« PreviousContinue »
But if it did affect my blood with joy,
Or swell my thoughts to any strain of pride,
If any rebel or vain spirit of mine
Did with the least affection of a welcome
Give entertainment to the might of it,
Let Heav’n for ever keep it from my head,
And make me as the poorest vassal is,
That doth with awe and terrour kneel to it!
K. Henry. O my son !
Heav'n put it in thy mind to take it lience,
That thou might'st win the more thy father's love,
Pleading so wisely in excuse of it.
Come hither, Harry, sit thou by my bed ;
And hear, I think, the very fatest counsel
That ever I shall breathe.
Heav'n knows, my son,
By what by-paths and indirect crooked ways
I met this crown ; and I myself know well
How troublesome it sat upon my head.
To thee it shall descend with better quiet,
Better opinion, better confirmation;
For all the soil of the achievement goes
With me into the earth. It seem'd in me
But as an honour snatch'd with boist'rous hand,
And I had many living to upbraid
My gain of it by their assistances ;
Which daily grew to quarrel and to bloodshed,
Wounding supposed peace. All their bold feats,
Thou seest, with peril I have answered.
For all my reign hath been but as a scene
Acting that argument: and now my death
Changes the mode ; for what in me was purchas-d,
thee in a much fairer sort :
For thou the garland wear'st successively.
Yet though thoủ stand'st more sure than I could do,
Thou art not firm enough, since griefs are green;
And all my friends, which thou must make thy frienıle,
Have but iheir stings and teeth newly ta'en out,
By whose fell working I was first advanc'd,
And by whose pow'r I well might lodge a fear,
To be again displac'd : which to avoid,
I cut them off, and had a purpose now
To lead out many to the Holy Land;
Lest rest and lying still might make them look
Too wear into my state. Therefore, ny Harry,
Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
With foreign quarrels ; that action, hence borne out,
May waste the memory of former days.
More would I, but my lungs are wasted so,
That strength of speech is utterly denied me.
How I came by the crown, O God, forgive !
And grant it may with thee in true peace live!
P. Henry. My gracious Liege,
You won it, wore it, kept it, gave it me;
Then plain and right must my possession be;
Which I with more than with a common paio,
'Gainst all the world, will rightfully maintain.
HENRY VI, WARWICK, AND CARDINAL BEAUFORT K. Hen. How fares my Lord? Speak, Beaufort, to .
? thy Sov'reign. Car. If thou be'st Dea h, I'll give thee England's treasure, Enough to purchase such another Island, So thou wilt let me live, and feel no pain.
K. Hen. Ah, what a sign it is of evil life, Where Death's approach is seen so terrible!
War. Beaufort, it is thy Sov'reign speaks to thee.
Car. Bring me unto ny trial when you will.
Died he not in his bed? Where should he die?
Can I make men live whether they will or no?
Oh, torture me no more, I will confess-
Alive again? Then show me where he is :
I'll give a thousand pounds to look upon
He hath no eyes, the dust hath blinded them;
Comb down bis hair_look! look! it stands upright,
Like lime twigs set to catch my winged soul.
Give me some drink, and bid ih' apothecary
Bring the strong poison that I bought of him
K. Hen. O thou Eternal Mover of the Heav'ns,
Look with a gentle eye upon this wretch ;
O, beat away the busy meddling fiend,
That lays strong siege unto this wretch's soul,
And from his bosom purge this black despair.
-Peace to his soul, if God's good pleasure be!
Lord Card'nal, if thou think'st on Heav'n's bliss, . :
Hold up thy hand, make signal of thy hope.
He dies, and makes no sign! O God, forgive him :
War. So bad a death argues a monstrous life.
K. Hen. Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all.
and draw the curtain close, And let us all to meditation.
Wol. 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 ;
The third day connes a frost-a killing frost,
And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely i
His greatness is a rip’ning, nips his sloot ;
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 bigh-blown pride
At length broke under me; and now has left me,
Weary and old with service, to the
Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me.
Vain pomp and glory of the world, I hate ye !
I feel my heart new open'd. Oh, how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favours !
There is, betwixt that smile he would aspire to, í
That sweet aspect of princes, and his ruin,
More pangs and fears than war or women liave;
And when he falls, le falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.
Why, how now, Cromwell ?
Crom. I have no pow'r to speak, Sir.
Wol. What! amaz'd
At my misfortunesCan thy spirit wonder
A great man should decline Nay, if you weep,
I'm fall'n indeed.
des 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 curd 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, 'tiş a byrden
Too heavy for a man that hopes for Heav'n !
Crom. I'm glad your Grace has made that right use of it.
Wol. I hope I have : I'm able now, methinks,
Out of a fortitude of soul I feel,
T'endure more miseries, and greater far,
Than my weak-hearted enenries 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 Chanc Hor in your place.
Vol. That's somewbat 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 wept on him
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 secresy long married,
This day was view'd in open as his Queen,
Going to chapel; and the voice is now
Only about her coroization.
Wol. . There was the weight that pulld me down : 0
The king has gone beyond me; all my glories
In that one woman I have lost for ever!
No sup shall ever usher forth my honours,
Or gild again the noble troops that waited
Upon my smiles. Go, get thee from me, Cromwell ·
I am a poor fall’n man, unworthy now
To be thy lord and master. Seek the king,
(That sun I pray may never set,) I've 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 ? Murst 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 pray'rs
For ever, and for
WVol. · Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
In aļl my m
es, but thou hast forc'd me,
Out of thy honesť truth, to play the woman-
Let's dry our eyes; and thus far bear me, Cronwell,
And when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
Of me must more be heard, say then I taught thee;
Say, Wolsey, that once rode the waves 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 which rulu'd ne:
Croniwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition; ;
By that sin fell the angels; how can man then
(Though th' image of bis Maker) hope to win ty't ?