518. Bernardino De Mendoza to Zayas.
I send duplicates of my letters of 11th, 13th, 17th, and 21st
ultimo, as the weather has been very bad for the transmission of
letters lately. I have been a long while without anything from
your worship, which makes me more anxious than I can say, as I
receive no approval of what is being done here nor any reply to my
many letters to his Majesty. My only consolation is that your
worship has so fully instructed me that I cannot go very far wrong,
unless I forget your instructions ; but I beg you do not fail to give
me constant light for my guidance, which so new a Minister as
myself urgently needs.
As soon as Walsingham and Cobham arrived at Dunkirk, they
requested M. de la Motte (fn. 1) to come and speak to them, and they
would send hostages for his safety. As he did not accept the
invitation they sent a gentleman to treat with him, to whom he
replied that he would convey the message given to him to Don
Juan. These people are making earnest attempts to continue their
expeditions to the Indies, and, as you will see by my letters to his
Majesty, they are still equipping ships for the purpose. If he
wishes to take away from them their relish for the enterprise, it
would be well for him to order resolutely that any ship of theirs
that is captured should be sent to the bottom and not a soul spared.
If any mercy is extended to them, they will never desist from their
attempts, and, as they take but little force with them, it will not
require great efforts to do as I say. If once they set foot on land
the task will be a much more difficult one.
The Scots have twice recently crossed the border and taken a
hundred prisoners and two thousand heads of cattle, which is a
great haul, as they have not, for a long time past, made these
Guaras has again been examined since they put him in the
Tower. I will speak to the Queen about his affair at the audience
I am to have with her before she starts on her progress.—London,
5th July 1578.
519. Bernardino De Mendoza to Zayas.
Speaks of the difficulty of forwarding letters, and refers to private
letters to and from relatives, &c.
In addition to the difficulties I found on my arrivel here, I am
hindered by Juan de Vargas having written, as I previously
mentioned, saying that sending special couriers was costly and that
he had but little money for such purposes. I sent in my letter of
the 12th of April the communication which I received from Don
Juan on my arrival here with a statement which contained the only
instructions I had, but, I am afraid, from what his Majesty says,
that they will have been lost.
The Queen has been very suspicious of me hitherto, as she has
been assured that I was coming to perform I know not what bad
offices, but she is being undeceived and is turning her eyes now
more towards his Majesty. The same may be said of some of her
ministers, who have begun to get friendly with me, and I can
assure you that, if his Majesty wishes to retain them, I see a way
of doing it. It has been a good deal to bring them so far ; seeing
how distrustful they were of ever having any interest taken in
them by his Majesty, because, as they themselves tell me, no
account was made, even of their mistress, much less of them. Any
money that may be given to them will not be wasted. God knows
the trouble I have had in getting her and her ministers even so far
as this towards the condition which you mention, as they always
want to see something substantial beforehand, which is the natural
character of their countrymen. I am told by a person in the Palace
that, even in the matter of giving me audience readily, the Queen
has been considerably influenced by the gloves and perfumes which
I gave her when I arrived.
Before the Queen started on her progress, I spoke to her about
the change made with Guaras. She said that, after she had ordered
him to leave the country, an Irishman had divulged a certain plot
in Ireland in which Guaras was concerned. This having caused her
to send him to the Tower until the matter could be investigated ;
and, after that was done, she would send him to his Majesty to be
punished, as his actions had been so much in her disservice and to
the prejudice of her crown.
With regard to the arrested property misappropriated here, about
which I wrote to you, I am pressed by Hatton, the Captain of the
Guard, to claim it, making an arrangement with him to give him a
certain share ; upon which, he says he will have the persons who
now hold the property denounced, and will see that justice is done.
I beg you will report this to the King, and get his instructions.
I expect that the amount will turn out to be a large one, as Hatton
is in such a hurry for his share of it, and it would be a pity that
the property should be lost.
On the last day of this month the credit which Garnica sent
expired, and, if I am to remain here, I beg that it may be extended,
as well as the other credit for my extraordinary expenses, since God
has endowed me with no means of my own to meet them. I have
not recovered a penny of the back pay which was owing to me yet,
although Don Juan ordered me to be paid ; nor has the Marquis de
Ayamonte paid what his Majesty ordered of my revenue. I am
dealing with one of Walsingham's officers and a great man in his
office. He is entertaining my advances, and is giving me some
information already, from interested motives, in the hope also that
his payment will be regular if I stay here.—London, 19th July
520. Bernardino De Mendoza to Zayas.
Since making up the packet I have received yours of the 13th
June ; I have nothing to say, excepting that those who are desirous
of claiming the misappropriated property, part of the seizures, are
pressing me again upon the matter, which makes me think, seeing
the hurry they are in, that the sum will be a large one. If we can
get anything out of it the money may, perhaps, be employed in
gaining some of the personages here, without bringing funds from
Spain, besides which, if we let this opportunity slip, we shall never
be able to recover this money, as the people themselves tell me.
I am very sorry the spectacles arrived broken, as your worship
thinks them good. I will send another box in my next packet.—
London, 20th July 1578.