THE QUESTION OF THE SEAL
A BOUT five o'clock Henry VIII. awoke out of an unrefreshing nap, and muttered to himself, "Troublous dreams, troublous dreams! Mine end is now at hand; so say these warnings, and my failing pulses do confirm it." Presently a wicked light flamed up in his eye, and he muttered, "Yet will not I die till he go before."
His attendants perceiving that he was awake, one of them asked his pleasure concerning the Lord Chancellor, who was waiting without.
"Admit him, admit him!" exclaimed the king eagerly.
The Lord Chancellor entered, and knelt by the king's couch, saying:
"I have given order, and, according to the king's command, the peers of the realm, in their robes, do now stand at the bar of the House, where, having confirmed the Duke of Norfolk's doom, they humbly wait his majesty's further pleasure in the matter."
The king's face lit up with a fierce joy. Said he:
"Lift me up! In mine own person will I go before my Parliament, and with mine own hand will I seal the warrant that rids me of--"