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You writ to the pope, against the king : your goodness,
Since you provoke me, shall be most notorious.
My lord of Norfolk, as you are truly noble,
As you respect the common good, the state
Of our despis'd nobility, our issues,
Who, if he live, will scarce be gentlemen,-
Produce the grand sum of his sins, the articles
Collected from his life :-I 'll startle you
Worse than the sacring bell, when the brown wench
Lay kissing in your arms, lord cardinal.
Wol. How much, methinks, I could despise this
But that I am bound in charity against it!
Nor. Those articles, my lord, are in the king's hand :
But, thus much, they are foul ones.
So much fairer,
And spotless, shall mine innocence arise,
When the king knows my truth.
This cannot save you:
I thank my memory, I yet remember
Some of these articles; and out they shall.
Now, if you can blush, and cry guilty, cardinal,
You 'll show a little honesty.
Speak on, sir;
I dare your worst objections : if I blush,
It is, to see a nobleman want manners.
Suf. I'd rather want those than my head. Have at
First, that, without the king's assent or knowledge,
You wrought to be a legate; by which power
You maim'd the jurisdiction of all bishops.
Nor. Then, that in all you writ to Rome, or else
To foreign princes, Ego et Rex meus
Was still inscrib'd; in which you brought the king
To be your servant.
Then, that, without the knowledge Either of king or council, when you went
Ambassador to the emperor, you made bold
To carry into Flanders the great seal.
Sur. Item, you sent a large commission
To Gregory de Cassalis, to conclude,
Without the king's will, or the state's allowance,
A league between his highness and Ferrara.
Suf. That, out of mere ambition, you have caus'd Your holy hat to be stamp'd on the king's coin.
Sur. Then, that you have sent innumerable substance,
(By what means got, I leave to your own conscience,
To furnish Rome, and to prepare the ways
You have for dignities ; to the mere a undoing
Of all the kingdom. Many more there are ;
Which, since they are of you, and odious,
I will not taint my mouth with.
O my lord,
Press not a falling man too far; 't is virtue:
His faults lie open to the laws; let them,
Not you, correct him. My heart weeps to see him
So little of his great self.
I forgive him.
Suf. Lord cardinal, the king's further pleasure is,
Because all those things, you have done of late
By your power legatine within this kingdom,
Fall into the compass of a præmunire,
That therefore such a writ be sued against you;
To forfeit all your goods, lands, tenements,
Chattels, and whatsoever, and to be
Out of the king's protection :- This is my charge.
Nor. And so we'll leave you to your meditations How to live better. For your stubborn answer, About the giving back the great seal to us, The king shall know it, and, no doubt, shall thank you. So fare you well, my little good lord cardinal.
[Exeunt all but WOLSEY. Wol. So farewell to the little good you bear me.
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 ventur’d,
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: 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 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, Cromwell ?
Crom. I have no power to speak, sir.
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?
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, '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
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?
The heaviest, and the worst,
Is your displeasure with the king.
God bless him!
Crom. The next is, that sir Thomas More is chosen
Lord chancellor in your place.
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 bis conscience; that his bones,
When he has run his course, and sleeps in blessings,
May have a tomb of orphans' tears wept on 'em!
Crom. That Cranmer is return'd with welcome,
Install'd lord archbishop of Canterbury.
Wol. That 's news indeed.
Last, that the lady Anne,
Whom the king hath in secrecy long married,
This day was viewd 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. O
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, 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 Croinwell,
Neglect him not; make use now, and provide
For thine own future safety.
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
For ever, and for ever, 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 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:
Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,