most secret letters

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233 The effect  graduate employmentof this was that loving letters were at once sent to Alen?on, all difficulties were smoothed over, the commissioners should be cordially welcomed as soon as they liked to come, and what was of far more importance still, the Queen promised the French ambassador that when they arrived she would give Alen?on 200,000 crowns of Drake’s plunder to help him in the Netherlands enterprise and subsidise Duke Casimir’s mercenary army of Germans to cross the frontier and co-operate with him.

But it was not a very easy task to settle with the King of France the preliminaries of the embassy, the extent of its powers, and the choice of its members. Cobham, in Paris, tried to pledge Henry III. to break first with Spain on account of his mother’s claim to the Portuguese crown, which Philip had usurped, but the King said he would make no move until Elizabeth did so. Whilst these discussions were going on in Paris, Alen?on sent an embassy of his own to London (in February, 1581) to pave the way, in his interest, for the coming of the commissioners. The principal envoy was Clausse de Marchaumont, Count de Beaumont, who was accompanied by Jean Bodin, the famous writer, and others; and his principal task for many months to come was to beg for money aid for his master’s enterprise.

He was received with apparent cordiality by the Queen, who was closeted with him for hours every day, and especially recommended him to the French ambassador as a great favourite of Alen?on; but withal she must have watched him closely at first, for in one of his  her “faithful monkey” assures her that Marchaumont234 was entirely dependent upon the Guises, and recommends her to have a little secretary of his named Obterre  Однодневная поездка в Макао“untrussed,” when she will find some news about Scotland. The Duke of Guise, it seems, had dropped a hint about it in the hearing of one of Simier’s friends. Whatever was the result of the Queen’s secret conferences with Marchaumont, not even her own councillors knew it, and she wrote a private letter, which no one saw, for one of the envoys, a cousin of Marchaumont’s, M. de Mery, to take to the Duke, and with it she sent a wedding-ring as a token. Mendoza says that “she also said publicly that she was now so anxious for the commissioners to come that every hour’s delay seemed like a thousand years to her, with other tender speeches of the same sort, which make most people who hear them believe that the marriage will take place. The three ministers (i.e., Sussex, Cecil, and Crofts) for whom Marchaumont brought letters only replied to him that they could say nothing further, but that the Queen seemed very desirous that the wedding should be effected.”

 The tone of this last remark is sufficient to prove that the Queen, at this time, was not in earnest, and that her real design, as I have already pointed out, was to compass her ends without burdening herself with a husband. At a subsequent stage, as we shall see, her passion once more, and for the last time HKUE amec, nearly swept away her judgment, and drove her into a position from which it was difficult to extricate herself without matrimony or loss of prestige. Marchaumont brought with him a secretary of Alen?


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