« PreviousContinue »
O my lord,
Sur. Then, that you have sent innumerable sub
stance (By what means got, I leave to your own con
weeps to see him So little of his great self. Sur.
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 29 within this kingdom, Fall into the compass of a præmunire 30, 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
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.
29 As the pope's legate. 30 The judgment in a writ of præmunire (a barbarous word used instead of præmonere) is, that the defendant shall be out of the king's protection; and his lands and tenements, gooas and chattels forfeited to the king; and that his body shall remain in prison at the king's pleasure. The old copy reads, erroneously, castles, instead of cattels, the old word for chattels, as it is found in Holinshed, p. 909.
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 hope, to-morrow blossoms, And bears his blushing honours thick upon
him 31 : 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 33, More pangs
and fears than wars or women have; And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer, Never to hope again 33, 31 Thus in Shakspeare's twenty-fifth Sonnet :
• Great princes' favourites their fair leaves spread,
For at a frown they in their glory die.' 32 «Their ruin' is 'their displeasure, producing the downfall and ruin of him on whom it lights. Thus in a former passage:
• He parted frowning from me as if ruin
Leap'd from his eyes.' 33 Thomas Storer, in his Metrical Life of Wolsey, 1599, has a similar image :
If once we fall, we fall Colossus-like,
We fall at once, like pillars of the sunne.'
• Your fault not half so great as was my pride,
Enter CROMWELL, amazedly.
Why, how now, Cromwell ?
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: 0, '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
weak-hearted enemies dare offer 34. 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.
34 So in King Henry VI. Part 11.:
• More can I bear, than you dare execute.' And in Othello :
• Thou hast not half the power to do me harm,
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 orphans' tears 35 wept on 'em! What more?
Crom. That Cranmer is return’d with welcome, Installid lord archbishop of Canterbury.
Wol. That's news indeed.
Last, that the Lady Anne,
35 The chancellor is the general guardian of orphans. ‘A tomb of tears (says Johnson) is very harsh.' Steevens has adduced an Epigram of Martial, in which the Heliades are said to weep a tomb of tears' over a viper. V. Lib. iv. Epig. 59. Drummond, in his Teares for the Death of Moeliades, has the same conceit:
· The Muses, Phoebus, Love, have raised of their teares
A crystal tomb to him, through which his worth appears.' There is a similar conceit in King Richard II. Act iii. Sc. 3.
36 In open is a Latinism. 'Et castris in aperto positis, Liv, i. 33; i. e. in a place exposed on all sides to view.
37 The number of persons who composed Cardinal Wolsey's household, according to the authentic copy of Cavendish, was five hundred. Cavendish's work, though written soon after the death of Wolsey, was not printed till 1641, and then in a most unfaithful and garbled manner, the object of the publication having been to render Laud odious, by showing how far church
I am a poor fallen man, unworthy now
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 38
and provide For thine own future safety. Crom.
0, 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 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.
power had been extended by Wolsey, and how dangerous that prelate was, who, in the opinion of many, followed bis example. In that spurious copy we read that the number of his household was eight hundred persons. In other MSS. and in Dr. Wordsworth's edition, we find it stated at one hundred and eighty persons. 38 i. e. interest. So in Much Ado About Nothing:
I gave him use for it.'