George’s wife, Jane Rochford, continues to be a thorn in his side—and mine. I have her at court, albeit reluctantly. I do not like or trust her, and I believe the feeling to be mutual. As such, I assign her the least pleasant tasks of a lady-in-waiting—emptying my chamber pot and the like. I believe the only thing that keeps her afloat is her burning hatred. I have also had another cousin of mine brought to court as a lady in waiting. Her name is Catherine Howard, and she is young, musically talented, and quite pleasant. She is also quite popular with the men at court, although I watch her closely to be certain she does not engage in lewd behavior. She told me she exchanged kisses with her music teacher.
“You must never do that again!” I told her severely.
“My grandmother spanked me for it. But then she let me go off with him.” Catherine Howard said.
“Your grandmother…” I said. It was known her grandmother reared her in a ramshackle household. What else went on there? Dare I ask? Do I even wish to know? Catherine Howard continued speaking when I gave her my permission to do so.
“He told me what he was doing was all right.” Catherine Howard said.
“That foul man lied to you, little Catherine.” I said, angry not at her, but him. Poor child, I thought. It is not her fault. She is so eager to please she will fall into sin to do so. Nonetheless, I must teach her right from wrong, as nobody has thought to do so. The Duchess will pay for her to learn music but not morals? Oh Jesus, what corrupt world is this?!
“And it is a wicked thing for him to do so. He sinned against you, and you sin when you kiss men you are not married to. You must not kiss any man who is not your husband.” I warn her.
“But you dance with men in the court.” Catherine Howard said. Indeed, both before, during and after my marriage, I had done so. But courtly love was not the same as adultery, which Catherine Howard was committing!
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