Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

1

How that the cardinal did entreat his holiness
To stay the judgement oʻthe divorce ; For if
It did take place, I do, quoth he, perceive
My king is tangled in affection to
A creature of the queen's, lady Anne Bullen.

Sur. Has the king this?
Suf. Believe it.
Sur. Will this work ?
Cham. The king in this perceives him, how he

coasts,
And hedges, his own way. But in this point
All his tricks founder, and he brings his physick
After his patient's death ; the king already
Hath marry'd the fair lady.

Sur. But, will the king
Digest this letter of the cardinalis ?

Suf. No, no.-
Cardinal Campeius
Is stolen away to Rome; hath ta'en no leave ;
Has left the cause o' the king unhandled ; and
Is posted, as the agent of our cardinal,
To second all his plot. I do assure you,
The king cry'd, ha! at this.

Nor. But, my lord,
When returns Cranmer?

Suf. He is return'd, in his opinions; which
Have satisfy'd the king for his divorce :
Shortly, I believe,
His second marriage shall be publish'd, and
Anne's coronation. Katharine no more
Shall be call'd queen; but princess dowager,
And widow to prince Arthur.-
The cardinal

Enter WOLSEY, and CROMWELL.
Nor. Observe, observe, he's moody.

Wol. The packet, Cromwell,
Gave 't

you

the king?
Crom. To his own hand, in his bed-chamber.
Wol. Look'd be o' the inside of the paper ?

C 3

Crom. Presently
He did unseal them: and the first he view'd,
He did it with a serious mind; a heed
Was in his countenance : You, he bade
Attend him here this morning.

Wol. Is he ready
To come abroad?

Crom. I think, by this he is.
Wol. Leave me a while.

[Exit CROMWELL,
It shall be to the duchess of Alençon,
The French king's sister : he shall marry her.-
Anne Bullen! No; I'll no Anne Bullens for him :
There's more in't than fair visage.-Bullen!
No, we'll no Bullens !-Speedily I wish
To hear from Rome.--The marchioness of Pem-

broke! Nor. He's discontented.

Suf. May be, he hears the king Does whet his anger to him.

Sur. Sharp enough, Lord, for thy justice ! Wol. The late queen's gentlewoman, a knight's

daughter,
To be her mistress' mistress! the queen's queen!
This candle burns not clear: 't is I must snuff it;
Then, out it goes. What though I know her vir-

tuous,
And well deserving? yet I know her for
A spleeny Lutheran, and not wholesome to
Our cause,--that she should lie i the bosom of
Our hard-rul'd king! Again, there is sprung up
A heretick, an arch one, Cranmer; one
Hath crawl'd into the favour of the king,
And is his oracle.

Nor. He is vex'd at some:hing.
Sur. I would, 't were some hing that would fret the

string,
The master cord of bis heart

Suf. The king, the king.

[ocr errors]

Enter the King, with a letter in his hand, and reading a

schedule. King. What piles of wealth hath he accumulated To his own portion! and what expense by the hour Seems to flow from him! How, i'the name of thrift, Does he rake this together?

---Now, my lords ; Saw you the cardinal?

Nor. My lord, we have
Stood here observing him : Some strange commotion
Is in his brain :
In most strange postures
We've seen him set himself.

King. It may well be ;
There is a mytiny in his mind.-If we did think
His contemplations were above the earth,
And fix'd on spiritual object, he should still
Dwell in his musings; but, I am afraid,
His thinkings are below the moon.

[The King signs to the Chamberlain, who goes to

WOLSEY. Wol

. Heaven forgive me !And ever bless your highness !

King. Good my lord,
You're full of heavenly stuff, and bear the inventory
Of your best graces in your mind; the which
You were now running o'er : you have scarce time
To steal from spiritual leisure a brief span,
To keep your earthly audit: Sure, in that
1 deem you an ill husband; and am glad
To have you therein my companion.

Wol. Sir,
For holy offices I have a time; a time
To think upon the part of business, which
I bear i'the state; and nature does require
Her times of preservation, which, perforce,
I her frail son, amongst my brethren mortal,
Must give my tendance to.

64

King. You have said well.

Wol. And ever may your highness yoke together, As I will lend you cause, my doing well With my well saying!

King: 'Tis well said again ; And 't is a kind of good deed, to say well : And yet words are no deeds. My father lov'd you : He said, he did ; and with his deed did crown His word upon you. Since I had my office, I've kept you next my heart; have not alone Employ'd you where high profits might come home, But par'd my present havings, to bestow My bounties upon you. Wol. What should this mean?

[ Aside. Sur. Now heaven increase this business! (

Aside. King. Have I not made

you
The prime man of the state? I pray you, tell me,
If what I now pronounce, you have found true;
And, if you may confess it, say withal,
If you are bound to us, or no. What say you ?

Wol. My sovereign, I confess, your royal graces
Shower'd on me daily, have been more, than could
My study'd purposes requite; which went
Beyond all man's endeavours : my endeavours
Have ever come too short of my desires,
Yet, fil'd with my abilities :- I profess,
That for your highness' good I ever labour'd
More than mine own; that am, have, and will be.
Though all the world should crack their duty to you,
And throw it from their soul; though perils did
Abound, as thick as thought could make 'em, and
Appear in forms more horrid; yet my duty,
As doth a rock against the chiding flood,
Should the approach of this wild river break,
And stand unshaken yours.

King. 'Tis nobly spoken :-
Take notice, lords, he has a loyal breast,
For
you have seen him open 't.-Read o'er this ;

[Giving him papers

And, after, this : and then to breakfast, with
What appetite you have.

(Exit the King, frowning upon Wolsey; the

Nobles following him, whispering and smiling, Wol. What should this mean? He parted frowning from me, as if ruin Leap'd from his eyes : So looks the chafed lion Upon the daring huntsman that has gall’d him; Then makes him nothing. I must read this paper : I fear the story of his anger.-'Tis so; This paper has undone me:- 'Tis the account Of all that world of wealth I've drawn together For mine own ends; indeed, to gain the popedom, And fee my friends in Rome. O negligence, Fit for a fool to fall by! What cross devil Made me put this main secret in the packet I sent the king? Is there no way to cure this? No new device to beat this from his brains? I know, 't will stir him strongly; Yet I know A way, if it take right, in spite of fortune Will bring me off again. What's this~ To the Pope? The letter, as I live, with all the business I writ to his holiness. Nay then, farewell ! I've touch'd the highest point of all my greatness ; And, from that full meridian of my glory, I haste now to my setting: I shall fall Like a bright exhalation in the evening, And no man see me more. Enter NorfoLK, SUFFOLK, SURREY, and Chamberlain.

Nor. Hear the king's pleasure, cardinal: who com

mands you

To render up the grcat scal presently
Into our hands; and to confine yourself
To Esher house, my lord of Winchester's,
Till you hear further from his highness.

Wol. Stay,
Where's your commission, lords ? words cannot carry
Authority so mighty.

« ForrigeFortsæt »