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Letter #1385

[Ioannes DANTISCUS] to Cornelis [DE SCHEPPER] & Godschalk ERICKSEN (SASSENKERLE)
Löbau (Lubawa), 1535-12-23

English register:

Having long not received any message, and remembering De Schepper’s unfavourable horoscope, Dantiscus has been very worried for his life, so he is extraordinarily happy with the extensive letters just received. He is answering in haste so as to be in time to send the letter through the trusted messenger of the GdaƄsk Town Council who delivered De Schepper’s letter. He apologises for his letter’s incoherence.

Dantiscus is pleased that De Schepper has stopped using pompous official titles towards him.

The news of the arrival in France of Queens Mary of Hungary and Eleanor of Austria had reached him earlier, together with the unconfirmed rumour that in connection with these visits the King of France [Francis I] had deceitfully seized a fortress from the Emperor [Charles V].

True to De Schepper’s advice, Dantiscus has forgiven his maligners and is of good cheer.

He agrees with De Schepper’s view on the fate of his letter from SzĂ©kesfehĂ©rvĂĄr,dispatched to Dantiscus through [Hieronim] Ɓaski.He encloses a separate page about Fabian [Wojanowski] and Isabel [Delgada].He is pleased with the friendly feelings of De Schepper’s wife [Elisabeth Donche] and de Lord of Heule [Wouter van der Gracht], and with the good news about the Bailiff of Ghent [Arendt Sturm], his family and Michiel De Vriendt. He sends greetings to his friends from Ghent.

Dantiscus congratulates Friedrich [II of Wittelsbach] on his marriage to Dorothea [daughter of Christian II of Denmark], but offers the opinion that it would be better if he did not aspire to the Danish throne, due to differences in customs and not knowing the language. He supports the intention of Queen Mary to effect peace in Denmark, and is also counting on the effectiveness of De Schepper’s work upon his being delegated there by the Emperor. Dantiscus is not surprised that Duke Albrecht Hohenzollern supports his brother in law [Christian III], but agrees with De Schepper that peace should be established and freedom of navigation restored.

Dantiscus has sent a query to the people of GdaƄsk as to the essence of their dispute with the people of the Netherlands and will pass their response on to De Schepper.

He intends to admonish the people of GdaƄsk to keep to earlier agreements. He expresses a favourable opinion of Hieronim Ɓaski, and is glad that he has written to De Schepper about the Muscovy expedition and his troubles in Hungary. Dantiscus met with Ɓaski at the wedding of princess Jadwiga, daughter of the Polish King [Sigismund I]. The marriage had been negotiated with Dantiscus’ involvement, which aroused the anger of his maligners.

Dantiscus has had no news from Campensis. He regrets that the scholar no longer lives with him. He withdraws his earlier request for successive copies of the edition of the psalm paraphrases [by Campensis], which contains a succinct translation,because he learned that the author of this translation is Ulrich Zwingli.

Dantiscus expresses an unfavourable opinion of Zwingli. He asks for a copy of the Bible published recently in France.

Dantiscus is glad that his letter with the enclosed poem met with the approval of De Schepper and his friends. He is worried that he has found mistakes in the copy he kept himself. Unless it was the secretary’s fault, he blames this on his old age,as he has already turned 50.

Dantiscus congratulates the Grudii brothers [Ioannes Secundus and Nicolaus Grudius] on their return to their native land. He also praises the Count of Nassau’s withdrawal from court life. He sends salutations to him and to the Count of Buren [Floris van Egmond], whose letter he recently received.

Dantiscus expresses a favourable opinion on the talents of Hernån Cortés and a negative one on the ungratefulness of Hieronymus Sailer, but even so does not renounce their earlier friendship. He recalls the favours he and Ulrich Ehinger rendered to Sailer in Augsburg.

He encloses a separate page about Lyncken, whose brother continues in his service.

So does the son of Mme de Baillieul [Carolus de Tautenberg] who became the most trusted of his pages, and the son of the [female] lute player from Brussels. Her son is studying organ playing. He sends news of his siblings and his mother [Christine Schultze].

He is happy that Godschalk [Ericksen] has regained his health. He extends greetings to the Counts of Emden [Enno and Johann Cirksena] and to Wolfgang von Affenstein.

He supports De Schepper’s mission as an envoy to the [Wendish] cities and insists that a peace treaty be signed. He is worried about the deteriorating situation in Denmark and expresses his sympathy for the daughter of King Christian II [Dorothea of Denmark], but refutes the claims on the Danish throne on her behalf.

He reminds of the disastrous consequences of the dynastic conflict in Hungary and stresses his longing for peace and stable commercial relations. He is pleased with news from Vienna that Jan van Leyden has been captured and sent to be tried by King Ferdinand. He hopes Wullenwever, arrested by the Bishop of Bremen Christoph von Brunswick-LĂŒneburg], will join him.He expresses regret at the deaths of the Bishop of Rochester [John Fisher] and Thomas More. He sends De Schepper a copy of the Pope’s letter to the King [Sigismund I] about the King of England’s [Henry’s VIII] conduct. He is counting on the Emperor dealing with this adulterer and murderer. He is worried about the safety of Eustace [Chapuys], who is on a mission as an envoy to the English court.

He thanks De Schepper for his report on Tunis and is pleased about the Emperor’s victories in Africa. He sends greetings to Langhessus [Heinrich Treusch von Buttlar].

He writes that the royal family is in Lithuania. He informs De Schepper of Hetman [Jan Amor] Tarnowski’s victories over Muscovy (including the capture of the Starodub fortress and the imprisonment of Fedor Ovchina-Telepnev-Obolensky) and of a planned expedition against the Wallachian hospodar [Radu VII Paisie] who attacked Pokuttya on Princess Jadwiga Jagiellon’s wedding day [29 August 1535]. He also informs De Schepper of the promotion of Bishops Andrzej Krzycki, Piotr Gamrat and Jan ChojeƄski after the death of Primate Maciej Drzewicki. Further changes will take place following the recent death of Piotr Tomicki. Dantiscus himself has no further ambitions.

Dantiscus sends greetings to De Schepper’s wife [Elisabeth Donche] and to his son [Cornelis jr.].

In a postscript addressed to [Godschalk] Ericksen, he thanks him for his postscript to De Schepper’s letter and the friendly feelings expressed in it.




Manuscript sources:
1office copy in Latin, in secretary's hand, BCz, 244, p. 43-52
2copy in Latin, 18th-century, BK, 232, p. 154-164
3copy in Latin, 18th-century, B. Ossol., 151, f. 128r-132r
4copy in Latin, 18th-century, BCz, 53 (TN), No. 115, p. 437-455
5excerpt in Latin, Polish, 20th-century, B. PAU-PAN, 8243 (TK 5), a.1535, f. 86r-88v
6register with excerpt in Latin, English, 20th-century, CBKUL, R.III, 32, No. 576

Auxiliary sources:
1register in Polish, 20th-century, B. PAU-PAN, 8248 (TK 10), f. 135
2register in English, 20th-century, CBKUL, R.III, 32, No. 577

Prints:
1StaroĆŒytnoƛci p. 69-70 (excerpt in Polish translation)
2DE VOCHT 1961 No. DE, 317, p. 190-191 (English register; excerpt)
3DE VOCHT 1961 No. DE, 317, p. 255-258 (English register; excerpt)
4AT 17 No. 593, p. 733-743 (in extenso; Polish register)
5Españoles part IIIB, No. 22, p. 328 (excerpt in Spanish translation)
6CEID 2/2 (Letter No. 64) p. 325-342 (in extenso; English register)
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