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May 23. Digby's instructions.



IN May 1621, after a ruinous delay of months, Digby at last prepared to leave England. The instructions which he carried with him were drawn up in a manly and self-reliant strain, which stood in marked contrast with the hopeful self-confidence stamped on every line of those which had been prepared two years before for the guidance of Doncaster. If internal evidence be worth anything, it leads to the conclusion that the paper had been drawn up under the eye of the ambassador himself.

Digby was first to demand of the Emperor the complete restitution of all that Frederick had possessed before he thought "But," James went on of meddling with Bohemia.

The restitution of Frederick's lands and dignities demanded.

to say, "for that it is not likely that fortune, having so much favoured the Emperor's party this last year in Bohemia, and that he, being actually in possession of a great part of the Palatinate, will be drawn to restore it simply for our respect and friendship, but likewise that he may be assured of the respect, amity, and due observance of our son-in-law for the future,—we would have you, forasmuch as concerneth us, to let him know our great propension and desire of entertaining all friendship and amity with the House of Austria, and more particularly by uniting ourselves strictly by a match which we hope will take effect between the Prince our son and the Infanta of Spain; and, forasmuch as concerneth our son-in-law, we will undertake on his behalf that, upon the Emperor's revoking or disannulling of

Terms offered.




the ban imperial against him, and the restoring of him in such sort as it is above desired, he shall do all things that can justly be required by the Emperor, and may stand with the honour of a prince of his quality and birth. And for that it will be necessary to fall from these generals unto particulars, we will engage ourselves that he shall decline and depart from all pretensions to the Crown of Bohemia and the annexed provinces both for himself and his son, and shall make unto the Emperor all fitting and due recognition and acknowledgment, so that he be not pressed to any such deprecation as shall be dishonourable or unworthy of his blood and rank."

If they are rejected, Digby is to go to Spain.

If Ferdinand accepted these terms it would be well. "But," James proceeded to say, "in case you shall find the Emperor resolved not to condescend to these our demands in any real point either of our son's honour or inheritance, you shall then let him know that, as we should have been glad that he would have laid hold of this occasion of obliging us, so, by the contrary, he embarketh himself in a business which must make an immortal and irreconcilable quarrel both betwixt us and our posterities, which we shall be heartily sorry for ; but, in a case which toucheth us so nearly both in honour and blood, and wherein we have not omitted to essay all courses of friendship and amity, if they may not prevail, we must betake ourselves to all other lawful means which God shall give us for the righting of ourselves and our children. And then you shall use all possible speed for the transferring of yourself into Spain, where you shall insist upon the same, propositions unto that King, urging the hopeful promises given by the King his father and his ministers to our ambassador and agent there, both by word and writing. And, in case you shall find them desirous to evade by transferring the authority and power in this business unto the Emperor, you shall then let that King know that the inheritances of our children have been invaded, and remain yet possessed by his army and under his pay, and no way but titularly belonging unto the Emperor; and therefore you shall in our name earnestly move him that he presently withdraw his army out of the Palatinate, and leave the Emperor to himself, which, if he

shall refuse to do, you shall then make it known that we shall be little satisfied with that pretended evasion of having our children dispossessed of their inheritance by his army under the commission of the Emperor, but must desire to be excused if we address ourselves directly for reparation to the hand that really and immediately hurt us. Our meaning briefly and plainly is, that in case herein satisfaction shall be denied us, you endeavour to fix the quarrel as well upon the King of Spain as upon the Emperor. But this we would have you do rather solidly than by any words of threatening or menace, and rather to give us a just and good ground, when we shall see occasion, to enter into a war than suddenly to embark us in it."

Finally, the ambassador was directed, if he found the King of Spain unwilling to listen to reason, "without any further treating of the match or anything else, fairly to take his leave." Such terms as those which Digby was thus authorised to propose are equally distasteful to zealots, who think that a Protestant nation ought at all times and under all James's intervention in circumstances to cast its sword into the scale on

Germany. behalf of a Protestant population, and to theorists


who hold that interference in the affairs of foreigners is at no time either lawful or desirable. Yet they will commend themselves to those who think that it is the duty of a great nation to incur some risk in order to avert great evils, and who believe that such intervention can only be attended with success when it comes to give weight to a strong national feeling which is smothered under the overwhelming brute force of a foreign conqueror, or of a domestic faction in league with the armies of a foreign sovereign. Such was the intervention of William of Orange in England in 1688, and of Napoleon III. in Italy in 1859. Such, as far as words went, was the intervention undertaken by James in Germany in 1621.1 Unfortunately it went no further than words. Backed by a

It needed the support

of an army.

compact and disciplined army well enough paid to enable it to dispense with the necessity of plunder, Digby might have laid down the law in the Empire. As it was, he had to soothe as he could, by the mere persuasive1 Digby's Instructions, May 23, S. P. Germany.




ness of his voice, two armies ready to fly at each other's throats. On the one side was Maximilian, impatient to add the Upper Palatinate to his hereditary dominions; on the other side was Mansfeld, whose disorganised forces combined the least possible power of resistance with the greatest possible amount of provocation.

June. Mansfeld and Jägerndorf.

Even whilst Digby was on his way to Vienna, the danger of an immediate collision was increasing, Mansfeld, now at the head of 20,000 men, had seized and fortified Rosshaupt, a strong post within the Bohemian frontier. The Margrave of Jägerndorf, a kindred spirit, was at the head of 7,000 men in Silesia, and was threatening, after levying contributions from the territories of the Catholics, to cross the mountains and to join forces with Mansfeld before the gates of Prague. In Hungary, Bethlen Gabor was making head against Bucquoi. On every side the wild terrors of the storm which had been quelled for a moment threatened to burst forth with redoubled violence.1

The seizure of Rosshaupt filled, in Maximilian's eyes, the cup of Mansfeld's offences to the brim. It might now be seen, he wrote to the Emperor, what was the real value of Anger of the Duke of the adventurer's protestations that he was only standBavaria. ing on the defensive. Ferdinand replied by authorising him to put his troops in motion, whilst messengers were hastily despatched to Brussels and Madrid to ask for Spinola's co-operation on the Rhine.2

July. Mansfeld's treatment of the neigh

Mansfeld, at least, was determined to show his disregard of all diplomatic attempts to bring about a peace. He turned, sharply upon the Bishop of Bamberg and Würzburg, who was guilty of the offence of having sent his troops into Bohemia in common with other members of the League, and threatened to devastate



1 See especially, for Mansfeld's proceedings, the letters printed by Uetterodt, Ernst Graf zu Mansfeld, 328-353.

2 Menzel, Neuere Gesch. der Deutschen, vii. 531. Zuñiga's Consulta on Oñate's despatches, Aug. (?), Simancas MSS. 2506. The Duke of Bavaria to Ferdinand II. June Ferdinand II. to the Archduke, June 25 Brussels MSS.

July 5'



his territories with fire and sword.1 A sudden attack was also made upon the Landgrave of Leuchtenberg, who had admitted a Bavarian garrison into his dominions. The Landgrave himself was dragged away as a prisoner to Mansfeld's camp.2

July 4. Digby's arrival at Vienna.

Such was the crisis at which affairs had arrived when Digby entered Vienna. If any man living was capable of pouring oil upon the troubled waters it was he. For he possessed, to a very great degree, the power of penetrating the thoughts and intentions of others, and, in a still higher degree, the power of instant decision in the midst of conflicting perils.

Four months earlier Digby's presence would have been invaluable. He could now hardly flatter himself that success was otherwise than very dubious. Ferdinand had been confirmed, by recent events, in his belief that it was hopeless to expect peace from Frederick, even if Frederick had the power to control the army which had been created in his name, and he had turned a deaf ear to the entreaties of the ambassadors from Denmark and the late Union, though they had asked to negotiate on the basis of Frederick's abdication. It was no wonder if he was incredulous; for Frederick's secret papers, which had fallen into the hands of the victors after his defeat at Prague, had recently been published, and his intrigues with Mansfeld and Savoy for the partition of the territories of the House of Austria had thus been laid open to the world.3

Digby saw that he had no time to lose. His only chance was, that, as he could speak with the authority of the King of England, his engagements on behalf of his master's Digby's pro- son-in-law might be accepted, though the promises of others had been rejected with disdain. On the very day after his arrival, therefore, he asked the Emperor for

July 5.


1 Mansfeld to the Chapters of Bamberg and Würzburg, July S. P. Germany.


2 The Duke of Bavaria to Ferdinand II., July S. P. Germany.


* The publication of the Anhaltische Canzlei, as it was called, is mentioned in Digby's letter of June 19. Compare, on this subject, Wotton to Calvert, July 8, S. P. Venice.

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