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haps the most wicked as well as the weakest man is to be found amongst those who have nothing either to hope or to fear.
Henry's reign, ushered in with so bright a morning, closed with clouds and with tempests: murder, rapine, and desolation marked its progress, and the only bright event in it took its rise more from a satiety of pleasure, and from a desire to command, than from any regard to religion, or any desire to promote the happiness of his people. The well-known Spanish lines fay of this Monarch,
Sure as these stones thy mortal part conceal,
Henry was intended for the Church while his eldest brother, Prince Arthur, lived, and was of course brought up to music and to Latin. A Te Deitm of his composition is still fung at ChristChurch, Oxford. The following specimen of his Latin, annexed to some MSS. of Church Discipline in his time, shews him to no great advantage as a scholar:
** Ilia est Ecclefia nostra Catholica, cum qua nec * * Pontisex Maximus nec qui/quis alms Pralatm
"habet "habet quicquam agere, praterquam in suas * * diocefas."
"This then is our Catholic Church, with ** which neither the Pope nor any other prelate ** has any thing to do, except in their own ** dioceses."
"The number of Monasteries suppressed by * * this King," fays Lord Herbert, "was six "hundred and forty-seven, whereof twenty-feven ** had voices amongst thePeers; of Colleges there "Were demolished, in divers shires, ninety; of "Chauntries and Free Chapels, two thousand "three hundred and seventy-four; of Hospitals, "one hundred and ten: the yearly value of all "which were, as I find it cast up, 161,100J. * * being above a third part of all our spiritual re"venues, besides the money made of the present "stock of cattle, corn, timber, lead, bells, &c. "and lastly, but chiefly, of the plate and church "ornaments, which I find not valued, but may "be conjectured by that one Monastery of St. "Edmond's Bury, whence was taken, as our ** records shew, seven thousand marks of gold "and silver, besides divers stores of great yalue. **The revenues allotted by the King to the ne\v "Bishopricks which he had founded, amounted ** to 80001. a-year. So that religion," adds
Lord Lord Herbert, "seemed not so much to suffer "thereby as some of the Clergy of those times "and of ours would have it believed; our king"dom having in the meanwhile, (as LordCrom** well projected it,) instead of divers supernu"merary and idle persons, men fit for employ"ment either in war or peace, maintained at the "cost of the aforesaid Abbeys and Chauntries: ** so that the dissolutions (appearing in their "stately foundations at this day) are by our po** litics thought amply recompensed. Besides, "the King, in demolishing them, had so tender ** a care of learning, that he not only preferred ** divers able persons which he found there, but "took special care to preserve the choicest books ** of their well-furnished Libraries; wherein I "find John Leland (a curious searcher of anti** quities) was employed,"
As Leo X. had given Henry the name of Desensor Fidei, Clement the Seventh added to it the title of Liberator Urbis Romanes.
The book which procured Henry the first appellation is supposed to have been written by Fisher Bishop of Rochester. The immense wealth which Henry had procured by the suppression of the monasteries seems to have been lavished with a prodigality as enormous as the rapacity with which it was acquired.
"Sir Thomas Eliot, Knight, in his Image of "Governance, translated," as he fays, "out of "Greke into Englyshe, in the favour of the Nobi"litie," after having enumerated the Emperors, Kings, and Generals of old who were men of learning, fays, " And to return home to our "own countrey, and•whereof we ourselves may "be wytnesses, howe much hath it profited unto ** this Realme, that it now hath a King, our "Sovereyne Lord King Henry the Eighth, ex"actly well learned. Hath not he thereby onely "fyfted out detestible heresies, late mingled "amonge the corne of his faithfull fubjectes, "and caused much of the chaffe to be thrown "into the fyre? also hypocrisy and vayn super** stition to be cleane banished, whereof I doubte "not but that there shall be or it be longe a "more ample remembrance to his most nobla ** and immortal renoume."
Sir Henry Spelman, in his " History of Sa"crilege," fays, " Whole thousands of churches "and chapels dedicated to the service of God, "together with the Monasteries, and other "Houses of Religion and intended piety, were "by Henry VIII. in a temper of indignation "against the Clergy of that time mingled with ** insatiable avarice, sacked, and razed, as by an "enemy. It is true the Parliament did give "them to him, but so unwillingly, (as I have
« heard,) "heard,) that when the bill had stuck long in "the Lower House, and could get no passage, ** he commanded the Commons to attend him• *Q in the forenoon in his gallery, where he let ** them wait till late in the afternoon; and then "coming out of his chamber, walking a turn *s or two amongst them, and looking angrily at ** them, first on one side, then on the other, at "last he said, I hear that-my bill will not pass; ** but I will have it pass, or I will have some of "your heads; and without other rhetorick or "persuasion returned to his chamber. Enough te was said, the bill passed, and all was given hinj "as he desired."
"It is to be observed," adds Spelman, " that "the Parliament did give all these to the King, ** yet did they not ordain them to be demolished, "or employed to any irreligious uses, leaving it "more to the conscience and piety of the King; "who, in a speech to the Parliament, promised "to perform the trust; wherein he faith, I can"not a little rejoyce, when I consider the per** sect trust and confidence which you have put ** in me, in my good doings and just proceed? "ings. For you, without my desire and re? ** quest, have committed to my order and dispo** sition, all Chauntries, Colleges, and Hospitals, ** and other places specified in a certain act,
firmly trusting that I will order them to the