Page images
PDF
EPUB

violent scene took place. The Pope would brook no interference with his affairs, and declared that the Colonna had always been the enemies of the Holy See. The Marquis de Sarria then also adopted a haughty tone and requested a plain answer, as he had so far only had fair words, with which the Pope's actions did not agree. Thereupon Paul IV. next morning instructed his nephew to send fourteen officers out to enlist 3000 men.1

[ocr errors]

It was every day becoming more evident that things were drifting towards war. On February 7th, 1556, the Pope said to the Venetian ambassador, Navagero, in whom he had full confidence, that he would speak openly to him. We are obliged," he continued, " to put up with so many and such great insults from these Imperialists, that we have surpassed Job in patience. We possess so many proofs of their plots and traitorous practices that we could astonish you with their recital, if we had the time." He then again referred to the poisoning story, in which he firmly believed. The Pope finished with the significant declaration "We greatly fear that we must have recourse to that most dreadful measure (ad ultimum terribilium)—war. We shall wage it against our will, but it may, perhaps, be the best way of punishing our enemies for their sins, and of freeing poor, unhappy Italy.2

On February 12th, 1556, followed the dispatch of Antonio Carafa to the Duke of Ferrara, for whom was destined the position of a general in the anti-Imperial league. Before

1 See the report of Navagero of January 11, 1556 in the Atti Mod., Ser. 3, II, 160.

2 See the letter of Navagero of February 8, 1556 in BROWN, VI., 1, n. 381; cf. also Navagero's report of December 19th, 1555 in ANCEL, Sienne, 27.

3 The instructions for A. Carafa în Casa, II., 60 seq., the *letter of credence for Carafa of February 7, 1556 in the State Archives, Modena. The appointment of Ercole as dux et capitaneus generalis was made in a secret brief of February 26, 1556 (see PIEPER, 81, n. 4; cf. BROMATO, II., 293; DURUY, 106 seq.; ANCEL, Secrét., 18), which the Duke received on March 2; he immediately thanked the Pope (see FONTANA, II., 417 seq.) By the

MISSION TO THE FRENCH COURT. 113

this, on January 20th, the Duke of Somma, a relative of the Pope, had been sent to the French court, to beg Henry II. to lose no time in carrying out the terms of the treaty of alliance, which he had ratified on January 18th; he was also commissioned to find out definitely what were the real intentions of the French sovereign, concerning which some anxiety was felt in Rome.1

*brief of March 14, 1556, Paul IV. ratified the directions of Henry II. for Ercole as a general of the league (State Archives, Modena). Ibid the *brief of September 15, 1556 by which the appointment was made public, and a *brief of December 30, 1556, which announces the dispatch of the consecrated stocco et cappello.

1 * See the instructions in CASA, 11., 48 seq. ; cf. PIEPER, loc, cit. and Nonciat., I., lxxx.; II., 324 seq. The *brief, dated January 22, 1556, then addressed to Henry II. in the Brevia ad princ. loc, cit., n. 317 (Secret Archives of the Vatican).

VOL. XIV.

8

CHAPTER V.

EVENTS LEADING TO THE WAR WITH SPAIN.

WHILE everything in Rome was assuming a warlike appearance,1 a dispatch sent by special courier from the nuncio in France, Sebastiano Gualterio, arrived during the night of February 14th, 1556, with the news that an armistice for five years had been concluded at Vaucelles between the French, the Emperor and Philip II.2 The far-reaching plans of Carafa were thereby completely upset, and the States of the Church delivered over to the revenge of an irritated and powerful enemy. The dismay at the Vatican was all the greater as Henry II.'s ratification of the league had only arrived a few days before.3

The French ambassador only received news of the great change effected by the Constable de Montmorency on February 21st; on the same day a letter from Henry II. reached the Pope, who received the communication with very mixed

1

1 Cf. MASIUS, Briefe, 233, 234 seq. An *Avviso of February 15, 1556, announces the strengthening of the Papal army; 12,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry had been raised, all the gates were closed except four, and nobody was allowed to pass without strict inquiry. (Cod. Urb. 1038, p. 138. Vatican Library). 2 See the *report of Bongianni Gianfigliazzi to Cosimo I., dated Rome, February 18, 1556 (State Archives, Florence); the despatch of Seb. Gualterio to Cardinal Carafa, dated Blois, February 6, 1556 (Nonciat., II., 337). The text of the armistice (in GORI, Arch., I., 193 seq.; cf. also DURUY, De pactis a. 1556 apud Volcellas indutis, Paris, 1883) was made known in Rome on March 4, 1556, in a pamphlet ; see *Diario di Cola Coleine (Chigi Library, N. II., 32).

3 On February 11, according to the instructions for A. Carafa of February 12, in CASA, Opere, V., 102 (Neapolitan edition).

CARAFA'S NEW PLAN.

115

feelings.1 Cardinal Carafa felt the blow most keenly, for all his plans and all his schemes had rested on the alliance with France. The astute politician was, however, able to pull himself together very quickly. He considered the changed situation in detail with his trusted friend, Giovanni della Casa, and a new plan was soon formed, which shows that the freedom and independence of the Holy See was not the lofty aim which the Cardinal had in view in his dangerous policy, but only the aggrandisement of his own family. In order to gain Siena for his house, no effort was to be spared to induce Henry II. to repudiate what had been arranged at Vaucelles; if, however, he would not agree to this, the negotiations were to be continued all the same, and everything done to form an anti-Imperial coalition. After the anxiety of the Imperialists had been aroused by this scare, Carafa intended to whisper to them that the best way to put an end to these dangerous proceedings would be to cede a state, for example, Siena, to the family of the Pope's nephew.2

Such were the aims, and such was the course of the Machiavellian policy of the man to whom Paul IV., ignorant as he was of the ways of the world, had imprudently entrusted the secular affairs of the Holy See. While the Pope looked upon

1 S.S.tà ne haveva fatta allegrezza con le lagrime," we are told in the *Avviso of February 22, 1556 (Cod. Urb. 1038, p. 131, Vatican Library). Cf. NAVAGERO-ALBÈRI, 392. We learn from Navagero's reports of February 15 and 21, 1556, in Brown, VI., I., n. 392 and 405, that Paul IV. persuaded himself that he had, by his unbending attitude, forced the arrangement of an armistice which was unfavourable to the Imperialists. G. Aldrovandi mentions the arrival of Henry II.'s letter in his *report of February 22, 1556 (State Archives, Bologna).

2 See the Discorso all' ill. et rev. Card. Caraffa per impetrare dalla Mta dell' Imp. Carlo V. lo stalo et dominio di Siena, first printed in CASA, Opere, IV., 35 seq. (Neapolitan edition). ANCEL (Sienne, 3 seqq. and Nonciat., I., lxxxii. seq.) explained the circumstances under which Casa drew up this record and published it in the Nonciat. II., 593 seq., after the original in the Secret Archives of the Vatican.

the liberty of the Church and Italy as his highest aim, his nephew was only thinking of the advantage of the house of Carafa. What the Borgia, the Medici and the Farnese had attempted with more or less success, the acquisition of principalities for their families, Carafa also wished to accomplish, quite regardless of the dangers into which he would plunge the States of the Church and the Holy See. It is indeed a tragedy that he succeeded in leading his uncle, who, in virtue of his whole character and his former activities, belonged to the strictly ecclesiastical party, to enter upon such a tragic

course.

Carafa felt himself, at that time, so completely master of the situation, that he had no doubt of being able to manage the Pope, in a political sense, in this new state of affairs. One thing is very significant in this connection. The document drawn up by della Casa, containing an outline of the above political programme of Carafa, shows that Paul IV. was not initiated into the secrets of his nephew. It is, on the contrary, clear from this document, to what an extent Carafa looked upon the head of the Church, in political matters, as a factor which he could pass over with impunity. Indeed, Carafa knew so well how to take advantage of the weaknesses of his uncle that, thanks to his cunning and skill, his most daring enterprises succeeded only too well.

He also showed the greatest craftiness in his dealings with the French. As soon as he had recovered from his indescribable astonishment at the conclusion of the armistice of Vaucelles, he pretended to accept it as an accomplished fact, but all the time worked secretly and with all his power, to have it annulled, and also, in the event of his not being successful in this, to attain, all the same, his principal aim, the acquisition of Siena.2

Carafa was of opinion that such a difficult task could neither be accomplished by tedious negotiations in writing, nor by the

1 See the excellent details in ANCEL, Sienne, 8.

2 See the instructions for the Duke of Somma of March 5, 1556, in CASA, II., 67 seq. and also ANCEL, Sienne, II seq.

« PreviousContinue »