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account; though this prosecution was believed by many to proceed, as she herself intimates, rather from the king's love to Jane Seymour, than from any actual crime in Ann of Bologne.
Queen Ann Boleyn's last letter to King Henry.
SIR, Cotton Lib. Your grace's displeasure, and my imOtho C. 10. s prisonment, are things so strange unto me, as what to write, or what to excuse, I am altogether ignorant. Whereas you send unto me, (willing me to confess a truth, and to obtain your favour) by such an one, whom you know to be mine ancient professed enemy, I no sooner received this message by him, than I rightly conceived your meaning; and if, as you say, confessing a truth indeed may procure my safety, I shall with all willingness and duty perform your command.
But let not your grace ever imagine, that your poor wife will ever be brought to acknowledge a fault, where not so much as a thought thereof preceded. And to speak a truth, never prince had wife more loyal in all duty, and in all true affection, than you have ever found in Ann Boleyn: with which name and place I could willingly have contented myself, if God and your grace's pleasure had been so pleased. Neither did I at any time so far forget myself in my exaltation or received queenship, but that I always looked for such an alteration as I now find; for the ground of my preferment being on no surer foundation than your grace's fancy, the least alteration I knew was fit and sufficient to draw that fancy to some other object. You have chosen me from a low estate to be your queen and companion, far beyond my desert or desire. If then you found me worthy of such honour, good your
grace, let not any light fancy, or bad counsel of mine enemies, withdraw your princely favour from me; neither let that stain, that unworthy stain, of a disloyal heart towards your good grace, ever cast so foul a bloton your most dutiful wife, and the infant princess your daughter. Try me, good king, but let me have a lawful trial, and let not my sworn enemies sit as my accusers and judges; yea, let receive an open trial, for my truth shall fear no open shame ; then shall you see either mine innocence cleared, your suspicion and conscience satisfied, the ignominy and slander of the world stopped, or my guilt openly declared. So that, whatsoever God or you may determine of me, your grace may be freed from an open censure ; and mine offence being so lawfully proved, your grace is at liberty, both before God and man, not only to execute worthy punishment on me as an unlawful wife, but to follow your affection, already settled on that party, for whose sake I am now as I am, whose name I could some good while since have pointed unto, your grace not being ignorant of my suspicion therein.
• But if you have already determined of me, and that not only my death, but an infamous slander must bring you the enjoying of your desired happiness; then I desire of God, that he will pardon your great sin therein, and likewise mine enemies, the instruments thereof; and that he will not call you to a strict account for your unprincely and cruel usage of me, at his general judgment seat, where both you and myself must shortly appear, and in whose judgment I doubt not (whatsoever the world may think of me) mine innocence shall be openly known, and sufficiently cleared.
* My last and only request shall be, that myself may only bear the burden of your grace's displeasure, and that it may not touch the innocent souls of those
poor gentlemen, who (as I understand) are likewise in straight imprisonment for my sahe. If ever I have found favour in your sight, if ever the name of Ann Boleyn bath been pleasing in your ears, then let me obtain this request, and I will so leave to trouble your grace any further, with mine earnest prayers to the Trinity, to have your grace in his good keeping, and to direct you in all your actions. From my doleful prison in the Tower, this sixth of May;
Your most loyal
and ever faithful wife, L.
No 398. FRIDAY, JUNE 6, 1712.
Insanire pares certa ratione modoque.
NOR. 2. Sat. ill. 272.
You'd be a fool
Cynthio and Flavia are persons of distinction in this town, who have been lovers these ten months last past, and writ to each other for gallantry sake under those feigned names ; Mr. Such-a-one and Mrs. Such-a-one not being capable of raising the soul out of the ordinary tracts and passages of life, up to that elevation which makes the life of the enamoured so much superior to that of the rest of the world. But ever since the beauteous Cecilia has made such a figure as she now does in the circle of charming women, Cynthio has been secretly one of her adorers. Lætitia has been the finest woman in town these three months, and so long Cynthio has
acted the part of a lover very awkwardly in the presence of Flavia. Flavia has been too blind towards him, and has too sincere an heart of her own, to observe a thousand things which would have discovered this change of mind to any one less engaged than she was. Cynthio was musing yesterday in the piazza in Covent-garden, and was saying to himself that he was a very ill man to go on in visit. ing and professing love to Flavia, when his heart was enthralled to another. It is an infirmity that I am not constant to Flavia ; but it would be still a greater crime, since I cannot continue to love her, to profess that I do. To marry a woman with the coldness that usually indeed comes on after marriage, is ruining one's self with one's eyes open; besides, it is really doing her an injury. This last consideration forsooth, of injuring her in persisting, made him resolve to break off upon the first favourable opportunity of making her angry. When he was in this thought, he saw Robin the porter, who waits at Will's coffee-house, passing by. Robin, you must know, is the best man in the town for carrying a billet; the fellow has a thin body, swift step, demure looks, sufficient sense, and knows the town. This man carried Cynthio's first letter to Flavia, and, by frequent errands ever since, is well known to her. The fellow covers his knowledge of the nature of his messages with the most exquisite low humour imaginable. The first he obliged Flavia to take, was by complaining to her that he had a wife and three children, and if she did not take that letter, which he was sure there was no harm in, but rather love, his family must go supperless to bed, for the gentleman would pay him according as he did his business. Robin therefore Cynthio now thought fit to make use of, and gave him orders to wait bęs
fore Flavia's door, and if she called him to her, and asked whether it was Cynthio who passed by, he should at first be loth to own it was, but upon importunity confess it. There needed not much search into that part of the town to find a well-dressed hussey fit for the purpose Cynthio designed her. As soon as he believed Robin was posted, he drove by Flavia's lodgings in a hackney-coach and a woman in it. Robin was at the door talking with Flavia's maid, and Cynthio pulled up the glass as surprised, and hid his associate. The report of this circumstance soon flew up stairs, and Robin could not deny but the gentleman favoured* his master; yet if it was he, he was sure the lady was but his cousin whom he had seen ask for him; adding, that he believed she was a poor relation; because they made her wait one morning till he was awake. Flavia immediately writ the following epistle, which Robin brought to Will's.
June 4, 1712. * It is in vain to deny it, basest, falsest of mankind; my maid, as well the bearer, saw you.
The injured Flavia.'
After Cynthio had read the letter, he asked Robin how she looked, and what she said at the delivery of it. · Robin said she spoke short to him, and called him back again, and had nothing to say to him, and bid him and all the men in the world go out of her sight; but the maid followed, and bid him bring an answer.
Cynthio returned as follows: