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state of the Low Countries, at Brussels, on the twenty-fifth of October, one thousand five hundred and fifty-five, Charles seated himself, for the 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 resig. nation, 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, which they had manifested, during so long a course of years, in support of his government.
Charles then rose from his seat; and, leaning on the shoulder of the prince of Orange, because he was unable to stand without support, he addressed himself to the audience; and, from 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 commencement 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, Spaio six times, France four times, Italy seven times, the Low Countries ten times, England twice, Africa as often, and had made eleven voyages 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 such extensive dominions, he had never shunned labour, nor repined under fatigue: 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, wbich was no longer able to protect his subjects, or to render them happy: that, instead of a sovereign worn out with diseases, and scarcely half alive, 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, if, during the course of a long administration, he bad committed any material errouir in government; or if, under the pressure of so 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 subjeets, he now implored their forgiveness : that, for his part, he should ever retain a grateful sense of tueir 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 Jarge 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, this day, give of my paternal affection; and to demonstrate, that you are worthy of the confidence which I repose in you. Preserve an inviolable regard for religion; maintain the Catholic faith in its purity; let the 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 enjoy the tranquillity of private life, may you have a son, endowed with such quaJities, that you can resign your sceptre to him, 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 such an extraordinary 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 marks of his regard and attachment.
A few weeks afterwards, Charles, in an assembly no less splendid, and with a ceremonial 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 reserved nothing for himself, but an annual pension of a hundred thousand crowns, to detray the charges of his family, and to afford bim a small sum, for acts of beneficence and charity.
The place he had chosen for his retreat, was the monastery of St. Justus, in the province of Estremadura. 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, he 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 situation, 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 which he had filled with various plants, intending to cultivate them 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 grandenr, 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 terroar of his arms, and the dread of being subjected to his power.
CHARACTER OF HENRY VIII. It is difficult to give a just summary of this prince's qualities; he was so different from himself in different parts of his reign that, as is well remarked by lord Herbert, his history is his best character and description. The absolute and uncontrouled authority which he maintained at home, and the regard he obtained among foreign nations, are circumstances which entitle him to the appellation of a great prince; while his tyranny and cruelty seem to exclude him from the character of a good one.
He possessed, indeed, great vigour of mind, which qualified him for exercising dominion over