz, in a great measure self elected, and never convoked either from the whole country or according to the ancient Constitution of the kingdom. There was not a municipality which did not hold this language as he passed through their walls; not a village which did not present to him a petition, signed by the most respectable inhabitants, to the same effect.

"The generals, the army, the garrisons besieged him with addresses of the same description. The minority of the Cortes, consisting of sixty-nine members, presented a supplication beseeching the king to annul the whole proceedings of their body, and to reign as his fathers had done; From one end of the kingdom to the other but one vo4e was heard—that of reprobation of the Cortes and of the Constitution, and prayers to the king to resume the unfettered functions of royalty."

These voices were in entire harmony with the secret inclinations of the king. Accordingly, on the 4th of May, 1814, he issued from Valencia a decree annulling every act of the Cortes, and restoring the government of absolute power to Spain. This decree was received with boundless enthusiasm. The advance from Valencia to Madrid was a continued triumph. The Cortes passed violent resolutions, and made a show of resistance. They sent out troops to oppose the approach of the king. These troops, instead of opposing Ferdinand, opened their ranks to receive him with shouts of "Long live our absolute king!" It is a saddening thought that a whole nation may become so debased as to co-operate eagerly in riveting the chains with which they are bound.

The Cortes, abandoned by all, fled in dismay across the country from Madrid to Cadiz. On the 13th of May the king entered Madrid in triumph. A cortege of over one hundred thousand persons crowded round him, filling the air with their acclamations. The few members of the Cortes who remained behind were arrested and thrown into prison. Ferdinand took his seat upon the throne of his Bourbon ancestors untrammeled by any constitution, and swaying the sceptre of absolute power. He was a very weak man, thoroughly depraved in heart and corrupt in life, with scarcely a redeeming quality.

Ferdinand immediately fell under the influence of a coterie of priests and nobles. Guided by their advice, it was his constant endeavor to restore every thing to the state of despotism existing before the revolution. He re-established the Inquisition, and crushed every indication of popular liberty. These measures greatly alarmed and exasperated the Liberal party. The king met the risings of discontent by a decree threatening every person who should be found either speaking or acting against Ferdinand VII., with death within three days by sentence of court-martial. Under this decree ninety persons were arrested in the city of Madrid alone in one night. Every prison soon became crowded, and it was found necessary to convert the vast monastery of San Francisco into a prison to find room for the multitude who were arrested.

On the 15th of September a decree was issued restoring the old feudal and seigniorial privileges which had been abolished. Every thing like free discussion was extinguished. This led to the establishment of secret societies, and especially the order of Freemasons. The Inquisition issued a proclamation denouncing these societies. And now came judicial murders, insurrections, guerrilla warfare, and frightful reprisals. A large number of Liberals were arrested. After repeated trials the judges declared that there was no evidence against the accused sufficient to justify their being condemned as traitors, or as persons exciting tumult or disturbances. The king, exasperated, ordered the proceedings to be brought to him, and by the exercise of his own despotic power pronounced upon thirty-two of them sentences of the most cruel kind. One was sentenced to ten years' service as a common soldier. Another, Senor Arguelles, one of the most eloquent members of the Cortes, was doomed to eight years' service as a common soldier, in chains.

The treasury was empty; the country impoverished by many years of civil war; robber bands were wandering everywhere; all industry was stagnant. The wretched realm was in a state of barbarism. The clergy, though they had boundless influence over their flocks, had no armed force with which to resist the universal brigandage which swept the country. Terror rendered the king merciless. The discovery of a conspiracy in Madrid caused the arrest, in every city and almost every town in the kingdom, of all persons found meeting after ten o'clock at night. Many of these, most of them members of the late Cortes, were imprisoned at Ceuta, loaded with irons. At dead of night they were put on board of a zebecque to be conveyed to distant exile, no one knew where. To rivet the chains of religious intolerance the order of Jesuits was re-established, and they were intrusted with the entire education of the young, both male and female.

Ferdinand, in previous years, when heir-apparent to the throne of Spain, had married, for his first wife, his cousin Maria, a princess of Naples. She seems to have been a very lovely woman, gentle and affectionate. But her unfaithful, brutal husband led her a life of misery. After five years of suffering, during which, it is said, she often experienced the most coarse and vulgar abuse, she died, as was currently reported, of poison administered by her husband's hands. Ferdinand then applied to Napoleon for a wife from some member of the Bonaparte family. He was then striving to usurp the crown, and hoped thus to obtain the support of Napoleon. But as Charles IV., the nominal father of Ferdinand, wrote to Napoleon that his son had attempted the life of both his father and his mother, Napoleon decided that he could hardly recommend any of his nieces to marry the young man. Ferdinand, after having been eight years a widower, married his niece, Maria, daughter of the King of Portugal. At the same time his next younger brother, Don Carlos, married the elder sister of Isabel, who was heir-presumptive to the crown of Portugal. Ferdinand hated his brother Carlos, and was very anxious to secure an heir which would prevent his brother's accession to the throne.

In one year after her marriage Maria died childless, and Ferdinand hastily, a few months after her death, took another bride, marrying by proxy Maria Josephine Amelia, niece of the Elector of Saxony. In the mean time there were insurrections and executions innumerable. For ten years Maria Josephine endured her husband, and then she sank childless into the grave. Ferdinand was now forty-five years of age, a worn-out debauchee. He was annoyed extremely by the thought that, should he die without leaving an heir, the sceptre would pass into the hands of his hated brother Carlos. He therefore immediately sought another bride, Christina, a daughter of the King of Naples. She was a frivolous girl, apparently without conscience, but twenty years of age. Carlos and his party violently opposed this union.

It is said that it was suggested to Christina by the ministers of Ferdinand that a law higher than the claims of ordinary morality required that she should produce an heir to the throne. It is revolting to allude to these scenes of corruption. There was a private in the king's guard at Madrid by the name of Munoz. He was a very handsome young soldier, the son of a tobacconist. The queen adopted Munoz as her favorite, lavished upon him wealth and titles of honor. The king's friends exulted greatly, and Carlos and his party were correspondingly dismayed when it was announced that Christina was about to become a mother. Should she give birth to a son, and should Ferdinand die, Christina would be invested with the regency until her son attained his majority. But should a daughter be born, the crown would legally descend to Carlos; for there was a law, instituted nearly one hundred and fifty years before, which strictly excluded females from the crown. There was thus still a chance for Carlos.

While all Spain was anxiously awaiting the issue, the Carlists were exasperated and dismayed by the promulgation of a royal decree transmitting the throne to females as well as males. It is said that Christina and her old father-confessor devised this scheme, to which they easily won over the imbecile and dying old king. Carlos and his friends were roused to the utmost intensity of rage. They declared that they would deluge Spain in the blood of civil war before they would submit to such an usurpation of power. At length, on the 10th of October, 1830, a daughter was born, Isabella, the present ex-Queen of Spain.

Some time before this Ferdinand had been compelled, by an insurrection in Madrid, to give an assent, though hypocritical, to the Constitution. Carlos was in closest association with the monks, and was regarded as the representative of ultra-religious fanaticism. It does not appear that there was at that time any republican party. All were in favor of a monarchy, though a few wished for a constitutional monarchy, while the many seemed to desire the reign of an absolute king. Under these circumstances the Liberal party, who were to choose between Ferdinand and Carlos, rallied around the former, who had professed assent to the Constitution. This Liberal party, notwithstanding the serious doubts as to the legitimacy of the infant Isabella, promptly recognized her claims to the crown. The Liberals, though few in number, consisted of energetic men, who enjoyed the advantage of being concentrated in the great cities. The Carlists were composed of the mass of the rural population.

Both parties began to gather their strength for civil war the moment Ferdinand should die. He was very infirm, trembling on the borders of the grave. He had appointed Christina regent, and through all the provinces of Spain the forces were marshalling for the great conflict. But suddenly it was announced that Christina was about again to become a mother. Should a son be born, it would divest the Carlists of all claim whatever to the throne, unless they should dispute the parentage of the child. A few months of intense excitement passed away, with hope upon one side and fear upon the other, when the queen gave birth to another daughter, Louisa.

When Isabella was three years of age Ferdinand assembled the Cortes to take the oath of allegiance to her as their future sovereign. The Carlist members of the Cortes refused to heed the summons. It was the 30th of June, 1833. The festival was one of the most brilliant which Madrid had ever witnessed. The ancient forms and customs of barbaric splendor were scrupulously revived, and a bull-fight was arranged, in the great Plaza of the city, of unprecedented magnificence. At night a blaze of light from every dwelling and every spire illumined the city with extraordinary brilliance.

The babe Isabella was the prominent object in this scene of enchantment. As she gazed in childish wonder upon the display, and was almost stunned with the oaths of allegiance which rent the air when she was presented as the Queen of Spain, little could she imagine the woes which in consequence were to lacerate her heart, and the rivulets of blood of which she was to be the occasion.

Not long after this the dying hour of Ferdinand came. It was one of the saddest and most humiliating scenes of earth. It has been described by an eye-witness. The pitiable old man, arriving at the close of a joyless life of infamy and oppression, trembled in view of death, which he well knew was to plunge his country into all the horrors of civil war, and was to introduce him to the presence of that Judge from whose verdict there could be no appeal. Angry disputants were in the death-chamber, and their clamor blended with the groans of the dying.

The crown was falling from the brow of Ferdinand, and enraged relatives were watching to grasp it. From words they proceeded to blows, knives glearned in the chamber of death; they seized each other by the hair, and in the fierce struggle reeled to and fro against the couch and almost upon the body of the dying king. The poor old man, his eye already dimmed by the film of death, was bewildered, by the clamor, and groaned in irrepressible agony. The noise of the brutal fight filled the palace, and others gathered to mingle in the fray. At length the combatants were separated, and most of them withdrew from the apartment. The king seemingly had fallen asleep. Some one approaches the bed. Ferdinand was dead!

His life of sin and shame was ended. He had gone to the Judgment. But he had sown the seeds of crime and woe, which would desolate the nation many long years after his body should have mouldered to the dust. The death of Ferdinand was immediately followed by civil war, which burst forth with the utmost violence throughout the whole kingdom. By the decree of Ferdinand, Isabella was proclaimed queen, under the regency of Christina. We have not here space to describe the scenes of violence and misery which ensued. Year after year billows of flame and woe surged over the land. Cities were sacked, villages burned, harvests trampled beneath the conflict of armies, and the cry of the unprotected maiden, of the widow and the orphan, ascended unceasingly to the throne of God.

Sometimes the troops of Carlos were victorious, and wreaked barbaric vengeance upon all the advocates of Christina. Again the troops of the regent Christina triumphed, and retaliated with direful reprisals upon their opponents. Thus for months and years the cruel war raged, and the peninsula was shrouded in woe. Spain seemed lapsing into barbarism. Education was neglected, industry perished, and bloodhound ferocity seemed to take possession of all hearts.

Foreign nations did not interfere, for they were divided in their sympathies. England and France gave their moral support to the regent Christina, as being the representative of the more liberal party of the two, while Austria and the Pope were in sympathy with the ecclesiastical intolerance which Don Carlos represented. Christina, anxious to secure the military support of France, made formal proposals to Louis Philippe for the double marriage of her two daughters, Isabella and Louisa, the first to the Duke d'Aumale, the third son of the King of the French, and the other to the Duke of Montpensier, his fourth son. Neither of the young princesses were then of marriageable age. But this proposition brought into prominence the question of the "Spanish Marriages," which soon agitated all the courts of Europe, and which for a time threatened to bring on a general war.

Louis Philippe, well aware that the other courts, and particularly the Cabinet of London, would not consent to so intimate an alliance between France and Spain as Christina had proposed, which would virtually make the two kingdoms one, courteously declined the hand of Isabella for the Duke d'Aumale, but accepted the hand of Louisa for the Duke of Montpensier. The English Cabinet was at this time understood to be intriguing for the marriage of Isabella with Prince Coburg, a cousin of Prince Albert. It ought, however, to be stated that this was denied by the British Government. Sir Robert Peel stated in Parliament on the 19th of January, 1847: "I shall content myself with making one observation: that the last Cabinet, as long as they were in power, never made any attempt to obtain for a prince of the House of Saxe-Coburg the band of the Queen of Spain." This denial was regarded by France as a diplomatic falsehood. During the vicissitudes of the war Christina was at one time driven out of Spain, and took refuge in Paris. Louis Philippe then embraced the opportunity to recommend to the queen-regent the marriage of Isabella with one of her cousins, a son of Ferdinand's younger brother, Francisco. "The object of this proposal," says Sir Archibald Alison, "was to exclude the pretensions of Prince Coburg, and at the same time to avoid exciting the jealousy of the British Government by openly courting the alliance for a French prince."

Francisco had two sons, both of them very worthless young men. Enrique, the elder, was coarse, brutal, an avowed atheist, but endowed with much energy of character. Francisco is represented as imbecile, besotted, and very repulsive in person. It is not probable that Louis Philippe was acquainted with the character of either of the young men. He was regarding only the political aspects of the question.

Such was the state of affairs when, in the autumn of 1842, Queen Victoria paid a friendly visit to the King of the French at the Chateau d'Eau in Normandy, which visit Louis Philippe, a few months after, returned, being received by the queen with royal magnificence in the halls of Windsor. In these interviews between the two courts the question of the Spanish Marriages was earnestly canvassed. It was evident that the French monarch was anxious to secure as close an alliance as possible with Spain. It was also clear that the English Cabinet would not assent to any arrangement which would place the resources of the Spanish monarchy at the disposal of the King of France.

A compromise was finally effected through the agency of Lord Aberdeen and M. Guizot. It was agreed that Louis Philippe should renounce all pretensions on the part of any of his sons to the hand of Isabella; and that the Duke of Montpensier should not marry Louisa until after the queen, Isabella, was married and had borne children. This was to prevent the Spanish crown from passing to the heirs of Louis Philippe. England agreed not to advance or to support the claims of the Prince of Saxe-Coburg. And both parties pledged themselves to urge that Isabella should choose her husband from among the descendants of Philip V., which under the then existing circumstances meant one of the two sons of Francisco.

Such an arrangement seems extraordinarily loose for national diplomacy. But the testimony of both parties is decisive upon this point. M. Guizot, the Minister of Louis Philippe, writes:

"As to the marriage of the Queen of Spain in particular, the king had acted, from the opening of that question, with frankness and disinterestedness. He declared that he would neither seek nor accept that union for any of the princes, his sons; and that as to Princess Louisa he would not seek her for his son, the Duke of Montpensier, until the queen should be married and should have children. (Que lorsque la reine serait marile et await des enf ns.)"

In accordance with these stipulations Christina endeavored to induce her daughter Isabella to accept one of her cousins, Enrique or Francisco. It appears, however, that Isabella, who had grown up to be any thing but a gentle and pliant maiden, had a will of her own. She disliked both of her cousins, and strenuously refused to take either of them for her husband. Christina was much annoyed by the stubbornness of Isabella. She hoped, by promoting this marriage, to secure for herself and her child the moral if not the material support of both France and England. Civil war was still desolating Spain. The parties were too equally divided to hope for any speedy termination of the conflict. The Cortes urged Christina to press forward the marriage of Isabella. Louisa was betrothed to the Duke of Montpensier. But, as we have stated, her marriage could not take place until very considerable time after the marriage of Isabella. The Cortes placed the child-queen upon the throne in November, 1843. She was then thirteen years of age. Narvaez was military dictator, and in conjunction with Christina administered whatever there was of government in a realm ravaged by civil war.

Christina decided to attempt to secure the support of England by offering Isabella, and of course with her the crown, to the Prince of Saxe-Coburg. England was pledged to Louis Philippe not to favor this union. The French annalists say—and there is but little doubt that they say truly—that Christina made this proposal at the suggestion of Sir Henry Bulwer, the British ambassador then at Madrid. A very angry controversy arose between the Courts of France and England. The Cabinet of St. James denied that it had exerted any agency in the matter.

Louis Philippe, apprehensive that England might succeed in securing Isabella for the Prince of Saxe-Coburg, urged Christina to press forward immediately the marriage of the young queen with the youngest son of her uncle, Francisco. The young man was then called the Duke of Cadiz. Louis Philippe also resolved, without waiting, according to his agreement, for the marriage, etc., of Isabella, to have the nuptials of the Duke of Montpensier with Louisa celebrated at the same time with those of the young queen. This plan was carried into effect. The feeling which was aroused in England by this measure may be inferred from the following remarks of Sir Archibald Alison:

"Thus was the entente cordiale between the governments of France and England, so essential to the peace and independence of Europe, broken up—and broken up in such a way, and on such a question, that reconciliation between the parties was rendered impossible. Not only were national interests of the most important kind brought into collision, and national rivalries of the keenest sort awakened, but with these were mingled the indignation at broken faith, the soreness at overreached diplomacy. One chorus of indignation burst from the whole English press at this alleged breach of faith on the part of Louis Philippe, and the violation of the royal word, pledged to Queen Victoria, amidst the festivities of the Chateau d'Eau and Windsor Castle."

We have alluded to the repugnance of Isabella to accept either of her cousins for a husband. Francisco was peculiarly obnoxious to her. His feeble mind, squeaking voice, and repulsive person excited her contempt. But it was decided that Francisco was the one she must have; probably because Christina, with her ministers, could more easily mould him to their will.

It is said that one night the unnatural mother, aided by one of her crafty ministers, took the child of sixteen into an inner chamber of the palace to constrain her consent. The task was a hard one. Isabella was masculine and rugged in her person, and very inflexible in her determinations. Tears, bribes, flattery, menaces, were all for a time tried in vain. Hour after hour passed away as the resolute maiden resisted the expostulations and solicitations of her mother and the minister until the day dawned. Then, overpowered, exhausted, despairing, she yielded, sullenly submitting to the outrage. Her mother, fearing lest she might change her mind, made arrangements to have the marriage consummated as soon as possible. The death of Isabella without issue would transfer the crown to Louisa. And it is even reported loudly that Francisco was known to be physically imbecile, and that this consideration led the friends of the French alliance to urge the marriage.

The friends of Don Carlos were bitterly opposed to the marriage of Louisa with the Duke of Montpensier. The national pride of the Spaniards revolted at the thought of having a French prince come so near to the throne. There was great danger that the Duke of Montpensier would be waylaid and assassinated on his way to Madrid. It was, therefore, not deemed safe for him to cross the frontier unless accompanied by a strong armed retinue. Two thousand steel-clad dragoons composed his escort. Like the rush of the whirlwind they swept over the hills and vales. Both the princesses were married at the same time in October, 1846. After a hurried wedding, and a still more hurried marriage-feast, the maiden Louisa, fourteen years of age, was borne in triumph, as the Duchess of Montpensier, to Paris, where she was received with the warmest congratulations by the family of Louis Philippe.

A writer in Blackwood's Magazine alludes to these two marriages in terms which very clearly reveal the excitement they at that time created:

"With Louisa less trouble was requisite. It needed no great persuasive art to induce a child of fourteen to accept a husband as willingly as she would have done a doll. Availing himself of the moment when the legislative chambers of England, France, and Spain had suspended their sittings—although, as regards those of the latter country, this mattered little, composed as they are of venal hirelings—the French king achieved his grand stroke of policy, the project on which there can be little doubt his eyes had for years been fixed. His load of promises and pledges, whether contracted at Eau or elsewhere, encumbered him little. They were a fragile commodity, a brittle merchandise, more for show than use, easily hurled down and broken.

"Striding over their shivered fragments, the Napoleon of Peace bore his last unmarried son to the goal long marked out by the paternal ambition. The consequences of the successful race troubled him little. What cared he for offending a powerful ally and personal friend? The arch-schemer made light of the fury of Spain, of the discontent of England, of the opinion of Europe. He paused not to reflect how far his Machiavellian policy would degrade him in the eyes of many with whom he had previously passed for wise and good, as well as shrewd and far-sighted. Paramount to these considerations was the gratification of dynastic ambition. For that he broke his plighted word, and sacrificed the good understanding between the Governments of the two great countries."

The same writer, speaking of Francisco, the husband of Isabella, says:

"We have already intimated that as a Spanish Bourbon he may pass muster. 'Tis saying very little. A more pitiful race than these same Bourbons of Spain surely the sun never shone upon. In vain does one seek among them a name worthy of respect. What a list to cull from! The feeble and imbecile Charles IV.; Ferdinand the cruel, treacherous, tyrannical, and profligate; Carlos the bigot and the hypocrite; Francisco the incapable. Certainly Don Francisco is no favorable specimen either morally or physically of the young Bourbon blood. For the sake of the country whose queen is his wife, we would gladly think well of him; gladly recognize in him qualities worthy of the descendant of a line of kings. It is impossible to do so. The evidence is too strong the other way. He accepted the hand reluctantly placed in his, became a king by title, but remained, what he ever must be in reality, a zero."

Of course such a wedding, with such characters, could lead to nothing but crime and misery. Isabella, the reputed child of ignominy, reared in the midst of the corruptions of the most corrupt court in Europe, has developed the character which would naturally be created by such influences. Louisa was far the more beautiful of the two daughters. Introduced at so early an age into the family and court of Louis Philippe, where the purest morals prevailed, she has developed into a very worthy and attractive woman.

Not a year elapsed after this ill-assorted match between Isabella and Francisco ere all Europe was filled with rumors of their quarrels. A divorce was openly talked of on the ground of Francisco's alleged physical incompetency, which, according to the civil but not the canon law, rendered the marriage null from the beginning. It is not strange that Isabella, reared under such influences, should have developed a character repulsive in the extreme. Despising her husband, having been forced to marry him, she seems to have paid no regard to her compulsory nuptial vows, and imitating the example of her mother and her grandmother, has rendered the court of Spain, according to general repute, the most corrupt in Europe.

The Revolution

(From 1839 A.D. to 1868 A.D.)

The Royal Family.—Inglorious Reign of Isabella II.—Revolutionary Attempts.—Political Parties.—Banishment of the Duke and Duchess of Montpensier.—Increasing Discontent.—Retirement of the Court to San Sebastian.—The Insurrection.—Flight of the Queen.—The Provisory Government.—Arguments for the Monarchy.—The Constituent Assembly.—The Vote.—Testimony of General Dix.—Spirit of the new Constitution.—Difficulties of the Patriots.—The Struggles of Humanity.

An intelligent English traveller visiting Spain some years ago, gave the following account of the appearance of the royal family at that time. It was just before the marriage of Isabella and Louisa.

"This being Sunday, I had an excellent opportunity of seeing the royal family of Spain at their devotions. The royal chapel in the palace is open to the public, and I entered, without question, shortly after noon. The service commenced at one o'clock. A few moments before that hour, Christina and her two daughters, Isabella and Louisa, entered the small royal chamber in front of the altar, and immediately knelt down to take part in the service. All three were dressed in black, and wore nothing upon the head but mantillas.

"Queen Isabella is grown a little taller and much plumper. In fact she inclines so much to embonpoint that I should not be surprised if, in the course of a few years, she should rival Donna Maria of Portugal. Ever since her infancy Isabella's gait has partaken a good deal of an ungainly waddle, a common failing among the Spanish Bourbons. And now that she manifests so strong a tendency towards corpulency, her dancing is not the most pleasing spectacle. Thus at the court ball, when Francisco danced with her, she astonished the spectators with something like elephantine gambollings.

"Her face is not improved, the lower parts presenting a still more marked resemblance to the portraits of Ferdinand VII. Her eyes are of a bright color, and not unpleasing. The contour of her face is perfectly round, and, with rather a sharp nose, gives her something of the aspect of those physiognomies which decorate ancient china tea-cups. The mantilla, however, became her well; I think better than the Parisian bonnet and mignon parasol which she sports in her carriage on the Prado. Queen Isabella is by no means deficient in ability, being endowed with a prodigious memory—with a deal of cunning at least, if not of judgment. She is likewise fond of raillery, and has a good deal of sarcastic wit, with which she peppers her amanti, Don Francisco, considerably. I am assured that, with all her defects, she is high-minded and queenly, and has many noble qualities; and I trust she may develop them progressively, as she grows older, for the welfare and prosperity of Spain.

"Her sister does not improve in appearance as she grows up. Her infantine graces have merged somewhat into coarseness, but she may still be almost regarded as beautiful. Her features, like her mother's, are longer and more Italian than her sister's, and her complexion purer. Her grace of attitude and movement is remarkable, a quality which she inherits exclusively from Christina. She is certainly a charming young person, and looks wonderfully well in her dark crape dress and mantilla. She was born on the 30th of January, 1832. Whether Montpensier lose the inheritance of Spain or not, he will have found in her an enchanting wife, and France a princess who will look to advantage even by the side of De Joinville's Brazilian beauty. It is commonly reported that there is no Bourbon blood in Louisa's veins. She is probably the daughter of Montez.

"Christina, who seemed even to outdo her daughters in devotion, and who joined in the service with much fervor, is evidently breaking up. Her face is beginning to wear a somewhat haggard expression, and her figure to lose its graceful and rounded contour. The unremitting toils of intrigue have stolen on her nocturnal hours, and the atmosphere of political manoeuvre, out of which she can not exist, has paled the roses which once adorned her cheeks, and cast a deeper shade upon her brow."

Should Isabella die without offspring, the crown of Spain would pass by legitimate descent to Louisa, the Duchess of Montpensier. France, of course, espoused the cause of Isabella. England also, for state reasons, advocated her claims. Sustained by the armed intervention of these powers, the banners of Isabella so gained that finally the partisans of Don Carlos became disheartened. Several of the chiefs of the two parties met in conference, and the Carlist chieftains gave in their submission to Isabella II.

This was in 1839, During the years which have since passed, Spain has for most of the time reposed in the stagnation of absolutism. The few feeble, spasmodic efforts which have been made to throw off the chains of despotism have been unavailing. The people, as a body, had become so degraded that they showed no wish to escape from their inglorious lot. In the year 1848, when a general democratic uprising agitated all the thrones of Europe, a slight movement was manifested in Madrid, Seville, and other of the principal cities of Spain in behalf of liberty. But on the part of the majority of the people there was no response to the call.

In the year 1854 another feeble attempt was made to throw off the yoke of despotism. But there was no general uprising, no true bond of union among those who did rise, no feasible and enlightened plan for building up a new edifice after tearing down the old one. With but little difficulty the Government crushed this movement.

Fourteen years more passed away. In the mean time Isabella had added none to the number of her friends, and had been rapidly multiplying her enemies. Those who had rallied around her in her childhood had given her the popular name of Isabella the Innocent. But youth and innocence had disappeared. She was now called Isabella the Obstinate. No pleasant stories were circulated of her amiability, her tenderness, her generosity. The traits she developed were masculine and repulsive. There was not a bolder rider among all her grenadiers. Her favorite amusements were shooting, fishing and hunting. She was foremost in the pursuit of the boar and the stag, and was delighted when she succeeded in wounding the animal with her own weapon. With her brawny arms she could drive, four in hand, with a skill which might excite the envy of the most accomplished coachman. An ungovernable horse threw his rider, an officer, and killed him. Isabella, it is reported, ordered the horse to be brought into the courtyard, mounted him, and scourged him into submission. As she alighted she said coolly, "The animal is well enough. The officer deserved to be killed. He did not know how to ride." Such was the reputation of Isabella, and such the reports circulated in reference to her. In fact she became a practical illustration of woman's right to be a man. Unfortunately man has imbibed the opinion that such a woman forfeits all claim to his chivalric devotion, and that he has a right to treat her as he would any male cavalier, whiskered and bearded.

Isabella was thus left with but few friends except the dissolute courtiers who were the inmates of the palace. Her unblushing immoralities alienated the better part of the clergy. Her haughty airs and her ingratitude repelled those who would gladly have rallied around her banners. She had no personal popularity. Still the masses of the people were contented with the civil and ecclesiastical servitude which marked her reign. The peasants were governed by the priests, and the priests by the Pope. Both Pope and priests were opposed to any change in the line of civil and religious liberty, for such a change imperilled the domination of the Catholic Church.

While affairs were in this condition, the Duke of Montpensier was residing, with his irreproachable bride, Louisa, in the palace of St. Telmo, at Seville. He strongly disapproved of the conduct of Isabella, and of the political measures she was pursuing. There was consequently ever-increasing alienation between the court at Madrid and the inmates of the ducal palace at Seville.

The Duchess of Montpensier visited her sister, and informed her, it is reported, very frankly that neither she nor her husband could approve of the measures of the Government; that they clearly foresaw that a catastrophe was approaching; that they would not exert any influence against her, but that, should the throne be overturned, they could not recognize either of her children as the direct heir to the throne.

This was surely a singular communication for one sister to make to another. The queen's eldest living child was a daughter, Maria Isabella, who was married to Count Girgenti, a Neapolitan noble. Her son, Alfonso, was about eleven years of age. Isabella was, of course, very angry with Louisa. She informed her sister that she might prolong her visit to the court at Madrid so long as she saw fit to do so, provided that she made no allusion again to political affairs.

There were three parties in Spain, small in numbers, and confined almost exclusively to the great cities, who were restless, and in favor of change. One of these parties was composed of those called Radical Democrats. They were in favor of the entire reorganization of society upon the basis of the repudiation of all religion, of the family relation, and of private property. Another party desired what they called a moderate republic, where there should be a strong government, guarding liberty by efficient law. Still another wished to maintain the ancient monarchy, but to imbue it with the spirit of constitutional reform. These three parties, when united, composed but a small minority of the masses of the people, who, imbruted by ignorance, had no desire for change.

The priests generally, as we have said, were afraid even of any reform. They knew not how far it might go. It might introduce free schools, free speech, a free press, freedom of conscience, and freedom of worship. The very idea of a republic they detested. With the cry that the Church was in danger they could rouse the blind fury of fanatical millions. Thus the embarrassments in the way of reform seemed to be insuperable. The queen, however, was alarmed. She feared that a sudden insurrection in the streets of Madrid might wrest the crown from her brow and place it upon the head of her sister Louisa.

The queen, under these circumstances, decided to strike what she deemed an effective blow. She issued, early in July, 1868, a decree banishing from Spain eight illustrious Spaniards, who were supposed to have great influence with the Liberal party. At the same time she ordered into exile the Duke and Duchess of Montpensier. This roused great indignation, not among the millions of the peasantry, but among the few thousands of the Progressionists in the cities. It also forced the discordant opposition into united action. It was decided by the leaders to combine their energies to overthrow the government of the queen, and then to deliberate upon the form of government which should take its place. This was a hazardous step, as it imperilled the introduction of anarchy.

It was not even alleged that the Duke and Duchess of Montpensier had entered into any plot against the crown, though manifestly their presence and popularity were an encouragement to the disaffected. It was evident that they would prove very available candidates for the vacant throne, should the queen be driven from it. The opposition, if successful in a revolutionary movement, would be very likely to rally upon them. It was almost certain that Spain would not renounce its monarchy. And it was obvious to most reflecting men that the high-minded, liberally-disposed Duke of Montpensier would be a very prominent candidate for the crown. His liberal political views would conciliate the Progressionists. The Bourbon blood which flowed in his veins and his alliance with the sister of the queen, who claimed heirship to the crown, would in a measure reconcile the advocates of the old regime. He was also decidedly, though liberally, a Catholic, and this would tend to reconcile the Church.

It is said the officers who, in obedience to the decree of exile, conveyed the duke and duchess to Lisbon, pledged themselves immediately to espouse his cause if he would allow his banner to be unfurled. Many of the exiled generals and statesmen were sent to the Canary Islands. Here they were so near to Spain that they were still consulted upon all important measures.

Affairs daily grew more menacing. The queen with her dissolute and voluptuous band of courtiers was left almost without support. The court was afraid to remain in Madrid, where so many of the restless spirits in the realm were congregated. Several prominent officers in the army and the state resigned their commissions. On the 15th of August, 1868, the court repaired to San Sebastian, on the extreme northern frontier of Spain. The assigned reason was to visit the baths there for the sake of the queen's health. The real reason was to get away from Madrid, and to seek counsel and aid from the Emperor of France. The Emperor and Empress of France were about to visit Biarritz, not far from Bayonne. Isabella, much deceived as to the true state of affairs, imagined that the friends of the Duke of Montpensier were intriguing against her, and that his influence was all that she had to fear. And she had adopted the erroneous idea that the French Emperor would be irreconcilably opposed to the occupation of the throne of Spain by a son of Louis Philippe. As her father, Ferdinand VII., had sought the aid of Napoleon I. at Bayonne, so she had decided to make an appeal to Napoleon III. at Biarritz.

But the Emperor, warned by the disasters which his uncle, Napoleon I., encountered, in his endeavors to regenerate Spain, wished to avoid all entanglement in Spanish affairs. Isabella telegraphed impatiently to Paris to ascertain when the Emperor would leave for Biarritz. But Napoleon, perhaps wishing to avoid an interview, day after day postponed his journey. It was for the interests of France that there should be a stable government in Spain to develop its resources. There was nothing to be hoped for from the government of Isabella. France had nothing to fear from the Duke of Montpensier. It was the fundamental principle of Napoleon's policy that the people, by the voice of universal suffrage, had a right to choose their own form of government and their own rulers. Should the people of Spain choose the Duke of Montpensier for their king, France was ready to give him a cordial recognition.

While the queen and her court were thus tarrying at San Sebastian, the conspiracy, which had widely spread among the officers of the army and the navy, developed itself in open insurrection at Cadiz on the morning of the 18th of September, 1868. This city, the most democratic in Spain, is an important sea-port and naval depot at the southern extremity of the peninsula. The city was aroused by salvos of artillery from the squadron, which announced itself in insurrection. The garrison on shore, with answering guns, and shout re-echoing shout, responded to the appeal from the ships. The populace of the city, with scarcely a dissenting voice, fraternized with the sailors and the soldiers. The queen in her devotion to voluptuous indulgence, had made so little preparation for such an event, that there was scarcely a sword drawn or a musket raised in her defense. There were a few conflicts, but they were trivial in importance.

Four days before the outbreak a steamer had appeared, as the sun was going down, off the Canaries. It was commanded by M. Adelard de Ayala, a gentleman highly distinguished as a dramatic poet, as an eloquent speaker and writer, and as a deputy who had been exiled from Madrid in 1867, in consequence of his earnest protest against the violation of the constitution. There was probably an understanding with the military authorities on the island; for in the night the steamer took on board the exiled generals, leaving one behind who was sick, and on the morning of the 19th landed them at Cadiz, where they found the insurrection accomplished. In the mean time General Prim had arrived from England and other leaders from other quarters.

The insurrection was a military movement almost exclusively. The people had but little to do with it. At Seville and Malaga, the garrisons, upon receiving the tidings from Cadiz, immediately adopted the example of the troops there. The populace in these cities, very ignorant and unambitious, listlessly followed the lead of the army. Thus in a few days the insurrection had gained the most formidable position. It had a fleet, an army, able generals, arsenals, with arms and ammunition in abundance, fortresses, and three populous cities. These few generals, who had originated and carried out the movement thus far, were agreed only upon one point; and that was the necessity of the overthrow of the wretched government of the queen. This being accomplished, they were then to decide what government should take its place. In the proclamations which the generals issued they said:

"We desire only a provisory government, representing all the forces of the Government, to secure order, and that universal suffrage should lay the foundation of our social and political regeneration."

The tidings of this insurrection created intense excitement at San Sebastian. The queen immediately appointed General Concha, president of the council, and sent him to Madrid with almost dictatorial powers. The council, which the queen had left in Madrid, in twenty minutes after hearing the tidings from Cadiz, had scattered and fled. With great vigor the insurgents availed themselves of the advantages which they had already secured. General Prim, with a few frigates, sailed along the eastern coasts of Spain, stopping at the important points—at Carthagena, Valence, and Barcelona. Here the garrisons were all ready to give in their adhesion to the revolution, and the people, with more or of less alacrity, followed their lead.

General Serrano remained in Andalusia, in command of the insurrectionary troops garrisoned at Cadiz and Seville. Aided by other influential generals, he organized a small army of about twelve thousand men and marched upon Cordova. There were none found to oppose his banners. Almost without a struggle the whole of Southern Spain was gained over to the revolution. In the mean time the queen was at San Sebastian, trembling, vacillating, and doing nothing.

For eight clays General Concha, the new president of the council, remained at Madrid, vainly exercising his dictatorial powers to organize a government which could present some show of resistance to the insurgents. But already a revolutionary committee, called a junta, was established at Madrid. General Concha soon found himself compelled to enter into communications with these revolutionary chiefs, and by this recognition, became entangled in the movement. The queen was in great perplexity. Her best advisers—and they were very poor ones—had left her. It was perilous to go to Madrid, as she might fall into the hands of the revolutionists. General Concha urged that she should hasten to the capital, leaving her obnoxious court behind her. Isabella had a special favorite, without whom she would not go to Madrid. General Concha deemed it ruinous to her cause to have this favorite accompany her.

The queen's whole force had dwindled down to a small military band of a few thousand men in the vicinity of Cordova. Though faithful to their colors, they were inspired with no enthusiasm for the defense of the queen. The Marquis of Novaliches led them. General Pavia, with the revolutionary forces, encountered them on the banks of the Guadalquiver, a few leagues from Cordova. After a short but decisive battle, the queen's troops were utterly routed. The Marquis of Novaliches received a terrible wound. There was no longer any show of resistance. The revolution was accomplished.

Thus the queen, after an inglorious, a shameful reign of thirty-four years, during which nothing had been done for the elevation of Spain, found that her throne had crumbled beneath her feet. Already in the streets of San Sebastian, the murmurs of the disaffected reached her ears. She was no longer queen, save to the few members of her own household. There was no escape from captivity but by an immediate flight to France. Even her pretended personal friends were now abandoning her, as she had no more favors to confer.

Fortunately for Isabella, she was still immensely rich. Avarice had been one of her vices. With a small band of courtiers, some thirty or forty men and women, and a vast accumulation of treasure, the queen crossed the Pyrenees into the territory of France, and took refuge in the Chateau of Pau, which had been the cradle of the Bourbon race. General Concha fled from Madrid. A revolutionary junta assumed power there, as did the same organization in all the leading cities of Spain. The Bourbon monarchy was overthrown. And now arose the agitating question What government shall succeed it?

It will be perceived that this wonderful revolution was achieved almost exclusively by the army. The army was controlled by a few leading men, and submissively followed their orders. The vast majority of the benighted and enslaved people of Spain looked wonderingly on, and took no part in the movement. One after another these military leaders repaired to Madrid. Each one received an ovation. They were determined men, all of them, Generals Prim, Serrano, Topete, and Caballero de Rodas. The watchword which resounded through the streets was not "Down with the monarchy," or "Live the republic," but simply "Down with the Bourbons." The revolution was thus far only a protest against the unendurable absolutism of Isabella. All parties had united upon that point.

A provisory government was soon organized to meet the emergencies of the passing hour, and to decide upon the Governmental organization which Spain should adopt. In different portions of Spain there were a few bloody insurrections where the antagonistic parties endeavored to gain the ascendency. There was one very serious conflict at Cadiz, and another at Malaga. In most of these cases the Monarchists threw the blame upon the Democrats, and the Democrats upon the Monarchists. In Burgos the governor endeavored to seize upon the treasures of the cathedral, in behalf of the revolutionists. The peasants fell upon him with true Spanish fury, and literally tore him to pieces.

A very able writer upon this subject, in the Revue des Deux Mondes, M. Charles de Mazade, says: "This revolution, notwithstanding its appearance of force, contained within itself the elements of weakness. It was not the people who effected it. The people did not really show themselves until it was finished. All other revolutions have made its generals or its marshals. This has made its own, and that is Prim. Serrano and Prim, were they co-operating intelligently? Had they long understood each other? Which of the two would have the most ascendency over the army? This was the question. It is very certain that without Prim and Serrano the revolution could not have taken place."

The provisional government consisted at first of a small cabinet council composed of the leaders of the Monarchical, Republican, and Democratic parties. Even these parties had their subdivisions. The first step to be taken was to elect a Cortes, or Congress. It was promised that the nation should be appealed to, and that this Congress should be chosen by universal suffrage. But singularly enough the Monarchists and even the Absolutists were ready for this appeal. But the Republicans and the Democrats, conscious that they were greatly in the minority, and fully aware of the influence of the priests over the peasantry, did not dare to submit to the whole people the question of choosing their own form of government. They even feared that the people, by an overwhelming vote, might restore the old regime of absolutism; and it was morally certain that they would reject a republic and establish a monarchy. Thus they postponed the elections as long as possible.

M. Olozaga, with great force of eloquence and power of argument, urged the example of France in the establishment of the Empire, and that the question should be immediately submitted to the direct vote of the whole people what the form of government should be. There was not a sane man in Spain who doubted that the result would be an overwhelming vote for a monarchy. The Democratic party was indignant at the proposition of submitting the question to universal suffrage, and declared it to be stealing a march upon them. In a Congress, however chosen, they had more chance of success, or at least of modifying the result, than in an appeal to the whole people. They threatened to break the alliance. This would have magnified the danger of civil war. The idea, therefore, of an appeal to the popular vote was abandoned.

It is said that there can be no question that had the Duke of Montpensier been in Spain at the time of the defeat of the Marquis of Novaliches, he would have been instantly proclaimed king by the victorious army, and would have been cordially accepted by the people. Conscientiously a Catholic, in accordance with the teachings of his revered father and mother, the ecclesiastics would have accepted him, in their dread of republicanism, which in Spain was decidedly infidel in its tendencies. As the duke had seen much of the world, had been schooled in adversity, and cherished enlarged and liberal views upon both political and religious questions, most of those who were in favor of a constitutional monarchy, and many who personally were in favor of a republic, would have sustained him as the best measure to be adopted under the circumstances.

General Serrano, General Topete, M. Olozaga, all of whom were among the most prominent men in the revolution, were in principle very decided Monarchists, as the only form of government then adapted to the people of Spain, and in harmony with the surrounding institutions. Even General Prim, who theoretically perhaps was a strenuous Republican, yielded to the idea of a monarchy, saying, "To establish a republic, there must be Republicans."  Many even of the most distinguished Democrats, as M. Rivero, M. Christino Martos, M. Becerra, rallied around the monarchy as a necessity of the moment. A parliamentary and constitutional monarchy, sanctioned by a national vote, would be a very decided step in the path of human rights. In the opinion of the great majority of the most sagacious men in Spain, it was as great a reform as Spain could, by any possibility, be then induced to accept. It would also, by its harmony with surrounding institutions, disarm Europe of hostility, and thus be a guaranty of external and internal peace.

In the midst of these agitations, the Carlist party, which had so long deluged Spain in the blood of civil war, again came forward with its claims for the crown. Several other parties sprang up, each urging its candidate. One party brought forward Ferdinand of Portugal; another, Prince Alfred of England; another, the Duke of Montpensier.

Great wisdom and forbearance were requisite, in these perilous hours, to restrain these antagonisms from an appeal to arms.

A radical Democrat is almost of necessity a very bold, energetic, self-reliant man. He is positive in his opinions, always armed, morally and physically, and ready for a conflict. The extreme Democratic party was small, confined to the cities; and though it was able to make a loud noise, it was quite uninfluential in its assaults upon the Gibraltar rock of priestly fanaticism and popular superstition. It was indeed so small that it could hardly be deemed a party in Spain; it was rather a band of loud-talking, impetuous young men, adopting all sorts of theories upon political and socialistic economies. Still these men were in earnest. Fearlessly they discussed all questions. It was certainly their professed aim to promote the public good. In the cities they could make their voices heard; but their influence did not reach the cottages of the peasants. They numbered some men very eminent as writers and declaimers. Prominent among these was M. Emilio Caster, formerly professor in the University of Madrid, and M. Margall, an eminent publicist.

At length a constituent assembly was chosen, consisting of about three hundred members. In the latter part of May, 1869, after long and stormy debates, the all-important question was taken respecting the form of government to be adopted. The subject was acted upon in two resolutions. The first was, "The sovereignty resides in the nation, and from it all the powers proceed." This was adopted by acclamation, there apparently not being a dissentient vote. That so enlightened a sentiment could have been adopted with such unanimity by a Cortes in benighted Spain is evidence that liberal principles have made very decided progress. Thus the old dogma of the divine right of kings, still so tenaciously held in certain parts of Europe, is probably banished forever from Spain.

Then came up for action the proposition that "the form of government of the Spanish nation is the monarchy." The question was taken by calling the roll, each member responding yea or nay. It was an imposing scene. In the midst of general silence and solemnity every deputy gave his vote in a clear, distinct voice. At the close of the voting the secretary read the lists. There were two hundred and fourteen votes in favor of a monarchy, and seventy-one against it. Thus, by a majority of one hundred and forty-three votes, the elective Spanish monarchy was decreed. Very many of the most ardent friends of liberal principles were in favor of this result. The arguments they presented have certainly much force. It was said—

"1. Every body will admit that the majority of the Spanish people are opposed to a republic. To force  a republic upon a reluctant people would be as unjust as it would be impossible.

"2. Under monarchical forms, a government may be as free, as under republican forms. We may call our government a monarchy. We may call our supreme executive, elected for life, King  instead of president;  and yet the governmental institutions may be devoted to liberty and equality.

"3. Electing our king, and electing him to execute the constitution which we draw up, we may intrust him with just so much power as seems best to us. The Queen of England has less power than the President of the United States.

"4. Monarchical forms have always prevailed in Spain. The people are accustomed to them, attached to them. It will be far more easy to imbue those forms with the spirit of liberty, than to introduce new names and new organizations which will perplex and alarm the people.

"5. All the governments around us are monarchical in form. They will much more cheerfully assent to the progress of free institutions in Spain, if we remain in external harmony with them, and cordially join their brotherhood. The ostentatious establishment of a republic might be regarded by them in the light of a defiance, and would endanger war, which, above all things, it is for our interests to avoid.

"6. Our constitution will be elastic, so as to admit of reforms and progress, as the people become more enlightened and prepared for enlargement of liberty. And thus we may legally, constitutionally, attain the great end sought, of national progression and power, without the horrors of bloody revolutions."

It is not improbable that the course pursued by the Cortes is the wisest one. Spain has made an immense advance in the path of progress. She has taken as long a stride as it was perhaps possible for her to take under the circumstances. Following the example of France, she is surrounding a throne with republican institutions. Thus, like France, she may avoid the awful calamity of civil and foreign wars, and advance rapidly in the career of material and moral prosperity. It is evident that the example of France is exerting a powerful influence upon leading minds in Spain.

The United States ambassador at the Court of France, General John A. Dix, after two years and a half of residence in Paris, during which he became intimately acquainted with the Emperor and the workings of the Imperial Government, gives the following account of the bloodless progress of liberty there. And it is understood that his views are in accord with those of the two preceding American ambassadors at the French court, as also of very many of the most distinguished residents of the United States in the French capital.

On Tuesday evening, the first of June, 1869, a complimentary dinner was given by the American residents in Paris to General Dix, as he was about to surrender to the Honorable Mr. Washburne his office as ambassador. Four hundred ladies and gentlemen were present. The eloquent speech which General Dix made on the occasion is fully reported in the Paris Continental Gazette  of June 3rd. In that speech General Dix, in the following terms, expresses his views of the workings of the Imperial Government:


I can not sit down without saying a few words to you in regard to the Government under the protection of which you are living. Between France and the United States there has been, from the earliest period, a strong bond of affinity, which ought never to be broken. The advantages enjoyed in Paris by the American colony, which has become so populous as almost to constitute a distinct feature in the physiognomy of the city, can be by none better appreciated than by ourselves. We are as completely under the protection of the Government as the citizens of France, and we are required to contribute nothing directly to its support. We are living without personal taxation or exactions of any sort in this most magnificent of modern capitals, full of objects of interest, abounding in all that gratify the taste, as well as in sources of solid information; and these treasures of art and of knowledge are freely opened to our inspection and use.

"Nor is this all. We are invited to participate most liberally, far more liberally than in any other court in Europe, in the hospitalities of the palace. I have myself; during the two years and a half of my service here, presented to their imperial majesties more than three hundred of our fellow-citizens of both sexes. And a much larger number, presented in former years, have, during the same period, shared the same courtesies.

"With these associations of the past and the present, the prosperity of this great empire can not be a matter of indifference to us. And it speaks strongly in favor of the illustrious sovereign who, for the last twenty years, has held its destinies in his hands, that the condition of the people, materially and intellectually, has been constantly improving, and that the aggregate prosperity of the country is greater perhaps, at the present moment, than at any former period.

"It is worthy of remark, too, that the venerable leader of the opposition in the Corps Legislatif (M. Thiers), one of those remarkable men who leave the impress of their opinions on the age in which they live, recently declared that the Government, in many essential respects, was in a course of liberal progress. As you know, debates in that body on questions of public policy are unrestricted. They are reported with great accuracy, and promptly published in the official journal and other newspaper presses. And thus the people of France are constantly advised of all that is said for or against the administrative measures which concern their interests.

"In liberal views, and in that comprehensive forecast which shapes the policy of the present to meet the exigencies of the future, the Emperor seems to me to be decidedly in advance of his ministers, and even of the popular body, chosen by universal suffrage to aid him in his legislative labors."

Such is the testimony of a gentleman of the highest position and intelligence, an influential member of the Democratic party in the United States, and who, by a residence of nearly three years in Paris as ambassador, has enjoyed the best possible opportunity of understanding the influence and tendencies of the government which France, with such singular unanimity, has adopted.

It is not strange that this successful working of the Empire in France should have led many of the most zealous advocates for reform in Spain to regard the Empire as essentially the model upon which to reorganize their government. When the populace of Paris overthrew the throne of Charles X., and the bankers of the capital, controlling the Chamber of Deputies, established the throne of Louis Philippe, Lafayette said, in a voice which resounded throughout the whole civilized world,

"Though I deem a republic, theoretically, the best form of government, still I am persuaded that we can not, at present, establish and maintain a republic in France. That which is necessary for France now is a throne, surrounded by republican institutions."

If Lafayette, with his strong republican predilections, deemed monarchical forms essential to France, the opinions of those enlightened Spaniards should be respected who, in reference to their own country, have come to the same conclusion. Napoleon I. often remarked that he was the creature of circumstances; that he could seldom do what he wished to do, but was compelled to modify his policy in accordance with those events which ever exert an almost omnipotent control. Even upon the supposition that it were right for the Cortes in Madrid, numbering about three hundred men, to force upon Spain, by means of the army, a republic which the people did not desire, it is very doubtful whether the Cortes could possibly have done this. Civil war would have been the inevitable consequence of the attempt. Spain has a population of over fifteen millions. Of these, according to the most accurate statistics which can be obtained, there are not over five hundred thousand of all the varied shades of democracy in favor of a republic. Could these five hundred thousand, much divided among themselves, force fifteen millions to accept a government to which they were opposed?

According to the last census, the population of the Spanish peninsula, including the Belearic Islands and the Canaries, was 15,658,586. Of these, only 3,124,410 could read and write. If there be a large majority of intelligent and virtuous people in a country in favor of a republic, such a form of government can be maintained, even with quite a considerable minority ignorant and degraded. But how is it possible that a republic can be established, founded necessarily upon universal suffrage, when the majority of the people are not only ignorant and debased, but also opposed to republican institutions. One is reminded of General Prim's quaint remark, that "Republicans are essential to a republic."

A constitution clearly defining and limiting the legislative, judicial, and executive powers of the Government, containing within itself provisions for modifications and reforms, thus avoiding the necessity of a resort to the horrors of revolution; a monarch of high character and liberal principles elected for life; a Senate, consisting of a definite number of men, appointed by the crown for life from those who, by their abilities and services, have conferred honor upon their country; a House of Representatives, chosen by universal suffrage, without whose concurrence no law can be passed; freedom of worship; freedom of speech and of the press, restrained by the law if libelous; equal rights before the law for every man: such is the constitution which regenerated France has adopted, and under which it has risen, during the past twenty years, to a position of prosperity, power, and happiness such as the nation never enjoyed before. In many respects this constitution is very decidedly in advance of the British Constitution in the line of popular rights.

Spain has made this constitution the basis of its new organization. It is an immense advance from the old regime of absolutism. It is as great an advance as can probably now be made. It is an advance in the right direction. "A constitution," said Napoleon I., "is the work of time. We can not leave too large scope for its emendations."

The French Constitution was adopted by the people of France by seven million four hundred and thirty-nine thousand two hundred and sixteen affirmative votes. There were but six hundred and forty thousand seven hundred and thirty-seven in the negative.

Our Spanish brethren, in the tremendous struggle in which they have engaged in behalf of popular rights, have encountered obstacles apparently insuperable. There is no form of government which can be adopted which will not be met by fierce opposition. The Republicans will denounce a monarchy. The Monarchists will assail a republic. Should the fanatic majority imbue the monarchy with the despotic spirit of the old regime, the cities will be agitated with conspiracies and insurrections. Should the spirit of reform prevail, demolishing old abuses, confiscating the enormous property of the Church, and granting freedom of conscience, which will give rise to innumerable infidel clubs and infidel journals, the priests will brandish daggers in the pulpits as they rouse the fanatic masses with the cry of "Death to the enemies of the Church."

The Provisional Government, in its calm address to the electors, says: "The unexpected vehemence with which certain ideas have been proclaimed, obliges the Government to reiterate energetically its own; so that it may not, by any possibility, be imagined that they have faltered in their convictions. The Provisional Government believes the future of liberal institutions will be more securely guaranteed by the solemn and successful establishment of the monarchical principle than if submitted to the dangerous essay of a new form of government, without historical precedents in Spain, and without examples in Europe worthy of imitation.

"They desire sincerely that the representatives of the nation may raise a throne, surrounded with the indispensable prestige, and invested with its natural prerogatives, so that rivalry being impossible, it may facilitate order, and be the permanent and solid basis of our liberties."

A correspondent of the New York Herald, writing from Cadiz under date of May 26th, 1869, says:

"A conspiracy has been discovered among the artillery officers which had for its object the proclaiming of Isabella. This arm of the military power never gave its hearty adhesion to the September revolution. It simply bowed to the blast which swept the Bourbon throne from the Peninsula. The artillery is officered by the scions of the so-called best families, is very aristocratic, and scorns republicanism. Dissatisfaction has existed in the army since Prim was appointed secretary of war. It has increased by his gross favoritism, and the bungling way he carries on business.

"The navy is not a whit more reliable than the artillery. Unaccustomed on shipboard to the annual pronunciamientos, which have made Spain a by-word throughout the world, it has no sympathy with innovations, and I verily believe that to-morrow it would shout Viva la Reina, if there was a fair prospect of its being indorsed by the troops.

"The naval officers have never removed the crown from their caps and uniforms. The artillery did not. They have no sympathy with any kind of government but the monarchical. The day before yesterday Serrano and Prim stated in the Cortes that the reorganization of the volunteers was necessary to combat the enemies of the revolutionists."

In the following terms the writer above quoted describes a visit to one of the leading revolutionists:

"I paid a visit to Salvochea lately. He is unquestionably the most popular man in this city and province—in all Andalusia—and will make his mark before many years. After many greetings, I asked him:

"'Do you think Isabella has many friends in the army?'

"'I think so,' he replied, 'but I don't know nor care.'

"'Who is the favorite of the army for king?'

"Smiling sarcastically, he answered, ' Every officer has his favorite. The old ones favor the queen or her son. The young ones are for the person who will promote them.'

"'Is there no general favorite—one who is more popular than the others?'

"'No!' he replied; 'not one of the aspirants has a sincere friend in the army, unless it be among the superannuated ones, who are indebted to Isabella for more than they have deserved. But they are what you call in America old fogies.'

"'Has not the Duke of Montpensier a large party in the army?'

"'He may have,' was the reply, 'but I don't think so. He will never be King of Spain; and, I am sure, never President of the Spanish Republic.'

"'Would you not favor a king with a liberal constitution like Belgium or England?'

"'No, sir;' he rejoined. 'Kings have had their day. They were an evil in the best of times, but a curse in an age of railroads and telegraphs. A republic is the only hope of Spain. But there will be blows given and received before its representative sits in Madrid!'

"'What do you think of the strong speeches against the Catholic faith lately delivered in the Cortes?'

"'I don't admire any kind of religion,' he replied. 'But I doubt the utility of the late expositions on theology. There is no use of losing time with such stuff and nonsense.'

"A few words of farewell, and we parted; he to endeavor to have the gallant militia of Cadiz armed with the best breech-loaders, and your correspondent to his writing-table. Salvochea is a thin, lean, nervous young man, who will make his mark or lose his head before many years. He looks the conspirator from top to toe, from head to foot. But whether he is laboring for the benefit and glory of himself or for Spain, is involved in obscurity. But the Spanish politician is the most selfish of animals, and has no love of country like other people. His native village and province are his country. Out of them he is abroad."

On the 17th of June, 1869, Marshal Serrano was installed Regent of Spain. The ceremony took place at Madrid in the presence of a large and brilliant assemblage. After the administration of a very solemn oath to obey the constitution, which had recently been formed, the regent, in a very brief address to the Deputies, said:

"With the creation of the constitutional power which you have deigned to confide to me, and which I gratefully accept, a new period of the revolution of September commences. We have raised the stone which weighed upon Spain, and we have afterwards constituted her under the monarchical form, traditional with our people, but surrounded with democratic institutions. The hour has now arrived to enroll and consolidate the conquests realized, so that the monarch whom the Cortes may hereafter elect may commence his reign prosperously and happily for the country."

The true patriots in Spain demand our sympathies in the tremendous struggle through which they are passing. If they can abolish all exclusive privileges, and establish a throne upon the basis of equal rights for all men, and thus lead on in the path of ever-increasing liberty, protected by law from the horrors of bloody insurrections and revolutions, Heaven may rejoice, and earth be glad. A long dark night of sorrow has been theirs. The morning has dawned, but it has dawned luridly through storm-clouds still gathering in the sky. May God guide and bless that agitated portion of the universal brotherhood, and from these scenes of confusion evolve peace, prosperity, and happiness.

It is the misfortune of Spain, debased by ages of oppression, that she can not, at a single stride, advance from absolutism to a well-ordered republic. But she has entered the path. And every friend of human liberty and happiness must pray that she may attain the end of popular liberty and stable law by progressive constitutional reforms, and no longer by the horrors of civil war and the shedding of fraternal blood. The saddest of all earthly studies is the study of history. The most heartrending of all tragedies is the tragedy of the life, thus far, of the human race. In view of these scenes of woe extending through lingering centuries, one can scarce refrain from exclaiming, with weeping eyes, "How long, O Lord, how long!"

Since writing the above, we have advices from Madrid up to the latter part of July, 1869. The intelligence is discouraging and gloomy in the extreme. The friends of reform are greatly divided among themselves, and find it very difficult to unite in any co-operative action. It is perhaps fortunate for them that their opponents are equally discordant in council. Though the "reactionists," as they are called, are a unit in their hatred of the revolution, and in their desire to reinstate the despotic throne of the Bourbons, still they are comprised in three very distinct and antagonistic parties.

The first, or Isabellinos, clamor for the restoration of their legitimate sovereign, Isabella II. The queen, through secret agents, supported by large portions of the clergy, and having immense sums of money at her disposal, is energetically co-operating with this party.

The second, or Alfonistas, urge the claims of Alfonso, Prince of the Asturias, the son of Isabella. It is said that his supporters are numerous, not only among the dignitaries of the realm and the nobles in Madrid, but that many influential members of the Cortes are in favor of his claims.

The third, or Carlists, support Don Carlos. He is the representative of the Carlos, brother of Ferdinand, who, through so many years of blood and misery, contested the throne with Isabella. Different accounts are given of the precise relationship of this young man to the former Don Carlos. He claims however to be his heir, and by the Carlist party is recognized as such. His adherents are generally the ultra Church party, and others of the most uncompromising advocates of absolute  power.

While the Legitimists  are thus divided, there is equal want of union in the ranks of the Progressionists, or Liberal party. At the present moment it is divided essentially as follows, though very important changes may take place at almost any moment. Perhaps first in influence is the party of the Duke of Montpensier, seeking to reconcile Europe by paying some apparent respect to legitimacy in placing a Bourbon on the throne, but selecting a man of liberal political principles.

Secondly come those decided monarchists who would utterly reject the Bourbons, but would transfer the sceptre to some successful Spanish general. But there is no one chieftain prominent enough to gain the general vote. As Salvochea says, "Every officer has his favorite."

Thirdly, there is the Republican party, greatly divided into bitterly discordant factions, of moderate and radical Republicans and ultra Democrats. When, in addition to such irreconcilable antagonism among the most enlightened men, who should be the leaders of the nation, we reflect that the millions of the populace, debased by ages of misrule, are in the lowest state of ignorance, the dupes of superstition, and quite under the control of the most corrupt priesthood in Europe, it would seem that there could be but little hope for Spain. Dark indeed is the cloud which now hangs over that benighted land. God alone can span this cloud with the bow of promise.