SPAIN UNDER PHILIP III.
By MARTIN HUME, R.S.A.
Philip III.'s last injunctions to his heir . 526
Accession and marriage of Philip III . 527
Extravagances of Court and country. Poverty of Spain. Spanish policy towards England. 528
The attempts of 1596, 1597, and 1598 . 529
Fresh rebellion in Ireland . 530
Failure of the expedition of 1599 . 531
The Spaniards in Ireland, 1601-2 . 532
The "English enterprise" abandoned . 534
The struggle between Spinola and Maurice of Nassau . 535
Peace between England and Spain and the "Archdukes," 1604. 536
Exhaustion of Spain. Valladolid the capital . 537
Spain continues the war with the United Provinces . 538
The Twelve Years' Truce, 1609 . 540
The Mediterranean corsairs conquered . 541
Expulsion of the Moriscos, 1609-10. . 542
Social decadence of Spain . 544
Literary brilliancy and activity of this period . 545
Cervantes and Don Quixote . 546
Rogue tales. Spain's literary and scientific influence . 547
SPAIN UNDER PHILIP III.
PHILIP'S last earthly care had been to enjoin his son to keep by his side his faithful friend and minister Cristobal de Moura. Young Philip had contracted a close intimacy with a brilliant young noble named Sandoval, Marquis of Dénia; and the father had warned the Prince against allowing his favourite to influence him when he became King. In order, if possible, to guard against this, while not altogether offending his son, Philip in his last days appointed Dénia to a high ceremonial post at Court, and at the same time bestowed upon the Prince's tutor, Father Loaysa, the archbishopric of Toledo, vacated by Archduke Albert ; to Moura he gave the Lord Chamberlainship ; and to Don Juan de Idiaquez the Mastership of the Horse under the new Queen Margaret, when she should arrive-urging his son to retain these three tried ministers as his political counsellors, and to limit Dénia to his ceremonial functions. When the Prince had, as he thought, left his dying father for the last time, the King handed to Moura the keys of his secret cabinets, adding an injunction that they should be on no account delivered to anyone before his death. " And if the Prince demands them," asked the minister, "what am I to do?" "In that case," replied the King, "tell him the orders I have given you." "But if he still persists?"asked Moura. " Then give them to him," were the last words of the King. As no doubt Moura knew, the Prince was awaiting him outside. " The master-key, who has it ? " he demanded. " I, your Highness." " Give it to me ! " " But your Highness, pardon me ; it is the private key of the King, and without his leave I dare not give it to you." " Enough," the Prince exclaimed, angrily, and flung away. Moura at once entered the sick-room and told the dying King what had passed. " You have done ill," was all Philip had strength to say ; and when the Prince was summoned to the bedside, Moura dropped on his knee and tendered him the keys. Without a word the Prince handed them to the Marquis of Dénia, who followed him closely. Thus, before the Crown was his, Philip III struck the dominant note of his reign, that of complete abandonment to his favourite ; and his first act as King was to supplant
The sudden change in the demeanour of Philip III astounded even those who had known him all his life. He had always displayed a humility and submissiveness of manner which had led to the belief that he was the gentlest of creatures. He now suddenly assumed a haughty and arbitrary tone that was really as misleading as his previous meekness. Dénia, who alone possessed his confidence, had schooled him to assert himself in his new position ; and he did so with the exaggeration of a weak novice, supported as he was by the greater strength of his favourite, who artfully used the monarch's despotic mood to get rid of all the old courtiers, and pack the Councils and secretariats with his own kinsmen and nominees. Everything was to be changed ; the timid, laborious policy of Philip II, to which the new men attributed the misery and degradation that had fallen upon the country, was to be replaced by a bold assertion of Spain's undiminished greatness ; and the rivals who had dared to question it were to be taught a sharp lesson.
But the treasury was empty, and nothing could be done without vast sums of money. Before Philip III could even start on his way to the east coast to meet his Austrian bride, who, escorted by her cousin Archduke Albert, was travelling with dazzling pomp through Italy, where, at Ferrara, the two marriages had been celebrated by proxy on November 13, 1598, starving Spain had to provide the travelling expenses of the King. The Cortes, which had not met for five years, were summoned anew, and heard from the King a worse tale of penury than ever. Not even money for the daily maintenance of the royal table was in hand ; and not an asset was unpledged or available. A vote to cover six years, at the rate of three million ducats a year (£366,000) was demanded, with an extraordinary grant of 400,000 ducats for the King's journey, a similar sum for the new Queen's pin-money, and 300,000 ducats for the wedding feast. The sums were voted, for the country itself was a prey to reaction. The ghastly austerity of the old King's Court during many years, the forced sanctimonious tone of society, the national depression, and the hopeless misery of all classes but the ecclesiastics and higher nobles, had now given place to sanguine exuberance. The new King, young and gay, would bring plenty to all ; Spain, no longer scorned and defied by insolent rivals, was once more to be the head of Christendom ; and the brilliance of the Court would in future reflect the prosperity of the people.
With these vain ideas the Court, and then the country at large, flung themselves into a frenzy of waste and extravagance. The King's journey to Valencia to meet his bride was a series of pompous shows, in which one million ducats, more than thrice the sum voted by the Cortes for the wedding, were spent, besides three millions lavished by the
The prices of commodities continued to rise with the decrease of production ; yet specie currency was extremely scarce-an anomalous condition of things which may be explained by the fact that, although there still existed in the colonies a demand, partly satisfied, for Spanish manufactures, the remittances from America did not to any large extent become a medium of internal exchange, but were mostly hoarded or diverted abroad. Lerma was as unsound an economist as the other statesmen of his age, and attributed the scarcity of currency to the lavish use of silver in the churches and for household purposes, with the result that in 1600 and 1601 rigorous edicts were issued confiscating such silver to the King's use, and strictly limiting the future employment of the precious metals for ornament. The bishops and clergy soon frightened the minister out of his project, so far as the church silver was concerned ; and to maintain the royal table, officers were sent as a last resource from door to door in the capital, to beg any sum not below fifty reals (<£"!) for the sustenance of the King and his family.
In this unhappy state of things, with waste and penury going hand in hand, the fields untilled, the looms idle, and Castile a wilderness, a foreign policy of bold aggression was adopted on every side. Throughout the latter years of Philip II the futile plotting of the Scottish and English Catholics to obtain the aid of Spain for their respective causes had continued; the English Jesuits, led by Father Parsons, still persisted in their idea that the only satisfactory solution of their trouble would be the establishment of the Infanta as Queen of England when Elizabeth should die, and they were ceaseless in their intrigues to that end. After the disaster of 1588, Philip II had never really allowed himself to be deceived as to the practical impossibility of this being done by outside force ; and although he gave soft, evasive answers to the urgent prayers of his English pensioners, he saw that his only chance of success in future lay in providing at the crucial moment support to any rising of Elizabeth's own Catholic subjects sufficient to turn the
The disaffection in Ulster and the dangerous coalition of Irish Catholics formed by O'Donnell and Tyrone had seemed to Philip II to offer the best opportunity for effectually embarrassing Elizabeth. The Desmonds and Munster men in Lisbon, and priestly emissaries from Donegal, constantly coming and returning to Corunna, had persuaded Philip that with Spanish aid they might drive the English out of Ireland and make him King, as a preliminary to the capture of England ; and already Spanish officers had met the Irish chiefs in Donegal, and had well surveyed the land. It was against the consequent naval preparations, neither so large nor so threatening as had been reported, yet still formidable enough, that the attack upon Cadiz had been directed. Great, however, as the loss at Cadiz had been, it was not there, but in Lisbon and the northern ports that the Adelantado of Castile, Martin de Padilla, was busy organising his new Armada, the real destination of which was unknown to anyone but Philip himself and Moura ; and the bold Cadiz raid convinced the moribund King that the blow against the English in Ireland must be dealt swiftly, strongly, and secretly to be successful. But, as usual, the blighting centralisation of his system had spoilt all. Corruption, ineptitude, and indolence reigned supreme; and again, as in the case of the great Armada, the King peremptorily ordered his unwilling officers to sail with his unready fleet., foredoomed to failure.
On October 23, 1596, the new Armada of 98 ships and 16,000 men sailed from Corunna only to be scattered by tempest off Finisterre. Twenty vessels with 3000 souls on board perished in the storm ; thousands more died of pestilence in the ports of refuge in northern Spain ; and for that year, at least, England and Ireland were safe from attack. Again, in 1597, an attempt was made with exactly similar result. All unready, foul and unseaworthy, with rotten stores and fainting crews, the third Armada, consisting of 44 royal galleons, 16 chartered ships and a large number of hulks and small craft, put to sea too late in the season for safety (October 18)-not bound this time for Ireland at first, but, with instructions drawn up in defiance of all prudence, to capture Falmouth by surprise or treachery. A mere head-wind in the Channel took the heart out of admiral and men for so hopeless an enterprise; and the fleet ran back ignominiously to Spain, without even making an attempt. Early in 1598 England was again thrown into a paroxysm of alarm at the news of the coming of a great Spanish fleet. In fact, a strong Spanish force of 38 transports had sailed up the Channel unmolested, and had landed 5000 men at Calais (February, 1598), though half of the
As the old King lay dying Ireland blazed out into rebellion again ; and on Bagenal's defeat at Armagh the rebels sent hopeful messages and prayers for aid flying across to Spain. With the death of Philip II the hopes of the irreconcilable English Catholics revived. Fanatics such as Fuentes and the Adelantado assured the new sovereign that it would be easy to impose a Spanish monarch upon England. Philip listened ; and once more the arsenals of Spain resounded with naval preparations. By the end of July, 1599, the Adelantado, Don Martin de Padilla, had mustered in Lisbon and Galicia the most formidable Spanish fleet collected since the great Armada. The new squadron consisted of 35 galleons, 2£ galleys, and over 50 other vessels, with a military force of 25,000 men. There was for the moment a revival in Spain of the proud old crusading spirit, thanks to the youth of the King, the lavish splendour of his Court, and the heroics of Lerma. This futile boasting incensed England, and animated Ireland; but the danger was not really great; for the demoralisation, the corruption, and the penury that still paralysed Spain have only in our own days been fully brought to light. The Adelantado might brag and threaten in Lisbon or Ferrol ; Fuentes in the Council might sneer at the heretics, but the ships in port were ill-found and crazy ; troops were starving in one place, while food was spoiling in another. No ready money was to be found anywhere, except for costly shows. Plague and famine devastated the land, and Lisbon itself was a wilderness, most of the population having died or fled.
But the English did not know how bad things were in Spain, and were seized by a panic when they learned that the Dutch fleet, which had undertaken to watch the Spanish ports, had gone off on a marauding expedition into the Atlantic. The London trained bands were called out; a camp was ordered at Tilbury; nobles mustered their armed
After three months of vain vapouring the Adelantado's great fleet, badly provided, ill-armed, and poorly manned, could only start on a fruitless attempt to escort home the American silver ships and defend the Canaries from the attacks of the Dutch. By the time the wretched Spanish squadron reached the Azores (September 30, 1599), 22 out of the 85 ships had foundered at sea. The Adelantado had failed to meet the Indian flotilla and had failed to find the Dutch; and the four millions of gold ducats, wrung out of miserable Spain, were worse than wasted. As for help to the Irish Catholics, only two small pinnaces were sent to Loch Foyle with arms and money, over the division of which Tyrone and O'Donnell quarrelled; and nothing was seen of the oft-promised Spanish army. But Philip and Lerma would not learn wisdom from defeat. Though unable to send such aid as Tyrone demanded, they still kept up the hopes of the insurgents with fine messages, gold chains, swords of honour, Spanish bishops for Irish sees, and pompous embassies to the rebel chieftains meeting in council at Donegal.
Finally, in answer to the prayers of the Irish, and the offer of Tyrone to accept a Spanish sovereignty over the island, young Philip himself scrawled across the report of his Council, in which he was told that not even the 20,000 ducats ordered to be sent long ago to the Irish had yet been obtained, an order which gives us the measure of his failure to grasp the real position to which Spain had descended. His Council had stated that the very utmost that could be done at present was to obtain the 20,000 ducats somehow, and send it to Ireland with a supply of biscuit. Philip's peremptory command was that a powerful army and fleet should be raised immediately, and be despatched to conquer Ireland. The Council praised to the skies so noble and wise an order, but pointed out that it could not be executed without money, and of money they had none. The King again sent back the Council's report, saying that means must at once be found to raise the necessary funds. His Majesty's resolve, replied the Council, was worthy of his " grandeur and catholicity"; but a vast sum of money would be needed for such a fleet as that re quired, as well as six months' pay for an army; and there were only six weeks of the season (1600) left in which the expedition could sail, even if the money could be obtained. They would do their best, and muster every possible ship and man ; but they were not sanguine of success. Philip's comment upon this in his own hand was as follows : "As the expedition is so entirely for the glory of Almighty God, all difficulties must be overcome. The greatest energy and diligence must be exercised
This was in August, 1600; but such was the prevailing demoralisation that in November not even half the biscuit was ready, much less the fleet. Tyrone's demands continued to grow. Spain must appoint him Governor-General of Ireland, Hugh O'Donnell and Desmond (James Fitzgerald)' respectively Governors of Connaught and Munster ; and a great force of Spaniards must be landed to cooperate with the rebels. This, said Tyrone, was their last stand: unless aid came promptly they would make terms with the English in earnest, and abandon the struggle. The Cortes of Castile were persuaded to vote a larger sum than ever before-24 millions of ducats in six years-and at length the Spanish fleet of 33 ships and 4500 soldiers sailed from Lisbon to support Tyrone and CTDonnell early in September, 1601. Brochero, the Admiral, was on bad terms with Don Juan del Aguila, the General ; jealousy and divided counsels as usual hampered the efficiency of the force. A northern gale struck the fleet off Ushant, and drove back to Spain the Vice-Admiral, Zubiaur, and nine ships with 650 soldiers and most of the stores. The design was to seize Cork as a base ; and Carew stood ready to defend the port to the last. But the Spaniards, unable to make the harbour, drifted into the almost untenable port of Kinsale, except three ships that sought refuge at Baltimore. Aguila in Kinsale had only 3000 soldiers ; and as soon as he had landed, the Admiral, in a hurry to get back to Spain, dumped the cannons and stores on to the ooze of the harbour, and left him to his fate.
The position of the Spaniards was hopeless from the first ; for Carew with a force of 4000 men was within reach. In vain beseeching messages were sent by Aguila to Spain praying for help, and to the rebel chiefs in the north to hurry down and relieve the Spanish garrison. Zubiaur's squadron at Corunna was not ready for sea again until December, when it sailed to reinforce Aguila. Four of its ten ships were wrecked before reaching Ireland; and those that were left, frightened at learning on reaching the neighbourhood of Kinsale that an English squadron was blockading the harbour, drifted into the port of Castlehaven. Here were three separate Spanish forces bottled up in as many isolated harbours. The Munster chiefs, generally, were trying their best to keep on fair terms with the English, whilst helping the Spaniards : but Castlehaven and Baltimore, belonging to the O'Driscolls, and Dunboy, the stronghold of the O'Sullivan Bear, were solemnly ceded by their lords to the King of Spain. Everything depended upon the arrival of the rebels from the
The news fell upon Spanish pride like death. "The prestige of Spain," wrote the Council to the King, "is at stake." "Something must be done, or we shall never hold up our heads again." Wild, impossible suggestions of great fleets and armies were made. O'Donnell, O'Driscoll, O'Sullivan, and the Irish bishops, prayed earnestly for help. But the poverty of Spain forbade further rash adventure ; and all that could be sent were a few small ships, only one of which reached Ireland, to find that the Spaniards had ignominiously surrendered, and abandoned the Munster chieftains to the tender mercies of the English. O'Donnell died in despair at Simancas ; O'Sullivan became a Castilian noble ; and the hope of Irish independence under a Spanish overlord was at an end.
This tame ending to young Philip's heroics had an immense effect in Spain ; but it was not entirely displeasing to the English Catholic pensioners. They had long been urging that the Infanta should be openly adopted as Philip's candidate for the English throne on Elizabeth's death, and that the Catholic party in England should be liberally subsidised and prepared beforehand for a Spanish armed intervention in favour of that solution. Father Parsons in Rome, and his successor, Creswell, at Philip's Court, were indefatigable in their efforts. But the English enterprise, as it was called, meant more money even than that required for aiding Irish rebellion ; and three years passed at Madrid in futile discussion. Some leading personages in England had now been gained for the Infanta's cause, which, at all events, would shut out the King of Scots ; and the union of the sovereignty of Flanders with that of England, independent of Spain, would not have been entirely antagonistic to traditional English policy.
But, though the extreme English Catholics kept asking for the Infanta as their Queen, the new ruler of Flanders and her husband had no desire to be drawn into such an impossible adventure as the seizure of England. They were in the thick of their struggle with Maurice of Nassau; they were middle-aged and childless; they knew Spain's poverty, slowness, and disorganisation, and looked coldly upon the visionary Jesuit plans of conquest that were discussed so seriously and ineffectually in Philip's Council. At length one councillor more
Immediately after the Peace of Vervins had been signed (1598) between France and Spain, Archduke Albert had written from Flanders to Philip II, pressing for permission to make peace with England. Friendly messages had for some time previously been passing between Cecil and the Archduke, whose evident intention was to secure an understanding with Elizabeth's government so soon as the Infanta and himself were acknowledged as independent sovereigns. He could only hope for a peaceful and prosperous reign for his wife and himself by shaking off the strangling toils of impossible Spanish ambitions. Yet owing to the constantly renewed cries of the Essex party in England about Spanish designs, the foolish bombast of Philip III and Lerma, the aid furnished by Spain to the Irish rebels, and the intolerance of the Infanta, a true daughter of Philip II, the peace between England and Spain and the Archdukes was not signed until after Elizabeth's death (August, 1604).
In the late autumn of 1599, when the Archdukes came to their new dominion, an attempt was made by Albert to escape from the devastating war which had united against him all the Protestant elements in Europe; and negotiations were opened with Nassau and Elizabeth for peace, Spain itself being represented. But the demands of Philip III were more inflated than ever; and the conferences at Bergen-op-Zoom and Boulogne broke up fruitlessly in May, 1600. The new sovereigns began their reign auspiciously during the progress of these negotiations. The Belgic Catholics were overjoyed at the possession of complete independence, such as had been their boast under their Burgundian lords ; and both the Infanta and her husband were personally popular. The
During the Archduke's absence in Spain his place in Flanders had been filled by his young cousin, the Archduke Andrew; and the war had still lingered on in Cleves. When the sovereigns arrived and a new campaign with Spanish help was threatened, now that the peace negotiations had fallen through, Maurice of Nassau with a great force carried the war into Flanders itself. It is related elsewhere in this volume how he was unable to pursue his victory over the Archduke at Nieuport (June, 1600) ; and how the interest of the campaigns of the ensuing years centred in the efforts of the latter to recover Ostend, and in the great military struggle between Maurice of Nassau and Ambrogio de Spinola. The latter had arrived in 1602 with an army of some 8000 Italians, which he had raised on the guarantee of Spain; and throughout the campaign of 1602 his genius and the efficiency of his troops kept the Catholic cause from defeat. The elder brother, Federigo Spinola, who had also on the Spanish guarantee taken to Flanders a fleet of eight galleys to blockade Ostend by sea, was less fortunate than Ambrogio, and lost five of his vessels by the attacks of the Dutch and English before he arrived at Sluis. Thus, ruined as Spain was, Philip and Lerma listened still to the promptings of old ambitions, and consented to wring from the people the resources needed for the hopeless task of forcing Catholicism upon Holland. Under the vigorous action of Ambrogio de Spinola a new mercenary force, mainly of Germans, was raised with Spanish credit and money; and in the spring of 1603, after Federigo Spinola had been defeated and killed at sea by the Dutch, his brother Ambrogio, who had succeeded to his marquisate, formally took command of the siege of Ostend. During the winters and summers of 1603 and 1604 the siege was continued without a break. In April, 1604, Maurice of Nassau determined to attempt a vigorous diversion by besieging Sluis with an army of 17,000 men, after defeating a Spanish force sent to intercept him. Once again the hold of Spain upon Catholic Flanders seemed relaxing. The Infanta and her husband worked heroically, personally exhorting and beseeching their mutinous unpaid levies to trust them yet awhile; and summoning Spinola from Ostend to beat Maurice at Sluis. But in this he failed ; for Sluis was captured by the Protestants in August, 1604, leaving Ostend still in the firm encircling grip of Spinola and the besiegers.
But already the great change that was coming over Europe by the
The States General were not easy to deal with, when, throughout the spring of 1604, the details of the agreement were discussed in England by representatives of all the parties concerned. It was soon seen that the Dutch would bate no jot of their claim to independence; and public opinion in England, still distrustful of Spain, was strongly in favour of standing firm by the Protestant cause. But the Constable of Castile (de Velasco, Duke of Frias), who was sent to London with a splendid train of grandees, to conclude the peace, bribed broadcast the Howard interest and the ladies and gentlemen of the Court, whilst impressing the King by alternate flattery and veiled threats. To the indignation of those who had been bred in the school of Elizabeth, and in spite of French opposition, the pact was signed in August, 1604 ; and the Constable left Somerset House, where he for many weeks had been entertained by James at a cost of £300 a day, fully satisfied that, with so pliant a King as James upon the throne of England, Spain might yet hope for resurrection. Some of the clauses to which James consented were a complete surrender of the policy of Elizabeth and her ministers. No aid was to be given to the
Dutch ; no English ship was to trade with the Indies ; the Inquisition was to be allowed to seize and condemn Englishmen who failed to kneel to the Sacrament in Spanish territory ; and a firm alliance and friendship was to exist for ever between England and Spain.
The signature of the treaty changed the position in Flanders. Thenceforward the Dutch stood alone. Maurice of Nassau had captured Sluis almost simultaneously with the settlement of peace ; and immediately afterwards the heroic defenders of Ostend came to terms with Spinola-a dearly bought victory that cost the Archdukes at least forty thousand men. In Spain, as in England, the peace was welcomed ostentatiously, but not without dissent. The English sailors who had grown rich on privateering plunder, the large Puritan party, and the men who recollected the great days of the Armada, looked with frowning brows upon the abandonment of their fixed traditions; while in Spain the great churchmen declaimed almost violently against the shame of making terms with heretics. But, however much extreme partisans on both sides might object, the peace with England opened, to Spain at least, a vista of possible prosperity such as she had not enjoyed for forty-five years. Lerma's insane lavishness had inflicted upon the unhappy country the last extreme of misery and degradation ; his financial experiments had made matters worse. The sudden doubling of the face-value of the copper coinage, with the idea of making its purchasing power greater, of course failed in that object, while it practically drove silver coin from circulation, and caused the introduction from abroad of vast quantities of forged copper currency, causing a still increased appreciation of the price of commodities. In 1600 Lerma conceived the opinion that the terrible condition of Old Castile, the depopulation, the famine and the dearth that scourged the land, would be remedied if the Court was removed thither with its luxury and expenditure. By decree (January, 1601), therefore, the capital of Spain was transferred from Madrid to Valladolid. In vain the Cortes protested that the cause of the trouble was over-taxation and the discouragement of industry ; in vain all classes in Madrid appealed against so unwise a step. Valladolid became (until 1606) the capital ; and the misery was increased enormously by the greater demand for food and commodities and the appreciation of rents in the poorest part of Spain; while Madrid was utterly ruined and deserted. In vain the household silver was seized and church plate begged, to be turned into coin ; it disappeared so soon as it was put into circulation.
While this general wretchedness prevailed-with industry dead, the fields untilled, the husbandmen turned into beggars and vagrants throughout the Castiles-the Cortes continued to vote larger subsidies than ever, which it was quite impossible to raise. It is true that the relief afforded by the improved international relations now enabled the silver ships from America to arrive with some regularity; but for
No sooner had peace relieved Spain of some of her most pressing troubles and provided an opportunity for retrenchment of expenditure, than Spinola hurried to Valladolid to beg for means to carry on a renewed vigorous campaign against the Dutch Protestants. The capitulation of Ostend on the one hand had been balanced by the loss of Sluis on the other; and, if Philip and Lerma had been wise or even patriotic, they might have seen that the opportunity was a golden one for a general peace and reconciliation. After forty years of struggle, it was evident to all the world that Holland could not be forced to submit to the religious tyranny of Spain. The Archduke had no desire to prolong indefinitely a hopeless struggle; and though the Infanta was willing to fight to the end for a principle, she would have been powerless to do so without the great material aid of Spain, which as a nation had nothing whatever to gain from victory over the Dutch, even if it had been within her reach.
But the vain hope that the Protestants, now that they were deprived of English aid, might yet be subjugated, still inspired the inflated claims of Philip ; and when Spinola, the victor of Ostend, arrived with his flattering tale, all thought of the misery of Spain was cast aside, and subventions of money and contingents of men, larger than before, were again thrown into the bottomless gulf of the Flemish War. The Spanish contingent was captured at sea by the Dutch; but, just as Maurice of Nassau was threatening Antwerp itself, the Italian and German troops paid by Spain fortunately arrived in Flanders by land ; and Spinola was able to carry the war into his enemies' country on the other side of the Rhine (1605). In the winter, again flushed with such successes as he had obtained, Spinola returned to Spain for further help. This time he was less fortunate. The Indian flotilla had not come into port, and it was feared had been lost ; not half of the taxes voted by the Cortes for the year had been collected, or could be ;
The next campaign (1606), although it was still carried on in the Dutch territory, and added to Spinola's military prestige, was less vigorous and effective than the previous one. Whatever visions may have still dazzled young Philip in far-away Spain, it was now clear to the genius of Spinola, on the spot, that, unless Spanish arms, men, and money were provided very lavishly, the United Provinces could not be crushed by force of arms. His two visits to Spain had opened his eyes to the exhaustion of that country ; and he saw that continued and sufficient resources could not be found there. The soldiery, without regular food and pay, were an element of disorder and weakness, not of strength. So he accepted the position, and sided with the Archduke and the Catholic Flemings in their desire to end a fratricidal war which could produce no good result to anyone. To propose peace was a difficult matter ; for the " rebels," as they still were called, had again and again rejected compromise, and would accept nothing short of complete independence, which Spanish pride could not openly acknowledge. After some fruitless wrangling, however, a preliminary truce of eight months from May, 1607, was accepted, to which, for the first time, the Archdukes appended a private declaration that they entered into the arrangement with the United Provinces as with sovereign States, over which they claimed no authority.
Before the truce was ratified by Spain another heavy blow fell upon Philip. A Dutch squadron off Gibraltar attacked the Spanish fleet and almost annihilated it, and then sailed to the Azores to intercept the American silver flotilla. To surrender so great a source of revenue as the plunder of the Spanish treasure-ships was not at all to the taste of Maurice ; and he stood out against the very natural demand of Spain that the suspension of hostilities should be operative on sea as well as on land. This difficulty was at length overcome; but it was found that the protocol was signed by Philip in the haughty ancient form of Spanish monarchs : " I the King." " Philip is no King of ours," said the Dutch Commissioners ; and for a time it looked as if the war would be reopened upon so small a point as this. James of England intervened, as did the German Protestant Princes, in the interests of a permanent peace ; but both sides were obstinate. Nothing less than the recognition of their independence would satisfy the United Provinces; nothing less than the acceptance of their supremacy would content the Spaniards. At length Philip offered to waive his claim if the Dutch would refrain from trading with the Indies ; but to this Maurice would not agree, and the peace negotiations came to a deadlock. France and
It was a political event of the first importance ; for it marked the abandonment of the principle by which Charles V and his son had hoped to dominate the world : namely, the forcible religious unification of Christendom on Spanish lines. Once more, the waning dream seemed temporarily revived a few years later by another Philip and another favourite ; but its realisation was hopeless from the moment when sheer exhaustion compelled Philip III to renounce the struggle, and sign the Twelve Years' Truce with the United Provinces on equal terms. When the war was renewed under Philip IV and Olivares, it was no longer with the hope of forcing the Spanish form of Catholicism upon Europe ; it was no longer animated by the burning zeal and supreme confidence in the sacredness of Spain's mission that had lent the factitious strength of a crusade to the struggle in its earlier stages ; it was but the despairing effort of an utterly decayed and disillusioned nation to postpone the evil day when its secular enemy, France, should dwarf and crush it.
Terrible as had been the drain upon Spanish resources caused by the long wars against France, England, and the United Provinces, and in later years by the prodigality of Lerma, there had been another class of claims for expenditure which could not be neglected. The peace signed with Henry IV at Vervins in 1598 had not included Henry's ally the Turks ; and with them and their fellow-unbelievers, the Barbary corsairs, the conflict had never ceased. The battle of Lepanto had, it is true, to a great extent broken the power of the Sultan in the western Mediterranean, and the task of holding in check the Muslim empire east of Sicily had been left to the Venetians and the Knights of Malta. The Papacy had tried almost unceasingly to draw Spain into the league with the Italian
States to pursue the Turk into his own seas; but, for reasons already set forth, it was not until the recklessness of Lerma swayed the Spanish policy, and Philip III, without resources, dreamed of rivalling his grandfather's achievements, that overburdened Castile was called upon to contribute to a new Holy League against the infidel. In 1601 a powerful galley fleet of 70 vessels and 10,000 men was raised by Spain and the Italian States, except Venice, to surprise and capture Algiers. There was no Don John now to infuse enthusiasm into the expedition ; there was only his evil genius, the incompetent Gian Andréa Doiïa, nephew of the great Andrea ; and he, in accordance with his invariable ineptitude, returned with his fleet to Messina without striking a blow. Two more attempts, one in alliance with Persia, were made in the following years, with little better result. The Barbary corsairs, insolent before, now became boldly aggressive ; and the coasts of Spain in the Mediterranean were harried by the Muslim from end to end. By 1608 these pirates had become intolerable, and English seamen like the famous Captain Ward, and many others, raised and commanded in their service regular fleets of broadside ships and galleys, which defied the Christian Powers and mocked at Spain's supremacy. But with the signature of the truce with Holland a change in Philip's tactics in the Mediterranean became possible. The day of the galley was nearly over ; sailing ships could now be spared from the Atlantic ; and for the first time in history a great Spanish sailing fleet entered the Straits to punish the pirates. It was to join a squadron of freighted ships under Sir Anthony Shirley; but the Spanish Admiral Fajardo missed them, and fell in with a French privateer fleet, which joined him. Together they made a dash upon Tunis, utterly destroying a fleet of over thirty sail there that had been organised by Ward, Verney, Bishop, and Kara-Osman, thus breaking for many years to come the pirate power in the Mediterranean. Spain rang once more with joyful hope. Trade was possible again, for the pirates were conquered, Drake was dead, the King of England was the servile friend of Philip, and the Dutch were at peace with Spain.
But though Spain had now no foreign foes, the attacks of the corsairs upon the Valencian coast had shown that in Spain itself there was a whole people who would be enemies if they dared. During the peace negotiations all Europe had watched with distrust the preparation of a great fleet of galleys in the Spanish ports. No one could guess the object of such a mobilisation; but after the corsairs were destroyed at La Goleta (Tunis), distrust gave way to astonishment, and the extraordinary design of Lerma was revealed to the world. The kingdom of Valencia was largely peopled by Spaniards of unquestionably pure Moorish descent and sympathies ; and for years accusations, true or false, had been made against them of friendship with the Muslim corsairs, to the detriment of Christian Spain. Lerma himself was a magnate of Valencian Christian descent, and, like all his class, bitterly hated his Morisco countrymen,
But there were in Valencia 30,000 families, mostly large, of known Moorish blood ; indeed it was, and still is, difficult to find a Valencian free from the admixture; and to depopulate a kingdom was no easy matter. When total expulsion became the cry, the Valencian landlords, fearful of losing their best tenants and husbandmen, protested; and some of the saner churchmen who were content to oppress, shrank from deporting the population which had turned Valencia into a garden. At the instance of the Pope a commission of ecclesiastics and officials met, ostensibly to devise means for the effective conversion of the Moriscos. But the latter, in fear and anger at the threats used towards them, became defiant ; and rumours ran that the whole Moorish race in Spain would stand together to resist persecution. Whether this were true or false, it turned the wavering balance against them ; and like a thunderclap, there fell, on September 22, 1609, the dreadful edict which made clear to all men the real object of the great mobilisation of galleys in Spanish Mediterranean ports, that had puzzled Europe for months. With the exception of six of the "oldest and most Christian" Moriscos in each
Nor was this all : fear and bigotry drove Lerma to greater lengths ; and not Valencia alone, but Aragon, Murcia, Andalusia, Castile, and Estremadura, also were swept clear of those who were regarded as " new Christians." In Castile and Estremadura, especially, the races had become so closely amalgamated that it was almost impossible to distinguish in most cases the old Christians from the new ; and in these kingdoms the greatest hardship and wrong accompanied the expulsion, which was frequently made an instrument of private vengeance and cupidity. It is difficult to reconcile the many estimates that were made as to the number of Moriscos expelled ; but at a moderate computation it cannot well have been less than half a million souls ; to which should be added the great number who fled previous to the issue of the edicts, and those who fell victims to the Inquisition and to murderous attack. With these people, the best and most thrifty workers in the country, there went what was left of Spanish skilled industry. In horticulture, goldworking, silk-weaving, embroidering, damascening, and fictile manufactures, they had been supreme ; and their productions had been in demand throughout Christian Europe and the East. For more than a century they had been loaded with disabilities, their industries impeded and clogged, in some cases almost destroyed, by mistaken fiscal edicts and sumptuary pragmatics. The reasons that have already been set forth had made work of any sort despised by most of their countrymen ; yet, in the face of all these obstacles and drawbacks, the Moriscos had persevered, and had kept their beautiful crafts from complete extinction, contributing by them to the wealth and revenue of the country, in spite of the purblind governors, who thought that the way to make the country rich was to keep the people poor.
The expulsion was one of the most popular acts of Philip's reign, a subject for the admiring boast of his eulogists to the day of his death, and in his own eyes his chief claim upon the gratitude of posterity. Such a feeling, which was general throughout Spain, is not easy fully to understand in our own more tolerant and enlightened times. It must not be forgotten, however, that Spain's most splendid days were
The decadence that had set in as the inevitable consequence of the policy inherited and accentuated by Philip II, very far from being arrested by the lavish recklessness of Philip III and Lerma, had been immensely accelerated by it, and by 1610 had attacked every element in Spain. The next twelve years of peace brought, it is true, greater security and tranquillity than had been enjoyed for many years, and some apparent revival of general prosperity was noticeable ; while the political importance of the country had been renewed after the murder of Henry IV (May, 1610), by reason of the Spanish leanings of Mary den Medici, and the anxiety of James I of England to outbid her for the friendship of Philip. This phase of Spanish history must be left for a future chapter, and it is mentioned here to emphasise the fact that this temporary revival, during the rest of Philip Ill's reign-he died in 1621-really aggravated the social dry-rot that had fallen upon Spaniards of every class. The craze for ostentation reached from the highest to the lowest : the frequently repeated edicts for the suppression of extravagance were evaded with impunity after the first few weeks ; and where the King and Lerma set the fashion for unexampled magnificence of attire and adornment, it was difficult to prevent imitation becoming general, in various degrees. Idleness and corruption filled the towns to the detriment of the country; and every noble and churchman was followed by hosts of threadbare dependents and hangers-on, looking for easy preferment or plunder. The abundant Spanish fiction of the time presents an appalling picture
These types, presented to us with a fidelity and vividness peculiar to the genius of the time and country, when mordant satire and luxuriant verbiage ran riot, had all one spirit in common. From the King down to the self-maimed wretch in the gutter, they all scorned work, and sought to live in idleness upon the wealth of others. The State was regarded in some mysterious way as being the fount of riches, from which each citizen hoped to draw, while contributing nothing to it by his own labour. How such a general feeling would affect the life of a country is obvious. Idleness was honourable, work a disgraceful necessity to be avoided whenever possible ; and corruption was so widespread that denunciation of the greater peculators by the less successful caused Lerma more than once to throw some of his too greedy officers to the lions, in order to escape unpopularity himself. One such, the powerful Pedro Franquesa, the Secretary of the Council of Finance, was made to disgorge nearly a million and a half of ducats, of which he had defrauded the revenue ; and even Lerma finally saved himself from a similar disgrace at the hands of his own envious son, Uceda, by becoming an ecclesiastic and a Cardinal, and retiring to pious obscurity.
But this period of complete social decadence coincided, as similar periods had in the previous history of Spain, with a development of literary brilliancy and activity so extraordinary as to have stamped an enduring impress upon European letters. At a time when manual work was at a discount, and the Inquisition discouraged science and speculation, the only outlet for the florid fancy, the mocking malice, and the vehement verbosity, which are characteristic of the Iberian nature, was social satire based upon the observation of current life : and the period now under review, the golden era of Spanish literature, produced the great masterpieces of imagination, description, verbal felicity, and satire, which have become Spain's principal contribution to the intellectual wealth of the world. The earlier influence of Spain upon European thought had been mainly didactic. The science and culture of Greece and the Orient had been preserved through Hebrew and Arabic texts by the scholars of Cordoba and Toledo ; and had, previous to the revival of Greek learning
Great as these services were, they sink into insignificance before the intellectual debt incurred by Europe to Spain from 1540 to 1640. The revival in Spain, and to some extent thence communicated to the rest of the world, of the Celtic tales of chivalry, at a time ,when the realities of modern life had weakened their influence elsewhere, was rather in the nature of a manifestation of national character and ideals than an outcome of the true literary genius of the Spanish people. The central idea which lent to the nation the temporary greatness it enjoyed was individual exaltation by sacrifice. The spirit which had led thousands of Christians in Moorish Spain to insist obstinately upon martyrdom, in spite of opposition ; the feeling which provided for every barren hill-side an ascetic hermit, and for every convent a bleeding cataleptic nun ; which animated alike the ghastly pencil of Ribera, the bitter mortifications of Philip II, and the reckless bravery of the American Conquistadores, centred in the special distinction of each individual by self-sacrifice in the face of the Lord. The ruling idea of the romances of chivalry was merely a literary embodiment of the same spirit. The purely altruistic self-sacrifice of the hero for an idea; the seeking of wrongs to remedy, and of the oppressed to liberate, had for its ultimate object the exaltation of the hero in the estimation of a Higher Power ; and the avidity with which the whole nation cast itself upon the stories, foolish and unnatural as they obviously were, was caused by the fact that they represented, for the first time in literary form, the spirit to which Spain owed its passing potency as a nation. For reasons which have already been set forth at length, the spirit itself had decayed rapidly towards the end of the sixteenth century. The old faith had waned in the face of repeated disaster. The craze for self-indulgence and ostentatious idleness had, by the time of Philip III, taken the place of a desire for suffering as a distinction. The chivalric ideal, when the influence of the Italian Renaissance was making the rest of Europe almost pagan in its love of beauty and ease, had long kept Spain stern and sacrificial- partly, it is true, as a protest against the sensuous Moorish civilisation, which the Christians had fought so long. But by 1610 a mocking scepticism had ousted the simple faith, and selfishness had supplanted abnegation. Lip-service to the old ideal alone remained.
When, therefore, Cervantes, the man who of all Spaniards most completely personified, with boundless wit, the passing spirit of his countrymen, wove into an interesting story, overflowing with satirical pictures of daily life, a pitiless- exposure of the dead ideal, and, stripping it of its glamour,
The chivalric tales had produced, however, another offspring besides the satire that killed them. The mawkish, unreal stories of the self-sacrificing hero had by the middle of the sixteenth century inspired by reaction a tale which centred round an anti-hero, as selfish as Amadis was altruistic. Lazarillo was but another form of protest against a false ideal of life. The other rogue tales which followed on the same lines were purposely cast in squalid scenes, as a reaction against the ineffable surroundings of the princes and princesses of chivalry. The hero was not a wandering noble helping others, but a cunning rogue helping himself at the expense of others. The rogue tales, Lazarillo de Tormes, Guzman de Alfarache, Marcos de Obregon, Pàblo de Segovia, and their imitators, appealed to Europe as amusing stories of peripatetic adventure, and inspired the modern novel of movement through Fielding, Smollett, and Dickens ; but, like Quixote, they meant much more to Spain than to the rest of the world ; for they voiced the reaction and disillusionment that had fallen upon the people after the false standards of nearly a century.
The vast literary activity of Spain during the late sixteenth and first half of the seventeenth century, especially in the drama, did not exercise its greatest influence upon Europe until after the date when this chapter closes (1610), although the plots invented by the inexhaustible Spanish dramatists were liberally appropriated by English playwrights at about this period. The swaggering Spanish man-at-arms, who had overrun Europe, had also been accepted by Shakespeare and the Elizabethan dramatists as the type of his countrymen ; though he had usually been employed as an object of derision, which was natural enough in view of contemporary international jealousies. But when Anne of Austria was wedded to Louis XIII, and Philip IV married a French bride (1612), Spain became the fashion. Anne of Austria throughout her life kept a Spanish Court ; and for forty years Spanish actors and authors flocked into France. Spanish dress, demeanour, and manners were the rage. Scores of Spanish words were adopted into French. The games, dances, the favourite dishes, even the terms of endearment, of Spaniards
In addition to the popular peripatetic rogue tales, and the drama of romantic intrigue, with which Spain endowed Europe at this period, Spanish literary influence was seen in other directions during the latter half of the sixteenth century. English maritime ambition under Elizabeth promoted the search for information as to foreign countries and the science of navigation, and a large number of Spanish books describing exploration of the western Continent, and others teaching the science of seamanship, were translated into French and English, especially the latter, and became extremely popular. The extent to which English knowledge of distant countries was indebted to Spanish originals may be seen from Hakluyt's three Introductions to his volumes. The fame of the Spanish military commanders, again, led to the adoption of Spanish tactics and army organisation in other countries, and many military treatises in Spanish were translated and used as text-books in England. Literary form in England was to some extent influenced at this period by Spanish tradition, the sententious apothegm or didactic proverb, then a fashionable vehicle, being to a great extent Spanish in its revived form ; while the preciosity made popular in England by Lyly in his Euphues, was beyond question largely inspired by the philosophical and sententious writings of Antonio de Guevara, which were much read and admired in England in the last half of the sixteenth century.