Most ViewedHow The Earl Of Surrey And The Fair Geraldine Plighted Their Troth In The Cloisters Of Saint George's Chapel
How The Earl Of Surrey And The Fair Geraldine Met In King James's Bower In The Moat
Of The Combat Between Will Sommers And Patch
How King Henry The Eighth Held A Chapter Of The Garter
What Passed Between Anne Boleyn And The Duke Of Suffolk And How Herne The Hunter Appeared To Her In The Oratory
How Mabel Lyndwood Was Taken To The Castle By Nicholas Clamp
Showing How Morgan Fenwolf Escaped From The Garter Tower
Of The Meeting Of King Henry The Eighth And Anne Boleyn At The Lower Gate
In What Manner Herne Declared His Passion For Mabel
How The Fair Geraldine Bestowed A Relic Upon Her Lover
Least ViewedHow Tristram Lyndwood Was Interrogated By The King
Of The Interview Between Henry And Catherine Of Arragon In The Urswick Chapel
The Last Great Epoch In The History Of The Castle
Of The Mysterious Noise Heard In The Curfew Tower
How Anne Boleyn Received Proof Of Henry's Passion For Jane Seymour
How Herne The Hunter Appeared To Henry On The Terrace
Of The Desperate Resolution Formed By Tristram And Fenwolf And How The Train Was Laid
Comprising The Fourth Epoch In The History Of The Castle
How Sir Thomas Wyat Found Mabel In The Sandstone Cave And What Happened To Him There
What Passed Between Norris And The Tall Monk
Of The Brief Advantage Gained By The Queen And The Cardinal
As the king, wholly unattended--for he had left the archers at the
Curfew Tower--was passing at the back of Saint George's Chapel, near the
north transept, he paused for a moment to look at the embattled entrance
to the New Commons--a structure erected in the eleventh year of his own
reign by James Denton, a canon, and afterwards Dean of Lichfield, for
the accommodation of such chantry priests and choristers as had no place
in the college. Over the doorway, surmounted by a niche, ran (and still
runs) the inscription--
"AEDES PRO SACELLANORUM CHORISTARUM COVIVIIS EXTRUCTA, A.D. 1519."
The building has since been converted into one of the canons' houses.
While he was contemplating this beautiful gateway, which was glimmering
in the bright moonlight, a tall figure suddenly darted from behind one
of the buttresses of the chapel, and seized his left arm with an
iron grasp. The suddenness of the attack took him by surprise; but he
instantly recovered himself, plucked away his arm, and, drawing his
sword, made a pass at his assailant, who, however, avoided the thrust,
and darted with inconceivable swiftness through the archway leading to
the cloisters. Though Henry followed as quickly as he could, he lost
sight of the fugitive, but just as he was about to enter the passage
running between the tomb-house and the chapel, he perceived a person in
the south ambulatory evidently anxious to conceal himself, and, rushing
up to him and dragging him to the light he found it was no other than
the cardinal's jester, Patch.
"What does thou here, knave?" cried Henry angrily.
"I am waiting for my master, the cardinal," replied the jester,
terrified out of his wits.
"Waiting for him here!" cried the king. "Where is he?"
"In that house," replied Patch, pointing to a beautiful bay-window,
full of stained glass, overhanging the exquisite arches of the north
"Why, that is Doctor Sampson's dwelling," cried Henry; "he who was
chaplain to the queen, and is a strong opponent of the divorce. What doth
"I am sure I know not," replied Patch, whose terror increased each
moment. "Perhaps I have mistaken the house. Indeed, I am sure it must be
Doctor Voysey's, the next door."
"Thou liest, knave!" cried Henry fiercely; "thy manner convinces me
there is some treasonable practice going forward. But I will soon find
it out. Attempt to give the alarm, and I will cut thy throat."
With this he proceeded to the back of the north ambulatory, and finding
the door he sought unfastened, raised the latch and walked softly in.
But before he got half-way down the passage, Doctor Sampson himself
issued from an inner room with a lamp in his hand. He started on seeing
the king, and exhibited great alarm.
"The Cardinal of York is here--I know it," said Henry in a deep whisper.
"Lead me to him."
"Oh, go not forward, my gracious liege!" cried Sampson, placing himself
in his path.
"Wherefore not?" rejoined the king. "Ha! what voice is that I heard in
the upper chamber? Is she here, and with Wolsey? Out of my way, man,"
he added, pushing the canon aside, and rushing up the short wooden
When Wolsey returned from his interview with the king, which had been
so unluckily interrupted by Anne Boleyn, he found his ante-chamber
beset with a crowd of suitors to whose solicitations he was compelled to
listen, and having been detained in this manner for nearly half an hour,
he at length retired into an inner room.
"Vile sycophants!" he muttered, "they bow the knee before me, and pay me
greater homage than they render the king, but though they have fed upon
my bounty and risen by my help, not one of them, if he was aware of my
true position, but would desert me. Not one of them but would lend a
helping hand to crush me. Not one but would rejoice in my downfall. But
they have not deceived me. I knew them from the first--saw through their
hollowness and despised them. While power lasts to me, I will punish
some of them. While power lasts!" he repeated. "Have I any power
remaining? I have already given up Hampton and my treasures to the king;
and the work of spoliation once commenced, the royal plunderer will not
be content till he has robbed me of all; while his minion, Anne Boleyn,
has vowed my destruction. Well, I will not yield tamely, nor fall
As these thoughts passed through his mind, Patch, who had waited for
a favourable moment to approach him, delivered him a small billet
carefully sealed, and fastened with a silken thread. Wolsey took it,
and broke it open; and as his eye eagerly scanned its contents, the
expression of his countenance totally changed. A flash of joy and
triumph irradiated his fallen features; and thrusting the note into
the folds of his robe, he inquired of the jester by whom it had been
brought, and how long.
"It was brought by a messenger from Doctor Sampson," replied Patch, "and
was committed to me with special injunctions to deliver it to your grace
immediately on your return, and secretly."
The cardinal sat down, and for a few moments appeared lost in deep
reflection; he then arose, and telling Patch he should return presently,
quitted the chamber. But the jester, who was of an inquisitive turn, and
did not like to be confined to half a secret, determined to follow him,
and accordingly tracked him along the great corridor, down a winding
staircase, through a private door near the Norman Gateway, across the
middle ward, and finally saw him enter Doctor Sampson's dwelling, at the
back of the north ambulatory. He was reconnoitring the windows of the
house from the opposite side of the cloisters in the hope of discovering
something, when he was caught, as before mentioned, by the king.
Wolsey, meanwhile, was received by Doctor Sampson at the doorway of
his dwelling, and ushered by him into a chamber on the upper floor,
wainscoted with curiously carved and lustrously black oak. A silver lamp
was burning the on the table, and in the recess of the window, which
was screened by thick curtains, sat a majestic lady, who rose on the
cardinal's entrance. It was Catherine of Arragon.
"I attend your pleasure, madam," said Wolsey, with a profound
"You have been long in answering my summons," said the queen; "but
I could not expect greater promptitude. Time was when a summons from
Catherine of Arragon would have been quickly and cheerfully attended to;
when the proudest noble in the land would have borne her message to you,
and when you would have passed through crowds to her audience-chamber.
Now another holds her place, and she is obliged secretly to enter the
castle where she once ruled, to despatch a valet to her enemy, to attend
his pleasure, and to receive him in the dwelling of an humble canon.
Times are changed with me, Wolsey--sadly changed."
"I have been in attendance on the king, madam, or I should have been
with you sooner," replied Wolsey. "It grieves me sorely to see you
"I want not your pity," replied the queen proudly. "I did not send for
you to gratify your malice by exposing my abject state. I did not send
for you to insult me by false sympathy; but in the hope that your own
interest would induce you to redress the wrongs you have done me."
"Alas! madam, I fear it is now too late to repair the error I have
committed," said Wolsey, in a tone of affected penitence and sorrow.
"You admit, then, that it was an error," cried Catherine. "Well, that
is something. Oh! that you had paused before you began this evil
work--before you had raised a storm which will destroy me and yourself.
Your quarrel with my nephew the Emperor Charles has cost me dear, but it
will cost you yet more dearly."
"I deserve all your reproaches, madam," said Wolsey, with feigned
meekness; "and I will bear them without a murmur. But you have sent for
me for some specific object, I presume?"
"I sent for you to give me aid, as much for your own sake as mine,"
replied the queen, "for you are in equal danger. Prevent this
divorce--foil Anne--and you retain the king's favour. Our interests are
so far leagued together, that you must serve me to serve yourself. My
object is to gain time to enable my friends to act. Your colleague is
secretly favourable to me. Pronounce no sentence here, but let the cause
be removed to Rome. My nephew the emperor will prevail upon the Pope to
decide in my favour."
"I dare not thus brave the king's displeasure, madam;" replied Wolsey.
"Dissembler!" exclaimed Catherine. "I now perceive the insincerity of
your professions. This much I have said to try you. And now to my real
motive for sending for you. I have in my possession certain letters,
that will ruin Anne Boleyn with the king."
"Ha!" exclaimed the cardinal joyfully; "if that be the case, all the
rest will be easy. Let me see the letters, I pray you, madam."
Before Catherine could reply, the door was thrown violently open, and
the king stood before them.
"Soh!" roared Henry, casting a terrible look at Wolsey, "I have caught
you at your treasonable practices at last! And you, madam," he added,
turning to Catherine, who meekly, but steadily, returned his gaze, "what
brings you here again? Because I pardoned your indiscretion yesterday,
think not I shall always be so lenient. You will leave the castle
instantly. As to Wolsey, he shall render me a strict account of his
"I have nothing to declare, my liege," replied Wolsey, recovering
himself, "I leave it to the queen to explain why I came hither."
"The explanation shall be given at once," said Catherine. "I sent for
the cardinal to request him to lay before your majesty these two letters
from Anne Boleyn to Sir Thomas Wyat, that you might judge whether one
who could write thus would make you a fitting consort. You disbelieved
my charge of levity yesterday. Read these, sire, and judge whether I
spoke the truth."
Henry glanced at the letters, and his brow grew dark.
"What say you to them, my liege?" cried Catherine, with a glance of
triumph. "In the one she vows eternal constancy to Sir Thomas Wyat, and
in the other--written after her engagement to you--he tells him that
though they can never meet as heretofore, she will always love him."
"Ten thousand furies!" cried the king. "Where got you these letters,
"They were given to me by a tall dark man, as I quitted the castle last
night," said the queen. "He said they were taken from the person of Sir
Thomas Wyat while he lay concealed in the forest in the cave of Herne
"If I thought she wrote them," cried Henry, in an access jealous fury,
"I would cast her off for ever."
"Methinks your majesty should be able to judge whether they are true or
false," said Catherine. "I know her writing well--too well, alas!--and
am satisfied they are genuine."
"I am well assured that Wyat was concealed in the Lady Anne's chamber
when your majesty demanded admittance and could not obtain it--when the
Earl of Surrey sacrificed himself for her, and for his friend," said
"Perdition!" exclaimed the king, striking his brow with his clenched
hand. "Oh, Catherine!" he continued, after a pause, during which she
intently watched the workings of his countenance, "and it was for this
light-hearted creature I was about to cast you off."
"I forgive you, sire--I forgive you!" exclaimed the queen, clasping his
hands, and bedewing them with grateful tears. "You have been deceived.
Heaven keep you in the same mind!"
"You have preserved me," said Henry, "but you must not tarry here. Come
with me to the royal lodgings."
"No, Henry," replied Catherine, with a shudder, "not while she is
"Make no conditions, madam," whispered Wolsey. "Go."
"She shall be removed to-morrow," said Henry.
"In that case I am content to smother my feelings," said the queen.
"Come, then, Kate," said Henry, taking her hand. "Lord cardinal, you
will attend us."
"Right gladly, my liege," replied Wolsey. "If this mood will only
endure," he muttered, "all will go well. But his jealousy must not be
allowed to cool. Would that Wyat were here!"
Doctor Sampson could scarcely credit his senses as he beheld the august
pair come forth together, and a word from Wolsey explaining what had
occurred, threw him into transports of delight. But the surprise of the
good canon was nothing to that exhibited as Henry and Catherine entered
the royal lodgings, and the king ordered his own apartments to be
instantly prepared for her majesty's reception.
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