A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 2, 1654. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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Bordeaux, the French embassador in England, to Chanut, the French embassador in Holland.
Vol. xx. p. 296.
I perceive by the letter, which you were pleased to write to me of the eighteenth, that you did conceive upon my foregoing letters great hope of the end of my negotiation, and that in your parts it is represented, as if it would be an happy one; but I cannot yet assure you either of the one or the other. The lord protector will not conclude, and consequently his ministers will not give me any answer; and if the voice of the people is that of God, this state doth rather incline to continue the acts of hostility, than to agree. And in truth, it would make very well for the protector, if we would always leave him in the same condition he is in at present; but you know, my lord, better than I, that our commerce and the service of the king will not agree to that; and I can assure you, that within a few days all these delays will have an end, else I will return home. The lord Nieuport told me yesterday, that being in discourse not long since with the secretary of state about the accommodation with France, he seemed to be very well affected to it. I laid the excuse of all these delays upon their domestick affairs, wherewith they have been wholly imployed; and indeed they have been very many and great: yet they might have spared one hour to have applied themselves to the treaty, that is begun two years since; so that these delays must proceed from some particular policy of the lord protector, into whose opinion and judgment it is very hard to penetrate. Certainly the description, which the lord Beverning hath made of him, is with much ground, and without diminishing any thing of his prudence, which hath appeared hitherto in a high degree. We may expect, that he will not so lightly engage in a rupture with a state so powerful as France. It may be said, that the dissimulation is no wise inferior to him. The testimony, which the said lord Beverning hath given of me, hath not so much ground. I could not perceive by the discourse of the said lord Nieuport, whether the passage of Beverning through Flanders was mysterious: the stay, that he made there, could not but increase the suspicions, which some of this country had of it. You will have at present a more ample confirmation of the disgrace of M. de Guise: that prince is no more fortunate in war than in love; and his ill destiny doth cause me to apprehend, that at his return he or part of his fleet will fall into the hands of Blake. 25. Decemb. 1654. [N. S.]