Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Anonymous
Not Peer Reviewed

Thomas Lord Cromwell (Folio 3, 1664)


Enter Bedford and his Host.
Bed. Am I betraid, was Bedford born to die,
By such base slaves, in such a place as this?
710Have I escap'd so many times in France,
So many Battels have I over-passed,
And made the French stir, when they heard my name;
And am I now betraid unto my death?
Some of their hearts bloud, first shall pay for it.
715Host. They do desire, my Lord, to speak with you.
Bed. The traitors do desire to have my bloud,
But by my Birth, my Honour, and my Name:
By all my hopes, my Life shall cost them dear.
Open the door, I'le venter out upon them,
720And if I must die, then I'le die with Honour.
Host. Alas, my Lord, that is a desperate course,
They have begirt you, round about the house:
Their meaning is to take yon prisoner,
And so to send your body unto France.
725Bed. First shall the Ocean be as dry as sand,
Before alive they send me unto France:
I'le have my body first bored like a Sive,
And die as Hector, 'gainst the Mermydons,
E're France shall boast, Bedford's their prisoner,
730Treacherous France, that 'gainst the law of armes:
Hath here betraid thy enemy to death:
But be assured, my bloud shall be revenged,
Upon the best lives that remains in France:
Stand back, or else thou run'st upon thy death.
735
Enter Servant.
Mes. Pardon, my Lord, I come to tell your honour
That they have hired a Neapolitan,
Who by his Oratory, hath promised them
Without the shedding of one drop of bloud,
740Into their hands, safe to deliver you,
And therefore craves, none but himself may enter,
And a poor swain that attends on him.
Exit servant.
Bed. A Neopolitan? bid him come in,
Were he as cunning in his Eloquence,
745As Cicero the famous man of Rome,
His words would be as chaffe against the wind.
Sweet tongu'd Ulisses, that made Ajax mad,
Were he and his tongue in this speaker's head,
Alive he winnes me not; then 'tis no conquest.
750
Enter Cromwell like a Neapolitan, and Hodge with him.
Crom. Sir, are you the Master of the house?
Host. I am, sir.
Crom. By this same token you must leave this place,
And leave none but the Earl and I together,
755And this my Pesant here to tend on us.
Host. With all my heart, God grant you do some
(good.
Exit Host. Cromwell shuts the door.
Bed. Now, sir, what's your will with me?
Crom. Intends your Honour, not to yield your self?
760Bed. No good-man goose, not while my sword doth last;
Is this your eloquence for to perswade me?
Crom. My Lord, my eloquence is for to save you;
I am not, as you judge, a Neopolitan,
But Cromwell your servant, and an Englishman.
765Bed. How? Cromwell? not my Farrier's son?
Crom. The same, sir, and am come to succour you.
Hod. Yes faith, sir, and am I Hodge, your poor Smith;
Many a time and oft have I shooed your Dapper Gray.
Bed. And what avails it me, that thou art here?
770Crom. It may avail, if you'll be rul'd by me;
My Lord, you know the men of Mantua,
And these Bononians are at deadly strife,
And they, my Lord, both love and honour you;
Could you but get out of the Mantua port,
775Then were you safe, despight of all their force.
Bed. Tut, man thou talk'st of things impossible;
Do'st thou not see, that we are round beset,
How then is't possible, we should escape?
Crom. By force we cannot, but by policie:
780Put on the apparel here that Hodge doth wear,
And give him yours; the States they know you not,
For as I think, they never saw your face,
And at a watch-word must I call them in,
And will desire, that we two safe may pass
785To Mantua, where I'le say my business lies;
How doth your honour like of this device?
Bed. O, wondrous good: But wilt thou venture, Hodge?
Hod. Will I? O noble Lord, I do accord, in any thing
I can;
790And do agree, to set thee free, do Fortune what she can.
Bed. Come then, let's change our apparel straight.
Crom Go, Hodge, make haste, lest they chance to call.
Hod. I warrant you I'le fit him with a Sute.
Exeunt Earl & Hodge.
795Crom. Heavens grant this policie doth take success,
And that the Earl may safely scape away.
And yet it grieves me for this simple wretch,
For fear they should offer him violence;
But of two evils 'tis best to shun the greatest,
800And better is it that he live in thrall,
Then such a noble Earl as he should fall.
Their stubborn hearts, it may be will relent;
Since he is gone, to whom their hate is bent.
My Lord, have you dispatched?
805
Enter Bedford like the Clown, and Hodge in his
cloak and his hat.
Bed. How dost thou like us, Cromwell, is it well?
Crom. O, my good Lord, excellent: Hodge, how do'st
feel thy self?
810Hod. How do I feel my self? why, as a Noble man
should do.
O how I feel Honour come creeping on,
My Nobility is wonderfull melancholy:
Is it not most Gentleman-like to be melancholy?
815Crom. Yes, Hodge; now go sit down in the study,
And take state upon thee.
Hod. I warrant you, my Lord, let me alone to take
state upon me: but hark, my Lord, do you feel nothing
bite about you?
820Bed. No, trust me, Hodge.
Hod I, they know they want their old pasture; 'tis a
strange thing of this vermin, they dare not meddle with
Nobility.
Crom. Go take thy place, Hodge, I will call them in.
825
Hodge sits in the study, & Cromwell calls in the States.
All is done, enter and if you please.
Enter the States, and Officers with Halberts.
Gov. What, have you won him? will he yield himself?
Crom. I have, an't please you, and the quiet Earl
830Doth yield himself to be disposed by you.
Gov. Give him the money that we promis'd him:
So let him go, whither he please himself.
Crom. My business, sir, lies unto Mantua;
Please you to give me safe conduct thither.
835Gov. Go, and conduct him to the Mantua Port,
And see him safe delivered presently.
Exit Cromwell,
Go draw the curtains, let us see the Earl:
O, he is writing, stand apart a while.
Hod. Fellow William, I am not as I have been; I
840went from you a Smith, I write to you as a Lord: I am
at this present writing, among the Polonian Casiges. I do
commend my Lordship to Raphe and to Roger, to Brid-
get and to Dority, and so to all the youth of Putney.
Gov. Sure these are the names of English Noblemen,
845Some of his special friends, to whom he writes:
But stay, he doth address himself to sing.
Here he sings a Song
My Lord, I am glad you are so frolick and so blithe;
Believe me, Noble Lord, if you knew all,
850You'd change your merry vein to sudden sorrow.
Hod. I change my merry vein? no, thou Bononian, no;
I am a Lord, and therefore let me go;
And do defie thee and thy Casiges:
Therefore stand off, and come not near my Honour.
855Gov. My Lord, this jesting cannot serve your turn.
Hod. Do'st think, thou black Bononian beast,
That I do flout, do gibe, or jest;
No, no, thou Bear-pot, know that I,
A Noble Earl, a Lord par-dy.
860Gov. What means this Trumpet's sound?
A Trumpet sounds. Enter a Messenger.
Cit. One come from the States of Mantua.
Gov. What, would you with us, speak, thou man of
(Mantua?
Mes. Men of Bononia, this my message is,
865To let you know the Noble Earle of Bedford
Is safe within the Town of Mantua,
And wills you send the pesant that you have,
Who hath deceived your expectation;
Or else the States of Mantua have vowed,
870They will recall the truce that they have made,
And not a man shall stirre from forth your Town,
That shall return unlesse you send him back.
Gov. O this misfortune, how it mads my heart?
The Neopolitan hath beguiled us all:
875Hence with this fool, what shall we doe with him,
The Earl being gone? a plague upon it all.
Hod. No I'le assure you, I am no Earl, but a Smith, sir,
One Hodge, a Smith at Putney, sir:
One that hath gulled you, that hath bored you, sir.
880Gov. Away with him, take hence the fool you came for.
Hod. I, sir, and I'le leave the greater fool with you.
Mes. Farewell, Bononians. Come, friend, along with
me.
Hod. My friend, afore, my Lordship will follow thee.
885
Exit.
Gov. Well, Mantua, since by thee the Earl is lost,
Within few dayes I hope to see thee crost.
Ex. om.
Enter Chorus.
Cho. Thus far you see how Cromwell's fortune passed.
890The Earle of Bedford being safe in Mantua,
Desires Cromwell's company into France,
To make requitall for his courtesie:
But Cromwell doth deny the Earl his suit,
And tells him that those parts he meant to see,
895He had not yet set footing on the Land,
And so directly takes his way to Spain:
The Earl to France, and so they both doe part.
Now let your thoughts as swift as is the wind,
Skip some few yeares, that Cromwell spent in travell.
900And now imagine him to be in England,
Servant unto the Master of the Rolles:
Where in short time he there began to flourish,
An hour shall show you what few yeares did cherish.
Exit.