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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 469



Henry courteously welcomed her; and, contrary to his usual habit, broke off the conversation lie was holding with the gentleman of his chamber to attend to bur; but, presently afterwards, he endeavoured to beguile her into an argument on the old subject of divinity. Knowing, however, the shoals that lay off that shore, she gently declined the conversation, remarking that such profound speculation were ill-suited to the natural imbecility of hersex. " Women," said she, "by their first creation, were made subject to man. It belonged to the husband to choose principles for his wife; the wife's duty was, in all cases, to adopt implicitly the sentiments of her husband ; and as to herself, it was doubly her duty, being blessed with a husband who was qualified, hy his judgment and learning, not only to choose principles for his own family, but for the most wise and knowing of every nation." " No, no ! by St. Mary!" exclaimed the King, " 1 know you well ; you are become a doctor, Kate, to instruct us, and not to receive instruction." " Indeed," replied the Queen, "if your majesty have so conceived, you have mistaken my meaning. I have ever held it presumptuous for a woman to instruct her lord ; and if I have at times presumed to differ with your Grace upon matters of religion, it has been not to maintain my own opinion, but to receive instruction upon points which I understood not, and more especially to amuse your highness, perceiving that in the warmth of argument you seemed to forget the pain of your present infirmity." "And is it so, sweetheart?" said Henry: "then arc we perfect friends again." And after tenderly embracing lier, and declaring that be'felt more joyed than if anyone had given him one hundred thousand pounds, he, about the hour of midnight, assured her of his constant love, and gave her leave to depart. The next morning, being the time appointed for Katherine's arrest, the King, feeling disposed to take the air, sent for the Queen to accompany him in the garden. Henry was attend'ed by two gentlemen of his bed-chamber ; his consort by the three ladies before named. The King was in one of his best moods, cracking jokes, and laughing heartily, lint the mirth was suddenly checked by the appearance of Wriothesley, who, unaware of this sudden change, had, with forty of the pursuivants, entered the garden, fully prepared to arrest the Queen, and convey her to the Tower. The King bade Katherine and his attendants leave him for a while ; when, on the approach of Wriothesley, he reprimanded him with a volley of reproaches, addressed him as fool, knave, and beast, and bid him avaunt from his presence. When the Chancellor had departed, the Queen, finding her royal husband so wroth against him, ventured to intercede on his behalf; saying, " His fault, whatever it might be, doubtless proceeded from ignorance, not will." "Ah, poor soul!" replied the King, "thou little knowest, Kate, how evil he deservcth this grace at thy hands. On my word, sweetheart, he has been towards thee a very knave !" From this time, Katherine carefully avoided offending her husband's theological sensibility ; and to her credit be it spoken, she, it appears, took no advantage of the turn matters had taken to ruin the authors of the cruel plot against her life. The King, probably at her intercession, overlooked Wriothesley's offence ; but not so with Gardiner ; he forbade that prelate his presence, struck his name out of the council books, and of the list of his executors, and never afterwards could be prevailed upon to restore him to royal favour. The days of Katherine's third widowhood now drew nigh, and the closing act of the eventful, the tragical career of Henry the Eighth was rife with state intrigue and political murder. The Reformers, now the dominant party, were headed by the Seymours and the Queen's kindred, the Earl of Ksscx and Lord Herbert. A spirit of acrimony had long existed between them and the Howard family. The Duke of Norfolk and his son, the gifted Earl of Surrey, prided themselves on


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