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untill foure of the clocke, at afternoone; all which season my Lorde never rose, neither to make water, nor yet to eat any meate, but continually wrote letters, with his owne hand, having all that time his night cap and his cherchief on his head. And about the houre of foure of the clocke, at afternoone, he made an end of writinge, commanding Christopher Gunner, the king's servaunt, to prepare him without delay to ride post into England with his letters, whom he dispatched away or ever he dranke. And that done, he went to masse, and said his mattins and other devotions with his chaplaine, as he was accustomed to doe; and then went straight a walking in a garden; and after he had walked the space of an hour or more, and said evensong, then went he bothe to dinner and supper all at once. And after supper, making but small tarrying, scant an houre, he went to his bed, there to take his rest for that night."
As Cavendish describes every thing he saw, and, as an attendant upon the person of the Cardinal, he saw nearly all that, was to be seen, the most important matters take their turn in his narration with the most inconsequential, and each is described with the like earnestness. A love of pomp and splendour was the ruling passion of Wolsey, and his gentleman usher dutifully invests himself in the cast opinions of his master. To describe a pageant is the next best thing on earth to seeing one, and when my Lord Cardinal was ushered forth among crowds of feasting guests by Cavendish, all was well, and, for the moment, both were happy. Among other splendid and extraordinary sights of this reign, we find is given the remarkable citation of the king and queen before the two legates, Cardinals Wolsey and Campeggio, =Of this an accurate account of the proceedings in the court is given, the whole of which Shakspeare must have had before him. Part of it we quote.
“ The Judges commaunded the crier to proclaim silence, whilest their commission was read bothe to the courte and to the people assembled. That done, then the scribes commaunded the crier to call the king, by the name of “ King Henry of England, come into the courte," and with that the king aunswered and said “Here.” Then called he again the queene, by the name of “ Katherine Queene of Englande, come into the courte,” who made no answer thereto, but rose incontinent out of her chaire, whereas she sat, and because she could not come to the king directly, for the distance severed betweene them, she toke paine to go about by the courte, and came to the king, kneeling downe at his feete in the sight of all the courte and people, to whom she sayd in effect these words, in broken Englishe, as hereafter followeth.
“Sir,” quoth she," I beseeche you to doe me justice and right, and take some pitty upon me, for I am a poore woman and a straunger, borne out of your dominion, having here no indifferent counsell, and lesse assuraunce of friendship. Alas! sir, what have I offended you, or what occasion of displeasure have I shewed you, intending thus to put me from you after this sorte? I take God to my judge, I have bine to you
a true and an humble wife, ever conformable to your will and pleasure, that never constrained or gainesayd any thing thereof, and being alwaies contented with all things wherein you had any delight or daliaunce, whether it were little or much, without grudge or countenaunce of discontentation or displeasure. I loved for your sake all men whome ye loved, whether I had cause or no cause; or whether they were my friends or enemies. I have bine your wife this twenty yeares or more, and ye have had by me diverse children.
" And when ye had me at the first, I take God to my judge, that I was a very maide ; and whether it be true or no, I put it to your conscience. If there be any just cause that ye can alleadge against me, either of dishonesty or other matter lawfull to put me from you, I am content to departe to my shame and rebuke: and if there be none, then I pray you let me have justice at your handes. The King your father was in his time of such an excellent wit, that he was accompted among all men for his wisdome to be a second Solomon. And the King of Spaine my father Ferdinand, was reckoned to be one of the wisest princes that reigned in Spaine, many yeares before his daies : and so they were bothe wise men and noble kings. Is it not therefore to be doubted, but that they had gathered together as wise counsellors unto them of every realme, as to their wisdomes they thought meete. And, as me seemeth, there were in those daies as wise and well learned men in both realmes as be now at this day, who thought the marriage between You and Me good and lawfull. Therefore it is a wonder to heare what new inventions are now invented against me, that never intended but honesty. And now to cause me to stand to the order and judgement of this courte, it should, as seemeth me, doe me much wronge: for ye may condemne me for lack of aunswer, having no counsell but such as you have assigned me. Ye must consider that they cannot be indifferent on my parte, when they be your own subjects, and such as ye have taken and chosen out of your owne counsell, whereunto they are privy, and dare not disclose your will and intent. Therefore I humbly desire you, in the way of charity to spare me, untill I may knowe what counsell and advise my friends in Spaine will advise me to take. And if you will not, then your pleasure be fulfilled.” And with that she rose up and made a low courtesy to the King and departed from thence, many supposing that she would have resorted againe to her former place ; but she toke her way streight out of the courte, leaning upon the arme of one of her servauntes, who was her General Receiver, called Mr. Griffithe. The King being advertised that she was ready to goe out of the house whereas the courte was kept, commaunded the crier to call her againe, who called her by these wordes, • Katherine Queene of Englande, come into the courte.' With that quoth Mr. Griffith, Madame, ye be called againe.' 'On, on,' quoth she, it maketh no matter, it is no indifferent courte for me, therefore I will not tarry. Goe on your waies.' And thus she departed, without any farther aunswer, at that time, or any other, and never would appeare after in any other courte.
“ The King perceiving she was departed thus, and considering her wordes which she pronounced before time, saide to the audience these
wordes in effect. For as much,' quoth he, “as the Queene is gone, I will, in her absence, declare unto you all, that she hath bine to me as true, as obedient, and as conformable a wife as I could wishe or desire. She hath all the virtuous qualities that ought to be in a woman of her dignity, or in any other of a baser estate. She is also surely a noble woman borne, her conditions will well declare the same. With that quoth the Lord Cardinall “Sir, I most humbly require,'"-&c.
The arts which men even in the loftiest stations would in those times condescend to use, in order to pamper the will of the despotic sovereign on the throne, are well exemplified in the Archbishop of Canterbury's forgery of the name of his brother of Rochester. The King, in relating the rise and progress of his scruples, alludes to a license signed by all the bishops, which he proceeds to shew. “ That is truth if it please your grace,” quoth the Archbishop of Canterbury; who, himself alarmed, was anxious to bear down all opposition by a demand for consent, accompanied, perhaps, by looks perfectly well understood—“That is truth, if it please your grace; I doubt not, but that my brethren here will acknowledge the same.”
“No sir, not so, under your correction,' quothe the Bishoppe of Rochester, ‘for you have not mine, no.' 'Ah,' quothe the King, • loke here, is not this your hand and your seale?' and shewed him the instrument with seales. “No forsoothe,' quoth the Bishop. “How say You to that,' quoth the King to my Lord of Caunturbury. 'Sir, it is his hand, and his seale,' said my Lorde of Caunturbury. No, my Lorde,' quoth the Bishop of Rochester. Indeede You were in hand with me to have bothe my hand and seale, as other of my Lordes have done; but then I saide againe to you, I would never consent to any such acte, for it was much against my conscience; and therefore my hand and seale shall never be set to any such Instrument, God willing, with much more matter touching the same communication betweene us. You say truthe,' quoth the Bishop of Caunterbury,
such wordes you had unto me; but you were fully resolved at last, that I should subscribe your name, and put to your seale myselfe, and you would allowe the same.' 'All which,' quoth the Bishop of Rochester, ' under your correction, my Lord, is not true.' "Well, well,' quoth the King, it maketh no great matter; we will not stand with you in argument; you are but one man. And with that the King rose up, and the courte was adjourned untill an other day.”
This bishop (Fisher) seems to have given the supporters of the divorce, a great deal of trouble. On another day, when the legitimacy of the marriage was debated, the question seemed so doubtful, “ that no man knew the truth.”
. ••• Yes,' quoth the Bishop of Rochester, I knowe the truth.' · How knowe you,' quoth my Lord Cardinall, more than any other person?' 'Yes forsoothe my Lord,' quoth he, Quia ego sum professor veritatis, therefore I knowe the truth. I know that God is truth itselfe, and he never sayeth but truth ; and God saith, quos Deus conjunxit, homo non separet. And forasmuch as this marriage was joined and made by God to a good intent, I say that I knowe the truthe; and that men cannot break, upon any wilfull occaision, that which God hath made and constituted.' Soe much doe all faithful men,' quoth my Lord Cardinall, 'know as well as you. Yet this reason is not sufficient in this case; for the King's counsell do alledge diverse presumptions, to prove that it was not lawfull at the beginning, ergo it was not ordained by God, for God doeth nothing without a due order. Therefore it is not to be doubted, but if the presumptions be true, which they alleadge to be most true, then the conjunction was not, ne could be, of God. Therefore I say unto you, my Lord of Rochester, ye know not the truthe, unless ye can avoide their presumption by just reasons. “Then,' quoth one Doctor Ridley, it is a shame and a great dishonour to this honourable presence, that any such presumptions should be alleadged in this open courte, which be too detestable to be rehearsed.' "What,' quoth my Lord Cardinall, “ Domine Doctor, magis reverenter.' 'No, no, my Lord,' quoth he, there belongeth no reverence to be given to this matter; for an unreverent matter would be unreverently answered.' And there they left, and proceeded forthe with other matter."
The trial not proceeding in that summary way which seemed best to the royal will, the King grew angry, and then, perhaps, conceived his first distaste to the Cardinal, who, he probably began to suspect, was not in earnest in the matter.
“ Thus this courte passed from session to session, and day to day, till at a certaine day of their session the King sent for my Lord Cardinall to come to him to Bridewell; who to accomplish his commaundement went to him, and being there with him in communication in his privy chamber from an eleven untill twelve of the clocke at noone, and past; my Lord departed from the King and toke his barge at the Blackfriars, and went to his house at Westminster. The Bishop of Carlile being in his barge at that time, saide unto him, (winding of his face), · It is a very hot day.' " Yea, my Lord,' quoth the Cardi. nall, if ye had bine as well chafed as I have bine within this houre, ye would say it were very hot.' And as soon as he came home to his house at Westminster, he went incontinent to his naked bed, where he had not lyen fully two houres, but that my Lord of Wiltshire, Mistress Anne Bulleine's father, came to speake with him of a message from the Kinge. My Lord, understanding of his comming, commaunded he should be brought to his bedde's side; and he being there, shewed him the King's pleasure was, that he should incontinently goe with the other Cardinall to the Queene, whoe was then in Bridewell, in her chamber there, to perswade with her by their wisdomes, and to advise her to surrender the whole matter unto the King's handes by her owne consent and will; which should be muche better to her honor, than to stande to the triall of lawe, and thereby to be condemned, which would seem much to her dishonour. To fulfill the King's pleasure, my Lord saide he was ready, and would prepare him to goe thither out of hande, but quoth he farther to my Lord of Wiltshire, - Ye and other my Lordes of the counsell, are not a little mis-advised, to put any such fantasy into the King's head, whereby you doe trouble all the realme; and at length you shall get small thankes for your laboures, both of God and the world,' with many other vehement wordes and reasons, which caused my Lord of Wiltshire to weepe, kneeling by my Lorde's bedde side, and in conclusion departed. And then my Lord arose, and made him ready, taking his barge, and went streight to Bathe Place to Cardinall Campeigne ; and so they went together to Bridewell, directly to the Queene's lodging.”
Then follows the interesting scene with the queen, which we have in Shakespear.
At length, on the day when judgement was anxiously expected from the Cardinals, and the king himself was stationed at a door of the court in the gallery, where he might hear the judgement given, and the king's counsel were calling loud for the sentence, Cardinal Campeggio, to the surprise of all, suddenly adjourned the court to Rome, in an impressive speech, very remarkable at such a time for its freedom and independence. He thus concludes.
“I come not to speake for favor, mede, or dread of any person alive, be he king or otherwise. I have no such respect to the person that I will offend my conscience. I will not for the favor or displeasure of any highe estate doe that thing that should be against the will of God. I am an ould man, bothe weake and sickly, that loketh daily for deathe. What should it availe me to put my soul in daunger of God's displeasure, to my utter damnation, for the favor of any prince or high estate in this world? My being here is only to see justice ministred according to my conscience, which thing myself doe also most desyer. And forasmuch as I doe understande, having perceivance by the allegations in the matter, the case is very doubuul, and also the party defendaunt will make no aunswer here, but doth rather appeale from us, supposing that we be not indifferent, considering the king's high dignity and authority within his owne realme which he hath over his subjects; and we being his subjects she thinketh that we cannot doe justice for feare of displeasure. Therefore to avoide all these ambiguities and doubts, I will not damne my soule for any prince or potentate alive. Therefore, I intend not to wade any farther in this matter, unles I have the just opinion and assent of the pope, and such other of more auncient experience, or as be sene better in such doubtfal laws, than I am. Wherefore I will adjourne this courte, for this time, according to the order of the courte of Rome, from whence semblably our jurisdiction is derived. And if we should goe further than our commission doeth warrant us, it were great folly and much to our blames; and we may be breakers of the order of the high courte from which (as I said) our authorities be derived. And with that the courte was dissolved, and no more done.”