On the following day, a reconciliation took place between the king and Anne Boleyn. During a ride in the great park with his royal brother, Suffolk not only convinced him of the groundlessness of his jealousy, but contrived to incense him strongly against Wolsey. Thus the queen and the cardinal lost the momentary advantage they had gained, while Anne's power was raised yet higher. Yielding to her entreaties not to see Catherine again, nor to hold further conference with Wolsey until the sentence of the court should be pronounced, Henry left the castle that very day, and proceeded to his palace of Bridewell. The distress of the unhappy queen at this sudden revolution of affairs may be conceived. Distrusting Wolsey, and putting her sole reliance on Heaven and the goodness of her cause, she withdrew to Blackfriars, where she remained till the court met. As to the cardinal himself, driven desperate by his situation, and exasperated by the treatment he had experienced, he resolved, at whatever risk, to thwart Henry's schemes, and revenge himself upon Anne Boleyn.
Thus matters continued till the court met as before in the Parliament- chamber, at Blackfriars. On this occasion Henry was present, and took his place under a cloth of estate, -- the queen sitting at some distance below him. Opposite them were the legates, with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the whole of the bishops. The aspect of the assemblage was grave and anxious. Many eyes were turned on Henry, who looked gloomy and menacing, but the chief object of interest was the queen, who, though pale as death, had never in her highest days of power worn a more majestic and dignified air than on this occasion.
The proceedings of the court then commenced, and the king being called by the crier, he immediately answered to the summons. Catherine was next called, and instead of replying, she marched towards the canopy beneath which the king was seated, prostrated herself, and poured forth a most pathetic and eloquent appeal to him, at the close of which she arose, and making a profound reverence, walked out of the court, leaning upon the arm of her general receiver, Griffith. Henry desired the crier to call her back, but she would not return; and seeing the effect produced by her address upon the auditory, he endeavoured to efface it by an eulogium on her character and virtues, accompanied by an expression of deep regret at the step he was compelled to take in separating himself from her. But his hypocrisy availed him little, and his speech was received with looks of ill- disguised incredulity. Some further discourse then took place between the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Rochester; but as the queen had absented herself, the court was adjourned to the next day, when it again met, and as she did not then appear, though summoned, she was pronounced contumacious. After repeated adjournments, the last session was held, and judgment demanded on the part of the king, when Campeggio, as had been arranged between him and Wolsey, declined to pronounce it until he had referred the matter to the Pope, and the court was dissolved.
About two months after this event, during which time the legate's commission had been revoked, while Henry was revolving the expediency of accomplishing the divorce through the medium of his own ecclesiastical courts, and without reference to that of Rome, a despatch was received from the Pope by the two cardinals, requiring them to cite the king to appear before him by attorney on a certain day. At the time of the arrival of this instrument, Campeggio chanced to be staying with Wolsey at his palace at Esher, and as the king was then holding his court at Windsor, they both set out for the castle on the following day, attended by a retinue of nearly a hundred horsemen, splendidly equipped.
It was now the middle of September, and the woods, instead of presenting one uniform mass of green, glowed with an infinite variety of lovely tints. And yet, despite the beauty of the scene, there was something melancholy in witnessing the decline of the year, as marked by those old woods, and by the paths that led through them, so thickly strewn with leaves. Wolsey was greatly affected. "These noble trees will ere long bereft of all their glories," he thought, " and so, most likely, will it be with me, and perhaps my winter may come sooner than theirs!"
The cardinal and his train had crossed Staines Bridge, and passing through Egham, had entered the great park near Englefield Green. They were proceeding along the high ridge overlooking the woody region between it and the castle, when a joyous shout in the glades beneath reached them, and looking down, they saw the king accompanied by Anne Boleyn, and attended by his falconers and a large company of horsemen, pursuing the sport of hawking. The royal party appeared so much interested in their sport that they did not notice the cardinal and his train, and were soon out of sight. But as Wolsey descended Snow Hill, and entered the long avenue, he heard the trampling of horses at a little distance, and shortly afterwards, Henry and Anne issued from out the trees. They were somewhat more than a bow-shot in advance of the cardinal; but instead of halting till he came up, the king had no sooner ascertained who it was, than, despatching a messenger to the castle, who was seen galloping swiftly down the avenue, he rode off with Anne Boleyn towards the opposite side of the park. Though deeply mortified by the slight, Wolsey concealed his vexation from his brother cardinal, and pursued his way to the castle, before which he presently arrived. The gate was thrown open at his approach, but he had scarcely entered the lower ward when Sir Henry Norris, the king's groom of the stole, advanced to meet him, and, with a sorrowful expression of countenance, said that his royal master had so many guests at the castle, that he could not accommodate him and his train.