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Letter #357

Genoa, 1527-07-17

English register:

De Schepper complains that he has not received any letters from Dantiscus, and he refers to his own from Genoa and Northern Spain. They [Chancellor Mercurino Gattinara's company] are stuck in Genoa, surrounded by French and Venetian forces. The imperial army in Italy is completely out of control. Antonio de Leyva holds Milan, while Swiss mercenaries, paid by the French, are advancing on the city. Hence there is no possibility of continuing the journey to the Chancellor's domains [in Piedmont].

It is not known where the Pope [Clement VII] is detained. A confrontation between the Venetian army and the imperial troops under Antonio de Leyva and the Count of Lodron is imminent. De Schepper mistrusts the self-confidence of De Leyva and his soldiers. He scorns the cruel looting of Milan by the Spanish and German troops. The Chancellor's company is still waiting for instructions from the Emperor [Charles V].

The King of Bohemia [Ferdinand Habsburg] aspires to the Hungarian throne. Lots of rumours circulate concerning the situation in Hungary. The appearance of John [Zápolya] with his sizable army as second pretender to the Hungarian throne is mockingly compared to the mythological stories about people rising from the earth after the sowing of dragon's teeth or stones. De Schepper does not think much of John [Zápolya]'s intellectual capacities. He refers to John [Zápolya]'s letter to the Hungarian nobility of which a copy was sent to Valdés.

He points Dantiscus towards Paolo Giovio's new publication on Muscovy, which he considers much more reliable than the one published by Johannes Faber. He asks Dantiscus to send him the Faber's work, because he wants to show it to the regent of Monaco, Archbishop Agostino Grimaldi.

The Chancellor has changed his way of life and is saving everything for his heirs. He is increasingly surrounded by friends from his home country and is becoming isolated from his collaborators. He is hesitating, although without reason. De Schepper is in doubt concerning his own position, and will, if necessary, seek his fortune elsewhere. Even though he does not want to let the Chancellor down, he asks Dantiscus and the Vice-Chancellor [Balthasar Merklin von Waldkirch] to explore the opportunities for a career change. If he does not succeed, he will have to turn to a last resort.

There is no news about the Bari question. De Schepper has drawn Gattinara's birth horoscope, but he could not finish it because of the travel conditions. Tomorrow it will be done, and then he will use the method recommended by Dantiscus.

He asks for news about the King of Denmark [Christian II] and Melchior Colditz. He is worried by rumours of riots in the Netherlands. Both the Duke of Ferrara and the Prince of Orange aspire to the succession of Charles de Bourbon in Italy, and both have sent envoys to the Emperor. He reports on the misfortunes encountered by the envoys of the prince of Orange? (princeps Oraycae) [Philibert de Châlon] on their journey; one of them will deliver De Schepper's letter to Dantiscus. He inquires about their mutual friends, the Count of Montfort-Rothenfels and the Counts Palatine, and asks to be recommended to their friends and to Dantiscus’ paramour [Isabel Delgada].

            received Valladolid, [1527]-08-06

Manuscript sources:
1fair copy in Latin, autograph, AAWO, AB, D. 3, f. 14-15
2copy in Latin, 20th-century, B. PAU-PAN, 8241 (TK 3), a.1527, f. 38-40

Auxiliary sources:
1register in English, 20th-century, CBKUL, R.III, 31, No. 211

1DE VOCHT 1961 No. DE, 37, p. 31 (excerpt; English register)
2CEID 2/2 (Letter No. 12) p. 90-96 (in extenso; English register)
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