4/11/14

Talking Statues: mutilated text.(1st part)



Here you have again the first part of the interview to Henry VIII in my story 'Talking Statues'http://sanchezbenedito.blogspot.com.es/2014/11/historias-y-humor-talking-statues.html, but the text is mutilated. I invite you to fill in the gaps. To help you, I give you the initial letter of every word omitted:


Journalist: Well, Your Majesty, I'm a reporter from The Times, and I'm here to ask you a few questions about your life and r......... I hope you don't mind, as some of my questions might s...... too personal to you.


King Henry VIII: Whether I mind or don't mind is beside the p......., since I've been programmed to answer, to the b........ of my knowledge, any questions I'm asked, no m....... how personal they may be.


J: OK, Your Majesty. Well, we'll s........ the general data everybody knows about, such as date of birth, duration of reign, date of death, etc., and concentrate on those i....... about which you can express an opinion.


K: All right, I'm ready, f......!


J: Well, Your Majesty, generally speaking, History doesn't hold a f...... opinion of your person or your reign. To start w....., you've been accused by some historians of getting rid of anyone who d...... oppose you by charging them with treason and having them b......., even when some, like Thomas More or Cromwell, had previously rendered useful services to the Crown. What do you have to say to this?


K: It is t...... that I ordered the execution of many knights of high standing, including Sir Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell, but you have to b...... in mind that those were turbulent times and the security of the state had to be the king's p........ And I, as King of England, had then p........ enemies: Charles I of Spain, following the annulment of my marriage to his a......, Catherine of Aragon, and P.... Clement VII, after my rejection of papal authority, being the most formidable, though b..... no means the only ones.


J: Well, on the face of it, it seems quite obvious that your reason for rejecting papal authority, initiating the English Reformation was the Pope's refusal to declare your marriage to Catherine n...... and void, but there are historians who argue that you would have finally decreed the separation of the English Church from Rome in any case, because you n..... were a true Catholic. Is that so?


K: No, that's completely false. I was a devout and well-informed Catholic, t..... the extent that my 1521 publication Assertio Septem Sacramentorum('Defence of the Seven Sacraments') earned me the title of Fidei Defensor ('Defender of the Faith), b...... upon me by Pope Leo X. And if Pope Clement had not been so dull-witted,

clearly ill-advised by Charles I of Spain, Catherine's nephew, England would have probably remained Catholic to the p...... day, though I must say that the dissolution of the monasteries would have been inevitable so that taxes once payable to Rome could be trasferred to the Crown, together w..... the riches the religious orders had amassed.


J: Now, for my readers' benefit, I'd like to ask you a few questions about your wives, who played such an important r..... in your life. As is w..... known, you were married six times: first, to Catherine of Aragon, the youngest surviving child of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile. Catherine gave you a d....., Mary, and remained your legitimate devoted wife for 24 years, but still you had the marriage annulled, why?


H: It is true that she gave me a daughter and, before that, she had given b..... to a son - Henry - who unfortunately died seven weeks later, but after 24 years of marriage, it became clear to me that she wouldn't be able to give me a son, and I needed a m..... heir and so did England. In addition t.... that, when she married me, Catherine was the widow of my brother Arthur, and though we had a papal dispensation, I was beginning to feel that we were c...... incest.


J: Come on, Your Majesty, don't be ridiculous! That's a poor pretext. Catherine and Arthur had indeed been married for 20 weeks, but Arthur d...... at the age of 15, which makes it practically impossible for their marriage to have been consummated. And b....., remember you had the papal dispensation, which your father, Henry VII, and the Spanish ambassador, had obtained when you were betrothed to Catherine in 1503, that is six years before you married her, and they had made sure that the dispensation would be valid even if Arthur and Catherine's marriage had been c..........


H: That is as it may be, yet I felt that in marrying Catherine I had acted. c...... to Leviticus 20:21: "He that marrieth his brother's wife, doth an unlawful thing..."


J: But when you married her, she was your brother's w......, not his wife. Isn't it more true then that you wanted your marriage to Catherine annulled because you had f....... madly in love with Ann Boleyn, an attractive young woman in the Queen's entourage, and you were determined to marry her at a..... costs?


H: No, that's w...... As I've already said, I badly needed a male h..... - I even contemplated the possibility of legitimising Henry FitzRoy, the bastard son I'd had by Elizabeth Blount, one of my m..... - but I finally decided to reject Catherine and marry a woman of child-bearing age.


J: Well, be it as it may, in the end you h.... your way, and Anne Boleyn became your second wife. She also gave you a daughter, Elizabeth, but she too f..... to give you the son you desired, but why did you have her beheaded?


H: She was accused of adultery, incest, witchcraft and treason. She was tried, found g....... and condemned to death.


J: You know very well that none of those charges was ever proved, but you were in a hurry to get r..... of her. Actually, the day after her execution, you became engaged to Jane Seymour, one of Anne's ladies-in-waiting, with whom you were having an a......, and whom you married ten days later. But, please tell me, are you really sure, d...... in your heart, that Anne was unfaithful to you?


H: I know she flirted with some men at court but, to be honest, I don't know for sure w....... she actually cuckolded me or not, and I reckon that will r...... a secret for ever.

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