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CARDINAL WOLSEY AND CROMWELL.

119

Wol.

What, amaz'd
At

my misfortunes ? can thy spirit wonder
A great man should decline ? Nay, an you weep,
I am fallen indeed.
Crom.
How does your grace

? Wol.

Why, well;
Never so truly happy, my good Cromwell.
I know myself now; and I feel within me
A peace above all earthly dignities,
A still and quiet conscience. The king has cur'd me,
I humbly thank his grace; and from these shoulders,
These ruin'd pillars, out of pity, taken
A load would sink a navy, too much honour:
0, 't is a burden, Cromwell, 't is a burden,
Too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven.

Crom. I am glad your grace has made that right use of it.

Wol. I hope I have : I am able now, methinks,
(Out of a fortitude of soul I feel,)
To endure more miseries, and greater far,
Than my weak-hearted enemies dare offer.
What news abroad?
Crom.

The heaviest, and the worst,
Is your displeasure with the king.
Wol.

God bless him !
Crom. The next is, that sir Thomas More is chosen
Lord chancellor in your place.
Wol.

That's somewhat sudden:
But he's a learned man. May he continue
Long in his bighness' favour, and do justice
For truth's sake, and his conscience ; that his bones,
When he has run his course, and sleeps in blessings,
May have a tomb of orphans' tears wept on ’em !
What more ?

Crom. That Cranmer is return'd with welcome,
Install'd lord archbishop of Canterbury.

Wol. That's news indeed.
Crom.

Last, that the lady Anne,
Whom the king hath in secrecy long married,
This day was view'd in open, as his queen,
Going to chapel; and the voice is now
Only about her coronation,

Wol. There was the weight that pulld me down. O Cromwell, The king has gone beyond me; all my glories In that one woman I have lost for ever: No sun shall ever usher forth mine honours, Or gild again the noble troops that waited Upon my smiles. Go, get thee from me, Cromwell, I am a poor fallen man, unworthy now To be thy lord and master: Seek the king ; (That

sun, 1 pray, may never set !) I have told him

I
What, and how true thou art: he will advance thee;
Some little memory of me will stir him
(I know his noble nature) not to let
Thy hopeful service perish too: Good Cromwell,
Neglect him not; make use now, and provide
For thine own future safety.
Crom.

O, my lord,
Must I then leave you? must I needs forego
So good, so noble, and so true a master ?
Bear witness, all that have not hearts of iron,
With what a sorrow Cromwell leaves his lord,
The king sball have my service; but my prayers
For ever, and for ever,

Wol. Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
In all my miseries; but thou hast forc'd me
Out of thy honest truth to play the woman.
Let's dry our eyes : and thus far hear me, Cromwell;
And,—when I am forgotten, as I shall be;
And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
Of me more must be heard of, - say, I taught thee;
Say, Wolsey,—that once trod the ways of glory,
And sounded all the depths and shoals of honour,
Found thee a way, out of his wrack, to rise in;
A sure and safe one, though thy master miss'd it.
Mark but my fall, and that that ruin’d me.
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition ;
By that sin fell the angels; how can man then,
The image of his Maker, hope to win by 't?
Love thyself last: cherish those hearts that hate thee ;
Corruption wins not more than honesty.
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,
To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not:

shall be yours.

CARDINAL WOLSEY AND CROMWELL.

121

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Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,
Thy God's, and truth's; then if thou fall’st, O Cromwell,
Thou fall'st a blessed martyr. Serve the king ;
And,- Prithee, lead me in:
There take an inventory of all I have,
To the last penny; 't is the king's: my robe,
And my integrity to heaven, is all
I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Cromwell,
Had I but serv'd my God with half the zeal
I serv'd my king, He would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.

Shakspeare (' Henry VIII.').

QUEEN KATHARINE AND GRIFFITH.

Kath. Didst thou not tell me, Griffith, as thou led'st me,
That the great child of honour, cardinal Wolsey,
Was dead ?

Grif. Yes, madam; but I think your grace,
Out of the pain you suffer'd, gave no ear to it.

Kath. Prithee, good Griffith, tell me how he died:
If well, he stepp'd before me, happily,
For my example.
Grif. Well, the voice

goes,

madam:
For after the stout earl Northumberland
Arrested him at York, and brought him forward
(As a man sorely tainted) to his answer,
He fell sick suddenly, and grew so ill,
He could not sit his mule.
Kath.

Alas, poor man!
Grif. At last, with easy roads, he came to Leicester,
Lodg’d in the abbey ; where the reverend abbot,
With all his convent, honourably receiv'd him ;
To whom he gave these words,–O father abbot,
An old man, broken with the storms of state,
Is come to lay his weary bones among ye;
Give him a little earth for charity!'
So went to bed : where eagerly his sickness

Pursued him still ; and, three nights after this,
About the hour of eight, (which he himself
Foretold should be his last,) full of repentance,
Continual meditations, tears, and sorrows,
He
gave

his honours to the world again,
His blessed past to heaven, and slept in peace.

Kath. So may he rest; his faults lie gently on him !
Yet thus far, Griffith, give me leave to speak him,
And yet with charity :-He was a man
Of an unbounded stomach, ever ranking
Himself with princes; one, that by suggestion
Tied all the kingdoms : simony was fair play;
His own opinion was his law: I'the presence
He would say untruths; and be ever double,
Both in his words and meaning : He was never,
But where he meant to ruin, pitiful :
His promises were, as he then was, mighty;
But bis performance, as he is now, nothing.
Of his own body he was ill, and gave
The clergy ill example.
Grif.

Noble madam,
Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtues .
We write in water. May it please your highness
To hear me speak his good now?
Kath.

Yes, good Griffith;
I were malicious else.
Grif.

This cardinal,
Though from an humble stock, undoubtedly
Was fashion'd to much honour from his cradle.
He was a scholar, and a ripe and good one;
Exceeding wise, fair spoken, and persuading:
Lofty, and sour, to them that lov'd him not;
But to those men that sought him, sweet as summer.
And though he were unsatisfied in getting,
(Which was a sin,) yet in bestowing, madam,
He was most princely: Ever witness for him
Those twins of learning, that he rais'd in you,
Ipswich, and Oxford ! one of which fell with him,
Unwilling to outlive the good that did it;
The other, though unfinish’d, yet so famous,
So excellent in art, and still so rising,

QUEEN KATHARINE AND GRIFFITH.

123

That Christendom shall ever speak his virtue.
His overthrow heap'd happiness upon him ;
For then, and not till then, he felt himself,
And found the blessedness of being little :
And, to add greater honours to his age
Than man could give him, he died fearing God.

Kath. After my death I wish no other herald,
No other speaker of my living actions,
To keep mine honour from corruption,
But such an honest chronicler as Griffith.
Whom I most hated living, thou hast made me,
With thy religious truth and modesty,
Now in his ashes honour: Peace be with him!

Shakspeare ( Henry VIII.').

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