contents." The Emperor had it in his hands, and by refusing to allow it to be examined, except at Rome, might prevent them from moving.
There was little doubt that the brief had been forged for the occasion. The Pope having sent a commission to England, the King considered that he had a right to the production of documents essential to the case. He required Catherine to write to Charles to ask for it. Catherine did as he desired, and the messenger who carried her letter to the Spanish Court was sworn to carry no private or separate missive from her. Mendoza dared not write by the same hand himself, lest his despatches should be examined. He made the messenger, therefore, learn a few words by heart, telling the Emperor that the Queen's letter was not to be attended to. "We thought," he said, "that the man's oath was thus saved." Thus time drifted on. The new year came, and no progress had been made, though Campeggio had been three months in England. The Pope, more helpless than dishonest, continued to assure the King that he would do all that by law could be required of him, and as much as he could do ex plenitudine potestatis. No peril should prevent him. "If the King thought his resigning the Papacy would conduce to his purpose, he could be content, for the love he bore his Highness, rather than fail to do the same."
If the Pope was so well disposed, the King could not see where the difficulty lay. The Queen had refused his entreaty that she should enter religion. Why should not the Pope, then, allow the decretal to be put in execution? But Cardinal Salviati informed
- Mendoza to Charles V., Feb. 4, 1529.—Spanish Calendar, vol. iii, part 2.