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any farther. There he was kept waiting, among servants and ushers, nearly an hour, while other members of Council were, in the meantime, passing both in and out. Fortunately, Ralph Morrice, the Archbishop's secretary, was with him ; and indignant at this treatment, he slipt off, and informed a warm friend of his master, Dr. William Butts, the King's physician. He first came, and once witness to the fact, proceeded to the royal presence. Having informed his Majesty what a strange thing he had seen. What is that? said Henry.

My Lord of Canterbury," replied the physician, “ if it please your Grace, is well promoted; for now he has become a lackey or a serving man; for yonder he hath stood this half hour at the Council Chamber door among them.”—“ It is not so,” said Henry; “ the Council hath not so little discretion as to use the metropolitan of the realm after that sort ! But let them alone; it is well enough-I shall talk with them by and bye."

At length Cranmer was called in. Their Lordships then informed him that great complaints were made of him, both to the King and to them; that he, and others by his permission, had filled the land with heresy; and, therefore, it was the royal pleasure that he should stand committed to the Tower, there to await his trial and examination. As a Privy Counsellor, the Primate first demanded that his accusers should be immediately called before him, using many arguments against their proceeding to such extremity; but all was in vain-he must go to the Tower. " Then," said Cranmer, “ I am sorry, my Lords, that you drive me to this exigent, to appeal from you to the King's Majesty, who by this token (holding up the ring,) hath resumed this matter into his own hand, and dischargeth you thereof." The royal signet once delivered, produced more than its usual effect; the Council were amazed, and the first man who broke silence was Lord John Russell, afterwards Earl of Bedford :-“When you first began this matter, my Lords, I told you what would come of it. Do

Do you think that the King will suffer this man's finger to ache ? Much more, I warrant you, will he defend his life against brabbling varlets! You do but cumber yourselves to hear tales and fables against him. I know, right well, that the King would never permit my Lord of Canterbury to have such a blemish, as to be imprisoned, unless it were for high treason."



This, however, was no time for confabulation. The Counsellors, to a man, must rise instantly, and carry both the ring and the cause into the royal presence. Henry, of course, was now fully ready for them.

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“ Ah, my Lords, I thought that I had had a discreet and wise Council, but now I perceive that I am deceived. How have you handled here my Lord of Canterbury? What make ye of him? A slave ?—shutting him out of the Council Chamber among serving men ! Would ye be so handled yourselves ! I would ye should well understand, that I account my Lord of Canterbury as faithful a man towards me, as ever was prelate in this realm, and one to whom I am many ways beholden, by the faith I owe unto God, (laying his hand upon his breast,) and, therefore, whosoever loveth me, will upon that account regard him.”

Something must be said in reply, when Norfolk answered for himself and his fellows :—“ We meant no manner of hurt unto my Lord of Canterbury, in that we requested to have him in durance ; which we only did, that he might, after his trial, be set at liberty to his greater glory.” Henry, however, was not to be befooled, and only added—“ I pray you, use not my friends so : I perceive now well enough how the world goeth among you. There remaineth malice among you, one to another ; let it be avoided out of hand, I would advise you."17

His Majesty immediately departed, when all the accusing gentlemen, so stern of late, are said to have shaken hands, hypocritically enough, with Cranmer, who was to be troubled no more, after this fashion, for above seven years to come.

It has been thought difficult to say whether Henry, overpersuaded by this junto, was at first in earnest, and afterwards changed his resolution ; or whether he took this method to check the forwardness of the Archbishop's enemies ; but let this have been as it may, who does not see, and in the King's own language, a hideous picture of the past? Here was the base manner in which many precious lives had been sacrificed. The Council, stript of its disguise, by its own Sovereign, exhibits a shocking spectacle ; but above all, what can be said as to the character of the Monarch himself, who, in amazement at Cranmer's simplicity, was perfectly familiar with the unprincipled cruelty of his own Ministers? “Do you not know," said Henry, “ that when they have you once in prison, three or four false knaves will soon be procured to witness against you ?" Such, no doubt, on many a melancholy occasion, had been the tender mercies of both King and Council.

17 Strype, Foxe. Though this strange affair derives not a little point from the time and circumstances in which it occurred, it has been frequently misplaced. Strype, in his Life of Cranmer, placing it in 1544, and Burnet in 1516--from both of whom, others have copied. It is fixed by the death of Suffolk, and that of Dr. Butts. Archbishop Parker informs us that the Duke had died but a short time or fore, and we have seen the part which the King's physician acted. He had been knighted by Henry VIII. before this, and dying on the 17th of November 1545, lies interred in Fulham Church. The scene must have occurred, therefore, in September or October of that rear.

Having thus schooled his Privy Council, by the close of the year his Majesty felt no less disposed to lecture his Parliament. We have already heard, from the Lord Chancellor himself, what was the miserable state of Henry's finances ; we have seen Parliament strain every nerve, and even exceed their powers, in trying to improve them; and as there was no subject which made its way so directly to the royal heart, as that of pecuniary supplies, the King professed to be uncommonly pleased with his most compliant House. He had, indeed, no idea of blotting out from his style, the monosyllable “ France;" but by this time, there is not only no more lofty pretensions to that crown, but he very frankly characterises the adverse turn which the war had taken-66 not for our pleasure, but your defence ; not for our gain, but to our great cost." Still the whole House had done its utmost, and since they had laid at his feet all the Universities, as Henry had no intention of levelling to the dust either Cambridge or Oxford ; after taking full credit to himself for being a “trusty friend," a “ charitable man,” a “ lover of the public wealth,” and “one that feared God,” he proceeds


“ Now, since I find such kindness on your part towards me, I cannot choose but love and favour you, affirming that no prince in the world more favoureth his subjects than I do you, nor any subjects or commons more love and obey their Sovereign Lord, than I perceive you do me, for whose defence my treasure shall not be hidden, nor, if necessity require, shall my person be unadventured !”

The way being thus smoothed, his Majesty proceeds to reprimand the whole House, and nothing will satisfy him short of exposing to the public eye what he thought of them all, as a body. If any benefit was to accrue to posterity, from Henry's own opinion before quitting the stage, he now gives it; and the pith of his address must not be withheld.

He commences with quoting Scripture, and his text is Charity is gentle, charity is not enrious, charity is not proud, and so forth in that chapter.” But he had seen malice in his Privy Council, and now saw it in Parliament, whether Lords or Commons, Clergy or Laity.

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“ Charity

“ Behold, then, what love and charity there is amongst you, I see and hear daily that you of the CLERGY preach one against another, teach one contrary to another, inveigh one against another, without charity or discretion-Alas! how can the poor souls live in concord when you preachers sow among them, in your sermons, strife and discord ? They look for light, and you bring them into darkness. Amend these crimes, I exhort you, and set forth God's Word, both by true preaching and good example giving; or else I, whom God hath appointed his Vicar and high minister here, will see these divisions extinct, and these enormities corrected, according to my very duty!

“ Yet you of the TEMPORALITY be not clean and unspotted of malice and envy - And although you be permitted to read Holy Scripture, and to have the Word of God in your mother tongue, you must understand it is licensed you so to do, only to inform your own consciences, and to instruct your children and family. I am very sorry to know and hear how unreverently that most precious jewel, the Word of God, is disputed, rhymed, sung, and jangled, in every ale-house and tavern, contrary to the true meaning and doctrine of the same.'

Old John Foxe cannot permit his Majesty to escape with such credit as he would here arrogate to himself. and concord in Commonwealths, be things most necessary ; but in matters of religion, charity and concord be not enough, without verity and true worship of God. And wherein consisteth all this variance, but only because God's word hath not its free course, but that those who set it forth are condemned, and therefore burned ?" “ How are they permitted to hear God's word, when no one is permitted to read it (as far as Parliament had enjoined,) under the degree of a gentleman?” Truth and error he regarded “as two mighty flints smiting together, whereupon cometh out the sparkle of this division,” and “ there is no neutrality, nor mediation of peace, nor exhortation to agreement, that will serve between these two."

Parliament, of course, durst not reply—“ Physician, heal thyself;" but such language from such lips, has seldom if ever been equalled. Some may conjecture that Cranmer must have helped his Majesty to several of his expressions ; but if this was indeed Henry's own unaided production, as he himself distinctly intimates, could we obliterate from our minds all the cruelty and wrong, all the reckless and unprincipled despotism of the past, then might we suppose that this was merely the last exchange of civilities on the part of a benignant monarch, concluding the whole with his final and faithful counsel. But as the past cannot be forgotten, and the speaker has yet another year to live, then does the language afford a display of the superlative deceitfulness of the human heart, equal to any in English history. There was evidently as much need as ever for the dying prayer of Tyndale* Lord ! open the eyes of the King of England ;" for this exhorter of other men to “gentle charity,” was himself not yet done with the shedding of blood ! not yet done with breathing after the blood of the living, nor with expressing his enmity towards the original translator of what he now had styled “ that most precious jewel the word of God!” Such blindness in any man as to himself, is deeply instructive, and forcibly reminds one of the language of another King_" His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. He shall die without instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.” To all this, the last year of Henry's life will lend but too ample illustration.












NOTWITHSTANDING Henry's earnest exhortation to “gentle, unenvious, and humble charity,” only a few days since, the Monarch pursued a course, from which he never swerved, to his dying hour; but the miserable condition into which he had now brought the kingdom requires first to be explained.

Down to the month of June, England was still embroiled in war both with France and Scotland. To the latter we ightly alluded in 1544 ; but as this war had proved so illustrative of the personal character of his Majesty, it demands a slight review, and more especially after his oration to Parliament.

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