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CHAP. arisen against these articles, had they been made known to the public; since we find it to have been imputed as an enormous crime to the prince, that having received, about this time, a very civil letter from the pope, he was induced to return a very civil answer'.
Meanwhile Gregory XV., who granted the dispensation, died, and Urban VIII. was chosen in his place. Upon this event, the nuncio refused to deliver the dispensation, till it should be renewed by Urban; and that crafty pontiff delayed sending a new dispensation, in hopes that, during the prince's residence in Spain, some expedient might be fallen upon to effect his conversion. The King of England, as well as the prince, became impatient. On the first hint, Charles obtained permission to return, and Philip graced his departure with all the circumstances of elaborate civility and respect which had attended his reception. He even erected a pillar on the spot where they took leave of each other, as a monument of mutual friendship; and the prince, having sworn to the observance of all the articles, entered on his journey, and embarked on board the English fleet at St. Andero.
The character of Charles, composed of decency, reserve, modesty, sobriety, virtues so agreeable to the manners of the Spaniards; the unparalleled confidence which he had reposed in their nation; the romantic gallantry which he had practised towards their princess; all these circumstances, joined to his youth and advantageous figure, had endeared him to the whole court of Madrid, and had impressed the most favourable ideas of him ". But, in the same proportion that the prince was beloved and esteemed, was Buckingham despised and hated. His behaviour, composed of English familiarity and French vivacity, his sallies of passion, his indecent freedoms with the prince, his dissolute pleasures, his arrogant, impetuous temper, which he neither could nor cared to disguise; qualities like these could, most of them, be esteemed nowhere, but to the Spaniards were the objects of peculiar aversion". They could not conceal their surprise, that such a youth could intrude into a negotiation now conducted to a period by so accomplished a
t Rushworth, vol. i. p. 82. Franklyn, p. 77.
u Franklyn, p. 80. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 103.
w Ibid. vol. i. p. 101.
minister as Bristol, and could assume to himself all the merit of it; they lamented the infanta's fate, who must be approached by a man whose temerity seemed to respect no laws, divine or human; and when they observed, that he had the imprudence to insult the Condé Duke of Olivarez, their prime minister, every one, who was ambitious of paying court to the Spanish, became desirous of showing a contempt for the English favourite.
The Duke of Buckingham told Olivarez, that his own attachment to the Spanish nation and to the King of Spain was extreme, that he would contribute to every measure which could cement the friendship between England and them, and that his peculiar ambition would be to facilitate the prince's marriage with the infanta; but he added, with a sincerity equally insolent and indiscreet, With regard to you, sir, in particular, you must not consider me as your friend, but must ever expect from me all possible enmity and opposition. The Condé Duke replied, with a becoming dignity, that he very willingly accepted of what was proffered him: and on these terms the favourites parted.
Buckingham, sensible how odious he was become to the Spaniards, and dreading the influence which that nation would naturally acquire after the arrival of the infanta, resolved to employ all his credit in order to prevent the marriage. By what arguments he could engage the prince to offer such an insult to the Spanish nation, from whom he had met with such generous treatment; by what colours he could disguise the ingratitude and imprudence of such a measure; these are totally unknown to us. We may only conjecture, that the many unavoidable causes of delay, which had so long prevented the arrival of the dispensation, had afforded to Buckingham a pretence for throwing on the Spaniards the imputation of insincerity in the whole treaty. It also appears, that his impetuous and domineering character had acquired, what it ever after maintained, a total ascendant over the gentle and modest temper of Charles; and when the prince left Madrid, he was firmly deter
x Clarendon, vol. i. p. 36.
y Rushworth, vol. i. p. 103. Clarendon, vol. i. p. 37.
CHAP. mined, notwithstanding all his professions, to break off XLIX. the treaty with Spain.
It is not likely that Buckingham prevailed so easily with James to abandon a project which, during so many years, had been the object of all his wishes, and which he had now unexpectedly conducted to a happy period. A rupture with Spain, the loss of two millions, were prospects little agreeable to this pacific and indigent monarch; but finding his only son bent against a match which had always been opposed by his people and his Parliament, he yielded to difficulties which he had not courage or strength of mind sufficient to overcome. The prince, therefore, and Buckingham, on their arrival at London, assumed entirely the direction of the negotiation, and it was their business to seek for pretences, by which they could give a colour to their intended breach of treaty.
Though the restitution of the Palatinate had ever been considered by James as a natural or necessary consequence of the Spanish alliance, he had always forbidden his ministers to insist on it as a preliminary article to the conclusion of the marriage treaty. He considered, that this principality was now in the hands of the emperor and the Duke of Bavaria; and that it was no longer in the King of Spain's power, by a single stroke of his pen, to restore it to its ancient master. The strict alliance of Spain with these princes would engage Philip, he thought, to soften so disagreeable a demand by every art of negotiation; and many articles must of necessity be adjusted, before such an important point could be effected. It was sufficient, in James's opinion, if the sincerity of the Spanish court could, for the present, be ascertained; and dreading farther delays of the marriage so long wished for, he was resolved to trust the Palatine's full restoration to the event of future counsels and deliberations".
This whole system of negotiation Buckinghain now reversed, and he overturned every supposition upon which the treaty had hitherto been conducted. After many fruitless artifices were employed to delay or prevent the espousals, Bristol received positive orders not to deliver a Parl. Hist. vol. vi. p. 57.
z Hacket's Life of Williams.
the proxy, which had been left in his hands, or to finish CHAP. the marriage, till security were given for the full restitu- XLIX. tion of the Palatinate". Philip understood this language. He had been acquainted with the disgust received by Buckingham; and deeming him a man capable of sacrificing to his own ungovernable passions the greatest interests of his master and of his country, he had expected that the unbounded credit of that favourite would be employed to embroil the two nations. Determined, how- Marriage ever, to throw the blame of the rupture entirely on the treaty English, he delivered into Bristol's hand a written promise, by which he bound himself to procure the restoration of the Palatinate, either by persuasion, or by every other possible means; and when he found that this concession gave no satisfaction, he ordered the infanta to lay aside the title of Princess of Wales, which she bore after the arrival of the dispensation from Rome, and to drop the study of the English language; and thinking that such rash counsels, as now governed the court of England, would not stop at the breach of the marriage treaty, he ordered preparations for war immediately to be made throughout all his dominions".
Thus James, having, by means inexplicable from the ordinary rules of politics, conducted so near an honourable period the marriage of his son and the restoration of his son-in-law, failed at last of his purpose by means equally unaccountable.
But though the expedients already used by Buckingham were sufficiently inglorious both for himself and for the nation, it was necessary for him, ere he could fully effect his purpose, to employ artifices still more dishonourable.
The king, having broken with Spain, was obliged to 1624. concert new measures; and, without the assistance of Parliament, no effectual step of any kind could be taken. The benevolence which, during the interval, had been rigorously exacted for recovering the Palatinate, though levied for so popular an end, had procured to the king less money than ill-will from his subjects. Whatever
b Rushworth, vol. i. p. 105. Kennet, p. 776.
Franklyn, p. 80. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 112. d Rushworth, vol. i. p. 114. e To show by what violent measures benevolences were usually raised, Johnstone tells us, in his Rerum Britannicarum Historia, that Barnes, a citizen of London,
CHAP. discouragements, therefore, he might receive from his ill agreement with former Parliaments, there was a necesA Parlia sity of summoning once more this assembly: and it might be hoped, that the Spanish alliance, which gave such umbrage, being abandoned, the Commons would now be better satisfied with the king's administration. In his 29th Feb. speech to the Houses, James dropped some hints of his cause of complaint against Spain; and he graciously condescended to ask the advice of Parliament, which he had ever before rejected, with regard to the conduct of so important an affair as his son's marriage'. Buckingham delivered, to a committee of Lords and Commons, a long narrative, which he pretended to be true and complete, of every step taken in the negotiations with Philip: but partly by the suppression of some facts, partly by the false colouring laid on others, this narrative was calculated entirely to mislead the Parliament, and to throw on the court of Spain the reproach of artifice and insincerity. He said that, after many years' negotiation, the king found not himself any nearer his purpose; and that Bristol had never brought the treaty beyond general professions and declarations: that the prince, doubting the good intentions of Spain, resolved at last to take a journey to Madrid, and put the matter to the utmost trial: that he there found such artificial dealings as made him conclude all the steps taken towards the marriage to be false and deceitful: that the restitution of the Palatinate, which had ever been regarded by the king as an essential preliminary, was not seriously intended by Spain; and that, after enduring much bad usage, the prince was obliged to return to England, without any hopes, either of obtaining the infanta, or of restoring the Elector Palatine".
This narrative, which, considering the importance of the occasion, and the solemnity of that assembly to which it was delivered, deserves great blame, was yet vouched
was the first who refused to contribute any thing; upon which the treasurer sent him word, that he must immediately prepare himself to carry, by post, a despatch into Ireland. The citizen was glad to make his peace by paying a hundred pounds, and no one durst afterwards refuse the benevolence required. See farther, Coke, p. 80.
8 Franklyn, p. 89, 90, 91, &c.
f Franklyn, p. 79. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 115. Kennet, p. 778.