Imágenes de páginas

such documents should be found in a hint is given of any of them having public library in Paris, when it was been arrested in his house. A com admitted that no originals were to be munication is said to have been infound in the Venetian archives them- stantly made of all that had passed to selves. The names of the conspira the French ambassador, who was tors, as there represented, differed en summoned for that purpose. The tirely (with one or two exceptions) French ambassador was absent from from those given by Nani, or men. Venice at the time, and did not return tioned in the correspondence of the for some weeks. In the confessions a French Ambassador; while some of leading part is given to the state in. the circumstances stated in them were quisitor, Marc Antonio Marcelli. The palpably impossible, and such as were names of all the state inquisitors at entirely inconsistent with the idea of the time are perfectly known, and no their authenticity as official documents, such person was to be found among containing the actual confessions of the number. Many other contradicthe conspirators, or the transactions tions between the confessions and the which took place in consequence of true facts of the case, as appearing their disclosures. One or two instan. from undoubted evidence, might be ces may be given as decisive of the pointed out; but enough has been weight due to the authority of St said to show that their claims to auReal, and of the pretended confes- thenticity are of the most suspicious sions on which it is mainly founded. kind. The probability is, that the He ascribes the whole discovery of pretended confessions are a mere er the plot to a feeling of remorse with post facto fabrication, based partly which one of the conspirators, Jaffier, upon the statement of Nani, and partly was seized, when present at the an- on the vague reports which, in addinual spectacle of the Doge's marriage tion to the official statement, bad got of the Adriatic, which takes place up- into circulation. on Ascension day. Ascension day In regard, therefore, to historical took place, in 1618, upon the 24th accuracy, the work of St Real may be May, but the conspiracy had been de. laid aside. So far as it differs from tected, and most of those implicated, or pretends to add to the narrative of punished, on the 14th. Nothing, Nani, it is entitled to no credit ; and, therefore, which took place upon the in truth, the two differ in every parti24th, could have led to the revealing cular, except in assuming the existence of a plot which had already been de- of a conspiracy in which Ossuna and tected on the 14th.

Bedamar were engaged against VeIn the pretended copy of the pro- nice. cedure, it is stated that in consequence Besides these writers, who, however of the disclosures of Jaffier, search much they may differ in the details, was immediately made in the house of agree in assuming the existence of a the Spanish ambassador; that a quan- conspiracy, in which Bedamar and tity of arms and gunpowder was found Ossuna were the prime movers, we there. The French ambassador, on may mention, as supporting the same the contrary, states expressly that no view, Giovanni Battista Vico, or raarms had been found,* and Bedamar ther the continuator of his work, t himself, in his address to the College, Giam Battista Birago, who, in his never alludes to any such step as a history of Venice, relates the story search of his house. Several arrests substantially as told by Nani ;-Sandi are said to have taken place in the et Martinioni, in his Continuation of house of the ambassador of France. Sansovino's Description of Venice, I We have the whole correspondence of who follows the narrative of St Real; the ambassador with his own court, Teutori, in his Essays on the History treating the whole as a fiction, en- of Venice; Gregorio Leti, in his Life tering into the fullest details, giving of the Duke of Ossuna, and M. Dreux the names of those arrested, and no de Radier,$ who all adopt, in the main

* Lettre de Leon Bruslart, à M. de Puysieulx, 19th July, 1618.
† Historia Rerum Venetarum, 1684. Padua.
# Historia Civile de Venezia.
S Journal de Verdun, Aug. 1756.

features, the version of St Real. On to this extraordinary theory, that with the other hand, the existence of the the exception of the fact which apconspiracy is doubted or denied by pears from the revelations of Pierre to Capriata, * by Naude, by Grosley, the Venetian government, namely, who has published a dissertation to that he had at one time suggested an prove the incorrectness of St Real's expedition against Albania to the Duke account, and more lately and decided- of Nevers, there is not even the shaly by M.Chambrier, by D'Oleires, and dow of foundation for that supposed Daru.

crusade against Turkey, the discovery The two latter have not been con, of which, he assumes, led to the exetent to question the truth of the cutions at Venice. The letter exists received accounts, but have at the in which this proposal was made by same time attempted to furnish a new Pierre to the Duke of Nevers. It solution of the supposed difficulties in bears a marking on the back in the which the matter is involved.

hand of the French ambassador De The hypothesis of Chambrier, how. Leon, “ Discours impertinent fait par ever, though it has been popular le defunt Jacques Pierre." Would enough, is yet so baseless that we shall the ambassador have used such an deal with it very briefly. His explana- expression, if the project had really tion of the problem is this :_That a been approved of by France ? Bes crusade had been secretly projected sides, we have only to recollect the on the part of Spain, France, and Sa- state in which France was after the voy, against Turkey, which had been minority of Louis XIII., to perceive stirred up by the Capuchin Joseph that that power was in no state to un(afterwards so useful a tool in the dertake a crusade against the Ottoman. hands of Richelieu): That Regnault, Again, all we know of the character as the agent of Charles Emanuel, Duke of Philip III. and of his prime miniof Savoy, at Venice, had been charged ster Lerma, is equally hostile to the to concert measures for that purpose supposition ; while no possible ad. with the ambassadors of France and vantage could accrue to Savoy from Spain: That at the same time the any such scheme. The intended cru. Venetian government were extremely sade then had really no foundation, hostile to the Spanish ambassador Be. Still less were the executions at Ve. damar, and anxious to obtain any pre- nice connected with its discovery. text for his removal from the city and Chambrier, for instance, ascribes the from his office: That the Turks, ha executions to the demand for satisfacving discovered the intended design, tion made by the Chiaoux, who arrived had commissioned the Chiaoux, who in Venice with the intelligence of Oswas sent from the Porte to announce man's elevation to the throne. Now, a the elevation of the Sultan Osman to letter from the Venetian Government to the throne, to demand satisfaction, by the bailo, or envoy, of that state at Con. the delivery or punishment of the stantinople,t proves that the Chiaoux agents at Venice: That the Venetians, only arrived in Venice on the 10th of in order to avert suspicion from them- June. Jacques Pierre had been conselves, or to re-establish their good un demned to death on the 12th May derstanding with the Porte, abandoned preceding, and forthwith executed. to their fate those who were most in- His death then, and those of his comstrumental in promoting the intended panions, was in no shape connected expedition to the Levant; that in or- with the arrival of the Chiaoux. der to cover the true cause of the If it be argued that still the execuexecutions, a pretended conspiracy tions took place to gratify the Porte, was brought forward, and ascribed to and that probably it may have been Bedamar and the Spanish Court ; and the predecessor of this Chiaoux who that thus the Venetians contrived at had made the demand for this bloodonce to secure themselves and to ba- thirsty satisfaction, this view of the case nish the obnoxious ambassador.

is equally untenable. It is true another It might be sufficient to observe as Chiaoux arrived in Venice in March

* History of the Affairs of Italy, 1613 to 1650, Book vi.

† Lettere Ducale al Bailo, 230 Guigno, 1618. Giunse in questa Citta alli 10 del pre. sente Mehemet Chiaus il quale due giorni dopo venne iu Collegio nostro,

1618, announcing the elevation of which thus goes not merely to subvert Mustapha to the throne, and remain the received notions on the subject, ed there till the beginning of May. but to brand a nation with a stain, the But though we are in possession of foulest, perhaps, with which her anhis most confidential intercourse with nals, blotted, as they too often are, his own court during the period of his with treachery and bloodshed, are deresidence, not a trace of any such in- formed. terference appears. His negotiations It must be admitted that Daru has are limited to the unimportant demand, spared no pains to support the accuthat the Republic should make good sation which he makes. He has treatthe losses of certain Turkish mer- ed the subject of the Spanish conspi. chants, whose goods had been captu- racy in two portions of his work, one red by Ossuna on board of two of the historical,* the other critical, † with vessels belonging to the Republic. If great care, great extent of historical he had really succeeded in so hum. reading, and infinite ingenuity. He bling the pride of the Republic, as to began his investigations, as he says compel from Venice so degrading a himself, with no wish to establish a sacrifice to Turkey as the massacre of system, but simply to examine, with the unfortunate adventurers supposed more attention than had been preto be engaged in the intended crusade, viously given to the matter, the difwould not some traces of so important ferent authorities, published or unpuban affair appear in his communications lished, by which light might be thrown to Constantinople? Objections might, on this mysterious transaction, and he in fact, be multiplied without end to has told us, with great fairness, how the theory of Chambrier ; but those the leading idea of his theory was sug. we have already mentioned seem suf- gested to him. “ My researches," ficient to satisfy the enquirer as to its says he, “ led me to the knowledge baseless and improbable character of two facts which I considered certain.

The hypothesis of Darn, which may “ In examining the correspondence be considered the latest upon the sub- of the Ambassador of France, I found ject, must be admitted to be in the the revelations by which the Venehighest degree bold and original, since tian Government had been informed it actually goes to reverse completely of the existence of a conspiracy formthe relative positions of the parties, to ed against it by the Duke of Ossuna exculpate Spain from any conspiracy and the Marquis of Bedamar. These against Venice, and to represent Venice revelations bore a date long preceding as the true conspirator in aiding a the date when the conspiracy was said suppoşed enterprise of its treacherous to be discovered ; if, then, a conspiracy subject Ossuna, against the Spanish existed, it was not unknown to the godominions in Italy. Daru denies en vernment; they could not then be tirely the existence of any actual con- much alarmed at it, since they had spiracy against Venice, and considers been made aware of it so long before. the numerous executions which took There was, therefore, error or falseplace as a barbarous measure of state hood in the common accounts, when it policy on the part of Venice, to con- was said they were made acquainted ceal the intrigues against Spain, in with it only in May 1618. which they had engaged with Os. « The letters of the ambassadors insuna, by the unsparing destruction formed me that these revelations were of all who were, or were supposed made by Captain Jacques Pierre. I to be, in possession of the truth. had before my eyes the original mi. This, it must be admitted, is a grave nute of them in the handwriting of accusation ; for it converts the just Captain Renault. It followed, that punishment of abandoned criminals Jacques Pierre and Renault were not into a base and treacherous massacre conspirators; yet both had been sacri. of men, who were only following out ficed as such. the projects and designs of the Repub- “I found, in the accounts of the lic itself. It would require strong conspiracy, that among the French evidence to establish such a charge, who were said to be implicated, there

* Daru, vol. iv. c. 31. † Vol. vii. Dissertations sur la Conspiration de 1618. Pieces Justificatives, p. 21-174, was a near relation of the Maréchal then in the service of Venice, were, de Lesdiguieres. This suggested to with the consent of Holland, to pass me the idea of examining whether, in into the service of the Duke. But the life of that nobleman, any mention to have allowed this to be done openwas made of this incident. I found, ly, and with the apparent consent of then, that at the same time the Duke Venice, would have excited suspicions of Ossuna had conceived his project of on the part of Spain, which the Venepossessing himself of the crown oftian Government were anxious to Naples. This was a beam of light to avoid ;—their approbation of Ossume. The Viceroy could not, at the na's schemes being, of course, condisame time, have conspired against tional on their success. All that they Venice, to take possession of it in name were at present disposed to do was to of Spain, and against Spain to deprive wink at the secret plans by which it of a kingdom. The biographer of these mercenaries were to be seduced Lesdeguieres, who was his secretary, from their service into that of the relates all that took place in the cabi Duke. net of his master relative to the pro. “For this purpose Pierre and Renault jects of the Duke to usurp the crown. were despatched by Ossuna to Venice, He states positively, that the govern. But the true object of their visit was ments of France, of Holland, of Tun concealed even from these agents rin, and Venice, had been initiated against themselves. Of Ossuna's ulinto his projects. The Neapolitan, terior designs on the throne of Naples Venetian, and other historians, con- they were kept in ignorance; they knew firmed in part these different circum- not that what he had in view was to sestances. The Venetians, then, could duce the Dutch soldiers of Venice into not have believed that the Duke of his service ; on the contrary, they beOssuna was really conspiring against lieved, and were taught to believe by their Republic, since they were aware Ossuna himself, that his designs were that he was engaged in totally diffe- directed against Venice, and that they rent projects, in which their aid was were sent for the purpose of organizing indispensable to him.

and carrying into effect a real con“ By this train of reasoning I was spiracy against that city. Whether conducted to this consequence: The from terror or treachery, Pierre soon Duke of Ossuna, Jacques Pierre, and after his arrival communicated to the Renault had not conspired against Venetian Government the existence of the Republic. The Venetians knew the conspiracy which he himself acthe real projects of the Duke of Ossu- tually believed. The Venetian Gona, and had proof of the innocence of vernment, better informed of the intenJacques Pierre and Renault. It re- tions of Ossuna, and his dependence mained to find a motive sufficient to on them, paid no attention to the supaccount for the accusation of the for- posed plot. Pierre and Renault conmer, and their sacrifice of the latter. tinued to press Ossuna to furnish them

“ According to Daru, Ossuna had, als with the assistance promised, and to most immediately after his appointgive the signal for the decisive step. ment to the Viceroyalty of Naples, Ossuna, who had no such object in begun to conceive the design of seizing view, delayed from time to time, under on that kingdom, and rendering him all possible pretexts, in such a way as self independent of Spain. This to excite the suspicions even of Pierre scheme had been secretly communi- as to his sincerity. But his imprudence cated to the different powers of Eu- gradually led the Spanish Government rope who were hostile to Spain, by all to suspect his designs: the Neapolitan of whom his designs were furthered nobles despatched a Capuchin friar, and approved. Venice, though she had Lorenzo, to Madrid to communicate not actually pledged herself to any as their suspicions. Ossuna attempted sistance, was favourable like the rest. to arrest him on his way, but failed. The main object was, gradually, and He saw that his designs must now be without exciting the suspicions of discovered, and that his ruin was cerSpain, to assemble an army sufficient tain. Venice in the mean time, apto carry the project into effect. Savoy prised, through its ambassadors in Paris and Holland secretly furnished as- and Madrid, of the suspicions excited sistance both by troops and arms. against Ossuna, and of the probable Four thousand Dutch troops, who were failure of his designs, determined to draw back, and even to extinguish all But all doubt, at least as to the traces of their having been accessary meaning of these writers, is put an to his treasonable schemes. The con- end to by the decisive facts, that both spiracy which had been revealed to of them expressly mention that the them a year before, and of the non- enterprise against Venice preceded existence of which they were aware, the project against Naples; while appeared to afford a favourable pre. Leti, Nani, and the Neapolitan histext for removing all those who had torian Giannone actually ascribe the been concerned in the scheme of Os- desperate scheme of seizing on the suna; on pretence that they had dis. Neapolitan throne to the failure of covered a design against Venice itself, the conspiracy against Venice, and in which Spain was concerned, they the consequent disgrace of Ossuna at put to death all who had in any way the Court of Madrid. The position, been connected with the designs of then, in which this point, which is the Ossuna; and by so doing, before Spain basis of the whole hypothesis, stands, had even manifested any displeasure is, that not one single historian places against the Duke, they were enabled, the design of Ossuna against Naples instead of being themselves accused, to earlier than 1619; while every histotake the initiative in the accusation. rian who has touched on the subject, To this Machiavellian policy, Pierre, including those who were themselves Renault, and his companions, though connected with the negotiation (for truly innocent of any conspiracy, were such was the position of Videl) exsacrificed."

pressly state that they took place in . This is in substance Daru's solution that year, and in consequence of the of this long agitated problem. We failure of his previous scheme against shall now endeavour to ascertain how Venice. far the grounds on which it rests are But the statement, says Daru, that founded in truth, and how far, if true, Ossuna was engaged in a conspiracy they could rationally account for the against Venice in 1618, and that he supposed effect.

had engaged Venice in his schemes I. It is evident that the whole theory on Naples in 1619, involves an incondepends on the establishment of one sistency. The historians who repreproposition, namely, that previous to sent Ossuna as engaged in both the supposed discovery of the conspi- schemes “ have not perceived that the racy in May 1618, the Venetians were one necessarily excludes the other." to some extent implicated in the de- If this necessity be really so palpable, signs of Ossuna on the kingdom of it is singular that four such writers as Naples. Except to conceal their par. Videl, Leti, Giannone, and Nani should ticipation in these, they had no motive, never have perceived it; nay, that according to Daru, for the executions they do not even allude to it as a dif- which took place, or for the invention ficulty in the case at all. And where of a pretended conspiracy

is the necessary incompatibility ? But here a formidable difficulty Daru asks,“ Would Ossuna have meets Daru in the outset. The bio dared to reckon on the assistance of grapher of Lesdeguieres, Louis Videl, the Republic, after having made an on whose authority he mainly relies attempt on its existence; and how, as to the proof of Ossuna's treasonable immediately after the failure of one project of the seizure of the Crown of plot, should he have had time to frame Naples, places the date of that project another requiring so many negotiaonly in 1619. Leti does the same. tions and preparations ?" To this Of course, a project conceived only objection there are several answers. in 1619 could not account for the exe. The resentments of nations are not cutions of 1618.

like those of individuals. Ossuna Daru's attempt to get quit of the might naturally enough believe, that difficulty seems wholly unsatisfactory. if Venice felt that she could serve her He endeavours to make out, that own interests by injuring Spain, she though placed by Leti and Videl un- would not be prevented from so doing, der the date of 1619, the project because she was at the same time proagainst Venice was of an earlier date; moting the cause of one who had firmly because it is mentioned in connexion conspired against her. Besides, there with various other events which took can be no doubt that, though Beda. place, some in 1617, some in 1618. mar and Ossuna were the agents, the

« AnteriorContinuar »