Internet Shakespeare Editions

Authors: Anonymous, William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Thomas Lord Cromwell (Folio 3, 1664)

Enter Bagot a Broker solus.
Bag. I hope this day is fatal unto some,
145And by their losse must Bagot seek to gain.
This is the Lodging of Master Friskiball,
A liberall Merchant, and a Florentine,
To whom Banister owes a thousand pound,
A Merchant-Banckrupt, whose Father was my Master.
150What doe I care for pity or regard,
He once was wealthy, but he now is faln,
And this morning have I got him arrested
At the suit of Master Friskiball,
And by this meanes shall I be sure of Coyn,
155For doing this same good to him unknown:
And in good time, see where the Merchant comes.
Enter Friskiball.
Good morrow to kind Master Friskiball.
Fris. Good morrow to your self, good Master Bagot,
160And whats the newes your are so early stirring?
It is for gain, I make no doubt of that.
Bag. It is for the love, sir, that I bear to you.
When did you see your debtor Banister?
Fris. I promise you, I have not seen the man
165This two moneths day, his poverty is such,
As I doe think he shames to see his friends.
Bag. Why then assure your self to see him straight,
For at your suit I have arrested him,
And here they will be with him presently.
170Fris. Arrest him at my suit? you were too blame,
I know the mans misfortunes to be such,
As he's not able for to pay the debt,
And were it known to some, he were undone.
Bag. This is your pittifull heart to think it so,
175But you are much deceiv'd in Banister:
Why, such as he will break for fashion sake,
And unto those they owe a thousand pound,
Pay scarce a hundred: O, sir, beware of him,
The man is lewdly given, to Dice and Drabs,
180Spends all he hath in Harlots companies,
It is no mercy for to pity him:
I speak the truth of him, for nothing else,
But for the kindnesse that I bear to you.
Fris. If it be so, he hath deceiv'd me much,
185And to deale strictly with such a one as he,
Better severe than too much lenity:
But here is Master Banister himself,
And with him, as I take't, the Officers.
Enter Banister, his Wife, and two Officers.
190Ban. O, Master Friskiball, you have undone me:
My state was well nigh overthrown before,
Now altogether down-cast by your meanes.
Mist. Ba. O, Mr. Friskiball, pity my husband's case,
He is a man hath liv'd as well as any,
195Till envious Fortune, and the ravenous Sea
Did rob, disrobe, and spoil us of our own.
Fris. Mistresse Banister, I envy not your husband,
Nor willingly would I have us'd him thus:
But that I hear he is so lewdly given,
200Haunts wicked company, and hath enough
To pay his debts, yet will not be known thereof.
Ban. This is that damned Broker, that same Bagot,
Whom I have often from my Trencher fed:
Ingratefull villain for to use me thus.
205Bag. What I have said to him is nought but truth.
Mi. Ba. What thou hast said springs from an en-(vious heart.
A Cannibal that doth eat men alive:
But here upon my knee believe me, sir,
And what I speak, so help me God, is true,
210We scrace have meat to feed our little Babes:
Most of our Plate is in that Broker's hand,
Which had we money to defray our debts,
O think, we would not bide that penury:
Be mercifull, kind Master Friskiball,
215My husband, children, and my self will eat
But one meale a day, the other will we keep and sell,
Fri.Go to, I see thou art an envious man:
Good Mistris Banister, kneel not to me,
I pray rise up, you shall have your desire.
220Hold officers; be gone, there's for your pains,
You know you owe to me a thousand pound,
Here take my hand, if e're God make you able;
And place you in your former state again,
Pay me: but if still your fortune frown,
225Upon my faith I'le never ask you crown:
I never yet did wrong to men in thrall,
For God doth know what to my self may fall.
Ban. This unexpected favour undeserved,
Doth make my heart bleed inwardly with joy:
230Nere may ought prosper with me is my own,
If I forget this kindness you have shown.
Mi. Ba. My children in their prayers both night and(day,
For your good fortune and success shall pray.
Fri. I thank you both, I pray go dine with me,
235Within these three dayes, if God give me leave,
I will to Florence to my native home.
Bagot, hold, there's a Portague to drink,
Although you ill deserved it by your merit;
Give not such cruel scope unto your heart;
240Be sure the ill you do will be requited:
Remember what I say, Bagot, farewell.
Come, Master Banister, you shall with me,
My fare's but simple, but welcome heartily.
Exit all but Bagot.
245Bag. A plague go with you, would you had eat your last,
Is this the thanks I have for all my pains?
Confusion light upon you all for me:
Where he had wont to give a score of Crowns,
Doth he now foyst me with a Portague:
250Well, I will be revenged upon this Banister.
I'le to his Creditors, buy all the debts he owes,
As seeming that I do it for good will,
I am sure to have them at an easie rate;
And when 'tis done, in Christendome he stayes not,
255But I'le make his heart t'ake with sorrow,
And if that Banister become my debter,
By heaven and earth I'le make his plague the greater.
Exit Bagot.