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were glad to compound for this indulgence by parting with a considerable share of their profits. Besides many other church preferments, he was allowed to unite with the see of York, first that of Durham, next that of Winchester; and his appetite seemed to increase by A. D. the means that were taken to satisfy it. The 1515. pope, observing his great influence over the king, was desirous of engaging him in his interests, and created him a cardinal. His train consisted of eight hundred servants, of whom many were knights and gentlemen. Some even of the nobility put their children into his family as a place of education ; and whoever were distinguished by any art or science, paid court to the cardinal, and were often liberally rewarded. He was the first clergyman in England who wore silk and gold, not only on his habit, but also on his saddles, and the trappings of his horses. Besides these various distinctions, the pope soon after conferred upon him that of legate, designing thus to make him instrumental in draining the kingdom of . money, upon pretence of employing it in a war against the Turks, but in reality with a view to fill his own coffers. In this he so well served the court of Rome, that, some time after, the post of legate was conferred upon him for life; and he now united in his person the promotions of legate, cardinal, archbishop, and prime minister. Soon after, Warham, chancellor, and archbishop of Canterbury, a man of a very moderate temper, chose rather to retire from public employment than maintain an unequal contest with the haughty cardinal. Wolsey instantly seized the chancellorship, and exercised the duties of that employment with great abilities and impartiality. The duke of Norfolk, finding the kings’ treasures exhausted, and his taste for expense still con
tinuing, was glad to resign his office of treasurer, and retire from court. Fox, bishop of Winchester, who had been instrumental in Wolsey’s rise, withdrew himself in disgust; the duke of Suffolk also went home with a resolution to remain private; whilst Wolsey availed himself of their discontents, and filled up their places by his creatures, or his personal assiduity. These were vast stretches of power; and yet the churchman was still insatiable. He procured a bull from the pope, empowering him to make knights and counts, to legitimate bastards, to give degrees in arts, law, physic, and divinity, and to grant all sorts of dispensations. So much pride and power could not avoid giving high offence to the nobility: yet none dared vent their indignation; so greatly were they in terror of his vindictive temper. In order to divert their envy from his inordinate exaltation, he soon entered into a correspondence with Francis the First, of France, who had taken many methods to work upon his vanity and at last succeeded. In consequence of that monarch’s wishes, Henry was persuaded by the cardinal to restore Tournay to the French; and he also agreed to an interview with A. D. Francis. This expensive congress was held be- 1520. tween Guisnes and Ardres, near Calais, within the English pale, in compliment to Henry for crossing the sea. The two monarchs, after saluting each other in the most cordial manner, retired into a tent erected for the purpose, where Henry proceeded to read the articles of their intended alliance. As he began to read the first words of it, “I, Henry, king,” he stopped a moment, and then subjoined only “ of England,” without adding France, the usual style of English monarchs. Francis remarked this delicacy, and expressed his approbation by a smile. Nothing could exceed the magnificence of the nobility of both courts on this occasion. Many of them involved themselves in large debts; and the penury of a life was scarcely sufficient to reimburse the extravagance of a few days. Beside, there at first appeared something low and illiberal in the mutual distrusts that were conspicuous on this occasion : the two kings never met without having the number of their guards counted on both sides; every step was carefully adjusted; they passed each other in the middle point between both places, when they went to visit their queens; and at the same instant that Henry entered Ardres, Francis put himself into the hands of the English at Guisnes. But Francis, who is considered as the first restorer of true politeness in Europe, put an end to this illiberal method of conversing. Taking one day with him two gentlemen and a page, he rode directly into Guismes, crying out to the English guards, that they were their prisoners, and desiring to be carried to their master. Henry was not a little astonished at the appearance of Francis ; and taking him in his arms, “My brother,” said he, “you have here given me the most agreeable surprise; you have shown me the full confidence I may place in you; I surrender myself your prisoner from this moment.” He then took from his neck a collar of pearls of great value, and, putting it on Francis, begged him to wear it for the sake of his prisoner. Francis agreed; and, giving him a bracelet of double the value of the former, insisted on his wearing it in turn. Henry went the next day to Ardres, without guards or attendants; and confidence being now sufficiently established between these monarchs, they employed the rest of the time in feasts and tournaments. - " . . Some months before, a defiance had been sent by the two kings to each other's court, and through all the chief cities of Europe, importing that Henry and Francis, with fourteen aids, would be ready in the plains of Picardy to answer all comers, that were gentlemen, at tilt and tourney. Accordingly the monarchs now, gorgeously appareled, entered the lists on horseback; Francis surrounded with Henry's guards, and Henry with those of Francis. They were both at that time the most comely personages of their age, and prided themselves on their expertness in the military exercises. The ladies were the judges in these feats of chivalry; and they put an end to the encounter whenever they thought proper. It is supposed that the crafty French monarch was willing to gratify Henry’s vanity by allowing him to enjoy a petty pre-eminence in these pastimes. He ran a tilt against Monsieur Grandeval, whom he disabled at the first encounter. He engaged Monsieur de Montmorency, whom, however, he could not throw from the saddle. He fought at faulchion with a French nobleman, who presented him with his courser in token of submission. But these empty splendours were not sufficient A. D.
to appease the jealousy of the nobles at home, 1521. or quiet the murmurs of the people. Among these, the duke of Buckingham, the son of him who lost his life in the reign of Richard the Third, was the foremost to complain. He had often been heard to treat the cardinal's pride and profusion with just contempt; and carrying his resentment perhaps to an improper length, some low informers took care that Wolsey should be apprised of all. The substance of his impeachment was, that he had consulted a fortune-teller concerning his succession to the crown, and had affected to make himself popular. This was but a weak pretext to take away the life of a nobleman, whose father had died in defence of the late king : but he was brought to a trial; and the duke of Norfolk, whose son had married his daughter, was created high-steward to preside at this solemn procedure. He was condemned to die as a traitor, by a jury consisting of a duke, a marquis, seven earls, and twelve barons. When the sentence was pronouncing against him, and the high-steward came to mention the word traitor, the unhappy prisoner could not contain his indignation. “My lords,” cried he to the judges, “I am no traitor; and for what you have now done against me, take my sincere forgiveness; as for my life, I think it not worth petitioning for; may God forgive you, and pity me!” He was soon after executed on Tower Hill. By this time the immense treasures of the late king were quite exhausted on empty pageants, guilty pleasures, or vain treaties and expeditions. But the king relied on Wolsey alone for replenishing his coffers; and no person could be fitter for the purpose. His first care was to get a large sum of money from the people, under the title of a benevolence, which added to its being extorted the mortification of being considered as a free gift. Henry little minded the manner of its being raised, provided he had the enjoyment of it. However, his minister met with some opposition in his attempts A. D. to levy these extorted contributions. Having, 1523. in the first place, exacted a considerable subsidy from the clergy, he next addressed himself to the house of commons; but they only granted him half the supplies he demanded. Wolsey was at first highly of fended at their parsimony, and desired to be heard in the house; but as this would have destroyed the very form and constitution of that august body, they replied, that none could be permitted to sit and argue there but such as had been elected members. This was the first attempt made in this reign to render the king master of