Venice
January 1629, 1-10

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1916

Pages

461-474

Annotate

Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'Venice: January 1629, 1-10', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 21: 1628-1629 (1916), pp. 461-474. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89210 Date accessed: 25 July 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

January 1629

Jan. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
660. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Earl of Carlisle and the Ambassador Roe arrived at Cologne simultaneously. The latter continued his journey along the Rhine, and arrived here three days ago. He put up at one of the inns, but has since gone to the English embassy. The earl went on to Brussels, where he can only have stayed a short time, as he arrived at Rotterdam the day before yesterday, and I fancy he went to Amsterdam yesterday. He proposes to stay there some days, possibly until the contrary wind has become favourable, so as to come here to see the Princess Palatine and then go straight on to England with Roe. It seems that the earl disdains to come here, professing himself offended at the remonstrances made by the States to his king when he went to Brussels. I saw the Palatine recently and learned this about the earl from him. It is possible the earl received some reprimand for his action and considers that the States were the cause of it.
The Palatine also confided to me that the earl had let it be understood that he was not pleased with him or his wife, as they had both denounced him as a liar, because he had gone to that Court, in spite of all his declarations that he would not. No one believed his feeble pretexts. The States and the Palatine could not help taking alarm at the visit, as there was everything to justify the greatest jealousy. Roe, to whom I paid a complimentary visit, defended the earl saying he was incapable of deceiving anyone; he really had no commissions to see the infanta, but as he had previously received special favours at that Court he thought it necessary to pay his respects.
It being my duty to remove all bitterness I assured Roe that the States never spoke of the earl except in terms of great respect, and his visit to Brussels was always considered to depend upon his commissions. Remonstrances in such cases could not be prevented and no one could take exception to them. He should try and mollify the earl. Roe said the earl's sincerity was so great that if the king gave him any orders to sully it, he would endure any torture rather than obey. He had expressed his resentment at Venice, Basel and wherever else he met Dutch ministers, but Roe promised to do all in his power to mollify him, and I fancy he meant to go and meet him for that purpose.
I spoke to the Palatine of what I had heard about negotiations between England and Spain, and tried to rouse him to do what he could to prevent such practices. I found him anxious but not hopeless, as he always trusts implicitly the numerous promises made to him by the King of Great Britain. He remarked, however, that England cannot make war on Spain and France at the same time, and it will be compelled to come to terms with one or the other. He would always prefer the peace with France, but the French would not behave properly and now the victory of La Rochelle made them despise everybody. They had always broken their promises in the past, and it was not possible to know what to expect from them.
I remarked that such explanations would not produce good results. Of two courses, the better should always be chosen, and in the present state of affairs the peace with France was most desirable while that with Spain was equally hurtful. He could not deny this and promised to use every office with the earl to shake any opinion he might have to the contrary. I also meant to perform a similar office with the queen, as I know her intimate relations with the earl, and how deeply he has been interested for the relief of her cause, but she gave birth to a daughter three days ago, her ninth child. (fn. 1) She sent to inform me of this event at the moment of her travail, two hours after midnight, and that she was sending a gentleman to England with the news, who would take my letters if I wished. I sent her my congratulations the day before yesterday and I am sure she will receive me among the first of her visitors.
I know on very good authority that the King of England has written a very affectionate letter to his sister in which he says these words: I am sure that you will hear a great deal said which will excite your misgivings, but I beg you not to pay attention to it, as I shall always be a good brother. Besides this, I know that a leading minister has written to her to the same effect, with more particulars, assuring her that Carlisle's last visit to Brussels was solely for the purpose of making the French jealous. The princess relies so absolutely upon this that she will not listen to anything to the contrary.
I hope to discover more if Carlisle comes here. The Palatine told me that the Duke of Savoy was preventing food and munitions of any kind from entering Geneva, adding ironically, that he must be doing so to win the love of the King of England.
Lopez will soon be leaving for France. Though he has stayed so long I do not find that he has obtained permission to do more than take away the two royal ships, and another bought by merchants, all fully armed, as well as 50 guns, which have long been ready. The ambassador has tried hard to get the States to give the ships an escort, to protect them from the English, but without success, as they are determined not to infringe their neutrality. I hear that they have been insured for 25,000 ducats with Amsterdam merchants, and will sail with the first favourable wind.
The Hague, the 1st January, 1628 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
661. To the Ambassador SORANZO at the Hague.
We desire you to obtain information about General Morgan, his character, ability and employment there, as well as of any inclination he may have to serve us, and with what appointment and assignment you think he would enter the republic's service.
Ayes, 17.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Jan. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
662. To the Ambassador CONTARINI in England.
We are advised by our ambassador in France that up to the 20th December he had adjusted all the points with Cardinal Richelieu, so that for three days he thought the affair completed; but a fresh difficulty was raised about leaving the matter of the queen's household in the hands of the queen mother, and also about the restitution of the ship St. Esprit. We greatly regret these difficulties, and we are sure that you will do everything possible to adjust them, so that peace may be concluded and a bar set up against Carlisle. France might easily be content to leave the affair of the household to the two queens, and even if the queen mother should hold some advantage, apparently England would not object. The fact that the St. Esprit was taken in a place of France's friends appears a strong reason for its restitution. You will urge these considerations, pointing out how little remains to be adjusted and how much may be lost by delaying the accord, and we hope soon to receive your letters announcing a successful completion.
The news from Vienna of the emperor's intention to make peace with Denmark in case the French descend upon Italy will be for your information only and especially to help you in case any progress is made with the negotiations with Spain, or Savoy intervenes, so that you may thwart anything injurious to the common cause. We hear from Rome and elsewhere of some idea of advantage that may be drawn from the disposition of the Duke of Bavaria, as a counterprise to their designs. This will serve for your information. Casale still holds out against the Spanish forces. The imperial commissioner is now at Mantua, as urged by Don Gonzales, insisting on the duke declaring himself, while M. de Lindel has arrived there at the same time, with promises of speedy relief from the Most Christian. This proves the deliberate decision of his Majesty, the cardinal, the King's brother and all France, joined with a favourable disposition towards the peace with England.
Ayes, 117.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Jan. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
663. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I am still in the dark as to what is happening on the other side of the Channel, and especially in Italy, much to my distress. I beg that the packets may be sent by Antwerp. The enclosed letters to France will show what has happened here.
The Antwerp merchant, Dorchi, of whom I occasionally make use for money matters, has begged me to assist one Ferrari, a correspondent of his, who is here for the purpose of exporting wheat. I gathered that this supply, instead of going to Leghorn, as pretended, is to serve for Genoa, and possibly for the Spanish army; so instead of helping, I shall try to thwart his scheme, though without throwing off the mask of civility, which may enable me to discover more. Your Excellencies shall be punctually informed.
London, the 5th January, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.664. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, his colleague in France.
Your letters have not yet appeared, but as twenty days have passed since Conter was despatched, I trust they may be detained at Calais by the very stormy weather. Despite this, the Dutch ambassadors have received a packet by a man-of-war, from their colleagues in France, dated the 19th December, after a conference with the cardinal, stating that from his language and the wish of France, their disposition towards peace continues. There are the usual difficulties about individuals. One of the least important of these is the restitution of the St. Esprit. As the cardinal has never given you a hint about it, I am at a loss to account for the divergent statements. The other relates to the queen's household. The cardinal told them positively that on the score of honour he would never advise the king to make peace without the reinstatement of the French, in accordance with Bassompierre's treaty, and with only two additional persons though their position affects the chief and most important offices in this household. When the ambassador spoke with the cardinal you had possibly not negotiated about the form of adjustment which I sent you, with the half measures suggested on these points, because to demand forthwith the absolute reinstatement of the French, whilst the flames are not yet extinguished, is to my belief impossible, as neither the queen nor the ministers can speak against what the king has so much at heart, the former caring more for the influence than the coming of the French, and it is not in the interests of the latter, owing to the officials employed in the queen's household. The French should consider that if Bassompierre, who was popular with both king and government, in a time of complete peace, could only obtain what he did, the English are unlikely to grant more after so many losses and when their blood is still heated. Bassompierre's treaty cannot be considered in force, as the French have already disowned it, wronging England thereby, so that without any other reasons, it is impossible for reputation's sake. Time may produce some good result, and I look for it, but this is not the moment for making the attempt.
On receiving these letters the ambassadors communicated them to certain commissioners, saying that on the return of the fleet, after the loss of La Rochelle, when they urged peace, they were told that if the French continued of the same mind about an adjustment, England would gladly enter upon the negotiation, and as their colleagues reported the excellent disposition of France and the cardinal, they would like to have some good decision in order to send it to France. After a general reply and pointing out the impossibility of obtaining the things mentioned, the commissioners confine themselves to reporting what had been said to the king, adding that they would reply later. They have not done so yet, owing to these Christmas holidays, which they are now celebrating according to the old style, but the ambassadors hope to get an answer in a few days. They further stated that in proof of the good will of France the cardinal had confided to their colleagues that Crichi was reconciled with their Court, and had been ordered to march into Italy with 15,000 infantry and 1,800 horse, no longer under the mask of Mantua, but openly in the king's name. A second army to go by another route would be given to the Marshal d'Estrees (di Tre). Valencay, the commendator of Malta, was to be sent as ambassador extraordinary to Savoy, to make a last attempt, as he is well affected, because he has been here before in the duke's service. They hoped to give effective help to Italy in this way particularly to the pope and the republic. The Most Christian would not abandon Germany either. In this he hoped to have England as ally after the peace. He thought of sending ambassadors or commissioners to the Hague to discuss with the States, England and Denmark what might be expedient. The cardinal told them there was now an end of the affairs of La Rochelle, about which the Dutch were somewhat suspected, and their good offices would now be as much valued as those of any other power.
I send these particulars for comparison, as they were further corroborated by the Secretary Carleton. He again asked me if I had received letters from France. If they are not long delayed I think they would like to wait for them before answering the ambassadors. He also remarked that war between the two kings seemed to him practically a civil war, as their interests were almost indentical. The suspicions about Guernsey had ceased. Many of the ships in those waters had gone towards Spain with merchandise. This has given great credit to the offices performed by me and to the sincerity of our advices, so I hope that the men-of-war, the munitions and the captains will not go to those parts, and that the malignant will not venture to invent such mischievous falsehoods for the future. He told me that he had spoken to the king about the exportation of some salt fish to France for next Lent. The king granted it without the slightest hesitation, allowing the parties concerned to bring back wines direct. This has always been forbidden since the rupture, and the trade has been carried on indirectly by Holland and Zeeland. I expressed appreciation for the minister's prudence, in using trifles to make an opening for more important matters. He confessed that he had this in view, and I am sure you will avail yourself of them in France. Seizing this opportunity I said that it would be advisable not to issue any more letters of marque against the French. He said it was rather early as yet. I rejoined by speaking of the last offices of the Dutch ambassadors, in order to confirm the good will of France. I apologised for the delay of the letters, on the plea of the foul weather and the ceremonies of the French Court, but remarked that the reports of negotiations with the Spaniards might have something to do with it. He said that if the French entertained this suspicion it arose from their suspecting others of following their example, but England would do no such thing unless compelled. I retorted that any misgivings were based on very solid appearances, and on what had been written to the Countess Palatine and the States. The only reply he gave was that he had already told me several times what actually took place, and nothing has passed through his hands since he became secretary. I said this might be because he was known to be in favour of the good cause, but it might be done through some other person, more in the confidence of the Spaniards. He shrugged his shoulders, and I could elicit nothing further.
The Malaga merchant is trying to obtain the export permit I mentioned. Owing to the offices of the Dutch he will have no written permit, but there may be connivance, and the merchants continue to make enquiries.
Carlisle's secretary has departed, and every combination convinces me that he is bound for Holland, where he expects to find him. Opinion varies about his going to Brussels, but the most intelligent say he will come back without going there, unless it be on his way through. For the rest, they think that the utmost will be a gentle connivance about trade, and a short truce because a truce is always advantageous for those in possession and usurpers, like the Spaniards. On the other hand it maintains the claims of pretenders, and this serves England to keep up appearances. Moreover, by leaving room for friends, there will be less cause for complaint. Despite this the Dutch proclaim more loudly than ever that they are assured in the king's name that as yet there is no other negotiation on foot, and nothing will be done without the friendly powers, though I would not trust to words so much as to forget other schemes, on which we keep a very sharp look out. The preceding letters of the 29th were consigned by me to the Antwerp messenger, who is beginning to cross by Calais. I shall do the same with these and continue to do so.
London, the 5th January, 1629.
Postscript.—I have just heard that a courier has arrived at Court from Porter. Without waiting for ships for his passage, he took it on board a Biscayan ship, which was unable to make Plymouth, ran aground and went to pieces. Porter and the greater part of the crew were saved, but the people, who ran down to the shore, plundered and stripped everybody, even Porter himself, refusing to acknowledge him for an Englishman, but considering him Spanish. They say he is accompanied by a Spaniard, to return his civilities. We shall wait and see, when he arrives, and what he may bring.
[Italian; deciphered; copy.]
Jan. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
665. SEBASTIANO VENIER, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I hear that some English and Flemish ships have gone to lade wheat at Cassandra and Volo, though without orders. I do not know if it is for Venice or other parts, though I am more inclined to believe the latter. Here the price has risen about twenty per cent.
The Vigne of Pera, the 6th January, 1629.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci, Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
666. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I saw the duke on Wednesday, with best wishes for the new year. He dismissed the gentlemen with him and talked with me alone. He said he would like peace. I warned him against the Spaniards and said I hoped that Valanse would reunite him to France. The duke said it was superfluous to speak of moving forces when he knew that the French wanted an adjustment with the Spaniards. He praised Valanse, but said he could not tell if his views were those of the cardinal. A good pilot, who had once been on a rock, was afraid of going that way for fear of a fresh shipwreck. It was necessary to see clearly what the French intend. They think they have already concluded the peace with England, but he claimed to know the resolutions of the King of Great Britain better. The French did not make a step with that king which was not communicated to him. France was suffering from serious indispositions, and while thinking of affairs abroad the king there ought to remember what may happen at home.
Turin, the 6th January, 1628 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
667. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two couriers have arrived from Flanders in the space of four days. The news is not published, a sign that it is bad. It certainly comprises the loss of the fleet of new Spain, the value of which is estimated at 11 millions of florins. Captain Rivera has received orders to await it in the English Channel and fight it there, but I know it is believed to be at Amsterdam by now.
The Abbot Scaglia has arrived in Court to-day; it is not announced whether the duke has sent him in the character of an ambassador. He is the fourth minister of Savoy here. It is impossible to discover his commissions so soon. In general it is understood he is to inform the king of the duke's peril and what help he needs, as he is exposed to the fury of the French.
Many believe that peace between England and the king here is established; others think that the Abbot Scaglia has commissions to negotiate about it. I hear from a confidant who is in a position to know that it is near its final conclusion and that the Spaniards consider it settled.
Madrid, the 6th January, 1629.
[Italian; the parts in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
668. AGOSTINO VIANUOL, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Ships arrive at Leghorn; two very fine ones in particular have come from England, laden with salt fish, and two Flemish ones with herrings.
Florence, the 6th January, 1628 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
669. MODERANTE SCARAMELLI, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A person sent by the Duke of Savoy to Flanders and England has passed through Altdorf.
Zurich, the 6th January, 1628 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
670. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Valanse arrived on Monday. The French ambassador made difficulties about my seeing him. Thus French ministers act after their kind, every one knows how they treat their friends. He may perhaps say that your Serenity is with France, as they say England has done, that the French have peace in their hands to give it when they like, and perhaps they weave webs out of this, to their own disadvantage. France has lost Savoy by such off hand ways and may do the same with England, with whom they are trying to renew confidential relations. Republics enjoy the advantage of being free from passions.
Turin, the 7th January, 1628 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
671. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has been to see me on purpose to thank your Serenity for the friendly reply to his secretary. He confirmed his leaving the service and asked for the passport for his wife. He told me he was indissolubly bound to the republic, which would appear wherever he might be. He never knew any government of ripe prudence, more steadfastly well intentioned more free from passion, more pious or more just. He said this without appearing to flatter. he read me the answers made by his secretary to your Serenity. He said he did not expect to return, although his Majesty's commands might change, and Carleton's case might be repeated. He thought Valanse might be going the right way. He was a true Frenchman, an enemy to the Spaniards, and he heard some talk of the profit he may derive from his negotiations. Wake told me that he had paid his compliments to the duke for the new year, but he did not wish to see him again while Valanse is here so that it may not be thought that he is trying to spoil the Frenchman's good offices. He heard that the peace between England and France was in a satisfactory condition, but he thought it strange that the French here should continue to speak of the King of Great Britain with disrespect, and this was aggravated by Valanse telling the duke that the cardinal had the peace in his hands. He said he saw the wretchedness of the Spaniards and hoped that they would arrange with France so as to strike some sound blow. Any true enemy of the Spaniards and the emperor would always be the friend of England. He would like to tell me there was confirmation of the good resolutions of France in the assurances given to the Dutch ambassadors at Paris. The Most Christian had sent to Gabor with good offices and proposals. The king would be at Grenoble on the 25th inst. The Marshal of Crichi was declared the king's lieutenant. The Most Christian had collected a good sum of money. The Duke of Orleans would command another force. Crichi had gone to Court and was forthwith sent back to Dauphiné. All depended upon Casale holding out, as all these preparations might not be ready directly.
One may imagine that he speaks of the lack of credit of France when he thinks that the war between his king and that Crown may last, but now, when he knows, perhaps, that they want to make peace in England, he may wish it to be followed by a corresponding rupture with the Spaniards.
He said he knew the Spaniards were in a wretched condition in Flanders. He spoke with respect of Caesar's forces, and told me he heard on good authority that Popnaim was destined for Italy. I answered that I felt sure his king, who was so interested in Germany, would not allow Cœsar to divert his forces elsewhere. He told me that two Spaniards had been seen crossing to Gravesend and the ambassador at the Hague wrote that it was supposed they went for some negotiations. He had not received advices from England for many days. He was expecting some one, who was detained at Chambery because of the plague, although he came through Lorraine and Franche Comte. Although in the confidence of his Highness he had not the privilege of any prompt despatch, and the duke laughed at him saying that he would not go to audience because of the arrest of his man.
The Earl of Carlisle writes from Neustat that he is continuing his journey. I fancy his sentiments about the peace with France may change as well as about the reconciliation of the house of Savoy with France, as I hear they say his king is not to do anything which is not known to his Highness, and I think the duke will do the same with them.
Turin, the 7th January, 1628 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
672. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The day after the Earl of Carlisle arrived here the Prince of Orange came to see me and told me of the disputes with him. He also told me that the Earl had only spent Christmas Day at Brussels and had only had a single audience of the infanta, and so there was evidently no negotiation. He remarked that so short a visit would not be likely to cause the French any misgivings, if that was the intention. He seemed to have completely dismissed his first suspicions, although he told me he had heard that a truce for eight months had been arranged with the States, though he did not credit it much.
There is no further news of the fleet. It remains in the English ports. It was said that twenty Dunkirk ships were on the watch for them, but the prince told him he heard they had returned to port. He also told me of some claim made by the English for a part of the goods which had been unladed, on which they said dues should be paid to the king. This news had been so much exaggerated that it was believed the king there claimed a large contribution upon the total value of the fleet, which would amount to some millions.
The Hague, the 8th January, 1628 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
673. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Earl of Carlisle stayed two days at Amsterdam on his private affairs. Perhaps his usual liberality had made him short of money. He sent his squires to find a house here and followed them a day later, informing them quietly of his intention without saying that he wished to be met. The prince, however, met him a short distance from the Hague, as the earl travelled quickly in order to arrive unexpectedly. The prince took him in his coach to the house which the States had prepared for him. When the Earl saw the prince getting down he said that was not his lodging and he had had other quarters prepared. The prince replied that the States had selected the house, to honour him. The earl repeatedly refused, saying the States had judged him unworthy of their favour by the way they had spoken of his visit to Brussels. The prince begged him to accept the lodging in the name of the States, telling him that he must not think it strange that the States were jealous about his journey to Brussels, as they were the particular enemies of the Spaniards and it could not please them for their friends to have any intercourse with that nation. For the rest they preserved a singular affection for him personally and a great esteem for his character. The earl replied that if the prince commanded him he would accept, though he considered himself unworthy. He used this phrase more than once, but the prince constrained him and he accepted. He is still there though he was only defrayed for three days. I sent my coach to meet him. With excess of courtesy he came first to visit me; this first visit was merely complimentary, and he spoke most highly of the favours he had received from your Serenity, which he publishes everywhere, though he may think differently from what he speaks.
I returned his visit last Saturday. He opened a rather ticklish conversation, though in a jovial manner, saying he had always esteemed the favours I had done him, but especially what I had written about his visit to Brussels. He was glad he had given me occasion for such copious despatches and so forth. I said I had made a faithful report about the excellent ideas he was to communicate on his passage and I had not overstepped the terms of sincerity. He told me he knew the contents of my letters before they crossed the Alps. I said he could not have known the actual contents, though his imagination and acquaintance with affairs would help him to have some idea of what I might have written. I assured him that I always wrote of him in terms of respect, and I was perfectly frank in my despatches to the state. He assured me that he never had any commissions to go to Brussels, and he only went to pay his respects, as a gentleman of his condition should, seeing that he was expressly invited by the infanta. His king would never have sent a person so conspicuous as himself to a dependent Court to ask for peace, as was stated, with disrespect to his Majesty. I said that there were various opinions about his visit to Brussels, as it was hard to understand why he should have commissions to go there in the midst of open war, while one could not believe that he had gone there of his own accord and without orders. He interrupted saying: Then the fault is mine, and I do not repent, as I know what I did could not be done without a trace of indiscretion. I tried to mollify him, saying that the thing was over, and it mattered little whether it was done with commissions or not, so no harm was done in the end.
This was the first assault. The second was much more vigorous, as when I was adducing the usual reasons showing the need for peace with France, he interrupted me impatiently, saying that he wished to be absolutely frank with me and say what he really thought. His king had shown the best disposition conceivable for the accommodation with France, and had expressly declared himself to Contarini. He wished to show this special honour to your Excellencies, as he considered that you were really independent. But in addition to the statements about your partiality which issue from the cardinal's cabinet and to which he attaches no great faith, something else had dissipated that notion. He mentioned in particular the bonfires lighted by Cornaro at Turin for the surrender of La Rochelle when he vied with the papal nuncio and the wife of the French ambassador. Secondly a book had been printed at Venice and duly licensed in which the author made his sovereign be led behind the triumphal car of the King of France. I was ignorant of these particulars and felt myself hard pressed. I said that Cornaro might have considered the bonfires necessary as he knew that fortress was the principal cause of the rupture between the two crowns, and consequently that its fall would remove the obstacle to an accommodation, that being the general opinion, or he might have followed the duke's example, or that of the other ministers, as was usual on such occasions. He also told me that there was a poem by a Venetian gentleman. I said the author may have been ignorant of the interests of princes. The licensers of the press might have passed it over; but the subject was not really worth consideration. He said he had the book and would send it to me.
I feel obliged to point out that this minister is returning with unsound opinions whereas he set out with perfectly healthy ones. I further recognised that the Duke of Savoy has brought him over to his views. One thing in particular he said, which I imagine can come from no one but the duke, namely that all the favours your Excellencies had showered upon him were in order to prevent him from complaining to his king that your Serenity favoured France, because it is known that your Excellencies seem to believe that without France everything will go to ruin, and you do not think that the affairs of Christendom can be restored to vigour without her, as the greatest ills always ensue when she fails.
I did my utmost to refute this idea; though your Excellencies' actions are their own defence. I declared that such ideas not only wronged the cordial affection which you had shown him with the sole object of proving your esteem for his sovereign but affected himself also, because it suggested that he was won over by favours. I would not say that those he had received in Savoy were much more perilous, but merely remarked that the Senate was not like other princes, and the republic was governed by rules centuries old. I pretended to believe that he had not credited such suggestions. I fancy he repented of having gone so far. He said he was so far from entertaining such ideas that he desired to see his king for nothing more ardently than to tell him of the cordial and affectionate manner with which he had been received by your Excellencies.
I confess that I did not enjoy the conversation as if he had not been full of the subject he would not have spoken of it and I am the more astonished because he makes so much of the favours shown to him, whereas if they were merely interested they would not deserve such panegyrics.
On leaving him I went to see the Princess Palatine, who is still in bed. He arrived soon after and we had another short talk at which the Palatine was present.
The earl spoke very strongly of the reason the Duke of Savoy had for being dissatisfied with the French, showing that he was now in a position when he need fear no attack from them owing to his bravery and experience. The Palatine added: Rather from the assistance which the Spaniards give him, remarking that in the end he will not find himself altogether happy. Your Excellencies will see from this what a partisan he is, and I think that if he goes to Court before some adjustment takes place he will raise serious difficulties. I therefore thought it advisable to forewarn Contarini by an express sent off yesterday morning, so that he may hasten the conclusion or prepare an antidote for the poison.
I conferred with the Prince of Orange yesterday evening, and he told me plainly that he had found the earl an enemy to the peace, as when he wished to talk about it the earl broke off the conversation. I told him something of my conversation with the earl, and I think the confidence was well employed, as he promised to warn his ambassadors in London forthwith to co-operate to destroy the evil impressions the earl might send or spread abroad on his arrival. He thought it the more dangerous and harmful because he had heard from somewhere that the French claimed nothing more than that two or three more persons than in Bassompierre's treaty should be added to the queen's household, and that the St. Esprit should be restored, though I cannot say how this reached the prince's ears. I may add that the earl's people go about declaring that any accomodation with France is impossible unless the King of England recovers his reputation by making the Most Christian keep his word, and the war will be waged in the future in quite a different way from the past, and that in a few months France will not have a single ship at sea. This agrees with the ideas already announced, that England will not try to take places on the mainland, but will stop trade by scouring the sea and deprive the French of all the advantages of commerce.
I must not forget to add that the Earl of Carlisle says nothing whatever about the peace with Spain, and if the silence was not concerted with the Duke of Savoy, especially as with Scaglia going to Spain one might believe that the management of the whole affair rested with that minister, I should believe that the earl was especially charged and incited to upset the accommodation with France. I shall closely watch what happens day by day and report to your Serenity.
The Hague, the 8th January, 1628 [M.V.].
Postscript.—An intimate has just been to tell me that a report has issued from Carlisle's house that he is expecting commissions from England to go back to Brussels and then proceed to Germany. I will try and find out the facts.
[Italian; the first part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
674. To the Proveditore of Cephalonia.
Owing to the frequent use of the port of Argostoli by pirates, where men-of-war of the great princes of Christendom frequently put in, as the safe anchorage allows them to obtain information about the Turkish fleet, so that the Turks have remonstrated with us seriously for receiving their enemies, and owing to the recent audacity of the English pirate, Digby, who plundered French ships there, scorning the orders of your predecessor, and refusing to abstain from violence or from visiting that port, where western vessels also come to arrange with the people of the Morea for the ransom of prisoners or the sale of booty, with danger to the security of that island, we direct you to inspect the site of Argostoli with the governor of the troops and other officers at Corfu and Zante, consulting also the Proveditore of the Fleet, the governor of the convict galleys and the engineer, and after taking their opinion about the best way of fortifying the port and especially about the water supply, you will hold a council of the officers and send us a report on the subject with an estimate of the cost. You will keep these orders as secret as possible and make your observations with the least possible disturbance.
That a copy of the present instruction be sent to the Proveditore of the Fleet and the governor of the convict galleys.
Ayes, 9.
[Italian.]
Jan. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
675. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Abbot Scaglia has taken up his quarters in a monastery, and on Saturday evening, shortly after his arrival, he saw the Count of Olivares, in the capacity of ambassador. He went straight back to bed, where he remains, owing to the trials of the journey. I visited him the other day. He said he had never expected to come to the Spanish Court; but the French had compelled it by their treatment of his master.
It does not please the Spaniards to see him here; they are very suspicious; they know the duke's artifices, and that if the King of France acts as he should they cannot count upon the duke's friendship.
The reports of the intelligence between the Catholic and the King of England are so varied and contradictory, that I do not know what to tell your Excellencies for fact. I am persuaded that there is nothing substantial, and the Spaniards publish that capitulations have taken place, for their own interests.
Madrid, the 10th January, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 Charlotte, born on the 29th December. She was the eleventh child of Elizabeth.