Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Anonymous
Not Peer Reviewed

Thomas Lord Cromwell (Folio 3, 1664)


Enter the Usher and the Shewer, the meat goes
over the Stage.
Usher. Uncover there, Gentlemen.
Enter Cromwell, Bedford, Suffolk, Old Cromwell,
1320
Friskiball, good-man Seely, and attendants.
Crom. My noble Lords of Suffolk and Bedford,
Your Honours welcome to poor Cromwell's house:
Where is my Father? nay, be covered Father,
Although that duty to these noble men doth challenge it,
1325Yet I'le make bold with them.
Your head doth bear the calender of care:
What? Cromwell covered, and his Father bare?
It must not be. Now, sir, to you;
Is not your name Friskiball? and a Florentine.
1330Fris. My name was Friskiball, till cruell fate,
Did rob me of my name, and of my state.
Crom. What fortune brought you to this Countrey
now?
Fris. All other parts hath left me succourlesse,
1335Save onely this, because of debts I have
I hope to gain, for to relieve my want.
Crom. Did you not once upon your Florence bridge,
Help a distressed man, robb'd by the Bandetti,
His name was Cromwell?
1340Fris. I never made my brain a Calender of any
good I did,
I alwayes lov'd this nation with my heart.
Crom. I am that Cromwell that you there reliev'd,
Sixteen Duckets you gave me for to cloath me,
1345Sixteen to bear my charges by the way,
And sixteen more I had for my Horse hire,
There be those severall summes justly return'd:
Yet it injustice were, that serving at my need,
For to repay them without interest:
1350Therefore receive of me these four severall Bags;
In each of them there is four hundred Marke,
And bring to me the names of all your debtors,
And if they will not see you paid, I will.
O God forbid, that I should see him fall,
1355That helpt me in my greatest need of all.
Here stands my Father that first gave me life,
Alass, what duty is too much for him?
This man in time of need did save my life,
And therefore cannot doe too much for him.
1360By this old man I oftentimes was fed,
Else might I have gone supperlesse to bed.
Such kindnesse have I had of these three men,
That Cromwell no way can repay agen.
Now in to dinner, for we stay too long,
1365And to good stomacks is no greater wrong.
Exeunt omnes.