Page:Lectures on Modern History.djvu/163

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137
CALVIN AND HENRY VIII.

ment which took place at the same time in England, proceeding from the government before the wave of Reformation struck the shores. Here there were local reminiscences of Lollardry, and a tradition, as old as the Conquest, of resistance to the medieval claims of Rome; but the first impulse did not arise on the domain of religion. From the beginning there was a body of opinion hostile to the king's marriage. The practice was new, it was discountenanced by earlier authorities, and it belonged to the same series of innovations as the recent system of indulgences which roused the resistance of Germany. Precedents were hard to find. Alexander VI. had granted the same dispensation to Emmanuel of Portugal, but with misgivings; and had refused it until the king undertook to make war in person against the Moors of Africa. Julius II., coming immediately after, had exacted no such condition from Henry VII., so that he had done what was never done before him. Sixtus V. afterwards declared that Clement had deserved the calamities that befel him, because he had not dissolved so unholy a union. Others thought so at the time. No protest could well be heard before 1523, when Adrian censured his predecessors for exceeding their powers. After that it could be no offence to say that Julius was one of those whose conduct was condemned by his next successor but one. But it was still a dangerous point to raise, because any action taken upon it implied a breach with the queen's nephew Charles V., and the loss of the old alliance with the House of Burgundy.

After the triumph of Pavia, the captivity of Francis I., and his defiance of the treaty by which he obtained his deliverance, Wolsey accepted a pension of 10,000 ducats from France, England renounced friendship with the Habsburgs, and the breach was already accomplished. The position of Catharine became intolerable, and she led the opposition to Wolsey, the author of the change. Therefore, from 1526, both the religious and the political motive for silence ceased to operate, and there were, just