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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

It is hardly necessary to state further how Buckingham

The miscarriage of the negotiations has been ascribed to the misunderstanding between Olivarez and Buckingham; and it is no wonder that such a misunderstanding arose, for the latter was conceited and irritable, the former imperious and assuming. But these causes are only of a secondary character; the root of the failure lies in the political, or in the combination of the religious with the political relations of the two countries. While in England Protestantism was moving in a direction opposed to the intentions of King James, and could hardly be held down, it was met by the Catholic interest in Spain and Germany, which was fully conscious of its position. Now these were the powerful elements which divided the whole world: the strife between them could not be adjusted by political considerations.

It is hardly necessary to state further how Buckingham, who regarded the somewhat unmeaning delays of the Spaniards as affronts, and who would have had reason to fear for his authority in England in the event of his prolonged absence, now urged the return of the Prince. Charles concurred with him: King James, who moreover was impatient, as he said, to see the two men whom he most loved about him again, commanded it; and the Spanish court could not object.

Yet no estrangement arose in consequence, nor was the proposal for the marriage withdrawn. The Infanta was treated as Princess of Wales; and Philip IV in a letter once styled the Prince of Wales his brother-in-law. The Papal dispensation, for which they had long been kept waiting, at last arrived; and the marriage ceremony might have been performed any day. The other negotiations also still kept advancing. King James then once more demanded an express declaration with regard to the affair of the Palatinate. He wished to know what Spain thought of doing if the Emperor refused to accede to the agreement that was to be made between the two powers. The answer of the Spaniards was evasive: how could it have been otherwise? But the English would not advance further without better security. The Prince sent to request the ambassador not to use the full powers, which he already had in his hands, until he received fresh orders.[431] King James declared that the marriage could not be solemnised till the Spanish court consented to take upon itself obligations with regard to the Palatinate.


[417] Letter to Gondomar, as it appears, from Buckingham himself, Cabala 236. 'You promised that the King should be pressed to nothing that should not be agreeable to his conscience, to his honour, and the love of his people.'

[418] So writes Richard Weston to Buckingham: 'The prince elector hath conformed himself to what was demanded, that the count Mansfelt and Duke of Brunswik, the pretended obstacles of the treatie, are now with all their forces removed.' Sept. 3, 1622. Cabala 201. How difficult this was for him we see from a letter of Nethersole to Carlisle, Oct. 18, 1622. 'The slowness of resolution of this side may move H. Mai. [the King of Bohemia] to precipitate his before the time, which will be then to lose the fruits of two long years patience.'

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