Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/405

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Charles in Flanders. The matter was ordered to stand over until his arrival. Four years later, the municipalities had reason to regret their lack of military organisation.

Thinking to profit by the unsettled state of Spain Jean d'Albret invaded Navarre and laid siege to St Jean Pied-de-Port. He was supported by native exiles, who broke in through the pass of Roncal, hoping for a rising within the country. They were met before effecting a junction with the King, and were utterly defeated (March, 1516). Jean d'Albret gave up the enterprise; he died three months later, leaving his claims to his son Henri. Ximenes began to fortify Pamplona as a stronghold for the Castilian garrison, while he dismantled a number of outlying castles which might give protection to invaders.

In pursuit of his policy of African conquest Ximenes sent an expedition against Algiers, which had been seized by Barbarossa, the famous renegade corsair (September, 1516). In consequence of the incapacity of its leader, the expedition met with a crushing defeat, and was almost annihilated.

Ximenes' schemes were everywhere thwarted by Charles' Flemish councillors. With their chief, William de Croy, Seigneur de Chievres, he had tried unsuccessfully to establish a good understanding. Flemish interests required alliance with France, and in pursuit of this object they were ready to sacrifice Spanish interests in Italy and Navarre. For a time they were successful. By the Treaty of Noyon (October, 1516) Charles became betrothed to Francis1 infant daughter, promising to satisfy the claims of the Albrets in Navarre and to give up Queen Germaine's dowry. Moreover, a growing feeling of discontent was provoked in Spain by the shameless traffic in Spanish offices of dignity and profit carried on by Flemish courtiers. The grandees, who writhed under Ximenes1 strong hand, flocked with their complaints to Flanders and obtained a ready hearing. The people were persuaded that Juana was sane and shut out from her rights by a cruel plot. Ximenes, surrounded by difficulties, wrote repeatedly urging Charles to come to Spain, and warning him of the rising discontent of the municipalities. At last, in September, 1517, Charles landed on the Asturian coast. He was only seventeen years old; his health was delicate; and his diffidence had been increased by his being brought up under such masterful spirits as Chievres and his aunt Margaret. He found himself in a strange country seething with half-repressed rebellion; he could not speak a word of Spanish. The grandees hastened to welcome the King; but access to his presence was barred by the Flemings. Ximenes too journeyed northward to meet the prince whom he had so manfully served. He wished before his death to explain the policy by which the mutinous spirit of Castile might be appeased and the anarchy of Aragon quelled. The Flemings, foreseeing that their influence would be at an end, if Charles fell under the influence of the Cardinal's powerful will, did