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PAGE 2

No. 397 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

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 my self, if God and your Grace’s Pleasure had been so pleased. Neither did I at any time so far forget my self in my Exaltation, or received Queenship, but that I always looked for such an Alteration as now I 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. [2]] 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 Blot on your most Dutiful Wife, and the Infant-Princess your Daughter. Try me, good King, but let me have a lawful Tryal, and let not my sworn Enemies sit as my Accusers and Judges; Yea let me receive an open Tryal, 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 being not 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 my self 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 my self may only bear the Burthen 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 strait Imprisonment for my sake. If ever I have found Favour in your Sight, if ever the Name of Ann Boleyn hath 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,
Ann Boleyn.

[Footnote 1:

When you see a Neighbour in Tears, and hear him lament the Absence of his Son, the Hazards of his Voyage into some remote Part of the World, or the Loss of his Estate; keep upon your Guard, for fear lest some false Ideas that may rise upon these Occasions, surprise you into a Mistake, as if this Man were really miserable, upon the Account of these outward Accidents. But be sure to distinguish wisely, and tell your self immediately, that the Thing which really afflicts this Person is not really the Accident it self, (for other People, under his Circumstances, are not equally afflicted with it) but merely the Opinion which he hath formed to himself concerning this Accident. Notwithstanding all which, you may be allowed, as far as Expressions and outward Behaviour go, to comply with him; and if Occasion require, to bear a part in his Sighs, and Tears too; but then you must be sure to take care, that this Compliance does not infect your Mind, nor betray you to an inward and real Sorrow, upon any such Account.

Epictetus his Morals, with Simplicius his Comment.

Made English from the Greek by George Stanhope (1694) chapter xxii.]

[Footnote 2: Subject.]