Elizabeth: July 1581, 6-10

Pages 243-255

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 15, 1581-1582. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1907.

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July 1581, 6-10

July 7 252. COBHAM to [WALSINGHAM].
But that I would not let Mr Burnam pass empty handed, there is not otherwise matter to certify you of, more than was written in my last by Mr Prim. Through the 'Queen's Mother's' and all the French commissioners staying with Monsieur at Mantes, we are 'deferred to receive' our answer ; so that we stay in lingering, daily expected their return ; being further advertised that Monsieur is to leave Mantes about the 15th. There appear many troops marvellously well horsed and in order with their lances on their thighs, and divers regiments of foot, who are coming to these quarters ; so it seems they have this relieving of Cambray at heart. These are the preparations and certain shows of their intended purpose. M. Damville, second brother to this Duke Montmorency, is come to Court, and young Bellegarde. I write of them because they are counted strangers in these parts. St. Luc is on his way to Monsieur, with a regiment of foot and a cornet of horse ; which methinks could not well be done without leave of the king. I suppose you are otherwise advertised of the flock of these English Malcontents, Romanists, and others in these parts, and therefore I write no particulars. I have thought it not impertinent to remind you that since the Lord Hamilton has received favour from thence, that he were [sic] in some sort employed, and not suffered to remain unprofitable 'to whom' he owes duty and service.Paris, 7 July 1581. Add. and Endt. gone. 1 p. [France V. 108.]
Cipher. Add. with seal to Idiaques. Endd. by Burghley. Sp. 10 pp. [Spain I. 68.]
July 7. 254. THE SAME deciphered and translated.
I wrote in my last so much as concerned Portugal ; herein, before I treat of the matter of Flanders, I am to signify that I copied out your letters of the 15th ult., and with them the dispatches for the Prince of Parma, which were forthwith sent by a post on purpose, according to your order. I likewise sent what 'meseemed' touching those particulars of which you treated and whereon you commanded me to discourse, so far as the state of things there seemed to suffer, praying the prince to perform the same, keeping that very course, and defend himself much more surely and better, as I hope he will be very well able. For with the good provision of money which you have made him, he has wherewith he may sufficiently shift, and prevail every way. I will send him what is to be furnished out of this realm with all possible speed. There can now be no delay, for Tuesday last Jerome Gondi came to me from the king to tell me that he was very glad to show your Majesty this friendship, to permit the same to be carried out, the 300,000 crowns which I had made petition for ; howbeit with this addition, that you would 'show him so much pleasure' as to suffer his subjects to carry out of Spain 500,000 ducats within one year or a year and a half, by which means a supply would come into this realm, whereby he might hereafter be able to pleasure your Majesty in so great a matter. Besides he might recover himself a little 'of the good carrying forth' which he knows has been used for Flanders, whence he has had advertisements, so that what remains is very much consumed. To this I answered that I would let you understand so much, and that I did not doubt but that you would be glad to requite the king 'with the like friendship to that he desired' in as much as he [sic] was able ; giving him infinite thanks for the permission of carrying out money, and saying that I would advertise you of it that you might thank him as it deserved. He prayed me on the other side earnestly to be a means that it might be brought to pass. Now I procure that make haste, and that he 'go in hand' with what concerns this point, to the end the prince may have the money to serve his turn. Having signified me thus much, Gondi answered me concerning the other point which I required at the king's hands, touching Count Vimioso. Upon this I spoke and treated in my last audience as effectually as I could, according to your Majesty's instructions, endeavouring to persuade the king that he should do that which I craved at his hands. But for all I can do, I perceive that he thought to excuse himself by the great liberty of this realm and a thousand things besides ; whereby it appears plainly that whatever is said it will go forward. Notwithstanding, I 'gave not over' to reply upon them to Gondi and to pray him to do you that pleasure which I besought him, which was to give us audience again. On Sunday I thought to have it, and the Nuncio and I went to Saint Maur for it. As we entered the house we were told the king was ready to depart, and prayed to pardon him till another day, 'that there abode the mother' tarrying for us ; which seemed to us strange, that after they had delayed us, at the end they came not to the point, and being come to the house refused to give us audience. But finally, any man that is resident about a prince must carry himself somewhat according to his will, and seek to content his 'vaine' [? vein]. I for my part dissembled the matter as well as I could, and went in to speak with the queen, tarrying till Tuesday to speak with the king ; when I dealt with both him and his mother about the journey of the Duke of Anjou. Concerning this both of them gave me the same good words that they always did, the king especially telling me that it was against his will, and that he had endeavoured to 'let' it, which I knew, and that withal he was determined to add to the former proclamations another for the confiscation of all their goods who were with his brother, and that he had sent to his people at Compigne to 'stop him of' his journey. He heaped up hereunto many words full of amity and good will, which hitherto I have conceived in him by others. This matter of the proclamation has 'sorted' no effect ; and in fine it seems he will be able by main force to go forth according to his desire, and it is to be feared that he will go forth, not caring, for the preservation of the king or his mother, to leave his enterprises. As for force, they never use it, whatsoever dislike men say is between them ; because, as I think, the mother's desire is always by fair means to reconcile them, to which end she had wrought so far by mediation that they should have met at 'St. German' last Friday, to go to which place they both set forward that day towards her, the king being accompanied by 50 or 60 horse, and the duke having taken his journey from another place with a few to go himself to Saint Germain. But when he was advertised of the company his brother brought, it seems he entered into such suspicion and diffidence that he resolved to return whence he came. The king likewise returned hither again the same night and the next day to Saint-Maur. Hereupon is grown great discourse through all this Court, wherein they speak so diversely of it that how little soever a man write of it, he cannot do without fear of erring. Many say now that they are in hand with practices to remedy the faults and to conclude the businesses between them. We shall hear what the time will bring forth ; and I am angry that succeed [sic] so diversely and uncertainly, which is not well. As concerning the journey of the said duke into Flanders, it is certain that he is gathering his people with all earnestness, being resolved to be with them upon the frontier within a few days. Moreover for the number that is levied, they say they will be 10,000 foot and 2,000 horse, French, and 6,500 reiters, which it is said come to him. 'Mary' it is not as yet known when they will be levied. The greatest part of the Frenchmen are adventurers who come voluntarily to serve him, some with 100, some with 50, some with more, some with less, as they are able to make, and it is said the horsemen are for the most part lances. If they are thus disposed we shall see in time ; and the 'rest' is I hope in God that they shall not now do us the harm they think for. It is good not to dispraise them in anything, but to make great account of his camp, this being the true way to overcome them, to seem to make great reckoning as he does, and to oppose our labour against him, so well provided that for all he can be able to do he be fain to give over this enterprise as I trust, and not 'dismay' the Prince of Parma, using in all things diligence and watchfulness as the case requires ; in which he is to signify to your Majesty as he has already written divers times to me. As for money, it is not understood that the duke has any provision any way proportionable to the plot ; whereupon it may be that at the last he may be afraid it should be published, considering that such default is wont to break such manner of attempts. Neither, as they say, has the duke great means to gather money sufficient for an enterprise so sudden ; for albeit his appanages be great and rich, which are in this realm, as he cannot bring them to pawn, his ordinary expenses admit not so great an over-plus to be reserved out of them, considering the ordinary waste he lives with and the 'riolty' he uses in his house ; which is not compassed without great cost. And although he be the only brother of this Crown, yet the merchants for lending of money look for something else than goodly appearances or great promises, being accustomed to be sure of somewhat beforehand, and not to build in the air. Besides otherwise it will be hard to get so much money, which even with a good credit is hardly obtained, they saying that they hear he is a watchful prince and amorous of honour. And in truth it is pity, being of this quality that he is, and being of so good hope, that he does not rather take delight to employ his youth on other enterprises than to snatch at what belongs to your Majesty, in favour of your rebels and those whose intent is nothing else but to root out religion ; to the preservation whereof, being son and brother of the Most Christian King, he ought to have more particular regard, and bethink himself of the friendly turns and courtesies which more than once this Crown has received at your hands, in not only not procuring its harm, but in loving and serving it, wherein they shall deserve such good turns [sic], flying all ingratitude, which in all times has been ever accounted so worthy of reproach as all the world knows. But to conclude, his heat of youth carries away with it this and other considerations, specially when it is not accompanied with those of riper years. I pray God to change these cogitations into other better and more quiet ; and although he be our enemy, yet this is to be desired because he is our neighbour. It is understood that those of his house go forward very confidently and that all is bravery if they find the play sure without remembering the proverb that said they went out for wool but returned with flocks [sic], and that they make their reckoning without their host. I hope they will be better than they 'say for' ; and that either his mother or his brother should help him with money there can as yet be gathered no certainty. There are who say that the Queen of England furnishes him with some, notwithstanding I know not what credit to give to any part of that by reason of the difficulty which always presents itself in this matter. Yet it may be thought strange that there having been so long likelihood of the truth of the marriage pretended, she should not already have parted with some of her goods, and should not now begin to show the affection and love that she bears him not without pretermitting so great an occasion wherein to make proof of it, being as they tell me a noble and liberal queen, it should be no marvel, and specially so great certainties being verified among many that it is likely the marriage will take place in the end ; whereof the most that I have to signify is that the commissioners who went to England bring a treaty of matrimony signed by them and by those of the Queen's part, with articles in part concluded, in part left undetermined, and sent hither to be resolved on by the king, with a fixed time wherein it is to be done. Some say that the drift of Monsieur, the Prince of Orange, and the Queen of England, is to cause the king to denounce the amity which he has with your Majesty, persuading themselves that in promising this and setting the world in a hurly-burly consists their happiness. Bnt I hope that his Majesty being the Most Christian King and so wise a prince will always in things so hard prefer the universal weal of Christendom before the particular fancies and devices of these practisers. Our Holy Father's nuncio, a man of great example of integrity of life, and who seems to be marvellously well affected, has, I understand, many times moved the king touching the journey of his brother into Flanders, exhorting him to divert him from wronging a king from whom he has never received but good turns. He has done this it is imagined by order of the Holy Father, who, notwithstanding you are beholden for his goodwill, though it avail nothing, has done what a common father could and ought to do. Thus go matters for certainty here, and I see not what good will be done, seeing entreaty will not serve. So there is no remedy but to refer all to God, who knows how to make an end of all this when it is His will, for all that men can do to 'repunge' it. I have seen the papers of Contador Navarete, whom God pardon. I could not yet gather anything for all the diligence I could use ; it being great cruelty that the poor man died in prison without fault and without all reason contrary to justice. They may go hunger now after his papers that he left ; not being able to come by them. Although they be of small importance, they would be worth the seeing. But to conclude, thus goes the world, and at this present so great is the liberty and licentiousness, which is pity. And now for all this they make reckoning to see if they can have them, though they import them little. The copies for which you sent to me of those writings and reports which remained in my custody at my departure from Maestricht, are in hand, and setting in order and shall be sent with all the speed that may be. They cannot, however, be ready hastily, because certain papers concerning the same matter were left behind me in Flanders because I could not be so much charged. I have sent for them, and though in haste, they will require time because of the way. I pray you impute it not to my slackness. All the frontier-posts and their officers remain in that continual good correspondence and agreement that you gave order for ; particularly with the governor of Burgundy, 'of' whom you have a vigilant officer as in this time is needful in that province, which now is 'wronge at' with inward intelligences, now with invasions, whereof I have written to your Majesty sundry times. But seeing there is so good and renowned a governor there, I hope he will take care to have those esguizaros (Swiss) always ready with which that province has the leagues you know of, and for which in necessity help and succour is at hand ; and although they brag here, yet I believe that for this part they will be glad to leave us in peace. For Luxembourg you have Count Mansfelt, who being an old and diligent soldier, as is well known throughout the world, and all the subjects of that province so valiant and faithful that for that part we may well say we may sleep in quiet, and I believe that they have taken such order for the defence of it that those who would do them harm will find a hard reckoning of it. Besides, it is to be believed that they will join with the Germans who are thereabouts by means of the money which you have sent for to give them satisfaction. I hear they are in hand already, and very forward that they may be 'strait' at Cambray, whence they write me that they come with a very good will and very well affected to be present at this invasion of the French, and in good hope to overcome. They are old and good soldiers. There is much speech here of the 'pretence' of the Prince of Orange at the same time that the Duke goes towards Cambray. Some say he means not otherwise than to join him ; which will be doubtful by reason of the great 'compass' of ground he has to pass through the midst of our strength, which we believe he dare not do, and that he directs himself this other way in which there is no doubt, unless the Prince of Parma have not provided sufficient force to cut off his intention, inasmuch as by reason of the taking of Breda he leave to look any more this way. Again it is to be thought that the Prince of Orange, seeing it in vain to go about, will look rather after his own house than respect a stranger, and therefore will rather incline that way in as much as the other requires, if they tell me true that he goes with the duke well furnished, showing himself wholly his ; and whoso knows him well is not ignorant that the chief thing he respects is his own benefit and that he will never lose his own to help any foreign body ; a thing to be marvelled at, how much beguiled these men are, being persuaded to think true what he tells them, and that it is his very purpose to yield them the government and rule for the obtaining whereof he has passed so many years by all the ways and means which the whole world knows. Ambition blinds them so that they cannot see that he pretends nothing less and that his end is nothing else but to procure by their force and the expense of their 'moines' and men's lives trouble for your Majesty and entangle you with wars and he in the meanwhile [sic] and gain time by the 'exception' of the Catholics and other indifferent persons ; whereby he uses to strengthen his own matters till he may establish them wholly. It is said here that the King is determined to call home his ambassador M. de Saint-Goard from the Court, and that he sends a secretary to remain there. If it be so, it will be better understood there. It has not been said here so far that they are sending another in his place ; nor is it known what they mean thereby, whether to have the place void for a time. They say also that they send into Germany an 'Alman' gentleman called Schomberg, who is of those that were wont to serve this Crown with reiters, and that he goes to confirm those who take part with this Crown, to whom they owe a sum of money. Also they say he carries a certain quantity of money with which to give them some contentment. You commanded me to keep 'straight' intelligences with your ambassador resident at the Emperor's Court, which I endeavour to do to the utmost of my power. But I have of necessity to advertise you that there is so small means to write to that court and the way is so long and so dangerous by Flanders that I cannot maintain intelligences that way so ordinarily and often as I wish. But you shall understand that I will not be uncareful to entertain it with the officers of Italy whence there is ordinary and continual means. The like is to be done with Don Bernardino, who is nearer. Some days ago there came to me a Friar Francis of the province of Brabant, whence they are scattered through the whole world in extreme poverty and necessity, so that it is to be greatly lamented. He brought me two psalters, in 'written hand,' and fairly limned, and if not the best and fairest that be, yet very old and curious ; and for their quality seem to him to deserve to be carried to the monastery of San Lorenzo. He prays your Majesty on behalf of the said order in the province of Brabant, and beseeches you to send them some relief. It is a godly and a holy deed, and it is good that I show my duty and what I may to commend them to your Majesty. I had received a dispatch from Don Bernardino de Mendoza, which he sent by an express messenger ; whereupon I was sending another from here in all haste, as he prayed me, and as I was writing, I was fain to stay him till now, by reason I was to get him a passport, which hindered him some time. Diego Maldonado prays that he who deciphers this, since in respect of the haste that was used in writing it, he finds already that he has made many faults, would be so good as mend them and supply them.7 July 1581. Translation. Endd. by Burghley : Taxis letters in English to the King of Spain. 6 pp. [Spain. I. 68a.]
July 8. 255. TASSIS to the KING OF SPAIN.
Cipher. Add. (with seal) to Idiaques. Endd. by Burghley. Sp. 7 pp. [Spain I. 69.]
July 8. 256. The above deciphered.
(This line is nothing, and the rest that follow to the fourth line, for greater darkening and confusion of the beginning of this letter ; these are nil, and after them it begins on the following line.) I last wrote to your Majesty on the 20th ult. A few days after there was spread in this Court a rumour that Don Antonio was certainly come to this realm. Some said to Britanny, others to Normandy, the news running by everyone as they understood it, as commonly happens in things that are doubtful and uncertain. It was well-known afterwards that his arrival was true, of which it is reported that he came in a Flemish hulk. Without knowing what it was carrying it landed in sight of Calais some Portuguese in disguise. They entered Calais clad in russet, and were entertained there some days, practising as I understand with the Spaniards that are there, and in a few days took their way to England ; Don Antonio being, as it is said, solicited by that Queen to come thither. They publish that he escaped out of this realm by a marvel. It is said that there go with him one Botello and a certain Silva, but not the Bishop of la Guardia, whom according to this account he must have left in the kingdom. It is to be believed that Don Antonio did not delay to advertise the Most Christian Kings [sic] of his coming, (these are all nulls to the end of this line) and has doubtless made some arrangement with them ; since he must know of the favours that Count Vimioso has had from them, which no doubt must lead him to hope to find some friendship with them. Just as little do I doubt that the Queen Mother wrote or sent to tell him that he was welcome, for if she did so to the servant, she will do it to the master. But I can get at no more details about it, except that I have heard the consul was back from Calais, and as I suspect, sent for the aforesaid arrangement, for he is an instrument much used by the Queen Mother in these affairs of Portugal. It would not be strange if he also bore the commission of inviting Don Antonio to come here, as I am persuaded the Queen Mother desires, since she sets so much by favouring Don Antonio and his affairs, and takes great account of everything Portuguese by reason of her own pretensions there ; wherein she proceeds with so much passion and confidence, talking in a way inconceivable to me when I consider it, in claiming what she does claim. So much she declares, and shows herself so desirous to favour Don Antonio, and further to remit things to him and aid him to become master of the kingdom, by ceding to him the rights that she now claims for herself and makes out the case that we see ; if this friendship be not feigned with the object of aiding Don Antonio with soldiers of her own nation to do his business, and then one may well believe that for all they go as soldiers of Don Antonio they will not cease to be Frenchmen wherever they may find themselves. On this account it seems to me that she is sorry he has gone to England, fearing that that queen may seek to steal the blessing, and herself use the opportunity offered, which may now very easily be, and one may believe that the queen certainly when she dares means to injure your Majesty and give you trouble. I do not suppose anything has been said, his coming being so recent that one cannot believe that any treaty has been begun of the design and enterprise in which Don Antonio will wish to deal ; until he is with the count, or at least until he informs him more thoroughly of what he has discovered while he has been here, it being reasonable that he should wish to decide nothing without his advice, since through the experience he has acquired in the time he has been going about here he will be able to explain what is most convenient for him, being as many people say, a man of understanding and very vigilant. Yet I hope that he is too late, as I think it would have been much safer and better to have accommodated himself to the will of God, and confessed your Majesty's justice as the others did, and Don Antonio himself should in truth have taken that road, and rather have enjoyed your Majesty's clemency and goodness than have put forward pretensions so much out of the way that for the very smoke of them he has abandoned a secure and quiet life, and thrown himself at the feet of strangers, and proved in his own person what it is to leave one's country and resort to England and France to be brought back to it. It is clear besides why they like outlaws here, and how time is apt to treat them and what they come to at last ; whereof the histories are so full and the examples so recent that there is none who does not know them. If Don Antonio does not, let him look at Philippe de Comines, and he will find what is there said, and how a prince of that Crown who came here to ask for succour in the end left the certain for the uncertain ; nor do men always do what they want. It is said that Don Antonio has with him much jewellery, and that some of it is now beginning to appear here ; which may really be believed, since it was natural that being there he should think of what might happen and provide himself as far as possible, and that in this he would confide in no one ; but at any rate one may suspect that if he did not so order he has missed his aim, for if he comes here denuded, for all the fine words he may give he runs a risk of not achieving all to which he pretends, poverty being despised, and the friendships being few which reach so that for their sake people care to risk or waste their own substance. Though these Christian kings are great and powerful, great charges fall on them, and though they get plenty of money they have plenty of ways to use it without wasting it on a third person. Yet without this he need not think to get a soldier to serve him nor vessel to carry him, if he has no money. Yet for this and all the rest that they want he cannot be lacking, if it is as they say, and they have more than is necessary, as I hear is in the mouths of all the Portuguese and is the ordinary language of the count ; who must be very confident of it, since he has for so long entertained Strozzi and other captains of this realm, affirming that he wants to undertake a very great enterprise. It is opnly known here, too, that a Genoese, Mortara, is going about buying a great quantity of arms, whose total comes to more than 50,000 ducats. If this is for arms only, there must in reason be a good sum for other things. In fact they published here a few days ago that at the Islands they have taken many ships coming from Brazil and elsewhere, with merchandise of great value. They say that they know from the count that a small vessel which was sent to the Islands has reached them. But with all this, so far as enterprise goes, for all he may have said, I see no result, and they are unable to do anything of importance without its appearing, if it is to do any harm. I know that no fleet has set out to hurt your Majesty, except several pirates that have been sailing all this summer with great freedom. I am well persuaded that Don Antonio means to come with intent not to repose, but as soon as possible to make his arrangements for trying his fortune, and the quarter to which I imagine they turn their eyes most is the Islands. There is, however, no need to be careless on the mainland ; provision must be made in all ways, that we may not find ourselves tricked. It is said that the Count of Vimioso is coming here in a few days, and I will go bail that they receive him [as well as?] he can desire, everything Portuguese having the wind fair here. As I hear too he will not come empty-handed, for they say here that he comes with 50 or 60 post-horses. I will go bail that he hoists the same sails that he set at Blois ; even more, as he is coming to a land of such great pomp as this is, where he will want to make a brave and gallant show. Having already spread over this realm a great reputation as a liberal spender, a very wise part no doubt, he will not fail to attract thereby many men, nor to raise a great following ; it being the ordinary custom throughout the world that whoso spends and gives is beloved and sought after and well regarded by all. Of Don Antonio's Portuguese partisans who are going here, I hear that one of the chief is Geronimo 'Pezzopayo,' whom if I remember right I knew at Antwerp. He is an old man, and by what they all say he talks much, making professions of his party at every opportunity. They say he is providing money for the count, and that they have delivered certain jewels to him for security, which I believe, because men who trade are not wont to [open ?] their purse without knowing what, and getting security that they may lose nothing. The said 'Zapayo' has been in it some years, and as I hear knows his business well. There is another called Alvaro Mendez, whom I understand to be a man of more wealth and more importance, and more considerate in his talk, and they say also in what he lends. Anyway I hear he is not so rash in these matters as the other, and if he assists the count he does not do it so openly that it is known by everyone. Perhaps as a more prudent man he wishes to sail with the wind whatever offers may be made him, and in the event of not being certain to leave Don Antonio's business ; thinking in such a case to keep his retreat open and not depend on others. They tell me that he is a man 'of interests,' and that for the king to get hold of him the purse is more necessary than words. There is also one Antonio de Escobar, who was they tell me sent last year by Don Antonio to England and Flanders. He has lived at times with Francisco Giraldi. This man I hear is versed in affairs here, owing to the long time he has dealt in them, and they tell me he is an able man, a fit instrument to do them much service. Having enquired what kind of man he is, I am told that he was born at Santarem, and that he has a mother there and his house. It seems to me it would not be much away from the purpose to make some demonstration there with such people, that they may at least understand that sin is not virtue, and that those who seek to do disservice to your Majesty receive their deserts. Clemency is not always good ; at times justice is quite as necessary, that it may serve as an example to others designing the same. Another who has attached himself to the count is called Custodio Leyton, whom I found here charged with the business of the Infanta, as I wrote at the time. He has already been in treaty with me, and I think has been won over, and is quite resolved to serve you. I assured him that if they wished to go with their merchandise to Lisbon or any other part of our realms, you would always give them all the good entertainment they could desire and liberty to return when they would ; and of this they might be sure without giving anything. I offered to write for them on this point if they liked. On this they departed, and I know not if they will go thither where they said. I cannot refrain from humbly begging your Majesty to give orders that courtesy and good treatment may always be shown to traders of this quality, in order that they may invite others, and so bring the concourse of merchants there, and abundance of business with them. Endd by Burghley. Sp. 6 pp. [Ibid. I. 69a.]
July 8. 257. English translation of the above [very bad].
Endd. by Burghley. 5 pp. [Ibid. I. 69b.]
July 9. 258. TASSIS to the KING OF SPAIN.
Cipher. Autograph date and signature. Endd. by Burghley. Sp. 3 pp. [Spain. I. 70.]
July 9. 259. The above deciphered.
Endd. by Burghley. Sp. 2 pp. [Ibid. I. 70a.]
July 9. 260. Translation of the above.
Francisco Giraldi, who in the time of the late kings was their ambassador here, is here now as a private person 'keeping no countenance' (sin tener amparo ninguno), and lives not without great danger through the ill will borne him by those of his nation that follow the faction of Don Antonio ; whose boldness is now infinitely increased through his coming, and some misfortune may really happen to Giraldi. I find him very apt and ready in your Majesty's service, and fully resolved to die in it ; considering which, it seems to me not well that anything should happen to him, and this leads me to beg you for that which I cannot but tell you he deserves for his good proceeding. That German personage of whom you wot since Blois, who wrote to me that he much desired to enter your service, so as in the quality of pensioner he should be bound to serve you with soldiers of his nation whenever and wherever there should be occasion, and whom I then promised to advertise his offer to you, has now written anew, desiring to know whether I had done so, and if you were resolved therein, and prayed me to send some answer ; again requesting that if the answer were not come, I would write again and beseech you 'to be at a point' with him that way, saying withal that though you did not at once grant his request, he would not 'leave to be' always an affectionate servant of your Majesty in your affairs. He is a man of the quality you see, and it was from the time when I made his acquaintance in Germany on some occasions when I was sent there by the Governors of Flanders, that his writing to me arose. He seems to me an honourable and skilful gentleman, and one by whom you may on occasion be well served ; and seeing you have besides so many pensioners there, it may seem to import little ; yet the more you have at your devotion in Germany the better. I refer all to your wisdom, which can best tell what to do in this behalf. For 'intelligences' in this realm and Court we are marvellously feeble (flacos) and unprovided. I do not know whether it is owing to the time that this post was unfilled, or if formerly they had none. I have found nothing of importance on foot. One goes for the most part blindfold, and hears of nothing till it is published. This is the more surprising, as I have heard at various times that this nation are wont to be very free in familiar talk of passing affairs, whereby they came to know them shortly and easily ; having as they tell me more access to a credit with the councillors and all those who meddle in any way with matters of State. The change may be imputed 'to that' when, as the present king went to Poland passing through Germany, it was discovered that they knew there minutely many things which had happened and were happening here ; whereupon order was taken that matters should be handled with more cunning and secrecy thenceforth, if not with more prudence on their part, even though they know of anything shaped by the 'tertiaries' of our order (los terzeros de nuestra profesion : qu. ambassadors). It may be added that this is an age when Spanish affairs give offence (dar en rostro) to all ; whence there is no one who does not avoid our presence, and who will keep company with us, or even speak to us, some for the ill will they bear us and because they do not favour your affairs, others lest they should be suspected of looking at our affairs with a friendly eye, or at least desire to see peace between the two Crowns. This no doubt causes the position of this office to be somewhat hard just now ; while the same is not the case with the agents of other princes, who though they have some that do not favour them, have many more friends and associates who will disclose to them what others conceal, and have wherewithal to serve their masters without getting abandoned and neglected. For all this I do as much as I may to fulfil the duties that one who is sent here seems to me bound to do, having his excuse when he cannot do more. [Paris, 9 July 1581.] Endd. by Burghley. 2 pp. [Ibid. XI., 70b.]
July 9. 261. SOMERS to [? BURGHLEY].
I should do this gentleman much wrong, and show myself unthankful, if I let him go, returning now home, without this testimony how careful and diligent I have found him to do any good service for the weal of her Majesty and of his country. I have found that by his acquaintance abroad in foreign parts and here, and his long experience in the courses of things, he is able to inform you of things not unnecessary for your knowledge, to be compared with other, which perhaps you have from the very places and persons. Your experience of his dexterity so recommends him to your favour, that I should 'wear' your time by speaking of him as in my opinion he deserves. I find him very willing to serve at home or abroad, as by convenient means he may be encouraged. He goes some part of the way 'by journey,' and therefore hoping that within two or three days you may hear from the ambassador by an express messenger, I say nothing now of our affairs, saving that this Sunday morning the Queen Mother returned from the Court at Saint-Maur, having stayed in this town this night as she came from Monsieur her son [sic]. As we hear, the king will send some to the ambassador tomorrow, with some direction. Meantime I have by letter put M. Pinart in mind that there are now but 15 days to come of the six weeks, and that her Majesty expects news, being now 8 days since our audience, and 6 since the queen and commissioners went to Monsieur. Having written thus far, the ambassador was advertised that M. Pinart will be with him this evening ; and so indeed hither came MM. de Bellivre, Brisson, and Pinart, who with M. de la Mothe have appointed to be with the ambassador to-morrow at 7. Paris, Sunday, 9 July in the evening, 1581. Add. and Endt. gone. 1 p. [France V. 109.]