History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic, Volume 2 (Google Books)

Gran Cardenal, lib. 2, cap. 66. who graduated at the college of

The doctor Pedro Salazar de Santa Cruz. Mendoza’s biography of his illus- 6 ” Non hoc,” says Tacitus with trious relative is a very fair speci- truth, “praecipuum amicorum mumen of the Spanish style of book- nus est, prosequi defunctum ignavo making in ancient times. One event questu: sed qua? voluerit memiseems to suggest another with nisse, qnas mandaverit exsequi.” about as much cohesion as the Annales, lib. 2, sect. 71. rhymes of ” The House that Jack ‘Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., built.” There is scarcely a place epist. 143. — Carbajal, Anales, or personage of note, that the grand MS., afio 1494. — Salazar de Mencardinal was brought in contact doza, Cron. del Gran Cardenal, lib. with in the course of his life, whose 2, cap. 45.

history is not made the theme of A foundling hospital does not

profuse dissertation. Nearly fif- seem to have come amiss in Spain,

ty chapters are taken up, for ex- where, according to Salazar, the In one of her interviews with the dying minister, Chapter

the queen requested his advice respecting the nom- —

ination of his successor. The cardinal, in reply, earnestly cautioned her against raising any one of the principal nobility to this dignity, almost too exalted for any subject, and which, when combined with powerful family connexions, would enable a man of factious disposition to defy the royal authority itself, as they had once bitter experience in the case of Archbishop Carillo. On being pressed to name the individual, whom he thought best qualified, in every point of view, for the office, he is said to have recommended Fray Francisco Ximenez de Cisneros, a friar of the Franciscan order, and confessor of the queen. As this extraordinary personage exercised a more important control over the destinies of his country than any other subject, during the remainder of the present reign, it will be necessary to put the reader in possession of his history. 8

Ximenez de Cisneros, or Ximenes, as he is Birth or


usually called, was born at the little town of Tor

wretched parents frequently destroyed their offspring by casting them into wells and pits, or exposing them in desert places to die of famine. “The more compassionate” he observes, “laid them at the doors of churches, where they were too often worried to death by dogs and other animals.” The grand cardinal’s nephew, who founded a similar institution, is said to have furnished an asylum in the course of his life to no less than 13,000 of these little victims! Ibid., cap. 61.

8 Salazar de Mendoza, Cron. del Gran Cardenal, lib. 2, cap. 46. —. Gomez, De Rebus Gcstis, fol. 8.

The dying cardinal is said to have recommended, among other things, that the queen should repair any wrong done to Joanna Beltraneja, by marrying her with the young prince of the Asturias; which suggestion was so little to Isabella’s taste that she broke off the conversation, saying, “the good man wandered and talked nonsense.”

Part delaguna, in the year 1436,9 of an ancient but

. -— decayed family.10 He was early destined by his

parents for the church, and, after studying grammar at Alcala, was removed at fourteen to the university of Salamanca. Here he went through the regular course of instruction then pursued, devoting himself assiduously to the civil and ccinon law, and at the end of six years received the degree of bachelor in each of them, a circumstance at that time of rare occurrence.11

Rome.”. Three years after quitting the university, the young bachelor removed by the advice of his parents to Rome, as affording a better field for ecclesiastical preferment than he could find at home. Here he seems to have attracted some notice by the diligence with which he devoted himself to his professional studies and employments. But still he was far from reaping the golden fruits presaged by his kindred; and at the expiration of six years he was suddenly recalled to his native country by the death of his father, who left his affairs in so embar

9 It is singular, that Flechier should have blundered some twenty years, in the date of Ximenes’s birth, which he makes 1457. (Hist. de Ximencs, liv. 1, p. 3.) It is not singular, thatMarsollier should. Histoire du Ministcre du Cardinal Ximenez, (Toulouse, 1694,) liv. 1, p. 3.

10 The honorable extraction of
Ximenes is intimated in Juan Ver-
gara’s verses at the end of the
Complutensian Polyglot:

“Nomine Ctinerfiu clari de atirpe poren-

“Et mentis Ihctua darter Ipse aula.”
Fray Pedro de Quintanilla y

Mendoza makes a goodly genealogical tree for his hero, of which King Pelayo, King Pepin, Charlemagne, and other royal worthies are the respectable roots. (Procemia Dedjcatoria, pp. 5-35.) According to Gonzalo ae Oviedo, his father was a poor hidalgo, who, having spent his little substance on the education of his children, was obliged to take up the profession of an advocate. Quincuagenas, MS.

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