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to read the works of Luther, which had been forbidden under pain of excommunication. In consequence of this, the king defended the seven sacraments, out of St. Thomas Aquinas; and showed some dexterity in this science, though it is thought that Wolsey had the chief hand in directing him. A book being thus finished in haste, it was sent to Rome for the pope's approbation, which it is natural to suppose would not be withheld. The pontiff, ravished with its eloquence and depth, compared it to the labours of St. Jerome or St. Augustine, and rewarded the author with the title of Defender of the Faith; little imagining that Henry was soon to be one of the most terrible enemies that ever the church of Tome had to contend with. e
Besides these causes, which contributed to render the Tomish church odious and contemptible, there were still others proceeding from political measures. Clement the Seventh had succeeded Leo ; and the hereditary animosity between the emperor and the pope breaking out into a war, Clement was imprisoned in -the castle of St. Angelo, and with thirteen cardinals, his adherents, kept in custody for his ransom. As the demands of the emperor were exorbitant, Henry undertook to negotiate for the pope, and was procuring him a very favourable treaty; but his holiness, in the mean time, corrupting his guards, had the good fortune to procure his escape from confinement; and, leaving the treaty unfinished, sent Henry a letter of thanks for his mediation. This violence of the emperor taught Henry that popes might be injured with impunity; and the -behaviour of the pope manifested but little of that 'sanctity or infallibility to which the pontiffs pretended. Besides, as Henry had laid the pope thus under obliga*tions, he supposed that he might, upon any emergency, ‘expect a grateful return.
It was in this situation of the church and the pope, that a new scene was going to be opened, which was to produce endless disturbances, and to change the whole system of Europe. Henry had now been more than twenty years married to Catharine of Arragon, A. D. who, as we have related, had been brought over 1527. from Spain to marry his elder brother, who died a few months after cohabitation. But notwithstanding the submissive deference paid to the indulgence of the church, Henry's marriage with this princess did not pass without scruple and hesitation. The prejudices of the people were in general bent against a conjugal union between such near relations; and the late king, though he had solemnised the espousals when his son was but twelve years of age, gave many intimations that he intended to annul them at a proper opportunity. These intentions might have given Henry some doubts and scruples concerning the legitimacy of his marriage; but as he had three children by the princess, and as her character and conduct were blameless, he for a while kept his suggestions private. But she was six years older than her husband; and the decay of her beauty, together with particular infirmities and diseases, had contributed to make him desirous of another consort. However, though he felt a secret dislike to her person, yet for a long time he broke out into no flagrant act of contempt; being contented to range from beauty to beauty among the ladies of his court, and his rank always procuring him a ready compliance. But Henry was carried forward, though perhaps not at first excited, by a motive much more powerful than the tacit suggestions of his conscience. It happened that among the maids of honour, then attending the queen, there was one Anne Boleyn, the daughter of sir Thomas Boleyn, agentleman of distinction, and related to many of the nobility. He had been employed by the king in several embassies, and was married to a daughter of the duke of Norfolk. The beauty of Anne surpassed whatever had hitherto appeared at this voluptuous court; and her education, which had been at Paris, tended to set off her personal charms. Her features were regular, mild, and attractive; her stature elegant, though below the middle size; while her wit and vivacity exceeded even her other allurements. Henry, who had never learned the art of restraining any passion that he desired to gratify, saw and loved her; but, after several efforts to induce her to comply with his criminal desires, he found that without marriage he could have no chance of succeeding. This obstacle, therefore, he hardily undertook to remove; and as his own queen was now become hateful to him, in order to procure a divorce, he alleged that his conscience rebuked him for having so long lived in incest with the wife of his brother. In this pretended perplexity he applied to Clement the Seventh, who owed him many obligations, desiring him to dissolve the bull of the former pope, which had given him permission to marry Catharine; and to declare that it was not in the power even of the holy see to dispense with a law so strictly enjoined in Scripture. The unfortunate pope was now in the utmost perplexity; queen Catharine was aunt to the emperor who had lately made him a prisoner, and whose resentment he dreaded to rekindle by thus injuring so near a relation; besides, he could not in prudence declare the bull of the former pope illicit; for this would be giving a blow to the doctrine of papal infallibility. On the other hand, Henry was his protector and friend; the dominions of England were the chief resource from which his finances were supplied; and the king of France, some time before, had obtained a bull of divorce In somewhat similar circumstances. In this exigency, he thought the wisest method would be to spin out the affair by a negotiation; and in the mean time sent over a commission to Wolsey, in conjunction with the archbishop of Canterbury, or any other English prelate, to examine the validity of the king's marriage and the former dispensation; granting them also a provisional dispensation for the king's marriage with any other person. When this message was laid before the council in England they prudently considered that an advice given by the pope in this secret manner might very easily be disavowed in public, and that a clandestine marriage would totally invalidate the legitimacy of any issue the king should have by such a match. In consequence of this, fresh messengers were dispatched to Rome, and evasive answers returned, the pope still continuing to promise, recant, dispute, and temporise; hoping that the king’s passion would never hold out during the tedious course of an ecclesiastical controversy. In this he was entirely mistaken, Henry had been long taught to dispute as well as he, and quickly found, or wrested, many texts of Scripture to favour his opinions or his passions. To his arguments he added threats, assuring the pope, that the English were already but too well disposed to withdraw from the holy see; and that, if he continued uncomplying, the whole country would readily follow the example of a monarch who, stung by ingratitude, should deny all obedience to a pontiff by whom he had always been treated with falsehood and duplicity. The king even proposed to his holiness, whether, in case of his not being permitted to put away his present queen, he might not have a dispensation for having two wives at a time. The pope, perceiving the eagerness of the king, at one time had thoughts of complying with his solicitations, and sent cardinal Campeggio, his legate, to LonA.D. don, who, with Wolsey, opened a court for try1528. ing the legitimacy of the king's present marriage, and cited the king and the queen to appear before them. They both presented themselves; and the king answered to his name when called; but the queen, instead of answering to hers, rose from her seat, and, throwing herself at the king's feet, in the most pathetic manner entreated him to have pity upon her helpless -situation. A stranger, unprotected, unfriended, she could only rely on him as her guardian and defender; on him alone who knew her, submission and her innocence, and not upon any court in which her enemies prevailed, and would wrest the laws against her: she therefore refused the present trial, where she could expect neither justice nor impartiality. Yet, notwithstanding the queen's objections, her trial went forward; and Henry shortly hoped to be gratified in his most sanguine expectations. The principal point which came before the legates was the proof of prince Ar...thur's consummation of his marriage with Catharine, which some of his own expressions to that purpose tended to confirm. Other topics were preparing, tending to prove the inability of the pope himself to grant such a dispensation ; and the business seemed now to be drawing near a period, when, to the great surprise of all, Campeggio, without any warning, and upon very frivolous pretences, prorogued the court, and transferred the cause before the court of Rome. ... During the course of these perplexing negotiations, on the issue of which Henry’s happiness seemed to depend, he had at first expected to find in his favourite Wolsey a warm defender and a steady adherent; but in this he found himself mistaken. Wolsey seemed to be nearly in the same dilemma with the pope. On the