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"she was cunning in her chastity." But in a letter of the Bishop of Bayonne of the 15th June following, we read, "I think, that for some time past, the king and Mademoiselle Anne have been more than usually intimate: the ministers must hasten matters here, or certain signs of this intimacy, which it will be impossible to conceal, may spoil everything."
It is curious to hear how the court-historian tells the story: "the Emperor," says Hall, “soon grudged that the queen should be divorced; and surely, the most part of the lay-people of England, which knew not the law of God, sore murmured at the matter: and much the more, because there was a gentlewoman in the court, called Anne Boleyn, whom the king much favoured, in all honesty, and surely none otherwise, as all the world well knew after. For this cause, the queen's ladies, gentlewomen, and servants largely spake, and said that she so enticed the king, and brought him into such amours, that only for her sake and occasion he would be divorced from the queen. This was the foolish communication of people, contrary to the truth. (Chronicle, p. 759.)
Old Hall felt that he had an awkward task to perform, and he who is proverbially prolix on every other occasion, is wonderously brief on this. Brevity, they say, is the soul of wit, and so it may be of policy too, thought the wary Master Hall.
In the meantime, Gardener, the king's envoy, had been recalled from Rome, and a licence was issued, empowering the legates to execute their commission. The legantine court was opened on the 18th of June, and on the 21st, the king and queen were summoned to appear. The latter obeyed, but protested against the judges, and appealed to the pope. At the next session, Henry sat in state on the right of the cardinals, and answered in due form to his name. Catha.
Hall becomes suddenly convinced, like Pistol, "that men of few words are the best men."-Henry V.
rine was on their left: and, as soon as she was called, rising from her chair, renewed her protest on three grounds: because she was a stranger; because her judges held benefices in the realm, the gift of her adversary; and because she had good reason to believe, that justice could not be obtained in a court constituted like the present. On the refusal of the cardinals to admit her appeal, she rose a second time, crossed over before them, accompanied by her maids, threw herself at the king's feet, and thus addressed him in broken English:-" "Sir, I beseech you for the love that hath been between us, and for the love of God, let me have justice and right; take of me some pity and compassion, for I am a poor woman and a stranger, born out of your dominions. I have here no assured friend, much less impartial counsel; and I flee to you, as to the head of justice within this realm. Alas! Sir, wherein have I offended you, or what occasion given you of displeasure? Have I ever planned aught against your will and pleasure, that you should put me from you? I take God and all the world to witness, that I have been to you a true, humble, and obedient wife, ever conformable to your will and pleasure. Nor have I said or done aught contrary thereto, being always well-pleased and contented with all things wherein you had delight, whether it were in little or much; neither did I ever grudge in word or countenance, or show in visage a spark of discontent. I loved all those whom you loved, only for your sake, whether I had cause or no, whether they were my friends or mine enemies. These twenty years I have been your true wife, and by me ye have had divers children, although, saving my daughter, it hath pleased God to call them out of this world: and when ye married me, I take God to be my judge, that I was a true maid; and whether that be true or not, I put it to your conscience. If there be any just cause by the law that ye can allege against me, either of dishonesty or any other impedi
ment sufficient to banish and put me from you, I am contented to depart, albeit to my great shame and dishonour; and if there be none, then here I most lowlily beseech you, let me remain in my former estate, and receive justice at your hands. The king, your father, was, in the time of his reign, of such estimation through the world for his excellent wisdom, that he was called by all men the second Solomon; and my father, Ferdinand of Spain, was esteemed one of the wisest princes that, for many years, had reigned in Spain. It is not, therefore, to be doubted, but that they elected as wise counsellors about them as to their high discretion was thought meet. Also, as me seemeth, there were in those days, as wise, as learned and judicious men, as be at this present, who then thought the marriage between you and me good and lawful; therefore, it is a wonder to hear that new inventions are brought up against me, who never intended aught but honesty. Ye cause me to stand to the order and judgment of this new court, wherein ye may do much wrong, if ye intend any cruelty; for ye may condemn me for lack of sufficient answer, having no impartial advisers but such as be assigned me, with whose wisdom and learning I am not acquainted. Ye must consider that they who be your subjects cannot be impartial counsellors for my part: they have been chosen out of your own council; they have been made privy to your deliberations; and they dare not, for fear of you, disobey your will, or oppose your intentions. Therefore, most humbly do I require you, in the way of charity, and for the love of God, who is the Just Judge, to spare me the extremity of this new court, until I learn what way my friends in Spain may advise me to take: but, if ye will not extend to me so much impartial favour, your pleasure then be fulfilled, and to God I commit my cause
Having spoken thus, the queen burst into tears; and instead of returning to her seat, walked out of
court, having first made a low obeisance to the king. An officer was commanded to recall her, and he again summoned her loudly. "Madame," said her receivergeneral, on whose arm she leaned, " ye are again called." "Go on," said she, "I hear it very well: but this is no court wherein I can have justiceproceed therefore." She then left the hall, and never again could be persuaded to make her appearance there, either personally or by proxy.
This pathetic appeal, delivered with humility, and yet in the spirit of conscious innocence, made a deep impression on all present. Henry perceived this, and he took occasion to extol the queen in high terms, declaring that she had ever been a devoted and dutiful wife. In this commendation the monarch seems to have forgotten, that, only a short time before, in a complaint made to the privy-council, he had declared, that from the manner in which Catharine had lately conducted herself, he believed she hated him, and that his counsellors, thinking his life was in danger, had advised him to withdraw himself entirely from her company.*
During the whole of these discussions More acted with becoming prudence and reserve. He says in the letter to Cromwell, which we have already cited,
During the whole time the legates sat upon the matter, I never meddled therewith, nor was it meet so to do; for the matter was in hand by an ordinary process of the spiritual law, whereof I had little skill." And he appears to congratulate himself on the circumstance, that, "while yet the legates were sitting upon the matter, it pleased the king's highness to send me, in company of my Lord of London, now
*See Burnet, vol. i. p. 113.-"Whereas, a pure mind in a chaste body, is the mother of wisdom and deliberation, of sober counsels and ingenuous actions, of open deportment and sweet carriage, of sincere principles and unprejudiced understanding; uncleanness, on the contrary, is the parent of these monsters-blindness of mind, inconsideration, precipitancy or giddiness in actions, timidity and poorness of spirit, and of unkindly arts and stratagems to hide crime, which do nothing but increase it."-Jeremy Taylor.
of Durham, on an embassy to Cambray, about the peace, which, at our being there was concluded between his highness and the French king." It is evident that Sir Thomas looked upon this as a lucky escape; for immediately on his return home, he was again annoyed by the king upon this noisome affair.
In some of the sittings of the court, the discussions were carried on with considerable warmth. Wolsey having observed that the point was doubtful, and that no man could know the truth-" Yes," said the Bishop of Rochester, "I for one know the truth." "You know the truth?" said my lord Cardinal. "Forsooth, my lord," said he, "I know that God is Truth itself, and He hath said: what God hath joined, let no man put asunder." "Yes," said Doctor Ridley, "it is a shame and a great disgrace to this honourable presence, that any allegations like these should be made in this open court, which to all good and honest men are detestable to be rehearsed." "So, so," said my lord Cardinal, "Domine Doctor, magis reverenter-more reverently, good Doctor, by your leave." "No, no, my lord," added he, "there belongeth no reverence to these abominable presumptions against the express words of Christ : an irreverent tale may be irreverently answered." "And then," says Cavendish, they left, and proceeded no farther at that time." When the cardinal took his barge with the Bishop of Carlisle, on his way back to Westminster, the bishop said to him, wiping the perspiration from his face," My lord, the day is very hot.' "Yea," quoth my lord Cardinal, "if ye had been as well chafed, as I have been within this hour, ye would say it was very
According to our notions of things, Anne Boleyn must have had tolerably strong nerves of her own, for Hall informs us, that she was present in the court, and sat out all these proceedings. And yet we can readily believe the fact, when we recollect her subsequent conduct on the news of Catharine's death