« FöregåendeFortsätt »
stench whereof made some of them to die soon after, and others escaped with great difficulty. Taverner was excellently skilled in music ; on which account he escaped, though vehemently accused, the cardinal pleading for him, that he was but a musician, though afterward he repented to have set tunes to so many popish ditties.
We must not forget that all in the foresaid catalogue, whose Christian names are expressed, were originally Cambridge-men,* and invited by the cardinal, on promise of preferment, to plant his new foundation ; besides Florence, a Dominican, John Akers, and many more famous for their learning, which at this time removed to Oxford, seasoned both with good learning and true religion.
Know also this, John Higdon, first dean, was he, of whom cardinal Wolsey, when fallen into distress, did borrow two hundred pounds, there with to pay and reward some of his poorest servants, giving them money on this condition,--that hereafter they should serve no subject, but only the king himself ;+ as if this had been suscipere gradum Simeonis, for those who so long had attended on a lord cardinal. But this happened many years after ; return to this proud prelate, while he flourished in the height of his prosperity. 36-38. Wolsey turns his Waiting into Revenge. The Scruple
of the King's Marriage. The King willingly embraceth the Motion. Their heads will catch cold which wait bare for a dead pope's triple crown. Wolsey may be an instance hereof, who, on every avoidance of St. Peter's chair, was sitting down therein, when suddenly some one or other clapt in before him! Weary with waiting, he now resolved to revenge himself on Charles the emperor, for not doing him right, and not improving his power in preferring him to the papacy, according to his promises and pretences. He intends to smite Charles through the sides of his aunt, Catherine queen of England, endeavouring to alienate the king's affections from her. And this is affirmed by the generality of our historians, though some of late have endeavoured to acquit Wolsey, as not the first persuader of the king's divorce.
Indeed, he was beholding for the first hint thereof to the Spaniards themselves. For, when the lady Mary was tendered in marriage to Philip, prince of Spain, the Spanish ambassadors seemed to make some difficulty thereof, and to doubt her extraction, as begotten on a mother formerly married to her husband's elder brother. Wolsey now put this scruple into the head of bishop Longland, the king's confessor, and he insinuated the same into the king's conscience : • Caius De Antiq. Cant. Acad.
Rex Platonicus, page 43. VOL. II.
advising him hereafter to abstain from the company of his queen, to whom he was unlawfully married ; adding moreover, that, after a divorce procured, which the pope in justice could not deny, the king might dispose his affections where he pleased. And here Wolsey had provided him a second wife : namely, Margaret duchess of Alençon, sister to Francis king of France ; though heavens reserved that place, not for the inistress, but her maid, I mean Anna Bullen, [Boleyn,] who (after the return of Mary the French queen for England) attended in France for some time on this lady Margaret.
Tinder needs no torch to light it; the least spark will presently set it on flame. No wonder if king Henry greedily resented the motion. Male issue he much wanted, and a young female more on whom to beget it. As for queen Catherine, he rather respected than affected, rather honoured than loved her. She had got a habit of miscarrying, scarce curable in one of her age, intimated in one of the king's private papers, as morbus incurabilis. Yet publicly he never laid either fault or defect to her charge ; that, not dislike of her person or conditions, but only principles of pure conscience, might seem to put him upon endeavours of a divorce.
39, 40. The Pope a Captive. The Character of Campegius.
A.D. 1528. The business is brought into the court of Rome, there to be decided by pope Clement VII. But the pope at this time was not sui juris, being a prisoner to the emperor, who constantly kept a guard about him. So that one wittily said, it was now most true, Papa non potest errare, “ The pope could not wander," as cooped up and confined. Yet, after some delays, the pope at last, , to satisfy the king, and clear his own credit, dispatched a commission to two cardinals, Wolsey, and Campegius an Italian, at London, to hear and determine the matter.
Campegius was the junior cardinal, and therefore the rather procured by Wolsey to be his colleague in this business, -whose pride would scarce admit an equal, but abhorred a superior,—than any foreign prelate should take place of him in England. As Wolsey's junior, so was he none of the most mercurial amongst the conclave of cardinals, but a good heavy man, having ingenium par negotio, “neither too much, nor too little, but just wit enough for the purpose the pope employed him in.” Wolsey might spur Campegius, and Campegius would bridle Wolsey, keeping them both strictly to the letter of their instructions. Wolsey, hearing Campegius was come to Calais with an equipage not so court-like as he could have desired, and, loath that his own pomp should be shamed by the
most true position in itself, if he could have cleared the application thereof to his royal client : but hoc restat probandum ; the contrary—“ that God never joined them together"-being vehemently urged by her adversaries.
45-47. The Pleas of the King's Counsel. Secrets sub Sigillo
Thalami. A shrewd Retortion. Notwithstanding the queen's absence, the court proceeded : and first the king's proctors put in their exceptions against both bull and brief of pope Julius II. dispensing with the king's marriage with his brother's wife; namely, 1. That they were not to be found amongst the original records of Rome. 2. That they were not extant in Chartaphylacio, amongst the king of England's papers, (most concerned therein,) but found only in Spain, amongst the writings of a state-officer there. 3. That in them it was falsely suggested, as if the same were procured at the instance of Henry prince of Wales, who then, not being above thirteen years old, was not capable of such intentions. 4. That the date thereof was somewhat discrepant from the form used in the court of Rome.
After this, many witnesses on the king's side were deposed ; and though this favour is by custom indulged to the English nobility, to speak on their honours; yet the canon law, taking no notice of this their municipal privilege, and for the more legal validity of their testimonies, required the same on oath, though two dukes, one duchess, one marquess, many lords and ladies, gave in their depositions. These attested,-1. That both were of sufficient age, prince Arthur of fifteen years, the lady Catherine somewhat elder. 2. That constant their cohabitation, at board and in bed. 3. That competent the time of the same, as full five months. 4. That entire their mutual affection, no difference being ever observed betwixt them. 5. That Henry, after his brother's death, by an instrument produced in court, and attested by many witnesses, refused to marry her, though afterwards altered by the importunity of others. 6. That, by several expressions of prince Arthur's, it appeared, he had carnal knowledge of the lady Catherine.
The beds of private persons are compassed with curtains, of princes veiled also with canopies, to conceal the passages therein, to which modesty admitteth no witnesses. Pity it is, that any, with Pharaoh, should discover what is exchanged betwixt Isaac and Rebekah ; all which are best stifled in secrecy and silence. However, such the nature of the present cause, that many privacies were therein discovered.
Observe, by the way, that whereas it was generally alleged in favour of the queen, that prince Arthur had not carnal knowledge
of her, because, soon after his marriage, his consumptionish body secmed unfit for such performances; this was retorted by testimonies on the king's side, his witnesses deposing, that generally it was reported and believed, the prince impaired his health by his over ļiberal payment of " due benevolence.”
48. An End in vain expected. It was expected, that the cardinals should now proceed to a definitive sentence, according as matters were alleged and proved unto them; the rather because it was generally reported, that Campegius brought over with him a Bull Decretal, to pronounce a nullity of the inatch, if he saw just cause for the same. Which rumour, like the silken fly wherewith anglers cheat the fishes, was only given out to tempt king Henry to a longer patience, and quiet expectation of the event. But by this time, October 22nd, queen Catherine had privately prevailed with the pope to advoke the cause to Rome, as a place of more indifferency for a plea of so high concernment. Whereupon Campegius took his leave of the king, and returned into Italy.
49. Love Letters of King Henry kept in the Vatican. The papists tell us, that cardinal Campegius sent over before him some amatorious letters, which passed, written with the king's own hand, betwixt him and his dear Nan, as he termed her. These are said to import more familiarity than chastity betwixt them ; and are carefully kept, and solemnly shown, in the Vatican to strangers, especially of the English nation, though some suspect them to be but forged. For, thongh the king had wantonness enough to write such letters, yet Anna Bullen had wit and wariness too much to part with them. It would more advance the popish project, could they show any return from her to the king accepting his offers, which they pretend not to produce. Our authors generally agree, her denials more inflamed the king's desires. For though, perchance, nothing more than a woman was wished by his wild fancy, yet nothing less than a husband would content her conscience. In a word, so cunning she was in her chastity, that the farther she put him from her, the nedrer she fastened his affections unto her.
50. No Haste to end the King's Cause at Rome. Still was the king's cause more delayed in the court of Rome. If a melancholic schoolman can spin out a speculative controversy, with his pros and cons, to some quires of paper, where the profit is little to others, and none to himself, except satisfying his curiosity and some popular applause ; no wonder if the casuists at Rome,
those cunning masters of defence, could lengthen out a cause of so high concernment and so greatly beneficial unto them. For, English silver now was current, and our gold volant, in the pope's courts; whither such masses of money daily were transported, England knew not certainly what was expended, nor Rome what received, herein. Yea, for seven years was this suit depending in the pope's court; after which apprenticeship, the indentures were not intended to be cancelled, but the cause still to be kept on foot, it being for the interest to have it always in doing, and never done. For, whilst it depended, the pope was sure of two great friends ; but, when it was once decided, he was sure of one great foe, either the emperor, or our king of England.
51. King and Queen both offended with Wolsey. It was a maxim true of all men, but most of king Henry, omnis mora properanti nimia. He, who would have not only what but when he would himself, was vexed with so many delayings, deferrings, retardings, prorogations, prolongations, procrastinations, betwixt two popes, as one may say,--Clement that was, and Wolsey that would be. So that all this while, after so much ado, there was nothing done in his business, which now was no nearer to a final conclusion than at the first beginning thereof. Yea, now began cardinal Wolsey to decline in the king's favour, suspecting him for not cordial in his cause, and ascribing much of the delay to his backwardness herein. More hot did the displeasure of queen Catherine burn against him, beholding him as the chief engine, who set the matter of her divorce first in motion.
52, Wolsey looks two Ways in this Design, Be it here remembered, that, in persuading the king's divorce, Wolsey drave on a dauble design: by the recess of the king's love from queen Catherine, to revenge himself of the emperor ; by the access of his love to Margaret of Alençon, to oblige the king of France. Thus he hoped to gain with both hands; and presumed, that the sharpness of his two-edged policy should cut on both sides : when God, to prevent him, did both blunt the edges and break the point thereof. For, instead of gaining the love of two kings, he got the implacable anger of two queens; of Catherine decaying, and Anna Bullen increasing, in the king's affection. Let him hereafter look but for few fair days, when both the sun rising and setting frowned upon him.