Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
In all my miseries; but thou hast forc’d 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 honor,
Found thee a way, out of his wrack, to rise in;
A sure and safe one, though thy master miss’d it.
Mark but my fall, and that that ruin’d 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?
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 fall’st, O Cromwell,
Thou fall’st 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 King’s. My robe,
And my integrity to heaven, is all
I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Cromwell,
Had I but serv’d my God with half the zeal
I serv’d my king, He would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.