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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)

    of the Lord Cromwell.
    You know the King will credit none but him.
    Nor. 'Tis true; he rules the King even as he pleases.
    1480Suff. How shall we do for to attache him then?
    Gard. Marry, my Lords, thus, by an Act he made him-(self,
    With an intent to intrap some of our lives,
    And this it is: If any Counsellor
    Be convicted of high treason;
    1485He shall be executed without a publick triall.
    This Act my Lords, he caus'd the King to make.
    Suff. A did indeed, and I remember it,
    And now it is like to fall upon himself.
    Nor. Let us not slack it, 'tis for Englands good,
    1490We must be wary, else he'll go beyond us.
    Gar. Well hath your Grace said, my Lord of Norfolk
    Therefore, let us presently to Lambeth,
    Thither comes Cromwell, from the Court to night,
    Let us arrest him, send him to the Tower.
    1495And in the morning, cut off the traitors head.
    Norf. Come then about it, let us guard the town,
    This is the day that Cromwell must go down.
    Gar. Along my Lords, well, Cromwell is halfe dead,
    He shak'd my heart, but I will shave his head.Exeunt.

    1500Enter Bedford solus.

    Bed. My soul is like a water troubled,
    And Gardiner is the man that makes it so;
    O Cromwell, I do fear thy end is near:
    Yet I'le prevent their malice if I can,
    1505And in good time, see where the man doth come,
    Who little knows how near's his day of doom.

    Enter Cromwell with his train, Bedford makes as
    though he would speak to him: he goes on.

    Cro. You'r well encountred, my good Lord of Bedford,
    1510Pray Pardon me, I am sent for to th'King,
    And do not know the businesse yet my self,
    So fare you well, for I must needs be gone.
    Exit all the train.
    Bed. You must, well, what remedy?
    1515I fear too soon you must be gone indeed,
    The King hath businesse, but little do'st thou know,
    Whose busie for thy life: thou think'st not so.

    Enter Cromwell and the train again.

    Crom. The second time well met my Lord of Bedford.
    1520I am very sorry that my haste is such,
    Lord Marquess Dorset being sick to death,
    I must receive of him the privy Seale
    At Lambeth, soon my Lord, we'll talk our fill.
    Exit the train.
    1525Bed. How smooth and easie is the way to death.

    Enter a Messenger.
    Mes. My Lord, the Dukes of Norfolk and of Suffolk,
    Accompanied with the Bishop of Winchester,
    Intreats you to come presently to Lambeth,
    1530On earnest matters that concerns the State.
    Bed. To Lambeth, so: go fetch me pen and ink,
    I and Lord Cromwell there shall talk enough:
    I, and our last, I fear, and if he come.
    He writes a Letter.
    1535Here, take this Letter, and bear it to Lord Cromwell,
    Bid him read it, say it concerns him near,
    Away, be gone, make all the haste you can,
    To Lambeth do I go, a wofull man.Exit.

    Enter Cromwell and his train.

    1540Crom. Is the Barge ready? I will straight to Lambeth,
    And if this one dayes businesse, once were past,
    I'd take my ease to morrow after trouble,
    How now my friend, would'st thou speak with me?
    The messenger brings the Letter,
    1545he puts it in his pocket.
    Mes. Sir, here's a Letter from my Lord of Bedford.
    Crom. O good my friend, commend me to thy Lord,
    Hold, take those Angels, drink them for thy pains.
    Mes. He doth desire your Grace to read it,
    1550Because he sayes it doth concern you near.
    Crom. Bid him assure himself of that, farewell,
    To morrow, tell him, he shall hear from me,
    Set on before there, and away to Lambeth.Exeunt omnes.

    Enter Winchester, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedford, Ser-
    1555jeant at armes, the Herald, and Halberts.

    Gar. Halberts stand close unto the water side,
    Serjeant at armes, be bould in your office,
    Herald, deliver your Proclamation.
    Her. This is to give notice to all the Kings subjects.
    1560The late Lord Cromwell, Lord Chancellor of England,
    Vicar general over the Realm,
    Him to hold and esteem as a traitor,
    Against the Crown and dignity of England:
    So God save the King.
    1565Gar. Amen.
    Bed. Amen, and root thee from the land,
    For whil'st thou livest truth cannot stand.
    Nor. Make a lane there, the traitor is at hand,
    Keep back Cromwell's men:
    1570Drown them if they come on, Serjeant your office?

    Enter Cromwell, they make a lane with their Halberts.

    Cro. What means my Lord of Norfolk by these words?
    Sirs, come along.
    Gar. Kill them, if they come on.
    1575Ser. Lord Cromwell, in King Henries name,
    I do arrest your honour of high treason.
    Crom. Serjeant, me of treason?
    Cromwell's men offer to draw.
    Suff. Kill them, if they draw a sword.
    1580Crom. Hold, I charge you, as you love me, draw not a(sword,
    Who dares accuse Cromwell of treason now?
    Gar. This is no place to reckon up your crime,
    Your Dove-like looks were view'd with serpents eyes.
    Crom. With serpents eyes indeed, by thine they were,
    1585But, Gardiner, do thy worst, I fear thee not,
    My faith compar'd with thine, as much shall pass,
    As doth the Diamond excell the glass:
    Attach'd of treason, no accusers by,
    Indeed what tongue dares speak so foul a lie?
    1590Nor. My Lord, my Lord, matters are too well known,
    And is it time the King had note thereof.
    Crom. The King, let me go to him face to face,
    No better triall I desire then that,
    Let him but say, that Cromwell's faith was fained,
    1595Then Let my Honour, and my Name be stained: