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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

He once said to Count Olivarez that


And in Spain also, after the fall of Lerma, which was brought on by this affair, the old aspirations after the supremacy of the world had again obtained the upper hand.

It is true that at the moment a feeling prevailed in favour of maintaining peace on the very advantageous footing which had then been obtained. Cardinal Zapata, Don Pedro of Toledo, and above all Count Gondomar, who had at that time been made a member of the Council, declared before that body that Spain ought to have no higher political aim than to secure her union with England. These were men of experience in European affairs, who recollected the evils which had sprung from the policy of Philip II. But there were others who were again seized with the old ambition, so interwoven with Catholicism, and who would not separate themselves from the interests of the Emperor at any price--men like the Marquis de Aytona, Don Augustin Mexia. And Count Olivarez, under the influence of the Imperial ambassador, now espoused the same opinion, a man who, as favourite of the King and chief minister, filled the same position in Spain that Buckingham did in England. At the decisive meeting of the Council, he stated that the King of Spain would not venture to separate from the Emperor, even if he had been mortally affronted by him: if he could stand in friendly relations with the Emperor and the King of England at the same time, well and good; but if not, he must break with the King of England without any regard to the marriage: this step was demanded of him for the preservation of Christendom, of the Catholic religion, and of his family. He added that a marriage between the young Count Palatine and a daughter of the Emperor was only to be thought of, if the former became a Catholic: that the complete restoration of the father was by no means advisable; and that he ought to be dealt with as the Duke of Saxony had been dealt with by Charles V.[427] Olivarez carried the Council with him in favour of this policy. The strictly Catholic point of view, which had been asserted by the German line of the house of Austria, was again adopted as the rule of policy in Spain.

This was a resolution that decided the destinies of Spain. That power again renounced the policy of compromise which it had observed for a quarter of a century. The young King Philip IV and his ambitious favourite revived the designs of Philip II, or, as the former once expressed it, of Charles V: to the restoration of Catholic ascendancy in Germany they sacrificed the friendship of King James, which was of inestimable advantage to the monarchy, inasmuch as it kept the coasts of Spain free from all danger of attack from the English forces.[428] Olivarez was too violent, too young, and too ill-informed to have any clear conception of the influence of these relations.

But as in great transactions every step has consequences, it is clear that the Spanish predilections of King James, and the policy founded on them, were thus brought to an end. For maintaining these it was necessary not only that they should be advantageous to the Catholics in England, but that they should be equally serviceable to the Protestant interests in Germany, which in the present instance were his own: otherwise he would never have found rest again in his own country, or his own family, or perhaps even in his own breast. He had asked for the reinstatement of his son-in-law in the electorship as well as in the possession of his hereditary dominions, or at least for the hearty assistance of Spain in effecting this object.[429] And the Prince of Wales shared these views. He once said to Count Olivarez that, without the restoration of the Elector Palatine, the marriage was impossible, and the friendship of England could not be expected. The Spaniards did not think fit to impart to him the resolution which had been taken in the Council of State; but still this implied a new direction given to the course of affairs which could be followed although it was not talked of. The Spaniards contented themselves with dwelling on the necessity of sending the youthful Count Palatine to Vienna for education: as to his father, who was under the ban, they held out indeed a prospect of the restoration of his dominions but not of his electoral dignity. The Prince declared that it was not to be imagined that his brother-in-law would be content with that and would agree to it.[430] And how was even as much as this to be obtained from the court of Vienna? It was now certain that in the affair of the Palatinate Spain would not interfere with decision. But besides this, the resolutions which had been taken in the Spanish Council of State must lead to much wider consequences.


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