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little for the advancement of this noble princess, and less for the safety of this kingdom, considering the dangers it may draw upon our worthy magnanimous prince, and the noble duke of York, if the ambition of this match should tice the Savoyan to look after possibilities; wherein there would want neither means, persuasions, nor pardons from Rome to practise any villainy in that behalf, whereby to benefit or strengthen an appendix of Spain, and so devoted a son to the Romish see.
For the second, namely, the comfort and contentment of this young lady by this match; as there is little in appearance presently, so is there less to be hoped for in the future. For at first she must be removed far from her nearest blood both by father and mother, into a country far estranged from our nation as any part of Christendom, and as far differing from us in religion as in climate.
And what true correspondency or matrimonial affection there can be maintained between those persons, whose minds are different and opposite in the religious points of their Christian faith, is greatly to be doubted. Moreover, it is no less to be feared, with what safety and security she can long live free from secret practices and treacheries in a country so near the pope's jurisdiction, environed with the plots of the Jesuits, who, we see, do daily traffick the lives and fortunes of all princes that are not wholly devoted to the Romish obedience; and therefore how they will entertain or tolerate one of the race of our king were too great an error and presumption to trust unto.
So as when the worthy lady hereafter, by her children or otherwise, bath furnished their desire, and fully served their turn, she shall be then either forced to wound her conscience by forsaking her faith, or else to undergo the scorns and dangers which shall be daily cast upon her and her family, for the exercise of their religion.
And this also we may be well assured of, that if she should have any issue by the prince of Piedmont, they must all be bred and brought up contrary to her conscience; which can be no small grief to a virtuous and natural mother, and as little comfort to our most religious king, their grandfather.
Lastly, the very binding cause of amity between all kings, princes, and states, is their trade and intercourse of their subjects.
Now there is not any prince or state of Europe, (the inland counties of Hungary and Transylvania excepted,) but the English have trade withal; yea, even with the Turk, Barbarian, Persian, and Indians : only with the subjects of Savoy I do not know that we have any meddling or interchange at all. For the duke hath no port, (his ditch of Villa Franca excepted, which is only capable of a few galleys,) either to furnish ships from, or to receive them being strangers. And therefore, for his majesty of England to match his eldest and only daughter with a prince which bath his dependance upon other kings; a prince jesuited, which can neither stead us in time of war, nor trade with us in time of peace; a prince, by the situation of his country, every way unprofitable unto us, and no less perilous for his child to live in ; I resolve myself, that his majesty is of too excellent a judgment ever to accept of it, and his ho nourable council too wise and provident to advise the prosecution thereof.
Now if his highness should be pleased to ask my opinion, with what Christian prince he should match his sister, were it in his own power and choice to make election ? I humbly desire to be excused herein, nor would it become me to presume so far.
It is true, I have heard it, that some overtures have been made for the prince palatine of the Rhine. Certainly he is as well born as the duke of Savoy, and as free a prince as he is. The nation is faithful; he is of our religion, and by him we shall greatly fasten unto us the Netherlands. And for the little judgment God hath given me, I do prize the alliance of the palatine of the Rhine, and of the house of Nassau, more than I do the alliance of ten dukes of Savoy.
A MARRIAGE BETWEEN PRINCE HENRY OF ENG
LAND, AND A DAUGHTER OF SAVOY.
THERE is nobody' that persuades our prince to match with Savoy, for any love to the person of the duke, nor, as I hope, for his religion; neither will any man oppose it for any particular dislike: for as there hath never been quarrel between our nation and his, so hath he, for ought I have heard, never given offence to any of ours. It should therefore seem, that it is for the good of England that he that desires it, desires it; and for the same good it is, that he that desires it not, dissuades it.
The points in it, which are considerable, are these :
The first, wherein it concerns the duke to seek the alliance of England.
The second, that the pretences of marriages between princes are seldom the same with their intents that pro pounded them; and what hidden danger may lie under the alliance presently desired.
The third, wherein it may concern us to match with Savoy; and against whom he can assist us.
The fourth, that Savoy and Spain are inseparable, and that Savoy dare not offend the pope nor the emperor.
The fifth, against whom the English shall need his assistance.
The sixth, of the inconveniences in general.
The seventh, of the inconveniences in particular to the prince.
The eighth, with what prince it be most fit for his highness's advantage to match withal.
The reasons that are apparent on the duke's behalf are these:
The first, that, either by the countenance or assistance of his majesty, he may hope to possess himself of the duchy of Milan, which was promised him on dowry with his wife by the king of Spain.
The second, to recover Bresse from the French.
The fourth, to make his daughter a great queen; and so he and his shall be able to say in future times, that the kings of England are of the race of Savoy.
These pretences are exceeding fair, if the pretences in the traffick of marriages between kings and princes were the same with their intents : but we know by experience how many of these fraudulent propositions have been made both to the French, English, and other princes, by the house of Austria, of which the daughters of Savoy are descended; and by which kind of traffick those kings have prevailed more than by all their forces and arms.
For by these false goods they carried Naples and Milan from the French. So prevailed they with our king Henry VIII. ; when they drew his army into Biscay, to invade France, they conquered Navarre.
They had it also in their hope to have possessed England by a match with queen Mary; which, though they failed to gain, yet thereby we failed not to lose Calais. What marriage had a fairer pretence in the world than that of the king of Navarre (afterwards king Henry the Fourth of France) with the lady Margaret of Valois, now living; by which a peace was concluded between the king and the party of the religion, and by which the miserable civil wars in France were concluded? And yet the intent was so far from the pretence, as one hundred thousand protestants were thereby murdered in one day within Paris and elsewhere. Nay, what greater treason and cruelty was there ever covered under a pretence of marriage, than that of Francis Sforza, duke of Milan ; who, under pretence to win that brave Italian captain to his party, gave him his daughter Drusiana in marriage, and sent him with his army to serve Ferdinand, king of Naples; where, by the practice of Sforza, Picininus and his son were murdered by the king, after he had royally received him in his own court and castle.
Lastly, because examples are infinite, I will conclude with the practice of Bentivoglio, prince of Bologna, who, to the end to make himself master of Farenza, gave his daughter to the lord thereof; and she, according to her father's instructions, caused her husband to be murdered in her own chamber.
There is a kind of noble and royal deceiving in marriages between kings and princes; yea, and it is of all others the fairest and most unsuspected trade of betraying. It has been as ordinary amongst them to adventure or cast away a daughter, to bring some purpose to pass, as at other times, for saving of charges, to make them nuns. I speak not this to prejudice or forejudge so worthy a prince as the duke of Savoy; for there is no example to be followed or to be feared, where like occasions and like circumstances do not occur. He cannot betray us till we trust him : there is nothing of ours near him, nor of his near us.
It is the Spaniard that is to be feared; the Spaniard, who layeth his pretences and practices with a long hand. In which respect, it were not amiss to consider of the plots of our English priests, who not long since have published and printed certain far-fetched titles both of the king of Spain and of the infanta his daughter ; for it were an horrible dishonour to be overreached by any of those dry and subtleheaded Spaniards.
Parsons, under the name of Doleman, hath cast abroad a most pestilent book in our English tongue; wherein, after he hath laboured with all his strainings and subtleties to Weaken all other titles, and his majesty's, which is undoubted; most of all he prefers that of the infanta, and of the king her father, and brother, for the most clear and ancient.