567. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
I note what had passed between you and Zamet with regard to
the delivery to me, by Épernon, of the towns of Boulogne and others
for a consideration. The course you adopted is approved of, and if
the proposal be made honestly, and with the intention of carrying it
into effect on reasonable terms, it is one that should be accepted.
But you have, on several occasions, reported Épernon's attitude
towards me to be unfavourable, and it may be concluded that he
would not willingly place in my hands positions which might injure
the interest of the prince of Bearn, whose friend he has hitherto
been. We hear from other quarters also, that he has already carried
to an advanced stage negotiations with the duke of Lorraine, to
deliver Metz to him ; this being one of the places he offers to me.
Before, therefore, sending you any resolution on the point, I wish
you to pledge those who make the offer, without in any way
engaging yourself, and to get at the bottom of the business, so that
we may know what we may expect in it. Communicate also with
J. B. Tassis and Moreo, both of whom will be in France ; and when
the affair has been well discussed between you, and we know what
has been said in Flanders about Boulogne, you will be in a better
position to know what foundation the offer has. Report all to me,
and I will then decide.
You will also inquire very carefully about the provisions and
sailors you say can be obtained on the coast of Brittany, as to
quantity, quality, and the manner in which they can be provided.
When you have furnished me with full particulars, I shall be better
able to send you clear instructions. I await your letters on the
With regard to the Scottish pilot, as the winter is so far advanced,
I do not think he would be of any use here ; but if you are sure he
is so efficient as you say, you may tell him that if in the spring any
opportunity should present itself of employing him he shall not be
lost sight of. In the meanwhile let him see whether he can find
other good, experienced pilots, Scotsmen like himself, so that if they
be required as many may come as are wanted. They will be more
useful coming together at an opportune time, than if a single
one came in the winter, when he could do no service.—El Pardo,
6th November 1589.
568. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
The latest news I have from England is dated the 8th instant,
from London, announcing that a patache, which had been sent to
reconnoitre on the Spanish coast, had returned to Plymouth ; and
the Queen had thereupon ordered troops to be collected in those
parts and some ships to be put into commission.
Bearn had again sent to ask the Queen for aid, and many members
of the Council of the city of London had urged that the Queen should
send him the French Huguenots who had taken refuge in England,
instead of divesting the country of her own troops, which she would
require, especially as it had been seen that the soldiers she did send
to Bearn had to be sent off by force.
I have had no news of David since he embarked at Havre de
Grâce, and I have no doubt that his letters have been lost. It is
only by a miracle that even those that reach Calais ever arrive
here. This prevents me from sending regular reports from England.
—Paris, 26th November 1589.