THE FIRST EARL OF EXETER 87
early in August the intervention of England in the French war of religion, and the news of the occupa- tion of Havre, compelled them to leave France secretly and make their way to Antwerp. In announcing this step to Sir William, Windebank takes occasion to hope that he " will like Mr. Thomas's personage and behaviour better than in times past, and that his little folly past will increase him in wisdom."
At Antwerp the travellers were hospitably entertained by Sir Thomas Gresham, the English agent, whose opinion of young Cecil must also have comforted his father. ' Without flattery," he wrote, " you have as handsome a man to your son, and as toward and inclined to all virtue, as your own heart can desire." Sir William, however, did not wish to see his son at present " for indeed the wound is yet too green for me to behold him," and after a short stay in Antwerp, Windebank and his charge proceeded to Germany, visiting Spires, Heidelberg, Frankfurt, Marburg, Leipzig and other places, and making the acquaintance of the Elector Palatine, and many other German poten- tates. At Frankfurt, in October, they witnessed the assembling of the Princes for the Diet the Elector of Saxony with 500 horse, the Duke of Wiirtemberg with 300 ; the Duke of Bavaria with 500 ; the Duke of Cleves with 600 ; the Palatine with 600 ; " and the Emperor's train with his sons is said to be 5,000 horse."
In December Windebank received a letter from his master, thanking him for his " continual care