« PreviousContinue »
So fare you well, my little good lord cardinal ! 610
[Exeunt all but WOLSEY.
Wol. So farewel to the little good you bear me.
Farewel, a long farewel, to all my greatness!
This is the state of man; To-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hope, to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honours thick upon
The third day, comes a frost, a killing frost;
And-when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a ripening-nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventur'd,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
These many summers in a sea of glory;
But far beyond my depth : my high-blown pride
At length broke under me; and now has left me,
Weary, and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me.
Vain pomp, and glory of this world, I hate ye;
I feel my heart new open’d: 0, how wretched
Is that poor man, that hangs on princes' favours !
There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and our ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women have;
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.-
Enter CROMWELL, amazedly.
Why, how now, Cromwell ?
Crom. I have no power to speak, sir.
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 :
O, 'tis a burden, Cromwell, 'tis a burden,
Too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven. 650
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 highness' 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 orphan's tears wept on thein!
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 marry'd
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 pull'd me down,
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, 680
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, I pray, may never set! I have told him
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 690
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 i
Bear witness, all that have not hearts of iron,
With what a sorrow Cromwell leaves his lord.
The king shall have my service; but my prayers
For ever, and for ever, shall be your's.
Wol. Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
In all my miseries ; but thou hast forc'd me, 700
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 wreck, to rise in;
A sure and safe one, though thy master miss'd it.
Mark but my fall, and that that ruin'd me. 710
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
Corruption wins not more than honesty.
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,
To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not:
Let all the ends, thou aim'st at, be thy country's,
Thy God's, and truth's ; then if thou fall'st, o
Thou fall'st a blessed martyr. Serve the king;
And-Priythee, lead me in:
There take an inventory of all I have,
To the last penny; 'tis 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.
Crom. Good sir, have patience.
Wol. So I have. Farewel
730 The hopes of court! my hopes in heaven do dwell.
A Street in Westminster. Enter two Gentlemen, meeting
1 Gentleman. You
ou are well met once again.
2 Gen. So are you.
1 Gen. You come to take your stand here, and be.
The lady Anne pass from her coronation ?
2, Gen. Tis all my business. At our last encounter, The duke of Buckingham came from his trial. 1 Gen. 'Tis very true : but that time offer'd sor. row,