By the letters which they will receive from Vincent Casale they will see what was decided by the kings of England and France as to procuring Wolsey's election to the Papacy, for the advancement of which the French king sent the bishop of Bayonne to Rome; and Vincent Casale was dispatched immediately after with instructions, of which copies were also sent by Hercules de Mysolo, nephew of bp. Staphileo. However, when the bishop of Bayonne was between Calais and Paris he heard of the Pope's recovery, and sent word thereof to the King. At the same time Gardiner's letters from Lyons arrived. When the Bishop and Vincent arrived at Paris, and had more certain knowledge of the Pope's recovery, they deferred their journey till they might know the King's pleasure. Meanwhile arrived the ambassadors' letters from Rome dated 28th ult. The King thanks them for what they have done. Hopes soon to have news of the Pope's entire recovery. Wishes them meantime to proceed with their charge, seeing how ready the Pope showed himself to labor in the cause of peace, and also for the advancement of the King's cause, offering to resign the Papacy if he could do any good thereby. But as the Pope's illness is likely to endure, and it would be injurious if he died while they were ignorant of the King's pleasure, Vincent Casale is sent on with the dispatch given him at his departure, and with these letters. These things are to be kept secret, but as they will have some color to speak with cardinals and others on these matters, they should win over as many as they can, showing them the great benefits which will ensue from Wolsey's attainment of the dignity, and advising them to leave the conclave with a protestation, if there is any likelihood of violence. Commends them for having set that forth when the Pope's life was despaired of. They must attend to any means of dispensing with the ordinance compelling the election to be held where the Pope dies.
Leaves the management of this to their fidelity and wisdom. The King and he are anxious to hear of Gardiner's arrival at Rome, and the Pope's answer to his charge;—which seems likely to be favorable, considering the towardness of his Holiness to please the King, his refusal to make a treaty with the Emperor for the defence of Italy, and his late overtures to John Joachim for a league with the kings of England and France, which they will understand by the enclosed copy of the French king's letter to the bishop of Bayonne. Wishes them to consult John Joachim, and to show the Pope that, although he has not mentioned it to the King, the King is willing to enter such a league. His Holiness then taking upon himself the negotiations for peace, Italy would be safe, whether they took effect or not.
In all their doings they must have regard to the undelayed perfection of the King's great matter, and in no wise consent that it shall remain in suspense upon any treaty; but they must show the Pope that when a treaty is made, the Emperor will more easily agree if it has been done, and Wolsey would never travel to such a convention until the King were sure of obtaining his request. Neither the King nor himself would be satisfied with any hope that the matter could be settled with the Emperor's consent at the convention. Therefore, if the Pope wishes for peace, he must first settle the King's matter, and the Emperor will with little business take the same in good part, as there will be no remedy; but if the matter is still pending he will be more obstinate, and try to hinder the other things which are to be treated.
If the Emperor sees that it will be to his benefit to make peace, this cause of matrimony will not prevent him; and he is not accustomed so to ad[here] to his sisters or other near of his blood, that he w[ill] for theirs postpone his own causes. Besides, if the peace did not ensue, war would follow, and then, if the Pope decided the King's matter, it might be thought to be from malice to the Emperor.
They can assure the Pope that there is no fear of the Emperor's descent into Italy, for the King's ambassadors in Spain write that the voyage has been laid aside, and such preparations will be made in France that they may be well assured the Emperor will not dare attempt the voyage.
As soon as the King's matter is settled, Wolsey will meet the Pope at any indifferent place, and go into Spain if it is thought convenient. Shows the necessity of choosing an indifferent place, lest the Emperor should get the Pope, the Cardinals and Wolsey into his power. Wishes them to fulfil their instructions about the bishoprics. Westm., 20 Feb.
The King and he write to congratulate the Pope on his recovery. Copies are enclosed. Signed.