she was setting forth

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The reason for this was that in case the amicable settlement she feared was arrived at by Alen?on and his brother after Orange’s death, she should not be left out of the arrangement, which she certainly would not be if Alen Backup and Recovery?on still hoped to be accepted as her husband. She was indeed in greater fear of the French now than ever; Henry III. had become more and more complaisant with his brother as the danger of Orange increased, and notwithstanding all her diplomacy she could not extract even the smallest conditional promise to break with Spain, even, as she put it, as a matter of form. The coast of Flanders and Holland in the hands of the French would mean ruin to England, and, as usual, she railed at Walsingham for his innocent share in promoting Alen?on’s going thither. “You knave!” she greeted him with one day, “you ought to have your head off your shoulders for persuading the Duke to go to Antwerp. He is trying now to get hold of the ports, but they will see whether I will put up with that coolly;” whereupon the secretary answered not a word. She wrote again to Alen?on, telling him she would marry him if he came, and would not stand in the way of his Netherlands plans if she were not expected to contribute to the cost; but if he continued the war without marrying her she would be his mortal foe and would expend her last man and her last shot in preventing him from obtaining uncontrolled possession of the Netherlands.

The £15,000 she had sent him, she said, was a mark of affection rather than a subsidy for the war, and indeed at this time—the end of April,312 1582—it is clear that her most pressing fear was lest the death of Orange should allow the French to obtain the control of the country over her head, to make their own terms with Philip, and leave her and the Protestants in the lurch.

She left no effort untried to persuade the French that she really would marry PolyU TwitterAlen?on, but Castelnau, as well as his master and the Queen-mother, were not very credulous by this time, and were inclined rather to make a joke of her newly-revived ardour. On one occasion when  in detail to Castelnau the various reasons which she said made her marriage with Alen?on now necessary, he told her that she had forgotten the most important reason of all, namely, that people were saying that she had already given him the privileges of a husband. This was expressed in words that would in our day be considered unpardonably coarse and insulting if applied to the humblest woman, but the Queen only answered that she would soon stop the rumour. The ambassador told her that she might perhaps do so in her own realm, but it would be impossible in other countries where it was public talk. Excited and angry at this the Queen exclaimed that her conscience was Package to Hong Kongclear and innocent, and she therefore feared nothing; she would stifle such calumnies everywhere by her marriage.157




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