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this only proved a lightning before death. He has bequeathed to this lady, as a token of his love, a great pearl necklace and a couple of silver bracelets set with jewels, which belonged to my good old lady his mother. He has bequeathed the fine white gelding that he used to ride a-hunting upon to his chaplain, because he thought he would be kind to him; and has left you all his books. He has, moreover, bequeathed to the chaplain a very pretty tenement with good lands about it. It being a very cold day when he made his will, he left for mourning to every man in the parish a great frieze coat, and to every woman a black riding-hood. It was a most moving sight to see him take leave of his poor servants, commending us all for our fidelity, whilst we were not able to speak a word for weeping. As we most of us are grown grey-headed in our dear master's service, he has left us pensions and legacies, which we may live very comfortably upon the remaining part of our days. He has bequeathed a great deal more in charity, which is not yet come to my knowledge ; and it is peremptorily said in the parish, that he has left money to build a steeple to the church : for he was heard to say some time ago, that if he lived two years longer, Coverley church should have a steeple to it. The chaplain tells everybody that he made a very good end, and never speaks of him without tears. He was buried, according to his own directions, among the family of the Coverleys, on the left hand of his father Sir Arthur. The coffin was carried by six of his tenants, and the pall held up by six of the quorum. The whole parish followed the corpse with heavy hearts, and in their mourning suits; the men in frieze, and the women in riding-hoods. Captain Sentry, my master's nephew, has taken possession of the Hall-house and the whole estate. When my old master saw him a little before his death, he shook him by the hand, and wished him joy of the estate which was falling to him, desiring him only to make a good use of it, and to pay the several legacies and the gifts of charity, which he told him he had left as quit-rents upon the estate. The Captain truly seems a courteous man, though he says but little. He makes much of those whom my master loved, and shows great kindness to the old housedog that you know my poor master was so fond of. It would have gone to your heart to have heard the roans the dumb creature made on the day of my master's death. He has never enjoyed himself since; no more has any of us. It was the melancholiest day for the poor people that ever happened in Worcestershire. This being all from,
· EDWARD BISCUIT.'
*P.S. My master desired, some weeks before he died, that a book, which comes up to you by the carrier, should be given to Sir Andrew Freeport in his name.'
“ This letter, notwithstanding the poor butler's manner of writing it, gave us such an idea of our good old friend, that upon the reading of it there was not a dry eye in the Club. Sir Andrew, opening the book, found it to be a collection of acts of parliament. There was in particular the Act of Uniformity, with some passages in it marked by Sir Roger's own hand. Sir Andrew found that they related to two or three points which he had disputed with Sir Roger the last time he appeared at the Club. Sir Andrew, who would have been merry at such an incident on another occasion, at the sight of the old man's handwriting burst into tears, and put the book into his pocket. Captain Sentry informs me that the knight had left rings and mourning for every one in the Club.”'
87.-DEATH OF CARDINAL WOLSEY.
Amongst the earliest memoirs on English history, and certainly far exceeding most memoirs in interest and importance, is 'The Life of Wolsey, by George Cavendish, his Gentleman Usher.' It was long a question who wrote this remarkable book ; but the doubt was satisfactorily cleared up by Mr. Hunter, who found that it was written by the brother of Sir William Cavendish, a faithful follower of the great Cardinal. There are ten MSS. in existence of this ancient work; but it has been very carefully edited by Mr. Singer. We confine our extracts to those striking passages which relate to the death of the great Cardinal.
Wolsey had been dismissed from Court and had retired to his palace at Cawood, previous to his installation at York as Archbishop. He was suddenly arrested on a charge of high treason, by the Earl of
Northumberland, and was forced to set out for the metropolis. Very soon the Cardinal fell ill; and it is evident, from the cautions observed, that those about him suspected that he intended to poison himself. Ill as he was, the Earl of Shrewsbury put the fallen man under the charge of Sir William Kingston, the lieutenant of the Tower, whom the king had sent for the Cardinal, with twenty-four of his guard; and with this escort he departed on his last journey.
And the next day he took his journey with Master Kingston and the guard. as soon as they espied their old master in such a lamentable estate, they lamented him with weeping eyes. Whom my lord took by the hands, and divers times, by the way, as he rode, he would talk with them, sometime with one, and sometime with another; at night he was lodged at a house of the Earl of Shrewsbury's, called Hardwick Hall*, very evil at ease. The next day he rode to Nottingham, and there lodged that night, more sicker, and the next day he rode to Leicester Abbey; and by the way he waxed so sick that he was divers times likely to have fallen from his mule, and being night before we came to the Abbey of Leicester, where at his coming in at the gates the Abbot of the place with all his convent met him with the light of many torches ; and whom they right honourably received with great reverence. To whom my lord said, • Father Abbot, I am come hither to leave my bones among you ;' whom they brought on his mule to the stairs’ foot of his chamber, and there alighted, and Master Kingston then took him by the arm, and led him up the stairs ; who told me afterwards that he never carried so heavy a burden in all his life. And as soon as he was in his chamber, he went incontinent to his bed, very sick. This was upon Saturday at night; and there he continued sicker and sicker.
Upon Monday in the morning, as I stood by his bedside, about eight of the clock, the windows being close shut, having wax-lights burning upon the cupboard, I beheld him, as me seemed, drawing fast to his end. He perceiving my shadow upon the wall by his bedside, asked who was there : “Sir, I am here,' quoth I; “How do you?' quoth he to me; Very well, sir,' quoth I, if I might see your grace well : ' • What is it of the clock ?' said he to me; ·Forsooth sir,' said I, ‘it is past eight of the clock in the morning. •Eight of the clock?' quoth he: "that cannot be;' rehearsing divers times,
Not the Hardwick of Derbyshire, but of Nottinghamshire.
Eight of the clock, eight of the clock: Nay, nay,' quoth he at last, “it cannot be eight of the clock : for by eight of the clock ye shall lose your master; for my time draweth near that I must depart out of this world.'”
The rapacity of the king is strikingly exhibited in the following passage: “And after dinner, Master Kingston called for me (Cavendish) into his chamber, and at my being there, said to me, "So it is that the king hath sent me letters by this gentleman, Master Vincent, one of your old companions, who hath been of late in trouble in the Tower of London for money that my lord should have at his last departing from him, which now cannot be found. Wherefore the king, at this gentleman's request, for the declaration of his truth, hath sent him hither with his grace's letters directed unto me, commanding me by virtue thereof to examine my lord in that behalf, and to have your council herein, how it may be done, that he may take it well and in good part. This is the chief cause of my sending for you ; therefore I pray you what is your best council to use in this matter for the true acquittal of this gentleman ?' 'Sir,' quoth I, 'as touching that matter, my simple advice shall be this, that your own person shall resort unto him and visit him, and in communication break the matter unto him; and if he will not tell the truth, there be that can satisfy the king's pleasure therein ; and in any wise speak nothing of my fellow Vincent. And I would not advise you to tract the time with him: for he is very sick, and I fear me he will not live past to-morrow in the morning. Then went Master Kingston unto him, and asked first how he did, and so forth proceeded in communication, wherein Master Kingston demanded of him the said money, saying, “That my lord of Northumberland hath found a book at Cawood that reporteth how ye had but fifteen hundred pounds in ready money, and one penny
thereof will not be found, who hath made the king privy by his letters thereof. Wherefore the king hath written unto me, to demand of you if you know where it is become ; for it were pity that it should be embezzled from you both. Therefore, I shall require you, in the king's name, to tell me the truth herein, to the intent that I may make just report unto his majesty what answer ye make therein.' With that
lord paused awhile, and said, “Ah, good lord ! how much doth it grieve me that the king should think in me such deceit, wherein I should deceive him of any one penny that I have. Rather than I would,
Master Kingston, embezzle or deceive him of a mite, I would it were moult, and put in my mouth;' which words he spake twice or thrice very vehemently. “I have nothing, ne never had (God being my judge), that I esteemed, or had in it any such delight or pleasure, but that I took it for the king's goods, having but the bare use of the same during my life, and after my death to leave it to the king; wherein he hath but prevented my intent and purpose. And for this money that ye demand of me, I assure you it is none of mine; for I borrowed it of divers of my friends to bury me, and to bestow among my servants, who have taken great pains about me, like true and faithful men. Notwithstanding, if it be his pleasure to take this money from me, I must hold me therewith content. Yet I would most humbly beseech his majesty to see them satisfied, of whom I borrowed the same for the discharge of my conscience.' Sir,' quoth Master Kingston, * there is no doubt in the king; ye need not to mistrust that, but when the king shall be advertised thereof, to whom I shall make report of your request, that his grace will do as shall become him. But, sir, I pray you, where is this money?' Master Kingston,' quoth he,
I will not conceal it from the king; I will declare it to you, (ere) I die, by the grace of God. Take a little patience with me I pray you.'
Well, sir, then will I trouble you no more at this time, trusting that ye will show me to-morrow.' Howbeit
lord waxed very sick, most likeliest to die that night, and often swooned, and, as me thought, drew fast toward his end, until it was four of the clock in the morning, at which time, I asked him how he did : Well,' quoth he, “if I had any meat; I pray you give me some.' · Sir, there is none ready,' said I. •I wis,'quoth he, “ye be the more to blame, for you should have always some meat for me in a readiness, to eat when my stomach serveth me; therefore I pray you get me some ; for I intend this day, God willing, to make me strong, to the intent I may occupy myself in confession, and make me ready to God.' The dying man ate a spoonful or two.
Then was he in confession the space of an hour. And when he had ended his confession, Master Kingston bade him good-morrow (for it was seven of the clock in the morning), and asked him how he did. "Sir,' quoth he, “I tarry but the will and pleasure of God, to render unto him my simple soul into his divine hands.' • Not yet so, sir,' quoth Master Kingston, with the grace of God, ye shall live, and do very well, if