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word. And in conclusion she shewed him plainly, that as she wist herself too simple to be his wife, so thought she herself too good to be his concubine.
The king much marvelling of her constancy, as he who had not been wont elsewhere to be so stifly said nay, so much esteemed her continence and chastity, that he set her virtue in the stead of possession and riches ; and thus taking counsel of his desire, determined in all possible haste to marry her. And after he was thus appointed, and had between them twain insured her, then asked he counsel of his other friends, and that in such manner, as they might easy perceive it booted not greatly to say nay.
Notwithstanding, the duchess of York, his mother, was so sore moved therewith, that she dissuaded the marriage as much as she possibly might; alleging, that it was his honour, profit, and surety also, to marry in a noble progeny out of his realm ; whereupon depended great strength to his estate, by the affinity and great possibility of increase of his possessions. And that he could not well otherwise do, standing that the earl of Warwick had so far moved already, who was not likely to take it well, if all his voyage was in suchwise frustrate and his appointments deluded. And she said also, that it was not princely to marry his own subject, no great occasion leading thereunto, no possessions or other commodities depending thereupon; but only as it were a rich man who would marry his maid, only for a little wanton dotage upon her person; in which
marriage, many more commend the maiden's fortune than the master's wisdom. And yet there she said was more honesty than honour in this marriage ; forasmuch as there is between no merchant and his own maid, so great difference as between the king and this widow. In whose person albeit there was nothing to be misliked, yet was there she said nothing so excellent but that it might be found in divers others, who were more meetly (quoth she) for your estate, and maids also ; whereas the only widowhood of Elizabeth Gray, though she were in all other things convenient for you, should yet suffice as meseemeth to refrain you from her marriage. Since it is an unfitting thing, and a very blemish and high disparagement to the sacred majesty of a prince, who ought as nigh to approach priesthood in cleanness as he doth in dignity, to be befouled with bigamy in his first marriage.
The king, when his mother had said, made her answer part in earnest, part in play merely, as he who wist himself out of her rule ; and albeit he would gladly that she should take it well, yet was at a point in his own mind took she it well or otherwise. Howbeit somewhat to satisfy her, he said, that albeit marriage, being a spiritual thing, ought rather to be made for the respect of God where his grace inclineth the parties to love together (as he trusted it was in his) than for the regard of any temporal advantage, yet nevertheless him seemed that this marriage, even worldly considered, was not unprofitable. For he reckoned the amity of no earthly nation so necessary for him, as the friendship of his own; which he thought likely to bear him so much the more hearty favour, in that he disdained not to marry with one of his own land. And yet if outward alliance were thought so requisite, he would find the means to enter thereinto much better by others of his kin, where all the parties could be contented, than to marry himself whom he should haply never love, and, for the possibility of more possessions, lose the fruit and pleasure of this that he had already. For small pleasure taketh a man of all that ever he hath beside, if he be wived against his appetite.
And I doubt not,' quoth he, but there be, as you say, others who be in every point comparable with her ; and therefore I let not them who like them to wed them. No more is it reason that it mislike any man that I marry where it liketh me. And I am sure that my cousin of Warwick neither loveth me so little to grudge at that I love, nor is so unreasonable to look that I should in choice of a wife rather be ruled by his eye than by mine own; as though I were a ward who were bound to marry by the appointment of a guardian. I would not be a king with that condition, to forbear minc own liberty in choice of my own marriage. As for possibility of more inheritance by new affinity in strange lands, it is often the occasion of more trouble than profit; and we have already title by that means to so much, as sufficeth to get and keep well in one man's days. That she is a widow and hath already children-by God's blessed lady I am a batchelor and have some too! And so each of us hath a proof that neither of us is like to
be barren. And therefore madam I pray you be content. I trust in God she shall bring-forth a young prince who shall please you. And as for the bigamy—let the bishop hardly lay it in my way when I come to take orders ; for I understand it is forbidden a priest, but I never wist it yet that it was forbidden a prince.'
The duchess with these words nothing appeased, and seeing the king so set thereon that she could not pull him back, so highly she disdained it, that, under pretext of her duty to Godward, she devised to disturb this marriage; and rather to help that he should marry one Dame Elizabeth Lucy, whom the king had also not long before gotten with child. Wherefore the king's mother objected openly against his marriage, as it were in discharge of her conscience, that the king was sure to Dame Elizabeth Lucy, and her husband before God. By reason of which words, such obstacle was made in the matter, that either the bishops durst not, or the king would not, proceed to the solemnization of this wedding, till these same were clearly purged and the truth well and openly testified.
Whereupon Dame Elizabeth Lucy was sent for; and albeit that she was by the king's mother and many others put in good comfort, to affirm that she was ensured unto the king, yet when she was solemnly sworn to say the truth, she confessed that they were never ensured. Howbeit she said his grace spake so loving words unto her, that she verily hoped he would have married her; and that if it had not been for such kind words, she would never have shewed such kindness to him to let him so kindly get her with child. This examination solemnly taken, when it was clearly perceived that there was none impediment, the king with great feast and honourable solemnity married Dame Elizabeth Gray, and her crowned queen who was his enemy's wife, and many times had prayed full heartily for his loss ; in which God loved her better than to grant her her boon. .
But when the earl of Warwick understood of this marriage, he took it so highly that his embassy was deluded, that for very anger and disdain, he, at his return, assembled a great puissance against the king, and came so fast upon him ere he could be able to resist, that he was fain to void the realm and fly into Holland for succour: where he remained for the space of two years, leaving his new wife in Westminster in sanctuary, where she was delivered of Edward the prince, of whom we before have spoken. In which meantime, the earl of Warwick took out of prison and set-up again King Henry VI, who was before by King Edward deposed, and that muchwhat by the power of the earl of Warwick: who was a wise man and a courageous warrior, and of such strength what for his lands, his alliance, and favour with all the people, that he made kings and put down kings almost at his pleasure ; and not impossible to have attained it himself, if he had not reckoned it a greater thing to make a king than to be a king.
But nothing lasteth alway. For in conclusion, King Ed