Appendix I

Page 596

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 15, 1617-1619. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1909.

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Appendix I

Jan. 28.
T. 2.
978. Letter of Berlingerio Gessi, Bishop of Rimini, Papal Nuncio at Venice, to Cardinal Millino. (fn. 1)
I have received from you the orders of his Holiness upon the proposals of Gregorio di Monti, secretary of the English embassy, and to throw all the light I can upon what may be expected from his activity and his offer. I have the fullest information about him, as I have frequently heard him discussed since I came to Venice, and have even considered whether anything could be got out of him for the service of his Holiness. He is a Venetian clerk and for some time served the Cavalier Guarino, after which he entered the English embassy, where he lives entirely, both eating and sleeping there. He declares that he does not eat forbidden food on the days set apart by Holy Church, and that he is a good Catholic, but his close and intimate relations with the heretics make this very doubtful. He is a very astute man, and those who know him do not believe that he may be trusted, and as regards his present offers, I think it very likely that he would play a double game if a bargain were struck. All those who know him best think the same, I believe, especially considering his intimacy with the ambassador, and the great affection he bears him and the affairs of that king.
Some weeks ago, when I had orders from his Holiness to discover whether Dr. Marta frequented the house of the said ambassador, I thought I might possibly learn something from Gregorio, and directed my secretary Saletti to sound him casually on the subject. He answered that the Dr. had never been there. Saletti told me afterwards that he hoped, by giving something to Gregorio, to obtain many services, but I had not so much confidence, and did not give the question a thought owing to Gregorio's astuteness and faithlessness, and because I knew that everyone else had the same opinion about him. Some such hope must have led Saletti, who is not well informed on Venetian affairs, to report to his Holiness a conversation which he had with Gregorio rather more than a year ago, upon which he never said a word to me, and I have never breathed a syllable about it to him. If his Holiness desires any further approaches to Gregorio, it would be better for me to send for him to come and speak with me secretly, when negotiations could be conducted with more dignity and safety. If I receive other instructions on the subject I will execute them with the customary diligence.
Venice, the 28th January, 1617.


  • 1. For the text of this interesting letter the editor is indebted to the courtesy of Mr. W. H. Bliss.