ABSTRACT

Louis XI had felt grave misgivings when he discovered that both Margaret of York and Jacques de la Villeon were in London. And no wonder, since all signs went to show that he was fast losing his hold on the king of England and that, unless he succeeded in regaining that hold or in bringing strong pressure to bear on Edward in some other way, he would be confronted at no distant day with a fresh linking together of England, Burgundy, and Brittany against him. Fear of such a combination of his neighbours had haunted Louis almost from his accession; it was such a league that had threatened the overturn of his throne in 1475 and that had compelled him to make great sacrifices to save himself; and if such a league were now formed anew, all the dangers from which he had escaped so narrowly six years before would loom up afresh. Louis, however, was by no means in despair, for while his enemies had been taking counsel with one another, he had been taking counsel with himself to excellent effect. The day had gone by when he could hope, with a small expenditure of money and effort, to excite a new outbreak of civil war in England, but with practically no difficulty he had contrived to bring about a conflict between England and Scotland which, while it lasted, would force Edward to waste his strength in the northern marches of his kingdom, and his continental friends, whoever they might be, to struggle along with little or no help from him. Although Maximilian had given warning that the invasion of France must take place the very next summer if he was to reap much benefit from it, neither to preserve Burgundy from destruction nor to gratify his own ambition to wear the crown of France could Edward take another army across the sea while the Scots were threatening to push beyond his border. Not until he was sure of peace with Scotland had he dared to think of invading France with Charles’s help, and not until he had won the war he had now begun with James III could 303he think of assailing France with Maximilian’s help. Yet, from the vigorous preparations he was making, it was evident that Edward had hope of settling his account with James very speedily, and if in the meantime he should arrive at a satisfactory agreement with Maximilian, there was still the danger that, as soon as the Scots had been repressed, he would turn his arms against the man whom he rightly believed to be responsible for the offences they had committed against him.