Chapter 7 - Play and Reception

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-Charlotte-

I stood with my Uncle and Aunt waiting to see the infamous play. Two actors came out dresses as his Holiness and Cardinal Campegeo. I clapped like everyone else.

"Let us go about our other matters. Now as much as King John does Holy Church so handle so here I curse him with cross, book bell and candle."  'His Holiness' turned round to break wind. There was a burst of laughter none of which was from me as I continued to watch

"I will ask God to put him from his eternal light. I will take him from Christ. And after the sound of this bell." there was nothing "The bell you buggers the bell." it then rang as people laughed

"And after the sound of this bell. I said after the sound of this bell." it was a little amusing  "...both body and soul, I will give him to the devil in hell" he broke wind again.

"And mean while..." i continued to watch and even laughed a couple of times. Charles left to see the king and came back annoyed.

"What is it?" I ask

"That woman is a whore" he quietly snarls "She treats me worse than I treat my dogs"

"But, your dogs bite back." Catherine replied. It upset me that Her majesty could not show respect and take the higher ground, I found I felt a bit of anger. Yet I pushed it down. I turned round slightly to look at their majesties and caught the Kings eye. he bowed his head slightly, and I returned it. His Excellency Chapuys stood next to me.

"How is Queen Catherine?" My uncle wondered

"Alas, she is very unwell. She is sinking. Not only is her household severely reduced but she has be separated from her daughter for the last four years."

"That is very cruel." I shake my head

"But her faith is astonishing."

"And the Lady Mary?"

"While the concubine has power I fear for her life." Is this what the Queen has done, split up a family to gain power. I couldn't imagine having a daughter then being brutally split up from her. I could feel what the Lady Mary feels, being parted from her mother. But we have very different circumstances.

Once the play was finished Uncle Charles told us that we were to return home and welcome the Admiral of France and give him a place to stay before his visit to the King.

-----

I stood with my family awaiting of the French convoy arrival. The doors opened upon the entrance.

His Excellency Philippe Chabot de Brion Admiral of France." He bowed to my Uncle

"Your Grace"

"Admiral Chabot. It is my privilege and pleasure to welcome you and your party to my home and to England. My I present my wife the Duchess." Chabot took her hand kindly

"Madame. I am delighted to meet you"

"And my niece the Lady Charlotte"

"Mademoiselle, always a pleasure to see you again." he greeted

"As it is you Monsieur"

"And with you permission may I present my secretary Monsieur  Alfonse Contier"

"Madame, Mademoiselle. Your Grace."

"And my niece Mademoiselle Germaine."

" Mademoiselle  you are very pretty." Catherine smiled

"Madame...Your Grace." he eyes lingered on my Uncle " Mademoiselle" she did not look at me and I took a dislike to her, I had a feeling she would be trouble.

"So tell me, Your Grace, what are we to expect?"

"I am to entertain you and your staff here. Then the King invites you to dine at court."

"Very good."

"There is one other thing. I am told that Queen Anne has planned a banquet in your honour.  And a tennis match." Like all the French he portrayed a blank mask.

"I believe you met her majesty once before, in Calais when she accompanied his majesty before her coronation." he shrugged

"I may have but I do not have any recollection of any such meeting. And, alas I do not play tennis." I smiled a little

"Shall we" Uncle cleared his throat. Chabot held out his arm

" Mademoiselle" I smiled and took it. We began to dine and I started talking to the admiral

"Monsieur, how is their majesties? Are they well?"

"Please call me Phillipe we have know each other for a long time. Yes they are well infact.." he clicked his fingers and I was handed a letter

"Her Majesty the Queen asked me to give this to you and wishes you well." I smiled and took it.

"I miss her dearly, despite we are somewhat close in age she treated me as a daughter after my mother disappeared."

"There is still no word from her?"

"No, but I have grown accustomed. To see her again would be a miracle, but I am not who I once was."

"Lottie, Her majesty raised you?" Catherine asked

"Yes, my mother was one of her ladies in waiting.  I loved seeing what my mother would do and I met her majesty a few times. I remember sneaking away from my governess to see mama. Her majesty would laugh when I got scolded. Upon news of my abandonment she felt pity and call me forth. I was to take my mother's place one day anyway. She raised me then I became her lady in waiting. I was sad to leave."

I continued to converse with Phillipe and his secretary over the next two weeks.

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