Page images
PDF

Surry.

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: 'tis I must snuff it;
Then, ont it goes.-What though I know her virtuous,
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-ruld king. Again, there is sprung up
An heretic, an arch one, Cranmer; one
Hath crawl'd into the favour of the king,
And is his oracle.

Nor. . ; He is vex'd at something.
Suff. I would, 'twere something that would fret the

string,
The master-cord of his heart!
Enter the King, reading a Schedule ; and Lovell.
Suff.

The king, the king. K. Hen. What piles of wealth hath he accumulated To his own portion! and what expense by the hour Seeins 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: he bites his lip, and starts ;
Stops on a sudden, looks upon the ground,
Then lays his finger on his temple; straight,
Springs out into fast gait; then, stops again,
Strikes his breast hard; and anon, he casts
His eye against the moon : in most strange postures
We have seen him set himself.
K. Hen.

It may well be;
There is a mutiny in his mind. This morning,
Papers of state he sent me to peruse,
As I requir'd; And, wot you, what I found
Thcre; on my conscience, put unwittingly?

Nor.

Forsooth, an inventory, thus importing,
The several parcels of his plate, his treasure,
Rich stuffs, and ornaments of household; which
I find at such proud rate, that it out-speaks
Possession of a subject.

It's heaven's will;
Some spirit put this paper in the packet,
To bless your eye withal. .
K. Hen.

If we did think
His comtemplation 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, not worth
His serious considering.
[He takes his Seat, and whispers Lovell, who

goes to Wolsey.
Wol. : Heaven forgive me!-
Ever God bless your highness!
K. Hen.

Good, my lord,
You are 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
I 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,
In her frail son, amongst my brethren mortal,
Must give my tendance to.
K. Hen.

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!
K. Hen.

'Tis well said again; And 'tis 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

Wol.

His word upon you. Since I had my office,
I have kept you next my heart; have not alone
Employd you where high profits might come home,
But par’d my present havings, to bestow
My bounties upon you.

1. What should this mean? Surry. The Lord increase this business! Aside. K. Hen.

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 studied purposes requite; which went
Beyond all man's endeavours:-my endeavours
Have ever come too short of my desires,
Yet, fill'd with my abilities: Mine own ends
Have been' mine'so, that evermore they pointed
To the good of your most sacred person, and
The profit of the state. For your great graces
Heap'd upon me, poor undeserver, I
Can nothing render but allegiant thanks;
My prayers to heaven for you; my loyalty,
Which ever has, and ever shall be growing,
Till death, that winter, kill it.
K. Hen.

Fairly answer'd ;
A loyal and obedient subject is
Therein illustrated : The honour of it
Does pay the act of it; as, i'the contrary,
The foulness is the punishment. I presume,
That, as my hand has open'd bounty to you,
My heart dropp'd love, my power rain'd honour, more
On you, than any; so your band, and heart,
Your brain, and every function of your power,
Should, notwithstanding that your bond of duty,
As 'twere in love's particular, be more
To me, your friend, than any.
Wol.

I do 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 them, 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.
K. Hen.

"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 King, frowning upon Cardinal Wolsey;

the Nobles throng after him, smiling, and

whispering. Wol.

What should this mean? What sudden anger's this? how have I reap'd it? He parted frowning from me, as if rain Leap'd from his eyes: So looks the chafed Jion 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 have 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, 'twill 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 have 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.

Re-enter the Dukes of NORFOLK and SUFFOLK, the

EARL of SURRY, and the Lord Chamberlain.
Nor. Hear the king's pleasure, cardinal: who com-

mands you
To render up the great seal presently
Into our hands; and to confine yourself
To Asher-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 weighty.
Suff.

Who dare cross them? Bearing the king's will from his mouth expressly?

Wol. Till I find more than will, or words, to do it (I mean, your malice), know, oflicious lords, I dare, and must deny it. Now I feel Of what coarse metal ye are inoulded,-envy. How eagerly ye follow my disgraces, As if it led ye! and how sleek and wanton . Ye appear in every thing may bring my ruin! Follow your envious courses, men of malice; You have Christian warrant for them, and, no doubt, In time will find their fit rewards. That seal, You ask with such a violence, the king (Mine, and your master), with his own hand gave me : Bade me enjoy it, with the place and honours, During my life; and, to confirm his goodness, Tied it by letters palents : Now, who'll take it?

Surry. The king, that gave it. Wol.

• It must be himself then. Surry. Thou art a proud traitor, priest. Wol.

Proud lord, thou liest; Within these forty hours Surry durst better Have burnt that tongue, than said so. Surry. .

Thy ambition, 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!

« PreviousContinue »