Imatges de pÓgina
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Sur. Thou art a proud traitor, priest.

Wol.
Within these forty hours Surrey durst better

Proud lord, thou liest;

Have burnt that tongue, than said so.

Thy ambition,

Sur.
Thou scarlet sin, robb'd this bewailing land
Of noble Buckingham, my father-in-law:
The heads of all thy brother cardinals,

(With thee, and all thy best parts bound together,)
Weigh'd not a hair of his. Plague of your policy!
You sent me deputy for Ireland;

Far from his succour, from the king, from all

That might have mercy on the fault thou gav'st him;
Whilst your great goodness, out of holy pity,
Absolv'd him with an axe.

Wol.
This, and all else
This talking lord can lay upon my credit,
I answer, is most false. The duke by law
Found his deserts: how innocent I was
From any private malice in his end,
His noble jury and foul cause can witness.
If I lov'd many words, lord, I should tell you,
You have as little honesty as honour;

†That I, in the way of loyalty and truth
Toward the king, my ever royal master,

Dare mate a sounder man than Surrey can be,
And all that love his follies.

Sur.

By my soul,

Your long coat, priest, protects you; thou should'st feel

My sword i'the life-blood of thee else.

Can you endure to hear this arrogance?

My lords,

And from this fellow? If we live thus tamely,

5

To be thus jaded by a piece of scarlet,

↑ "That in the way," &c.— Malone.

To be thus jaded-] To be abused and ill treated, like a worthless horse or perhaps to be ridden by a priest; to have him mounted above us.

Farewell nobility; let his grace go forward,
And dare us with his cap, like larks."

Wol.

Is poison to thy stomach.

Sur.

All goodness

Yes, that goodness,

Of gleaning all the land's wealth into one,

Into your own hands, cardinal, by extortion;

The goodness of your intercepted packets,

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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 7, when the brown wench Lay kissing in your arms, lord cardinal.

Wol. How much, methinks, I could despise this man, 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.

Wol.

So much fairer,

And spotless, shall mine innocence arise,

When the king knows my truth.

Sur.

This cannot save you:

I thank my memory, I yet remember
Some of these articles; and out they shall.

6 And dare us with his cap, like larks.] It is well known that the hat of a cardinal is scarlet; and that one of the methods of daring Jarks was by small mirrors fastened on scarlet cloth, which engaged the attention of these birds while the fowler drew his net over them.

7 Worse than the sacring bell,] The little bell which is rung to give notice of the Host approaching when it is carried in procession, as also in other offices of the Romish church, is called the sacring or consecration bell; from the French word, sacrer.

Now, if you can blush, and cry guilty, cardinal,
You'll show a little honesty.

Wol.

Speak on, sir;

I dare your worst objections: if I blush,
It is, to see a nobleman want manners.

Sur. I'd rather want those, than my head.

you.

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 your servant.

To be
Suf.

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. 8

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 undoing? Of all the kingdom. Many more there are; Which, since they are of you, and odious, I will not taint my mouth with.

Cham.

O my lord,

8 Your holy hat to be stamp'd on the king's coin.] This was certainly one of the articles exhibited against Wolsey, but rather with a view to swell the catalogue, than from any serious cause of accusation; inasmuch as the archbishops Cranmer, Bainbrigge, and Warnham, were indulged with the same privilege.

9

to the mere undoing-] Mere is absolute,

Press not a falling man too far; 'tis 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.

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 within this kingdom,
Fall into the compass of a pramunire,1—
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,

your

About the giving back the great seal to us,

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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 hope, to-morrow blossoms, And bears his blushing honours thick upon him: The third day, comes a frost, a killing frost;

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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;

of a præmunire,] It is almost unnecessary to observe that præmunire is a barbarous word used instead of præmonere.

I feel my heart new open'd: O, 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,2
More pangs and fears than wars or women have:
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,

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At my misfortunes? can thy spirit wonder,
A great man should decline? Nay, an you weep,
I am fallen indeed.

Crom.

Wol.

How does your grace?

Never so truly happy, my good Cromwell.
I know myself now; and I feel within me

A peace above all earthly dignities,

Why, well;

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, '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.

2 and their ruin,] Their ruin is their displeasure, producing the downfall and ruin of him on whom it lights.

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