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Cromwell's I go next to give an account of Cromwell's transmeofwith actions with relation to foreign affairs. He laid it France. down for a maxim, to spare no cost or charge in order to procure him intelligence. When he understood what dealers the Jews were every where in that trade that depends on news, the advancing money upon high or low interests in proportion to the risk they run, or the gain to be made as the times might turn, and in the buying and selling of the actions of money so advanced, he, more upon that account than in compliance with the principle of toleration, brought a company of them over to England, and gave them leave to build a synagogue. All the while that he was negotiating this, they were sure and good spies for him, especially with relation to Spain and Portugal. The earl of Orrery told me, he was once walking with him in one of the galleries of Whitehall, and a man almost in rags came in view: he presently dismissed lord Orrery, and carried that man into his closet; who brought him an account of a great sum of money that the Spaniards were sending over to pay their army in Flanders, but in a Dutch man of war: and he told him the places of the ship in which the money was lodged. Cromwell sent an express immediately to Smith, afterwards sir Jeremy Smith, who lay in the Downs, telling him that within a day or two such a Dutch ship would pass the channel, whom he must visit for the Spanish money, which was conterband goods, we being then in war with Spain. So when the ship passed by Dover, Smith sent, and demanded leave to search him. The Dutch captain answered, none but his masters might search him. Smith sent him word, he had set up an hour glass, and if Ijefore that was run out he did not submit to the search, he would force it. The captain saw it was in vain to struggle, and so all the money was found. Next time that Cromwell saw Orrery, he told him he had his intelligence from that contemptible man he saw 72 him go to some days before. He had on all occasions very good intelligence: he knew every thing that passed in the king's little court: and yet none of his spies were discovered, but one only.
The greatest difficulty on him in his foreign affairs was, what side to choose, France or Spain. The prince of Conde was then in the Netherlands with a great many protestants about him. He set the Spaniards on making great steps towards the gaining Cromwell into their interests. Spain ordered their ambassador to compliment him: he was esteemed one of their ablest men: his name was Don Alonso de Cardenas: he offered, that if Cromwell would join with them, they would engage themselves to make no peace till he should recover Calais again to England. This was very agreeable to Cromwell, who thought it would recommend him much to the nation, if he could restore that town again to the English empire, after it had been a hundred years in the hands of the French. Mazarin hearing of this, sent one over to negotiate with him, but at first without a character: and, to outbid the Spaniard, he offered to assist Cromwell to take Dunkirk, which was a place of much more importance. The prince of Conde sent over likewise to offer Cromwell to turn protestant: and, if he would give him a fleet with good troops, he would make a descent in Guienne, where he did not doubt but that he should be assisted by the protestants; and that he should so distress France, as to obtain such conditions for them and for England, as Cromwell himself should dictate. Upon this offer Cromwell sent Stoupe round all France, to talk with their most eminent men, to see into their strength, into their present disposition, the oppressions they lay under, and their inclinations to trust the prince of Conde. He went from Paris down the Loire, then to Bourdeaux, from thence to Montauban, and cross the south of France to Lions: he was instructed to talk to them only as a traveller, and to assure them of Cromwell's zeal and care for them, which he magnified every where. The protestants were then very much at their ease: for Mazarin, who thought of nothing but to enrich his family, took care to maintain the edicts better than they had been in any time formerly. So Stoupe returned, and gave Cromwell an account of the ease they were then in, and of their resolution to be quiet. They had a very bad opinion of the prince of Conde, [as an impious and immoral man,] as a man who sought nothing but his own greatness, to which they believed that he was ready to sacrifice all his friends, and every cause that he espoused. This settled Cromwell as to that particular. He also found that the cardinal 73 had such spies on that prince, that he knew every message that had passed between them: therefore he would have no farther correspondence with him: he said upon that to Stoupe, Stultus est, et garrulus, et venditor a suis cardinali. That which determined him afterwards in the choice was this: he found the parties grew so strong against him at home, that he saw if the king or his brother were assisted by France with an army of Huguenots to make a descent in England, which was threatened if he should join with Spain, this might prove very dangerous to him, who had so many enemies at home, and so few friends. This particular consideration, with relation to himself, made great impression on him; for he knew the Spaniards could give those princes no strength, nor had they any protestant subjects to assist them in any such design. Upon this occasion king James told me, that among other prejudices he had at the protestant religion this was one, that both his brother and himself, being in many companies in Paris incognito, where they met many protestants, he found they were all alienated from them, and were great admirers of Cromwell: so he believed they were all rebels in their heart. I answered, that foreigners were no other way concerned in the quarrels of their neighbours, than to see who could or would assist them: the coldness they had seen formerly in the court of England with relation to them, and the zeal which was then expressed, must naturally make them depend on one that seemed resolved to protect them. As the negotiation went on between France and England, Cromwell would have the king and his brother dismissed the kingdom. Mazarin consented to this; for he thought it more honourable, that the French king should send them away of his own accord, than that it should be done pursuant to an article with Cromwell. Great excuses were made for doing it: they had some money given them, and were sent away loaded with promises of constant supplies that were never meant to be performed: and they retired to Colen; for the Spaniards were not yet out of hope of gaining Cromwell. But when that vanished, they invited them to Bruxells, and they settled great appointments on them; in their way, which was always to promise much, how little soever they could perform. They also settled a pay for such of the subjects of the three kingdoms as would come and serve under our princes: but few came, except from Ireland: of these some regiments were formed. But though this gave them a great and lasting interest in our court, especially in king James's, yet they did not much to deserve it.
The king Before king Charles left Paris he changed his returned |>a- _
put. ligion, but by whose persuasion is not yet known: 74 only cardinal de Retz was in the secret, and lord Aubigny had a great hand in it. It was kept a great secret. Chancellor Hide had some suspicion of it, but would never suffer himself to believe it quite"'. Soon after the restoration, that cardinal came over in disguise, and had an audience of the king: what passed is not known. The first ground I had to believe it was this: the marquis de Roucy, who was the man of the greatest family in France that continued protestant to the last, was much pressed by that cardinal to change his religion: he was his kinsman, and his particular friend. Among other reasons one that he urged was, that the protestant religion must certainly be ruined, and that they could expect no protection from England, for to his certain knowledge both the princes were already changed. Roucy told this in great confidence to his minister, who after his death sent an advertisement of it to my self. Sir Allen Broderick, a great confident of the chancellor's, who, from being very
m See his vindication in the State Trials, vol. viii. p. 386. O.