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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
    Marry would I had staid at Putney still,
    O, Master Thomas, we are spoiled, we are gone.
    Crom. Content thee man, this is but fortune,
    605Hod. Fortune, a plague of this Fortune, it makes me go
    wet-shod, the rogues would not leave me a shooe to my
    feet; for my Hose, they scorned them with their heels;
    but for my Doublet and Hat, ô Lord, they embraced me,
    and unlaced me, and took away my cloathes, and so dis-
    610graced me.
    Crom. Well, Hodge, what remedy?
    What shift shall we make now?
    Hodg. Nay I know not, for begging I am naught,
    for stealing worse: by my troth I must even fall to my
    615old trade, to the Hammer and the Horse-heels again: but
    now the worst is, I am not acquainted with the humour of
    the Horses in this country; whether they are not coltish,
    given much to kicking, or no, for when I have one leg in
    my hand, if he should up and lay tother on my chops, I
    620were gone, there lay I, there lay Hodge.
    Crom. Hodge, I believe thou must work for us both.
    Hod. O, Master Thomas, have not I told you of this?
    have not I many a time and often, said, Tom, or Master
    Thomas, learn to make a Horse-shooe, it will be your
    625own another day: this was not regarded. Hark you,
    Thomas, what do you call the fellows that rob'd us?
    Crom. The Bandetti.
    Hod. The Bandetti, do you call them, I know not
    what they are called here, but I am sure we call them
    630plain Thieves in England: O, Tom, that we were now
    at Putney, at the Ale there.
    Crom. Content thee, man, here set up these two Bills,
    And let us keep our standing on the Bridge:
    The fashion of this countrey is such,
    635If any stranger be oppressed with want,
    To write the manner of his misery,
    And such as are dispos'd to succour him,
    Will do it, what, hast thou set them up?
    Hod. I they're up, God send some to read them,
    640And not only to read them, but also to look on us:
    And not altogether look on us,One stands at one end, and one at tother.
    But to relieve us, O cold, cold, cold.

    Enter Friskiball the Merchant, and
    reads the Bills.

    645Fris. What's here? two Englishmen rob'd by the
    One of them seems to be a Gentleman:
    'Tis pitty that his fortune was so hard,
    To fall into the desperate hands of thieves.
    650I'le question him, of what estate he is,
    God save you, sir, are you an Englishman?
    Crom. I am, sir, a distressed Englishman.
    Fris. And what are you, my friend.
    Hod. Who I, sir, by my troth I do not know my self,
    655what I am now, but, sir, I was a Smith, sir, a poor Far-
    rier of Putney, that's my Master, sir, yonder, I was rob-
    bed for his sake, sir.
    Fris. I see you have been met by the Bandetti,
    And therefore need not ask how you came thus:
    660But Friskiball, why do'st thou question them
    Of their estate, and not relieve their need?
    Sir, the coyn I have about me is not much:
    There's sixteen Duckets for to cloath your selves,
    There's sixteen more to buy your diet with,
    665And there's sixteen to pay for your horse-hire:
    'Tis all the wealth you see, my purse possesses,
    But if you please for to enquire me out,
    You shall not want for ought that I can do,
    My name is Friskiball, a Florence Merchant:
    670A man that alwayes loved your nation.
    Crom. This unexpected favour at your hands,
    Which God doth know, if ever I shall requite it,
    Necessity makes me to take your bounty,
    And for your gold can yield you naught but thanks,
    675Your charity hath help'd me from despair;
    Your name shall still be in my hearty prayer.
    Fris. It is not worth such thanks, come to my house,
    Your want shall better be reliev'd then thus.
    Crom. I pray excuse me, this shall well suffice,
    680To bear my charges to Bononia,
    Whereas a noble Earl is much distressed:
    An Englishman, Russel the Earl of Bedford
    Is by the French King sold unto his death,
    It may fall out, that I may do him good:
    685To save his life, I'le hazard my heart bloud:
    Therefore, kind sir, thanks for your liberal gift,
    I must be gone to aid him, there's no shift.
    Fris. I'le be no hinderer to so good an act,
    Heaven prosper you, in that you go about:
    690If Fortune bring you this way back again,
    Pray let me see you: so I take my leave,
    All good a man can wish, I do bequeath.Exit Friskib.
    Cro. All good that God doth send, light on your head,
    There's few such men within our Climate bred.
    695How say you now, Hodge, is not this good fortune?
    Hod. How say you, I'le tell you what, Master Thomas,
    If all men be of this Gentlemans mind,
    Let's keep our standings upon this Bridge,
    We shall get more here, with begging in one day,
    700Then I shall with making Horseshooes in a whole year.
    Crom. No, Hodge, we must be gone unto Bononia,
    There to relieve the noble Earle of Bedford:
    Where if I fail not in my policy,
    I shall deceive their subtle treachery.
    705Hod. Nay, I'le follow you, God blesse us from the
    thieving Bandetti again.Exeunt.

    Enter Bedford and his Host.

    Bed. Am I betraid, was Bedford born to die,
    By such base slaves, in such a place as this?
    710Have I escap'd so many times in France,
    So many Battels have I over-passed,
    And made the French stir, when they heard my name;
    And am I now betraid unto my death?
    Some of their hearts bloud, first shall pay for it.
    715Host. They do desire, my Lord, to speak with you.
    Bed. The traitors do desire to have my bloud,
    But by my Birth, my Honour, and my Name:
    By all my hopes, my Life shall cost them dear.
    Open the door, I'le venter out upon them,
    720And if I must die, then I'le die with Honour.
    Host. Alas, my Lord, that is a desperate course,
    They have begirt you, round about the house:
    Their meaning is to take yon prisoner,
    And so to send your body unto France.
    725Bed. First shall the Ocean be as dry as sand,
    Before alive they send me unto France:
    I'le have my body first bored like a Sive,
    And die as Hector, 'gainst the Mermydons,
    E're France shall boast, Bedford's their prisoner,