England under Henry VIII — страница 4

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good-tempered, having been always rather melan-choly, and having been made more so by deaths of four of her children when they were very young. So, the King fell in love with the fair Anne Boleyn. He wanted to get rid of his wife and marry Anne. Queen Catherine had been the wife of Henry's brother Arthur. So the King called his favourite priests about him, and said that he thought that it had not been lawful for him to marry the Queen. They answered that it was a serious busi- ness, and perhaps the best way to make it right, would be for His Majesty to be de- vorced. That was the answer the King was pleased with; so they all went to work. Many intrigues and plots took place to get this devorce. Finally, the Pope issued a commission to Cardinal Wolsey and Cardinal Campeggio (whom

he sent over from Italy for the purpose), to try the whole case in England. It is supposed that Wolsey was the Queen's enemy, because she had reproved him for his manner of life. But, he did not at first know that the King wanted to marry Anne Boleyn, and when he did know it, he even went down on his knees, in the endeavour to dissuade him. The Cardinals opened their court in the Convent of the Black friars, in London. On the opening of the court, when the King and Queen were call- ed on to appear, that poor lady kneeled at the King's feet, and said that she had come, a stranger, to his dominions, that she had been a good and true wife for him for 20 years, and that she could acknowledge no power in those Cardinals to try whether she should be considered his wife after all that

time, or should be put away. With that, she got up and left the court, and would never afterwards come back to it. It was a difficult case to try and the Pope suggested the King and Queen to come to Rome and have it tried there. But by the good luck for the King , word was brought to him about Thomas Cranmer, a learned Doctor of Cambridge, who had prospered to urge the Pope on, by referring the case to all the learned doctors and bishops, and getting their opinions that the King's marriage was unlawful. The King, who was now in a hurry to marry Anne Boleyn, thought this such a good idea, that sent for Cranmer. It was bad for cardinal Wolsey that he had left Cranmer to render this help. It was worse for him that he had tried to dissuade the King from marrying Anne Boleyn. Such a

servant as he, to such a master as Henry, would probably have fallen in any case; but he fell suddenly and heavily. Soon he was arrested for high treason, and died on his way to Tower. Sir Thomas More was made Chancellor in Wolsey's place. *** Meanwhile, the opinions concerning the divorce, of the learned doctors and bishops and others, being at last collected, were forwarded to the Pope, with an entreaty that he would now grant it. The unfortunate Pope, who was a timid man, was half distracted between his fear of his authority being set aside in England if he did not do as he was asked, and his dread of offending the Emperor of Germany, who was Queen Catherine's neph-ew. In this state of mind he still evaded and did nothing. So, the King took the matter into his own hands, and

made himself a head of whole Church. However, he recompenced the clergy by allowing Luther's opinions. All these events made Sir Thomas More, who was truly attached to the Church, resign. Being now quite resolved to get rid of Queen Catherine, and marry Anne Boleyn without more ado, the King made Cranmer Archbishop of Canterbury, and directed Queen Catherine to leave the Court. She obeyed. but replied that wherever she went, she was Queen of England still, and would remain so, to the last. The King then married Anne Boleyn priva-tely, and the new Archbishop of Cantebury, within half a year, declared his marriage with Queen Catherine void, and crowned Anne Boleyn Queen. She might have known that no good could ever come with such wrong, and that the King who had been so faithless

and so cruel to his first wife, could be more faithless and more cruel to the second. But Anne Boleyn knew that too late, and bought it at dear price. Her marriage came to its natural end. However, its natural end was not a natural death for her. The Pope was thrown into a very angry state of mind when he heard of the King's marriage. Many of English monks and friars did the same, but the King took it quietly, and was very glad when his Queen gave birth to a daughter, who was christened Elizabeth, and declared Princess of Wales as her sister Mary had already been. One of the most atrocious features of the reign was that Henry VIII was always trimming between the reformed religion with the Pope, the more of his own subjects he roasted alive for not holding the Pope's opinions.