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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

Gli promese di far tanto con S


appeared in an instant into what a violent ebullition of wrath, which unsettled every thing, the King fell in consequence; it seemed as if all his past way of governing had been a mistake. In contradiction to many of the older traditions of English history he had hitherto ruled chiefly through ecclesiastics to the disgust of the lay lords: now he betook himself to the latter, to complain of the proceedings of the two cardinals. These were still in the hall where they had sat, when Suffolk and some other lords appeared, and bade them bring the matter to an end without delay, even if it were by a peremptory decree, that might be issued on the next day, on which the holidays would not have begun. But the prorogation was in fact only the form under which the cardinals fulfilled their orders from Rome; they could not possibly recall it. Suffolk broke out into the exclamation that cardinals and legates had never brought good to England. The two spiritual lords looked at each other with amazement. Had they any feeling that his words contained a declaration of war on the part of the lay element in the State against ecclesiastical and foreign influences in general? Wolsey, at any rate, could not shut his eyes to the significance of such a war. He often said that what Henry VIII took in hand he could not be brought to give up by any representations; he had sometimes tried it, he had fallen at his feet, but it had been always in vain.

Henry contained himself

yet a while, as hopes had been given him that the proceedings might be resumed. But when a Breve came, by which Clement VII recalled his Commission and evoked the question of the divorce to Rome, he saw clearly that the influence of the Emperor in the Pope's Council had quite gained the upper hand over his own on this point. He was resolved not to submit to it. Had he not, before the mayor and aldermen of London, declared with a certain solemnity his resolution to carry through the divorce for the good of the land? his passion and his ambition had joined hands for this purpose before the eyes of the country. To prevent the need of recoiling, he formed a plan of incalculable importance, the plan of separating his nation and his kingdom from the spiritual jurisdiction of the Roman See.


[87] 'Giberto al Vescovo di Bajusa. 3 Luglio. Ci sono avisi d'Ingliterra de' 14 del passalo che mostrano gli animi di la e massimamente Eboracense non dico inclinati ma accesi di desiderio di concordia con Francia'.... Lettere di principi I. 168.

[88] 'Le dit Cardinal sera conducteur, moderateur et gouverneur de toutes les entreprises.' The Regent's Instructions in Brinon, Captivite de Francois I. 57.

[89] Riccardus Scellejus de prima causa divortii (Bibliotheca Magliabecch. at Florence). 'Catharina ita stomachata est, ut de Vulseji potentia minuenda cogitationem susciperet, quod ille cum sensisset, qui ab astrologo suo accepisset, sibi a muliere exitium imminere, de regina de gradu dejicienda consilium inivit.'

[90] Lodovico Falier, Relatione di 1531 'avendo trattato, di dargli a sorella del Cristianissimo adesso maritata al re di Navarra, gli promese di far tanto con S. Sta che disfacesse le nozze.'

[91] Du Bellay au Grandmaistre 21 October 1528; after Wolsey's own narrative in Le Grand, Histoire du divorce de Henri VIII, iii. 186.

[92] He says so himself. Bellay's letter in Le Grand iii. 318.

[93] In Sanga to Gambara, 9 February 1528. L. d. p. ii. 85. 'La cosa che V. S. sa, che non potra seguire senza gran rottura, fa S. S. facile a creder che posse essere cio che dice (Lotrec).

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