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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
    Are reckon'd to be worth five thousand pound,
    Which scarcely stood me in three hundreth pound;
    345I bought them at an easie kind of rate,
    I care not which way they came by them
    That sold them me, it comes not near my heart;
    And least they should be stoln, as sure they are,
    I thought it meet to sell them here in Antwerp,
    350And so have left them in the Governour's hand,
    Who offers me within two hundreth pound
    Of all my price: but now no more of that,
    I must go see and if my Bills be safe,
    The which I sent to Master Cromwell,
    355That if the wind should keep me on the sea,
    He might arrest him here before I came:
    And in good time, see where he is: God save you, sir.
    Crom. And you, pray pardon me, I know you not.
    Bag. It may be so, sir, but my name is Bagot,
    360The man that sent to you the Bills of debt.
    Crom. O, the man that pursues Banister,
    Here are the Bills of debt you sent to me:
    As for the man, you know best where he is;
    It is reported y'ave a flintie heart,
    365A mind that will not stoop to any pittie;
    An eye that knows not how to shed a tear,
    A hand that's alwayes open for reward:
    But, Master Bagot, would you be ruled by me,
    You should turn all these to the contrary;
    370Your heart should still have feeling of remorse,
    Your mind, according to your state, be liberal
    To those that stand in need, and in distress;
    Your hand to help them that do stand in want,
    Rather then with your poise to hold them down,
    375For every ill turn show your self more kind,
    Thus should I doe, pardon, I speak my mind.
    Bag. I, sir, you speak to hear what I would say,
    But you must live I know, as well as I:
    I know this place to be Extortion,
    380And 'tis not for a man to keep safe here,
    But he must lye, cog, with his dearest friend;
    And as for pitty, scorn it, hate all conscience:
    But yet I do commend your wit in this,
    To make a show, of what I hope you are not,
    385But I commend you, and 'tis well done;
    This is the onely way to bring your gain.
    Crom. My gain? I had rather chain me to an Oare,
    And like a slave there toil out all my life,
    Before I'de live so base a slave as thou.
    390I, like an Hypocrite, to make a show
    Of seeming virtue, and a Devil within?
    No, Bagot, if thy conscience were as clear,
    Poor Banister ne're had been troubled here.
    Bag. Nay, good Master Cromwell, be not angry, sir,
    395I know full well that you are no such man,
    But if your conscience were as white as Snow,
    It will be thought that you are otherwise.
    Crom. Will it be thought I am otherwise?
    Let them that think so, know they are deceiv'd;
    400Shall Cromwell live to have his faith misconster'd?
    Antwerp, for all the wealth within thy Town,
    I will not stay here full two houres longer:
    As good luck serves, my accounts are all made even,
    Therefore I'le straight unto the Treasurer;
    405Bagot, I know you'll to the Governour,
    Commend me to him, say I am bound to travel,
    To see the fruitfull parts of Italy;
    And as you ever bore a Christian mind,
    Let Banister some favour of you find.
    410Bag. For your sake, sir, I'le help him all I can,
    To starve his heart out e're he gets a groat;
    So, Master Cromwell, do I take my leave,
    For I must straight unto the Governour.
    Exit Bagot.
    415Crom. Farewell, sir, pray you remember what I said:
    No, Cromwell, no, thy heart was ne're so base,
    To live by falshood, or by brokery;
    But 't falls out well, I little it repent,
    Hereafter, time in travel shall be spent.

    420Enter Hodge, his Father's man.

    Hod. Your son Thomas, quoth you, I have been Tho-
    mast; I had thought it had been no such matter to a
    gone by water: for at Putney I'le go you to Parish-
    Garden for two pence, sit as still as may be, without
    425any wagging or joulting in my guttes, in a little Boat
    too: here we were scarce some four mile in the great
    green Water, but I thinking to go to my afternoons
    unchines, as 'twas my manner at home, but I felt a kind
    of rising in my guttes: at last one a the Sailers spying of
    430me, be a good cheer sayes he, set down thy victuals, and
    up with it, thou hast nothing but an Eele in thy belly:
    Well, to't went I, to my victuals went the Sailers, and
    thinking me to be a man of better experience then any
    in the shippe, asked me what Wood the ship was made
    435of: they all swore I tould them as right as if I had been
    acquainted with the Carpenter that made it; at last we
    grew near Land, and I grew villanous hungry, went to
    my bagge, the Devil a bit there was, the Sailers had tick-
    led me; yet I cannot blame them, it was a part of kind-
    440ness, for I in kindnesse told them what Wood the ship
    was made of, and they in kindness eat up my victuals, as
    indeed one good turn asketh another: well, would I,
    could I, find my Master Thomas in this Dutch Town, he
    might put some English Beer into my belly.
    445Crom. What, Hodge, my father's man, by my hand wel-(come:
    How doth my Father? what's the newes at home?
    Hod. Master Thomas, ô God, Master Thomas, your
    hand, glove and all, this is to give you to understanding
    that your Father is in health, and Alice Downing here
    450hath sent you a Nutmeg, and Bess Makewater a race of
    Ginger, my fellow Will and Tom hath between them sent
    you a dozen of Points, and goodman Toll, of the Goat,
    a pair of Mittons, my Self came in person, and this is all
    the newes.
    455Cro. Gramarcy, good Hodge, & thou art welcome to me,
    But in as ill a time thou comest as may be;
    For I am travelling into Italy,
    What say'st thou, Hodge, wilt thou bear me company?
    Hod. Will I bear thee company, Tom? what tell'st
    460me of Italy? were it to the furthest part of Flanders, I
    would go with thee, Tom; I am thine in all weale and
    woe, thy own to command; what, Tom, I have passed
    the rigorous waves of Neptune's blasts, I tell you, Tho-
    mas, I have been in danger of the Flouds, and when I
    465have seen Boreas begin to play the Ruffin with us, then
    would I down a my knees, and call upon Vulcan.
    Crom. And why upon him?
    Hod. Because, as this same fellow Neptune is God of
    the Seas, so Vulcan is Lord over the Smiths, and there-
    470fore I being a Smith, thought his Godhead would have
    some care yet of me.
    Crom. A good conceit: but tell me, hast thou din'd yet?