587. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
We have been all this week expecting what the enemy would
attempt. He is now between this and Herentals, having made sundry
skirmishes with the garrison, and offers as though he meant to
besiege it. In it are M. la Noue, Mr Norris and M. de 'Moye,
with 7 ensigns of our countrymen, 5 or 6 of French, 3 of Allemans,
and 2 cornets of horse, well-disposed to await the enemy ; besides
the burghers, who are in all towns of the country, have during
the troubles been well exercised in arms. The place is of
reasonably good defence, and so provided with victuals, powder,
shot, and other munitions, that if the enemy attempt it, it is like to
cost more men and time than he will willingly spend on it, besides
that the country round will hardly minister victuals for many days.
Some of his troops have approached within two English miles
'here hence,' the States' men having dislodged, and abandoned the
villages before them, even to the suburbs of this town, where the
greater part of their footmen that are not in garrison lie, to the
number of 30 or 40 ensigns, and have there intrenched themselves ;
expecting daily to be attempted by the enemy, whose whole force
is coming forward, being estimated at 12,000 or 13,000 at the
outside. Some of his 'avant currers' have these two days made
light skirmishes with our men at the end of 'Burgenhout,' not
more than a mile hence ; but 'exploiting' nothing of importance
have again retired to Duren, not past half-a-mile further, where they
'lie strong,' and wherein our men have found means to put fire, to
drive them to seek 'harborough' further off. What their drift is,
is 'diversly discoursed.' Some think they would not have ventured
so near but in hope, partly by their intelligence, partly by the terror
of their approach, to effect some inward trouble in this town ; having
thereto stirred up sundry ill ministers to prepare the way by sowing
divers seditious bruits to draw the people into some tumult against
the States, and consequently to set them together by the ears. He
imagines it the more easy in respect of the diffidences and jealousies
amongst them for religion, whereof he hopes to make profit, or at
least will venture it. Others think he means to besiege either Lyre
or Herentals, the rather in regard of the discontent of the States'
army, whom he thinks—as has been the case with some—they shall
not be able to draw together in any number. Others imagine
necessity has forced-him to take this course, to live upon his enemy's
country in order to spare his own, which is eaten so bare that it can
hardly sustain his army.
His approach has hastened the departure of all our reiters, so
malcontent with the States that not a man would remain to do them
service, notwithstanding that means were made to retain 3,000 or
4,000 of them. The enemy, profiting by their discontent, frankly
sent them his safe-conduct by the Duke of Saxony, which they have
accepted, and so gone towards Bois-le-duc, to return through
'Corsback,' captain of the Hungarians, a very valiant gentleman
upon some jar two days since between the Prince and him, has gone
after them as much discontented as any.
The Emperor's ambassador is vehemently suspected to have
played false in this action. He still lies about 'Aquisgrane' and
feigns to be malcontent that the Duke of Parma 'detracteth his
audience.' Since his departure he has written nothing save only
how he has been abused in that behalf ; but his proceedings in this
journey compared with the effects of his former journeys fully
confirm the suspicion long since conceived of his loose and sinister
The provinces of Hainault, Artois, Lille and Douay seem bent to
run a desperate course. They stand fast on the pacification of
Ghent and perpetual Edict, which if the King will promise to observe
they are resolved to go through with their reconciliation. The
Bishop of Arras and Baron de Selles, 'employed with them
from the Prince of Parma,' have omitted nothing to advance
their purpose, seconded by la Motte and the rest of that faction :
yet the Marquis of Havrech by his letters puts the States in
hope that they will not separate from the generality, which few wise
men other than himself can think. But there is yet some hope of
bridling them by the confusions that are like to grow among them
when their towns and people, 'consisting' for the most part 'of'
manufactures, shall be shut from all trade and 'vent' of the
commodities they live by, and otherwise secluded from those reliefs
which the rest of the provinces afford them ; especially Holland and
Flanders, whence they have the greatest part of their provisions,
their own country yielding little save grain. Here and at Ghent
they have arrested above 100,000 crowns' worth of merchandise
and provision to be sent into Artois, and will not suffer a jot of it
to pass till they see what course they will take ; a thing chancing
very happily to make them know the importance of preserving the
union with their compatriots, without whom they cannot long
In Flanders the Walloons 'branschart' the villages as
much as ever, and are newly become malcontent both
because their request to be put into garrison in Maestricht,
Brussels, Lyre or Bois-le-duc is not granted, and that they have
not their pay, according to the contract. But the fury of the
peasants begins to assuage, the soldiers being dislodged out of their
country and come over into Brabant, and so the cause of the
tumult removed ; a thing happily ended if it rest where it is,
because the confusions, already too great, need not be increased.
On the 26th inst. should begin the general assembly of the
States ; against which M. des Pruneaux prepares the minds of his
master's faction to resolve upon his 'affected ' election to the
Seignory of this country ; with so much the better hope of success
as the state of things here grows to greater misery and extremity.—
Antwerp, 1 Mar. 1578.
Add. Endd, 4¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 70.]
588. Draft of the above. 32/3 pp. [Ibid. XI. 70a.]
589. Draft of part of the above. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid, XI. 10b.]
590. Draft of the remainder, in Davison's hand. Endd.
2⅓ pp. [Ibid, XI. 70c.]
591. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
On Feb. 22. I informed you of my return from conducting the
French. According to my orders I thought to bring them back to
Herentals to join M. de la Noue and M. de Mouy, if they had
been willing to recross the river, but they refused to do this failing
their pay. For this reason the Germans were sent there, and five
companies of English under Col. Norris ; making with those already
there the number of 15 ensigns. Their entry was much to the purpose,
for the enemy having the day before set himself up with victuals at
Turnhont came to surround the town, where he was straightway
received with handsome skirmishes. Meanwhile he battered with
six guns, of which the largest were two demi-cannons, the castle of
Grobbendonck (which to their shame they abandoned) and the
town of Herentals. His army is at least 43 ensigns of Germans
under Colonels Frundsberg, Polweiler, and Annibal 'Dems,'
supported by 17 cornets of reiters and 2,500 lances, without the
Spanish and Burgundian infantry, making in all 10,000 foot and
7,000 horse. They have since approached to a league and a half
from Antwerp, and hurried to Cantecroy, where some French have
Our army is concentrated at 'Burgrault,' a suburb of Antwerp,
where I have quartered the French, the other English companies
already established there, with some German. The Scots arrive there
this morning with five companies of M. d' Egmont's and others ; with
whom we hope to make up 10,000 foot and 3,000 reiters, who have
stayed voluntarily, with the light horse. We hope to checkmate
and ruin the enemy both by the difficulty of food and by other disadvantages
prepared for him at the points of transit.
All Duke Casimir's reiters and others with little wish for the combats
solicited by the enemy, have secured a free retreat, without
waiting for the leave of the States or their generals ; nor (sic)
without blushing for shame, when the enemy was behind them. I
leave you to judge if they were bidden by honour, or overtaken by
No one knows what to say of the enemy's design in advancing so
far into the country, unless he has intelligence in Antwerp or elsewhere.
It is true, that by advices from Rouen, we are told to look
out at Antwerp and Mechlin. For my part I think he is advancing
in the hope of detaching those of Hainault and Artois. This has
been repaired by means of the people, although la Motte's partisans
tried to practise ; wherein the Marquis of Havrech and M. d'Inchy
have negotiated very well.
The enemy has had great designs in his enterprise on Carpen, in
connexion with which they had a plan to siege Cologne and build a
citadel there, to close the ways into the country.
By the reunion of the provinces which they are labouring by all
means to effect, they hope to break all the enemy's plans, the
moyens généraux being continued ; though Sancho d'Avila is in
Italy, thinking about bringing another army.
I told you that the peace-negotiations had gone off in smoke, and
that Count Schwarzenberg had withdrawn. The Emperor has since
written to the States to settle their own affairs, for he could do
nothing in the business but mediate. The electors summoned to
Cologne to attend to it have thrown up their commission, perceiving
that the aim of the Spaniard was only to deceive, and taking example
from the peace made by the Bishop of Liége.
Our affairs have been in a lamentable state, which has been
imputed to the Prince [cipher], who has been in great apprehension.
He has recalled his guard, not trusting the burghers on this sudden
appearance of the enemy. God grant that our hope of seeing all
things put right may come to pass.
I send you the protest of the Viscount of Ghent and M. de Capres
together with that of M. de Montigny and the letter of Count
Lalaing of Feb. 22, as an instalment of documents which I will send
when I hear from you.—Antwerp, on my arrival from the camp at
'Burguerault,' where plenty of skirmishes are going on, this 1 Mar.
Add, Endd. Fr. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 71.]
592. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
The letters herewith were closed yesterday, but detained till this
morning because the post by whom I meant to send them departed
no 'rather.' All this morning the enemy has been in skirmish
with our people at 'Burgenhault,' of which they are now masters,
having driven the forces that the States had there even to the walls
and gates of this town. What this will grow to is a matter full of
I have thought good to send you by this bearer my servant all
the obligations I have, save that for Spinola's sum, which being
made otherwise than I liked is corrected, and to pass the seal anew
to-day. I would be glad if you would take some order for the jewels
still in my hands, and beg you to procure me a discharge from her
Majesty for the obligations I send.—Antwerp, 2 March 1578.
P.S.—Excuse me for this time to such of my Lords as expect
private letters from me. I am half blind and very ill and sickly
withal, and have been for these 14 or 15 days.
I send three obligations from the States-General, two of £20,000
apiece and one of £5,000, with three particular obligations for the
same, from Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges. I will send those for
Spinola's sum in a day or two ; but I also send herewith the two
bonds of indemnity which I received of them long since. Please
allow my man to take copies of them, as I have retained none.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XI. 73.]
593. Draft of the above. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. XI. 72a.]
594. Rough draft of above. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XI. 72b.]
595. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
I told you in my letter of the 1st how I had quartered the French
under my charge in the suburb of Borgerhout. They had entrenched
there and broken down the bridges over a little stream, to strengthen
the place further, and also barricaded the approaches, perceiving that
the enemy had designs in that quarter in order to see how things
were in Antwerp ; where according to the information of their spies
there was general division on grounds of religion among both the
Estates and the burghers, as well as discontent about the soldiers'
pay, on the report of Duke Casimir's malcontent reiters who as I
wrote to you have shamelessly retired with a safe-conduct from the
enemy. Accordingly on Monday the 2nd, before daybreak, the
enemy marched up his army, known by the report of prisoners
to have a strength of 120 ensigns, or 9,000 infantry, with 3,000
horse. The Prince of Parma was present, with the Count of
Rœulx, M. d'Hierges, and other chiefs, who being urged by madness
and vain-glory equal to that of Don John at Rimenande, tried to
force the passage of the river en camisade. They attacked the
trench held by the English and French with incredible pugnacity
and the loss of more than 300 of their most distinguished before
reaching the barricade, where being engaged it was judged good to
send our men some pikes. The fighting was obstinate for two
hours the enemy being compelled to advance in file to force the
barricade. This being seen from the fortifications of the town,
where the Prince of Orange was looking on, he sent orders to our
men to abandon the barricade and retire in good order under cover
of the guns ; which was done with stubborn fighting on the part of
all alike. Of ours were killed 250, including 3 captains, Ferrette,
Thys, du Long, and two taken prisoners, French all of them.
Finally the enemy having entered the village set fire to it on one
side, and our men on the other to preserve the windmills, which
they retained 'by favour of' the guns. The combat was sustained
by 2,000 of our men from daybreak till midday ; when the enemy's
army retired and went back to the quarters from which they had come,
named Ranst, where they are very short of provisions. For this
reason they will speedily pass by Lierre and return to Louvain, to
get something to eat. If we had had any cavalry to follow them up
their loss would have been heavy, as I could tell having been an
eyewitness of the above, which you may take for a true report. It
is true that there is some talk and fear of their intention being to
pass into Flanders ; which they will find dangerous, owing to the
crossing of the river.
The Estates have retained 3,000 of the reiters most willing to
serve who were at Bergen-op-Zoom ; where Count 'Hollac' is
making terms for their retention.
A gentleman of Namur, named M. de Melroy, starts to-day on an
embassy from the States to M. d'Alençon. I hope to hear his
There has been talk here of M. d'Alençon going to England to
marry her Majesty. He must have given up the marriage with
the second daughter of Spain, planned by Queen mother ; the eldest
having been granted to the Emperor by the Duke of Terranova.
The enemy are awaiting him, to have money or peace.—Antwerp,
3 March 1579.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 73.]
596. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
I have been so ill-handled with an humour fallen into my eyes
for these 20 or 30 days that I have hardly had any use of them. I
therefore hope you will excuse my intermission of writing to you in
the meanwhile. I doubt not it has been supplied by the Secretaries,
whom I have acquainted weekly with what has fallen out. In my
last you may have heard of the enemy's approach to the gates of
this town. What his success in that enterprise has been you may
perceive by the copy enclosed.—Antwerp, 8 March 1578.
Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Holl and Fl. XI. 74.]
597. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
I hope you have ere this received the obligations for £45,000
which I sent last Monday by one of my servants, and I trust, find
them such as to content her Majesty. Now I send the two that
remained, touching the indemnifying of her Majesty for her bonds
granted to H. Palavicino and Spinola. They have been changed
two or three times because they were not to my liking, and now I
hope they are in such good form as will satisfy her Majesty. As I
have not a man here that can well take copies of them, I beg you to
allow my man that brought the last to keep a copy of each and also
to procure me a 'recipice' from her Majesty in such form as will
serve me to display hereafter.
As touching the jewels which I have here, you will do well to let
me know her Majesty's pleasure. In my rude opinion, the best way
were to transport them over, so it might be done safely. That done,
her Majesty would sustain little or no prejudice by undertaking
the discharge of Palavicino and Spinola ; the rather considering how
much her credit would be 'interessed' if she should indeed refuse
it, having passed the bonds and made it her own debt. The States
have been deliberating whom to send over, both to be a suitor herein
to her Majesty and for the causes I have heretofore 'remembered'
to you. But to deal plainly, I hear from some of the wisest of them
that the very want of money to defray his charge that should go,
has been a special let. Next month their moyens généraux 'practised'
in this town, will be clear ; and then I hope they will be in
some better taking. The approach of the enemy has done this
much good, that it has drawn them to disburse a good sum towards
the contentment of their men of war. But this town only bears the
burden, every province and town else keeping their purses shut.—
Antwerp, 8 Mar. 1578.
P.S.—I venture to send the bond herewith by this bearer, the
merchant's post, because I know the man to be very honest and
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XI. 75.]
598. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
The Prince has asked me to write to my brewer in London to
make him a brewing this month of 30 or 40 'tonnes' of our London
beer. This I have done, and must be a suitor to you for so much
favour in his Excellency's behalf, that when it is done, it may be
let pass without impediment. The matter is not great, and the
person such as cannot well be refused so small a pleasure. The
hands of three or four of my lords of the Council will as I learn
suffice without troubling her Majesty.—Antwerp, 8 Mar. 1578.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 76.]
599. Draft of the above. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid, XI. 76 a.]
600. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
I had worked all night on the 2nd inst. to advertise you on the
spot of what had happened that day between the enemy and our
English and French soldiers in the defence of the village and
suburb of Borgerhout, thinking that it would be agreeable to her
Majesty and yourself ; the secretary of the merchants having assured
me that a messenger was going the same day. To my regret this
did not take place, which causes me to complain to you, inasmuch
as I think such a matter merited dispatch, not to say a special
messenger ; otherwise my labour would be in vain, my diligence
and good service postponed to others, my work and goodwill buried.
I know not if Mr Davison or others did it to suppress my faithfulness
in this matter. I will tax no one, not being jealous of another's
vigilance and prosperity. It is true that I desire to have my
vigilant services recognized, without prejudice to another.
This finishing my resentment. I wish to inform you that as I
said in my last, the enemy retired by the way he came, part of his
army going to Turnhout, the rest against Herentals ; approaching
which they surrounded the castle of Grobbendonck, whither M. de la
Noue and Colonel Norris had that same day come, to examine the
capacities of the place. Having recognized it to be untenable, and
considering about returning to Herentals, they were surrounded by
the enemy, and in such risk that if they had not got away by night
with dexterity and cunning they would have been made prisoners
on the 5th with those who surrendered the castle. The commander
was Captain Normand, who has run away on account of M. la Noue's
indignation at the surrender. The enemy wanted to attack
Herentals, but seeing it well provided with men and munitions and
that he would lose time, has marched to Bois-le-duc, knowing there
are only the citizens and no soldiers there ; but perceiving that we
are reconstituting your forces with other order than in the past, that
is, 4,000 horse, and entertaining the English, French and Scots
without our Walloons, who are still doubtful, until there is full
security for the reunion of Artois (sic).
On Monday the 2nd, the Marquis was to have left Arras to assure
us as to their intentions ; but he has been detained a prisoner until
the boats from Artois that have been stayed are restored. They
have deferred till the 15th their resolution as to the peace they want,
hoping that we shall adapt ourselves to their claims. We are far
from this, seeing that Count Schwarzenberg has been dismissed as
unwelcome. And inasmuch as the trouble in Artois arises from
ambition, by which the lords of the country are instigated,
especially the Viscount of Ghent and M. de Capre, Capre has been
put on the Council of State to gain him. Meanwhile the Estates
are on the point of resolving on the 'Relligion Wlitz' upon observation
of the good understanding among the citizens of Antwerp,
shown on the occasion of the enemy's attack ; who will burn himself,
like a moth flying round a candle.
I send you several documents from which you will see the
intention of those of Artois under the solicitation of la Motte,
de Selles, and the Bishop of Arras, backed by two from Hainault,
the Abbot of Hannon and one Carlier, the sort of people who would
set the very springs on fire (des vray botte feu en fontainne).
To-day a clever person will start for St. Omer by whose dexterity
we hope to restore and reunite the town. It is in arms at present
owing to the arrival of the Viscount of Ghent, who has started some
new practices.—Antwerp, 1 March 1579.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XL. 77.]
601. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
I wrote to you last Monday while the enemy was in skirmish
before the gates of this town, where he made no long abode ; his
enterprise having less fruit than perhaps he looked for. His first
charge began about daybreak upon such of our men as were destined
to keep two separate passages intrenched half a mile outside
Borgerhout, which he soon forced, and by 7 o'clock had come to
their last trench at the upper end of that suburb. This was gallantly
defended till the French having made their retreat, and the
enemy, entered into their quarter, had cut between the town and
those that were at the trench ; who seeing themselves assailed both
before and behind and all succour cut off were driven to fly à vau
de route through the houses and lanes to a common on the north
side of the village, where certain squadrons of the enemy's horse
breaking forth upon them, slew at least six or seven score. After
the enemy had thus forced the village he followed the charge even
to the mills, within twelve score (sic) of the town walls ; but being
there annoyed by the great shot was driven to hasten his retreat,
the rather by the violence of the fire dispersed into every
part of the village behind them. On our side were lost
that day, that I viewed myself, about 200 ; but of the
enemy, in common opinion, not above 50 or 60, whom according
to their custom, they carried away with them, except some 9 or
10. Of prisoners few were taken on either side, especially of any
name. He began his retreat at 1 o'clock, setting fire to divers
principal houses and villages as he passed ; and lodged that nigh
three or four leagues off. Next day he summoned Grobbendonck,
castle about a league from Herentals belonging to the treasurer
Schetz, wherein was one ensign of French, who as soon as the cannon
was presented, yielded it up by composition and retired to
Herentals ; certain other soldiers, put in long before by the treasurer
for the safeguard of his house being hanged and put to the sword.
M. la Noue and Mr Norris, being the night before come thither to
give order to things against the approach of the enemy, made a very
hard escape through the thickest of them, by the guiding of one of
the treasurer's servants, and recovered Herentals. We hear since
that the enemy, having set it on fire and burnt such grain as was
within it, abandoning the attempt on Herentals, is drawing with his
whole force on 'Mastright,' some think with purpose to besiege it,
which is the rather believed because he is occupying all the places
of strength that lie anyway near it, whereby he may be better
victualled, and his enemy restrained. He has not only spoiled the
country behind him, which might relieve our forces, but also found
means to hasten the departure of the reiters, whose being near him
in so great numbers withheld him from attempting the siege of any
place of importance. In sum, he has thus sounded the forces of
the States ; whom finding unfurnished of any horse, and far inferior
to him in number of foot, beside the discontent of those they have,
for lack of pay, it is thought he will not 'forslew' his advantage.
Count 'Hollocque' being sent after the reiters has as we hear
procured the stay of 3,000 or 4,000 of them, on condition that they
shall receive a month and a half's pay in hand, which is made
ready for them. Some think Corsback the Hungarian is also
persuaded to return with them.
Of the doings in Artois we are still 'in very hard opinion.' By
their last answer to the States they gave them to the 15th of this
month to decide whether they will maintain the pacification of
Ghent, and perpetual Edict, or no. If not, they protest that they
will go through with their reconcilement with the king. But the
arrest of their provision and merchandize, both here and at Ghent,
to the value of 2,000 crownes, begins to make them bite on the
bridle, and will in some men's opinion be a great impediment to
that fond course ; because the people, generally 'interessed' by
this restraint, both for the want of victuals and for the 'vent' of
their commodities, already cry out against the authors of this intended
division. To satisfy them, they have stayed the Marquis
and the rest of the States' Commissioners there till they have an
answer to their contentment from the magistrates here ; who have
sent them a dilatory excuse, that in regard to the enemy's
approach and the likelihood of a siege, they could not conveniently
let it pass ; which is all the reason they can yet get of him.
Those of Lille, having well advised themselves, are as I credibly
hear this week reunited to the generality, by the labour of M. de
Villerval. The like is 'pretended' by those of Tournay, and both
have promised to send their deputies hither to remain as they were
wont in the assembly of the General Estates. I hope their example
may be of profit to the rest of their discontented neighbours.—
Antwerp, Shrovemonday [sic ; but he is a week too late].
Draft. Endd. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 78.]
602. Another draft of the above, dated February 8 [!] 2¼ pp.
[Ibid. XI. 78a.]
603. The QUEEN to the QUEEN of NAVARRE.
I hope you will not take it amiss that I have been so long in
replying to your last letter sent by M. de Roquetaillade, and will
not think this has proceeded from its being other than welcome. In
the first place, it was when I received it of somewhat old date, and
then Roquetaillade made a long stay here ; which is why I did not
answer you sooner. Your letter seemed to me an infallible proof
of your singular affection toward me, and of your desire that the
affair for which your brother has sent M. de Simier here may come
to effect. Yet to wish so disadvantageous a match for him might
make him with justice think you partial toward me, and that the love
you bear your own sex makes you forget what you owe to him as a
brother ; which perhaps might in some measure cool the greatest
friendship that could possibly be between two persons so closely joined
in blood. But feeling myself innocent of this charge, I am content
to risk the imputation of it, to become thereby more beloved by the
Queen of Navarre. For the rest, as regards the progress of the
affair, I know there is so close correspondence between your brother
and yourself, he not concealing his greatest secrets from you, that
you cannot but be well-informed of it ; therefore I will spare myself
the trouble [me deporteray] of relating it.
Draft in hand of L. Tomson, and endd. by him : March 9 1578,
her Majesty to Queen mother (sic). Fr. 1 p. [France III. 11.]
604. The QUEEN to QUEEN MOTHER.
The letter which you sent by M. de Roquetaillade testifies the
continuance of your affection toward me, and of your constant
desire to confirm and assure it by the most precious earnest you
could give. You may be sure that I remain in my heart not
insensible to the honour you do me ; but estimating the fruits of
your affection at the price of the opinion I have always had of them,
I am constrained to love and honour you yet more. With regard to
the subject in question I doubt not that you have heard what has
passed from the person most nearly touched by it. Yet I would not
omit to send you some details myself, were it not that this bearer is
uncertain when he will go in search of you, which makes me fear
that anything I might send you would reach you too late ; so I think
it better to refer you to what you will hear fresher from other
sources. I am very glad to hear that you are occupied (empeschée)
in so holy a work as extinguishing the fire which was beginning
to be rekindled, and would perchance have blazed up to the prejudice
of the whole realm, without your good provision ; having such an
opinion of your wisdom, dexterity, and address in the handling of
affairs, as you have often shown it, that I am sure it will all burn
out to the service of the King, the good of the commonweal, and
your own honour.
Draft by L. Tomson. Endd, by him : March 9 1578. M. her
Majesty to the Queen of Navarre (sic). Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. 12.]
605. The QUEEN to the DUKE OF ANJOU.
Were it not that the news of your great preparations moved me
so much that I could not keep my pen from writing to you, I should
not be bold to importune you so often with so great letters. But to
confess the truth, the distrust that I have conceived in regard to
M. Symier, that he does not counsel clearly enough, but with cold
enough words (mots assez gelés), forces me to beg you to consider
that his interview having an uncertain basis does not want its bases
too manifest (tenant fondement incertain ne rrquiert fondemens trop
manifestes). For if nothing ensued from it but an assured friendship,
the greater you would think the dishonour. And when I consider
that your arrival in Flanders preceded by a long time the rumour of
your going, it seems to me that another such journey would advance
your reputation, if I may say so, a hundredth part (sic) more than
all you have received from them. And I am sure that no one who
looks carefully at us will condemn us as not having acted with
mature judgement and sage advice. For no good can come of evil.
I will be silent, as one that cannot promise much, where I am aware
of so little sufficiency. Forgive me if my jealousy for your welfare,
with my regard for the perpetuity of our friendship, makes me too
forward in writing so freely to you.
Copy in a different hand. Endd. : 9 Martii 1578 ; from the
Queen to Monsieur. Fr. 1 p. [France III. 13.]