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which salutations on both sides, the French king with loving and joyous countenance, most heartily demanded of your Highness' welfare and prosperity, to hear of which was to his great consolation and comfort. And so, passing together by the way, placing me, albeit I refused the same, on his left hand, he was glad to find occasion to talk of your Highness' virtuous personage, excellent qualities, and pastime. And to the intent, as me seemed, that he greatly esteemed all such things as were sent by your Highness to him, he caused the Count St. Pol, Monsieur de Guise, and Monsieur de Vaudemont, to ride next before him three of the horses that your Highness had sent him; whereof the one being a bay, he said was the best, the highest and the most meet for the war, of any to be found in Christendom. And then as we passed through the city, which was marvellously replenished with people, crying Vive le Roy, he forgot not, far above my deserts, to recognize how much his mother and realm were bounden unto me. And because he knew (so it pleased him to say), that your Highness used me in all your affairs, as your chief counsellor, he from henceforth should do the same; assuring me that whatever I should think to be done, he would follow, taking and reputing me from the time forward as his chancellor and minister. After demand whether I would see the Queen that night, whereof I showed myself to be very glad, I departed from him, and by the cardinal of Lorrain was accompanied to my lodgings, which I found richly apparelled with the king's own stuff. The centre chamber with rich cloth of tissue and silver embroidered, wherein was a large cloth of state of the same stuff. The second chamber was apparelled with crimson velvet embroidered, and replenished with large letters of gold F and A, crowned with another very large cloth of state of fine arras. The third chamber, being my bed chamber, was apparelled with rich cloth of tissue, raised,
and a great sparver and counterpoint to the same; and the fourth, being as a closet, was hanged with cloth of bawdikin, whereto was annexed a little gallery, hanged with crimson velvet.*
"And after a little pause, and shifting myself, the Cardinal of Bourbon, the Duke of Vendôme, and other prelates and noblemen, came to conduct me to my Lady's presence; who was lodged in the Bishop's palace; in the hall whereof, which was large and spacious, richly hung with arras, were placed in good order, on both sides, the French king's guard, my Lady his mother, the Queen of Navarre, Madame Regnet, the Duchess of Vendôme, the King of Navarre's sister, with a great number of ladies and gentlemen. My Lady, as I approached, advanced in most loving and pleasant manner, and welcomed, and embraced me, and likewise saluted my Lord of London, my Lord Chamberlain, Master Controller, and the Chancellor of the Duchy, and more especially the Earl of Derby, whom it liked her Grace to kiss, and right lovingly to welcome. Which done, the Lady taking me by the arm conveyed me to her inner chamber, where, under a rich cloth of state were set two chairs garnished, one with black velvet and the other with cloth of tissue. After delivery and reading of your grace's letters, which seemed to be very pleasant to her, and making cordial recommendations to your grace, demanding of your welfare and prosperity, her pleasure was that we should sit down and enter into further communication. I stayed till eight of the clock, when, as my Lady had not supped, I took my leave and returned to my lodgings, accompanied by the aforesaid Cardinal of Bourbon, and the Duke of Vendôme.
"August 14th, being Our Lady's eve, there came
*Had a question arisen whether Wolsey was an upholsterer's instead of a butcher's son, one would think that the fondness shown by him for minute descriptions of furniture, ornamental hangings, &c., would have solved the doubt.
to my lodgings the Grand Master, sent by the French king, to signify to me that his Grace was minded that night to go and hear even-song in the cathedral church of our Lady, praying me, if I were semblably minded [of the same mind] to hear even-song in that church, to repair thither, where his Grace would meet me, and so together we should pass to such places as were prepared for that purpose. I went to the great chamber, when his Grace met me with loving countenance and manner, being uncovered, with his bonnet in his hand, and saluted me; and so passing through the church and choir, we proceeded to the high altar, where two trevasses [desks with cushions] were prepared, the one for the French king on the right hand, and the other for me on the left. The French king's travess was of rich cloth of tissue, being like to a square testar, with curtains of red damask, which were tucked up, so that his grace kneeling or sitting on the same might be seen by all the people. There were also in the same two chairs, covered with rich cloth of tissue; and although, after I had brought him to his said travess, I was minded to go to the place prepared for me, most humbly beseeching his Grace that I might do so, yet in no wise could I persuade him, but that his pleasure was, I should both kneel and sit with him in the same; and so, conforming myself to his command, we kneeling together, made to the Sacrament a few prayers; then without suffering me to say to him even-song, or hearing the same by such bishops and prelates as were present at his privy altar, alleging that in the morning he had heard and said his evening song, he sat down in one of the chairs, causing me to do the same in the other, notwithstanding any refusal I would make to the contrary; and in the sight of all the people, and all those officiating, he entered into conversation with me of affairs." Wolsey afterwards observes to Henry, "As yet I have forborne to make any over
ture of your secret matter; fearing that the disclosing thereof might cause the French king to be more slack in concluding the perpetual peace; purposing to defer the same till I have put your affairs in sure perfection and train.”
At the close of his letter of the 16th he says, "Little more now remains to be treated with the French king, unless it be the opening of your secret matter; the disclosing whereof I purpose to defer till at the point of departing: handling the same after such a cloudy and dark sort, that he shall not know your Grace's utter determination and intent in that behalf, till your Highness shall see to what effect the same shall be brought." In the letter of the 19th we learn that "after dinner the king, with his Lady, and all the court, are to depart to visit certain devout places, whereto his grace had vowed pilgrimages in the time of his sickness and captivity."
More returned with Wolsey to England towards the close of September. It is to be regretted that he has left us no record of this journey; his impressions of the new scene that here met his view would, no doubt, have been at once amusing and instructive.
After his return, More devoted his leisure to controversy. There is a letter of Bishop Tunstal to him, of this date, containing a permission for him to read heretical books, and an exhortation to imitate the great example which his royal master had set him. To this he was also encouraged by the example of his friend and correspondent, Erasmus, who, after many solicitations, had at length taken the field against Luther, in his dissertation De Libero Arbitrio -on Free Will. This was written in the scholar's usual tone of moderation and candour, yet it called forth a reply from the great Coryphæus of the reform, rife in ridicule and invective, entitled by opposition De Servo Arbitrio-On the Enslaved
Will. Provoked at a treatment so rude and unmerited, Erasmus rejoined in a tract of much point and spirit, entitled Hyperaspistes-The ShieldedWarrior.
More, in a treatise written some years later, gives us his reasons for entering the controversial lists, and they appear honest and satisfactory. "Some have asked, why I meddle with these matters? and say, that, being a layman, I should leave it to the clergy, not having professed the study of the Holy Scriptures. First, as touching learning: if these matters were very doubtful, and things of great question, or had been so cunningly handled by Tindall and his fellows, that they might seem matters of doubt and question, then would I, peradventure, let them alone myself, to be debated by divines and men of erudition. But, the matters being so plain and evident, and by the whole church of Christ so clearly put out of question, I should not seem to me in my right mind, and a true Christian man, to give a heretic so much authority, as to reckon me unable, in such plain points of the Christian faith, to answer him; especially, as I have gone somewhat to school myself, and bestowed as many years in study, and under as cunning masters as some of them have. Nor do I see these matters, handled in such wise by Tindall, or the best of them, but that a right meanlearned man, or almost an unlearned woman, having natural wit, and being sure and fast in the true Catholic faith, were well able to answer them. For, so help me God, I find nothing effectual among them all, but a shameless boldness and an unreasonable railing, with Scripture wrested awry, and made to minister matter to their jesting, scoffing, and outrageous ribaldry, not only against every estate here on earth, and the most religious living, but against the very saints in heaven, and the mysteries of God, and more especially those of the Holy Sacrament of the altar. In maintaining which, they fare as folks