England under Henry VIII — страница 2

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fighting, came home again. The Scottish King, though nearly related to Henry by marriage, had taken part against him in this war. The Earl of Surrey, as the English gene- ral, advanced to meet him when he came out of his own dominions and crossed the river Tweed. The two armies came up with one another when the Scottish King had also crossed the river Till, and was encamped upon the Hill of Flodden. Along the plain below it, the English, when the hour of battle came, advanced. The Scottish army, which had been drawn up in five great bodies, then came steadily down in perfect silence. So they, in their turn, advanced to meet the English army, which came on the one long line; and they attacked it with a body of spearman, under Lord Home. At first they had the best of it; but the

English fought with such valour, that, when the Scottish King had almost made his way up to the Royal standart, he was slain, and the whole Scottish power routed. Ten thousand Scottish men lay dead that day on Flodden Field. For a long time after-wards, the Scottish peasantry used to believe that their king had not been really killed in this battle, because no Englishman had found an iron belt he wore about his body as a penance for having been an undutiful son. But, whatever became of his belt, the English had his sword and dagger, and the ring from his finger, and his body was recognized by English gent-lemen who had known the Scottish King well. *** When King Henry was making ready to renew the war in France, the French King was contemplating peace. His Queen, dying at this

time, he proposed, though he was upwards of fifty years old, to marry King Henry's sister, Princess Mary, who, becides, being only sixteen, was bet- rothed to the Duke of Suffolk. As the inclinations of young Princesses were not too much considered in such matters, the marriage was conclu-ded , and the poor girl was escorted to France, where she was immidiately left as the French King's bride, with only one of her English attendants. That one was a pretty young girl named Anna Boleyn, niece of the Earl of Surrey, who had been made Duke of Norfolk after the victory of Flodden Field. The French King died within three month, and left the young Queen a young widow. The new French monarch, Francis I, seeing how important it was to his interests that she should take for her second

husband no one but an Englishman, adviced her first lover, the Duke of Suffolk, when King Henry sent him over to France to fetch her home, to marry her. The Princess being herself so fond of that Duke, as to tell him that he must either do so then, or lose her forever, they were wedded; and Henry after- wards forgave them. In making interest with King, the Duke of Suffolk had addressed his most powerful favourite and adviser, Thomas Wol-sey*** - a name very famous in history for its rise and downfall. Wolsey was the son of a respectable butcher at Ipswich, in Suffolk, and recieved so exellent education that he became a tutor to the family of Mar- qius of Dorset, who afterwards got him appointed one of the late King's chaplains. On the accession of Henry VIII, he was promoted and

taken into great favour with the King - whether he were a foreign monarch or an English nobleman - was obliged to make a friend of the great Cardinal Wolsey. He was a gay man, who could dance and jest, and sing and drink. He was wonderfully fond of pomp and glitter, and so was the King. He knew a good deal of the Church learning of that time, much of which consisted of finding artful excuses and pretences for almost any wrong thing, and in arguing that black was white, or any other colour. This kind of learning pleased the King too. For many such reasons, the Cardinal was high in estimation with the King, and, being a man of greater ability, knew how to manage him. Never had there been seen in England such state as that Lord Cardinal kept. His wealth was equal, it was reckoned,

to the riches of the Crown. His palaces were as splendid as the King's, and his retinue was eight hundred strong. He held his Court, dressed out from top to toe in flaming scarlet; and his very shoes were golden, set with precious stones. His followers tode on blood-horses, while he, with wonderful affectation of humility in the midst of his great splendour, ambled on a mule. Though the influence of his stately priest, a grand meeting was arranged to take place between the French and English Kings in France, but on ground belonging to England. A prodigious show of friendship was to be made on the occation, and heralds were sent to proclaim with brazen trumplets through all the principal cities of Europe, that, on a certain day, the Kings of France and England, as companions and