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his wife, afforded all good men a hope that he had altered his views, and abandoned his project of the divorce. But towards the close of the summer the sickness abated; and despatches were received from Gardener in Rome, announcing the departure of Cardinal Campeggio with the decretal bull. Henry's hopes revived; the old train of associations, disturbed only for a season, was revived, and Anne Boleyn recalled to the court.t She was not unaware of the dangers of absence, and of the risk she incurred in losing ground in the favour of her lover. She therefore redoubled her arts to confirm her empire over him, and aware that the influence of Wolsey was the surest ground on which to rest her hopes, she exerted every effort to secure it in her favour. Her letters to the cardinal at this juncture have reached us, and will be found perfect models of the wheedling art.
In the first she says:-"In the most humble wise that my poor heart can think, I do thank your Grace for your kind letter, and for your rich and goodly present, the which I shall never be able to deserve, without your great help, of the which I have hitherto had so great plenty, that all the days of my life I am most bound of all creatures, next to the king's grace, to love and serve your grace, of the which I beseech you never to doubt that ever I shall vary from this thought, as long as any breath is in my body. And as touching your grace's trouble with the sweating sickness, I thank our Lord that those I desired and prayed for are escaped, and that is the king and you. And as for the coming of the Legate, I desire that much; and if it be God's pleasure, I pray him to send this matter shortly to a good end: and then I trust, my Lord, to recompense part of your great
* A remarkable letter from Catharine and Henry, written jointly to the cardinal, confirms the statement in the text.-See Appendix, No. 1. †The devil was sick, the devil a monk would be; The devil grew well-the devil a monk was he!
pains therewith. I must require you, in the meantime, to accept my good will in the stead of the power; the which must proceed heartily from you, as our Lord knoweth, whom I beseech to send you long life, with continuance of honour."
In a second letter she says:-" I do know that the great pains and trouble you have taken for me, both day and night, is never like to be recompensed on my part, but only in loving you, next to the king's grace, above all creatures living. In a third:-"I assure you, that, after this matter is brought to pass, you shall find me grateful, as I am bound in the meantime to owe you my service; and then look what thing in the world I can imagine to do you pleasure in, and you shall find me the gladdest woman in the world to do it; and next unto the king's grace, of one thing I make you full promise to be assured to have, and that is my hearty love, unfeignedly during life." The sequel will show how very religiously these warm professions were kept.
1529. In the course of this year, More was again sent to the Netherlands, on a mission of the same nature as that of the preceding year. He appears to have acquitted himself of the important charge entrusted to him in a manner that gave entire satisfaction. According to Roper," Sir Thomas worthily comported himself, procuring in this league far more benefits to the realm, than, at that time, was by the king and his council thought possible to be compassed;" and he proceeds to inform us that it was in consideration of those services, that when Sir Thomas was made chancellor, the Duke of Norfolk was ordered publicly to declare, how much England was indebted to him.
It is related that during More's stay in Bruges, an arrogant fellow had given out that he would answer whatever question could be proposed to him, in any art whatever. More caused to be put up-Utrum
averia capta in Withernamid sint irreplegiabilia,* adding that there was a person in the retinue of the English Envoy who could maintain the thesis against him. These technicalities of the law completely posed the braggadocio, who was glad to steal off amidst the laughter of the spectators.+
On his return from Bruges, without staying to visit his family at Chelsea, he proceeded directly to the king, who, at that time, held his court at Woodstock. Here information was brought him "that part of his own dwelling-house at Chelsea, and all his barns there, full of corn, suddenly fell on fire, and were burnt, and all the corn therein, by the negligence of one of his neighbor's carts that carried the corn; and by occasion whereof diverse of his neighbors' barns were burned also." This called forth the following letter, which has fortunately been preserved, and which is strongly characteristic of the kindliness of More's nature.
"MISTRESS ALICE:-In my most hearty wise I recommend me to you. And whereas I am informed by my son Heron, of the loss of our barns, and our neighbors' also, with all the corn that was therein; albeit (saving God's pleasure) it is a great pity of so much good corn lost, yet, as it hath liked Him to send us such a chance, we must, and are bounden, not only to be content, but also to be glad of his visitation. He sent us all we have lost: and since He hath, by such a chance, taken it away again, his pleasure be fulfilled. Let us never grudge thereat, but take it in good worth, and heartily thank Him, as well for adversity as prosperity. And, peradven
Whether cattle taken in reprisal can be replevied by the sheriff. Withernamid from the Saxon wieder back, and neam capture.
† I have, perhaps, some shallow spirit of judgment,
Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.
1st Pt. Henry VI., Act ii. s. 4.
ture, we have more cause to thank Him for our loss than for our winning; for his wisdom better seeth what is good for us, than we do ourselves. Therefore, I pray you, be of good cheer, and take all the household with you to church, and there thank God both for what he hath given us, and for that which he hath taken from us, and that for which he hath left us; which, if it please Him, he can increase when he will; and, if it please him to leave us yet less, as his pleasure be it. I pray you to make good onsearch what my poor neighbors have lost, and bid them take no thought therefore: for, if I should not have myself a spoon, there shall be no poor neighbour of mine bear loss by any chance happened in my house. I pray you be, with my children and your household, merry in God: and devise somewhat with your friends, what way were best to take for provision to be made for corn for our household, and for seed this year coming, if we think it good that we keep the ground still in our hands. And whether we think it good that we shall do so or not, yet I think it were not best suddenly thus to give it all up, and to put away our folk from our farm, till we have somewhat advised us thereon. Howbeit, if we have more now than we shall need, and which can get them other masters, ye may then discharge us of them but I would not that any man were suddenly sent away, he wot not whither. At my coming hither, I perceived none other than that I should have abide the king's grace: but now I shall, I think, because of his chance, get leave to come home and see you; and then we shall further devise together upon all things, what order shall be best to take. And thus, as heartily fare you well, with all our children as ye can wish! At Woodstock, the third day of September, by the hand of THOMAS MORE,"
PROGRESS OF THE DIVORCE-WOLSEY'S DISGRACEMORE MADE CHANCELLOR-RISE OF CROMWELL
Farther proceedings on the divorce-Arrival of the Pope's legate, Cardinal Campeggio-His and Wolsey's interview with Catharine→→ Anne returns to court, and insists on the removal of CatharineObtains her wish and rules absolute at court-Opening of the Legantine commission-King and queen summoned to the court-Catharine's appeal-Dispute in one of the sittings-More's prudent reserve-Campeggio leaves-Affront offered to Wolsey-His arraignment and disgrace-His state of destitution-More is raised to the dignity of Lord Chancellor-The honours paid him, and his speech on the occasion-His reforms in the court of chancery-His mode of expediting business-Anecdotes of his chancellorship-His respect for his aged father-Is consulted by the king relative to his scruples -He evades the question-The two English universities declare in favour of the divorce-The foreign universities are divided in their opinions on the question-Rise of Cromwell-He suggests to the king the idea of making himself head of the church-The bill establishing the Supremacy-More announces to the Commons the decision of the universities-Death of More's father, and his filial affection-More feels that his official duties conflict with his conscience, and determines to resign-The king refuses for a time to accept his surrender of the seals, but at length accedes to his wishHis successor Lord Audley-Anecdotes of.
WE are now brought to one of the most interesting portions of More's history. A new scene is opened for the display of his talents, and for the triumph of his principles. On the 25th of October, 1529, the