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


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 408

Grace's pleasure had been so pleased. Neither aid I, at any time, so far forget myself in my exaltation or received queenship, but that I always looked for such an alteration as now ί find, for the ground of my preferment being on no surer foundation than your Grace's fancy, the least alteration, I knew, was fit and sufficient to draw that fancy to some other subject. You have chosen me from a low estate to be your Queen and companion, far beyond my desert or desire. If. then, you found me worthy of such honour, good, your Grace, let not any light fancy or bad counsel of mine enemies withdraw your princely favour from me ; neither let that stain—that unworthy stain of a disloyal heart towards your good Grace—ever cast so foul a blot on your most dutiful wife, and the infant Princess, your daughter. Try me, good King, but let me have a lawful trial ; and let not my sworn enemies sit as my accusers and judges. Yea, let me receive an open trial, for my truth shall fear no open shame ; then shall you sec either my innocency cleared, your suspicion and conscience satisfied, the ignominy and slander of the world stopped, or my guilt openly declared. So that, whatsoever God or you may determine of me, your Grace may be free from an open censure, and mine offence being so lawfully proved, your Grace is at liberty, both before God and man, not only to execute worthy punishment on me as an unlawful wife,but to follow your affection, already settled on that party,* for whose sake I am now as I am— whose name I could some good while since have pointed unto your Grace, being not ignorant of my suspicion therein. Put if you have already determined of mo that not only my death, but an infamous slander must, leaving you, the enjoying of your desired happiness, then I desire of God that he will pardon your great sin therein, and likewise mine enemies, the instruments thereof, and that he will not call you to a strict account for your unprincely and cruel usage of me, at his general judgmentseat, where both you and myself must shortly appear, and in whose judgment * Jane Seymour. I doubt not, whatsoever the world may think of me, mine innocence shall be openly known and sufficiently cleared; my last and only request shall be, that myself may only bear the burden of your Grace's displeasure, and that it may not toucli the innocent souls of those poor gentlemen who, as I understand, are likewise in strait imprisonment for my sake. If ever I have found favour in your sight—if ever the name of Anne Boleyn hath been pleasing in your ears —then let me obtain this request, and I will so leave to trouble your Grace any further with mine earnest prayers to the Trinity, to have your Grace in his good keeping, and to direct yon in all your actions. "From my doleful prison in the Tower, this sixth of May, " Your most loyal and ever-faithful wife, *' ANN BULEN." The authenticity of this beautiful letter has been repeatedly questioned. Dr. Lingard rejects it, because it bears no resemblance to the Queen's genuine letters in language, or spelling, or writing, or signature. These objections, however, appear to be ill-founded. It must have been a contemporary document, as it was found amongst Cromwell's papers. Then, as is the case with many other old writings, the orthography has been modernized. The language certainly is more elegant than that of Anne's other letters; but, as Miss Henger justly remarks, whether the letter was written by Anne herself, or by an abler pen, it seems undeniable that it contains a genuine transcript of her sentiments and. feelings. The allusions to her peculiar situation are such as could scarcely have been introduced by an indifferent person. During her imprisonment, Anne was visited by the sister of Wyatt, her beloved Mrs. Margaret Lee ; it is, therefore, probable that the language of the letter was polished by the poet Wyatt, who, be it observed, although not suspected of being her paramour, was, after her death, committed to the Tower for having been her friend. Lloyd says, " he got into trouble about

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