A Letter Written by the King of Nauarre vnto the French King concerning his innocencie, against the sclaunders of his aduersaries. Truely translated out of French. Anno 1585.



A Letter written by the King of NAVARRE vnto the French King, concerning his inno­cencie, against the slaunders of his aduersaries. Truely trans­lated out of French. 1585.

MY Lord,

so soone as the auctors of these newe troubles had made some shewe of the purposed effects of their bad mindes toward your High­nesse, it pleased your Maiestie in wri­ting to impart vnto mee that opinion which iustly your selfe had conceiued of their entents, which was, that not­withstāding whatsoeuer their preten­ces, your selfe were not ignoraunt how they practised against your person and Crowne, also that they sought to grow mightie by your decay and detriment, as men that purposed the totall ruine and vtter subuertion of your estate. [Page 6] These my Lord, were the very effect of the wordes of your Letters wherewith your Maiestie vouchsafed to honor me, as acknowledging the vniō of my hap with yours, expressely adding, that they endeuoured my ouerthrowe together with yours. Myne, I say, my Lorde, the which, depending vpon you as it doth, thei can hardly cōpasse without yours. In respect hereof it pleased your Maie­stie also to commaunde your Gouer­nors, general Liutenants, Baylifes, Ste­wardes, and all other your Officers to withstande them as Rebelles and per­turbers of the Common quiet. Your Maiesties declarations also were here­vpon sent vnto all your Courts of Par­liamēt, and in the same ratefied, where­by they were pronounced Traytors, whereof haue ensued sundrie solemne decrees, and vpon the sayd decrees di­uers executions of great importaunce in many partes of this Realme, which remaine as presidents as well of their rebellion and conspiracie against your estate, as also of that iudgement which [Page 7] your Maiestie, your Counsaile, & your Courtes of Parliament had assessed of their purposes.

All this notwithstanding, it plea­sed your Maiestie according to your naturall clemencie, to thinke good by gentle meanes to reduce them to their dueties, and therevpon vouch­safing to honor me with your Letters, you therein commaunded me with pa­cience to suffer all, whereby your selfe might haue the better leysure to enter into consideration of them and their purposes, to the ende to giue to your Subiects to vnderstande how farre the very causes of their deuises did differ from their published pretences: allead­ging that although your selfe were not ignoraunt thereof, yet that it was re­quisite to open the same to your peo­ple, whom vnder the fayned shewe of Religion, they sought to withdraw frō their dueties. Your Maiestie my Lord, are to call to mind with what pacience at your commaundement I haue he­therto borne and obeyed: notwith­standing, [Page 8] according to your wisedome and equitie you are not ignoraunt by how iust occasions I haue alwaies bene prouoked and my pacience mooued, especially seeing my selfe chalenged as partie by your Maiesties enemies, who openly haue declared that they sought only my ouerthrowe, so that although I plainly found my self to be the scope of their attempts and enterprises, yet in respect of that reuerence which e­uermore I haue endeuoured to shewe to your commaundements I durst not once stirre against them, no notwith­stāding I dayly beheld them marching before my face, yea almost within my reach, in Armes against your Maiestie, in stomacke against my selfe, euermore attēpting against either some Townes within my gouernment, either some of my houses, or els against my owne per­son, and yet occasion so fitly seruing I might neither doe your Maiestie any seruice requisite, or my selfe bee reuen­ged according as reason & nature did require. Your onely will my Lord, haue [Page 9] I accepted for reason, and your com­maundement for lawe: My nature and duetie haue I strained and forced, yea almost my reputation and credite vn­der your precepts, and that the rather my Lord in respect that your Maiestie still honoring mee with your Letters, did in the same promise to be as mind­full of my interest as of your owne: as also that you would not graunt or cō ­discend vnto any thing that might bee preiudiciall to your Edict of peace, which you purposed to be irreuocable, yea and that in and according to the same you would protect and defend all your Subiects indifferently: all which promises your Maiesty haue from time to time reiterated in all your Letters, which beeing of your owne handwri­ting I do reserue, as also you haue pro­mised the same to the Lords of Cleruant and Chassincourt, with other my agents resiant about your person, as also haue the Queene your Mother as well by word of mouth as by Letters.

When therefore my Lord I heard it [Page 10] reported that your Maiestie had on the suddeine concluded peace with those that haue rebelled against your seruice, vpon cōdition: that your edict be bro­ken: your loyall subiectes banished: the conspirators armed: yea armed with your forces and authoritie against your most obedient and faithfull sub­iectes: euen against my selfe, who haue that honour to bee of your Maiesties blood, and allyed vnto you, who euer since I supposed my selfe to haue any place in your good fauour and liking, could neuer bee found to haue depar­ted therefro, except by too much pa­cience, sufferance, and duetifull obedi­ence: whē this I say came to my know­ledge, I leaue it to your Maiesties con­sideration to thinke in what perplexi­tie I might remayne, either wherein I might repose any further hope, except in dispayre.

In that declaration which on my be­halfe was exhibited vnto your Maiesty, I haue motioned the most equall and reasonable conditions that might bee [Page 11] deuised for the furtherance of com­mon & generall quiet, for your securi­tie, & for the reliefe of al your subiects▪ Viz. If their quarell bee for Religion, (howbeit, notwithstanding whatsoe­uer Buckler they make of the same, yet it is the farthest from their thoughts) I haue referred my selfe to a free Coun­sayle: If for assurances (which certein­ly they haue no reason to demaund) I haue offered to resigne my gouerne­ment, together with what soeuer my Fortresses or houldes, vpon condition that them selues will doe the like, and that to the end no way to prolong the staye of quietnesse throughout this Realme: If it bee my selfe that they shoote at, either if vnder pretence and colour of mee they pretend to trouble the whole land, to the ende your Maie­stie may no longer be troubled there­about, I haue craued that this quarell might be decided betweene them and mee, yea for the cutting off of com­mon calamities euen betweene their persons and myne. To be briefe, I haue [Page 12] beyond all shew of reason, and contra­ry to all naturall sence, yeelding to whatsoeuer your Maiesties commaun­demēts proceeded farther then duetie could binde, and, notwithstanding the inequalitie of our degrees and callings, haue stooped and become equall with my inferiors, to the end with my blood to redeeme so many mischifes. Yea I haue abased my selfe to those parsons whome your Maiestie haue pronoun­ced Rebelles.

If therefore my mishappe bee such (which I wil not yet beleeue) that your Maiestie haue proceeded so farre, as notwithstanding all these my conclusi­ons and submissions, to cōclude such a treatie, and thereby to infringe your Edictes, and to arme your Rebelles a­gainst your estate, against your blood, yea and against your parson, I can not but hartely lament and bewaile your Maiesties condition, especially seeing your highnesse through contempt of my faithful seruice, forced to vtter sub­uersion of your estate, togither with [Page 13] the consideration of the calamities of your realme, the end whereof we are in vaine to looke or hope for, except in the totall ruyne of the same: For that all the world doth knowe by twentie yeres proofe and more, that their pre­tence is a vaine attempt, and their buil­ding a manifest subuersion.

In the meane tyme I will comfort my selfe in my innocencie, integritie and affectiō to your Maiestie and your estate: also in that it hath not beene long of me, that with my owne perill I haue not preuented this shipwarcke: but aboue all, I will ground my conso­lation vpon the Lord God, the prote­ctor of my sinceritie and loyaltie, who in this necessitie will not forsake mee, but rather will encrease my courage & multiply my meanes against all my en­nemies, who are yours.

And my Lord, I beseech hym to en­spire you with good counsayle, and in all your affayres to assist you with his strength. Also that he wil vouchsafe me his grace during lyfe, to yeeld vnto you [Page 14] my bounden seruice as I desire: also to preserue your Maiestie.

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