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Alarm Of Catherine And The Growth Of Lutheranism

Absolution Of Lord Thomas Fitzgerald For The Murder Of The Archbishop Of Dublin

Anger Of Anne Boleyn And The Duke Of Norfolk

Anne Boleyn Chosen By Henry To Succeed Catherine

Unpopularity Of Anne Boleyn And Removal Of Catherine From The Court

The Divorce

The Court At Blackfriars

Danger Of Challenging The Papal Dispensing Power

Determined Attitude Of The Princess Mary

Death Of Archbishop Warham And The Pope Urged To Excommunicate Henry But Refuses Angering The Queen



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Expectation That Henry Would Return To The Roman Communion

Intended Escape Of The Princess Mary Out Of England

Anne Sentenced To Die

Competition For Henry's Hand

Illness Of The Princess Mary

The Pope's Authority Abolished In England

Coronation Of Anne Boleyn

Illness Of Queen Catherine

Likelihood Of A Separation Of The King From Anne

Henry Advised To Marry Without Waiting For Sentence






Likelihood Of A Separation Of The King From Anne








Catherine was buried with some state in Peterborough Cathedral, on the
29th of January. In the ceremonial she was described as the widow of
Prince Arthur, not as the Queen of England, and the Spanish Ambassador,
therefore, declined to be present. On the same day Anne Boleyn again
miscarried, and this time of a male infant. She laid the blame of her
misfortune on the Duke of Norfolk. The King had been thrown from his
horse; Norfolk, she said, had alarmed her, by telling her of the accident
too suddenly. This Chapuys maliciously said that the King knew to be
untrue, having been informed she had heard the news with much composure.
The disappointment worked upon his mind; he said he saw plainly God would
give him no male children by that woman; he went once to her bedside,
spoke a few cold words, and left her with an intimation that he would
speak to her again when she was recovered. Some concluded that there was
a defect in her constitution; others whispered that she had been irritated
at attentions which the King had been paying to Jane Seymour, who in
earlier days had been a lady-in-waiting to Catherine. Anne herself,
according to a not very credible story of Chapuys's, was little disturbed;
her ladies were lamenting; she consoled them by saying that it was all for
the best; the child that had been lost had been conceived in the Queen's
lifetime, and the legitimacy of it might have been doubtful; no
uncertainty would attach to the next. It is not likely that Anne felt
uncertain on such a point, or would have avowed it if she had. She might
have reasons of her own for her hopes of another chance. Henry seemed to
have no hope at all; he sent Chapuys a message through Cromwell that
Mary's situation was now changed; her train should be increased, and her
treatment improved--subject, however, of course, to her submission.

Mary had made up her mind, under Chapuys's advice, that if a prince was
born, she would acknowledge the Act of Supremacy and the Act of Succession
with a secret protest, as the Emperor had recommended her. She had no
intention, however, of parting with her pretensions, and alienating her
friends, as long as there was no brother whose claims she could not
dispute. Chapuys had imagined, and Mary had believed, that the Emperor
would have resented the alleged poisoning of Catherine; that, instead of
her death removing the danger of war, as Henry supposed, war had now
become more certain than ever. With this impression, the Princess still
kept her mind fixed on escaping out of the country, and continued to press
Chapuys to take her away. She had infinite courage; a Flemish ship was
hovering about the mouth of the Thames ready to come up, on receiving
notice, within two or three miles of Gravesend. The house to which she had
been removed was forty miles from the place where she would have to
embark; it was inconvenient for the intended enterprise, and was, perhaps,
guarded, though she did not know it. She thought, however, that, if
Chapuys would send her something to drug her women with, she could make
her way into the garden, and the gate could be broken open. "She was so
eager," Chapuys said, "that, if he had told her to cross the Channel in a
sieve, she would venture it;" the distance from Gravesend was the
difficulty: the Flemish shipmaster was afraid to go higher up the river: a
forty miles' ride would require relays of horses, and the country through
which she had to pass was thickly inhabited. Means, however, might be
found to take her down in a boat, and if she was once out of England, and
under the Emperor's protection, Chapuys was convinced that the King would
no longer kick against the pricks.

Mary herself was less satisfied on this point. Happy as she would be to
find herself out of personal danger, she feared her father might still
persist in his heresies, and bring more souls to perdition; "she would,
therefore, prefer infinitely," she said, "the general and total remedy so
necessary for God's service." She wished Chapuys to send another messenger
to the Emperor, to stir him up to activity. But Chapuys, desperate of
rousing Charles by mere entreaties, encouraged her flight out of the
country as the surest means of bringing Henry to a reckoning. The
difficulty would not be very great; the King had shown an inclination to
be more gentle with her; Mrs. Shelton had orders to admit her mother's
physician to her at any time that he pleased; and others of the household
at Kimbolton were to be transferred to her service; these relaxations
would make the enterprise much easier, and Chapuys was disposed to let it
be tried. The Emperor's consent, however, was of course a preliminary
condition, and his latest instructions had been unfavourable. The
Ambassador, therefore, referred the matter once more to Charles's
judgment, adding only, with a view to his own safety, that, should the
escape be carried out, his own share in it would immediately be suspected;
and the King, who had no fear of anyone in the world, would undoubtedly
kill him. He could be of no use in the execution of the plot, and would,
therefore, make an excuse to cross to Flanders before the attempt was
made.

Chapuys's precipitancy had been disappointed before, and was to be
disappointed again; he had worked hard to persuade Charles that Catherine
had been murdered; Charles, by the manner in which he received the
intelligence, showed that his Minister's representations had not convinced
him. In sending word to the Empress that the Queen was dead, the Emperor
said that accounts differed as to her last illness: some saying that it
was caused by an affection of the stomach, which had lasted for some days;
others that she had drunk something suspected to have contained poison. He
did not himself say that he believed her to have been poisoned, nor did he
wish it to be repeated as coming from him. The Princess, he heard, was
inconsolable; he hoped God would have pity on her. He had gone into
mourning, and had ordered the Spanish Court to do the same.

In Spain there was an obvious consciousness that nothing had been done of
which notice could be taken. Had there been a belief that a Spanish
princess had been made away with in England, as the consummation of a
protracted persecution, so proud a people would indisputably have demanded
satisfaction. The effect was exactly the opposite. Articles had been drawn
by the Spanish Council for a treaty with France as a settlement of the
dispute about Milan. One of the conditions was the stipulation to which
Cromwell had referred in a conversation with Chapuys, that France was to
undertake the execution of the Papal sentence and the reduction of England
to the Church. The Queen being dead, the Emperor's Council recommended
that this article should now be withdrawn, and the recovery of the King be
left to negotiation. Instead of seeing in Catherine's death an
occasion for violence, they found in it a fresh motive for a peaceful
arrangement.

It was assumed that if the Princess escaped, and if Henry did not then
submit, war would be the immediate consequence. The Emperor, always
disinclined towards the "remedy" which his Ambassador had so long urged
upon him, acted as Cromwell expected. The adventurous flight to Gravesend
had to be abandoned, and he decided that Mary must remain quiet. In
protecting Catherine while alive he had so far behaved like a gentleman
and a man of honour. He was her nearest relation, and it was impossible
for him to allow her to be pushed aside without an effort to prevent it.
But as a statesman he had felt throughout that a wrong to his relation, or
even a wrong to the Holy See, in the degraded condition of the Papacy, was
no sufficient cause for adding to the confusions of Christendom. He had
rather approved than condemned the internal reforms in the Church of
England: and, after taking time to reflect and perhaps inquire more
particularly into the circumstances of Catherine's end, he behaved
precisely as he would have done if he was satisfied that her death was
natural: he gave Chapuys to understand, in a letter from Naples,
that, if a fresh opening presented itself, he must take up again the
abandoned treaty; and the secret interviews recommenced between the
Ambassador and the English Chief Secretary.

These instructions must have arrived a week after the plans had been
completed for Mary's escape, and Chapuys had to swallow his disappointment
and obey with such heart as he could command. The first approaches were
wary on both sides. Cromwell said that he had no commission to treat
directly; and that, as the previous negotiations had been allowed to drop,
the first overtures must now come from the Emperor; the Queen being gone,
however, the ground of difference was removed, and the restoration of the
old alliance was of high importance to Christendom; the King and the
Emperor united could dictate peace to the world; France was on the eve of
invading Italy, and had invited the King to make a simultaneous attack
upon Flanders; a party in the Council wished him to consent; the King,
however, preferred the friendship of the Emperor, and, Catherine being no
longer alive, there was nothing to keep them asunder.

Chapuys, who never liked the proposal of a treaty at all, listened coldly;
he said he had heard language of that kind before, and wished for
something more precise; Cromwell replied that he had been speaking merely
his own opinion; he had no authority and, therefore, could not enter into
details; if there was to be a reconciliation, he repeated that the Emperor
must make the advances.

The Emperor, Chapuys rejoined, would probably make four conditions: the
King must be reconciled to the Church as well as to himself; the Princess
must be restored to her rank and be declared legitimate; the King must
assist in the war with the Turks, and the league must be offensive as well
as defensive.

Cromwell's answer was more encouraging than Chapuys perhaps desired. The
fourth article, he said, would be accepted at once, and on the third the
King would do what he could; no great objection would be made to the
second; the door was open. Reconciliation with Rome would be difficult,
but even that was not impossible. If the Emperor would write under his own
hand to the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, and to the Duke of Richmond, who
in mind and body singularly resembled his father, much might be done.

A confidential Minister would not have ventured so far without knowing
Henry's private views, and such large concessions were a measure of the
decline of Anne Boleyn's influence. As regarded the Princess Mary, Chapuys
had found that there was a real disposition to be more kind to her, for
the King had sent her a crucifix which had belonged to her mother,
containing a piece of the true cross, which Catherine had desired that
she should have, and had otherwise showed signs of a father's
affection.

The Emperor himself now appears upon the scene, and the eagerness which he
displayed for a reconciliation showed how little he had really seen to
blame in Henry's conduct. So long as Catherine lived he was bound in
honour to insist on her acknowledgment as queen; but she was gone, and he
was willing to say no more about her. He saw that the intellect and energy
of England were running upon the German lines. Chapuys, and perhaps other
correspondents more trustworthy, had assured him that, if things went on
as they were going, the hold of the Catholic Church on the English people
would soon be lost. The King himself, if he wished it, might not be able
to check the torrent, and the opinion of his vassals and his own imperious
disposition might carry him to the extreme lengths of Luther. The Emperor
was eager to rescue Henry before it was too late from the influences under
which his quarrel with the Pope had plunged him. He praised Chapuys's
dexterity; he was pleased with what Cromwell had said, and proceeded
himself to take up the points of the proposals.

"The withdrawal of the King from the Church of Rome," he said, "was a
matter of great importance. His pride might stand in the way of his
turning back: he might be ashamed of showing a want of resolution before
the world and before his subjects, and he was obstinate in his own
opinions." Charles, therefore, directed Chapuys to lay before him such
considerations as were likely to affect his judgment, the peril to his
soul, the division and confusion sure to arise in his realm, and the
evident danger should the Pope go on to the execution of the sentence and
call in the assistance of the Princes of Christendom. Under the most
favourable aspect, both he and his supporters would be held in continual
anxiety; and, though he might be able to maintain what he had begun as
long as he himself lived, he could not do it without great difficulty, and
would inevitably leave an inheritance of calamity to those who came after
him. Chapuys was to advise him, therefore, to take timely measures for the
security of the realm, and either refer his differences with the Pope to a
General Council, or trust to Charles himself to negotiate for him with the
Holy See, which he might assure himself that Charles would do on
honourable and favourable terms. The chief objections likely to be raised
by Henry would be the Pope's sentence in the divorce case, the interests
of his country in the annates question, and other claims upon the realm
which the Pope pretended. The first could be disposed of in the
arrangement to be made for the Princess; the annates could be moderated,
and a limit fixed for the Pope's other demands; as to the supreme
authority over the Church of England, Chapuys might persuade the King that
the relative positions of the Crown and the Holy See might be determined
to his own honour, and the profit and welfare of the realm. The
Emperor, indeed, was obliged to add he could give no pledge to the
prejudice of the Church without the Pope's consent, but Chapuys might
promise that he would use his utmost exertions to bring about a reasonable
composition. Charles evidently did not intend to allow the pretensions of
the Papacy to stand in the way of the settlement of Europe. If the
Ambassador saw that a reconciliation with Rome was hopeless, sooner than
lose the treaty the Emperor was ready to consent to leave that point out
in order to carry the others, provided the King did not require him
directly to countenance what he had done. As to the Princess, care would
have to be taken not to compromise the honour of the late Queen, or the
legitimacy and rights of her daughter. If her father would not consent to
recognise formally her claim on the succession, that too might be left in
suspense till the King's death; and Charles was willing to undertake that,
as long as Henry lived, no action was to be taken against him, and none
permitted to be taken on the part of any one, not even of the Pope, to
punish him for his treatment of Catherine--not though her end had been
hastened, as some suspected, by sinister means. A marriage could be
arranged for Mary between the King and the Emperor; and, should the King
himself decide to abandon the Concubine and marry again in a fit and
convenient manner, Chapuys was to offer no opposition, and the Emperor
said that he would not object to help him in conformity with the
treaty.

It was obvious to everyone that, if Henry separated from Anne, an
immediate marriage with some other person would follow. Charles was
already weighing the possibility, and when the event occurred it will be
seen that he lost not a moment in endeavouring to secure Henry's hand for
another of his own relations. Princes and statesmen are not scrupulous in
arranging their political alliances, but, considering all that had
happened and all that was about to happen, the readiness of Charles V. to
bestow a second kinswoman on the husband of Queen Catherine may be taken
to prove that his opinion of Henry's character was less unfavourable than
that which is generally given by historians.

Cromwell had been premature in allowing a prospect of the restoration of
the Papal authority in England. Charles, in his eagerness to smooth
matters, had suggested that a way might be found to leave the King the
reality of the supremacy, while the form was left to the Pope. But no such
arrangement was really possible, and Henry had gone on with his
legislative measures against the Church as if no treaty was under
consideration. Parliament had met again, and had passed an Act for the
suppression of the smaller monasteries. That the Emperor should be suing
to him for an alliance while he was excommunicated by the Pope, and was
deliberately pursuing a policy which was exasperating his own clergy, was
peculiarly agreeable to Henry, and he enjoyed the triumph which it gave
him; a still greater triumph would be another marriage into the Imperial
family; and a wish that he should form some connection, the legality of
which could not be disputed, was widely entertained and freely uttered
among his own subjects. Chapuys, before Charles's letter could have
reached him, had been active in encouraging the idea. He had spoken to
Mary about it, and Mary had been so delighted at the prospect of her
father's separation from Anne, that she said she would rejoice at it,
though it cost her the succession. That the King was likely to part
with Anne was the general talk of London. Chapuys called on Cromwell,
alluded to the rumour which had reached him, and intimated how much
mischief would be avoided if the King could make up his mind to take
another wife, against whom no objection could be brought. Cromwell said
that he had never himself been in favour of the marriage with Anne, but,
seeing the King bent on it, he had assisted him to the best of his power;
he believed, however, that, the thing having been done, the King would
abide by it; he might pay attentions to other ladies, but they meant
nothing.

Cromwell's manner seemed peculiar, and Chapuys observed him more closely.
The Secretary was leaning against a window, turning away his face as if to
conceal a smile. There had been a report that some French princess was
being thought of, and perhaps Chapuys made some allusion to it; for
Cromwell said that Chapuys might assure himself that, if the King did take
another wife, he would not look for her in France.

The smile might have had a meaning which Chapuys could not suspect. The
Secretary was by this time acquainted with circumstances in Anne's conduct
which might throw another aspect on the situation, but the moment had not
come to reveal them. It is likely enough that the King had been harassed
and uncertain. The air was thick with stories claiming to be authentic.
Lady Exeter had told Chapuys that the King had sent a purse and a letter
to Jane Seymour, of whom Anne had been jealous. Jane Seymour had returned
the letter unopened and the money along with it, and had prayed the bearer
to say to the King that he must keep his presents till she made some
honourable marriage.

Lady Exeter and her friends made their own comments. Anne's enemies, it
was said, were encouraging the intimacy with Jane, and had told the lady
to impress upon the King that the nation detested his connection with Anne
and that no one believed it lawful; as if it was likely that a woman in
the position in which Jane Seymour was supposed to stand could have spoken
to him on such a subject, or would have recommended herself to Henry, if
she did. At the same time it is possible and even probable that Henry,
observing her quiet, modest and upright character, may have contrasted her
with the lady to whom he had bound himself, may have wished that he could
change one for the other, and may even have thought of doing it; but that,
as Cromwell said, he had felt that he must make no more changes, and must
abide by the destiny which he had imposed on himself.

For, in fact, it was not open to Henry to raise the question of the
lawfulness of his marriage with Anne, or to avail himself of it if raised
by others. He had committed himself far too deeply, and the Parliament had
been committed along with him, to the measures by which the marriage was
legalised. Yet Anne's ascendancy was visibly drawing to an end, and clouds
of a darker character were gathering over her head. In the early days of
her married life outrageous libels had been freely circulated, both
against her and against the King. Henry had been called a devil. The Duke
of Norfolk had spoken of his niece as a grande putaine. To check these
effusive utterances the severest penalties had been threatened by
proclamation against all who dared to defame the Queen's character, and no
one had ventured to whisper a word against her. But her conduct had been
watched; light words, light actions had been observed and carefully
noted. Her overbearing manner had left her without a friend save her own
immediate connections and personal allies. "Men's mouths had been shut
when they knew what ought not to have been concealed." A long
catalogue of misdeeds had been registered, with dates and particulars,
treasured up for use by the ladies of the household, as soon as it should
become safe to speak; and if her conduct had been really as abandoned as
it was afterwards alleged to have been, the growing alienation of the King
may be easily understood. It was impossible for any woman to have worn a
mask so long and never to have given her husband occasion for
dissatisfaction. Incidents must have occurred in the details of daily
life, if not to rouse his suspicions, yet to have let him see that the
woman for whom he had fought so fierce a battle had never been worth what
she had cost him.

Anne Boleyn's fortunes, however, like Catherine's, were but an episode in
the affairs of England and of Christendom, and the treaty with the Emperor
was earnestly proceeded with as if nothing was the matter. The great
concerns of nations are of more consequence to contemporary statesmen than
the tragedies or comedies of royal households. Events rush on; the public
interests which are all-absorbing while they last are superseded or
forgotten; the personal interests remain, and the modern reader thinks
that incidents which most affect himself must have been equally absorbing
to every one at the time when they occurred. The mistake is natural, but
it is a mistake notwithstanding. The great question of the hour was the
alternative alliance with the Empire or with France, and the result to be
expected from the separation of England from Rome.

The Emperor wrote, as Cromwell had suggested, to the three Dukes. Chapuys
paid Cromwell a visit at his country-house in the middle of April, to
discuss again the four conditions. Cromwell had laid them before the King,
and had to report his answer. The reconciliation with Rome was declared
impossible. Henry said that the injuries to England by the Pope's sentence
had been too great, and the statutes too recent to be repealed. The Pope
himself was now making overtures, and was disposed to gratify the King as
much as possible. Something, therefore, might be done in the future, but
for the present the question could not be entertained. Cromwell offered to
show the Ambassador the Pope's letters, if he wished to see them. Chapuys
observed sarcastically that, after all that had passed, the King ought to
be highly gratified at finding his friendship solicited by the Pope and
the Emperor, the two parties whom he had most offended. It might be hoped
that, having enjoyed his triumph, the King would now recollect that
something was due to the peace of Christendom. Cromwell did not attempt a
repartee, and let the observation pass. He said, however, that he hoped
much from time. On the other points, all consideration would be shown for
the Princess, but the King could not consent to make her the subject of an
article in the treaty; no difficulty would be made about assistance in the
Turkish war; as to France, the Council were now unanimous in recommending
the Imperial alliance, and had represented their views to the King. The
King was pausing over his resolution, severely blaming the course which
Francis was pursuing, but less willing to break with France than Cromwell
had himself expected. Francis, Cromwell said, had stood by the King as a
friend in the worst of his difficulties, and the King did not like to
quarrel with him; he, however, intended to speak to Chapuys himself.

The Court was keeping Easter at Greenwich, and thither the Ambassador
repaired. Easter Sunday falling on the 16th of April, the Chapter of the
Garter was to be held there, and the assembly was large and splendid. Anne
Boleyn was present in state as Queen, with her brother Lord Rochford, the
demeanour of both of them undisturbed by signs of approaching storm. When
Chapuys presented himself, Rochford paid him particular attention. The
Ambassador had been long absent from the Court circle. Cromwell told him
that the King would be pleased if he would now pay his respects to Anne,
which he had never hitherto done, adding that, if he objected, it would
not be insisted on. Chapuys excused himself. For various reasons, he said,
he thought it not desirable. Cromwell said that his answer would be taken
in good part, and hoped that the rest of their business would run
smoothly.

Henry himself passed by as Cromwell was speaking to Chapuys. He bowed,
took off his cap, and motioned to the Ambassador to replace his own. He
then inquired after his health, asked how the Emperor was, how things were
going in Italy--in short, was particularly courteous.

Service followed in the chapel. Rochford conducted Chapuys thither, and,
as his sister was to be present and an encounter could not be avoided,
people were curious to see how she and the Ambassador would behave to each
other. Anne was "affable" enough, and curtseyed low as she swept past.

After mass the King and several members of the Council dined in Anne's
apartments. As it was presumed that Chapuys would not desire to form one
of the party, he was entertained by the household. Anne asked why he had
not been invited. The King said there was reason for it.

Dinner over, Henry led Chapuys into his private cabinet, Cromwell
following with the Chancellor Audeley. No one else was present at the
beginning of the conference. The King drew the Ambassador apart into a
window, when Chapuys again produced at length his four points. The King
listened patiently as Chapuys expatiated on the action of the French,
remarking only that Milan and Burgundy belonged to France and not to the
Emperor. The observation showed Chapuys that things were not yet as he
could have wished. He inquired whether, if the treaty was made, England
would be prepared to assist the Emperor should France attack the Duke of
Gueldres. Henry answered that he would do his part better than others had
done their parts with him; he then called up Cromwell and Audeley, and
made Chapuys repeat what he had said. This done, Chapuys withdrew to
another part of the room, and fell into conversation with Sir Edward
Seymour, who had since entered. He left Henry talking earnestly with the
two Ministers, and between him and them Chapuys observed that there was a
strong difference of opinion. The King's voice rose high. Cromwell, after
a time, left him, and, saying that he was thirsty, seated himself on a
chest out of the King's sight and asked for water. The King then rejoined
the Ambassador, and told him that his communications were of such
importance that he must have them in writing. Chapuys objected that this
was unusual. He had no order to write anything, and dared not go beyond
his instructions. Henry was civil, but persisted, saying that he could
give no definite answer till he had the Emperor's offer in black and white
before him. Generally, however, he said that his quarrel with Rome did not
concern the Emperor. If he wished to treat with the Pope, he could do it
without the Emperor's interposition; the Princess was his daughter, and
would be used according to her deserts; a subvention for the Turkish war
might be thought of when the alliance with Charles was renewed. Finally he
said that he would not refuse his friendship to those who sought it in
becoming terms, but he was not a child, to be whipped first and then
caressed and invited back again and called sweet names. He drummed with
his finger on his knees as he spoke. He insisted that he had been injured
and expected an acknowledgment that he had been injured. The overtures, he
repeated, must come from the Emperor. The Emperor must write him a letter
requesting him to forget and forgive the past, and no more should then be
said about it; but such a letter he must and would have. Chapuys
restrained his temper. He said it was unreasonable to expect the Emperor
to humiliate himself. Henry only grew more excited, called Charles
ungrateful, declared that but for himself he would never have been on the
Imperial throne, or even have recovered his authority in Spain when the
commons had revolted; and, in return, the Emperor had stirred up Pope
Clement to deprive him of his kingdom.

Chapuys said it was not the Emperor's doing. The Pope had done it himself,
at the solicitation of other parties.

So the conference ended, and not satisfactorily. Henry was not a child to
be whipped and caressed. Charles wanted him now, because he was
threatened by France; and he, of his own judgment, preferred the Imperial
alliance, like the rest of his countrymen; but Charles had coerced the
Pope into refusing a concession which the Pope had admitted to be just,
and the King knew better than his Council that the way to secure the
Emperor's friendship was not to appear too eager for it.

The sharpness with which the King had spoken disappointed and even
surprised Cromwell, who, when the audience was over, could hardly speak
for vexation. His impression apparently was that the French faction had
still too much influence with the King, and the French faction was the
faction of Anne. He recovered his spirits when Chapuys informed him of the
concessions which the Emperor was prepared to make, and said that he still
hoped for "a good result."

The next morning, Wednesday, 19th of April, the Privy Council met again in
full number. They sate for three hours. The future of England, the future
of Europe, appeared to them at that moment to be hanging on the King's
resolution. They went in a body to him and represented on their knees that
they believed the Imperial alliance essential to the safety of the
country, and they implored him not to reject a hand so unexpectedly held
out to him on a mere point of honour. Henry, doubtless, felt as they did.
Since his quarrel with Charles he had hardly known a quiet hour; he had
been threatened with war, ruin of trade, interdict, and internal
rebellion. On a return to the old friendship the sullen clergy, the angry
Peers, would be compelled into submission, for the friend on whom they
most depended would have deserted them; the traders would no longer be in
alarm for their ventures; the Pope and his menaces would become a
laughingstock, and in the divorce controversy the right would be tacitly
allowed to have been with the King, since it was to be passed over without
being mentioned. Immense advantages. But the imperious pride of Henry
insisted on the form as well as the substance--on extorting a definite
confession in words as well as a practical acknowledgment. All the
troubles which had fallen on him--the quarrel with the Papacy, the
obstinate resistance of Catherine and Mary, the threats of invasion, and
insurrection--he looked upon as Charles's work. It was true that the
offered friendship was important to England, but England's friendship was
important to the Emperor, and the Emperor must ask for it. He told the
kneeling Councillors that he would sooner lose his crown than admit, even
by implication, that he had given Charles cause to complain of him. He was
willing to take the Emperor's hand, but he would not seek or sue for it.
The Emperor himself must write to him.

Cromwell, in describing what had passed to Chapuys, said that he was sorry
that things had gone no better, but that he was not discouraged. The King
had directed him to thank Chapuys for his exertions, and, for himself, he
trusted that the Ambassador would persevere. If the Emperor would send
even a letter of credit the King would be satisfied. In all his private
conversations, although he had taken the responsibility on himself, he had
acted under the King's instructions. The Ambassador asked him, if this was
so, what could have caused the change. He answered that kings had humours
and peculiarities of their own, unknown to ordinary mortals. In spite of
what had passed, the King was writing at that moment to Francis, to
require him to desist from his enterprise against Italy.

Chapuys replied that he would endeavour to obtain the letter from the
Emperor which the King demanded. He wrote to Charles, giving a full and
perhaps accurate account of all that had passed; but he ended with advice
of his own which showed how well Henry had understood Chapuys's own
character, and the slippery ground on which he was standing. Chapuys had
disliked the treaty with England from the beginning. He told his master
that Henry's real purpose was to make him force out of the Pope a
revocation of the sentence on the divorce. He recommended the Emperor once
more to leave Henry to reap the fruit of his obstinacy, to come to terms
with France, and allow the Pope to issue the Bull of Deposition--with a
proviso that neither he nor Francis would regard any child as legitimate
whom the King might have, either by the Concubine or by any other woman
whom he might marry during the Concubine's life, unless by a dispensation
from the Pope, which was not likely to be asked for. He did not venture to
hope that the Emperor would agree, but such a course, he said, would bring
the King to his senses, and force would be unnecessary.

To Granvelle the Ambassador wrote more briefly to the same purpose. "God
knew," he said, "how he had worked to bring the King to a right road; but
he had found him unspeakably obstinate. The King seemed determined to
compel the Emperor to acknowledge that Clement's sentence had been given
under pressure from himself. Cromwell had behaved like an honest man, and
had taken to his bed for sorrow. Cromwell knew how necessary the
Emperor's friendship was to the King, but God or the Devil was preventing
it."

Henry gave his own version of the story to the English Ministers at
Charles's court.

"The Emperor's Ambassador," he said, "has been with us at Greenwich with
offers to renew the alliance, the conditions being that he would allow the
Emperor to reconcile us with the Pope, that we will declare our daughter
Mary legitimate and give her a place in the succession, that we will help
him against the Turks, and declare war against France should France invade
Milan.

"Our answer was that the breach of amity came first from the Emperor
himself. We gave him the Imperial crown when it lay with us to dispose of.
We lent him money in his difficulties, etc. In return he has shown us
nothing but ingratitude, stirring the Bishop of Rome to do us injury. If
he will by express writing desire us to forget his unkind doings, or will
declare that what we consider unkindness has been wrongly imputed to him,
we will gladly embrace his overtures; but as we have sustained the wrong
we will not be suitors for reconciliation. As to the Bishop of Rome, we
have not proceeded on such slight grounds as we would revoke or alter any
part of our doings, having laid our foundation on the Law of God, nature,
and honesty, and established our work thereupon with the consent of the
Estates of the Realm in open and high court of Parliament. A proposal has
been made to us by the Bishop himself which we have not yet embraced, nor
would it be expedient that a reconciliation should be compassed by any
other means. We should not think the Emperor earnestly desired a
reconciliation with us, if he desired us to alter anything for the
satisfaction of the Bishop of Rome, our enemy.

"As to our daughter Mary, if she will submit to the laws we will
acknowledge and use her as our daughter; but we will not be directed or
pressed therein. It is as meet for us to order things here without search
for foreign advice as for the Emperor to determine his affairs without our
counsel. About the Turks, we can come to no certain resolution; but if a
reconciliation of the affairs of Christendom ensue, we will not fail to do
our duty. Before we can treat of aid against the French King the amity
with the Emperor must first be renewed."





Next: Anne Sentenced To Die

Previous: Illness Of Queen Catherine



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