which, at a later period, animated the Defender of the Faith, and the antagonist of Luther.

Henry's accession was hailed by all with unaffected joy; for Henry VII., his father, as we have already had occasion to remark, had never been a popular prince. In this new and dangerous pre-eminence, Henry was at once surrounded by a host of those sycophants who are always found basking in the sunshine of a court, and the youthful monarch was assaulted with adulation sufficient to endanger the strongest virtue. Till this period, however, as we learn from the best authority, Henry continued to give hopes of future excellence; "he possessed,' says Cardinal Pole, “a disposition from which every thing excellent might be expected."

One of the first acts after his accession, was to bring before his council the already agitated question of his marriage with Catharine, to whom he continued to express an undiminished attachment. The objections that had been raised on the question of her having been the wife of his deceased brother, yielded to the force of a papal dispensation, and to the solemn assertion of Catharine, which she was ready to confirm by oath, and by the attestation of several matrons, that her former nuptials with Arthur had never been consummated. The marriage accordingly took place with great pomp and rejoicings, Catharine being married with the ceremonies appro. priated to the nuptials of a maiden; she was dressed in white, and wore her hair loose. The graces of her person derived additional lustre from the amiable qualities of her heart.t For several years the king

* Mr. Sharon Tumer, the great panegyrist of Henry, has quoted some of the fulsome addresses to the young monarch on his accession, and, with more credulity than judgment, construes them into proof's of his favourite's powers of mind, and excellence of disposition; the more observing reader will turn with disgust from their perusal, and feel disposed to wonder that the grossness of the flattery did not sooner achieve the work of ruin.

+ Doubts have been entertained as to Catharine's personal attrac

boasted of his happiness in possessing so accomplished and virtuous a consort, but bis situation exposed him to temptations which he wanted the grace and the courage to resist, and he became implicated in several dishonest amours. Still he was compelled to admire the meekness and unpretending virtues of his royal consort, and her prudence continued for a long time to act as a salutary check upon the violence and brutality of his nature.

Without sacrificing any of those qualities that em. hellish a court, Catharine, amidst all its gaieties, practised all the severe virtues of a recluse. Saunders informs us, that she arose at midnight to prayer, and yet at five in the morning left her pillow and dressed for the day. Under her royal garments she wore the habit of St. Francis, into whose third order she had been admitted. She kept the fasts with great rigour, and on the vigils of the festivals of the Blessed Virgin took only bread and water. She confessed twice a week, heard mass every day, and spent some hours in her chapel, reciting the office of our Blessed Lady. During an hour or two after dinner, she read the Lives of the Saints, while her maids of honour were standing round her. Before the hour of supper, she spent part of another hour in the chapel, and partook very sparingly at that meal. She studied personal mortification, for during all her protracted prayers she knelt on the stone pavement without a cushion. Nor was Catharine more distinguished by her piety, than by her love of tions. Hall expressly says, “in person beautiful,” and More has

Ignea vis oculis, Venus insidet ore, genisque

Est color, in geminis qui solet esse posis-
Immo etiam vultu virtus pellueet ab ipso :

Est facies animi nuncia aperta boni.
On that fair brow has Venus fixed her throne,
Those eyes dart forth a lustre all their own,
Thy cheeks, twin roses blushing on one stem :
But, oh! thy virtue is a priceless gem,
Which shines reflected with a double grace,
In the pure faithful mirror of thy face.

thus described her.


literature. “The queen,” says Erasmus, “is a friend to letters, which she happily learned from her infancy.” He describes her to the Duke of Saxony,

elegantly learned,” and adds: “I so love the piety and erudition of this illustrious woman, which are a reproach to our sloth and corruption of man.. ners, that I seem to receive a benefit to myself, if I can do any thing pleasing to ber. How rare is it to see a woman, born and brought up amidst the delights of a court, which corrupt even the best minds, repose all her delight in prayer, and in reading the divine Volume."

More, now in his thirty-fifth year, reappeared in the general reanimation at the commencement of a reign, which he was destined to illustrate by bis greatness and his misfortunes.

He appeared as the inaugural poet of the new epoch, and exercised his classical pen in a Latin poem on the coronation, wbich was celebrated with all the pomp and circumstance of which that age was so fond. He draws a contrast by no means favourable to the late monarch, of whose avarice and injustice he had so recently been the victim, The dedication concludes with a neatly turned compliment to Henry, at the expense, however, of his father : Vale, princeps illustrissime, et qui novus ac rarus regum titulus est, amatissime, (most illustrious, and—what is a new and rare title for a king, most beloved prince, Farewell.)

1510. It was known that, shortly after Henry's succession, More filled the situation of under-sheriff of London, but his biographers were at variance as to the precise year. By a reference to the city records, Sir James Mackintosh bas ascertained that the date of his first appointment to this office was March 3, 1510. “It is apparent,

says Sir James, that either as a considerable source of his income, or as an honourable token of public confidence, this office was valued by More; since, in 1516, he informs Erasmus that he had declined a handsome pension offered to him by the king, and that he believed he should always decline it; because, either it would oblige him to resign his office in the city, which he preferred to a better, or if he retained it, in case of a controversy of the city with the king for their privileges, he might be deemed by his fellow-citizens, to be disabled by dependence on the crown from sin. cerely and faithfully maintaining their rights.”

Erasmus tells us, that this office, though not laborious, for the court sits only on the forenoon of every Thursday, is accounted very honourable. No one who ever filled this situation, went through more causes than More; no one decided them more uprightly; often remitting the fees to which he was entitled from the suitors. His deportment in this capacity endeared him extremely to bis fellow-citi. zens. Nor in the discharge of this office, were opportunities wanting for the exercise of his characteristic humour. His wife had been presented with a small dog, which at once became a favourite, and was kept with great care. It turned out, however, to be the property of a beggar who had lost it, and who came to More to complain that his property was forcibly withheld from bim. More sent for his lady and the dog, and stationing her at the upper end of the hall, as the wortbier person, and the beggar at the lower end, he said he sat there to deal justice impartially to all; and he desired each of them to call the dog. The little favourite immediately forsook his new mistress, and ran to the beggar: so that Lady More was compelled to indulge her partiality by purchasing the animal.

The fame of an accomplished scholar, whose name we have before had occasion to mention-Erasmus, had now begun to spread. More had long been · sensible to his merits, though not inattentive to some of the weak parts of his character, which now began to display themselves. The acquaintance they had formed at Oxford, cherished by the similarity of

their studies, had ripened into a strong attachment, and we find the maintaining a correspondence.

This year he wrote to More expressing a desire to revisit England. To facilitate his journey, More sent him a bill of exchange, for a sum of which onehalf was advanced by himself, and the other by Archbishop Warham. On arriving in London, he took up his residence for a time with More, and under his hospitable roof produced, it is said in the course of a single week, his well-known Moriæ Encomium (Praise of Folly). . This, however, is evidently an exaggeration; nearly two years before he had written to More relative to the work, which he states in his preface to have been composed on horseback, to beguile the tedious hours of his journey from Italy. The fact, therefore, which has so much puzzled the biographers both of More and Erasmus, appears to be, that Erasmus brought with him the rough sketch of his work, to which he gave the finishing hand on the present occasion.

The late lamented Mr. Charles Butler thus characterizes this work. “It is an ingenious satire on the follies of persons in every condition of life. It would be difficult to mention a work which discovers more discernment or wit. Its success was prodigious; popes, kings, cardinals, bishops, princes, barons, alí the great, and all the gay, read and admired it. Leo the X. on perusing it, observed, 'Erasmus, toc, has his place in the region of folly.' The most honourable testimony in its favour was that of the illustrious person to whom it was dedicated. Martin Dorpius, à Louvaine divine, published some remarks upon it, in which he blamed its general spirit, and some particular passages and expressions. Erasmus answered it by an apologetical reply, which is a perfect model of polemíc politeness. He acknowledges that his work had exposed him to censure ; he almost laments that it was written, and solemnly declares, that, if he had foreseen the troubləs by which the church was,

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