Competition for Henry's hand -- Solicitations from France and from the Emperor -- Overtures from the Pope -- Jane Seymour -- General eagerness for the King's marriage -- Conduct of Henry in the interval before Anne's execution -- Marriage with Jane Seymour -- Universal satisfaction -- The Princess Mary -- Proposal for a General Council -- Neutrality of England in the war between France and the Empire.
HUMAN nature is said to be the same in all ages and countries. Manners, if it be so, signally vary. Among us, when a wife dies, some decent interval is allowed before her successor is spoken of. The execution for adultery of a Queen about whom all Europe had been so long and so keenly agitated might have been expected to be followed by a pause. No pause, however, ensued after the fall of Anne Boleyn. If Henry had been the most interesting and popular of contemporary princes, there could not have been greater anxiety to secure his vacant hand. Had he been the most pious of Churchmen, the Pope could not have made greater haste to approach him with offers of friendship. There was no waiting even for the result of the trial. No sooner was it known that Anne had been committed to the Tower for adultery than the result was anticipated as a certainty. It was assumed as a matter of course that the King would instantly look for another wife, and Francis and the Emperor lost not a moment in trying each to