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Fern. [rising, and throwing himself into the arms of PROCIDA).
['My father? Proc. O, my son! Fern. What shall I do? Proc. What mean you ?
Fern. What shall I do? Give me the glove !
Proc. My son !
Fern. The gauntlet of
Proc. There !-Stop! Not now, my son ;
thee ere thou join’st the holy cause.
Men that uphold the name
Fern. When I can say thy first behest is done,
[Goes out. Proc. Farewell ! How suddenly his visage brighten'd up, At mention of returning to Messina. What speed is there! Is't all on my account? Now he is gone my heart misgives me. What Have I done? Why do we pray that we be spared Temptation, but that 'tis a whirlpool, which, Onte we're within its yortex, draws us in And sucks us down to ruin-Charybdis like! Which of the huge war-galley makes as light, As boat, compared to that, a cockle-shell ! Whence should all men that love their souls beware Temptation. I will call him back! He is out Of hearing. Should his love for her be strong ? I did not note if she was very fair. But souls were never made for eyes to read, And there lies woman's beauty. If she loves Strongly—and O how strongly woman lovesThe force of two hearts must he struggle with. I'll trust in Heaven! Alas ! how many men Do trust in Heaven, when they betray themselves !
If he's my son !—I talk with fifty years
If I have found
The boy stood on the burning deck,
Whence all but he had fled ;
Shone round him o'er the dead.
As born to rule the storm ;
A proud though childlike form.
Without his father's word ;
His voice no longer heard.
If yet my task is done ?”
Unconscious of his son.
And fast the flames rolled on.
And in his waving hair ;
In still yet brave despair ;
My father! must I stay ?”
The wreathing fires made way.
They caught the flag on high,
Like banners in the sky.
Then came a burst of thunder-sound,
The boy !-oh! where was he?
With fragments strewed the sea,
With mast and helm, and pennon fair,
That well had borne their part ;-
Was that young faithful heart !
WOLSEY'S APPEAL TO HENRY VIII.*
cu. h. Ainsworth.
(Wolsey, in consequence of his disapproval of the divorce of Katharine of Arragon, is in disgrace with the king, and he gives his palace at Hampton Court, with the large amount of gold which he has stored up there, to appease the king's anger, being aware that the king does, or shortly will, know of the existence of the treasure, through his jester, Will Somers, who has learnt the secret from Wolsey's jester, Patch.]
Enter King Henry and CARDINAL Wolsey. King. Well, Cardinal ! You are playing a deep game with me, as you think ; but take heed, for I see through it.
Wolsey. I pray you dismiss these suspicions from your mind, my liege. No servant was ever more faithful to his master than I have been
King. No servant ever took better care of himself. Not alone have you wronged me to enrich yourself, but you are ever intriguing with my enemies. I have nourished in my heart a viper, but I will cast you off -will crush you as I would the noxious reptile ! [stamping his foot.]
Wolsey. Beseech you, calm yourself, my liege; I have never thought of my own aggrandisement but as it was likely to advance your power. For the countless benefits I have received at your hands, my soul overflows with gratitude. You have raised me from the meanest condition to the highest. You have made me your confidant, your adviser, your treasurer—and, with no improper boldness I say it, your friend. But I defy the enemies who have poisoned your ears against me, to prove that I have ever abused the trust placed in me. The sole fault that can be imputed to me is, that I have meddled more with temporal matters than spiritual ; and it is a crime for which I must answer before Heaven. But I have so acted because I felt that I might thereby best serve your Highness. If I have aspired to the Papal throne-which you well know I have—it has been that I might be yet a more powerful friend to your Majesty, and render you what you are entitled to be, the first prince in Christendom.
King. Tut, tut ?
* From W. H. Ainsworth's Romance of “ Windsor Castle."
Wolsey. The gifts I have received from foreign princes--the wealth I have amassed- have all been with a view of benefiting your Majesty.
Wolsey. To prove that I speak the truth, sire, the palace at Hampton Court, which I have just completed
King. And at a cost more lavish than I myself should have expended
Wolsey. If I had destined it for myself, I should not have spent a tithe of what I have done. Your Highness's unjust accusations force me to declare my intentions somewhat prematurely. Deign (throwing himself at the king's feet] to accept that palace and all within it. You were pleased, during your late residence there, to express your approval of it; and I trust it will find equal favour in your eyes now that it is your own.
King. By holy Mary, a royal gift! Rise, Cardinal. You are not the grasping, selfish person, you have been represented.
Wolsey. Declare as much to my enemies, sire, and I shall be more than content. You will find the palace better worth accepting than at first sight might appear.
King. How so?
Wolsey. Your Highness will be pleased to take this key—it is the key of the cellar.
King. You have some choice wine there-given you by some religious house-or sent you by some foreign potentate-ha!
Wolsey. It is a wine that a king might prize. Your Majesty will find a hundred hogsheads in that cellar ; and each hogshead filled with gold.
King. You amaze me! [feigning astonishment]. And all this you freely give me?
Wolsey. Freely and fully, sire. Nay, I have saved it for you. Men think I have cared for myself
, whereas Í have cared only for your Majesty. Oh! my dear liege, by the devotion I have just approved to you, and which I would also approve, if needful, with my life, I beseech you to consider well before you raise Anne Boleyn to the throne. In giving you this counsel, I know I hazard the favour I have just regained ; but even at that hazard I must offer it. Your infatuation blinds you to the terrible consequence of the step. The union is odious to all your subjects—but most of all to those not tainted with the new heresies and opinions. It will be never forgiven by the Emperor Charles the Fifth, who will seek to avenge the indignity offered to his illustrious relative; while Francis will gladly make it a pretext for breaking his truce with you. Add to this the displeasure of the Apostolic see, and it must be apparent that, powerful as you are, your position will be one of infinite peril.
King. Thus far advanced, I cannot honourably abandon the divorce.
Wolsey. Nor do I advise its abandonment, sire ? but do not let it be a means of injuring you with all men. Do not let a mal-alliance place your very throne in jeopardy; as, with your own subjects and all foreign powers against you, must necessarily be the case.
King. You speak warmly, Cardinal.
Wolsey. My zeal prompts me to do so. Anne Boleyn is in no way worthy of the honour you propose her.
King. And whom do you think more worthy ?
Wolsey. Those whom I have already recommended to your Majesty —the Duchess d’Alençon, or the Princess Renée ; by a union with either of them you would secure the cordial co-operation of Francis, and the interest of the see of Rome—which, in the event of a war with Spain, you may need.
King. No, Wolsey ; no considerations of interest or security shall induce me to give up Anne. I love her too well for that. Let the lion, Charles, roar ; the fox, Francis, snarl ; and the hydra-headed Clement launch forth his flames ; I will remain firm to my purpose. I will not play the hypocrite with you, whatever I may do with others. I cast off Katharine that I may wed Anne; because I cannot otherwise obtain her. And shall I now, when I have dared so much, and when the prize is in my grasp, abandon it ?-Never! Threats, expostulations, entreaties, are alike unavailing.
Wolsey. I grieve to hear it, my liege ; it is an ill-omened union, and will bring woe to you, woe to your realm, and woe to the Catholic Church.
He is obstinate,
Is he obstinate ?