That noble letter aroused a tempest in the king's heart. The firm innocence stamped on it; the mention of Henry's tastes, and especially of his inclination for Jane Seymour; Anne's declaration that she had anticipated her husband's infidelity, the solemn appeal to the day of judgment, and the thought of the injury which such noble language would do to his reputation—all combined to fill that haughty prince with vexation, hatred, and wrath. That letter gives the real solution of the enigma. A guilty caprice had inclined Henry to Anne Boleyn; another caprice inclined him now to Jane Seymour. This explanation is so patent that no one need look for another.
When Luther was informed that Henry VIII. had abolished the authority of the pope in his kingdom, but had suffered the religious orders to remain, he smiled at the blunder: 'The king of England,' he said, 'weakens the body of the papacy but at the same time strengthens the soul.' That could not endure for long.