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one Sir Thomas Parr of Kendal, a person whose name we do not happen to be acquainted with. In this one page, then, we have detected four mistakes, and we are sorry to have to add that it is not the only one in which we have found as many.
We have already alluded to Chapuys's letters on the subject of the mutual relations of Catharine Howard and Anne of Cleves. Writing on Easter Day 1541, he notices a conspiracy of some priests and others, in number about fifty, to murder the Bishop of Llandaff, governor of the northern counties, all of whom had been arrested. The French ambassador, in relating the same occurrence, represents their numbers as being from eighty to a hundred. They had hoped for assistance from the Scots just over the border, and a few days later he relates an incursion of Scots, who had taken and sacked and set fire to an English town. At this time the attitude of Scotland was of considerable importance. War between Francis and the Emperor was looming in the near distance, and both sovereigns were anxious for the alliance of England, Henry evidently coquetting with both, and prepared to make what capital he might be able, but inclining really towards the Emperor, whilst the Pope, for fear of Charles obtaining too great power in Italy, was rather favouring the French king. The jealousy that existed between Marillac and Chapuys is very plainly displayed in the correspondence of this period, and the two sovereigns whom they represented were each of them desirous of a closer alliance with the King of England, now that the twelve years' truce agreed upon at Nice and Aigues Mortes seemed likely to come to an untimely end. Thus on June 1, or more probably on the 2nd, which is the date given in Marillac's Correspondence, Francis writes to his ambassador that he is to inform the Duke of Norfolk that his fervent desire is to live in perfect harmony and everlasting friendship with the King of England, his master, who would always find in him his best friend and brother, urging also that no trust can be placed on the Emperor, who thinks of nothing but of waxing greater and greater every day, and aspires to that odious universal monarchy so detrimental to Christendom. Almost in exactly the same words the King of England had said to Marillac at the beginning of March 1541, when speaking of a suggested marriage of the Emperor with the Princess Mary, that it would be madness for him to consent to any such arrangement with the Emperor, who had before now deceived him, and was only anxious to be universal monarch of Christen
dom, and would not then be content. Only a few days later the Imperial ambassador sent on a letter enclosed in one which came from Francis to his ambassador, in all probability the very letter in which these professions occur by which,' he says, 'your Majesty will see what amount of affection these people profess to have for his person,' meaning the Emperor's. 'I beg and entreat that it may be kept secret, as otherwise I shall be unable in future to get more information from the same source.' How Chapuys got intelligence of what was in the French ambassador's despatches is told in another place. In a letter of July 16, in reply to letters of the Emperor of the 11th inst., as the editor gives it, but which we suppose means of the ist inst, as no letters could possibly have
. reached England from Spain in five days, he says in cipher
'I will do my best to keep up the negotiations for a closer alliance and friendship in the same state in which it is now, making such use of my instructions as I may deem most fit and convenient for your Majesty's purposes, without amplifying or retrenching anything whatsoever, unless I receive your Majesty's express commands. I will, moreover, use all diligence and spare no trouble in obtaining, if possible, from the French ambassador’s man a copy of the cipher the former uses, as well as some original letters addressed to him that may enlighten your Majesty as to the doings of the French. In fact, I can assure you that no money shall be spared in bribing the said man ; for were I to be ruined by the transaction, and have to sell myself, he shall have as great a reward as he may ask for his services. The man himself has lately sent me a message to say that the last despatch which the ambassador, his chief, has received from the King (his master) is unimportant, and has been chiefly made out, as he thinks, for the purpose of acknowledging the receipt of his letters. True it is that one of King Francis's councillors has written to the ambassador a letter saying that whatever people may think of the deliberations of the German Diet, they cannot but be useful in the end, and highly advantageous for the King (their master); for if the result be favourable to Germany and to your Majesty, the Pope is sure to go over to France, whereas if the Diet takes no resolution at all, and the affairs remain in statu quo, then the King of France will have closer understanding and connexion with, and more favour and assistance from, Germany than he ever had' (p. 341).
The Imperial ambassador's conduct may seem very disgraceful, but it is not unique in its kind. Not only do we find the Emperor making no objection to Chapuys's announcement, but we have the account of almost exactly similar practices on the part of the French ambassador in England. We must also let him tell his own story. On September 3, 1540, he writes as follows to the High Constable. We give
the letter as it appears in English in Don Pascual's introduction, premising only that, as usual, he has blundered in the dates. His reply is to Francis's letters of the 6th and 15th ult., not of the 6th and 11th inst., as given by Don Pascual
"As far as I can judge, he (i.e. Chapuys) has more malice than cunning. There is no reason whatever to regret his having returned to this country, where I can assure you he will make no way at all with this King or his ministers; for he is very much disliked by them, and more particularly by the Duke of Norfolk, who has often spoken to me of his tricks and intrigues in past times, as well as of the cold and ungracious answers he got whenever he made overtures in the Privy Council. This statement of the Duke's I have been able to verify, owing to my having found in the very house which I now inhabit, and wherein the Imperial ambassador himself formerly resided no less than nine years, a bundle of papers and minutes of his own despatches, which he inconsiderately left behind him when he ought to have kept it as carefully as the greatest treasure he possessed in this world, Should he come to know now that those documents and papers are in my hands, he would regret the more his having returned to this country. But I will carefully keep my own secret, and no one shall know a word about it unless you, Monseigneur, order me to reveal it. I must, however, not omit to state that the reading of the above-mentioned papers and drafts of his correspondence with the Emperor's ministers has fully convinced me of the malignity of the Imperial ambassador and of his intrigues, grossly conceived and worse executed as they were, although inspired by a desire of doing all the harm he could to the King, our master. This has been lately confirmed by this King, who tells me that since his return to England the said Imperial ambassador has been playing the same game, though, whatever mien he may put on it, he has no reason to be satisfied with the answer he has received to his overtures, which was indeed so meagre and unsatisfactory that, since the first audience he had from the King to present his credentials, he has not called again, and has remained at home without going out of the house, except twice or three times that he has come to mine, to hear what news I have from France.'!
Such is a specimen of the diplomatic transactions of the middle of the sixteenth century, and a comparison of the two letters will show what a double game the King of England was playing, and how little scruple he felt in deceiving both the French king and the Emperor when anything was to be gained by such deceit, or, as Don Pascual puts itthe mere perusal of his (ie. Marillac's) despatches to King Francis or his ministers will persuade the reader of King Henry's superior talent for diplomacy as it was understood at that time ; for, if his conversations with the French and Imperial ambassadors are
1 Introduction, p. vii; Kaulek, p. 218.
faithfully reported, there can be no doubt that he was deceiving them both as to his real sentiments and views.'!
Thus it happens that when we have arrived at the last half of the volume the tables were completely changed. The King, about whose alliance the two other sovereigns had been comparatively indifferent, was now the person to whom they were endeavouring to represent their own friendship as being of the closest, both of them being anxious to secure him in the probable and almost certain event of war breaking out between them. So completely changed was the prospect that when Francis writes to his ambassador on August 9, 1541, he in the strongest terms denies that there is any chance of his coming to terms with the Emperor, with whom, though urged by the Queen of Hungary, he would not consent to have an interview, and never would without 'letting my good brother the King of England know of it first, and asking his opinion and advice on the matter, since I am quite satisfied with having seen the Emperor once' (p. 345).
Here, again, we notice a foolish note of the editor's. One would have thought the expression de l'autre mois'could have had but one explanation, viz. the month before ; yet we have here supplied by the editor. (July ?). He had only to turn to the French correspondence of Marillac to find the King's actual letter of July 29, which is here alluded to. The copy of this letter, as well as of two others written by Francis to Marillac, on August 12 and 28 respectively, were of course obtained surreptitiously. The last two are only abstracts of three long letters. They were sent in cipher to the Emperor, and contain the account of the project for alliance between France and England, to be cemented by a marriage of the Duke of Orleans with the Princess Mary. The full text, or nearly the whole of both letters, is printed in Marillac's correspondence, from which also we gather the date August 28, which the editor has omitted to supply. The copy he analyzed was no doubt without date ; but he might easily have found it out by reference to the French ambassador's correspondence, which supplies the additional information that Francis was willing to take either Mary or Elizabeth for his son, and that Henry had it already in contemplation to declare his daughter the Princess Mary legiti
All talk of her marriage with the Emperor seems pow to have been at an end. And in all probability there never had been any serious thoughts about it either on Henry's or
1 Introduction, p. xxi. VOL. XXXIII.--NO. LXVI.
the Emperor's part. Several other ciphered despatches follow this, which are without date and are grievously misplaced by this editor. The first of these is placed between two other despatches of August 28 and 29 respectively, but really belongs to September 26, and was written from York by Marillac to Francis on that day. This letter is of considerable importance; for it discloses Henry's real intention, which was to keep open the negotiations for the marriage of the Duke of Orleans with the Princess Mary, in view of future contingencies. The matter was supposed to be a profound secret, but was all revealed to the Emperor through the dishonest tampering of his ambassador with Marillac's servant. The cipher fairly represents in an abridged form what appears at greater length in the original letter, from which it seems that the Duke of Norfolk was negotiating this matter without apprising his colleagues of the Privy Council, who were likely to allege the difficulty about the Duke of Orleans coming to the crown of France, and so, in the event of Mary succeeding to that of England, governing this country from abroad by means of a deputy, the same objection having been alleged to her proposed inarriage with her cousin the Emperor. At any rate it appears that Francis was more keen upon the proposal than the English king, who foresaw a probable rupture between Francis and Charles, and was quite content to bide his time, professing, just for the present, a willingness to give the Princess Mary precedence after any other children he might yet have, and before Elizabeth. Meanwhile each of the ambassadors is entertaining the other at his own house, and writing to his employer to tell how each evades the other's questions as to the affairs of their respective sovereigns. As a specimen we select Chapuys's despatch of October 26, 1541, to the Queen of Hungary :
“The French ambassador came the other day to surprise me at dinner-time. Thinking that I would not be able to drag out of him any information with regard to King Francis's answer, and fearing also lest in conversing about political affairs in general some expression might escape me as to make him suspect what is really the fact, that I have read King Francis's letters to him, I refrained from touching on politics, and there was only mirth and good cheer in the evening besides some light conversation on his own journey to York, with which he seems by no means satisfied' (p. 375).
In this same letter Chapuys expresses his opinion that neither Henry on his side nor the French Council on theirs was at all anxious for the marriage, though he thinks Francis himself was in earnest about it, because of his affection for