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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
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Thomas Lord Cromwell (Folio 3, 1664)

    The Life and Death
    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.

    Enter Gardiner in his Study, and his man.

    Gard. Sirrah, where be those men I caus'd to stay?
    Ser. They do attend your pleasure, Sir, within.
    1370Gard. Bid them come hither, and stay you without,
    For by those men the Fox of this same land,
    That makes a Goose of better then himself,
    Must worried be unto his latest home,
    Or Gardiner will fail in his intent.
    1375As for the Dukes of Suffolk and of Norfolk,
    Whom I have sent for to come speak with me;
    Howsoever outwardly they shadow it,
    Yet in their hearts I know they love him not;
    As for the Earl of Bedford, he is but one,
    1380And dares not gain-say what we do set down.
    Enter the two Witnesses.
    Now, my friends, you know I sav'd your lives,
    When by the Law you had deserved death;
    And then you promised me upon your Oathes,
    1385To venture both your lives to do me good.
    Both Wit. We swore no more then that we will per-
    Gard. I take your words, and that which you must do,
    Is service for your God, and for your King;
    1390To root a Rebell from this flourishing Land,
    One that's an enemy unto the Church:
    And therefore must you take your solemn Oathes,
    That you heard Cromwell, the Lord Chancellor,
    Did wish a Dagger at King Henrie's Heart:
    1395Fear not to swear it, for I heard him speak it;
    Therefore we'll shield you from ensuing harmes.
    2. Wit. If you will warrant us the deed is good,
    We'll undertake it.
    Gard. Kneel down, and I will here absolve you both;
    1400This Crucifix I lay upon your heads,
    And sprinckle Holy-water on your browes:
    The deed is meritorious that you do,
    And by it shall you purchase Grace from Heaven.
    1. Now sir we'll undertake it, by our Soules.
    14052. For Cromwell never loved none of our sort.
    Gard. I know he doth not, and for both of you,
    I will prefer you to some place of worth;
    Now get you in, until I call for you,
    For presently the Dukes mean to be here.Exeunt Wit.
    1410Cromwell, sit fast, thy time's not long to reign;
    The Abbies that were pul'd down by thy means,
    Is now a mean for me to pull thee down:
    Thy pride also thy own head lights upon,
    For thou art he hath chang'd Religion:
    1415But now no more, for here the Dukes are come.

    Enter Suffolk, Norfolk, and the Earl of Bedford.

    Suff. Good even to my Lord Bishop.
    Nor. How fares my Lord? what, are you all alone?
    Gard. No, not alone, my Lords, my mind is troubled:
    1420I know your honours muse wherefore I sent,
    And in such haste: What came you from the King?
    Norf. We did, and left none but Lord Cromwell with
    Gard. O what a dangerous time is this we live in?
    1425There's Thomas Wolsey, he's already gone,
    And Thomas Moor, he followed after him:
    Another Thomas yet there doth remain,
    That is far worse then either of those twain;
    And if with speed, my Lords, we not pursue it,
    1430I fear the King and all the Land will rue it.
    Bed. Another Thomas? pray God it be not Cromwell.
    Gard. My Lord of Bedford, it is that Traitor Cromwell.
    Bed. Is Cromwell false? my heart will never think it.
    Suff. My Lord or Winchester, what likelihood,
    1435Or proof have you of this his treachery.
    Gard. My Lord, too much, call in the men within;
    Enter the Witnesses.
    These men, my Lord, upon their Oathes affirm,
    That they did hear Lord Cromwell in his Garden,
    1440Wished a Dagger sticking at the Heart
    Of our King Henry, what is this but Treason?
    Bed. If it be so, my heart doth bleed with sorrow.
    Suff. How say you, friends; what, did you hear these(words?
    1. Wit. We did, an't like your grace.
    1445Norf. In what place was Lord Cromwell when he
    spake them?
    2. Wit. In his Garden; where we did attend a suite,
    Which we had waited for two yeares and more.
    Suff. How long is't since you heard him speak these(words?
    14502. Wit. Some half a year since.
    Bed. How chance that you conceal'd it all this time?
    1. Wit. His Greatness made us fear, that was the cause.
    Gard. I, I, his Greatness, that's the cause indeed;
    And to make his Treason here more manifest,
    1455He calls his servants to him round about,
    Tells them of Wolsey's life, and of his fall,
    Sayes that himself hath many enemies,
    And gives to some of them a Park, or Mannor,
    To others Leases, Lands to other some:
    1460What need he do this in his prime of life,
    An if he were not fearfull of his death?
    Suff. My Lord, these likelihoods are very great.
    Bed. Pardon me, Lords, for I must needs depart;
    Their proofs are great, but greater is my heart.
    1465Exit Bedford.
    Norf. My friends, take heed of that which you have
    Your soules must answer what your tongues report:
    Therefore take heed, be wary what you do.
    14702. Wit. My Lord, we speak no more but truth.
    Norf. Let them depart, my Lord of Winchester;
    Let these men be close kept
    Until the day of tryal.
    Gard. They shall, my Lord; ho, take in these two men.
    1475Exeunt Witnesses.
    My Lords, if Cromwell have a publick Tryal,
    That which we do, is void, by his denial;