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prince, whose ruling passion had been uniformly the love of power, at the age of fifty-six, when objects of ambition operate with full force on the mind, and are pursued with the greatest ardour, to take a resolution so singular and unexpected.
The emperor, in pursuance of his determination, having as sembled the states of the Low Countries at Brussels, seated himself, for tħe last time, in the chair of state ; on one side of which was placed his son, and on the other, his sister the queen of Hungary, regent of the Netherlands, with a splendid retinue of the grandees of Spain and princes of the empire standing behind him. The president of the council of Flanders, by his command, explained, in a few words, his intention in calling this extraordinary meeting of the states. He then read the instrument of resignation, by which Charles surrendered to his son Philip all his territories, jurisdiction, and authority in the Low Countries ; absolving his subjects there from their oath of allegiance to him, which he required them to transfer to Philip his lawful heir; and to serve him with the same loyalty and zeal that they had manifested, during so long a course of years, in support of his government.
Charles then rose from his seat, leaning on the shoulder of the prince of Orange, because he was unable to stand without support, he addressed himself to the audience; and, froni a paper which he held in his hand, in order to assist his memory, he recounted, with dignity, but without ostentation, all the great things which he had undertaken and performed, since The cominencement of his administration. He observed, that from the seventeenth year of his age, he had dedicated all his thoughts and attention to public objects, reserving no portion of his time for the indulgence of his ease, and very little for the enjoyment of private pleasure ; that either in a pacific or hostile
manner, he had visited Germany nine times, Spain six times, France four times, Italy seven times, the Low Countries ten times, England twice, Africa as often, and had made eleven vovages by sea ; that while his health permitted him to discharge his duty, and the vigour of his constitution was equal, in any degree, to the arduous office of governing dominions so extensive, he had never shunned labour, nor repined under fa · tigue ; that now, when his health was broken, and his vigour exhausted by the rage of an incurable distemper, his growing infirmities admonished him to retire ; nor was he so fond of reigning, as to retain the sceptre in an impotent hand, which was no longer able to protect his subjects, or to render them bappy; that instead of a sovereign worn out with diseases, and
scarcely balfalive, he gave them one in the prime of life, accustomed already to govern, and who added to the vigour of youth all the attention and sagacity of maturer years ; that it, during the course of a long administration, he had committed any material error in government, or if, under the pressure of 80 many and great affairs, and amidst the attention which he had been obliged to give to them, he had either neglected or injured any of his subjects, he now implored their forgive. ness; that, for his part, he should ever retain a grateful sense of their fidelity and attachment, and would carry the remembrance of it along with him to the place of his retreat, as his sweetest consolation, as well as the best reward for all his services ; and in his last prayers to Almighty God, would pour forth his ardent wishes for their welfare.
Then turning towards Philip, who fell on his knees and kissed his father's hand, “ If," says he,“ I had left you, by my death, this rich inheritance, to which I have made such large additions, some regard would have been justly due to my memory on that account; but now, when I voluntarily resign to you what I might have still retained, I may well expect the warmest expressions of thanks on your part. With these however, I dispense ; and shall consider your concern for the welfare of your subjects, and your love of them, as the best and most acceptable testimony of your gratitude to me. It is in your power, by a wise and virtuous administration, to justify the extraordinary proof which I give this day of my ternal affection, and to demonstrate that you are worthy of the contidence which I repose
Preserve an inviolable regard for religon ; maintain the Catholic faith in its purity ; let tlie laws of your country be sacred in your eyes; encroach not on the rights and privileges of your people ; and if the time shall ever come, when you shall wish to en joy the tranquillity of private life, may you have a son endowed with such qualities that you can resign yo'rsceptre to hinn, with as much satisfaction as I give up mine to you.
As soon as Charles had finished this long address to his subjects, and to their new sovereign, he sunk into the chair, exhausted and ready to faint with the fatigue of so extraordinary an effort. During his discourse, the whole audience melted into tears; some from admiration of his magnanimity ; others softened by the expressions of tenderness towards his son, and of love to his people ; and all were affected with the deepest sorrow, at losing a sovereign, who had distinguished the Netherlands, his native country, with particular musks of hig regard and attachmeul.
The same subject continued. A few weeks after the resignation of the Netherlands, Charles, in an assembly no less splendid, and with aceremonial equally pompous, resigned to his son the crowns of Spain, with all the territories depending on them, both in the old and in the new world. Of all these vast possessions, he reservea
nothing for himself, but an annual pension of a hundred thou. 2 sand crowns, to defray the charges of his family, and to afford him a small sum for acts of beniticence and charity.
Nothing now remained to detain him from that retreat for which he languished. Every thing having been prepared some time for his voyage, he setout for Zuitburgh in Zealand,
where the fleet had orders to rendezvous. In his way thither, i he passed through Ghent: and after stopping there a few days,
to indulge that tender and pleasing melancholy, which arises
in the mind of every man in the decline of life, on visiting the 0 place of his nativity, and viewing the scenes and objects fa
miliar to him in his early youth, he pursued his journey, ac
companied by his son Philip, his daughter the arch-duchess, it his sisters the dowager queens of France and Hungary, Maxi
milian, his son-in-law, and a numerous retinue of the Flemish nobility. Before he went on board, he dismissed them, with
marks of his attention or regard; and taking leave of Philip I with all the tenderness of a father who embraced his son for
the last time, he set sail under convoy of a large fleet of "Spanish, Flemish, and English ships.
His voyage was prosperous and agreeable; and he arrived ji at Laredo in Biscay, on the eleventh day after he left Zealand.
As soon as he landed, he fell prostrate on the ground ; and se considering himself now as dead to the worlu, he kissed the ob earth, and said, “ Naked came I out of my mother's womb, * and naked I now return to thee, thou common motherof man* kind.” From Laredo he proceeded to Valladolid. There he
took a last and tender leave of his two sisters; whom he would got permit to accompany him to his solitude, though they entreated it with tears: not only that they might have the con
solation of contributing, by their attendance and care, to mitiļ gate or to sooth his sufferings, but that they might reap in.
struction and benefit, by joining with him in those pious exercises, to which he had consecrated the remainder of his days
From Valladolid, he continued his journey to Plazencia in Estremadura. He had passed through that city a great many
years before ; and having been struck at that time with the delightful situation of the monastery of St. Justus, belonging to the order of St. Jerome, not many miles distant from that place, he had then observed to some of his attendants, that this was a spot to which Dioclesian might have retireå vith plea. sure. The impression had remained so strong on his mind, that he pitched upon it as the place of his retreat. It was seated in a vale of no great extent, watered by a small brook, and surrounded by rising grounds, covered with lofty trees. From the nature of the soil, as well as the temperature of the climate, it was esteemed the most healthful and delicious situation in Spain. Some months before his resignation, be had sent an architect thither, to add a new apartment to the monastery, for his accommodation; but he gave strict orders that the style of the building should be such as suited his present station, rather than his former dignity. It consisted only of six rooms, four of them in the form of friars' cells, with naked walls; the other two, each twenty feet square, were hung with brown cloth, and furnished in the most simple manner. They were all on a level with the ground; with a door on one side into a garden, of which Charles himself had given the plan and had filled it with various plants, which he proposed to cultivate with his own hands. On the other side, they communicated with the chapel of the monastery, in which he was to perform his devotions. Into this humble retreat, hardly sufficient for the comfortable accommodation of a private gentleman, did Charles enter, with twelve domestics only. He buried there, in solitude and silence, his grandeur, his.ambition, together with all those vast projects, which, during half a century, had alarmed and agitated Europe ; filling every kingdom in it, by turns, with the terror of his arms,
and the dread of being subjected to his power.
In this retirement, Charles formed such a plan of life for himself, as would have suited the condition of a private person of a moderate fortune. His table was neat but plain; his domestics few; his intercourse with them familiar; all the cumbersome and ceremonious forms of attendance on his person were entirely abolished, as destructive of that social ease and tranquillity, which he courted, in order to sooth the remainder of his days. As the mildness of the climate, together with his deliverance from the burdens and cares of government procured him, at first, aconsiderable remission from the acute pains with which he had been long tormented, he enjoyed, perhaps, more complete satisfaction in this hunible solitude
than all his grandeur had ever yielded him. The ambi .tious thoughts and projects which had so long engrossed and disquieted him, were quite effaced from his mind. Far from taking any part in the political transactions of the princes of Europe, he restrained his curiosity even from any inquiry concerning ther; and he seemed to view the busy scene which he had abandoned, with all the contempt and indfference arising from his thorough experience of its vanity as well as from the pleasing rejection of having disentangled himself from its cares. DR. ROBERTSON,