FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
daily proof of your deeds doth declare your words and writing1 towards roe to be true. Now, good niyLord, your discretion may consider as yet how little it is in my power to recompense you, but all only with my good will, the which I assure you that after this matter is brought to pass, you shall find me as I am bound. In the meantime to owe you my service, and then look what thing in this world I can imagine to do you pleasure in, you shall find me the gladdest woman in the world to do it, And next unto the King'Β grace, of one thing I make you full promise to be assured to have it, and that is my hearty love unfeignedly during my life. And being fully determined with God's grace never to change this purpose, 1 make an end of this my rude and true-meancd letter, praying our Lord to send you much increase of honour with long life.
"Written with the hand of her that beseeches your Grace to accept this letter as proceeding from one that is bound to be your humble and obedient servant,
That Henry was aware of the deceit that Anne was practising toward AVolsey, is evident by the following epistle addressed to that prelate, and penned conjointly by the royal wooer and his mistress :—
" M Y LORD,
" In my most humble wise that my heart can think, I desire you to pardon me, that I am so bold to trouble you with my simple and rude writing, esteeming it to proceed from her that is much desirous to learn that your Grace doth well, as I perceive by this bearer that you do, the which I pray God long to continue. I am most bound to pray, for I do know the great pains and trouble that you have taken for me both day and night is never likely to be recompensed on my part hut alone in loving you, next to the King's grace, above all creatures living ; and I do not doubt that the daily proofsof my deeds will manifest, declare, and affirm my writing to be true, and I do trust you do think the same. My Lord, 1 do assure you I do long to hear from you news of the legate, for I hope
an' they come from you they shall he
very good ; and I am sure you desire it
as much as I do, and more if it were
possible, as I know it is not. And thus
remaining in a steadfast hope, I make an
end of my letter, written with the hand
of her that is most bounded to be."
Postscript subjoined by Henry.
" The writer of this letter would not
cease till she had caused me likewise to set
myband, desiringyou, thoughit be short,
to take it in good part. I assure you
there is neither of us but that greatly
desires to seo you, and are much more
joyous to hear that you have escaped
this plague so well, trusting the fury
thereof to be past, especially to him
who keepcth good diet, as I trust you
do. The not hearing of the legate
arriving in Prance, causes us somewhat
to muse, notwithstanding we trust by
your diligence and vigilance, with the
assistance of Almighty God, shortly to
be eased out of that trouble. Ko more
to you at this time, but that I pray God
send you good health and prosperity as
the writer would. Py your loving
sovereign and friend, " H. K."
Anne's duplicity increased with her desire to hasten the divorce ; ΛVolsey she viewed as the prime agent in the matter ; and although sho bitterly hated him for the part he had played in depriving her of young Percy, when, to avoid the further threats and entreaties of his Sovereign, and to gain time till the arrival of Campeggio, he pretended to fall, ill of the sweating sickness, she sent him an epistle, if possible, more full of deceitful protestations and flattery than those already quoted. It runs thus :
" My LORD,
" In most humble wise that my poor heart can think, 1 do thank your Grace for your kind letter, and for your rich and your goodly present, the which I shall never be able to deserve without your help, of which I have hitherto had so great a plenty, that all the days of my life Γ am most bound of all creatures, next the King's grace, to love and serve