« PreviousContinue »
Wol.-Farewell ! a long farewell, to all my greatness ! This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth The tender leaves of hopes ; to-morrow blossoms, And bears his blushing honours thick upon him ; 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 ventured, Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders, This 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. O how wretched
Thomas Wolsey, son of a well
to-do citizen of Ipswich, was born in 1471, and rose by his genius and industry to be Lord Chancellor, under Henry VIII.,-Cardinal, and Legate. Loyal to the King, but unprincipled, he lost favour at last, after a career of unequalled glory, by his duplicity in the matter of Queen Catherine's divorce; was stripped of most of his wealth, and all his political honours, and died in disgrace, in
1530, aged 59. ? Thomas Cromwell, Earl of
Essex, of obscure origin, but of
capacious political intellect, entered Wolsey's service after a rough and adventurous youth. He was about 40 at the time of Wolsey's fall, and passed forthwith into Henry VIIL's service, in which he rose to be all-powerful, both at home and abroad His ecclesiastical reforms and his haughty bearing towards the great, however, created many enemies, who at last succeeded in bringing him to the block on various charges. He was beheaded in 1540, at the age of about 60.
Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favours !
and fears than war or women have :
Enter Cromwell, and stands amazed. Why, how now, Cromwell!
Crom.--I have no power to speak, sir.
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 cured me, I humbly thank his Grace; and, from these shoulders, These ruined pillars, out of pity, taken A load would sink a navy, too much honour : Oh, 'tis a burden, Cromwell, 'tis a burden Too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven! Go get thee from me, Cromwell ; I am a poor fall’n man, unworthy now To be thy lord and master : Seek the King,
pray, may never set; I have told him What, and how true thou art : he will advance thee;
3 Lucifer, the Light-bringer, a name for the Morning Star, and then
for Satan, as once like that star in glory.
Some little memory of me will stir him-
Crom.-0 my Lord,
and for ever, shall be yours.
miseries ; but thou hast forced 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, 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 missed it. Mark but my fall, and that which ruined 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 it? 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:
Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,
Sin HENRY WOTTON.-Born, 1568; Died, 1639.
Wotton was born in Kent, and was secretary to the Earl of Kent, but foreseeing his fall, left England. He returned on the accession of James I., and was sent as Ambassador to Venice. In his later years he took Deacon's Orders, and was Provost of Eton.
THE HAPPY LIFE.
IIow happy is he born and taught,
* prithee, I pray thee.
Who envies none that chance doth raise,
BEN JONSON, born, 1574; died, 1637. Ben Jonson was well-born, but his mother, being left a widow, married a bricklayer. He was sent by a friend to Cambridge, but had to return and take to his father-in-law's trade. Disliking this, he joined the army, then fighting in Flanders, and finally came back to London and took to literature. His dramas are marked by a severe and strong imagination and high dramatic power.
HYMN TO THE MOON.
State in wonted manner keep: I 'To ruin him would not greatly en- i huntress. The moon, as Diana, rich anyone
was pictured by the ancient poets 2 Slavish.
as a huntress.