Page images
PDF
EPUB

For holy offices I have a time; a time
To think upon the part of business, which
I bear i’the state; and nature does require
Her times of preservation, which, perforce,
I her frail son, amongst my brethren mortal,
Must give my tendance to.
K. Hen.

You have said well.
Wol. And ever may your highness yoke together,
As I will lend you cause, my doing well
With my well saying!
K. Hen.

'Tis well said again; And 'tis a kind of good deed, to say well: And yet words are no deeds. My father lov'd you: He said, he did; and with his deed did crown Ilis word upon you. Since I had my office, I have kept you next my heart; have not alone Employ'd you where high profits might come home, But par’d my present havings, to bestow My bounties upon you. Wol.

What should this mean? Sur. The Lord increase this business! [Aside. K. Hen.

Have I not made

you The prime man of the state? I pray you, tell me, If what I now pronounce, you have found true: And, if you may confess it, say withal, If you are bound to us, or no.

What say you? Woł. My sovereign, I confess, your royal graces; Shower'd on me daily, have been more, than could My studied purposes requite; which went Beyond all man's endeavours:-my endeavours Have ever come too short of my desires, Yet, fil'd with my abilities: Mine own ends

person, and

Have been mine so, that evermore they pointed
To the good of your most sacred
The profit of the state. For your great graces
Heap'd upon me, poor undeserver, I
Can nothing render but allegiant thanks;
My prayers to heaven for you; my loyalty,
Which ever has, and ever shall be growing,
Till death, that winter, kill it.
K. Hen.

Fairly answer'd;
A loyal and obedient subject is
Therein illustrated: The honour of it
Does pay the act of it; as, i’the contrary,
The foulness is the punishment. I presume,
That, as my hand has open’d bounty to you,
My heart dropp'd love, my power rain'd honour,

more On you, than

any; so your hand, and heart, Your brain, and every function of your power, Should, notwithstanding that your bond of duty, As 'twere in love's particular, be more To me, your friend, than any. Wol.

I do profess, That for your highness' good I ever labour'd More than mine own; that am, have, and will be. Though all the world should crack their duty to

you, And throw it from their soul; though perils did Abound, as thick as thought could make them, and Appear in forms more horrid; yet my duty, As doth a rock against the chiding flood, Should the approach of this wild river break, And stand unshaken yours.

K. Hen.

'Tis nobly spoken: Take notice, lords, he has a loyal breast, For you have seen him open't.—Read o'er this;

[Giving him papers. And, after, this: and then to breakfast, with What appetite you have.

[Exit King, frowning upon Cardinal Wolsey :

the Nobles throng after him, smiling, and

whispering. IVol.

What should this mean? What sudden anger's this? how have I reap'd it? He parted frowning from me, as if ruin Leap'd from his eyes: So looks the chafed lion Upon the daring huntsman that has gall’d him; Then makes him nothing. I must read this paper; I fear, the story of his anger.—'Tis so; This paper

has undone me:-'Tis the account Of all that world of wealth I have drawn together For mine own ends; indeed, to gain the popedom, And fee my friends in Rome.

friends in Rome. O negligence, Fit for a fool to fall by! What cross devil Made me put this main secret in the packet I sent the king? Is there no way to cure this? No new device to beat this from his brains? I know, 'twill stir him strongly; Yet I know A way, if it take right, in spite of fortune Will bring me off again. What's this—To the Pope? The letter, as I live, with all the business I writ to his holiness. Nay then, farewel! I have touch'd the highest point of all my great

ness; And, from that full meridian of my glory,

I haste now to my setting: I shall fall
Like a bright exhalation in the evening,
And no man see me more.

ke-enter the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, the

Earl of Surrey, and the Lord Chamberlain. Nor. Hear the king's pleasure, cardinal: who commands

you To render up the great seal presently Into our hands; and to confine yourself To Asher-house, my lord of Winchester's, Till you

hear further from his highness. Wol.

Stay, Where's your commission, lords? words cannot carry Authority so weighty. Suf.

Who dare cross them? Bearing the king's will from his mouth expressly? Wol. Till I find more than will, or words, to do

it, (I mean, your malice,) know, officious lords, I dare, and must deny it. Now I feel Of what course metal ye are moulded, -envy. How eagerly ye

follow

my disgraces, As if it fed ye? and how sleek and wanton Ye appear

in every thing may bring my ruin ! Follow your envious courses, men of malice; You have christian warrant for them, and, no doubt, In time will find their fit rewards. That seal, , You ask with such a violence, the king, (Mine, and your master,) with his own hand gave

me:

Wol.

Bade me enjoy it, with the place and honours,
During my life; and, to confirm his goodness,
Ty'd it by letters patents: Now, who'll take it?

Sur. The king, that gave it.
Wol.

It must be himself then. Sur. Thou art a proud traitor, priest.

Proud lord, thou liest; Within these forty hours Surrey durst better Have burnt that tongue, than said so. Sur.

Thy ambition,
Thou scarlet sin, robb’d this bewailing land
Of noble Buckingham, my father-in-law:
The heads of all thy brother cardinals,
(With thee, and all thy best parts bound together,)
Weigh'd not a hair of his. Plague of your policy!
You sent me deputy for Ireland;
Far from his succour, from the king, from all
That might have mercy on the fault thou gav'st him;
Whilst your great goodness, out of holy pity,
Absolv'd him with an axe.
Wol.

This, and all else
This talking lord can lay upon my credit,
I answer, is most false. The duke by law
Found his deserts: how innocent I was
From any private malice in his end,
His noble jury and foul cause can witness.
If I lov’d many words, lord, I should tell

you,
You have as little honesty as honour;
That I, in the way of loyalty and truth
Toward the king, my ever royal master,
Dare mate a sounder man than Surrey can be,
And all that love his follies.

« PreviousContinue »