Internet Shakespeare Editions

Authors: Anonymous, William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Thomas Lord Cromwell (Folio 3, 1664)

Enter Friskiball, very poor.
1125Fris. O Friskiball, what shall become of thee?
Where shalt thou go, or which way shalt thou turn?
Fortune that turns her too unconstant wheel,
Hath turn'd thy wealth and riches in the Sea,
All parts abroad where-ever I have been,
1130Grows weary of me, and denies me succour;
My debters they, that should relieve my want,
Forswear my money, say they owe me none:
They know my state too mean, to bear out Law;
And here in London, where I oft have been,
1135And have done good to many a wretched man,
And now most wretched here, despis'd my self;
In vain it is, more of their hearts to try;
Be patient therefore, lay thee down and die.
He lies down.
1140Enter good-man Seely, and his Wife Joan.
Seely. Come Joan, come, let's see what he'll do for us
now? I wis we have done for him, when many a time and
often he might have gone a hungry to bed.
Wife. Alas man, now he is made a Lord, he'll never
1145look upon us; he'll fulfill the old Proverb, Set Beggars a
horse-back, and they'll ride: â, well-a-day for my Cow;
such as he hath made us come behind-hand, we had never
pawn'd our Cow else to pay our Rent.
Seely. Well Joan, he'll come this way: and by God's
1150dickers I'le tell him roundly of it, and if he were ten Lords:
a shall know that I had not my Cheese and my Bacon for
Wife. Do you remember Husband, how he would
mouch upon my Cheese-cakes, he hath forgot this now,
1155but now we'll remember him.
Seely. I, we shall have now three flapps with a Fox
tail: but ifaith I'le gibber a joint, but I'le tell him his
own: stay, who comes here? O, stand up, here he comes,
stand up.
1160Enter Hodge very fine, with a Tip-staff, Cromwell, the
Mace carried before him; Norfolk, and
Suffolk, and attendants.
Hod. Come, away with these Beggars here, rise up, sirrah;
Come out, good people; run before there ho.
1165Friskiball riseth, and stands a-far-off.
Seely. I, we are kicked away now, we come for our
own; the time hath been, he would a looked more
friendly upon us: And you, Hodge, we know you well
enough, though you are so fine.
1170Crom. Come hither, sirrah: stay, what men are those?
My honest Host of Hounslow, and his wife;
I owe thee money, father, do I not?
Seely. I, by the body of me, dost thou; would thou
wouldest pay me, good four pound it is, I have a the Post
1175at home.
Crom. I know 'tis true; sirrah, give him ten Angels,
And look your wife, and you do stay to dinner:
And while you live, I freely give to you,
Four pound a year, for the four pound I ought you.
1180Seely. Art not changed, art old Tom still?
Now God bless thee, good Lord Tom:
Home Joan, home; I'le dine with my Lord Tom to day,
And thou shalt come next week.
Fetch my Cow; home Joan, home.
1185Wife. Now God bless thee, my good Lord Tom;
I'le fetch my Cow presently.
Enter Gardiner.
Crom. Sirrah, go to yon stranger, tell him I desire him
Stay to dinner: I must speak with him.
1190Gard. My Lord of Norfolk, see you this same Bubble?
That same puffe; but mark the end, my Lord, mark the
Norf. I promise you, I like not something he hath done;
But let that pass: the King doth love him well.
1195Crom. Good morrow to my Lord of Winchester:
I know you bear me hard, about the Abbey lands.
Gard. Have I not reason, when Religion is wronged?
You had no colour for what you have done.
Crom. Yes, the abolishing of Antichrist,
1200And of his Popish order from our Realm:
I am no enemy to Religion,
But what is done, it is for England's good:
What did they serve for, but to feed a sort
Of lazy Abbots, and of full-fed Fryers?
1205They neither plow, nor sow, and yet they reap
The fat of all the Land, and suck the poor:
Look what was theirs, is in King Henrie's hands,
His wealth before lay in the Abbey lands.
Gard. Indeed these things you have alledg'd, my Lord,
1210When, God doth know, the infant yet unborn,
Will curse the time, the Abbies were pul'd down:
I pray now where is Hospitality?
Where now may poor distressed people go,
For to relieve their need, or rest their bones,
1215When weary travel doth oppress their limmes?
And where religious men should take them in,
Shall now be kept back by a Mastive dog:
And thousand thousand--------
Nor. O my Lord, no more: things past redress,
1220'Tis bootless to complain.
Crom. What shall we to the Convocation-house?
Nor. We'll follow you, my Lord, pray lead the way.
Enter old Cromwell, like a Farmer.
Old Crom. How? one Cromwell made Lord Keeper,
1225 since I left Putney,
And dwelt in York-shire? I never heard better newes:
I'le see that Cromwell, or it shall go hard.
Crom.My aged Father! state set aside:
Father, on my knee I crave your blessing:
1230One of my Servants go and have him in,
At better leisure will we talk with him.
Old Crom. Now if I die, how happy were the day,
To see this comfort rains forth showers of joy.
Exit old Cromwell.
1235Nor. This duty in him showes a kind of grace.
Crom. Go on before, for time drawes on a pace.
Exeunt all but Friskiball.
Fris. I wonder what this Lord would have with me,
His man so strictly gave me charge to stay:
1240I never did offend him to my knowledge:
Well, good or bad, I mean to bide it all,
Worse then I am, now never can befall.
Enter Banister and his Wife.
Ba. Come, Wife, I take it be almost dinner time,
1245For Mr. Newton, and Mr. Crosbie sent to me
Last night, they would come dine with me,
And take their bond in: I pray thee hie thee home,
And see that all things be in readinesse.
Mi. Ba. They shall be welcome, Husband, I'le go(before
1250But is not that man Master Friskiball?
She runs and embraces him.
Ba. O heavens! it is kind Master Friskiball:
Say, sir, what hap hath brought you to this passe?
Fris. The same that brought you to your misery.
1255Ba. Why would you not acquaint me with your state?
Is Banister your poor friend forgot?
Whose goods, whose love, whose life and all is yours.
Fris. I thought your usage would be as the rest,
That had more kindnesse at my hands then you,
1260Yet look'd ascance when as they saw me poor.
Mi. Ba. If Banister should bear so base a heart,
I never would look my husband in the face,
But hate him as I would a Cockatrice.
Ba. And well thou mightest, should Banister deal so,
1265Since that I saw you, sir, my state is mended:
And for the thousand pound I owe to you,
I have it ready for you, sir, at home:
And though I grieve your fortune is so bad:
Yet that my hap's to help you makes me glad:
1270And now, sir, will it please you walk with me.
Fris. Not yet I cannot, for the Lord Chancellor,
Hath here commanded me to wait on him,
For what I know not, pray God it be for good.
Ba. Never make doubt of that, I'le warrant you,
1275He is as kind a noble Gentleman,
As ever did possesse the place he hath.
Mi. Ba. Sir, my Brother is his Steward, if you please,
We'll go along and bear you company:
I know we shall not want for welcome there?
1280Fris. Withall my heart: but what's become of Bagot?
Ba. He is hanged for buying Jewels of the Kings.
Fris. A just reward for one so impious,
The time drawes on, sir, will you go along.
Ba. I'le follow you, kind Master Friskiball.
1285Exeunt omnes.