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Gives not the hawthorn-bush a sweeter shade
To shepherds, looking on their silly sheep,
Than doth a rich embroidered canopy
To kings, that fear their subjects' treachery?
yes it doth; a thousand-fold it doth.
And to conclude,—the shepherd's homely curds,
His cold thin drink out of his leather bottle,
His wonted sleep under a fresh tree's shade,
All which secure and sweetly he enjoys,
Is far beyond a prince's delicates,
His viands sparkling in a golden cup,
His body couched in a curious bed,
When care, mistrust, and treason wait on him.
The Fall of Wolsey.
Cardinal WOLSEY, Cromwell. Wolsey... Farewell, a long farewell, to all my greatness ! This is the state of man: to-day he puts
forth The tender leaves of hope ; to-morrow blossoms, And bears his blushing honours thick upon
The third day, comes a frost, a killing frost ;
And, when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a ripening,-nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
This many summers in a sea of glory;
But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride
At length broke under me; and now has left me,
Weary, and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must forever hide me.
Vain pomp, and glory of this world, I hate ye ;
I feel my heart new opened: 0, how wretched
Is that poor man, that hangs on princes' favours !
There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
and fears than wars or women have;
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.-
Why, how now, Cromwell ?
Crom. I have no power to speak, Sir.
Wol. What, amazed
At my misfortunes ? can thy spirit wonder,
A great man should decline? Nay, an' you weep,
I am fallen indeed.
Crom. O my lord,
Must I then leave you? Must I needs forego
So good, so noble, and so true a master ?
Bear witness, all that have not hearts of iron,
With what a sorrow Cromwell leaves his lord.
The king shall have my service; but my prayers
Forever, and forever, shall be yours.
Wol. Cromwell, 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 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 thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in ;
A sure and safe one, though thy master missed it.
Mark but my fall, and that that ruined me.
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition;
By that sin fell the angels, how can man then,
The image of his Maker, hope to win by't?
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 fallst, O Cromwell,
Thou fall’st a blessed martyr.
Serve the king;
And, Pr'ythee, 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 !
Portents before Cæsar's Death.
CASCA, Cicero. Cicero. Good even, Casca : Brought you Cæsar home? Why are you breathless ? and why stare you so ?
Casca. Are you not moved, when all the sway of earth
Shakes, like a thing unfirm? (Cicero,
I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds
Have rived the knotty oaks; and I have seen
The ambitious ocean swell, and rage, and foam,
To be exalted with the threat’ning clouds :
But never till to-night, never till now,
Did I go through a tempest dropping fire.
Either there is a civil strife in heaven;
Or else the world, too saucy with the gods,
Incenses them to send destruction.
Cic. Why, saw you any thing more wonderful ?
Cas. A common slave (you know him well by sight) Held
his left hand, which did flame, and burn
Like twenty torches joined; and yet his hand,
Not sensible of fire, remained unscorched.
Besides (I have not since put up my sword),
Against the Capitol I met a lion,
Who glared upon me, and went surly by,
Without annoying me: And there were drawn
Upon a heap a hundred ghastly women,
Transformed with their fear; who swore they saw
Men, all on fire, walk up and down the streets.
And, yesterday, the bird of night did sit,
Even at noonday, upon the market-place,
Hooting, and shrieking. When these prodigies
Do so conjointly meet, let not men say,
These are their reasons,—They are natural ;
For, I believe, they are portentous things
Upon the climate that they point upon.
Lowliness is Young Ambition's Ladder.
.. But 'tis a common proof, That lowliness is
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face:
But when he once attains the upmost round,
He then unto the ladder turns his back,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
By which he did ascend. ...
MARK ANTONY's Apostrophe to CÆSAR's Body. O, pardon me, thou piece of bleeding earth, That I am meek and gentle with these butchers ! Thou art the ruins of the noblest man, That ever lived in the tide of times. Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood ! Over thy wounds now do I prophesy, Which, like dumb mouths, do ope their ruby lips, To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue ;A curse shall light upon the limbs of men ; Domestic fury, and fierce civil strife, Shall cumber all the parts of Italy: Blood and destruction shall be so in use, And dreadful objects so familiar, That mothers shall but smile, when they behold Their infants quartered with the hands of war; All pity choked with custom of fell deeds : And Cæsar's spirit, ranging for revenge, With Atè by his side, come hot from hell, Shall in these confines, with a monarch's voice, Cry Havoc, and let slip the dogs of war ; That this foul deed shall smell above the earth With carrion men, groaning for burial.