March 1579, 1-10


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'Elizabeth: March 1579, 1-10', Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 13: 1578-1579 (1903), pp. 438-449. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=73394 Date accessed: 21 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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March 1579, 1-10

March 1. 587. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
We have been all this week expecting what the enemy would attempt. He is now between this and Herentals, having made sundry skirmishes with the garrison, and offers as though he meant to besiege it. In it are M. la Noue, Mr Norris and M. de 'Moye, with 7 ensigns of our countrymen, 5 or 6 of French, 3 of Allemans, and 2 cornets of horse, well-disposed to await the enemy ; besides the burghers, who are in all towns of the country, have during the troubles been well exercised in arms. The place is of reasonably good defence, and so provided with victuals, powder, shot, and other munitions, that if the enemy attempt it, it is like to cost more men and time than he will willingly spend on it, besides that the country round will hardly minister victuals for many days. Some of his troops have approached within two English miles 'here hence,' the States' men having dislodged, and abandoned the villages before them, even to the suburbs of this town, where the greater part of their footmen that are not in garrison lie, to the number of 30 or 40 ensigns, and have there intrenched themselves ; expecting daily to be attempted by the enemy, whose whole force is coming forward, being estimated at 12,000 or 13,000 at the outside. Some of his 'avant currers' have these two days made light skirmishes with our men at the end of 'Burgenhout,' not more than a mile hence ; but 'exploiting' nothing of importance have again retired to Duren, not past half-a-mile further, where they 'lie strong,' and wherein our men have found means to put fire, to drive them to seek 'harborough' further off. What their drift is, is 'diversly discoursed.' Some think they would not have ventured so near but in hope, partly by their intelligence, partly by the terror of their approach, to effect some inward trouble in this town ; having thereto stirred up sundry ill ministers to prepare the way by sowing divers seditious bruits to draw the people into some tumult against the States, and consequently to set them together by the ears. He imagines it the more easy in respect of the diffidences and jealousies amongst them for religion, whereof he hopes to make profit, or at least will venture it. Others think he means to besiege either Lyre or Herentals, the rather in regard of the discontent of the States' army, whom he thinks—as has been the case with some—they shall not be able to draw together in any number. Others imagine necessity has forced-him to take this course, to live upon his enemy's country in order to spare his own, which is eaten so bare that it can hardly sustain his army. His approach has hastened the departure of all our reiters, so malcontent with the States that not a man would remain to do them service, notwithstanding that means were made to retain 3,000 or 4,000 of them. The enemy, profiting by their discontent, frankly sent them his safe-conduct by the Duke of Saxony, which they have accepted, and so gone towards Bois-le-duc, to return through Guelderland. 'Corsback,' captain of the Hungarians, a very valiant gentleman upon some jar two days since between the Prince and him, has gone after them as much discontented as any. The Emperor's ambassador is vehemently suspected to have played false in this action. He still lies about 'Aquisgrane' and feigns to be malcontent that the Duke of Parma 'detracteth his audience.' Since his departure he has written nothing save only how he has been abused in that behalf ; but his proceedings in this journey compared with the effects of his former journeys fully confirm the suspicion long since conceived of his loose and sinister dealings. The provinces of Hainault, Artois, Lille and Douay seem bent to run a desperate course. They stand fast on the pacification of Ghent and perpetual Edict, which if the King will promise to observe they are resolved to go through with their reconciliation. The Bishop of Arras and Baron de Selles, 'employed with them from the Prince of Parma,' have omitted nothing to advance their purpose, seconded by la Motte and the rest of that faction : yet the Marquis of Havrech by his letters puts the States in hope that they will not separate from the generality, which few wise men other than himself can think. But there is yet some hope of bridling them by the confusions that are like to grow among them when their towns and people, 'consisting' for the most part 'of' manufactures, shall be shut from all trade and 'vent' of the commodities they live by, and otherwise secluded from those reliefs which the rest of the provinces afford them ; especially Holland and Flanders, whence they have the greatest part of their provisions, their own country yielding little save grain. Here and at Ghent they have arrested above 100,000 crowns' worth of merchandise and provision to be sent into Artois, and will not suffer a jot of it to pass till they see what course they will take ; a thing chancing very happily to make them know the importance of preserving the union with their compatriots, without whom they cannot long subsist. In Flanders the Walloons 'branschart' the villages as much as ever, and are newly become malcontent both because their request to be put into garrison in Maestricht, Brussels, Lyre or Bois-le-duc is not granted, and that they have not their pay, according to the contract. But the fury of the peasants begins to assuage, the soldiers being dislodged out of their country and come over into Brabant, and so the cause of the tumult removed ; a thing happily ended if it rest where it is, because the confusions, already too great, need not be increased. On the 26th inst. should begin the general assembly of the States ; against which M. des Pruneaux prepares the minds of his master's faction to resolve upon his 'affected ' election to the Seignory of this country ; with so much the better hope of success as the state of things here grows to greater misery and extremity.— Antwerp, 1 Mar. 1578. Add. Endd, 4¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 70.]
March 1. 588. Draft of the above. 32/3 pp. [Ibid. XI. 70a.]
March 1. 589. Draft of part of the above. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid, XI. 10b.]
March 1. 590. Draft of the remainder, in Davison's hand. Endd. 2⅓ pp. [Ibid, XI. 70c.]
March 1. 591. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
On Feb. 22. I informed you of my return from conducting the French. According to my orders I thought to bring them back to Herentals to join M. de la Noue and M. de Mouy, if they had been willing to recross the river, but they refused to do this failing their pay. For this reason the Germans were sent there, and five companies of English under Col. Norris ; making with those already there the number of 15 ensigns. Their entry was much to the purpose, for the enemy having the day before set himself up with victuals at Turnhont came to surround the town, where he was straightway received with handsome skirmishes. Meanwhile he battered with six guns, of which the largest were two demi-cannons, the castle of Grobbendonck (which to their shame they abandoned) and the town of Herentals. His army is at least 43 ensigns of Germans under Colonels Frundsberg, Polweiler, and Annibal 'Dems,' supported by 17 cornets of reiters and 2,500 lances, without the Spanish and Burgundian infantry, making in all 10,000 foot and 7,000 horse. They have since approached to a league and a half from Antwerp, and hurried to Cantecroy, where some French have been posted. Our army is concentrated at 'Burgrault,' a suburb of Antwerp, where I have quartered the French, the other English companies already established there, with some German. The Scots arrive there this morning with five companies of M. d' Egmont's and others ; with whom we hope to make up 10,000 foot and 3,000 reiters, who have stayed voluntarily, with the light horse. We hope to checkmate and ruin the enemy both by the difficulty of food and by other disadvantages prepared for him at the points of transit. All Duke Casimir's reiters and others with little wish for the combats solicited by the enemy, have secured a free retreat, without waiting for the leave of the States or their generals ; nor (sic) without blushing for shame, when the enemy was behind them. I leave you to judge if they were bidden by honour, or overtaken by fear. No one knows what to say of the enemy's design in advancing so far into the country, unless he has intelligence in Antwerp or elsewhere. It is true, that by advices from Rouen, we are told to look out at Antwerp and Mechlin. For my part I think he is advancing in the hope of detaching those of Hainault and Artois. This has been repaired by means of the people, although la Motte's partisans tried to practise ; wherein the Marquis of Havrech and M. d'Inchy have negotiated very well. The enemy has had great designs in his enterprise on Carpen, in connexion with which they had a plan to siege Cologne and build a citadel there, to close the ways into the country. By the reunion of the provinces which they are labouring by all means to effect, they hope to break all the enemy's plans, the moyens généraux being continued ; though Sancho d'Avila is in Italy, thinking about bringing another army. I told you that the peace-negotiations had gone off in smoke, and that Count Schwarzenberg had withdrawn. The Emperor has since written to the States to settle their own affairs, for he could do nothing in the business but mediate. The electors summoned to Cologne to attend to it have thrown up their commission, perceiving that the aim of the Spaniard was only to deceive, and taking example from the peace made by the Bishop of Liége. Our affairs have been in a lamentable state, which has been imputed to the Prince [cipher], who has been in great apprehension. He has recalled his guard, not trusting the burghers on this sudden appearance of the enemy. God grant that our hope of seeing all things put right may come to pass. I send you the protest of the Viscount of Ghent and M. de Capres together with that of M. de Montigny and the letter of Count Lalaing of Feb. 22, as an instalment of documents which I will send when I hear from you.—Antwerp, on my arrival from the camp at 'Burguerault,' where plenty of skirmishes are going on, this 1 Mar. 1579. Add, Endd. Fr. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 71.]
March 2. 592. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
The letters herewith were closed yesterday, but detained till this morning because the post by whom I meant to send them departed no 'rather.' All this morning the enemy has been in skirmish with our people at 'Burgenhault,' of which they are now masters, having driven the forces that the States had there even to the walls and gates of this town. What this will grow to is a matter full of doubt. I have thought good to send you by this bearer my servant all the obligations I have, save that for Spinola's sum, which being made otherwise than I liked is corrected, and to pass the seal anew to-day. I would be glad if you would take some order for the jewels still in my hands, and beg you to procure me a discharge from her Majesty for the obligations I send.—Antwerp, 2 March 1578. P.S.—Excuse me for this time to such of my Lords as expect private letters from me. I am half blind and very ill and sickly withal, and have been for these 14 or 15 days. I send three obligations from the States-General, two of £20,000 apiece and one of £5,000, with three particular obligations for the same, from Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges. I will send those for Spinola's sum in a day or two ; but I also send herewith the two bonds of indemnity which I received of them long since. Please allow my man to take copies of them, as I have retained none. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XI. 73.]
March 2. 593. Draft of the above. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. XI. 72a.]
March 2. 594. Rough draft of above. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XI. 72b.]
March 3. 595. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
I told you in my letter of the 1st how I had quartered the French under my charge in the suburb of Borgerhout. They had entrenched there and broken down the bridges over a little stream, to strengthen the place further, and also barricaded the approaches, perceiving that the enemy had designs in that quarter in order to see how things were in Antwerp ; where according to the information of their spies there was general division on grounds of religion among both the Estates and the burghers, as well as discontent about the soldiers' pay, on the report of Duke Casimir's malcontent reiters who as I wrote to you have shamelessly retired with a safe-conduct from the enemy. Accordingly on Monday the 2nd, before daybreak, the enemy marched up his army, known by the report of prisoners to have a strength of 120 ensigns, or 9,000 infantry, with 3,000 horse. The Prince of Parma was present, with the Count of Rœulx, M. d'Hierges, and other chiefs, who being urged by madness and vain-glory equal to that of Don John at Rimenande, tried to force the passage of the river en camisade. They attacked the trench held by the English and French with incredible pugnacity and the loss of more than 300 of their most distinguished before reaching the barricade, where being engaged it was judged good to send our men some pikes. The fighting was obstinate for two hours the enemy being compelled to advance in file to force the barricade. This being seen from the fortifications of the town, where the Prince of Orange was looking on, he sent orders to our men to abandon the barricade and retire in good order under cover of the guns ; which was done with stubborn fighting on the part of all alike. Of ours were killed 250, including 3 captains, Ferrette, Thys, du Long, and two taken prisoners, French all of them. Finally the enemy having entered the village set fire to it on one side, and our men on the other to preserve the windmills, which they retained 'by favour of' the guns. The combat was sustained by 2,000 of our men from daybreak till midday ; when the enemy's army retired and went back to the quarters from which they had come, named Ranst, where they are very short of provisions. For this reason they will speedily pass by Lierre and return to Louvain, to get something to eat. If we had had any cavalry to follow them up their loss would have been heavy, as I could tell having been an eyewitness of the above, which you may take for a true report. It is true that there is some talk and fear of their intention being to pass into Flanders ; which they will find dangerous, owing to the crossing of the river. The Estates have retained 3,000 of the reiters most willing to serve who were at Bergen-op-Zoom ; where Count 'Hollac' is making terms for their retention. A gentleman of Namur, named M. de Melroy, starts to-day on an embassy from the States to M. d'Alençon. I hope to hear his instructions. There has been talk here of M. d'Alençon going to England to marry her Majesty. He must have given up the marriage with the second daughter of Spain, planned by Queen mother ; the eldest having been granted to the Emperor by the Duke of Terranova. The enemy are awaiting him, to have money or peace.—Antwerp, 3 March 1579. Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 73.]
March 8. 596. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
I have been so ill-handled with an humour fallen into my eyes for these 20 or 30 days that I have hardly had any use of them. I therefore hope you will excuse my intermission of writing to you in the meanwhile. I doubt not it has been supplied by the Secretaries, whom I have acquainted weekly with what has fallen out. In my last you may have heard of the enemy's approach to the gates of this town. What his success in that enterprise has been you may perceive by the copy enclosed.—Antwerp, 8 March 1578. Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Holl and Fl. XI. 74.]
March 8. 597. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
I hope you have ere this received the obligations for £45,000 which I sent last Monday by one of my servants, and I trust, find them such as to content her Majesty. Now I send the two that remained, touching the indemnifying of her Majesty for her bonds granted to H. Palavicino and Spinola. They have been changed two or three times because they were not to my liking, and now I hope they are in such good form as will satisfy her Majesty. As I have not a man here that can well take copies of them, I beg you to allow my man that brought the last to keep a copy of each and also to procure me a 'recipice' from her Majesty in such form as will serve me to display hereafter. As touching the jewels which I have here, you will do well to let me know her Majesty's pleasure. In my rude opinion, the best way were to transport them over, so it might be done safely. That done, her Majesty would sustain little or no prejudice by undertaking the discharge of Palavicino and Spinola ; the rather considering how much her credit would be 'interessed' if she should indeed refuse it, having passed the bonds and made it her own debt. The States have been deliberating whom to send over, both to be a suitor herein to her Majesty and for the causes I have heretofore 'remembered' to you. But to deal plainly, I hear from some of the wisest of them that the very want of money to defray his charge that should go, has been a special let. Next month their moyens généraux 'practised' in this town, will be clear ; and then I hope they will be in some better taking. The approach of the enemy has done this much good, that it has drawn them to disburse a good sum towards the contentment of their men of war. But this town only bears the burden, every province and town else keeping their purses shut.— Antwerp, 8 Mar. 1578. P.S.—I venture to send the bond herewith by this bearer, the merchant's post, because I know the man to be very honest and careful. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XI. 75.]
March 8. 598. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
The Prince has asked me to write to my brewer in London to make him a brewing this month of 30 or 40 'tonnes' of our London beer. This I have done, and must be a suitor to you for so much favour in his Excellency's behalf, that when it is done, it may be let pass without impediment. The matter is not great, and the person such as cannot well be refused so small a pleasure. The hands of three or four of my lords of the Council will as I learn suffice without troubling her Majesty.—Antwerp, 8 Mar. 1578. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 76.]
March 8. 599. Draft of the above. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid, XI. 76 a.]
March 8. 600. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
I had worked all night on the 2nd inst. to advertise you on the spot of what had happened that day between the enemy and our English and French soldiers in the defence of the village and suburb of Borgerhout, thinking that it would be agreeable to her Majesty and yourself ; the secretary of the merchants having assured me that a messenger was going the same day. To my regret this did not take place, which causes me to complain to you, inasmuch as I think such a matter merited dispatch, not to say a special messenger ; otherwise my labour would be in vain, my diligence and good service postponed to others, my work and goodwill buried. I know not if Mr Davison or others did it to suppress my faithfulness in this matter. I will tax no one, not being jealous of another's vigilance and prosperity. It is true that I desire to have my vigilant services recognized, without prejudice to another. This finishing my resentment. I wish to inform you that as I said in my last, the enemy retired by the way he came, part of his army going to Turnhout, the rest against Herentals ; approaching which they surrounded the castle of Grobbendonck, whither M. de la Noue and Colonel Norris had that same day come, to examine the capacities of the place. Having recognized it to be untenable, and considering about returning to Herentals, they were surrounded by the enemy, and in such risk that if they had not got away by night with dexterity and cunning they would have been made prisoners on the 5th with those who surrendered the castle. The commander was Captain Normand, who has run away on account of M. la Noue's indignation at the surrender. The enemy wanted to attack Herentals, but seeing it well provided with men and munitions and that he would lose time, has marched to Bois-le-duc, knowing there are only the citizens and no soldiers there ; but perceiving that we are reconstituting your forces with other order than in the past, that is, 4,000 horse, and entertaining the English, French and Scots without our Walloons, who are still doubtful, until there is full security for the reunion of Artois (sic). On Monday the 2nd, the Marquis was to have left Arras to assure us as to their intentions ; but he has been detained a prisoner until the boats from Artois that have been stayed are restored. They have deferred till the 15th their resolution as to the peace they want, hoping that we shall adapt ourselves to their claims. We are far from this, seeing that Count Schwarzenberg has been dismissed as unwelcome. And inasmuch as the trouble in Artois arises from ambition, by which the lords of the country are instigated, especially the Viscount of Ghent and M. de Capre, Capre has been put on the Council of State to gain him. Meanwhile the Estates are on the point of resolving on the 'Relligion Wlitz' upon observation of the good understanding among the citizens of Antwerp, shown on the occasion of the enemy's attack ; who will burn himself, like a moth flying round a candle. I send you several documents from which you will see the intention of those of Artois under the solicitation of la Motte, de Selles, and the Bishop of Arras, backed by two from Hainault, the Abbot of Hannon and one Carlier, the sort of people who would set the very springs on fire (des vray botte feu en fontainne). To-day a clever person will start for St. Omer by whose dexterity we hope to restore and reunite the town. It is in arms at present owing to the arrival of the Viscount of Ghent, who has started some new practices.—Antwerp, 1 March 1579. Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XL. 77.]
[March 9.] 601. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
I wrote to you last Monday while the enemy was in skirmish before the gates of this town, where he made no long abode ; his enterprise having less fruit than perhaps he looked for. His first charge began about daybreak upon such of our men as were destined to keep two separate passages intrenched half a mile outside Borgerhout, which he soon forced, and by 7 o'clock had come to their last trench at the upper end of that suburb. This was gallantly defended till the French having made their retreat, and the enemy, entered into their quarter, had cut between the town and those that were at the trench ; who seeing themselves assailed both before and behind and all succour cut off were driven to fly à vau de route through the houses and lanes to a common on the north side of the village, where certain squadrons of the enemy's horse breaking forth upon them, slew at least six or seven score. After the enemy had thus forced the village he followed the charge even to the mills, within twelve score (sic) of the town walls ; but being there annoyed by the great shot was driven to hasten his retreat, the rather by the violence of the fire dispersed into every part of the village behind them. On our side were lost that day, that I viewed myself, about 200 ; but of the enemy, in common opinion, not above 50 or 60, whom according to their custom, they carried away with them, except some 9 or 10. Of prisoners few were taken on either side, especially of any name. He began his retreat at 1 o'clock, setting fire to divers principal houses and villages as he passed ; and lodged that nigh three or four leagues off. Next day he summoned Grobbendonck, castle about a league from Herentals belonging to the treasurer Schetz, wherein was one ensign of French, who as soon as the cannon was presented, yielded it up by composition and retired to Herentals ; certain other soldiers, put in long before by the treasurer for the safeguard of his house being hanged and put to the sword. M. la Noue and Mr Norris, being the night before come thither to give order to things against the approach of the enemy, made a very hard escape through the thickest of them, by the guiding of one of the treasurer's servants, and recovered Herentals. We hear since that the enemy, having set it on fire and burnt such grain as was within it, abandoning the attempt on Herentals, is drawing with his whole force on 'Mastright,' some think with purpose to besiege it, which is the rather believed because he is occupying all the places of strength that lie anyway near it, whereby he may be better victualled, and his enemy restrained. He has not only spoiled the country behind him, which might relieve our forces, but also found means to hasten the departure of the reiters, whose being near him in so great numbers withheld him from attempting the siege of any place of importance. In sum, he has thus sounded the forces of the States ; whom finding unfurnished of any horse, and far inferior to him in number of foot, beside the discontent of those they have, for lack of pay, it is thought he will not 'forslew' his advantage. Count 'Hollocque' being sent after the reiters has as we hear procured the stay of 3,000 or 4,000 of them, on condition that they shall receive a month and a half's pay in hand, which is made ready for them. Some think Corsback the Hungarian is also persuaded to return with them. Of the doings in Artois we are still 'in very hard opinion.' By their last answer to the States they gave them to the 15th of this month to decide whether they will maintain the pacification of Ghent, and perpetual Edict, or no. If not, they protest that they will go through with their reconcilement with the king. But the arrest of their provision and merchandize, both here and at Ghent, to the value of 2,000 crownes, begins to make them bite on the bridle, and will in some men's opinion be a great impediment to that fond course ; because the people, generally 'interessed' by this restraint, both for the want of victuals and for the 'vent' of their commodities, already cry out against the authors of this intended division. To satisfy them, they have stayed the Marquis and the rest of the States' Commissioners there till they have an answer to their contentment from the magistrates here ; who have sent them a dilatory excuse, that in regard to the enemy's approach and the likelihood of a siege, they could not conveniently let it pass ; which is all the reason they can yet get of him. Those of Lille, having well advised themselves, are as I credibly hear this week reunited to the generality, by the labour of M. de Villerval. The like is 'pretended' by those of Tournay, and both have promised to send their deputies hither to remain as they were wont in the assembly of the General Estates. I hope their example may be of profit to the rest of their discontented neighbours.— Antwerp, Shrovemonday [sic ; but he is a week too late]. Draft. Endd. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 78.]
[March 9.] 602. Another draft of the above, dated February 8 [!] 2¼ pp. [Ibid. XI. 78a.]
March 9. 603. The QUEEN to the QUEEN of NAVARRE.
I hope you will not take it amiss that I have been so long in replying to your last letter sent by M. de Roquetaillade, and will not think this has proceeded from its being other than welcome. In the first place, it was when I received it of somewhat old date, and then Roquetaillade made a long stay here ; which is why I did not answer you sooner. Your letter seemed to me an infallible proof of your singular affection toward me, and of your desire that the affair for which your brother has sent M. de Simier here may come to effect. Yet to wish so disadvantageous a match for him might make him with justice think you partial toward me, and that the love you bear your own sex makes you forget what you owe to him as a brother ; which perhaps might in some measure cool the greatest friendship that could possibly be between two persons so closely joined in blood. But feeling myself innocent of this charge, I am content to risk the imputation of it, to become thereby more beloved by the Queen of Navarre. For the rest, as regards the progress of the affair, I know there is so close correspondence between your brother and yourself, he not concealing his greatest secrets from you, that you cannot but be well-informed of it ; therefore I will spare myself the trouble [me deporteray] of relating it. Draft in hand of L. Tomson, and endd. by him : March 9 1578, her Majesty to Queen mother (sic). Fr. 1 p. [France III. 11.]
March 9.
Lettres de Cath. de Médicis, vi 316n.
The letter which you sent by M. de Roquetaillade testifies the continuance of your affection toward me, and of your constant desire to confirm and assure it by the most precious earnest you could give. You may be sure that I remain in my heart not insensible to the honour you do me ; but estimating the fruits of your affection at the price of the opinion I have always had of them, I am constrained to love and honour you yet more. With regard to the subject in question I doubt not that you have heard what has passed from the person most nearly touched by it. Yet I would not omit to send you some details myself, were it not that this bearer is uncertain when he will go in search of you, which makes me fear that anything I might send you would reach you too late ; so I think it better to refer you to what you will hear fresher from other sources. I am very glad to hear that you are occupied (empeschée) in so holy a work as extinguishing the fire which was beginning to be rekindled, and would perchance have blazed up to the prejudice of the whole realm, without your good provision ; having such an opinion of your wisdom, dexterity, and address in the handling of affairs, as you have often shown it, that I am sure it will all burn out to the service of the King, the good of the commonweal, and your own honour. Draft by L. Tomson. Endd, by him : March 9 1578. M. her Majesty to the Queen of Navarre (sic). Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. 12.]
March 9.
Lettres de Cath. de Médicis, vi. 316.n
605. The QUEEN to the DUKE OF ANJOU.
Were it not that the news of your great preparations moved me so much that I could not keep my pen from writing to you, I should not be bold to importune you so often with so great letters. But to confess the truth, the distrust that I have conceived in regard to M. Symier, that he does not counsel clearly enough, but with cold enough words (mots assez gelés), forces me to beg you to consider that his interview having an uncertain basis does not want its bases too manifest (tenant fondement incertain ne rrquiert fondemens trop manifestes). For if nothing ensued from it but an assured friendship, the greater you would think the dishonour. And when I consider that your arrival in Flanders preceded by a long time the rumour of your going, it seems to me that another such journey would advance your reputation, if I may say so, a hundredth part (sic) more than all you have received from them. And I am sure that no one who looks carefully at us will condemn us as not having acted with mature judgement and sage advice. For no good can come of evil. I will be silent, as one that cannot promise much, where I am aware of so little sufficiency. Forgive me if my jealousy for your welfare, with my regard for the perpetuity of our friendship, makes me too forward in writing so freely to you. Copy in a different hand. Endd. : 9 Martii 1578 ; from the Queen to Monsieur. Fr. 1 p. [France III. 13.]