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His greatness is a-ripening-nips his root;
Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me!
Never to hope again!
Why, how now, Cromwell?
Crom. I have no power to speak, sir.
At my misfortunes!
Can thy spirit wonder
A great man should decline? Nay, if you weep,
I am fallen indeed!
Crom. How does your Grace?
Wol. Why, well;
Never so truly happy, my good Cromwell!
I know myself now, and I feel within me
A peace above all earthly dignities—
A still and quiet conscience. The king has cured me—
A load would sink a navy-too much honour.
Too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven!
Crom. I'm glad your Grace has made that right use
Wol. I hope I have: I'm able now, methinks,
To endure more miseries, and greater far
Crom. The heaviest and the worst,
Is your displeasure with the king.
Wol. God bless him!
Crom. The next is, that Sir Thomas More is chosen Lord Chancellor in your place.
Wol. That's somewhat sudden
But he's a learned man. May he continue
For truth's sake and his conscience; that his bones,
Crom. That Cranmer is return'd with welcome; Install'd Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.
Wol. That's news indeed!
Crom. Last, that the Lady Anne,
Whom the king hath in secrecy long married,
Going to chapel; and the voice is now
Wol. There was the weight that pull'd me down:
The king has gone beyond me; all my glories,
In that one woman, I have lost for ever:
No sun shall ever usher forth my honours,
Or gild again the noble troops that waited
Upon my smiles! Go, get thee from me, Cromwell!
To be thy lord and master. Seek the king,
What and how true thou art; he will advance thee: Some little memory of me will stir him
(I know his noble nature) not to let
Thy hopeful service perish too. Good Cromwell!
Crom. O my lord!
Must I then leave you? Must I needs forego
Wol. Cromwell! I did not think to shed a tear
And sleep in dull, cold marble, where no mention
Love thyself last; cherish those hearts that hate thee;
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,
To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not.
Thy God's, and truth's; then, if thou fall'st, O Cromwell!
And prithee lead me in
There, take an inventory of all I have,
I dare now call my own. O Cromwell, Cromwell,
I served my king, he would not in mine age
Crom. Good sir, have patience.
Wol. So I have. Farewell
The hopes of court!-My hopes in heaven do dwell.
THE POETRY OF SHAKSPEARE.
MANY persons are very sensible of the effect of fine poetry on their feelings, who do not well know how to refer these feelings to their causes; and it is always a delightful thing to be made to see clearly the sources from which our delight has proceeded, and to trace back the mingled stream that has flowed upon our hearts, to the remoter fountains from which it has been gathered; and when this is done with warmth as well as precision, and embodied in an eloquent description of the beauty which is explained, it forms one of the most attractive, amd not the least instructive, of literary exercises. In all works of merit, however, and especially in all works of original genius, there are a thousand retiring and less obtrusive graces, which escape hasty and superficial observers, and give out their beauties only to fond and patient contemplation; a thousand slight and harmonising touches, the merit and the effect of which are equally imperceptible to vulgar eyes; and a thousand indications of the continual presence of that poetical spirit, which can be recognised by those only who are in some measure under its influence, and have prepared themselves to receive it, by worshipping meekly at the shrines which it inhabits.
In the exposition of these, there is room enough for skill and judgment; and in no instance more than in developing the characters with which Shakspeare has peopled the fancies of all English readers, in pointing out that familiarity with beautiful forms and images-that eternal recurrence to what is sweet or majestic in the simple aspects of nature -that indestructible love of flowers and odours, and dews and clear waters, and soft airs and sounds, and bright skies, and woodland solitudes, and moonlight bowers, which are the material elements of poetry-and that delicate sense of their undefinable relation to mental emotion, which is its essence and vivifying soul; and which, in the midst of Shakspeare's most busy and atrocious scenes, falls like gleams of sunshine on rocks and ruins, contrasting with all that is rugged and repulsive, and reminding us of the existence of purer and brighter elements, which he alone has poured out from the richness of his own mind, without effort or restraint, and contrived to intermingle with the play of all the passions, and the vulgar course of this world's affairs, without deserting for an instant the proper business of the scene, or appearing to pause or digress from love of ornament or need of repose-he alone, who, when the subject requires it, is always keen, and worldly, and practical; and who yet, without changing his hand or stopping his course, scatters around him as he goes, all sounds and shapes of sweetness, and conjures up landscapes of immortal fragrance and freshness, and peoples them with spirits of glorious aspect and attractive grace, and is a thousand times more full of fancy and imagery and splendour, than those who, for the sake of such qualities, have shrunk back from the delineation of character or passion, and declined the discussion of human duties and cares. More full of wisdom and ridicule and sagacity, than all the moralists and satirists in existence, he is more vivid, airy and inventive, and more pathetic and fantastic, than all the poets of