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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)

    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-
    Crom. My Lord, I have added to my knowledge, the
    Low Countreys,
    985France, Spain, Germany, and Italy:
    And though small gain of profit I did find,
    Yet did it please my eye, content my mind.
    Wol. What do you think of the several States;
    And Princes Courts as you have travelled?
    990Crom. My Lord, no Court with England may compare,
    Neither for State, nor civil government:
    Lust dwells in France, in Italy, and Spain,
    From the poor pesant, to the Princes train,
    In Germany, and Holland, Riot serves,
    995And he that most can drink, most he deserves:
    England I praise not: for I here was born,
    But that she laugheth the others unto scorn.
    Wol. My Lord, there dwells within that spirit,
    More then can be discern'd by outward eye;
    1000Sir Christopher, will you part with your man?
    Hal. I have sought to proffer him to your Lordship,
    And now I see he hath preferr'd himself?
    Wol. What is thy name?
    Crom. Cromwell, my Lord.
    1005Wol. Then, Cromwell, here we make thee solliciter of(our causes,
    And nearest next our self:
    Gardiner, give you kind welcome to the man.
    Gardiner embraces him.
    Moor. My Lord, you are a royal Winner.
    1010Hath got a man, besides your bounteous dinner,
    Well, Knight, pray we come no more:
    If we come often, thou maist shut thy door.
    Wol. Sir Christopher, had'st thou given me,
    Half thy lands, thou couldest not have pleased me
    1015So much as with this man of thine,
    My infant thoughts do spell:
    Shortly his fortune shall be lifted higher,
    True industry, doth kindle Honours fire,
    And so, kind Master of the Rolls, farewell.
    1020Hal. Cromwell, farewell.
    Crom. Cromwell takes his leave of you
    That ne're will leave to love, and honour you.