Suffolk had set his trap. Now it was time to spring it.
“Lord Cardinal, your recent actions have done what you wished them to do. You have attracted His Majesty’s attention. Only,” and here he smiled, “it may not be the sort you had imagined.”
Wolsey, stiff and impenetrable, buried in his velvet, sat with a face of stone.
Suffolk looked to Norfolk, took a scroll from the folds of his cloak.
“A Declaration of Praemoneri. You are hereby informed that a writ shall be sued against you to forfeit all your goods, lands, tenements, chattels and so forth. His Majesty intends to strip you bare before he turns his back on you. You are no longer under his protection.”
Wolsey continued to stare, still as a statue, glabrous eyes jutting and only slightly reddened by the many glasses of wine he spaced evenly throughout the day so he was never drunk and never sober.
Suffolk, realizing that the Cardinal would not now take the scroll from his hand, perhaps would never even read it, set it down on the table next to the bottles.
Norfolk walked to the door, his face twisted with the scorn he had held in check for so long.
“And now we leave you to your meditations, old man,” he spat. “How to live better. You might think also about what your refusal to give us back the Great Seal will cost you. Imagine all you have, all you will ever have, and double that. Now imagine watching it given to us while you watch from a barred window in the Tower as you wait for the Headman’s axe. If such is your fate, know that you brought it on yourself.”
“Enough,” said Suffolk.
Apologies to William Shakespeare