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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 opened. O, how wretched
Is that poor man, that hangs on princes' favours !
There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspéct of princes, and their ruin,
More pangs and fears than war or women have:
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.
, I did not think to shed a tear In all
my miseries; but thou hast forced 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 must more 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 the master missed it. Mark but my fall, and that that ruined me. Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition :
I By that sin fell the angels; how can man, then, The image of his Maker, hope to win by it? Love thyself last: cherish those hearts that hate thee; Corruption wins not more than honesty. Still 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
Thou fall'st a blessed martyr! Serve the king;
And,-prithee, lead me in:
There take an inventory of all I have,
To the last penny; 'tis the king's; my robe,
And my integrity to heaven, is all
I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Cromwell !
Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.
Katharine. Didst thou not tell me, Griffith, as thou
That the great child of honour, Cardinal Wolsey,
Was dead ?
Griffith. Yes, madam ; but I think your grace,
Out of the pain you suffer'd, gave no ear to ’t.
Kath. Prithee, good Griffith, tell me how he died :
If well, he stepp'd before me, happily
For my example.
Grif. 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,
Ho fell sick suddenly, and grew so ill
He could not sit his mule.
Alas, poor man!
Grif. At last, with easy roads, he came to Leicester, Lodged in the abbey; where the reverend abbot, With all his convent, honourably received him ; To whom he gave these words, O, father abbot, 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 Pursued 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, Griffith, give me leave to speak him,
And yet with charity. He was a man
Of an unbounded stomach, ever ranking
Himself with princes; one that, by suggestion,
Tied all the kingdom: simony was fair-play;
His own opinion was his law : i’ the
He would say untruths; and be ever double
Both in his words and meaning: he was never,
But where he meant to ruin, pitiful:
His promises were, as he then was, mighty;
But his performance, as he is now, nothing:
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?
Yes, good Griffith;
I were malicious else.
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 loved him not;
But to those men that sought him sweet as summer.
And though he were unsatisfied in getting,
Which was a sin, yet in bestowing, madam,
He was most princely: ever witness for him
Those twins of learning that he raised in you,
Ipswich and Oxford ! one of which fell with him,
Unwilling to outlive the good that 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 God.
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 Griffith.
Whom I most hated living, thou hast made mo,
With thy religious truth and modesty,
Now in his ashes honour : peace be with him!
These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air; And like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.
The quality of mercy is not strained,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath : it is twice blessed ;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes :
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown:
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice.