Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • 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
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Thomas Lord Cromwell (Folio 3, 1664)

    Enter Gardiner Bishop of Winchester, the Dukes of
    1040Norfolk, and of Suffolk, Sir Thomas Moor,
    Sir Christopher Hales, and Cromwell.
    Nor. Master Cromwell, since Cardinal Wolsey's death,
    His Majestie is given to understand,
    There's certain billes and writings in your hand,
    1045That much concerns the state of England:
    My Lord of Winchester, is it not so?
    Gar. My Lord of Norfolk, we two were whilome fellows
    And Master Cromwell, though our Masters love:
    Did bind us, while his love was to the King,
    1050It is no boot now to deny those things,
    Which may be prejudicial to the State:
    And though that God hath rais'd my fortune higher,
    Then any way I look'd for, or deserv'd.
    Yet my life, no longer with me dwell,
    1055Then I prove true unto my Soveraigne.
    Suff. What say you, M. Cromwell? have you those
    writings, I, or no?
    Crom. Here are the writings, and upon my knees,
    I give them up, unto the worthy Dukes,
    1060Of Suffolk, and of Norfolk: he was my Master,
    And each vertuous part
    That lived in him, I tender'd with my heart,
    But what his head complotted 'gainst the State,
    My Countries love, commands me that to hate.
    1065His sudden death, I grieve for, not his fall,
    Because he sought to work my Countries thrall.
    Suff. Cromwell, the King shall hear of this thy duty;
    Whom I assure my self, will well reward thee:
    My Lord, let's go unto his Majesty,
    1070And show those writings which he longs to see.
    Exit Norfolk and Suffolk.
    Enter Bedford hastily.
    Bed. How now, whose this, Cromwell?
    By my soul, welcome to England:
    1075Thou once did'st save my life, did'st thou not, Cromwell?
    Crom. If I did so, 'tis greater glory for me that you
    remember it,
    Then for my self vainly to report it.
    Bed. Well, Cromwell, now is the time,
    1080I shall commend thee to my Soveraigne:
    Cheer up thy self, for I will raise thy State,
    A Russel yet was never found ingrate. Exit.
    Hal. O how uncertain is the wheel of State,
    Who lately greater then the Cardinal,
    1085For fear, and love: and now who lower lies?
    Gay honours, are but Fortunes flatteries,
    And whom this day, pride and promotion swells,
    To morrow, envy and ambition quells.
    Mo. Who sees the Cob-web intangle the poor Flie,
    1090May boldly say the wretches death is nigh.
    Gar. I know his state, and proud ambition,
    Was too too violent to last over-long.
    Hal. Who soars too near the Sun, with golden wings,
    Melts them, to ruine his own fortune brings.
    1095Enter the Duke of Suffolk.
    Suf. Cromwell, kneel down in King Henrie's name,
    Arise Sir Thomas Cromwell, thus begins thy fame.
    Enter the Duke of Norfolk.
    Norf. Cromwell, the Majesty of England,
    1100For the good liking, he conceives of thee:
    Makes thee Master of the Jewel house,
    Chief Secretary to himself, and withall,
    Creates thee one of his Highness Privie Council.
    Enter the Earl of Bedford.
    1105Bed. Where is sir Thomas Cromwell? is he Knighted?
    Suff. He is, my Lord.
    Bed. Then, to adde Honour to his Name,
    The King creates him Lord Keeper of his privy Seal,
    And Master of the Rolls;
    1110Which you, sir Christopher, do now enjoy;
    The King determines higher place for you.
    Crom. My Lords, these honours are too high for my de-(sert.
    Moor. O content thee, man, who would not chuse it?
    Yet thou art wise, in seeming to refuse it.
    1115Gard. Here's Honours, Titles and Promotions;
    I fear this climbing, will have a sudden fall.
    Norf. Then come, my Lords, let's altogether bring,
    This new-made Counsellor to England's King.
    Exeunt all but Gardiner.
    1120Gard. But Gardiner means his glory shall be dim'd:
    Shall Cromwell live a greater man then I?
    My envy with his honour now is bred,
    I hope to shorten Cromwell by the head.Exit.