Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1888.
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February 1536, 16-20
|17 Feb.||21. Eustace Chapuys to the Same.|
Rep. P. C.,
Fasc. 229, ii. 10—2.
|I wrote to Your Majesty on the 29th ult., giving an account events in this country up to that date. (fn. n1) As I suppose that my despatch has been received, I will not repeat its contents.|
|On that very day the good queen of England's burial took place, which was attended by four bishops and as many abbots, besides the ladies mentioned in my preceding despatches. No other person of rank or name was present except the comptroller of the Royal household. The place where she lies in the cathedral church [of Peterborough] is a good way from the high altar, and in a less honourable position than that of several bishops buried in the same church. Had she not been a dowager Princess, as they have held her both in life and death, but simply a baroness, they could not have chosen a less distinguished place of rest for her, as the people who understand this sort of thing tell me. Such have been the wonderful display and incredible magnificence which these people gave me to understand would be lavished in honour and memory of one whose great virtues and royal relationship certainly entitled her to uncommon honours!! Perhaps one of these days they will repair their fault, and erect a suitable monument or institute some pious foundation to her memory in some suitable spot or other.|
|On the same day that the Queen was buried this King's concubine miscarried of a child, who had the appearance of a nude about three months and a half old, at which miscarriage the King has certainly shown great disappointment and sorrow. The concubine herself has since attempted to throw all the blame on the duke of Norfolk, whom she hates, pretending that her mishap was entirely owing to the shock she received when, six days before, he (the Duke) came to announce to her the King's fall from his horse. But the King knows very well that it was not that, for his accident was announced to her in a manner not to create alarm; besides which, when she heard of it, she seemed quite indifferent to it. Upon the whole, the general opinion is that the concubine's miscarriage was entirely owing to defective constitution, and her utter inability to bear male children; whilst others imagine that the fear of the King treating her as he treated his late Queen,—which is not unlikely, considering his behaviour towards a damsel of the Court, named Miss Seymour, to whom he has latterly made very valuable presents (fn. n2)—is the oral cause of it all. The Princess' governess, her daughters, and a niece of hers, have greatly mourned over the concubines miscarriage, never ceasing to interrogate one of the Princess' most familiar maids in waiting on the subject, and asking whether their mistress had been informed of Anne s miscarriage, for if she had, as was most likely, they still would not for the world that she knew the rest of the affair and its causes, thereby intending to say that there was fear of the King's taking another wife. (fn. n3)|
|The Princess, thanks to God, is doing well. She changed her lodgings last Saturday, and on her journey to her new residence was better attended and provided with money and every necessary than she has been for a long time past. That came very apropos, for she was thus enabled to distribute alms on the road, the King, her father, having sent her one hundred crs. or thereabouts to expend as she pleased. There is a rumour, as Master Cromwell sent me word immediately after the Queen's demise, that the King intends increasing the Princess' household and estate. May it be so, and may God, forbid that tit ere should be a snake in the grass, (fn. n4) or any other danger to her. It seems to me as if the King had only been waiting for his mistress' confinement. Had she been delivered of a son, as both were almost sure would be the case, he would, certainly have summoned, the Princess to swear to the statutes. I do not know what he may do now. I have warned the Princess to consider whether, in case of her being much pressed to take the oath and thereby reduced to extremities, it would not be expedient for her to offer, the very moment the King, her father, had a son, to accede to his wishes, and in the meanwhile begin from this day to flatter and, make herself agreeable to the governess. As soon as I get an answer to my message I shall not fail to apprize Your Majesty.|
|It appears that the English vessels detained at Calais, as I said above, will not be soon released, inasmuch as these people, notwithstanding the French ambassador's remonstrances on Candlemas Day—when he went again to Court, still refuse to make any innovation in their ordinances, customs, and statutes. Should the people of Bordeaux be equally obstinate and stubborn, some trouble and disorders may be apprehended. At least, such is the opinion of the French ambassador, who, having four days ago received letters from king Francis, sent word, though at a late hour, to a merchant and great friend of his, who happens to provide anything he wants for his household, to put his affairs in order, and be ready to quit England when needed; for he understood that ere long there would be disputes and contention, perhaps war, between the King, his master, and this one, not only on account of matters appertaining to the Faith but likewise owing to their refusal to grant the Princess' hand to the Dauphin. Yet it seems to me as if there was no likelihood of that, for king Francis has lately granted leave to export a large quantity of grain to this country. Neither do I hear now of Briant's (fn. n5) return to France, as once reported, nor of any further negotiation just now between the French and English than the one above alluded to.|
|On the 4th inst. Parliament met, a pamphlet having "been printed at the same time for the information of its members, containing a list of the measures to be discussed therein: such as the suppression of all Church ceremonials concerning images and the worship of saints, and likewise against those who affirm that there is a purgatory. In accordance with which prohibition, and the statutes formerly passed against the authority of the Holy Apostolic See, preachers have been enjoined to instruct the people thereupon, and an order has accordingly been circulated to the prelates as well as to the minor clergy. Indeed, no later than last Sunday, the archbishop of Canterbury (Cranmer) played his part well in the great square in front of the cathedral church of this city, where, in a sermon of two hours, he filled one half of that time with most blasphemous abuse of His Holiness, the Pope, and his predecessors in the Holy See. Next Sunday the archbishop of York is to preach, and after him all the rest of the prelates of this kingdom, so that after a time, one by one, from the highest to the lowest, all the clergy of England will be made to preach in a similar strain. In fact, this King's principal aim is to bring over his subjects to his opinion, so that he may more freely dispose of all the revenues of the clergy. With regard to other articles of the Lutheran sect, they have no difficulty in getting them generally accepted, not even that of the non-existence of Purgatory,—the most novel and strange of all to the English in general, and particularly to the nobles, whose ancestors instituted several ecclesiastical foundations and endowments for the good of their posterity. Yet, should the above measures be ten times more iniquitous titan they really are, nobody will dare oppose them, and contravene the Kings will, unless help and support come from abroad.|
|Yesterday the personage sent by Mr. de Roeulx arrived here for the purpose specified in my last dispatch, namely, to devise means for the good issue of the preconcerted undertaking, and inform me of what he himself is doing [in Flanders] towards ensuring the execution of our plan; but, as I have already explained in my last two despatches, (fn. n6) I very much fear that the opportunity and season are gone, and that it will be more difficult than ever to bring about the flight of the Princess; for, in the first place, she has now been removed to a house distant more than 15 miles from the one in which she first resided; and as Mr. de Roeulx supposed that she was to embark near Gravesend, 20 miles from this city, the master of the vessel engaged for the purpose not daring to come further up the river, it would be necessary for the Princess and her suite to ride 40 miles, which could not be done without hating relays of post-horses. Even then it would be impossible for the Princess and her followers to make such haste as not to be stopped on the road; for although in the village where she is now staying plenty of horses and men can be procured, yet she would have to pass through a great many large villages and towns, where, if recognized, she is sure to be stopped. None of these risks had she to run at her former dwelling, for there were near it neither horses nor men, besides which the Princess would not have had to pass through places where six or eight stout men armed with hackbuts could not have proved a sufficient escort for her protection. Nothing is so certain as what I am about to state. Had it been possible to have the Princess conveyed to some place on the coast, below Gravesend, as the skipper assets, the enterprise would have been crowned with success; but, as I said above, the place of embarkation is now too far off, and the journey on horseback too long and fatiguing, and, besides that, fraught with danger. On the other hand, should the vessel be able to enter the Thames, and come as far as two miles from this city, the danger might be of another sort. It might then be low-tide, and therefore, before reaching Gravesend, or going out of the river, the vessel might be stopped. The skipper says, among other things, that he would not dare put people below, for fear of his vessel being scrupulously searched, as they are in the habit of doing. But, in my opinion, that would not be a serious obstacle, for the Princess and her escort might be sent down in barges (charrues), as if they were passengers or seamen, and then be landed on the other side (de la) of Gravesend.|
|The Princess holds it as certain, and so have other people assured me, that about Christmas next she will be removed to other quarters, Indeed, she herself fancies that she will be sent either to the place whence she came, or to another still nearer, which would be most favourable for our plans.|
|However this may be, I must say that, notwithstanding her most ardent desire to escape from the constant anguish, tribulation, danger, as well as annoyances of all sorts by which she is beset, the Princess would still prefer a more sure and efficient remedy—one likely to arrest the growth or at least to prevent the germination of these pains and dangers [she is subjected to],—namely, that Your Majesty should diligently bestow your full attention on the means to be employed for the general and total extirpation of the evil. Not only would that be a most meritorious work in the eyes of God, it would be also the means of saving innumerable souls now on the verge of perdition, and otherwise ensuring the peace and tranquillity of Christendom (fn. n7) In the Princess' sentiments in this respect I cannot help concurring, for even granting that she could be taken out of this country, which, as I have above stated, is an enterprise fraught with danger, matters would not improve much here; and, as she herself justly observes, it would thus become necessary to resort to force, when the whole affair would become more difficult than it is at present, for king Henry, who is rich and possesses great treasure, might, in desperation, engage in some enterprise against Your Majesty, or at least put himself on the defensive; whereas nowadays he is completely unprepared, and, considering himself safe, takes no precautions at all. So, at least, the Princess thinks. As to myself, I really believe that were the Princess at your Court, this King would think twice before he took a high hand and kicked against the pricks. (fn. n8) Yet the Princess is continually soliciting me in various ways, and as earnestly as she possibly can, sending me daily messages and, so forth, to beg and entreat Your Majesty to hasten the remedy so often pointed out by her and by me, which seems to her to tarry long, and will at last come too late, so much so that, as she writes to me, she is daily preparing herself for death.|
|The Princess wished me to send an express messenger to Your Majesty to make the above representations, or else that the late Queen's physician, who seems inclined to leave England, should be the bearer of her message; but remarking to her that this would be tantamount to casting some doubt on Your Majesty's perfect love and good disposition towards her and her affairs, and, assuring her at the same time of the vigilant care for her safety that is taken in those parts where Your Majesty at present is, (fn. n9) I made my excuses for not sending one of my own servants on such an errand, and I must say that she seems satisfied. I will also do my best to prevent altogether the physician's journey to Your Majesty's court in Spain or elsewhere, and, should I not succeed, will retain him here as long as I can, were it for no other plausible reason than the need the Princess herself may have of his attendance, as in case of illness she would trust no one but him. Though the physician has not yet been regularly appointed to attend on her, as I myself begged the King to do after the Queen's decease, yet I know that orders have been issued to the governess to allow him to visit the Princess whenever she needs it,—which, besides being a great consolation and comfort to her, will, if the permission lasts, be the means of forwarding our plans for the future.|
|Should the Princess' suite, as the rumour goes, be increased through the appointment of some of her mothers old servants, and were it possible to place near her person the one who was once the apothecary's assistant (fn. n10) and served also as "valet de chamber" to the late Queen, the Princes' flight might, in my opinion, be greatly facilitated by it, for he is a man of resource, and very well disposed to help, if necessary, in an undertaking of that kind, especially if the Princess came nearer to this city, or was sent to the place where she at first resided; which event, as I said above, is expected next Christmas, when navigation generally becomes easier for rowing vessels, and the King himself is in the habit of going into the country, for then every chance would be in our favor. In the meantime Mr. de Roeulx might make in Flanders the necessary preparations, and also procure, if he has not done so already, the above described craft ; (fn. n11) besides which, as appears from a letter which the King's concubine wrote to her aunt, McShelton, the Princess' governess, shortly before she miscarried, and a copy of which is here enclosed, there is at present no great urgency. I do not know whether the letter I allude to is a feint or not, though the manner in which the Princess came by it appears to me rather suspicious. The governess seems to have left or dropped it by mistake in the Princess' oratory, the latter read it, copied it out, and afterwards carefully replaced it where she found it.|
|Should there be occasion to carry out the enterprise, it would be undesirable for Your Majesty to keep me longer here, for no one could persuade this King, whatever excuses should be brought forward, to the effect, that I was not the inventor and promoter of the whole plan, and consequently nothing would prevent him from wreaking his vengeance on me, for in that as in many other circumstances of his life this King would like to show his power, and prove to the world that he is afraid of no one ; and certainly it is not his concubine who would calm his anger on the occasion, for she hates me for having always spoken the truth, and thwarted her accursed designs. It would, therefore, be advisable that, when everything is ready for the Princess' flight, I should, under some pretence or other, be recalled and ordered to make a tour in Flanders, and then ostensibly quit this country with two or three of my own servants ; for, as I once explained to the man sent by Mr. de Roculx, it would be extremely difficult, nay impossible, for me to take an active part in the Princess' escape, or leave England at the time she does, for I should surely be detected. On the other hand, should I go to Flanders, people here might perhaps entertain less regard for the Princess, imagining that, once at the Imperial Court, I could there work more to their advantage.|
|My it please Your Majesty to send me positive orders as to my line of conduct in this affair, that they may be punctually obeyed, and not to attribute the above remarks of mine to want of good-will on my part, or fear of death in Your service, which I should consider my highest honour and glory.|
|Two days ago two natives of Ghelders arrived on a mission to this King. As soon as I hear what they come about I shall not fail to advise, as likewise of what is done in this new Parliament, where no resolution worthy of special notice has yet been passed.—London, 17 Feb. 1536.|
|Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."|
|Addressed : "To the Emperor."|
|French. Original, mostly in cipher, pp. 8½.|
|18 Feb.||22. The Emperor to Luys Sarmiento [de Mendoza.]|
|S. E., L. 35, f. 80.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
|We wrote to you on the 18th ult. and 1st inst., and not only has no answer come from you, but the despatches of the 11th, which you say went to Madrid, have not been forwarded to Us here, though no less than three different couriers have come from that town. We are the more astonished and grieved at this, that our letter of the 6th of December (fn. n12) was of great importance, inasmuch as We informed you that the ambassador of our brother, the king of the Romans, had proposed to Us the marriage of the Infanta Dona Maria to the Dauphin of France, and of Our sons with his daughters. The Austrian ambassador has already had an answer to this effect in date of the 20th of January, whereas you yourself, in your letter to the High Commander of the same day say nothing about it.|
|Even the French ambassador has heard from his master, and spoken to Us about it. Both the King and the Queen (our sister) were very grateful at the offer of intermarriage, though it must be said that respecting that of the infanta Doña Maria [of Portugal] to the dauphin of France some difficulties were started ; indeed it seemed at first as if the king of Portugal wished to get out of this offer, and to propose one his own daughters (the princess Mary) as a wife for the said Dauphin, in order by that means to obstruct and delay the con- clusion of the intended treaty of marriage, without, however, resolving positively to continue or break off the negotiations. (fn. n13)|
|Enclosed is a summary of Our conversation with the French ambassador on this particular subject, that you may read it to the king of Portugal, that he and Dom Luiz may know how sincerely We are acting in this matter. It would seem as if the King were delaying the conclusion of this marriage either out of disinclination to produce the money belonging to the Infanta as her dowry, or from some other motive; and although the delay is convenient to Us, until We see how the affairs We now have at Rome turn out, yet these might be settled so soon and so satisfactorily that it would become suitable to effect the marriage at once if the King really wishes for it.|
|You were wise in avoiding altogether in conversation the subject of Milan. Do persevere in that line of conduct, because although We wish all possible prosperity and advancement to the Infante [Dom Luys], our brother, matters are not at present in a situation to contemplate such an idea.|
|Of the state of France you must have been fully informed by Our letters.|
|The Swiss neighbouring upon Savoy have entered that duchy for the purpose of aiding the Genevese, with whom they are no longer at variance. We have given orders that 1,000 infantry be sent to the Duke's aid from Lombardy, that he may the better defend his land.—Naples, 18 Feb. 1536.|
|Spanish. Original minute, pp. 5.|
|20 Feb.||23. The Same to Covos.|
|S. L., de Sec. y O.,
B. M. Add. 28,588,
|Covos: order the enclosed letter for the Empress to be written in cipher and addressed to her, and let a copy be made to be sent by the gentleman I mentioned to you, who, I think, will be Lope Mercado. (fn. n14)—Naples, 20 Feb. 1536.|
|Spanish. Holograph, p. 1.|
| 18 Feb.
S. E., L. 35, f. 82.
B. M. Add. 28,588,
|24. The Same to his Ambassador in Portugal, Luys Sarmiento [de Mendoza].|
|Since writing to you the other day (fn. n15) an event has occurred, which, though of no great importance in itself, it is proper that you should be acquainted with. The very same day that the funeral of our aunt, the queen of England, was celebrated here, We being in our cabinet, preparing to go to church and attend the funeral service, accompanied by the foreign ambassadors and other principal persons who were waiting for Us in an adjoining room, the ambassador of His most Serene Highness the king of Portugal entered our cabinet. As the English ambassador, who had been invited to the ceremony, had excused himself, We acquainted the former with the occurrence, telling him that since the English one would not attend the service, he himself might go if he pleased. Our object in saying this was to avoid any question of precedence between the two ambassadors. The Portuguese readily assented, and promised to go away before the funeral ceremony began; but just when he was on the point of departure We were informed that the English ambassador had suddenly changed his mind, and was outside with the rest of the ambassadors ready to go with Us to church. Aware of this, We sent word to the Portuguese ambassador, that although his master's relationship to the deceased Queen necessitated his presence on the spot, yet We thought that in order to avoid complications it was better that he should not attend the obsequies; and therefore he did not go. Should you consider it necessary or be called upon to explain to the king of Portugal the above circumstances, you will do so in conformity with the above account, which is the exact truth, and you may at the same time, if need be, add that the Portuguese ambassador has on this occasion, as well as on others, behaved in a very devoted and discreet manner.—Naples, 18 Feb. 1536.|
|Signed : "Yo el Rey."|
|Countersigned: "Cobos, High Commander."|
|Spanish. Original minute, pp. 2½.|
|20 Feb.||25. The Same to the Same.|
|S. E., L. 35, f. 81.
B. M. Add. 28,588,
|Since writing the two letters that go with this We have heard from our ambassador at the court of France that levies of men and great military preparations are being made in that country; that 8,000 Germans are already enlisted, and that king Francis is actually in treaty with the 15,000 Swiss who lately attacked Geneva, to secure their services. The rumour is that this formidable armament is intended against Savoy, part of which country the French king claims as his own; he, moreover, is giving out that whoever shall help the duke (Carlo II.) he (Francis) shall consider as his enemy. There is also a talk of great undertakings against Milan and Navarre, unless some arrangement be made in the meantime by which he may presently or afterwards get possession of that duchy. We are trying to temporise with him, and meanwhile have given orders that in Germany, as well as in Italy and Spain, Our armies may be increased. You will inform the King, the Queen and Infanta (Dom Luiz) of this. —Naples, 20 Feb. 1536.|
|Signed : "Yo el Rey."|
|Spanish. Original minute. pp. 2.|
|20 Feb.||26. The Same to the Empress Isabella.|
|S. E, L. 35, f. 75.
B. M. Add. 28,585,
|This present post messenger was about to start when news came from Our ambassador in France (Hannaërt), advising that 8,000 Germans are already near Lyons ; 12,000 more were soon expected from another quarter; the French militia (las legiones de la tierra) were also getting ready, and it was thought that king Francis was in treaty with the Swiss, actually besieging Geneva. In addition to this, one French army is to invade Italy, and another Navarre. Our said ambassador having asked king Francis how it was that such military preparations were being made in time of peace, and when negotiations for a closer friendship between him and Us were being carried on? the King answered that he did not intend infringing existing treaties; he only wanted to secure himself against his neighbours. We ourselves were also arming, and if the excuse that Our armament was destined for Algiers was found good, he himself could allege that his was intended against the duke of Savoy (Carlo II.), who retained unduly what belonged by right to his own children. No treaty had yet been broken, and if anyone helped the Duke, he (the King) should consider such a one as his enemy. He was only waiting for an answer to the letters he had written to his ambassador at the Duke's Court, as well as to the one he has here with Us. Should We agree (he said) to his proposal about Milan and the duke of Orleans, he would do wonders. He had dispatched to that effect the admiral of France (Brion) with full powers and instructions to treat. Fearing, however, a refusal on Our part, he was arming, &c.|
|Though a good deal of this may be called mere bragging, according to French fashion, yet the military preparations king Francis is making now, and his general ill-will towards Us, make it incumbent on Us to be on the alert. As the armaments We have ordered throughout Our dominions will take more time to raise than We should wish, We have resolved to gain time and temporise. Yet We are determined, as We informed you in our last, in no wise to entertain King Francis' overtures about Milan and the duke of Orleans. We have informed him that We much prefer giving the investiture of that duchy to Mr. d'Angoulême, the third of his sons, inasmuch as by conferring it on him We see greater security for the future. If, however, the King should still insist on the duke of Orleans (Henry) getting the Duchy, We have no objection, provided the securities offered are of a satisfactory nature. To arrange this matter, he (Francis) may, if he likes, send a person here [to Naples] with sufficient powers to treat, for We do not intend to quit Italy before the 3rd or 4th March, and the preliminaries of such a treaty might be discussed at Rome, whither We intend going, certain as We are that as the French cannot, and will not give the securities demanded by Us, some time will be gained thereby. On the other hand, king Francis might all of a sudden fall upon the duke of Savoy and disconcert all Our plans; but against that possible contingency We have provided by inserting in Our memorandum a clause to this effect: "The Emperor promises " to entertain a proposal about Milan and the duke of " Orleans, provided no innovation be made in other matters ;" and, besides that, the Duke (Carlo) has been written to to make such a temporary arrangement with the French as to prevent their destroying him and wasting his land.|
|However this may be, it is urgent to press the armaments everywhere. Here, in Italy and in Germany, everything is going on well. In Spain, orders must be sent to the duke of Albuquerque (D. Beltran de la Cueva), and to the constable of Castille (D. Pedro Fernandez de Velasco), to prepare between 8,000 or 10,000 men for Navarre, and 3,000 or 4,000 for Perpignan, towards the enlisting and arming of which 40,000 crs. will be set apart out of the money that is to come here.—Naples, 20 Feb. 1536.|
|Signed: Yo el Rey."|
|Spanish. Original minute, pp. 6.|
|27. The Same to the Same.|
|S. E., L. de aut.
B. M. Add. 28,588,
|The other letter that accompanies this is nothing, as you will see, but mere fun; and though I say in it that I know of a good many ways of sending you frequent letters, I fear that the contrary (fn. n16) may shortly have to be said, at least on the side of France. I also mentioned in my letter the causes of my delay, which I really believe God has this time ordered, for had I been on my way to Spain at this juncture, when Francis is so well prepared, and I, myself, so unprovided with money and men, I should have found myself in a strait without knowing what to do, or where to turn. I told you in my last that my departure would probably take place on the 2nd of March ; I now say that it will be regulated according to time and circumstances. As you will see by the news of last night, which our ambassador in France (Hannaërt) has, no doubt, already communicated to you, matters are in such a critical state that, were I to be in Spain now, I should have to come back in a hurry. You must, therefore, be satisfied for the present with words and promises which perhaps I may not be allowed to fulfil. God knows how grieved I am at all this, and how ardently I wish that it might be otherwise. I am now offering what you will see by the enclosed; I justify myself, and it might happen (I have not entirely lost all hope) that some good may come of it. Though, on the other hand, the king of France being the sort of man he is, fully armed, and confident in his power, may be tempted to make a trial of strength, and I confess that my fears of such a contingency are now stronger than my hope of peace with him. That is why I tell you, my dear Lady, that this is no time for "soledades y requiebros." (fn. n17) Expand that heart of yours to suffer whatever God may ordain. I hope sincerely that all will turn out well in the end, but let extreme diligence be kept up in fortifying and provisioning the towns on the frontiers of Navarre and the Roussillon. Let soldiers be enlisted and formed into squadrons; let a scrupulous search be made everywhere for money, and should God send us any from Peru, though consigned to private persons, let it be taken and used in the present emergency. (fn. n18) Send me the galleys with the men and money mentioned in my last, and let this be done with the utmost speed, without waiting for one, two, or three of the galleys; if the rest be ready,, let them come. Let the subsidy of the Clergy be collected, since the papal bulls authorizing it must already be in your possession. And do not lose courage or fear the results, for here with us every effort shall be made to meet the enemy efficiently. (fn. n19) But for this kind of work, money, money, and more money is required; send me, therefore, whatever may have been already collected, and do your utmost to procure me the sum wanted.|
|Though my absence may thus be longer than I anticipated I am confident that my return to Spain will be for the greatest repose and happiness of us both. Should things turn out well, and tend to peace, I will certainly not prolong my absence three months beyond the promised year. If so, since the greater part of the armament and cost is already incurred, the expedition to Algiers might be undertaken. On that account the stores of provisions and ammunition ought to be kept in order. Yet, as that expedition is not yet decided upon, and is subject to so many contingencies; as it has no longer the importance it once had, owing to Barbarossa having evacuated that city, the undertaking might possibly be intrusted to the Infante [Dom Luiz], as I intimated in one of my letters to you. That is the reason why I should have wished that the latter had not been written to in my name, as if I had already destined him to command the expedition against Algiers. You may, however, be sure that whatever is to be done for the promotion and welfare of the said Infante [of Portugal] will command my greatest care, especially the English affair, which, if properly conducted, cannot fail to turn to his advantage. The Infante should keep himself in readiness for such time as I should tell him to come forward, and, instead of the Algiers expedition, which, as I said before, is rather problematic just now, take, with greater chance of success, the road to London. It does not seem to me either just or reasonable to keep the Infante in suspense, and therefore you had better inform him, or the Portuguese amabassador, of my sentiments towards him. I fancy that the Infante will feel tremendously the misfortune that has befallen the Duke and the Duchess, his own sister; (fn. n20) but what could be done, or what remedy provided against such wicked men, fearless of God, and without faith or honour !! He (the Duke) was taken unawares, and before he had made his preparations for defence. I have consoled them both for the death of their son, (fn. n21) and I do really believe that they have felt more the present blow than the other. I should wish, and I have sent him word to that effect, that they made terms with Francis. At any rate, I intend doing my utmost for them both, the Infanta being the person she is, and your own sister, and I loving her as I do; but, for the present, taken by surprise, as the Duke has been, nothing more could be done on their behalf. I believe, however, that this French affair will turn out like many others of theirs; at the onset they will gain some advantage, but in the end we shall break their heads.|
|Very glad to hear that the king [of Portugal], your brother, has been pleased with my answer. His ambassador at this my court has requested me, in his master's name, to delay, or at least not to mention for the present, the marriage of the Infanta Doña Maria to the Dauphin of France. I am of a contrary opinion. I think it is not desirable to drop the negociation altogether, for should there be a question of peace, and one of the conditions stipulated be that the princess of England should be married to the Infante Dom Luiz, then king Francis is sure to be the better disposed towards the marriage, &c. The Infanta herself will see what I write to Luys Sarmiento concerning this.|
|The minute of this letter is in my own hand. I have caused it to be put in cipher because it would not do that such matters as are herein discussed should fall into other people's hands. (fn. n22)|
|Spanish. Cipher. pp. 5½.|