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He sent command to the Lord Mayor straight
2d Gent. But that slander, sir,
1st Gent. 'Tis the cardinal ;
These rumours are mentioned too soon. Buckingham was executed in 1521. The first mention of the rumours of a separation is assigned by Hall to the year 1527. Meanwhile Wolsey's politics had changed: he now no longer espoused the cause of the emperor, but sought the alliance of France. It was the belief of the time, that he entertained a project for marrying Henry to Margaret, Duchess of Alençon, sister of Francis I., and subsequently to Renée, the sister of his wife. *
* Hall, 728; Hol., 736; Pol. Verg., p. 686. But see Lingard, 380.
In the next scene,* the preceding topics are handled by the Lord Chamberlain, + Norfolk, I and Suffolk.
“Chamb. I left him private, Full of sad thoughts and troubles,
Norf. What's the cause ?
wife Has crept too near his conscience. Suff. No; his conscience has crept too near ano.
ther lady. Norf. 'Tis so. This is the cardinal's doing. . . .
* Act ii. Sc.3
† There were two Lord Chamberlains during the period of this play. Worcester died in 1524, before the divorce was talked of. Lord Sands succeeded him, and he alone could have been a party in these conversations. Our poet confounds the two.
† The duke who presided at the trial of Buckingham was the second duke, of whom we have already heard; he died in 1524, some years before the arrival of Cardinal Campeggio. Shakspeare has therefore confounded him with his son and successor Thomas, the third duke. Collins, i. 85.
♡ Charles Brandon (son of Sir William Brandon, slain at Bosworth), the first duke, who married Mary, the king's sister, widow of Louis XII. of France. I think that the Duke of Northumberland is his representative, through Lady Catherine Grey, and other females. Banks, iji. 684.
:.. Now he has crack'd the league. Tween us and the emperor, the queen’s great
Chamb. . . . All that dare
We have now the king with “Wolsey and Cardinal Campeius, the pope's legate, with a commission."
“Wols. Your grace has given a precedent of
* Charles V.-not a great-nephew, but a nephew who is great.-See Robertson, in works, iv. 221.
Camp. . . . To your highness' hand I tender my commission ; by whose virtue (The court of Rome commanding), you, my lord, Cardinal of York, are joined with me, their servant, In the impartial judging of this business.”
The king appoints Blackfriars for the trial of the case, and sends Gardiner* to acquaint the queen. On a subsequent occasion, Henry gives this account of the origin of his scruples: addressing Wolsey, he says,
- “You ever Have wished the sleeping of this business ; never Desir'd it to be stirr’d, but oft have hindered The passages made tow'rds it. . . . . My conscience first received a tenderness, Scruple, and prick, on certain speeches utter'd By the Bishop of Bayonne, then French ambassador; Who had been hither sent on the debating A marriage 'twixt the Duke of Orleans and Our daughter Mary. I'th' progress of this business, Ere a determinate resolution, he (I mean the bishop) did require a respite ; Wherein he might the king his lord advertise, Whether our daughter were legitimate, Respecting this our marriage with the dowager, Sometime our brother's wife.”
* The celebrated Stephen G., afterwards Bishop of Winchester.
He then says, that he began to regard it as a sign of God's displeasure, that no male child of Catherine lived; that he then imparted his scruples to the Bishop of Lincoln,* who advised him to take the course which he did take ; and desired the Archbishop of Canterburyt to summon the court by which the question was to be considered.
Such is Shakspeare's account of the proceedings prior to “ the trial,” with the exception of the dates, of which I have noticed the confusion. It is taken faithfully from Holinshed ;
“You have heard how the people talked, a little before the cardinal's going over to France the last year, that the king was told by Dr. Longland, Bishop of Lincoln, and others, that his marriage with Queen Catherine could not be good nor lawful. The truth is, that, whether this doubt was first moved by the cardinal, or by the said Longland, being the king's confessor, the king was not only put in doubt, whether it was a lawful marriage or no; but also determined to have the case examined, cleared, and adjudged by learning, law, and sufficient authority. The cardinal verily was put in most blame for this scruple, now cast into the king's conscience, for the
* John Longland, who became bishop in 1520.