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king delivered to Sir Thomas More the great seal, at Greenwich, and raised him to the highest honour that can be conferred upon a subject-the office of Lord Chancellor. It will be necessary to trace the steps that led him to this high station, and in order to this, we must revert to the proceedings at court.
At the close of August, we have seen Anne Boleyn return to the king at Greenwich; early the October following, arrived the Cardinal Campeggio, the legate from Rome. The court-historian gives the following account of his reception: “ About three of the clock in the afternoon, on the 29th day of July, the legate entered the city, and in Southwark met him all the clergy of London, with crosses, censors, and copes, and censed him with great reverence. The
and aldermen, and all the occupations of the city, in their best liveries, stood in the streets, and him highly honored: to whom Sir Thomas More made a brief oration in the name of the city.”
Previously to the legate's arrival, a sense of decency bad induced the king again to remove Anne from the court. Catharine had all along shut her eyes, as far as possible, to the king's conduct, or, at least, she cautiously suppressed her feelings :* for we find the king and her living on the same terms as if no difficulty had arisen between them. To quote the words of the Bishop of Bayonne: “To see them together, one might have thought that nothing had occurred; and to this hour (16th October, 1528) they have but one bed and one table. The people are in her favour, and declare, that, let the king marry whom he pleases, the husband of the Princess Mary shall be successor to the throne."
* In the Memoir of Anne Boleyn, by Geo. Wyatt, a descendant of the poet, is the following anecdote: “ These things being perceived by the queen, she the oftener had her (Anne) at cards with her, that the king might have the less of her conipany, and the lady the more excuse to be froin him, and she also esteem herself more kindly used. She would, by way of entertainment, have a certain game, of which I recollect not the name, then much used, where in dealing, the king and queen meeting
they stop; and the young lady's hap was much to stop at the king. The queen, noting this, said to her playfully; " My Lady Anne, you have good hap to stop at a king; but you are like others, you will have all or none."
Many a thing said in jest, is realized in earnest.
After the usual introduction, Campeggio waited on the queen, first in private, and then in the company of Wolsey, and four other prelates. Cavendish has described this scene with his usual fidelity.
“ When Catharine was informed that they awaited her in her presence chamber, she rose from her favourite occupation of needle-work, and hastening into the apartment where they stood with a skein of silk about her neck, exclaimed – Alack! my lords, sorry am I to make you wait: what is your pleasure with me?' 'If it please your grace,' said Wolsey, 'to go into your privy chamber, we will show you the cause of our coming.' My lord,' answered the queen, if you have anything to say, speak it openly before all these folks ; for I fear nothing you can say or allege against me, but that I would all the world should hear and see it: therefore, I pray, you, speak your minds openly.' The cardinal then began to address her in Latin : Nay, good my lord,' interrupted Catharine, 'speak to me in English, I beseech you ; though I do understand some Latin.' Then Wolsey proceeded to explain the reason of their visit; • My lords, interrupted the queen,
• I thank you for your good-will, but cannot return an answer to your requests so suddenly.
I was sitting among my maidens at work, thinking full little of any such matter, wherein there needeth a longer deliberation and a better head than mine, to make answer to men so noble and wise as ye be. I have need of good counsel in a case which toucheth me so nearly : but as for any counsel or friendship that I can find in England, they are not to my profit. Forsooth, my lords, those in whom I intend to put my trust, are not
here; they are in Spain ; in my native country. Alas! my lords,' continued this friendless queen, 'I am a poor woman, lacking both wit and understanding, sufficiently to answer such approved wise men as ye both be, in so weighty a matter; therefore, I pray you, be good unto me, and impartial, for I am simple woman, destitute and barren of friendship in a foreign country; and your counsel also I shall be glad to hear.' 'Upon this,' says Cavendish, who attended Wolsey on this occasion, she took my lord by the hand, and led him into the privy chamber, with the other cardinal, where they were in long communication; we, in the other chamber, might sometimes hear the queen speak very loud, but what it was we could not understand.” The cardinals repaired to the king, and informed him of the result of their mission, which appears to have been but little successful.
Appearances having been saved by the temporary retirement of Anne, Henry recalled her to court shortly after Christmas. The Bishop of Bayonne had foretold in one of his letters, that the king's passion would evaporate during her absence; in a subsequent letter to the French minister, he says : “ I acknowledge that I was no conjurer; and now, to tell you honestly my way of thinking; the king is so in for it [le roy en est si avant,] that nothing but a miracle can save him." But Aune now felt her power, and she determined to make use of it. She affected to resent the manner in which she had been treated; the king's letter and invitation were treated with contempt; and the only terms on which she would return were, that her rival, as she modestly called Catharine, should be removed from court, where she was determined to reign supreme. The Bishop of Bayonne's prognostications were verified, and Anne's arrogant demands complied with. length,” says the bishop, “ Mademoiselle de Boulan, [the French always misspell English names] has come back again, and the king has had a handsome suite of rooms splendidly furnished for her close to his own, where there is daily held a levee more fully attended than any of the queen’s have been for a long time past.” The following notice in Hall is short, but touching : “ The king kept his Christmas in Greenwich, with great solemnity, but all men said that there was no mirth in that Christmas because the queen was absent.”
The following is a specimen of the solemn mockery exhibited in this affair; one of the English ambassadors is directed officially to state : “ that never was there any prince better contented and pleased with a woman, than the king with Catharine, nor ever prince more loved, cherished, and honoured a woman, than the king my master hath done her, and would with heart, mind, and will, keep her still as his wife, if God's holy law would suffer it!” (Hall, p. 782.) It is rarely that hypocrisy is altogether so brazen as this.
Catharine, about this time, addressed a pathetic letter to the pontiff, in which she informed him of her banishment from court, and implored his protection. Clement replied by an epistle to Henry, in which, for the last time, he attempted to awaken in his bosom a sense of decency, if not of justice and religion. He painted in forcible terms, the horror in which his conduct caused his name to be regarded throughout Christendom. “ He had been informed," he said, “ that of late he had changed his conduct towards the Queen of England. Formerly, he had lived with her in his palace, and treated her, pending the controversy between them, with the respect due to a wife and a queen; but now, it was reported that he had removed her from his person and court, and even banished her from the city, taking in her room a certain lady of the name of Anne, with whom he lived, and to whom he showed that conjugal love and affection which was due to the
queen alone.”* These proceedings Clement declared himself unwilling to believe. For what,” said he, “can be more unnatural to you, or less consistent with your integrity, than, on the one hand, by your letters and ambassadors to implore our assistance in determining your cause, and, on the other, by your actions to prejudge and decide it for yourself ? Alas! how little could we have expected to find this contempt for the authority of the Church, in him who has so ably defended our most holy faith by the strength of argument and by the power of the sword! It was a miserable thing," he continued, “ that this one action, if the report that had reached him was true, should cast an everlasting blemish upon the glory of Henry's former life and behaviour; and it was for this reason, that, as he could not overlook a matter of such moment, he was anxious to address to him the admonition of a loving father, before he was compelled to proceed against him as vere and impartial judge.” In conclusion, the pontiff exhorted him, that, as he regarded the favour of the Holy See, and tendered his own salvation, he would amend' his ways, recall his injured queen, and dismiss her rival from his intimate and domestic conversation.
But Henry was too far blinded by his impure passion to listen to the counsels of this paternal letter. On the contrary, by awakening the fury of the woman, whose conduct was stigmatised, it only served to precipitate the measures that finally separated England from the communion of the Holy See.
It is plain from the king's letters to Anne, that though her conduct had, in many instances, been very equivocal, she had till now the reputation of a modest woman : old Fuller's expression is, that
* What are we to think when we hear Cranmer, the new archbishop, thus talking of the parties so cohabiting : “ The king and my Lady Anne rode together
yesterday to Windsor, and this night they be looked for again at Hampton Court. God be their guide ? June 13." (Strypes' Cranmer, App. No. I.)