Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.
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334. The Same to the Same.
When the rejoicings ended here we began business, and that which related to England has already been communicated, but I have not yet been able to get away although I have tried. The orders sent by your Majesty respecting count Egmont's proposals have given great sorrow, but they have decided to execute them the best they may. The Council of State have summoned the principal Governors to convey the orders to them. The marquis de Vergas, Montigny, and counts Mega and Mansfeldt have all answered alike that the matter needs deep consideration in the interests of God and your Majesty, and asked for written instructions that they might answer in detail. It is to be noted that all answered the same although Mansfeldt said that the master's orders must be obeyed in any case. The Duchess feared that counts Egmont and Horn and the prince of Orange would retire to their homes, and nothing else was spoken of when I arrived. Egmont spoke to me first and afterwards Horn, but Orange has said nothing as he is more reticent than they. I have done what I can to persuade the others to take no step that will attract attention.
When the rejoicings were over Horn departed, saying he was going to visit his mother and sister, and four or five days ago Egmont left. When I pressed the latter as to his return he said he was going by the Duchess' orders to visit the frontiers in his province, and would return when the inspection was finished, although he could not help feeling deeply grieved at a resolution that had deprived him of the good opinion of his friends and the public, and had curtailed his power to serve your Majesty, which was all his desire. If he heard a brother of his say anything to the contrary he would kill him with his own hand, but he was much hurt at the disfavour that had fallen on him.
The prince of Orange remains here, but they say he will soon go to his home to prepare for the Diet, as he told me himself, although when I told the Duchess so she said he had never mentioned it to her till that day. In any case the public rumour is that they are retiring to their homes. The Duchess fears it is so, but I am not so apprehensive of it myself from my own conversations with them, although they would perhaps be more cautious with me, which they were not however at first. I pointed out the error they would make if they retired with evil intention, which can hardly be believed of such persons.
Things being in this state it is needful to make them understand that your Majesty wishes to honour and reward them, and trusts them entirely as, until contrary orders are received from your Majesty, it is important for your interests that all should remain calm and tranquil.
Vergas, Montigny, and Mansfeldt have returned to their posts. I have received a letter from Vienna from the Emperor's late Ambassador in England, in which he writes as follows :—"The decision and reply respecting the business which holds the world in suspense and expectation are now being sent by the Emperor-King by Strange to the Queen. Please God that it may be for His good cause, as I most earnestly desire this marriage with my Prince. I would write more if I knew more."
They have put a paper on the doors of the town hall at Antwerp, saying in name of the burghers that news has arrived that your Majesty commands the establishment of the Inquisition in these States as in Spain which, besides being unnecessary, is against the rights and privileges of the town and these States. They are, therefore, besought to pray your Majesty to give no such order, and if you do not accede to their petition that they should appeal to the Imperial Chamber to place the town under its protection. This is a very bad precedent, and the only good thing about it is that these papers are often posted up by bad people without any reason. I do not know what basis this one may have, but I can say that as regards the Inquisition I do not see a single person from the highest to the lowest on either side who looks favourably upon it. The duke of Parma received news of the Pope's death four days since, and it has since been confirmed. (fn. 1) He thought to stay here till mid-Lent at least, but tells me he will now start at once for Rome, so as to be present at the election of the Pontiff, and that both he and his brother Cardinal Farnese will serve your Majesty with all care and affection, and consult as to the persons who may in his opinion take part in this election. He says, Cardinal Ferrara will be one. although I am not sure whether he is pleased thereat. These things are not, however, known much beforehand even in the Conclave. I have tried to persuade him that his interest and that of his brother is to follow your Majesty.—Brussels, 20th December 1565.