‘…Doubts have arisen in the breast of the royal Henry as to the validity of your Majesty’s union, seeing that you had been the wife of an elder brother.‘
“My Lord of York,’ said the Queen, rising from her seat, and casting upon the conscience-stricken prelate a look that would have annihilated a mind less firm than his, —’thou sayest Henry, my Lord, has had doubts, —thou shouldst have said, ‘I, Cardinal Wolsey, have instilled doubts into the mind of my sovereign:’ this would be true. I am acquainted with thy proceedings; thy purposes may possibly be completed; but yet, alone as I am, unprotected and a foreigner, I fear thee not. I have that within which thou canst not destroy, —a quiet conscience; that which thou hast never velt, —a mind at peace. I am the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, —the aunt of Charles of Germany, —The Queen of Henry of England! The latter title I hold by the bonds of marriage, —by a dispensation given by the Pope Julius, —recognized by the English Bishops, —acted upon by my royal husband, —sealed on earth and registered in heaven. And dost thou think to annul this holy obligation? Wouldst thou break down the strong barriers of the church, —burst asunder the bonds of relition, and destroy conjugal felicity? Art thou really a man of God, as thy habit implies?

The Fate of Wolsey, 1835

September 3, 2014