Henry VIII. to Anne Boleyn.
[ June, 1528 ]
There came to me suddenly in the night the most afflicting news that could have arrived. On three accounts
I must lament it. The first, to hear of the illness of my mistress,1 whom I esteem more than all the world,
and whose health I desire as I do my own, so that I would gladly bear half your illness to make you well.
The second, from the fear that I have of being still longer harassed by my enemy. Absence much longer,
who has hitherto given me all possible uneasiness, and as far as I can judge is determined to spite me more.
The third, because I pray God to rid me of this troublesome tormentor, because my physician, in whom I have
most confidence, is absent at the very time when he might do me the greatest pleasure; for I should hope,
by him and his means, to obtain one of my chief joys on earth—that is the care of my mistress—yet
for want of him I send you my second, and hope that he will soon make you well. I shall then love him more
than ever. I beseech you to be guided by his advice in your illness. In so doing I hope soon to see you again,
which will be to me a greater comfort than all the precious jewels in the world.
Written by that secretary,
who is, and for ever will be,
Your loyal and most assured servant,
H. (AB) R.
1. The sweating sickness epidemic, which raged in London and surrounds
in June, 1528. cf. two letters from the French Ambassador.]