Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.
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64. The Same to the Same.
By the copies of what I wrote to the duchess of Parma on the 9th ultimo and the letters the ambassador Preyner and I wrote to your Majesty on the 18th, (fn. 1) you will have learnt what is being done in the matter of the Archduke, which I confess perplexes me much. I can hardly venture to give an opinion on so important an affair, and yet I dare not refrain from doing so for fear of failing in my duty, and I feel I should be greatly to blame if the business were to fall through in consequence of my silence. Your Majesty will therefore be pleased to accept only what your enlightened judgment will show you ought to be accepted of what I say, distinguishing between the facts, which are all true, and the mere conjectures in which I must confess I may be mistaken. I said in my letter of 18th that I thought, if we saw the Queen determined in her wish to see Archduke and circumstances seemed to show that she was in earnest, that your Majesty should send him, and in the meanwhile he might be got ready to start at once, if advice came from here to that effect as it was well to prove to the Queen that the affair was being carried on with goodwill, and at the same time to shorten the delay in concluding it. As to advising his coming I perceive now I am not so clear about it as I ought to be to give a decided opinion on a matter of so much importance, and, on the other hand, if he does not come, as the Queen wishes, it may give her an excuse for changing her mind and either resolving not to marry at all or to make another match ; in which case we should all be losers and your Majesty would miss a great opportunity to serve God and the commonwealth, and at the same to profit by events. Since the last letter to your Majesty, Lady Sidney (fn. 2) told the Queen everything that had passed with me and how she had given me hopes that this business would be carried through, and had assured me that the only thing wanting was that the Archduke should come, whereupon I had said that I had written to your Majesty to that effect on her word alone. It seems the Queen answered her that it was all well, and since things were at this stage, she had better leave us alone for the present as she (the Queen) wished to see what we should do. When I saw Lady Sidney again she told me that she had been bidden to say no more than had been said in this business, and she was obliged to obey, although she was sorry for it, as she knew that if she might speak she could say something that would please me ; but this must suffice. I might be certain that what was necessary and would ensure success was to satisfy the Queen as to the Archduke's coming and not to try to draw her out any further, for we should never make her speak any more clearly than hitherto. We should leave matters 28 they were and not frighten the Queen about her need and the wars which were to be made against her, as it distressed her, and she fancied that we did so to draw her into the match by force. It appears that the ambassador had recently spoken to her rather more plainly than she liked. We have followed Lady Sidney's advice and have refrained from going to Hampton Court. On Thursday, when the Queen came to London, the ambassador went to accompany her, and I believe that in the barge the Queen herself began to speak about the business to him, and he will write to your Majesty what passed between them. I think, however, she and he merely repeated the usual things, although Preyner says she opened out more than hitherto, saying that she thought she should be forced to marry. Preyner says that all her endeavour was to find out something about the Archduke's coming, of which he gave her no hope, unless she first signified her wish and summoned him, as we have always urged, and she has always refused to do. When she arrived I went on Saturday to inform her of the King's arrival in Spain and speak on other matters. After finishing my business I was about to take my leave when she began to talk about the marriage, and told me how the ambassador had spoken to her in the barge, and gave me a long history of what had passed between them. I let her talk and quite understood that she would have liked to know whether the Archduke was coming, which is the only thing she thinks about.
After letting her talk as long as she liked, I said that I had perhaps already gone further than I ought to have done in this business as your Majesty had a man of your own here, but that I knew that neither your Majesty nor the King my master would regret any effort made to forward it, and therefore I would still give her my frank opinion, which was that she remained in so exacting a determination and was so very far from answering your Majesty's request that no arrangement was possible. The desire of your Majesty was to know whether she would marry the Archduke, and her answer was that she did not want to marry him or anybody else, and if she married at all it would only be to a man whom she knew. In addition to this she said that she did not wish the Archduke to come, by any means, as she did not wish to bind herself even indirectly to marry him. I told her that if some compromise could not be come to it was not worth while to lose time over it. I thought the best way would be for her first to premise that she had to be married, as she saw she could not avoid it, and since she said she would not marry a man she did not know that she should be pleased to let the Archduke come over for her to see without her being bound more than she is at present, and that your Majesty should be informed of this, so that if you decided to send your son on these conditions it might be done without loss of time. We were at this for a, long time wasting words, and at last she said the following words to me, which I copy here that your Majesty may the better consider them. She said, "Shall I speak plainly and tell you the truth; I think that if the Emperor so desires me for a daughter he would not be doing too much by sending his son here without so many safeguards. I do not hold myself of so small account that the Emperor need sacrifice any dignity in doing it."
By these words and her manner of saying them I understood that she made no difficulty as to the conclusion of the business, but only in the procedure to bring it about. They think we are treating the matter punctiliously with her, and that your Majesty wishes your son to be supplicated and summoned, which she said she would never do ; she would rather die a thousand deaths. She says it is not fit for a queen and a maiden to summon anyone to marry her for her pleasure, and Lady Sidney has said the same thing to me many times. Seeing this, and that she made no difficulty about the substance, I thought we need not make any about the rest, and I told her that if this was the only difficulty I thought none would be raised by your Majesty in sending your son hither, but that your Majesty could not guess that she wished to negotiate in this way, and as the coming of the Archduke might displease her, it was necessary that your Majesty should be satisfied as to her wishes on the point. She answered that no one would ever know them from her, except by asking and proposing it to her in your Majesty's name. At first I appeared pleased at this contention, and then said be it so, and that in the name of your Majesty I proposed to her whether she would be pleased to allow the Archduke to come and see her without any obligation on her to marry him. She asked whether your ambassador or I was commissioned to propose this. I said that if I told her we were so commissioned she would know that I was not telling the truth, as she was aware that nothing had ever been said to us about the visit until now, that some of her household recommended it to me. She thought I was going to tell her about Lady Sidney's conversation, and drew back a little as if surprised ; but as I saw that she did not wish to be approached on that side I said, and repeated, that your Majesty had never understood that it would be a good way to negotiate to send your son to be married in a quarter where the only answer ever vouchsafed was that there was no idea of marrying at all. Now, however, that it is understood that the visit may he convenient and advantageous he perhaps would be sent, and, with this end, I begged her to tell ine whether she would be pleased that he should come. She smiled and said that she prevented no one from coming to her realm, and I replied that that was not the kind of license I craved, for even Turks could come in that manner, but that I wanted to know whether she would be pleased for him to come and see her as a suitor for her hand. She answered I that she could give no reply to that unless it was asked in your Majesty's name. I saw this was only vanity, and being desirous to obtain a reply, I said that as she did not wish to reply to this except it came in your Majesty's name, which she saw could not be done at present, it occurred to me (o put the question in the name of the King my master, who as a friend and kinsman of both parties would be glad to know her wishes in order to be able to advise your Majesty on the matter. She was pleased at this expedient, and, after expressing some regret that your Majesty should desire her so little as to need persuasion before condescending to send your son hither, she told me that she would be glad for the Archduke to come, and asked me what languages he spoke. We chatted on the subject very pleasantly for some time and in a vastly different mood from her other conversations about her not wishing to marry. So much so that I told her that if it were not that I feared to arouse the suspicion of those present I would kiss her hand for such a gracious answer, and then, to draw her out still further, I asked her whether she thought the Archduke should come publicly or secretly, as we wished to do nothing displeasing to her. She drew back again at this and said she did not wish to be pressed anymore ; he should do as he thought fit, and she did not want to Jpow anything about his coming. I said I thought it would be better for him to come privately, as I knew that was what she wished, and she replied that she hoped to God that no evil would befall him coming in this way. During this conversation she reminded me that we were to agree that she was not to be bound to marry the Archduke if he came and knowing that this was only dissimulation and that she really means to marry him, as I think, for otherwise she would never consent to his coming which she has always refused hitherto, I agreed to this condition, and said all should be as she wished, and I was sure the Archduke would suffer no loss of dignity by coming to see her Majesty even though she might not marry him. I did not throw any doubt upon his coming as I knew it would vex her, and, because your Majesty is not bound in any way by what I proposed, which was all conditional on your Majesty's will and was done in the name of the King my master as intermediary. What I have aimed at in these conversations is to show her that I understood her, and I said I conceded at once the condition she imposed, because I knew that the condition would become unnecessary as soon as she saw the Archduke with whom she would certainly be satisfied, and whom she would not allow to go out of England again. Sometimes she was silent at this way of talking, but when I pressed her much she seemed frightened and protested again and again that she was not to be bound, and that she was not resolved yet whether she should marry ; but this was after we had agreed about the Archduke's visit. At length, to give me to understand that she was serious in her demand, she repeated what we had agreed upon in order that I should put it in writing, and when I took this as a joke she said she would not trust me as she knew I was deceiving her, and she would write to the King herself that he might bear witness that she would bind herself to nothing and had not asked the Archduke to come. I thereupon kissed her hand and told her I was glad that this account would not depend upon my recollection, and I should be quite easy with what she wrote. I expect she will write these protes'ations very seriously, but her letter must be explained jointly with mine, and her words need not cause any alarm as they are certainly nothing but ceremony. I might easily be deceived myself, but I do not believe that Lady Sidney and Lord Robert could be mistaken, and the latter says he never thought the Queen would go so far.
This is the actual state of the affair, and your Majesty, as is fitting, will decide the course to be pursued with all the prudence, consideration, and counsel which the importance of the business demands. I know full well how unnecessary and inadequate I am, but as I cannot keep silent altogether I will give my own opinion as a help to others. I premise that we have to depend principally not on the Queen's words but upon her great necessity, and, although she may boast, as she always does whenever I speak to her, she is really in grave fear as she sees the French increasing their army in Scotland, and the Catholics here more steadfast and discontented than ever ; and she understands that she is not safe against conspiracy, her own people having tried to kill her Master-of the-horse, and even, it is said, endeavoured to poison her. For these several reasons it is known that she is determined to marry, and will do so before Christmas according to the general opinion ; indeed, she told me herself that the people were troubling her about it so constantly that it was impossible for her to avoid satisfying them. The necessity being admitted for her to marry, and to marry wisely, there can be no doubt that she has not consented to receive the Archduke for the purpose of refusing him and offending your Majesty and the King my master, as well as injuring herself, as she certainly would do, notwithstanding anything she may say. It can hardly be believed, moreover, that if she did not mean to marry she would condescend to such vanity as to bring a son of your Majesty here to no purpose. I therefore say that as the necessity is evident, and she is doing now what she never would do before in allowing the Archduke to come, she is receiving him for the purpose of marrying him, and your Majesty may well send him on this conjecture for, although it is no more than a conjecture, the circumstances are such as to make it a manifest demonstration. If it is objected that on these premises she would marry the Archduke without seeing him, I can only answer that in pure reason that is so, but, as she is a woman, and a spirited and obstinate woman too, passion has to be considered, and I have heard her speak of the matter so determinedly that I am afraid she might take into her head to marry a son of the king of Sweden, or some other heretic, which is exactly what the people around her advise her to do. She is, in short, only a passionate ill-advised woman, and withal, taking into consideration the objections to the Archduke's visit and those which weigh on the other side, I think that his Highness's coming has much less objection than his staying away, as his coming would involve no loss of life, danger to property, nor sacrifice of dignity, the enterprise being such an honourable and worthy one, directed as it is towards the profit of religion and the welfare of the commonwealth, together with the preservation of peace, and the aggrandisement of your Majesty's house.
His failure to come, on the other hand, would be evidently followed by his losing this woman, and with her, all the advantages which I have recounted, as I am certain she will not marry the Archduke without seeing him.
Your Majesty will bear in mind that this is not the first marriage that has been effected in this way between princes of the first rank, and that your Majesty's honour is not at stake, even if this repulse were offered, which I do not anticipate, as there are plenty of people, both in and out of England, who would say that the business was broken off by us. I am therefore of opinion that your Majesty should be pleased to send the Archduke with your blessing and the protection of the Almighty, in whose service I am sure you would not hesitate to send him to a war or battle where the peril to life and reputation would be much greater than in this enterprise.
It might be said that he came to see his sister, the duchess of Blenes, and pass Christmas with her, and if this business do not turn out well he could return there and decide what course to take as circumstances might dictate. If he should come your Majesty might send with him some persons suitable to intervene in the conclusion of the marriage and advise his Highness day by day.
—From London, &c.
Having written thus far and decided to await the letter the Queen was to send me for the King my master, secretary Cecil sent to say that if I wanted the letter I was to go and see the Queen to day at two. I did so and found her with the letter in her hand very merry. She read it to me and I send your Majesty a copy. She then spoke for some time about the letter and gave me to understand that she was still undecided about the business, but afterwards passed to other matters very different from the uncertainty which she would like to persuade us she feels. She asked me whether your Majesty would be angry with her if the Archduke were to return home unmarried, and I answered that your Majesty would not be angry with anyone so long as the agreement was not broken, although you would regret such an issue of the business ; whereupon she said God forbid that she should offer such a slight to a house with which her ancestors had so close a friendship, and she said besides that she knew that this was the best marriage in christendom for her, and I might be sure she would only take the best. She asked me several times whether I thought your Majesty would let the Archduke come, and I told her I thought you would, and that she would marry him in less than two months, notwithstanding her protestations ; to which she replied that she did not know. Sometimes again, she said it might be so, but she was not decided one way or the other : in short, if I were to tell your Majesty that I considered the business otherwise than certain, I should be going against my conscience. She wanted to know where we were going to lodge his Highness when please God he should arrive. I said here in my house until she received him in hers, which would not be long first. At last, catching her off her guard, I think I discover that she is really as much set on this marriage as your Majesty is, and I believe that she is keeping up this suspense in order that the Archduke may think she accepts him because she has seen him, and not that she sees him because she has accepted him, and so to make his Highness understand that it is to her and no one else that he is indebted for the marriage and the kingdom. She doubtless also wishes the King my master to write again begging her to be pleased to accept the match, which I hope his Majesty will do. She had altered and added much to what we agreed on Saturday should be written .... After taking leave of her I spoke to Cecil and having listened to him for some time and seeing that he was beating about the bush I begged that we might speak plainly to each other as I was neither blind nor deaf and could easily perceive that the Queen was not taking this step to refuse her consent after all. He swore that he did not know and could not assure me. We passed from this to talk of the affairs of the country, and he confessed that they knew that if the Queen did not marry they could not avoid ruin, and he displayed the fear they have of the French, and how they know of the arrival of Hans Guillem to raise troops in Germany and the preparations they are making in France for the enterprise as well as the small hopes these people have of the disturbances in Scotland. He said that the French, in order to impede the marriage with the Archduke, had offered great alliances and friendship to the king of Sweden if the match with his son could be brought about ; and they well understand that this is only to alienate the Queen from her connexion and friendship with the king (Philip) and thus for the French to be able to invade the country more easily. The conversation ended by his saying that he hoped, in view of all this, that our business would be settled, and promised sincerely to give all his help, in return for which I assured him of the entire favour of the King my master and the Archduke. He said the Queen hoped the King would not abandon her in this strait, and I told him that if this marriage were brought about I was sure that the King would not only renew the alliance and unity with this country, but would do more than was expected, as the Archduke was his first cousin, to which he replied that if this were so he was sure the king of France would not at present attempt the conquest of the country, as both my King and your Majesty would defend it, which I admitted, always on condition that the marriage was effected, but keeping silence when this condition was not mentioned. He told me also that the Queen was sending large forces to the frontier of Scotland, and that a great fleet was being collected ; but all this with so little spirit and in such a manner that it is clear they are much alarmed. This is what has happened to-day, and I therefore add it to my letter, as it confirms my former opinion, and I think that your Majesty should by no means fail to send the archduke. Frederico Coloredo, your Majesty's servant who bears this is acquainted with much that has passed in this business. He is an honest and prudent lad, and can tell your Majesty many things which I do not write, in order not to make this letter too long. I have written it in such minute detail because Preyner will not write anything of these two interviews, and it is precisely on what passed at them that your Majesty will have to form your judgment. I wrote to the ambassador Vargas, at Rome, that he must take care the French do not get at the new Pope and cause him to proceed against the Queen (Elizabeth) on the Scotch queen's claims. It would do much damage both here and elsewhere before the marriage. They will not venture to talk about it afterwards.
65. The Bishop of Aquila to the King.
I have been advised by your Majesty's letters of 25th August and 8th September of your Majesty's safe arrival in Spain, and I have communicated with the Queen as commanded. As regards the marriage, your Majesty will have seen what I wrote to the duchess of Parma on the 9th ultimo, and your Majesty will learn what has since happened by the copy I enclose of the letter I am now writing to the Emperor, which is so full that it leaves me little to say except upon one point which I have not thought fit to mention to his Majesty for fear he might feel some scruple about it, and so jeopardise the success of the business.
In my last interview with the Queen, whilst I was urging and persuading her to consent to the Archduke's visit, she said she did not dare to summon him as she feared he might not be satisfied with her. I said that could not be as she was so well endowed by nature, and other things to the same effect, whereupon she replied that he might not be dissatisfied with what he saw but with what he heard about her, as I knew there were people in the country who took pleasure in saying anything that came into their heads about her. This she said with some signs of shame, and I answered that we who were treating of the Emperor's business were not so badly informed that we did not know something of what was necessary in deciding the affair, and Her Majesty might be sure that if there were anything which the Archduke should not hear or learn, the idea of his coming would not have been entertained by us, and this being so, she could understand thereby the high esteem in which your Majesty had always held her, and with this I tried all I could to change the subject, signifying that there was no need to speak of it. I saw she was pleased as she no doubt thought that if the Archduke heard any of the idle tales they tell about her (and they tell many) he might take advantage of them to the detriment of her honour if the match were broken off, and, although from this point of view I was not sorry, as the fear may not be without advantage to us, I thought well for all other reasons to say that I grieved greatly that Her Majesty should imagine such things, and should think that the Archduke was capable of any other thought than that of serving her in any case, whether she married him or not, and that such considerations were not worthy of her rank or that of the Archduke. The same remark had been made by me before in conversation by Lady Sidney, only I understood then that she was complaining of the rivals her brother had. At any rate the Queen now remains without a shadow of misgiving on the point, and I am in great hope that it would not have occurred to her unless she thought the marriage would take place. I write this to your Majesty that you may miss nothing of what passes in the business ; and on other points I have only to add to what I write to the Emperor, that I hope if this marriage takes place the Archduke will come so well prompted about religion, and so well attended that the principal object of his coming, which is to serve God, shall be attained ; without which the rest may not endure long ; and that the Queen may not be able to deal with him, as she hopes, in accordance with St. Paul's saying, that "the faithful wife often wins over and convinces the faithless husband," which our Lord in His mercy forbid in this case, as it would be the opposite to what St. Paul says.
I have answered the Irishmen what the bishop of Arras wrote me from your Majesty. I fear that finding themselves so sorely pressed about religion they may have appealed to France, as I have heard some of these Frenchmen speak of them with great regard. I have advised Senor de Chantonnay of this, that he may be on the look out. I humbly thank your Majesty for 1,000 ducats pension from the church of Plasencia, and another 1,000 on account. Pray consider how much I have to spend here when my permanent allowance is fixed.—London, 5th October 1559.
Simancas, B. M. MS., Add. 26,056a.
66. Bishop Quadra to the Bishop Of Arras.
On Thursday the Queen had ordered the marriage of one of her lady servants to take place in her own chapel and directed that a crucifix and candles should be placed upon the altar, which caused so much noise amongst her chaplains and the Council that the intention was abandoned for the time, but it was done at vespers on Saturday, and on Sunday the clergy wore vestments as they do in our services, and so great was the crowd at the palace that disturbance was feared in the city. The fact is that the crucifixes and vestments that were burnt a month ago publicly are now set up again in the royal chapel, as they soon will be all over the kingdom, unless, which God forbid, there is another change next week. They are doing it out of sheer fear to pacify the Catholics, but as forced favours are no sign of affection they often do more harm than good. The Queen still pretends to be irresolute about the Archduke, and is on dreadfully bad terms with the French, and says they who think themselves so clever will find themselves outwitted at last.—London, 9th October 1559.
67. The Count de Feria to the Bishop of Aquila.
Have not written before because in truth every time I recollect how the King has gone to Spain without making proper provision for your Lordship I am so annoyed that I cannot help expressing it. I do not wish to recount the way his Majesty treated matters during the last few days he was here. He cared little whether we paid out of our own pockets instead of he and the commonwealth. I hope he will open his eyes now that he has gone to cure his home sickness in Spain. Things are going on badly there, and they are coming to such a pass that we soon shall not know which are the heretics and which the christians. I will not believe evil of the Archbishop (fn. 3) or his companion, nor of the archbishop of Granada, who has also been summoned by the inquisitors. What drives me crazy is to see the lives led by the criminals and those led by their judges, and to compare their respective intelligence. The Duchess and 1 have written warmly to the King urging your needs. God knows what the result will be. I should be glad if that woman (Elizabeth) were to quite lose her head and bring matters to a point, although when I think what a baggage she is and what a crew she is surrounded by, there is probability enough of my wish coming true.
It seems the Emperor up to the present refuses leave for his son to go, and, to tell the truth, I cannot persuade myself that be is wrong, nor do I believe that she will either marry him, or refuse to marry him, whilst the matter at issue is only his visit Real necessity, however, may make her open her eyes and marry, although the laxity of the neighbouring princes may still allow her to deceive herself. As to what Lord Robert and his sister say I do not believe more than the first day that the only thing the Queen stickles for is the coming of the lad. The Countess is confined with a fine big boy, and, thank God, is going on well, but we cannot leave here until after the winter cold is over. Pray ask the Queen for license for the Countess' grandmother to remain another six months, and Clarencis as well. Ask Lord Robert and his sister on my behalf and tell them that Cecil will be against the business. I beg you to treat the matter with a high hand, and give them to understand that it will be well to keep me in a good humour, although it may be a vanity for me to say it, but I swear to you that as long as I live I shall try to bring about that which you know, and what is not done one day will be done another. This license must be granted at once, because the present one expires at Christmas, and the time is short. Please ask the Admiral and Lord Robert for the dogs they promised me, which I want for a present. I have no news for you from Spain, except the list of the books they have prohibited, which I enclose.—Malines, 14th October 1559.
68. The Bishop of Aquila to the Emperor.
Since writing my long letter by Frederico Coloredo on the 6th instant we have inquired in all possible quarters as to the Queen's intentions about the marriage, and have favourable news. Your Majesty should send His Highness at once in the way I have already recommended.
We told the Queen yesterday that we thought the Archduke would soon come and she was much pleased, although she already knew it, and had told Lady Sidney, who assures us now more than ever that the Queen is resolved on the marriage. The truth is that her necessity is such that if the marriage is not brought about she may find herself in grave trouble. I write to the King my master again asking him to write to her, pressing her to conclude the match for reasons which are evident, and also because if the Archduke comes and is rejected it will be great offence to your Majesty and the King and all his house. I hope to God it will have the desired effect. The list of the household and state kept by the kings here shall be sent to your Majesty in my next, as I have not dared to ask for it openly for fear they might suspect whom it was for. The coming hither of the count of Helfenstein would be of but little service at present, or until the conclusion of the business has to be negotiated, and as this cannot be until the Archduke comes, we think he had better stay in Flanders and bring his Highness over with him disguised as a member of his household. I have written to the Duchess to this effect. Pray pardon us for taking resolutions in this way, but it is all done with intention and desire to serve your Majesty.— London, 16th October 1559.
Simancas, B. M., MS. Add. 26,056.
69. Bishop Quadra to the Duchess of Parma.
The Queen is very pleased and gay, as she thinks the Archduke is coming, but otherwise as fickle as ever, and as determined to see him before deciding. This woman's troubles are growing apace, and her house will be in a blaze before she knows it. I am sure if the Archduke comes she will marry him, particularly if we flatter and give her presents which will influence her more than her need. Not only are the French daily becoming stronger in Scotland, but all the country is so much against this Queen that the catholics are not by any means the most suspected people now. A plot was made the other day to murder Lord Robert, and it is now common talk and threat. The plot was headed by the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Surrey, and all the principal adherents of the Archduke. The Queen and Robert are very uneasy about the Duke of Norfolk, as he talks openly about her lightness and bad government. People are ashamed of what is going on, and particularly the Duke, as he is Lord Robert's enemy. The Duke is a great friend of ours, and will no doubt come to receive the Archduke, which he may well do as he occupies the principal place in the country. For these reasons I think the marriage will take place, but we must touch the Queen and Council to the quick, as they are the only waverers, the country being with us.—London, 29th October 1559.
70. Bishop Quadra to the Count De Feria.
Many many thanks for the kindness and condescension shown to me in your letter of 14th instant, for which I am especially thankful, as I see your annoyance at the troubles of your poor people is sufficiently mitigated for you to write about them. God knows that my own vexation has been more caused by the knowledge that you were in trouble about us than by the evil itself, although in good truth the joke has been a bitter one for me, and I do not know how I shall come out of it. I should rejoice to know that the affairs of the Archbishops and good Friar Juan was not graver than mine. I cannot understand, knowing them as I do, how they can have done anything to deserve their bad treatment.
I have sent to the father confessor (fn. 4) the letters written to me by some of the godly men here deploring the degradation of these good friars that he may see the effect that this business has had on matters here. I do not suppose that the letters will have much influence, but at all events I console myself with the knowledge that affairs here are going on better, in the devil's despite, as these catholics are firmer than ever, and the heretics are fighting so much amongst themselves that they have no time to scoff at the way we catholics are persecuting one another.
Bedford attacked Cecil the other day about the crucifix, and the Queen also insulted him for some other cause unknown to me. The heretic Bishops are grumbling to her about their revenues, and are beginning to preach against her ; in fact, if I were tc tell you all that is going on I should never finish. The harvest is ripe if there were someone to come and reap it, but I can see no hope of that except from heaven. Your Lordship's opinion with regard to the Queen's marriage would hold good in the case of a woman of brains and conscience with which this one is not troubled, but, as it is, I think she either will not marry, or, if she do, it will only be because she has brought the Archduke here and likes him. Her need cannot be greater than it is, nor does it suit us that it should be so, as that would mean an appeal to arms, which I believe His Majesty does not desire. The best feature in the match with the Archduke is that the French would retire from the business, and the minds of catholics and heretics would calm down, as both would think he would favour their side. In this respect all the heretics are quite content that he should be a catholic so long as he leaves them at liberty, and I feel sure the Queen would do the same, as she is certainly tired of the vapourings she gave way to at first. It will be well for your Lordship to urge the coming of the Archduke, as it is most important, and the ambassador is sending one of his gentlemen to the Emperor to press it. The freedom of these blackguards annoys me beyond measure, as the Queen says the most extraordinary things, and I always have a retort for every word which greatly offends but does not frighten her, whereas I should like to follow an exactly contrary course, first making much of her, and then give her some gall syrup in the form of news of leagues against her which she fears most.
Here we are, ten or twelve ambassadors, competing for her favour, and now they say the duke of Holstein, brother of the king of Denmark, is coming, and, as they tell me, not a worse-looking man than the Archduke. The King of Sweden's son, who is here, is fit to kill the Emperor's ambassador, because he said his father was only a clown who had stolen his kingdom from the crown of Denmark, and the matter has reached such a point that the Queen is careful they should not meet in the palace to avoid their slashing each other in her presence. To crown it all they are making mischief with me about it.
The other day when Pickering was going into the chapel, which is inside the Queen's apartments, the earl of Arundel came to the door and told him he knew very well that that was a place for lords, and he must go to the presence chamber. The other answered that he knew that, and he also knew that Arundel was an impudent discourteous knave, which the earl heard, and went out without answering a word, leaving the other to enter. Pickering tells it in public and refrains from challenging him as he holds him of small account, but it is only right that he should refrain as the other is very weak.
Lord Robert will ask for license for another six months for the Countess' grandmother, as Lady Sidney says he will do it better than she. If the Queen will not give it I will ask for it in a way that will not fail to be serviceable, as I am now able to do (fn. 5) as I like with the Queen more than formerly, since she sees that all clergymen are not sheep like those of her own country. I will also ask the Admiral and Robert for the dogs, and will send them as soon as I can.
A thousand thanks for good offices with the Duchess of Parma. God grant they may not forget to pluck me out of the trouble in which they have placed me.
There is much talk of the present made by the Queen of Bohemia to my lady the Countess. The ladies of the palace here are very humble and civil, which is more than their mistress is. Congratulations on the birth of Don Lorenzo, who they tell me is a brave boy. I write to the bishop of Arras on Irish affairs, which are more important than we think.—London, 29th October 1559.