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marry his aunt. He moreover, ordered them, on pain of death, to keep secret these expressions. They were soon, however, known.'
Little more is added, in these volumes, respecting Carlos's conduct during the year or two preceding his imprisonment. It will be remembered, however, that during that period he fell under suspicion of heretical and rebellious sentiments-that he gave vent to the strongest language of aversion against his father and other persons—that he repeatedly expressed, to all whom he thought likely to assist him, his willingness to engage in any scheme which might free him from the constraint of his situation, whether through flight or some more audacious enterprise—and that letters were found in his possession, directed to several princes of Italy, to the Cortes, and to various Spanish grandees and civic communities, justifying his intended elopement. To the same period belongs the doubtful story of his visit to the convent of Atocha, and demand to be admitted to communicate with an unconsecrated wafer, when he was supposed to have betrayed a design against his father's life : which, however, Philip always denied. He was, unquestionably, dangerous in the highest degree; but the best avouched of these circumstances, and especially the religious accusations which were seriously urged against him, seem little to coincide with the supposition of his insanity. Still less can that supposition be reconciled with the fact mentioned by Ranke—that Philip, previously to taking measures for arresting his son, had the acts of the judicial process instituted by John, King of Aragou, against his disobedient son, Don Carlos de Viana, extracted from the archives of Barcelona and translated into Castilian. Surely no such precedent was necessary to regulate the confinement of a lunatic.
We now come to the last act of the tragedy; and here we find large extracts from the correspondence of the French ambassador, Fourquevauls, describing the arrest, January, 1568, and the events which followed. The tone of these despatches is, to say
the least of it, extremely singular. The strange incidents which passed at the Spanish court are related in a manner which seems to imply perfect confidence in all the reports respecting them, proceeding from Philip and his ministers: no expression is dropped, in the most critical parts of the narrative, which denotes that the writer looked below the surface, or sought to convey anything more than the official gazette, as it were, of these mysterious occurrences. Many will doubtless agree with Raumer, in interpreting this circunstance entirely in favour of Philip;—others may possibly think that such extreme simplicity and straightforwardness prove too much; that as it was impossible for Fourquevaulx not to have perceived the suspicious character of much of the intelligence which he had to communicate, so his apparent freedom from all suspicion can only
be accounted for by attributing it to sagacious caution--or by remembering that it was, at that period, the constant practice of the French court to employ confidential agents as well as accredited ambassadors, or to confer both those characters on the same person, but with strict requisition that they should be kept distinct.
M. v. Raumer, however, argues the more confidently from the spirit and tone of these despatches, because, as he says, “in the first place, the French Court was not inclined to dismiss or slur over any charge of crime preferred against the Spanish.' Here we cannot help thinking that he has overlooked circumstances of some importance to the argument. The French court may, in general, have had little sympathy with that of Spain; and Catherine de Medicis was certainly not inclined either to admire the character or to spare the vices of Philip. But it is necessary to remember that at the precise period in question (the spring and summer of 1568) the temperature of the Louvre was high Catholic, and preparations were making for the third civil war of religion, A league—the prototype of that more notorious confederacy which acted so great a part a few years later-was forming in defence of the old faith : the Cardinal of Lorraine, then in close confidence with the court, was, as the recent historian of these times (M. Capefigue) has shown, in incessant and active correspondence with Philip; and in September, only two months after the decease of the prince, Fourquevaulx was supplicating that monarch for assistance against the Huguenots. At such a crisis, nothing is more natural than that the policy of Catherine and her son should have been to pass, with as little notice as possible, over the sad events which then afflicted the house of their great ally; and to afford no countenance to the rumours of foul play which, we know, became immediately general throughout Europe on the decease of the prince, by the preservation of despatches (if any were sent) touching on subjects of such delicacy*.
There can be no doubt-although these letters contain no hint of it—that the detention of the Infante, after his arrest, was conducted with a harshness strongly indicative of suspicion. He was at first given in charge to four noblemen of high rank and responsible character. But the prisoner was soon taken from their hands,
Curiosity has met with the same ill success in Spain as in France, in searching for original documents regarding this catastrophe. * There was at Simancas, in the interior of one of the towers of the castle, a walnut-wood chest, with three locks. It was generally believed to contain the papers relative to the imprisonment and death of Don Carlos: and hence the special care taken of it. When the French armies penetrated into the Peninsula, the Spaniards profited by their arrival to have this chest opened—but they only found in it the acts of the criminal process against Don Rodrigo de Calderon, containing nothing of consequence.' ---Capefigue, • Histoire de la Ligue.'
and entrusted to one in whom, it is reasonable to suppose, the king could place more implicit reliance. This man, Ruy Gomez de Silva, was, above all others, the especial object of hatred to the ill-regulated mind of the prince. He is said to have mentioned him first, and his own father second, among the persons whom he wished out of the world; nor was his aversion entirely unreasonable, if the received story be correct—that this personage had insinuated himself into Carlos's confidence--that the prince had entrusted him with the particulars of a scheme for escaping to Malta during its siege (in 1565), and that Gomez had, by the king's advice, deterred him from prosecuting his project by showing him a forged account of the relief of the place. Must it not have excited some doubts as to Philip's purpose, when it became known, that on the 25th of January, seven days after his arrest, the custody of the prince was taken from the noblemen to whom it had been originally confided, and that he was entirely given into the keeping of this real or imaginary enemy - that Gomez had a suite of chambers allotted to him and his wife, the Princess of Eboli, surrounding the single and comfortless apartment of Carlos, so that the latter might be heard or seen at pleasure without his observation?—(vol. i. p. 152, &c.) Was it ordinary treatment of a lunatic to place him thus in immediate and daily communication with the object of his disordered hatred ?-or, did it not rather resemble the committal of a dangerous prisoner to the most secure of gaolers-one who bad every motive of personal revenge and fear to bind him to his office? And what interpretation must not the council of Catherine and Charles-in whose court so much was perpetrated, and so much more suspected, of diabolical tampering with human lifewhere even masks, gloves, and side-saddles lay under suspicion of poison-have placed on such passages as the following in their ambassador's correspondence :
• Feb. 18.—The prince is ever shut up and guarded in his chamber; he eats little, and unwillingly, and sleeps hardly at all, which in no respect can assist him to amend his understanding. He becomes visibly thinner, and more dried up; and his eyes are sunk in his heail. They give him sometimes strong soups and capon broths, in which amber and other nourishing things are dissolved, that he may not quite part with his strength and fall into decrepitude: these soups are prepared privately in the chamber of Ruy Gomez, through which no one passes into that of the prince. The prince is still never allowed to go out, nor even to look out of the window.'—vol. i. p. 141.
On May 8, Fourquevaulx writes that Don Carlos's understanding deteriorates every day, and his liberation is not to be in any degree reckoned on ;' and in a subsequent passage gives, as a reason for the imprisonment, which Philip would not, he says,
avow in answer to the inquiries of the Emperor Maximilian, the notorious incapacity of the poor_young prince. From this time we hear no more of Carlos in Fourquevaulx's despatches. His death (which happened on the night of the 25th of July) is not made the subject of any report, and only incidentally alluded to. This circumstance would be, in itself, suspicious enough—as if the court of France had, from the motives which we have already explained, suppressed all that could not bear the light. But it must be added, in fairness, that the lacuna thus left by Von Raumer is in some degree supplied by Ranke. He has produced letters both of the Papal nuncio and the Venetian ambassador Cavalli to their respective courts, describing the death of the prince circumstantially, in a manner not at all
differing from the narrative divulgated by Philip and his friends. The evidence of the latter envoy is of importance, not only from the general credit and ùerisimilitude which attaches to these Venetian reports, but also because the relations of Venice and Spain were then by no means cordial, and because Cavalli throughout takes the prince's part, and calls the imprisonment a cruel one. In the letters of the Papal agent, no allusion whatever is made to any suspicions; those of Cavalli are more explicit
*Perché," he says (in a letter dated 30th of September), di varii lochi d'Italia e sta scritto il sospetto che il principe di Spagna sia morto di veneno, non voglio evitar di aggiunger questo, e quasi firmamente, che il detto principe non e morto da altro veneno che dalle gran disordini che faceva e dalla molta inquietudine di suo animo.'
With this strong testimony in favour of Philip conclude the authentic notices which we possess respecting a dark transaction. It is in vain to go farther, and look for evidence in support of the charges against him in his own avowals, and those of his familiars, or in the narratives of contemporary Spanish writers under the censorship of the Inquisition; or to conclude him clear of the accusation because no such evidence can there be found. Yet there is, in the declarations of the monarch himself, an inconsistency which cannot escape notice. The communication which he made, immediately on his son's arrest, to the Archbishop of Rossano, papal nuncio in Spain, must have gone far to strengthen the suspicions of those who condemned him
• The motive which had determined him was, that he had preferred the honour of God, the preservation of the Catholic religion, and the safety of his kingdoms and subjects, to his own flesh and blood; therefore, in obedience to God, he had sacrificed his only son, not being able otherwise to provide for these objects.'
These expressions are cited by Sismondi (Histoire des Français, tom. xix. p. 10) from the Archbishop's letter to Cardinal Alessandrino, in Laderchü Annal. Eccles. Surely they import something more than the version which Philip afterwards gave of his policythat his son was only confined in consequence of mental incapacity. To us they appear to throw some weight into the scale of the old opinion, that the king had at one time entertained the notion of bringing his son to trial, either by the Inquisition or by a secret commission; but that, having abandoned this idea, he adopted a surer and darker mode of immolating the victim to his own safety and that of the state.
But it will, perhaps, be thought that we have delayed too long over a task so ungrateful as that of searching out grounds of suspicion, in order to support a tale wholly unfounded on direct testimony, and which political and religious hatred first rendered current in Europe. There is truth in the remark with which Ranke concludes his examination of St. Real's two absurd romances—bis Conspiracy of Don Carlos, and that of Bedamar.
• Often' (he says) • have opposite opinions, hastily adopted on the moment, conflicted, like the parties which embraced them, for some time together; until the public voice has pronounced itself on the same side with political success. As soon as the Spanish monarchy had sunk into insignificance, it was belied. While Venice flourished and ruled, she was held in honour; as soon as she no longer retained power enough to make a figure in the affairs of Europe, fabulous stories were immediately rife against her, and she was condemned in general opinion at the same time at which she sank in importance. For the sentiments of the multitude depend but too much on the vicissitudes of political fortunes.'
At all events, we cannot think there is any reason for the very authoritative dictum of a writer whose criticisms are in general just and impartial-(the author of the History of Spain in Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopædia)—that such tales' (as that of the supposed murder) are without even the shadow of a foundation in contemporary writers of Spain, or even in common sense. The truth is, That Philip behaved with too much mod tion to a son who was fit only for a receptacle for lunatics.' Of the Spanish historians of that age, it is remarkable that the honest and judicious Herrera passes over the matter altogether in silence, finishing his narrative of these events with the arrest of Don Carlos. Ferreras, the apologist for Philip's worst excesses, scarcely deserves notice. And common sense, we think, is far better evinced in submitting to the existence of a mystery where the most enlightened judges have long pronounced the truth undiscoverable, than in delivering so arbitrary à sentence against the inclination of general opinion. Sir J. Mackintosh, in his History of England, after stating the case with bis usual philosophy and candour, displays an evident inclination