« PreviousContinue »
sounding in remote parts. He obtained also of the Pope a very just and honourable bull, qualifying the privileges of sanctuary, wherewith the King had been extremely galled, in three points.
The first, that if any sanctuary man did by night, or 5 otherwise, get out of sanctuary privily, and commit mischief and trespass, and then come in again, he should lose the benefit of sanctuary for ever after. The second, that howsoever the person of the sanctuary man was protected from his creditors, yet his goods out of sanctuary should not. 10 The third, that if any took sanctuary for case of treason, the King might appoint him keepers to look to him in sanctuary.
The King also, for the better securing of his estate against mutinous and malcontented subjects, whereof he 15 saw the realm was full, who might have their refuge into Scotland, which was not under key, as the ports were ; for that cause rather than for any doubt of hostility from those parts, before his coming to London, when he was at Newcastle, had sent a solemn ambassage unto James the third 20 King of Scotland, to treat and conclude a peace with him. The ambassadors were, Richard Fox, bishop of Exeter, and Sir Richard Edgcombe, comptroller of the King's house, who were honourably received and entertained there. But the King of Scotland labouring of the same disease that 25 King Henry did, though more mortal, as afterwards appeared, that is, discontented subjects, apt to rise and raise tumult, although in his own affection he did much desire to
a peace with the King; yet finding his nobles averse, and not daring to displease them, concluded only a truce 30 for seven years ; giving nevertheless promise in private, that it should be renewed from time to time during the two Kings' lives.
Hitherto the King had been exercised in settling his affairs at home. But about this time brake forth an occasion that drew him to look abroad, and to hearken to foreign
business. Charles the eighth the French King, by the virtue 5 and good fortune of his two immediate predecessors, Charles
the seventh his grandfather and Lewis the eleventh his father, received the kingdom of France in more flourishing and spread estate than it had been of many years before ;
being redintegrate in those principal members, which an10 ciently had been portions of the crown of France, and were
afterward dissevered, so as they remained only in homage, and not in sovereignty, being governed by absolute Princes of their own, Anjou, Normandy, Provence, and Burgundy.
There remained only Britain to be re-united, and so the 15 monarchy of France to be reduced to the ancient terms and bounds.
King Charles was not a little inflamed with an ambition to re-purchase and re-annex that duchy: which his ambition
was a wise and well-weighed ambition; not like unto the 20 ambitions of his succeeding enterprises of Italy. For at
that time, being newly come to the crown, he was somewhat guided by his father's counsels, counsels not counsellors, for his father was his own council, and had few able men
about him. And that King, he knew well, had ever dis25 tasted the designs of Italy, and in particular had an eye
upon Britain. There were many circumstances that did feed the ambition of Charles with pregnant and apparent hopes of success : the duke of Britain old, and entered
into a lethargy, and served with mercenary counsellors, 30 father of two only daughters, the one sickly and not like to continue : King Charles himself in the flower of his age,
and the subjects of ce at that time well trained for war, both for leaders and soldiers; men of service being not yet worn
out since the wars of Lewis against Burgundy. He found himself also in peace with all his neighbour Princes. As for those that might oppose to his enterprise, Maximilian King of the Romans, his rival in the same desires (as well for the duchy, as the daughter) feeble in means; and King 5 Henry of England as well somewhat obnoxious to him for his favours and benefits, as busied in his particular troubles at home. There was also a fair and specious occasion offered him to hide his ambition, and to justify his warring upon Britain ; for that the duke had received and succoured 10
1 Lewis duke of Orleans, and other of the French nobility, which had taken arms against their King. Wherefore King Charles, being resolved upon that war, knew well he could not receive any opposition so potent, as if King Henry should, either upon policy of state, in preventing the grow- 15 ing greatness of France, or upon gratitude unto the duke of Britain, for his former favours in the time of his distress, espouse that quarrel, and declare himself in aid of the duke. Therefore he no sooner heard that King Henry was settled by his victory, but forthwith he sent ambassadors unto him 20 to pray his assistance, or at least that he would stand neutral. Which ambassadors found the King at Leicester, and delivered their ambassage to this effect: They first imparted unto the King the success that their master had had a little before against Maximilian, in recovery of certain 25 towns from him : which was done in a kind of privacy, and inwardness towards the King; as if the French King did not esteem him for an outward or formal confederate, but as one that had part in his affections and fortunes, and with whom he took pleasure to communicate his business. After jo this compliment, and some gratulation for the King's victory, they fell to their errand; declaring to the King, That their master was enforced to enter into a just and necessary
war with the duke of Britain, for that he had received and succoured those that were traitors and declared enemies unto his person and state. That they were no mean, dis
tressed, and calamitous persons that fled to him for refuge, 5 but of so great quality, as it was apparent that they came
not thither to protect their own fortune, but to infest and invade his; the head of them being the duke of Orleans, the first Prince of the blood and the second person of France.
That therefore, rightly to understand it, it was rather on 10 their master's part a defensive war than an offensive ; as that
that could not be omitted or forborn, if he tendered the conservation of his own estate ; and that it was not the first blow that made the war invasive, for that no wise Prince
would stay for, but the first provocation, or at least the first 15 preparation; nay, that this war was rather a suppression of
rebels, than a war with a just enemy; where the case is, that his subjects, traitors, are received by the duke of Britain his homager. That King Henry knew well what went upon
it in example, if neighbour Princes should patronize and 20 comfort rebels against the law of nations and of leagues.
Nevertheless that their master was not ignorant, that the King had been beholden to the duke of Britain in his adversity; as on the other side, they knew he would not forget
also the readiness of their King, in aiding him when 25 the duke of Britain, or his mercenary counsellors, failed him, and would have betrayed him ; and that there was a
1 great difference between the courtesies received from their master, and the duke of Britain : for that the duke's might
have ends of utility and bargain; whereas their master's 30 could not have proceeded but out of entire affection; for
that, if it had been measured by a politic line, it had been better for his affairs that a tyrant should have reigned in England, troubled and hated, than such a Prince, whose
virtues could not fail to make him great and potent, whensoever he was come to be master of his affairs. But howsoever it stood for the point of obligation which the King might owe to the duke of Britain, yet their master was well assured, it would not divert King Henry of England from 5 doing that that was just, nor ever embark him in so illgrounded a quarrel. Therefore, since this war, which their master was now to make, was but to deliver himself from imminent dangers, their King hoped the King would shew the like affection to the conservation of their master's estate, 10 as their master had, when time was, shewed to the King's acquisition of his kingdom. At the least, that according to the inclination which the King had ever possessed of peace, he would look on, and stand neutral; for that their master could not with reason press him to undertake part in the 15 war, being so newly settled and recovered from intestine seditions. But touching the mystery of re-annexing of the duchy of Britain to the crown of France, either by war, or by marriage with the daughter of Britain, the ambassadors bare aloof from it as from a rock, knowing that it made most 20 against them. And therefore by all means declined any mention thereof, but contrariwise interlaced, in their conference with the King, the assured purpose of their master to match with the daughter of Maximilian; and entertained
1; the King also with some wandering discourses of their 25 King's purposes, to recover by arms his right to the kingdom of Naples, by an expedition in person; all to remove the King from all jealousy of any design in these hither parts upon Britain, otherwise than for quenching of the fire, which he feared might be kindled in his own estate.
30 The King, after advice taken with his council, made answer to the ambassadors : and first returned their compliment, shewing he was right glad of the French King's