|Feb. 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.
||256. Giovanni Dolfin, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.|
|On the 24th January the representatives of the States arrived at San Lisi (Senlis? Lisy sur Ourcq?), ten leagues from Paris.|
|There they will stay till his Majesty has fixed the place in which to receive them. On the 26th the King left the Court, dismissed the Council, and most of his suite, and retired with Joyeuse and Epernon to the Bois de Vincennes.|
|It was said that the King went there in order to receive the representatives, but those who know his mind declare that neither there nor elsewhere will the representatives have audience until the answer to letters sent by Don Bernardino de Mendoza shall arrive, Don Bernardino himself told me that the King had said to him, that his own natural bent and his affection for the Catholic Majesty, would induce him to decline the protectorate of the States, but if the Queen-Mother, feeling herself neglected and her rights ignored, should wish to mix in the matter, he, as a good son, could not do less than support her, for the preservation of her dignity and her interests. Don Bernardino went on to say that the most extravagant request was then made, namely, that the King of Spain should confirm Cambray and cede Cambresis to the Queen-Mother in compensation for her claims on Portugal, requests that the Catholic King could never grant for they would virtually acknowledge that he held Portugal unjustly. I thanked Don Bernardino for the confidences he had disclosed to me, and hoped that God would fill both sovereigns with a mutual love and benevolence. Don Bernardino who is very violent in his conversation (che è molto vehemente nelle sue trattattioni) replied, “My King likes peace as well as anyone, more than he likes the toils of war, but he will not allow these to terrify him when he is in the right, for thanks be to God, he is better able to terrify others if provoked.”|
|The English Ambassador, who is deeply interested in this affair, and uses the most refined diligence to discover what is going on, is greatly pained that the King puts off the audience, for he takes it as a sign of the small interest the King has in the matter, and therefore has little hope that he will embrace any decided course. It is, he thinks, better not to propose to place French garrisons in Sluis (Escluse) and Flushing for the Queen would never consent to it as those two places are the key to Flanders, and it is not her policy to expel the Spanish merely to make the French masters, and enable them to threaten England at any time.|
|On the 26th of January Lord Derby was expected to set out for France, to convey the order of the Garter to the King. Parliament has been prorogued for a month. An emissary from the Prince of Parma arrived in England, and demanded audience of the Queen, he was told to put his communications on paper, but replied that he was ordered to treat vivâ voce. He was then requested to put himself in relations with the Treasurer, but again insisted on seeing the Queen. The Queen thought it beneath her dignity to receive an emissary from the Prince of Parma, who was merely Lieutenant-General of that King who had refused to receive her Ambassador, sent to explain the affair of Don Bernardino.|
|Paris, 1st February 1585.|
|[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]|
|Feb. 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.
||257. Vincenzo Gradenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.|
|The day before yesterday a courier from Lisbon arrived express and was at once sent on to the King. Judging from what I have heard from a person who is likely to be well informed, it seems that some of the chief men of Portugal have been in correspondence with the King of France and the Queen of England to induce them to send a force into those parts, and within sight of Lisbon, promising great results. The answer was that nothing could be done till they had Oporto in their hands, but when that was achieved an armament would be sent.|
|These Portuguese gentlemen, pretending the death of a Knight of the Order of Christ, convoked the whole Order to attend his funeral in the Castle [of Oporto]. When they were once inside they intended to slay the guard, and to introduce four thousand of the people from the neighbouring cities, in the hope that the English fleet would arrive opportunely for their aid, for the Spanish galleys are almost all disarmed.|
|It seems that the author of this plot is a Franciscan friar, who has been arrested and, under torture, has confessed everything. Thereupon followed the arrest of many Knights, who will all pay the penalty for their rashness. How the plot was discovered is not known.|
|Madrid, 21st February 1584 [m.v.]|
|Feb. 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.
||258. Giovanni Francesco Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.|
|Meantime the French agent and the English Ambassador do all they can to cause Morat Rais, the commander of the galleys, to be brought to the Porte to take his trial for the injury inflicted on French and English ships. The Pasha gives it to be understood that he is fully resolved that Morat shall be summoned.|
|The French resident told me a few days ago that the French Ambassador in Venice was ready to offer his services for the accommodation of the affair of the galleys. For which I thanked him.|
|Dalle Vigne di Pera, 26th February 1584 [m.v.]|
|Feb. last day. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.
||259. Giovanni Dolfin, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.|
|On the 21st of last month the Earl of Derby arrived at Saint Denis. He was sent by the Queen of England to bear the Garter to the most Christian King. Lord Derby stayed two days at Saint Denis, and on the third day he took the road with all his company, which consists of two other lords, fifty gentlemen, and others to the number of two hundred.|
|A league from Paris he was met by the Duke of Montpensier the Conte della Tramoglia (Tremouille) certain knights of the order (Saint Esprit) many nobles and gentlemen. He made his entry
accompanied by five hundred horse. He was conducted to the Palais de Longueville one of the most important in Paris, hung with Royal tapestries worked in gold and silk of great value. His Majesty destined five hundred crowns a day to cover the expenses of Lord Derby's Court.|
|The next day (25th) Lord Derby had audience of the King of a purely complimentary character. The King's answer was in the same vein. Lord Derby the same day, waited on the Queens, and yesterday, in the afternoon, he went to the house of the grand Provost of Paris, close to the Augustins, where he met his most Christian Majesty, who was dressed in crimson velvet with a large violet velvet mantle, and there he bound about his left leg a thin gold band with the motto of the order in diamonds, and presented a collar of gold studded with gems. The King then went to vespers in the Church, where the Queens, the Cardinals, and all the Ambassadors were assembled, and the Nuncio as well, who, in the absence of express orders from Rome, had resolved to follow the example of his predecessor who was present when Charles the Fifth received the Garter in Lyons. The nobles vie with each other in magnificent entertainments to Lord Derby, and the King has ordered a supper and masquerade, which he will lead, for Sunday next and all this will cost forty thousand crowns, so they say.|
|I have not omitted to visit this Ambassador, as have all the other Ambassadors except the Nuncio and Don Bernardino. I confined my remarks to compliments. He replied that the Queen would always be glad of every occasion on which she can show her goodwill, which she would have done all the more readily had the Republic chosen to send an Ambassador to her Court, as it had done to that of her predecessors. I assured him that the Republic would highly value such an excellent demonstration of regard, and passed on to other topics.|
|It is the opinion of many that Lord Derby is charged with a mission to offer large sums to his Majesty on condition that he will join the Queen of England in the protectorate of the Low Countries. But I am informed on excellent authority that Lord Derby will confine himself to general exhortations to consider the common danger caused by the greatness of Spain and will leave the weight of the negotiations to the Ambassador in ordinary, who has told me in strict confidence that he does not expect to conclude anything between the French and the Queen of England, as both parties insist on holding the more important ports, but on the other hand that he is certain that the Queen will endeavour to check the career of Spain by assisting these poor people, if she can.|
|Twenty-three priests set free from prison have come to France from England. Among them are three Jesuits, who were told before their departure that if they chose to obey the law they might stay and welcome, if not they must go and never return. The Queen acted thus because she saw how little good she got from putting so many to death, and also to make other Princes believe that reasons of State and not of religion had been the cause of the executions.|
|The Spanish Ambassador after receiving despatches from Spain repeated his usual demands to the King, and had in answer, that the King would never take any course which might trouble the King of Spain, whom he held for his good friend.|
|As I was closing this, a friend told me that two hours ago a messenger from England reached Lord Derby bringing orders to him to remain here and to act with the Ambassador in ordinary in the question of the protectorate of the Low Countries, and he is not to move till the King has declared his intention.|
|Paris, last day of February 1584 [m.v.]|
|[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]|