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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
    855Gov. My Lord, this jesting cannot serve your turn.
    Hod. Do'st think, thou black Bononian beast,
    That I do flout, do gibe, or jest;
    No, no, thou Bear-pot, know that I,
    A Noble Earl, a Lord par-dy.
    860Gov. What means this Trumpet's sound?
    A Trumpet sounds. Enter a Messenger.
    Cit. One come from the States of Mantua.
    Gov. What, would you with us, speak, thou man of (Mantua?
    Mes. Men of Bononia, this my message is,
    865To let you know the Noble Earle of Bedford
    Is safe within the Town of Mantua,
    And wills you send the pesant that you have,
    Who hath deceived your expectation;
    Or else the States of Mantua have vowed,
    870They will recall the truce that they have made,
    And not a man shall stirre from forth your Town,
    That shall return unlesse you send him back.
    Gov. O this misfortune, how it mads my heart?
    The Neopolitan hath beguiled us all:
    875Hence with this fool, what shall we doe with him,
    The Earl being gone? a plague upon it all.
    Hod. No I'le assure you, I am no Earl, but a Smith, sir,
    One Hodge, a Smith at Putney, sir:
    One that hath gulled you, that hath bored you, sir.
    880Gov. Away with him, take hence the fool you came for.
    Hod. I, sir, and I'le leave the greater fool with you.
    Mes. Farewell, Bononians. Come, friend, along with
    Hod. My friend, afore, my Lordship will follow thee.
    Gov. Well, Mantua, since by thee the Earl is lost,
    Within few dayes I hope to see thee crost.Ex. om.
    Enter Chorus.
    Cho. Thus far you see how Cromwell's fortune passed.
    890The Earle of Bedford being safe in Mantua,
    Desires Cromwell's company into France,
    To make requitall for his courtesie:
    But Cromwell doth deny the Earl his suit,
    And tells him that those parts he meant to see,
    895He had not yet set footing on the Land,
    And so directly takes his way to Spain:
    The Earl to France, and so they both doe part.
    Now let your thoughts as swift as is the wind,
    Skip some few yeares, that Cromwell spent in travell.
    900And now imagine him to be in England,
    Servant unto the Master of the Rolles:
    Where in short time he there began to flourish,
    An hour shall show you what few yeares did cherish.

    905The Musick playes, they bring out the banquet. Enter
    Sir Christopher Hales, Cromwell, and two Servants

    Hales. Come, sirs, be carefull of your Masters credit;
    And as our bounty now exceeds the figure
    Of common entertainment, so doe you
    910With looks as free as is your Masters soule,
    Give formal welcome to the thronged tables,
    That shall receive the Cardinals followers,
    And the attendants of the great Lord Chancellor.
    But all my care, Cromwell, depends on thee:
    915Thou art a man differing from vulgar form,
    And by how much thy spirit is ranckt 'bove these,
    In rules of Art, by so much it shines brighter by travell,
    Whose observance pleads his merit,
    In a most learned, yet unaffecting spirit.
    920Good Cromwell, cast an eye of fair regard
    'Bout all my house, and what this ruder flesh,
    Through ignorance, or wine, doe miscreate,
    Salve thou with courtesie: if welcome want,
    Full bowles, and ample banquets will seem scant.
    925Crom. Sir, whatsoever lies in me,
    Assure you I will shew my utmost duty.Exit Crom.
    Hales. About it then, the Lords will straight be here:
    Cromwell, thou hast those parts would rather sute
    The service of the state then of my house:
    930I look upon thee with a loving eye,
    That one day will prefer thy destiny.
    Enter Messenger.
    Mess. Sir, the Lords be at hand,
    Hales. They are welcome, bid Cromwell straight at-
    935 tend us,
    And look you all things be in perfect readinesse.

    The Musick playes. Enter Cardinal Wolsey, Sir
    Thomas Moore and Gardiner.

    Wol. O, Sir Christopher, you are too liberall: what, a
    940 banquet too?
    Hal. My Lords, if words could show the ample wel-
    That my free heart affords you, I could then become a(prater:
    But I now must deale like a feast Polititian
    945With your Lordships, deferre your welcome till the ban-(quet end,
    That it may then salve our defect of fare:
    Yet welcome now, and all that tend on you.
    Wol. Thanks to the kind Master of the Rolles.
    Come and sit down, sit down, Sir Thomas Moore:
    950'Tis strange, how that we and the Spaniard differ,
    Their dinner is our banquet, after dinner,
    And they are men of active disposition:
    This I gather, that by their sparing meat,
    Their bodies are more fitter for the Warres:
    955And if that famine chance to pinch their mawes,
    Being us'd to fast, it breeds lesse pain.
    Hal. Fill me some Wine: I'le answer Cardinal Wolsey:
    My Lord, we English-men are of more freer soules,
    Then hunger-starv'd, and ill-complexion'd 'Spaniards;
    960They that are rich in Spain, spare belly food,
    To deck their backs with an Italian hood,
    And Silks of Civil: and the poorest Snake,
    That feeds on Lemmons, Pilchers, and ne're heated
    His pallet with sweet flesh, will bear a case,
    965More fat and gallant then his starved face,
    Pride, the Inquisition, and this belly-evil,
    Are in my judgement Spains three-headed Devil.
    Mo. Indeed it is a plague unto their Nation,
    Who stagger after in blind imitation.
    970Hal. My Lords, with welcome, I present your Lord-
    ships a solemn health.
    Mo. I love health well, but when as healths doe bring
    Pain to the head, and bodies surfetting:
    Then cease I healths: nay spill not, friend,
    975For though the drops be small,
    Yet have they force, to force men to the wall.
    Wol. Sir Christopher, is that your man?
    Hal. And like your Grace, he is a Schollar, and a Lin-(guist,
    One that hath travelled many parts of Christendome,
    980 my Lord.
    Wol. My friend, come nearer, have you been a travel-