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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.

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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 363



a poor foreign woman, lacking- wit to answer such noble persons of wisdom as you be, in so weighty a matter ; therefore, I prav you, pity and counsel me, for I woufd be glad to hear your advice." She then led the Cardinals into her private chamber, where they continued for some time. The conference, being strictly private, has not been recorded ; but, certain it is, that no accommodation was effected; and the Queen so completely won over the Cardinals, that, afterwards, nothing could prevail upon them to decide against her. Baffled in his hopes of a compromise, Henry next importuned Campeggio for the decretal bull which had been entrusted to his care ; hut in this he was also disappointed, for the important document had just previously been destroyed by the express command of the Sovereign Pontiff. At length the day arrived when Campeggio was to pronounce the definitive sentence. The King, who, contrary to Anne Boleyn's fears and predictions, insisted that he shouldhave afavourableverdict, attended in a neighbouring apartment, from which he could sec and hear the proceedings. The case being closed, his counsel, in lofty terms, demanded judgment. An anxious pause ensued, when Campeggio, who had hitherto listened in profound silence, rose from his chair, and, with solemn deliberation, spoke as follows :— l I have with care and diligence examined whatever has been alleged in the King's behalf, and, indeed, the arguments are such, that I might not scruple to pronounce for the King, if two reasons did not control and curb my desire so to do. The Queen withdraws herself from the judgment of the court, having before excepted against its supposed partiality, inasmuch as she says nothing can be determined without the consent of the Pontiff. Moreover, his holiness, who is the fountain and life of honour, hath, by a special messenger, given us to understand that he has reserved this cause for his own hearing; so that if we desired to proceed with the matter, we cannot, indeed, I am sure, we may not. Therefore, I do here dissolve the court j and I beseech those whom this cause concerns, to take in good part what I have done. I am a feeble old man, and see death so near me, that, in a matter of such great consequence, neither hope nor fear, nor any other respect, but that of the Supreme Judge, before whom I am so soon to appear, shall sway me." The oration ended, the assembly remained in mute consternation, till the Duke of Suffolk, conscious of the King's invisible presence, started from his seat, struck the table with his fist, and exclaimed with vehemence : " It was never well with England since these cardinals sat amongst us." Incensed at this insult, Wolsey, although aware of the danger, rose and said : " Sir, of all men living, you have the least reason to dispraise cardinals ; for if I a poor cardinal had not been, you would not at this present hour have had a head upon your shoulders to make such a brag in disrepute of us, who have meant you no harm, and have given you no just cause of offence." Campeggio's verdict led to three important consequences. It hurried on the Reformation, was the immediate causs of the disgrace and fall of the ostentatious Wolsey, and augmented the troubles of Katherine, against whom the Privy Council fulminated an edict, recommending the King to absent himself from her company, under pretence of her having lately assumed cheerfulness, not regarding the King's melancholy and discontent, which perverscness plainly showed she was the King's enemy, and likely to conspire against his royal life. They, therefore, presumed, as good and faithful subjects, to admonish him, for his own sake, to withdraw from her society, and to remove the Princess, their daughter, from her evil example. But withal, immediately after the Consistorial Court was closed, Henry took Katherine with him ou a progress. Anne Boleyn accompanied the Queen, and, what is remarkable, received from her every outward show of respect and good-will. At Grafton, Campeggio took afinal leave of the King, on the 19th of September, and on the following day, tho disgraced Wolsey, who had accompanied the Ita


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