Venice: December 1534

Pages 11-12

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 5, 1534-1554. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1873.

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December 1534

Dec. 21. Original Letter Book of Francesco Contarini in St. Mark's College. 27. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador with the King of the Romans, to the Doge and Signory.
Yesterday the King's Lord Marshal, D. Leonardo Felz, told me that the day before (the 19th) his Majesty had been out hunting, and would have given me audience on the morrow (the 20th) but that the Queen had prayed him to take her out in a sledge with the whole Court, and that they would pass before my lodging. I said that his Majesty did well to gratify the Queen, and that it would give me great pleasure to see their Majesties. He then added that the next day (the 21st) he would come to me at noon to take me to the King, and thereupon he departed.
Shortly afterwards the sledges commenced passing, and I went into the street to wait for his Majesty, whom I saluted, and although he had never seen me before, and the horses were going at a good pace as usual, he returned my salute as graciously as possible. His Majesty was with the Queen, and according to custom drove the horse himself, and each of the other noblemen was accompanied by one of the maids of honour in the service of the Queen, the sledges being some twenty in number, so that it was a beautiful sight, and his Majesty, not satisfied with passing once, repassed three times before my lodging, which was a great favour on the first day of my seeing him. On the morrow I had my first audience, at the close of which I thanked the King for the great favour conferred on me yesterday by his passing thrice before my lodging; and then laughing he took me by the hand, and graciously conversing the whole way as if I had been long with him, led me to the chapel and showed me my place; after which he went to the Queen, with whom he always hears Mass, and on holidays he also attends the sermon, at the commencement of which, as it was preached in German, his Majesty sent me word to remain or depart at my pleasure. I replied that without understanding it I should nevertheless be glad to hear the word of God, and wished to remain in order subsequently to accompany his Majesty; and I also let the Queen know that I was commissioned by your Serenity to pay my respects to her. Her Majesty replied that she would gladly give me audience after the sermon, when she sent for me into the room where their Majesties dine, she and the King being alone. After the usual compliments I offered congratulations on the recent birth of her sixth daughter (they having only two sons), telling her that the late Emperor Maximilian used to say that kings should never have more than two sons, and that all the other children should be daughters, as with daughters Princes could always at their option make peace with Princes, and by means of daughters select their own sons. The King then interpreted, as the Queen understands only German and Hungarian, and having translated word for word the Queen was much pleased with Maximilian's adage, and it made her laugh.
Vienna, 21st December 1534.
Dec. 29. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta), File no. 14. 28. The Doge and College to Carlo Capello, Ambassador in England.
Send him enclosed summary of letters from Constantinople for communication as usual.