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  • Title: Thomas Lord Cromwell (Folio 3, 1664)

  • Copyright Digital Renaissance Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Authors: Anonymous, William Shakespeare
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    Thomas Lord Cromwell (Folio 3, 1664)

    The Life and Death
    Enter the Earl of Bedford.
    1105Bed. Where is sir Thomas Cromwell? is he Knighted?
    Suff. He is, my Lord.
    Bed. Then, to adde Honour to his Name,
    The King creates him Lord Keeper of his privy Seal,
    And Master of the Rolls;
    1110Which you, sir Christopher, do now enjoy;
    The King determines higher place for you.
    Crom. My Lords, these honours are too high for my de-(sert.
    Moor. O content thee, man, who would not chuse it?
    Yet thou art wise, in seeming to refuse it.
    1115Gard. Here's Honours, Titles and Promotions;
    I fear this climbing, will have a sudden fall.
    Norf. Then come, my Lords, let's altogether bring,
    This new-made Counsellor to England's King.
    Exeunt all but Gardiner.
    1120Gard. But Gardiner means his glory shall be dim'd:
    Shall Cromwell live a greater man then I?
    My envy with his honour now is bred,
    I hope to shorten Cromwell by the head.Exit.

    Enter Friskiball, very poor.

    1125Fris. O Friskiball, what shall become of thee?
    Where shalt thou go, or which way shalt thou turn?
    Fortune that turns her too unconstant wheel,
    Hath turn'd thy wealth and riches in the Sea,
    All parts abroad where-ever I have been,
    1130Grows weary of me, and denies me succour;
    My debters they, that should relieve my want,
    Forswear my money, say they owe me none:
    They know my state too mean, to bear out Law;
    And here in London, where I oft have been,
    1135And have done good to many a wretched man,
    And now most wretched here, despis'd my self;
    In vain it is, more of their hearts to try;
    Be patient therefore, lay thee down and die.
    He lies down.

    1140Enter good-man Seely, and his Wife Joan.

    Seely. Come Joan, come, let's see what he'll do for us
    now? I wis we have done for him, when many a time and
    often he might have gone a hungry to bed.
    Wife. Alas man, now he is made a Lord, he'll never
    1145look upon us; he'll fulfill the old Proverb, Set Beggars a
    horse-back, and they'll ride: â, well-a-day for my Cow;
    such as he hath made us come behind-hand, we had never
    pawn'd our Cow else to pay our Rent.
    Seely. Well Joan, he'll come this way: and by God's
    1150dickers I'le tell him roundly of it, and if he were ten Lords:
    a shall know that I had not my Cheese and my Bacon for
    Wife. Do you remember Husband, how he would
    mouch upon my Cheese-cakes, he hath forgot this now,
    1155but now we'll remember him.
    Seely. I, we shall have now three flapps with a Fox
    tail: but ifaith I'le gibber a joint, but I'le tell him his
    own: stay, who comes here? O, stand up, here he comes,
    stand up.

    1160Enter Hodge very fine, with a Tip-staff, Cromwell, the
    Mace carried before him; Norfolk, and
    Suffolk, and attendants.

    Hod. Come, away with these Beggars here, rise up, sirrah;
    Come out, good people; run before there ho.
    1165Friskiball riseth, and stands a-far-off.
    Seely. I, we are kicked away now, we come for our
    own; the time hath been, he would a looked more
    friendly upon us: And you, Hodge, we know you well
    enough, though you are so fine.
    1170Crom. Come hither, sirrah: stay, what men are those?
    My honest Host of Hounslow, and his wife;
    I owe thee money, father, do I not?
    Seely. I, by the body of me, dost thou; would thou
    wouldest pay me, good four pound it is, I have a the Post
    1175at home.
    Crom. I know 'tis true; sirrah, give him ten Angels,
    And look your wife, and you do stay to dinner:
    And while you live, I freely give to you,
    Four pound a year, for the four pound I ought you.
    1180Seely. Art not changed, art old Tom still?
    Now God bless thee, good Lord Tom:
    Home Joan, home; I'le dine with my Lord Tom to day,
    And thou shalt come next week.
    Fetch my Cow; home Joan, home.
    1185Wife. Now God bless thee, my good Lord Tom;
    I'le fetch my Cow presently.

    Enter Gardiner.

    Crom. Sirrah, go to yon stranger, tell him I desire him
    Stay to dinner: I must speak with him.
    1190Gard. My Lord of Norfolk, see you this same Bubble?
    That same puffe; but mark the end, my Lord, mark the
    Norf. I promise you, I like not something he hath done;
    But let that pass: the King doth love him well.
    1195Crom. Good morrow to my Lord of Winchester:
    I know you bear me hard, about the Abbey lands.
    Gard. Have I not reason, when Religion is wronged?
    You had no colour for what you have done.
    Crom. Yes, the abolishing of Antichrist,
    1200And of his Popish order from our Realm:
    I am no enemy to Religion,
    But what is done, it is for England's good:
    What did they serve for, but to feed a sort
    Of lazy Abbots, and of full-fed Fryers?
    1205They neither plow, nor sow, and yet they reap
    The fat of all the Land, and suck the poor:
    Look what was theirs, is in King Henrie's hands,
    His wealth before lay in the Abbey lands.
    Gard. Indeed these things you have alledg'd, my Lord,
    1210When, God doth know, the infant yet unborn,
    Will curse the time, the Abbies were pul'd down:
    I pray now where is Hospitality?
    Where now may poor distressed people go,
    For to relieve their need, or rest their bones,
    1215When weary travel doth oppress their limmes?
    And where religious men should take them in,
    Shall now be kept back by a Mastive dog:
    And thousand thousand--------
    Nor. O my Lord, no more: things past redress,
    1220'Tis bootless to complain.
    Crom. What shall we to the Convocation-house?
    Nor. We'll follow you, my Lord, pray lead the way.

    Enter old Cromwell, like a Farmer.

    Old Crom. How? one Cromwell made Lord Keeper,
    1225 since I left Putney,