S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.
[Thomas Wolsey, an English ecclesiastic and courtier; born at Ipswich, 1471; educated at Oxford; dean of Lincoln, 1508; rapidly promoted by Henry VIII., until he became Archbishop of York, 1514; cardinal and chancellor, 1515; built Hampton Court; lost the favor of the king, who, however, pardoned him for offences for which he had been indicted; arrested again on a charge of treason, he died before his trial, November, 1530.]
His formula when chancellor; thus to his secretary Gardiner: Ego et meus rex, his Majesty and I, command you: this divorce is of more consequence to us than twenty popedoms. By transposing in Latin the first and third persons, he was said to be a good scholar, but a poor courtier. It was remembered against him, and Shakespeare puts into the mouth of the Duke of Norfolk:
In all you writ to Rome or else
To foreign princes, Ego et meus rex
Was still inscribed; in which you brought the king
Father abbot, I am come to lay my weary bones among you.
To the abbot and monks of Leicester Abbey, Nov. 26, 1529, after his fall; quoted by Cavendish, who was his secretary before becoming his historian.
His last words, not to Cromwell as Shakespeare gives them, but to the captain of the guard, Sir William Kingston, who arrested him, were: Had I served God as diligently as I have the king, he would not have given me over in my gray hairs.