James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902. October 18 Fall of Wolsey
By William Shakespeare (15641616)
Prime Minister to Henry VIII. He gained the ill-will of the king by his conduct regarding his divorce from Queen Katherine, was deprived of his offices, and afterwards arrested, Oct. 18, 1530, for high treason.
Wolsey. 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.
Lets dry our eyes: and thus far hear me, Cromwell;
And, when I am forgotten, as I shall be, 5
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; 10
A sure and safe one, though thy master missd it.
Mark but my fall, and that that ruind 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 it? 15
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 aimst at be thy countrys, 20
Thy Gods, and truths; then if thou fallst, O Cromwell,
Thou fallst 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 kings: my robe, 25
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. 30