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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 thce 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.
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition;
By that sin fell the angels, how can nan then,
The image of his Maker, hope to win by 't?
Love thyself last: cherish those hearts that hate thee;
Ştill 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,
Thy God's, and truth's; then if thou fall'st, o Crom.
Thou fall'st a blessed martyr.-Lead me in :
There take an inventory of all I have,
To the last penny; 't is the king's : my robe,
And my integrity to heaven, is all
I dare now call mine own.- Cromwell, Cromwell,
Had I but serv'd my God with half the zeal
I sery'd my king, he would not in mine age.
Have left me naked to mine enemies.
Crom. Good sir, have patience.
Wol. So I have. Farewell The hopes of court! my hopes in heaven do dwell.
An Apartment at Kimbolton. Enter KATHARINE, Dowager, sick, attended by CROM
WELL, PATIENCE, AGATHA, and Cicely, who lead
her to her chair. Crom. How does your grace ?
Kath. O, Cromwell, sick to death: My legs, like loaded branches, bow to the eartlı, Willing to leave their burden.Didst thou not tell me, Cromwell, as thou led'st me, That the great child of honour, cardinal Wolsey, Was dead?
Crom. Yes, madam ; but I think, your grace, Ont of the pain you suffer'd, gave no ear to't. Kath. 'Pry'thee, good Cromwell, tell me how he
If well, he stepp'd before me, happily,
For my example.
Crom. Well, the voice goes, madam :
For after the stout earl Northumberland
Arrested him at York, and brought him forward
(As a man sorely tainted,) to his answer,
He fell sick suddenly, and grew so ill,
He could not sit his mule.
Kath. Alas, poor man!
Crom. At last, with easy roads, he came to Leicester; Lodg'd in the abbey; where the reverend abbot, With all his convent, honourably receiv'd him ; To whom he gave these words,-0 father abbat, An old man, broken with the storms of state, Is come to lay his weary bones among ye ; Give him a little earth for charity ! So went to bed: where eagerly his sickness
Pursu'd him still; and, three nights after this,
About the hour of eight, (which he himself
Foretold, should be his last,) full of repentance,
Continual meditations, tears, and sorrows,
He gave his honours to the world again,
His blessed part to heaven, and slept in peace.
Kath. So may he rest ; his faults lie gently on him!
Yet thus far, Cromwell, give me leave to speak him,
And yet with charity-He was a man
Of an unbounded stomach, ever ranking
Himself with princes;
His promises were, as he then was, mighty;
But his performance, as he is now, nothing :
Of his own body he was ill, and gave
The clergy ill example.
Crom. Noble madam,
Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtues
We write in water.-May it please your highness
To hear me speak his good now?
· Kath. Yes, good Cromwell;
I were malicious else.
Crom. This cardinal,
Though from an humble stock, undoubtedly
Was fashion'd to much honour from his cradle:
He was a scholar, and a ripe, and good one:
Exceeding wise, fair spoken, and persuading :
Lofty, and sour, to them that lov'd him not;
But, to those men that sought him, sweet as summer :
And though he were unsatisfy'd in getting,
(Which was a sin,) yet in bestowing, madam,
He was most princely: Ever witness for him
Those twins of learning, that he rais'd in you,
Ipswich and Oxford! one of which fell with him,
Unwilling to outlive the good he did it;
The other, though unfinish'd, yet so famous,
So excellent in art, and still so rising,
That Christendom shall ever speak his virtue.
His overthrow heap'd happiness upon him;
For then, and not till then, he felt himself,
And found the blessedness of being little :
And, to add greater honours to his age
Than man could give him, he died, fearing heaven.
Kath. After my death I wish no other herald,
No other speaker of my living actions,
To keep mine honour from corruption,
But such an honest chronicler as Cromwell:
Whom I most hated living, thou hast made me,
With thy religious truth, and modesty,
Now in his ashes honour: Peace be with him !
Patience, be near me still.-Good Cromwell,
Cause the musicians play me that said note
I nam'd my knell, whilst I sit meditating
On that celestial harmony I go to.
[PATIENCE sings.--KATHARINE falls asleep.]
Angels ever bright and fair,
Take, 0, take me to your care;
Speed to your bless'd courts ny flight,
Clad in robes of virgin white!
Kath. (Wakes.) Spirits of peace, where are ye?
And leave me here in wretchedness behind ye?
Crom. Madam, we're here.
Kath. It is not you I call for :-Saw ye none enter, since I slept?
Crom. None, madam. Kath. No ? saw you not, even now, a blessed troop Invite me to a banquet; whose bright faces Cast thousand beams upon me, like the sun ? They promis'd me eternal happiness; And brought me garlands, Cromwell, which I feel I am not worthy yet to wear: I shall, Assuredly.
Cron. I ain most joyful, madam, such good dreams Possess your fancy,
Enter GUILDFORD. Guil. An't like your grace,
Kath. You are a sawcy fellow; Deserye we no more reverence ?
Crom. You are to blame,
Knowing, she will not lose her wonted greatness,
To use so rude behaviour: go to, kneel.
Guil. I humbly do entreat your highness' pardon;
My haste made me unmannerly : There is staying
A gentleman, sent from the king, to see you.
Kath. Admit him entrance, Cromwell :-But this
Let me ne'er see again.
[Exeunt GuildFORD, and CromweLL.
Enter CROMWELL, and CAPUCIUS.
If my sight fail not,
You should be lord embassador from the emperor,
My royal nephew, and your name Capucius.
Cap. Madam, the same, your servant.
The times, and titles, now are alter'd strangely
With me, since first you knew me. But, I pray you,
What is your pleasure with me?
Cap. Noble lady,
First, mine own service to your graces the next,
The king's request that I would visit you ;
Who grieves much for your weakness, and by me
you his princely commendations,
And heartily entreats you take good comfort.
Kath. O my good lord, that comfort comes too late;
'Tis like a pardon after execution :
That gentle physick, given in time, had cur'd mé;
But now I'm past all comforts here, but prayers.
How does his highness?
Cap. Madam, in good health.
Kath. So may he ever do! and ever flourish,
When I shall dwell with worms, and my poor name
Banish'd the kingdom !-Patience, is that letter,
I caus'd you write, yet sent away?
Pat. No, madam.
[Presents the letter.
Kath. Sir, I most humbly pray you to deliver
This to my lord the king.
Cup. Most willing, madam.