Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/401

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


wandering from village to village with the weird procession that bore her husband's corpse, stubbornly refused to sign papers of State. Most of the Flemish party fled; then Burgos and Jaen, held for a time in Maximilian's interest, submitted, and "calm fell upon Castile"; for the majority welcomed the prospect of speedy repression of the disorder which had broken out during Ferdinand's absence. After a meeting with Juana, who refused to lend herself to his schemes by marrying Henry of England, he gave out that she had resigned the government to him, and thus remained undisputed master of the kingdom. Ferdinand showed no wish to avenge himself upon those who had driven him with ignominy from the kingdom, but bore himself ruthlessly towards those who now questioned his authority. Don Juan Manuel had fled. The Duke of Nagera refused to deliver up his fortresses; but, when an army was sent against him, he submitted, and his lands and titles were given to his eldest son. At Cdrdova the Marquis of Priego revolted. Ferdinand called out all Andalucia to crush him. He threw himself on the King's mercy, but was condemned to death. The interest of the Great Captain, his kinsman, availed only to obtain a commutation of his sentence to confiscation, fine and banishment.

Although the suspicions against him were probably groundless, the Great Captain felt the weight of Ferdinand's jealousy. They had returned from Italy together, and Ferdinand had shown him all deference and had promised him the Grand Mastership of Santiago. But the promise was never fulfilled; he was treated with marked coolness, and withdrew to his estates near Loja, where he ended his days in haughty and magnificent retirement. Once only-after the battle of Ravenna (1512), when it was believed that he alone could save Spain's possessions in Italy, he received a commission to enlist troops. Thousands had already joined his banner, when the danger passed away, and Ferdinand, alarmed and jealous, withdrew his commission.

The Barbary pirates not only rendered the sea unsafe, but acting in concert with the Moriscos, made frequent descents upon the Spanish coast, spreading terror and devastation far inland. In 1505, at the instigation of Ximenes, Mers-el-Kebir, one of their strongholds, had been captured. The disturbed condition of Spain made it impossible immediately to follow up this success, but Ximenes had not lost sight of his policy of African conquest. A war against the Infidel always stirred the crusading spirit of the Spaniards, and Ferdinand saw in it a way of turning public attention from late events. In 1508 a small expedition under Pedro Navarro captured Penon de la Gomera. In the following year a larger one was prepared. Ximenes lent money out of the vast revenues of his see, and himself accompanied the army of 14,000 men to Oran (May, 1509). The city was captured, and many Christian captives were set free; but the glory of the victory was stained by a brutal massacre of unarmed inhabitants. Within a month Ximenes was back in