|Feb. 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.
||66. Lorenzo Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.|
|The real reason why Don Antonio came here was to show the Queen-Mother his news from Portugal, which give him hopes in that enterprise, and to beg her Majesty to determine on raising a larger force for that purpose. I do not hear that he has succeeded, and the last detachment of troops has not left yet for the Azores.|
|Paris, 9 February 1581 [m.v.].|
|Feb. 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.
||67. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.|
|The courier from Sicily has brought news that the Viceroy of Naples has appointed various captains to levy troops for his Majesty. These troops are all lads who have never been from home, and ill-fitted to make good soldiers especially after the bad treatment the Italians have recently received in Portugal. Apart from the question of the Azores, these warlike preparations are supposed to be a demonstration on his Majesty's part against those who are jealous of his grandeur and eager to thwart his designs, especially in the matter of Flanders, of Don Antonio's rebellion, for so they call it, in Portugal, and, of the reduction of the Azores. The King spoke very freely to the French Ambassador, giving him to understand that he neither could nor would any longer dissimulate his feelings, and that all Don Antonio's hopes rested on the favour of France. The present mover ment of troops is supposed to be intended to back up words by deeds, in order to facilitate a happy conclusion to the business of the Azores which is important And should the French openly undertake the defence of the islands, his Majesty can come the more readily to a breach with them, as indeed many urge him to do without waiting any longer. But his Majesty is certainly no promoter of war; indeed he desires peace that he may settle his affairs in Portugal and Flanders. Don Antonio's preparations continue to diminish. His Majesty has sent information here that the Bishop of Guarda of the house of Portugal, who persuaded Don Antonio to set himself up as King, is in Castille in incognito (sitrova desconosciuto) and has ordered diligent search for him; others say, and this is more likely that the Bishop has placed himself in safety out of Spain.|
|Madrid, 10th February 1581 [m.v.].|
|[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]|
|Feb. 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.
||68. Lorenzo Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.|
|There is positive news that Monsieur has left England. The Queen accompanied him to the seashore; and to show grief at his departure she wore black (la quale, volendo mostrare dolore di questa suapartita, si vesti di nero). She gave him an escort of forty English gentlemen, among whom are four Peers, the chief of whom is my Lord Robert; and she charged them to serve his Highness, never to leave him, and to bring him back to England when he had concluded his business in Flanders. This evening we hear that he has reached Flushing, where the Prince of Orange awaited him. The Queen caused to be placed on board the ships which conveyed his Highness, several cases of money which are doubtless for his service. From Flushing they say, but it is not certain, that his Highness went to Antwerp to take actual possession of the States, over which he will place the Prince of Orange as Lieutenant.|
|The King of Spain's representative told me that the King of France had recently sent to promise the Queen of England to assist Monsieur in Flanders; but she raised new difficulties, and asked for Calais as a guarantee that the King would keep his word; promising to deposit the city in Monsieur's hands.|
|The English Parliament is dissolved without concluding anything about the match.|
|Paris, 12th February 1581 [m.v.].|
|Feb. 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.
||69. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.|
|The King has ordered the reduction of interest on loans to the Crown from something over seven per cent. to something under six per cent.|
|An Italian engineer has offered to make the Tagus navigable.|
|Madrid, 19th February 1581 [m.v.].|
|Feb. 20. Enclosed in Despatch from Rome, March 17.
||70. Monsieur, the brother of the King of France, arrived at Flushing on the 10th of this month. He was received with all honour and applause by the Princes of Orange and Pinoi, accompanied by the Deputies from the cities and provinces of Brabant, Flanders, Holland, Zealand, Friesland, and Gueldres.|
|On the morning of the following day his Highness caused mass to be said in his own house. No mass had been said in Zealand for the last eight years. After dinner his Highness moved to Middleburg, where the citizens welcomed him with the greatest affection and honour, and there he stayed till Saturday last, the 17th. On that day he left by water for Antwerp, which he reached yesterday. He landed outside the city about eleven in the morning, and was met by the nobles and captains of the city, dressed in black velvet, and followed by forty companies of infantry. He was conducted to a theatre which had been erected outside the
walls, close to the door of the citadel. Here he was joined by the Princes of Delfino, Orange, and Pinoi, the Earls of Leicester and Lavas (?), my Lords Usdo (? Hunsdon) and Haymart, and other French and English noblemen, all richly dressed. The Barons of Brabant and Antwerp surrounded his Highness, and led him to the theatre, where they caused him to sit on a chair of crimson velvet, under a canopy. Then followed a long oration, setting forth the reasons which had induced the States to summon his Highness, and to invite him to enter on the possession of all that his ancestors had enjoyed. After this the articles of the agreement between his Highness and the States concluded last year, were read aloud by the Secretary of the States. Then his Highness raised his hand and pronounced these words, “I, Francis, son and only brother of the King of France, Duke of Anjou and Brabant, do swear and promise to observe all and each of the clauses and articles here read; to cause sound justice to be administered; to maintain these States in the privileges and rights which they have always enjoyed.” Then the Barons and Lords of Brabant, and the citizens of Antwerp, having raised their hands, swore obedience and fidelity, and embraced His Highness by the knees (et abbraciorno la coscia). Then the Secretary of the States took the cloak, the hat, and the sword worn by his Highness, and robed him instead in the mantle and cap of the Duke of Brabant, which was of crimson velvet lined with ermine; then, taking another sword, he placed himself before the Duke and presented him to the people as their Duke, whom they must obey, and to whom they must swear fealty, as all did by raising their hands. Then, after three blasts of the trumpet, the heralds scattered coin, bearing the arms and device of his Highness, which are quarterly France and Brabant. His Highness was then conducted to the Abbey of San Michel, where his lodging was prepared. He entered the city under a canopy; and there were as many as twenty-five thousand armed men in the street.|
|The worship of God has been restored in the church of that Abbey; and it is to be hoped that his Highness may be the means of restoring worship throughout all the other cities where it has been suspended. The Count d'Estre (Leicester) presented to the Lords of the States and to the Prince of Orange, letters from the Queen of England, his mistress, in which she begged them to receive and honour his Highness as long as he observed the terms he had agreed to, as her affection for him and his own rank required; and saying that she would do all that in her lay to maintain the authority of his Highness. The streets are strewn with lilies, and fireworks are every where. It is impossible to describe the enthusiasm of the people for the arrival of his Highness.|
|Antwerp, 20th February.|
|[Italian; translated from the French.]|
|Feb. 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.
||71. Lorenzo Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.|
|Monsieur is said to have reached Antwerp on the 20th. Secretary Pinard has returned from England, but his report is not known.
Other gentlemen of Monsieur's suite declare that there is the greatest love and union between his Highness and the Queen, that on many points of discussion between them they are perfectly in accord, and that the Queen will certainly assist him as far as she can. The representative of Spain is assured that the son of Secretary Pinard took to England articles signed by the King with a view to satisfy the Queen and Monsieur on the matter of Flanders, and that the King has taken this step in the certainty that he will not be called on to fulfill his promise, because the Queen will never carry out the match. I learned also from the conversation of this Spanish gentleman that the Catholic King will not embark on open war against France, but will overlook the injuries done him, and will endeavour to maintain matters in their present position,|
|The levies for Portugal go on apace. They will soon be ready. An embargo was laid on all shipping along the Atlantic coast, in order to select the best ships and men. The fleet is destined for the Azores.|
|Paris, 23rd February 1581 [m.v.]|
|[Italian; part in italics deciphered.]|