Letter ID: 0781
Reference: LPL, MS 654 f.130r-131v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0781/008
Date: 04 January 1596
Copy of: 1277


May it please your L. upon the reading of your lettre of the 15 of December which came to my hands the 18 before I did procure the meeting of the Stats, I found it very requisite to speake with Master Barnevelt that if so be he could be wonne to undertake his former offer, we might joint- lie cast a plott, to sette the matter forward, & allso make if need required, some speciall addition, to the forme of the verball, which your L. had conceaved. But I should use so many words, to make a full report of his answers to me. The cheifest were to this effect, that his forwardnes & zeale, to doe service to both sides, had bene termed in England simulation & cunning: that the state of their affaires since he and I talked, had bene notablely changed: and that the college of the states was waxen very jealous of his dealing in this matter (allbeit he did not thinke that they know the particu- larityes) so as now the second time to intermeddle in the same, it was to hazard overmuch his creditt in the Contrey, if it should not succeed to theyr generall liking, which he had no reson to put in ad- venture, sith it touched him no more then every man besides. This was so in debate for 2 dayes together: but yett in the end with very much adoe, & many forks of parsuasions, he made me this answere, That although it were apparant, that since the time of that ouverture, there had bene many things hapned here, which were evident impeachments to the course that he proposed, yett he continued in his hope, that to staie in good assurance of her Majesties amitye, & to obteine a full release of her her demands the Contrey might be drawe to yelde to some offer beyond their abi- litye: wherin he would take paine, to satisfie her Majestie by all the wayes he could invent: howsoever there had passed just occasion of discouragement: but yet it was not in his power to find so readie meanes, to attaine to that he would, as when it was Integrum. For which it would be behoofull to have a little patience, till his fellowes might be brought by convenient degrees to allow the proposall, It was allso to be thought on that he of all others might not now as at first propound the matter in their college: but if I would be thinke me how to sett it once a foote, I should see every day by his carefull proceeding, that he forslowed no occasion, to second me soundly. Wheruppon I tould him that my comission would not beare that I might use any speach in theyr publik assemblie of any new motion, as proceeding from her Majestie but yet I would adventure after time, as I had uttered her pleasure unto them, to cast out a word in generall tearmes, by way of proposing my privat opinion, & with a trew protestation, that I had fol.130v
that I had no commission from her Majestie to doe it, to such effect as this, that I had weighed with my selfe, very often & throughly, as much as they could alledge in excuse of their refusalls & that I saw not with- standing how backward so ever they had shewed themselves, that they might easily devise, to satisfie her Majestie & make no dangerous di- minution of the strength & wellfare of the contry: & if after upon this in their private cosultation he would take a fitt occasion to provoke his Colleugues to a conference & to send some 2 or 3 to know the meanes that I could plotte to give her Highnes contentation, I would then as of my self breake the ice unto his hands, & recommend such an ouverture, although I meant to make it better, as we had in communication Of this kind of proceeding he tooke good liking so as 3 dayes agoe obtaining audience of the States after I had imparted the poyntes of my charge I am to deliver my private advice, as I had formerly used in many other causes, with theyr approbation but allwayes with a preface of submission to theyr judgement & with a speciall protestation that I speke but of my selfe, without the notice of her Majestie I requested them to thinke, that allthough for the present, her highnes had bene pleased for some greater considerations, to seme to say little & to winke at theyr dealinges, yet sith it was a matter that touched her in honor in regard of her earnest & often pursuite & the sensure of the world which wold follow upon the issue she would not so give it out, but when the season served for it, they might be trobled with the fruites of a Princes indignation. So it might befall that these spanish preparations would prove but a scarre crow, that the Enemie might otherwise be drive to his shiftes, by some notable domage, or tht they in their affayres might atteine by some attempt, to a great amendment of their meanes in any of which cases, they were to imagine in their wisdome, if it would cost them very deare, so that her Majestie might parceave, that it were not to ruine the State of their contrey wheras now if they would they might prevent it all in tyme, with some kind presen tation to be made by their deputies such as she might accept with her dignity & honor & they afford no willing minds without the imparing of their Estate. I had no such occasion to know their estate, as they them selves, yet of some what I was certaine & could cleere it unto then by plaine demonstration that the contry was provided of competent meanes for a reasonable offer, so as if they would but fall to fashion a project & recommend it to the people with some caution & care, as they had the skill to handle it well, it was like enough to passe without any opposition. They should therfore looke unto it, & spedelie take hould of this offred opportunitye, & not spare a little labor to compound so great a matter. Wherein I for my selfe would be readie, when they would to commu- nicate further, & to yeeld any ayde in other sort, concurring with the dutie & creditt of my place. To that which I declared in her Majestyes name they made me this answere, That they marveyled out of measure, at the sharppnesse of my message, when as they in there lettres did so playnlye reporte the state of their affayres as they thought it possible, if her highnes had vouchsafed to ponder everye reason with exquisite ballance fol.131r
ballance of her princelie judgment, but that she would have give way to their true allegations. They would consider further of it, & as occasion might be offred, I should know their resolution. And as for that which I had uttered of my owne proparmotion they tooke it as proceeding from affecion to them & of inwarde desire to make a crooked arrow. For which they gave me many thanks: but yett touching that matter they found it very ticklish to be bruted abroad, that they & I were in talk how to find out a way, to dissolve the contract with her Majestie & to take order for remborsement which might be hurtfull to them selves for not being authorised, & perilous allso otherwise, for pushing on the people to some other allteration. Never the lesse they would seeme it & discusse it amongest them selves, & after a while I should have word how farre they durste proceed. I had presentlie therupon some further talke with Master Barnevelt, by whome I was informed tht the answere made unto me, went currant in their meeting as take to be grounded upon the very true reason & circumstance of thinges, as theyr state standeth now, & in the nature of this cause. For which the matter yett required some time of digesting, which he would sett forward the sonest he could, & travell to effect it with his greatest dexteritye. For if so be his collegues should be urged very hastely, he thought that out of question, they would ether not give care, or if they should & should not like, it were no more to be renewed: wheruppon he would indevour not directlie by parsuasions, for that were to open but by other kind of preambles, to prepare underhand the humors of his fellowes which would be therfore the harder, because they are not one mans chilldren & hardly meet in once conceipt, in the weightyest causes of the contrey. The lest contributing provinces, is Guelderland, Overissel, Utrecht, & Groe- ninghen are none of the stiffest in refusing a peace, & have nothing so much feling of her Majestyes offence, as Holland & Zeland, that stand upon their traffick & can quicklye make the reckning to have much danger they are subject, if her Majestie would be drawen to make traill of her puissance. Never the lesse bycause Holland & Zeland, by reason of their greatnesse, give the [laio] in a maner to all the rest he will first, take uppon him to sound the chiefest sort of them & if they will comprehend it as beneficiall for the state, he will make the lesse doubt of the residue of the Provinces.

It cometh happely to passe, that he is newlie now appointed with certaine principalls of Holland, to goe presentlie for Zeland, a- bout some publick causes, which he doth account will keep him awaye some x or xij dayes & give him very good leisure for managing this matter with those of the Province. And then will be then after about a fortnight, a full meeting Holland, where he is bent to doe his best, & therafter fol.131v

Endorsed: De Master Bodeley a Master le Grand Tresorer le mois de Janvier 1596

Endorsed: Copie of my lettre to my L. Tresurer January 4 95.

& therafter as he findes that these are affected, he will both in hand with some others, of the other lesser Provinces, & when the time shall be for it, he will procure to have me called to explicate my meaning, in my former proposition, & then after to conclude & deter- mine uppon it. So as I am in good hope to know of or on; with in 4 or five weekes. Once I hould my selfe assured, that there willbe no defect in Master Barneveltes indevors: who is very earnest with me, that there may be no speeches of this that he entendeth, nor no mention of his name, as of a plotter of this Project, which will rather disadvantage, then advance her highnes service, & may paradventure purchase him a number of bitter foes.

It may also more endanger, then further this matter, for me to deall with others, aswell as with him, unlesse that some men of them selves will give the first occasion, as hath bene done by Barnevelt. Againe I finde it not so easye, where mens natures are so jelous, as they are in this Con[trey] & so fearfull to listen to any new devises, to gett them soddenly to a point of such consequence aswill bereave them of the benefitt of a sin- guler treatye, with a Prince of so much power whose countenance & aid hath maintaned there Estate, so many yeares together, against the force of such an enemy. For which I take it to be best till the matter shall be riper, to use the help of one alone, who is allreadye gained for it, & for his creditt & experience doth serve in steed of many others: as likewise I must say that for his sound- nesse of dealing, I have had it in triall for a number of yeares, in very many devises, in which I have found him often harshe in res- pect of his cariage, but allwayes very trustie in regard of parfor- mance, where his promise hath bene past. And so I trust I shall have cause to report in this case: whereof I will advrtise as occa- sion shall be give having now no other mater for the affaires of this state, nor for forraine occurrence, that doth deserve to hould the longer. For which I take my humble leave. From the Hage January 4 95.

Postscript: Theyr purpose was heere to have sent theyr deputy for England about the first of the next moneth, which is tallked of noe more, nor as far as I can learne, is not intended now at all, for the speech that I delivered in the name of her highnes unlesse that happelie this be granted, wherin I am busied at this present.