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sometimes five on other days. He hears the office
every day in the queen's chamber; that is to
say, vesper and compline. He is very fond of
hunting, and never takes his diversion without
tiring eight or ten horses, which he causes to
he stationed beforehand along the line of
country he means to take; and when one is
tired he mounts another, and, before he gets
home, they are all exhausted. He is extremely
fond of tennis, at which game it is the
prettiest thing in the world to see him play, his
fair skin glowing through a shirt of the finest

And in perfect accordance with this, is the
testimony of another Venetian, Pasqualigo, a
year or two earlier: "His majesty is the
handsomest potentate I ever set eyes on; above
the usual height, with an extremely fine calf to
his leg; his complexion very fair and bright,
with auburn hair combed straight and short in
the French fashion, and a round face, so very
beautiful that it would become a pretty woman,
his throat being rather long and thick."

A muscular frame; good animal spirits; and
general good humour. Who is not captivated by
such qualities? And though Henry had kingly
dignity, too, which not the very boldest would
have ventured for a moment to slight, he had yet
a familiarity and condescension at times, which
would have scorned the restraints of a cold and
lifeless etiquette. In a household book of the
Earl of Devon, we find an entry which brings
these characteristics out in strong relief; where,
among a multitude of other petty payments, is
the following: "To a lad at Charleton, for lending
his cap to my lord when the king and his
lords threw snowballs, fourpence."

But though Henry was no slave to etiquette,
there were fashions in that day as in this; and,
it would seem that in that day as in this, the
fashions came from France. Not only was it
"on hearing that Francis the First wore a
beard," that Henry allowed his own to grow,
but, as we have seen above, Pasqualigo found
that he combed his hair "straight and short
in the French fashion." Pasqualigo also
reported of him as follows: "He speaks French,
English, and Latin, and a little Italian; plays
well on the lute and harpsichord, sings from
book at sight, draws the bow with greater
strength than any man in England, and jousts
marvellously." The day after this was written
happened to be May-day, and the ambassador was
called at an early hour, to see the king go a-Maying.
He found the king's bodyguard dressed
all in green, like foresters, with bows and
arrows; and Henry himself wore a suit entirely
of the same colour. Even his shoes were green.
Breakfast was served in the bowers of Greenwich
Park, and Pasqualigo had a further
interview with Henry, which he describes as

"His majesty came into our arbor, and
addressing me in French, said, 'Talk with me
awhile. The king of France, is he as tall
as I am?' 1 told him there was but little
difference. He continued, 'Is he as stout?' I
said he was not; and he then inquired 'What
sort of legs has he?' I replied, 'Spare.' Whereupon
he opened the front of his doublet, and,
placing his hand on his thigh, said, 'Look
here; and I have also a good calf to my leg.'
He then told me that he was very fond of this
king of France, and that, on more than three
occasions he was very near him with his army, but
that he would never allow himself to be seen,
and always retreated; which his majesty
attributed to deference for King Lewis, who did
not choose an engagement to take place."

Francis the First, of whom this was said, had
ascended the French throne only four months
previously: a young and dashing king, in whom
men looked for a revival of something of the old
spirit of chivalry. Henry evidently regarded
him as a rival, whom he was anxious to out-do,
mind, body, and legs, in the eyes of the world;
and this thought must have been frequently in
his mind during the negotiations for the grand
interview between them, which had begun to be
talked about almost as soon as Francis became
king. The proposal for it, indeed, seems
originally to have come from Francis; but it
met with the most cordial response from Henry,
who, there can be little doubt, was anxious, not
only to see his rival, but to exhibit his own
magnificence, and personal accomplishments, before
his rival's subjects; to show heads and legs
with Francis before France itself.

For two or three years, however, the project
cooled. Francis, at the beginning of his reign
set off on an Italian expedition which did not
please Henry, and the relations between them
were not altogether cordial. But the clouds
seemed to have dispersed when, at the end of
three years, a treaty was made, which was
supposed to rivet firmly the alliance of the two
kings, by a project of marriage between the
dauphin and the infant princess Mary. Then
the place of emperor fell vacant, and Francis
was an unsuccessful candidate. He applied to
his new ally of England to support him in his
candidature, and Henry not only promised him
all sorts of testimonials, but afterwards assured
him, through Sir Thomas Boleyn, that, though
his efforts had been unsuccessful, he had done all
he could to help his election. Nevertheless,
one of the French king's agents, being behind
the tapestry when the Marquis of Brandenburg
gave audience to Richard Pace, the English
ambassador, distinctly overheard a speech from
that diplomatist, urging, that none but a German
should have the imperial dignity. Francis
was therefore quite well aware that Henry, for
all his assurances, instead of trying to promote
his election, had really used every effort to defeat
it; the fact being that he was a double dealer
in this matter, both to Francis and to his
competitor Charles. For with less than his usual
wisdom, Henry himself entered the field, as
a third candidate; and, though he had at first
advocated the claims of Charles, he afterwards did
all he could for himself only.

That Francis was indignant, as well he might
be, at this perfidy, we know from the conversations

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