Title: GARDINER to HENRY VIII [Gardiners's appraisal]
5476. GARDINER to HENRY VIII.
Besides other means of bringing the Pope to the King's purpose, has shown his Holiness apart "that which your Highness showed me in your gallery at Hampton Court concerning the solicitations of the princes of Almain," and other matters that ought to daunt him.
He is a man who never resolves anything unless compelled by some violent affection; and, as Henry suspected, will do nothing to offend the Emperor, unless he be first determined to declare himself in favoor of the King and Francis. This it would not be politic for him to do in the state of affairs here, unless the League proceed otherwise than they do, or the Pope determine to remove his see elsewhere. He is in great perplexity, and seems willing to gratify the King if he could, but, when it comes to the point, does nothing. Thinks he would be glad if the King's cause could be determined there by the legates; and if the Emperor made any suit against what shall be done there, they would serve him as they now do the King, and put off the time. There will be no security against this, unless Campeggio will frankly promise to give sentence in the King's favor; otherwise such delays will be found as this counterfeit brief has caused. Will endeavor to get the commission amplified, at least to the reprobation of the brief.
The King wonders, in his letters to Gardiner and his colleagues, that they make no mention of the bulls he was to procure. Thought this would have been explained by what they wrote of the Pope's sickness. Has not yet thought fit to mention it to the Pope, as it would interrupt the prosecution of the King's matter, except that he said a word to the Pope de ecclesiis cathedralibus, and his Holiness said nothing could be done until the cardinal S. Quatuor be recovered.
The only counsel they have yet engaged for the King are Dom. Michael and Dom. Sigismundus. The court is much deteriorated in learned men as in other things, and it is not every man that they can trust. As yet there has been no need to dispute openly. The Pope will hear no disputations as to his power of dispensing. He seems not to care himself whether the cause be decided by that article, or no, "so he did it not;" but it seems by his manner as if he was determined to meddle with it no more himself either way.
Thinks if Campeggio would promise to give sentence frankly, Gardiner could say something to the purpose there (i.e. in England) "with such consultations as I should bring from hence." Master Gregory sends the promise made by the Pope touching the King's cause when Gardiner went to Venice. The first three words, viz., cum nos justiciam ejus causæ perpendentes, make more for the King's cause than if the commission decretal in Campeggio's hand were showed; and this the King will be at liberty to show. Requests that the payment of Master Gregory's diets may be made to his factors in England, for he lives here at great expence. Rome, 21 April.