Internet Shakespeare Editions

Authors: Anonymous, William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Thomas Lord Cromwell (Folio 3, 1664)

of the Lord Cromwell.
730Treacherous France, that 'gainst the law of armes:
Hath here betraid thy enemy to death:
But be assured, my bloud shall be revenged,
Upon the best lives that remains in France:
Stand back, or else thou run'st upon thy death.

735Enter Servant.

Mes. Pardon, my Lord, I come to tell your honour
That they have hired a Neapolitan,
Who by his Oratory, hath promised them
Without the shedding of one drop of bloud,
740Into their hands, safe to deliver you,
And therefore craves, none but himself may enter,
And a poor swain that attends on him.Exit servant.
Bed. A Neopolitan? bid him come in,
Were he as cunning in his Eloquence,
745As Cicero the famous man of Rome,
His words would be as chaffe against the wind.
Sweet tongu'd Ulisses, that made Ajax mad,
Were he and his tongue in this speaker's head,
Alive he winnes me not; then 'tis no conquest.

750Enter Cromwell like a Neapolitan, and Hodge with him.

Crom. Sir, are you the Master of the house?
Host. I am, sir.
Crom. By this same token you must leave this place,
And leave none but the Earl and I together,
755And this my Pesant here to tend on us.
Host. With all my heart, God grant you do some (good.
Exit Host. Cromwell shuts the door.
Bed. Now, sir, what's your will with me?
Crom. Intends your Honour, not to yield your self?
760Bed. No good-man goose, not while my sword doth last;
Is this your eloquence for to perswade me?
Crom. My Lord, my eloquence is for to save you;
I am not, as you judge, a Neopolitan,
But Cromwell your servant, and an Englishman.
765Bed. How? Cromwell? not my Farrier's son?
Crom. The same, sir, and am come to succour you.
Hod. Yes faith, sir, and am I Hodge, your poor Smith;
Many a time and oft have I shooed your Dapper Gray.
Bed. And what avails it me, that thou art here?
770Crom. It may avail, if you'll be rul'd by me;
My Lord, you know the men of Mantua,
And these Bononians are at deadly strife,
And they, my Lord, both love and honour you;
Could you but get out of the Mantua port,
775Then were you safe, despight of all their force.
Bed. Tut, man thou talk'st of things impossible;
Do'st thou not see, that we are round beset,
How then is't possible, we should escape?
Crom. By force we cannot, but by policie:
780Put on the apparel here that Hodge doth wear,
And give him yours; the States they know you not,
For as I think, they never saw your face,
And at a watch-word must I call them in,
And will desire, that we two safe may pass
785To Mantua, where I'le say my business lies;
How doth your honour like of this device?
Bed. O, wondrous good: But wilt thou venture, Hodge?
Hod. Will I? O noble Lord, I do accord, in any thing
I can;
790And do agree, to set thee free, do Fortune what she can.
Bed. Come then, let's change our apparel straight.
Crom Go, Hodge, make haste, lest they chance to call.
Hod. I warrant you I'le fit him with a Sute.
Exeunt Earl & Hodge.
795Crom. Heavens grant this policie doth take success,
And that the Earl may safely scape away.
And yet it grieves me for this simple wretch,
For fear they should offer him violence;
But of two evils 'tis best to shun the greatest,
800And better is it that he live in thrall,
Then such a noble Earl as he should fall.
Their stubborn hearts, it may be will relent;
Since he is gone, to whom their hate is bent.
My Lord, have you dispatched?

805Enter Bedford like the Clown, and Hodge in his
cloak and his hat.
Bed. How dost thou like us, Cromwell, is it well?
Crom. O, my good Lord, excellent: Hodge, how do'st
feel thy self?
810Hod. How do I feel my self? why, as a Noble man
should do.
O how I feel Honour come creeping on,
My Nobility is wonderfull melancholy:
Is it not most Gentleman-like to be melancholy?
815Crom. Yes, Hodge; now go sit down in the study,
And take state upon thee.
Hod. I warrant you, my Lord, let me alone to take
state upon me: but hark, my Lord, do you feel nothing
bite about you?
820Bed. No, trust me, Hodge.
Hod I, they know they want their old pasture; 'tis a
strange thing of this vermin, they dare not meddle with
Crom. Go take thy place, Hodge, I will call them in.
825Hodge sits in the study, & Cromwell calls in the States.
All is done, enter and if you please.

Enter the States, and Officers with Halberts.
Gov. What, have you won him? will he yield himself?
Crom. I have, an't please you, and the quiet Earl
830Doth yield himself to be disposed by you.
Gov. Give him the money that we promis'd him:
So let him go, whither he please himself.
Crom. My business, sir, lies unto Mantua;
Please you to give me safe conduct thither.
835Gov. Go, and conduct him to the Mantua Port,
And see him safe delivered presently.Exit Cromwell,and Bedford.
Go draw the curtains, let us see the Earl:
O, he is writing, stand apart a while.
Hod. Fellow William, I am not as I have been; I
840went from you a Smith, I write to you as a Lord: I am
at this present writing, among the Polonian Casiges. I do
commend my Lordship to Raphe and to Roger, to Brid-
get and to Dority, and so to all the youth of Putney.
Gov. Sure these are the names of English Noblemen,
845Some of his special friends, to whom he writes:
But stay, he doth address himself to sing.
Here he sings a Song
My Lord, I am glad you are so frolick and so blithe;
Believe me, Noble Lord, if you knew all,
850You'd change your merry vein to sudden sorrow.
Hod. I change my merry vein? no, thou Bononian, no;
I am a Lord, and therefore let me go;
And do defie thee and thy Casiges:
Therefore stand off, and come not near my Honour.
Gov. My