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Vain pomp, and glory of this world, I hate ye;
I feel my heart new open'd: O, how wretched
Is that poor man, that hangs on princes' favours!
There is, betwixt that smile he would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their 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,
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 honor:
O, 'tis a burden, Cromwell, 'tis 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 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 'em!
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 pull'd me down 0
The king has gone beyond me, all my glories
In that one woman I have lost forever:
No sun shall ever usher forth mine honors,
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
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 shall have my service; but my prayers
Forever, and forever, shall be yours.
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 honor,-
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in;
A sure and safe one, though thy master miss'd US
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,
And 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 Cromwell,
Thou fall'st a blessed martyr. Serve the king;
And, Pr'ythee, 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. Farewell
The hopes of court! my hopes in heaven do dwell.
DEATH AND CHARACTER OF CARDINAL WOLSEY.
Katharine. Didst thou not tell me, Griffith, as thou led'st
That the great child of honor, cardinal Wolsey,
Griffith. Yes, madam; but, I think, your grace,
Out of the pain you suffered, gave no ear to't.
Kath. Pr'ythee, 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, honorably 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 honors to the world again,
His blessed part 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 kingdom: 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 his 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 honor. 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,
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 honors to his
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 honor 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 honor: Peace be with him!
SOLILOQUY OF KING HENRY ON SLEEP.
How many thousands of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep! O gentle sleep!
Nature's soft nurse! How have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down,
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hush'd with buzzing night flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfum'd chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull'd with sounds of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god! Why liest thou with the vile,
In loathsome beds, and leav'st a kingly couch,
A watchcase to a common larum bell?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast,
Seal up the shipboy's eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge,
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the tops,
Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
With deaf'ning clamors in the slipp'ry shrouds,
That with the hurly, death itself awakes;
Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose
To the wet sea boy in an hour so rude,
And in the calmest and the stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then happy, lowly clown!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
MOONLIGHT AND MUSIC.
Lorenzo and Jessica.
Lor. How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank! Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music Creep in our ears; soft stillness, and the night, Become the touches of sweet harmony. Sit, Jessica: Look, how the floor of heaven Is thick inlaid with pattens of bright gold; There's not the smallest orb, which thou behold'st, But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young ey'd cherubims:
Such harmony is in immortal souls!
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.-
Come, ho, and wake Diana with a hymn;
With sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear,
And draw her home with music.
Jes. I am never merry when I hear sweet music. [Music.
Lor. The reason is, your spirits are attentive:
For do but note a wild and wanton herd,
Or race of youthful and unhandled colts,
Fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neighing loud,
Which is the hot condition of their blood;
If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound,
any air of music touch their ears,