Page:Divorce of Catherine of Aragon.djvu/107

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Influences at Rome.

his Bulls for Winchester. The Cardinals demanded 13,000 ducats for Durham. The ducat was worth five shillings, and five shillings in 1528 were worth fifty shillings of modern money. At such a rate were English preferments bled to support the College of Cardinals; and if all these great benefices were again vacated there would be a fine harvest to be gathered. For a week or two the splendid vision suspended even the agitation over the divorce; but the Pope revived, and the Legates and he had to resume their ungrateful burden.

It was still really uncertain what Clement would do. Weak, impulsive men often leave their course to fate or chance to decide for them. Casalis, when he was able to attend to business again, told him in Wolsey's name that he must take warning from his late danger. "By the wilfully suffering a thing of such high importance to be unreformed to the doing whereof Almighty God worked so openly he would incur God's displeasure and peril his soul." The Imperialists were as anxious as Wolsey, and equally distrustful. In the Sacred College English gold was an influence not to be despised, and Henry had more to give than Charles. Micer Mai, the Imperial agent at Rome, found, as the spring came on, that the Italian Cardinals were growing cold. Salviati insisted to him that Catherine must go into a convent. Casalis denounced the new brief as a forgery, and the Sacred College seemed to be of the same opinion. The fiery Mai complained in the Pope's presence of the scant courtesy which the Ministers of the Emperor were meeting with, while the insolent and overbearing were regaled like the Prodigal Son.[1] The Pope assured him that,

  1. Mai to Charles V., April 3, 1529.—Spanish Calendar, vol. iii. part 2, p. 973.