Act IV. Scene I. The Same. A Public Walk.

[Enter Gardiner Bishop of Winchester, The Dukes
of Norfolk, and of Suffolk, Sir Thomas More, Sir
Christopher Hales, and Cromwell.]

NORFOLK.
Master Cromwell, since Cardinal Wolsey's death,
His majesty is given to understand
There's certain bills and writings in your hand,
That much concerns the state of England.
My Lord of Winchester, is it not so?

GARDINER.
My Lord of Norfolk, we two wear whilom fellows;
And, master Cromwell, though our master's love
Did bind us, while his love was to the King,
It is not boot now to deny these things,
Which may be prejudicial to the state:
And though that God hath raised my fortune higher
Than any way I looked for or deserved,
Yet my life no longer with me dwell,
Than I prove true unto my Sovereign:
What say you, master Cromwell? have you those
writings?
Aye, or no?

CROMWELL.
Here are the writings, and upon my knees,
I give them up unto the worthy Dukes
Of Suffolk and of Norfolk: he was my Master,
And each virtuous part,
That lived in him, I tendered with my heart;
But what his head complotted gainst the state
My country's love commands me that to hate.
His sudden death I grieve for, not his fall,
Because he sought to work my country's thrall.

SUFFOLK.
Cromwell, the King shall hear of this thy duty,
Whom I assure my self will well reward thee;
My Lord let's go unto his Majesty,
And show these writings which he longs to see.

[Exit Norfolk and Suffolk.]

[Enter Bedford hastily.]

BEDFORD.
How now, who's this?
Cromwell, by my soul! welcome to England:
Thou once didst save my life, didst not Cromwell?

CROMWELL.
If I did so, 'tis greater glory for me,
That you remember it, than of my self
Vainly to report it.

BEDFORD.
Well, Cromwell, now is the time,
I shall commend thee to my Sovereign:
Cheer up thy self, for I will raise thy state.
A Russell yet was never found ingrate.

[Exit.]

HALES.
O how uncertain is the wheel of state.
Who lately greater than the Cardinal,
For fear, and love? and now who lower lies?
Gay honours are but Fortune's flatteries,
And whom this day pride and promotion swells,
To morrow envy and ambition quells.

MORE.
Who sees the Cob-web intangle the poor Fly,
May boldly say the wretches death is nigh.

GARDINER.
I knew his state and proud ambition
Was too too violent to last over-long.

HALES.
Who soars too near the sun with golden wings,
Melts them, to ruin his own fortune brings.

[Enter the Duke of Suffolk.]

SUFFOLK.
Cromwell, kneel down in King Henry's name.--
Arise sir Thomas Cromwell; thus begins thy fame.

[Enter the Duke of Norfolk.]

NORFOLK.
Cromwell, the majesty of England,
For the good liking he conceives of thee,
Makes thee master of the jewel house,
Chief Secretary to himself, and with all,
Creates thee one of his highness' privy Counsel.

[Enter the Earl of Bedford.]

BEDFORD.
Where is sir Thomas Cromwell? is he knighted?

SUFFOLK.
He is, my Lord.

BEDFORD.
Then to add honour to his name,
The King creates him Lord keeper of
His privy Seal, and master of the Rules,
Which you sir Christopher do now enjoy;
The King determines higher place for you.

CROMWELL.
My Lords,
These honors are too high for my desert.

MORE.
O content thee, man; who would not choose it?
Yet thou art wise in seeming to refuse it.

GARDINER.
Here's honors, titles, and promotions:
I fear this climbing will have a sudden fall.

NORFOLK.
Then come, my Lords; let's altogether bring
This new made Counselor to England's King.

[Exit all but Gardiner.]

GARDINER.
But Gardiner means his glory shall be dimmed.
Shall Cromwell live a greater man than I?
My envy with his honour now is bred;
I hope to shorten Cromwell by the head.

[Exit.]
Rate this poem: 

Reviews

No reviews yet.