THE True Chronicle Hi­storie of the whole life and death of Thomas Lord Cromwell.

As it hath beene sundry times pub­likely Acted by the Kings Maiesties Seruants.

Written by W. S.

LONDON: Printed by THOMAS SNODHAM. 1613.

The life and death of the Lord Cromwell.

Enter three Smiths, Hodge and two other, old Cromwels men.
COme Maisters, I thinke it be past fiue a clock,
Is it not time we were at worke?
My old Maister heele be stirring anon.
I cannot tell whether my old master will be
stirring or no: but I am sure I can hardly take my
afternoones nap, for my young maister Thomas,
He keepes such a quile in his studie,
With the Sunne, and the Moone, and the seauen starres,
That I doe verily thinke heele read out his wits.
He skill of the starres? theres good-man Car of Fulhum,
He that carried vs to the strong Ale, where goody Trundell
Had her maide got with childe: O he knowes the Starres,
Heele tickle you Charles Waine in nine degrees,
That same man will tell goody Trundell
When her Ale shall miscary, onely by the starres.
I that's a great vertue indeed, I thinke Thomas
Be no body in comparison to him.
Well Maisters come, shall we to our hammers?
I content, first lets take our mornings draught,
And then to worke roundly.
I agreed, goe in Hodge.
Exit omnes.
Enter young Cromwell.
Good morrow morne, I doe salute thy brightnesse,
The night seemes tedious to my troubled soule:
[Page] Whose black obscuritie binds in my minde
A thousand sundry cogitations▪
And now Aurora with a liuely dye,
Addes comfort to my spirit that mounts on high.
Too high indeede, my state being so meane▪
My study like a minerall of gold,
Makes my hart proude wherein my hope's inrowld,
My bookes is all the wealth I doe possesse,
Here within they must beate with their hammers.
And vnto them I haue ingaged my hart,
O learning how deuine thou seemes to me:
Within whose armes is all felicity?
Peace with your hammers, leaue your knocking there,
You doe disturbe my study and my rest,
Leaue off I say, you madde me with the noyse.
Enter Hodge and the two Men.
Why how now Maister Thomas how now,
Will you not let vs worke for you?
You fret my hart, with making of this noise.
How fret your hart? I but Thomas, youle
Fret your fathers purse if you let vs from working.
I this tis for him to make him a gentleman.
Shall we leaue worke for your musing, thats well I faith?
But here comes my old Maister now.
Enter old Cromwell.
Old Crom.
You idle knaues, what are you loytring now,
No hammers walking and my worke to doe?
What not a heate among your worke to day?
Marry sir your sonne Thomas will not let vs worke at all,
Old Crom.
Why knaue I say, haue I thus carkde and car'd
And all to keepe thee like a gentleman,
And dost thou let my seruants at their worke:
That sweat for thee knaue? labour thus for thee?
Father their hammers doe offend my studie.
Old Crom.
Out of my doores knaue if thou likest it not,
I cry you mercy is your cares so fine?
I tell thee knaue these get when I doe sleepe,
I will not haue my Anuill stand for thee.
There's mony father, I will pay your men.
He throwes many a­mong them.
Old Cro.
Haue I thus brought thee vp vnto my cost,
In hope that one day thou wouldst releeue my age,
And art thee now so lauish of thy coine,
To scatter it among these idle knaues?
Father be patient, and content your selfe,
The time will come I shall hold golde as trash:
And here I speake with a presaging soule,
To build a pallace where now this cottage stands,
As fine as is King Henries, house at Sheene.
Old Crow.
You build a house? you knaue, youle be a begger,
Now afore God all is but cast away
That is bestowed vpon this thriftlesse lad;
Well, had I bound him to some honest trade:
This had not beene, but it was his mothers doing,
To send him to the Vniuersitie:
How builde a house where now this cottage stands,
As faire as that at Sheene? he shall not here me,
A good boy Tom, I con thee thanke Tom,
Well said Tom, gramarcies Tom,
Into your worke knaues hence you sausie boy.
Exit all but young Cromwell.
Why should my birth keepe downe my mounting spirit?
Are not all creatures subiect vnto time?
To time, who doth abuse the world,
And filles it full of hodge-podge bastardy,
There's legions now of beggars on the earth,
That their originall did spring from Kings:
And many Monarkes now whose fathers were,
The riffe-raffe of their age: for time and Fortune
Weares out a noble traine to beggery,
And from the dunghill minions doe aduance
To state: and marke in this admiring world,
This is but course, which in the name of Fate
Is seene as often as it whirles about:
The Riuer Thames that by our doore doth passe,
His first beginning is but small and shallow?
[Page] Yet keeping on his course, groues to a sea.
And likewise W [...]lsay, the wonder of our age,
His birth as meane as mine, a Butchers sonne
Now who within this land a greaterman?
Then Cromwell cheere thee vp, and tell thy soule,
That thou maist liue to flourish and controule.
Enter old Cromwell.
Old Crom.
Tom Cromwell, what Tom I say.
Doe you call sir?
Old Crom.
Here is Maister Bowser come to know, if you haue
dispatched his petition, for the Lords of the counsell or no.
Father I haue, please you to call him in.
Old Crom.
That's well said Tom, a good lad Tom.
Enter Maister Bowser.
Now Maister Cromwell, haue you dispatched this petition?
I haue sir, here it is, please you peruse it.
It shall not need, weele read it as we goe by water:
And Maister Cromwell, I haue made a motion
May doe you good, and of you like of it.
Our Secretarie at Antwarpe, sir is dead,
And the Marchants there hath sent to me,
For to prouide a man fit for the place:
Now I doe know none fitter then your selfe,
If with your liking it stand Maister Cromwell.
With all my hart sir, and I much am bound,
In loue and duty for your kindnesse showne.
Old Crom.
Body of me Tom make hast, least some body
Get betweene thee and home Tom.
I thanke you good Maister Bowser, I thanke you for my boy,
I thanke you alwayes, I thanke you most hartely sir:
Hoe a cup of Beere there for Maister Bowser.
It shall not need sir, Maister Cromwell will you goe?
I will attend you sir.
Old Crom.
Farewell Tom, God blesse thee Tom,
God speed thee good Tom.
Exit omnes.
Enter Bagot a Broker, [...]olus.
I hope this day is fatall vnto some,
[Page] And by their losse must Bagot seeke to gaine.
This is the lodging of Maister Friskiball,
a liberall Marchant, and a Florentine,
To whom Banister owes a thousand pound,
A Marchant Banckrout, whose Father was my Maister,
What doe I care, for pitie or regarde?
He once was wealthy, but he now is falne,
And this morning haue I got him arested,
At the sute of Maister Friskiball,
And by this meanes shall I be sure of coyne,
For doing this same good to him vnknowne:
And in good time, see where the Marchant comes.
Enter Friskiball.
Good morrow to kinde Maister Friskiball.
God morrow to your selfe good maister Bagot,
And whats the newes you are so earely stirring?
It is for gaine, I make no doubt of that.
It is for the loue sir that I beare to you,
When did you see your debter Banister?
I promise you, I haue not seene the man
This two moneths day, his pouertie is such,
As I doe thinke he shames to see his friends.
Why then assure your selfe to see him straight,
For at your sute I haue arrested him,
And here they will be with him presently.
Arrest him at my sute? you were to blame,
I know the mans misfortunes to be such,
As hee's not able for to pay the debt,
And were it knowne to some he were vndone.
This is your pittifull hart to thinke it so,
But you are much deceaued in Banister,
Why such as he will breake for fashion sake,
And vnto those they owe a thousand pound,
Pay scarce a hundred: O sir beware of him,
The man is lewdly giuen, to Dyce and Drabs,
Spends all he hath in harlots companies,
It is no mercy for to pitie him.
I speake the truth of him, for nothing els,
But for the kindnesse that I beare to you,
If it be so, he hath deceiued me much,
And to deale strictly with such a one as he.
Better seuere then too much lenitie,
But here is Maister Banister himselfe,
And with him as I take the officers.
Enter Banister, his wife, and two officers.
O Maister Friskiball you haue vndone me,
My state was well nigh ouerthrowne before,
Now altogether downe-cast by your meanes.
Mist. Ba.
O master Friskiball, pity my husbands case
Hee is a man hath liued as well as any,
Till enuious fortune and the rauenous Sea
Did rob, disrobe, and spoile vs of our owne.
Mistris Banister, I enuie not your husband,
Nor willingly would I haue vsed him thus:
But that I heare hee is so lewdely giuen,
Haunts wicked company, and hath inough
To pay his debts, yet will not be knowne thereof.
This is that damned Broker, that same Bagot,
Whom I haue often from my Trencherfed,
Ingratefull villaine for to vse me thus.
What I haue said to him is naught but truth.
Mi. Ba.
What thou hast said springs from an enuious hart.
A Canniball that doth eate men aliue,
But here vpon my knee beleeue me sir,
And what I speake, so helpe me God is true▪
We scarse haue meate to feede our little Babes,
Most of our Plate is in that Broken hand.
Which had we mony to defray our debts
O thinke wee would not bide that penurie:
Be mercifull, kinde maister Friskiball,
My husband, children, and my selfe will eate
But one meale a day, the other will we keepe and sell,
[Page] As part to pay the debt we owe to you:
If euer teares did pierce a tender minde,
Be pittifull, let me some fauour finde.
Be not you so mad sir, to beleeue hir teares.
Go to, I see thou art an enuious man,
Good mistris Banister kneele not to me,
I pray rise vp, you shall haue your desire.
Holde officers; be gone, ther's for your paines,
You know you owe to me a thousand pound,
Here take my hand, if eare God make you able;
And place you in your former state againe,
Pay me: but if still your fortune frowne,
Vpon my faith Ile neuer aske you crowne:
I neuer yet did wrong to men in thrall.
For God doth know what to my selfe may fall.
This vnexpected fauour vndeserued,
Doth make my hart bleed inwardly with ioy,
Nere may ought prosper with me is my owne,
If I forget this kindnesse you haue showne.
Mi. Ba.
My children in their prayers both night and day,
For your good fortune and successe shall pray.
I thanke you both, I pray goe dine with me,
Within these three dayes, if God giue me leaue,
I will to Florence to my natiue home,
Bagot holde, theres a Portague to drinke,
Although you ill deserued it by your merit,
Giue not such cruell scope vnto your hart,
Be sure the ill you doe will be requited,
Remember what I say, Bagot farewell.
Come Maister Banister, you shall with me,
My fare's but simple, but welcome hartily.
Exit all but Bagot.
A plague goe with you, would you had eate your last,
Is this the thankes I haue for all my paines:
Confusion light vpon you all for me,
Where he had wont to giue a score of crown [...]
Doth he now foyst me with a Portague:
Well, I will be reuenged vpon this Banister.
[Page] Ile to his Creditors, buy all the debts he owes,
As seeming that I doe it for good-will,
I am sure to haue them at an easie rate;
And when tis done, in Christendome he staies not,
But ile make his hate t'ake with sorrow,
And if that Banister become my debter
By heauen and earth ile make his plague the greater.
Exit Bagot.
Enter Chorus.
Now gentlemen imagine, that young Cromwell is
In Antwarpe, Ledger for the English Marchants:
And Banister to shunne this Bagots hate,
Hearing that he hath got some of his debts,
Is fled to Antwarpe, with his wife and children,
Which Bagot hearing is gone after them:
And thether sends his billes of debt before,
To be reuenged on wretched Banister,
What doth fall out, with patience sit and see,
A iust requitall of false trecherie.
Cromwell in his study with bags of money before him casting of account.
Thus farre my reckoning doth goe straight and euen:
But Cromwell this same plodding fits not thee:
Thy minde is altogether set on trauell,
And not to liue thus cloystered like a Nunne,
It is not this same trash that I regard,
Experience is the iewell of my hart.
Enter a Post.
I pray sir, are you ready to dispatch me?
Yes heres those summes of mony you must cary.
You goe so farre as Frankford, doe you not?
I doe sir.
Well prethee make all the hast thou canst,
For there be certaine English gentlemen
Are bound for Venice, and may happily want
And if that you should linger by the way:
But in hope that you will make good speed,
[Page] There's two Angels to buy you spurres and wandes.
I thanke you sir, this will adde winges indeede.
Golde is of power to make an Eagles speed.
Enter Mistris Banister.
What gentlewoman is this that greeues so much?
It seemes she doth addresse her selfe to me.
Mi. Ba.
God saue you sir, pray is your name Maister Cromwell.
My name is Thomas Cromwell, gentlewoman.
Mi. Ba.
Know you not one Bagot sir, that's come to Antwarpe?
No trust me, I neuer saw the man,
But here are billes of debt I haue receiued
Against one Banister a Marchant fallen into decay.
Mi. Ba.
Into decay indeede, long of that wretch,
I am the wife to wofull Banister,
And by that bloudy villaine am persu'de,
From London here to Antwarpe,
My husband he is in the gouernours hands:
And God of heauen knowes how he'ill deale with him,
Now sir your hart is framed of milder temper,
Be mercifull to a distressed soule,
And God no doubt will treble blesse your gaine.
Good Mistris Banister, what I can, I will,
In any thing that lies within my power.
Mi. Ba.
O speake to Bagot, that same wicked wretch,
An Angels voyce may moue a damned diuell.
Why is he come to Antwarpe as you here?
Mi. Ba.
I hard he landed some two houres since.
Well Mistris Banister assure your selfe,
Ile speake to Bagot in your owne behalfe:
And winne him t'all the pittie that I can,
Meane time, to comfort you in your distresse,
Receiue these Angels to releeue your neede,
And be assured that what I can effect:
To doe you good, no way I will neglect.
Mi. Ba.
That mighty God that knowes each mortals hart,
Keepe you from trouble, sorrow, griefe and smart.
Exit Mi. Ba.
Thankes courteous woman,
For thy hartie prayer:
It greeues my soule to see her miserie,
But we that liue vnder the worke of fate,
May hope the best, yet knowes not to what state
Our starres and destinies hath vs asignde,
Fickle is Fortune, and her face is blinde.
Enter Bagot solus.
So all goes well, it is as I would haue it,
Banister he is with the Gouernour:
And shortly shall haue guiues vpon his heeles,
It glads my hart to thinke vpon the slaue,
I hope to haue his body rot in prison:
And after here, his wife to hang her selfe,
And all his children die for want of foode,
The Iewels I haue brought to Antwarpe,
Are recon'd to be worth fiue thousand pound,
Which scarcely stoode me in three hundreth pound,
I bought them at an easie kinde of rate,
I care not which way they came by them
That sould them me, it comes not neare my hart.
And least they should be stolne as sure they are,
I thought it meete to sell them here in Antwarpe,
And so haue left them in the Gouernours hand,
Who offers me within two hundreth pound
Of all my price: but now no more of that,
I must goe see and if my billes be safe,
The which I sent to Maister Cromwell,
That if the winde should keepe me on the sea,
He might arest him here before I came:
And in good time, see where he is: God saue you sir.
And you, pray pardon me, I know you not.
It may be so sir, but my name is Bagot,
The man that sent to you the billes of debt.
O the man that persues Banister,
[Page] Here are the billes of debt you sent to me:
As for the man you know best where he is,
It is reported yu'aue a flintie hart,
A minde that will not stoope to any pittie;
An eye that knowes not how to shed a teare,
A hand thats alwayes open for re [...]rd,
But Maister Bagot would you be ruled by me:
You should turne all these to the contrarie,
Your hart should still haue feeling of remorse,
Your minde, according to your state, be liberall
To those that stand in neede and in distresse;
Your hand to helpe them that doe stand in want,
Rather then with your poyse to holde them downe,
For euery ill turne show your selfe more kinde,
Thus should I doe, pardon, I speake my minde.
I sir, you speake to here what I would say,
But you must liue I know, as well as I:
I know this place to be extortion,
And tis not for a man to keepe safe here,
But he must lye, cog, with his dearest friend;
And as for pittie, scorne it, hate all conscience,
But yet I doe commend your wit in this,
To make a show, of what I hope you are not,
But I commend you and tis well done,
This is the onely way to bring your gaine.
My gaine: I had rather chaine me to an ore,
And like a slaue there toile out all my life,
Before ide liue so base a slaue as thou:
I like an hipocrite to make a show,
Of seeming vertue and a diuell within?
No Bagot, if thy conscience were as cleare,
Poore Banister, nere had beene troubled here.
Nay good Maister Cromwell be not angry sir,
I know full well that you are no such man,
But if your conscience were as white as Snow,
It will be thought that you are otherwise,
Will it be thought that I am other wise?
[Page] Let them that thinke so know they are deceiu'd;
Shall Cromwell liue to haue his faith misconsterd,
Antwarpe for all the wealth within thy Towne
I will not stay here full two houres longer:
As good lucke serues, my accounts are all made euen,
Therefore ile straight vnto [...] treasurer,
Bagot, I know youle to the gournour,
Commend me to him, say I am bound to trauaile,
To see the fruitefull parts of Italy,
And as you euer bore a Christian minde,
Let Banister some fauour of you finde.
For your sake sir ile helpe him all I can,
To starue his hart out eare he gets a groate,
So Maister Cromwell doe I take my leaue,
For I must straight vnto the gouernour.
Exit Bagot.
Farewell sir, pray you remember what I said:
No Cromwell, no, thy hart was nere so base
To liue by falshoode or by brokery,
But 't falles out well, I little it repent,
Hereafter, time in trauell shalbe spent.
Enter Hodge his fathers man.

Your sonne Thomas, quoth you, I haue beene Thomast, I had thought it had beene no such matter to a gone by water: for at Putnay ile goe you to Parish-garden for two pence, sit as still as may be, without any wagging or ioulting in my guttes, in a little boate too: here vve were scarce foure mile in the great greene water, but I thinking to goe to my afternoones vnchines, as twas my manner at home, but I felt a kinde of rising in my guttes: at last one a the Sailers spying of me, be a good cheere sayes hee, set downe thy victuals, and vp with it, thou hast nothing but an Ecle in thy belly▪ Well, too't went I, to my victuals went the Sailers, & thinking me to be a man of better experience then any in the shippe, asked mee what Woode the shippe was made of: they all swore I could them as right as if I had beene acquainted [Page] with the Carpenter that made it, at last wee grew neere land, and I grew villanous hungry, went to my bagge, the diuell a bit there was, the Sailers had tickled mee▪ yet I cannot blame them, it was a part of kindnesse, for I in kindnesse tould them what Wood the shippe was made of, and they in kindnesse eate vp my victuals, as indeede one good turne asketh another: well would I, could I, finde my Maister Thomas in this Dutch Towne, he might put some English Beare into my belly.

What Hodge my fathers man, by my hand welcome,
How doth my father? whats the newes at home?

Maister Thomas, O God Maister Thomas, your hand. gloue and all, this is to giue you to vnderstanding that your fa­ther is in health, and Alice Downing here hath sent you a Nut­meg, and Besse Make water a race of Ginger, my fellow Will and Tom hath betweene them sent you a dozen of points, and good­man Tolle, of the Goate, a paire of mittons, my selfe came in per­son, and this is all the newes.


Gramarsie good Hodge, and thou art welcome to me,

But in as ill a time thou commest as may be:
For I am trauelling into Italy,
What saist thou Hodge, wilt thou beare me company?

Will I beare thee company Tom, what tell'st me of Italy, were it to the furthest part of Flanders, I would goe with thee Tom, I am thine in all weale and woe, thy owne to com­maund. what Tom, I haue passed the rigorous waues of Nep­tunes blastes, I tell you Thomas I haue beene in the danger of the flouds, and when I haue seene Boreas beginne to play the Ruffin with vs, then would I downe a my knees and call vpon Vulcan.


And why vpon him?


Because as this same fellow Neptune is God of the Seas, so Vulcan is LORD ouer the Smiths, and therefore I being a Smith, thought his Godhead would haue some care yet of me.


A good conceit, but tell me hast thou din'd yet?


Thomas to speake the truth, not a bit yet I.


Come goe with me, thou shalt haue cheere good store. And farewell Antwarpe if I come no more.


I follow thee sweet Tom, I follow thee

Exit amb [...].
[Page] Enter the Gouernour of the English house, Bagot, Ba­nister, his wife, and two officers.
Is Cromwell gone then, say you Maister Bagot,
What dislike, I pray, what was the cause?
To tell you true, a wilde braine of his owne,
Such youth as they, cannot see when they are well:
He is all bent to trauaile, thats his reason,
And doth not loue to eate his bread at home.
Well, good fortune with him, if the man be gone.
We hardly shall finde such a one as he,
To fit our turnes, his dealings were so honest:
But now sir, for your Iewels that I haue,
What doe you say? what, will you take my prise?
O sir, you offer too much vnderfoote.
Tis but two hundred pound betweene vs man,
Whats that in paiment of fiue thousand pound.
Two hundred pound birladie sir tis great,
Before I got so much, it made me sweat.
Well Maister Bagot Ile proffer you fairely,
You see this Marchant Maister Banister,
Is going now to prison at your sute.
His substance all is gone, what would you haue?
Yet in regarde I knew the man of wealth.
Neuer dishonest dealing, but such mishaps
Hath falne on him, may light on me, or you,
There is two hundred pound betweene vs,
We will diuide the same, Ile giue you one,
On that condition you will set him free:
His state is nothing, that you see your selfe,
And where naught is the King must lose his right.
Sir▪ sir, you speake out of your loue,
Tis foolish loue sir sure to pittie him:
Therefore content your selfe, this is my minde,
To doe him good I will not bate a penie.
This is my comfort though thou dost no good,
A mighty ebbe followes a mighty floud.
Mi. Ba.
O thou base wretch, whom we haue fostered.
Euen as a Serpent for to poyson vs,
If God did euer right a womans wrong:
To that same God I bend and bow my heart,
To let his heany wrath fall on thy head,
By whom my hopes and ioyes are butchered.
Alas fond woman, I prethee pray thy worst,
The Fox fares better still when he is curst.
Enter Maister Bowser a Marchant.
Maister Bowser! your welcome sir from England,
Whats the best newes? How doth all our friends?
They are all well and doe commend them to you,
There's letters from your brother and your sonne:
So faire you well sir, I must take my leaue.
My hast and businesse doth require so.
Before you dine sir? what goe you out of towne?
I faith vnlesse I here some newes in towne,
I must away, there is no remedy.
Maister Bowser what is your busines, may I know it?
You may sir, and so shall all the Citie.
The King of late hath had his treasury rob'd,
And of the choysest iewels that he had:
The value of them was seauen thousand pounds,
The fellow that did steale these iewels is hanged,
And did confesse that for three hundred pound,
He sould them to one Bagor dwelling in London:
Now Bagot's fled, and as we here to Antwarpe,
And hether am I come to seeke him out,
And they that first can tell me of his newes,
Shall haue a hundred pound for their reward.
How iust is God to right the innocent?
Maister Bowser you come in happy time,
Here is the villaine Bagot that you seeke.
And all those iewels haue I in my hands,
Officers looke to him, hould him fast.
The diuell ought me a shame, and now hath paid it.
Is this that Bagot? fellowes beare him hence,
We will not now stand for his reply;
Lade him with Yrons, wee will haue him tride
In England where his villanies are knowne.
Mischiefe, confusion, light vpon you all,
O hang me, drowne me, let me kill my selfe,
Let goe my armes let me run quick to hell.
Away, beare him away, stop the slaues mouth.
They carry him away.
Mi. Ba.
Thy workes are infinite, great God of heauen.
I hard this Bagot was a wealthy fellow.
He was indeed, for when his goods were zeased,
Of Iewels, coyne, and Plate within his house,
Was found the value of fiue thousand pound,
His furniture fully worth halfe so much,
Which being all strainde for the King,
He franckly gaue it to the Antwarpe Marchants,
And they againe, out of their bounteous minde,
Hath to a brother of their company,
A man decaid by fortune of the Seas,
Giuen Bagots wealth, to set him vp againe:
And keepe it for him, his name is Banister.
Maister Bowser, with this happy newes,
You haue reuiued two from the gates of death,
This is that Banister, and this his wife.
Sir I am glad my fortune is so good,
To bring such tidings as may comfort you,
You haue giuen life vnto a man deemd dead,
For by these newes, my life is newly bred.
Mi. Ba.
Thankes to my God, next to my Soueraigne King.
And last to you that these good newes doe bring.
The hundred pound I must receiue as due
For finding Bagot, I freely giue to you.
And Maister Banister, if so you please,
Ile beare you company, when you crosse the Seas.
If it please you sir, my company is but meane,
Stands with your liking, Ile waite on you.
I am glad that all things doe accorde so well:
Come Maister Bowser, let vs in to dinner:
And Mistrisse Banister, be mery woman,
Come after sorrow now, lets cheere your spirit,
Knaues haue their due, and you but what you merit.
Exit omnes.
Enter Cromwell and Hodge in their shirtes, and without Hattes.
Call yee this seeing of fashions?
Marry would I had staide at Putney still,
O Maister Thomas, we are spoiled, we are gone.
Content thee man, this is but fortune.

Fortune, a plague of this Fortune makes me goe wet­shod, the roagues would not leaue me a shooe to my feet, for my hoase they scorned them with their heeles, but for my Dublet and Hatte, O Lord they imbraced mee, and vnlased mee, and tooke away my cloathes, and so disgraced me.

Well Hodge, what remedie?
What shift shall we make now?

Nay I know not, for begging I am naught, for stealing worse: by my troth I must euen fall to my olde trade, to the Hammer and the Horse heeles againe: but now the worst is, I am not acquainted with the humor of the horses in this countrie, whether they are not coultish, giuen much to kicking, or no, for vvhen I haue one legge in my hand, if he should vp and lay tother on my chops, I were gone, there lay I, there lay Hodge.

Hodge I beleeue thou must worke for vs both.

O Maister Thomas, haue not I tolde you of this, haue not I many a time and often, said Tom, or Maister Thomas, learne to make a Horse-shooe, it will be your owne another day: this was not regarded. Harke you Thomas, what doe you call the fellowes that robd vs?

The Bandetto.

The Bandetto doe you call them, I know not what they are called here, but I am sure we call them plaine theeues in [Page] England, O Th [...]mas that we were now at Putney, at the ale there▪

Content thee man, here set vp these two billes,
And let vs keepe our standing on the bridge:
The fashion of this country is such,
If any stranger be oppressed with want,
To write the manner of his misery,
And such as are disposed to succour him,
Will doe it, what hast thou set them vp?
I they're vp, God send some to reade them,
And not onely to reade them, but also to looke on vs:
And not altogether to looke on vs,
One standes at one end, and one at tother.
But to releeue vs, O colde, colde, colde.
Enter Friskiball the Marchant, and reades the billes.
Whats here? two Englishmen rob'd by the Bandetto,
One of them seemes to be a gentleman:
Tis pittie that his fortune was so hard,
To fall into the desperate hands of theeues,
Ile question him of what estate he is,
God saue you sir, are you an Englishman?
I am sir a distressed Englishman.
And what are you my friend.

Who I sir, by my troth I doe not know my selfe what I am now, but sir, I was a Smith sir, a poore Farrier of Putney, thats my Maister sir yonder, I was robbed for his sake sir.

I see you haue beene met by the Bandetto,
And therefore neede not aske how you came thus:
But Friskiball, why doost thou question them
Of their estate and not releeue their neede?
Sir, the coyne I haue about me is not much:
There's sixteene Duckets for to cloath your selues,
There's sixteene more to buy your diet with,
And there's sixteene to pay for your horse hier:
Tis all the wealth you see my purse possesses,
But if you please for to enquire me out,
You shall not want for ought that I can doe,
My name is Friskiball, a Florence Marchant,
[Page] A man that alwayes loued your nation.
This vnexpected fauour at your hands,
Which God doth know, if euer I shall requi [...]e it,
Necessitie makes me to take your bountie,
And for your gold can yeeld you naught but thankes,
Your charitie hath helpt me from dispaire.
Your name shall still be in my harty prayer.
It is not worth such thankes come to my house,
Your want shall better be releeu'd then thus.
I pray excuse me, this shall well suffice,
To beare my charges to Bononia,
Whereas a noble Earle is much distressed:
An Englishman, Russel [...] the Earle of Bedford
Is by the French King solde vnto his death,
It may fall out, that I may doe him good:
To saue his life, Ile hazard my hart blood:
Therefore kinde sir, thankes for your liberall gift,
I must be gone to aide him there's no shift.
Ile be no hinderer to so good an act,
Heauen prosper you, in that you goe about:
If Fortune bring you this way backe againe,
Pray let me see you: so I take my leave▪
All good a man can wish, I doe bequeath.
Exit Friskiball.
All good that God doth send, light on your head,
There's few such men within our climate bred.
How say you now Hodge, is not this good fortune?
How say you, Ile tell you what maister Thomas▪
If all men be of this Gentlemans minde,
Lets keepe our standings vpon this Bridge,
We shall get more here with begging in one day,
Then I shall with making Horshoes in a whole yeere.
No Hodge, we must begone vnto Bononia,
There to releeue the noble Earle of Bedford:
Where if I faile not in my policie,
I shall deceiue their subtile treachery.
Nay Ile follow you, God blesse vs from the theeuing
Bandettoes againe.
Exit omnes
[Page] Enter Bedford and his Hoast.
Am I betraide, was Bedforde borne to die,
By such base slaues in such a place as this?
Haue I escaped so many times in France,
So many battailes haue I ouer passed,
And made the French stirre when they hard my name;
And am I now betraide vnto my death?
Some of their harts bloud first shall pay for it.
They doe desire my Lord to speake with you.
The traitors doe desire to haue my bloud,
But by my birth, my honour, and my name,
By all my hopes, my life shall cost them deare.
Open the dore, ile venter out vpon them,
And if I must die, then ile die with honour.
Alas my Lord that is a desperate course,
They haue begirt you round about the house:
Their meaning is to take you prisoner,
And so to send your body vnto France.
First shall the Ocean beas dry as sand,
Before aliue they send me vnto France:
Ile haue my body first bored like a Siue,
And die as Hector, gainst the Mermidons,
Eare France shall boast Bedfordes their prisoner,
Trecherous France that gainst the law of armes:
Hath here betraide thy enemy to death,
But be assured my bloud shall be reuenged,
Vpon the best liues that remaines in France:
Stand backe, or else thy run'st vpon thy death.
Enter a Seruant.
Pardon my Lord, I come to tell your honour
That they haue hired a Neopolitan,
Who by his Oratorie hath promised them
Without the shedding of one drop of bloud,
Into their hands safe to deliuer you,
And therefore craues none but himselfe may enter,
And a poore swaine that attends on him.
Exit seruant.
[Page 12]
A Neapolitan, bid him come in,
Were he as cunning in his eloquence
As Cicero the famous man of Rome,
His words would be as chaffe against the winde,
Sweet tong'd Vlesses that made Aiaxe mad;
Were he and his tongue in this speakers head,
Aliue he winnes me not, then tis no conquest dead.
Enter Cromwell like a Neopolitan, and Hodge with him.
Sir, are you the maister of the house?
I am sir.
By this same token you must leaue this place,
And leaue none but the Earle and I together,
And this my Pessant here to tend on vs.
With all my hart, God grant, you doe some good.
Exit. Hoast. Cromwell shuts the dore.
Now sir whats your will with me?
Intends your honour, not to yeeld your selfe:
No good-man goose, not while my sword doth last,
Is this your eloquence for to perswade me.
My Lord my eloquence is for to saue you,
I am not as you iudge a Neopolitan:
But Cromwell your seruant, and an Englishman.
How Cromwell, not my Farriers sonne?
The same sir, and am come to succour you.
Yes faith sir, and I am Hodge your poore Smith,
Many a time and oft haue I shooed your Dapper Gray.
And what auailes it me that thou art here?
It may auaile if youle be rul'd by me,
My Lord you know the men of Mantua;
And these Bononians are at deadly strife,
And they my Lord, both loue and honour you▪
Could you but get out of the Mantua port,
Then were you safe dispight of all their force.
The man thou talkest of things impossible,
Dost thou not see that we are round beset:
How then is it possible, we should escape?
By force we cannot, but by pollicie,
Put on the apparell here that Hodge doth weare,
And giue him yours: the States they know you not,
For as I thinke they neuer saw your face,
And at a watch-word must I call them in,
And will desire, that we two safe may passe
To Mantua, where Ile say my businesse lies,
How doth your Honour like of this deuise?
O wondrous good: But wilt thou venter Hodge?
Will I O noble Lord, I doe accord? in any thing I can,
And doe agree, to set thee free, doe fortune what she can.
Come then lets change our apparell straight.
God Hodge make hast least they chance to call.
I warrant you ile [...] with a [...].
Exit Earle & Hodge.
Heauens graunt this pollicie doth take successe,
And that the Earle may safely scape [...]eay.
And yet it greeues me for this simple wretch,
For feare they should offer him violence.
But of two euils tis best to shun the greatest,
And better is it that he liue in thrall,
Then such a Noble Earle as he should fall.
Their stubborne harts, it may be will relent:
Since he is gone, to whom their hate is bent,
My Lord haue you dispatched?
Enter Bedford like the Clowne, and Hodge in his cloake and his Hat.
How doost thou like vs Cromwell, is it well?
O my Lord excellent: Hodge how doost feele thy selfe?
How do I feele my selfe? why as a Noble man should do,
O how I feele honor come creeping on,
My Nobilitie is wonderfull melancholy:
Is it not most Gentleman like to be melancholy?
Yes Hodge, now goe sit downe in the study.
And take state vpon thee.

I warrant you my Lord, let me alone to take state vpon [Page 13] me: but harke my Lord, doe you feele nothing bite about you?

No trust me Hodge.

I, they know they want their old pasture, tis a strange thing of this vermine, they dare not meddle with Nobilitie.

Goe take thy place Hodge, I will call them in,
All is done, enter and if you please.
Hodge sits in the study, and Cromwell calles in the States.
Enter the States and Officers, with Malberts.
What haue you wone him? will he yeelde himselfe?
I haue an't please you, and the quiet Earle,
Doth yeeld himselfe to be disposed by you.
Giue him the mony that we promised him:
So let him goe, whether it please himselfe.
My businesse sir lies vnto Mantua,
Please you to giue me safe conduct thether.
Goe and conduct him to the Mantua port,
And see him safe deliuered presently.
Exit Cromwell and Bedford.
Goe draw the curtaines, let vs see the Earle.
O he is writing, stand apart a while.
Fellow William, I am not as I haue beene, I went from
you a Smith, I write to you as a Lord: I am at this present writing, a­mong
the Polonyan Casiges. I do commend my Lordship to Raphe
& to Roger, to Bridget & to Doritie, & so to al the youth of Putu [...]y.
Sure these are the names of English Noblemen.
Some of his speciall friends, to whom he writes:
But stay he doth adresse himselfe to sing.
Here he sings a song.
My Lord I am glad you are so frolick and so blithe,
Beleeue me noble Lord if you knew all,
Youde change your merry vaine to sudden sorrow.
I change my merry vaine, no thou Bononian, no,
I am a Lord and therefore let me goe,
And doe defie thee and thy Sasigis,
Therefore stand off, and come not neere my honor.
My Lord this iesting cannot serue your turne.
Doost thinke thou blacke Bononian beast,
That I doe floure, doe gibe, or iest,
No, no, thou Beare-pot, know that I, a noble Earle, a Lord pardy.
What meanes this Trumpets sound?
A Trumpet sounds. Enter a Messenger.
C [...].
One come from the States of Mantua.
What, would you with vs speake, thou man of Mantua?
Men of Bononia: this my message is,
To let you know the Noble Earle of Bedford:
Is safe within the towne of Mantua,
And willes you send the pesant that you haue,
Who hath deceiued your expectation,
Or els the States of Mantua haue vowed:
They will recall the truce that they haue made,
And not a man shall stirre from forth your towne,
That shall returne vnlesse you send him backe.
O this misfortune how it mads my hart?
The Neopolitan hath beguiled vs all;
Hence with this foole: what shall we doe with him,
The Earle being gone? a plague vpon it all.
No Ile assure you I am no Earle, but a smith Sir,
One Hodge, a smith at Putney sir:
One that hath gulled you, that hath bored you sir.
Away with him, take hence the foole you came for.
I sir: and ile leaue the greater foole with you.
Farewell Bononians, come friend a long with me.
My friend afore, my Lordship will follow thee.
Well Mantua, since by thee the Earle is lost,
Within few dayes I hope to see thee crost.
Exit omnes.
Enter Chorus.
Ch [...].
Thus farre you see how Cromwells fortune passed.
The Earle of Bedford being safe in Mantua:
Desires Cromwells company into France,
To make requitall for his courtesie:
But Cromwell doth denie the Earle his sute,
And telles him that those parts he meant to see,
He had not yet set footing on the land,
And so directly takes his way to Spaine:
The Earle to France, and so they both doe part,
Now let your thoughts as swift as is the winde,
[Page 14] Skip some few yeeres, that Cromwell spent in trauell,
And now imagine him to be in England:
Seruant vnto the Maister of the Roules,
Where in short time he there beganne to florish,
An houre shall show you what few yeeres did cherish.
The Musick playes they bring out the banquet, Enter Sir Christopher Hales, and Cromwell, and two seruants.
Come sirs, be carefull of your Maisters credit,
And as our bountie now exceedes the figure
Of common entertainment: so doe you
With lookes as free as is your Maisters soule,
Giue formall welcome to the thronged tables,
That shall receiue the Cardinals followers,
And the attendants of the great Lord Chancellor.
But all my care Cromwell depends on thee,
Thou art a man, differing from vulgar forme,
And by how much thy spirit is ranckt boue these,
In rules of Arte, by so much it shines brighter by trauell,
Whose obseruance pleades his merit
In a most learned, yet vnaffecting spirit,
Good Cromwell cast an eye of faire regarde,
Bout all my house, and what this ruder flesh,
Through ignorance, or wine, doe miscreate,
Salue thou with curtesie: if welcome want,
Full bowles, and ample banquets will seeme scant.
Sir, whatsoeuer lies in me,
Assure you I will shew my vtmost duty.
Exit. Crom.
About it then, the Lords will straight be here:
Cromwell, thou hast those parts would rather sute,
The seruice of the state, then of my house,
I looke vpon thee with a louing eye,
That one day will prefer thy destiny.
Enter Messenger.
Sir the Lords be at hand,
They are welcome, bid Cromwell straight attendys,
And looke you all things be in perfect readinesse.
The Musicke playes. Enter Cardinall Wolsay, Sir. Thomas Moore and Gardiner.
O sir Christopher you are too liberall, what a banket to?
My Lords if words could show the ample welcome,
That my free hart affords you, I could then become a prater:
But I now must deale like a feast Polititian,
With your Lordships, deferre your welcome till the banket end,
That it may then salue our defect of faire:
Yet Welcome now and all that tend on you,
Thankes to the kinde Maister of the Roules,
Come and sit downe, sit downe sir Thomas Moore:
Tis strange, how that we and the Spaniard differ,
Their dinner, is our banquet after dinner,
And they are men of actiue disposition,
This I gather, that by their sparing meate:
Their body more fitter for the warres,
And if that famine chance to pinch their mawes,
Being vsde to fast it breedes lesse paine.
Fill me some Wine: Ile answere Cardinall Wolsay:
My Lord we Englishmen are of more heer soules,
Then hunger staru'd, and ill complexioned spaniards,
They that are rich in Spaine, spare belly foode,
To decke their backes with an Italian hoode,
And Silkes of Ciuill: And the poorest Snake,
That feedes on Lemmons, Pilchers, and neare heated
His pallet with sweete flesh, will beare a case,
More fat and gallant then his starued face,
Pride, the Inquisition, and this belly-euill,
Are in my iudgement Spaines three headed diuell.
Indeede it is a plague vnto their nation.
Who stager after in blinde imitation.
My Lords with welcome, I present your Lordships
A solemne health.
I loue health well, but when as health [...] doe bring
Paine to the head, and bodies surfetting:
Then cease I health [...]: nay spill not friend,
[Page 15] For though the drops be small,
Yet haue they force, to force men to the wall.
Sir Christopher, is that your man?
And like your grace he is a Scholler, and a Li [...]guest,
One that hath trauelled many parts of Christendome my Lord.
My friend come nearer, haue you beene a traueller?
My Lord I haue added to my knowledge, the low countries,
France, Spaine, Germanie, and Italie:
And though small gaine of profit I did finde,
Yet did it please my eye, content my minde.
What doe you thinke of the seuerall states.
And Princes Courts as you haue trauelled?
My Lord no Court with England may compare,
Neither for state nor ciuill gouernment:
Lust dwelles in France, in Italie, and Spaine,
From the poore pesant to the Princes traine,
In Germanie, and Holland riot serues,
And he that most can drinke, most he deserues:
England I praise not: for I here was borne,
But that she laugheth the others vnto scorne.
My Lord there dwelles within that spirit.
More then can be discern'd by outward eye,
Sir Christopher will you part with your man?
I haue sought to proffer him to your Lordship,
And now I see he hath preferred himselfe.
What is thy name?
Cromwell my Lord.
Then Cromwell here we make thee soliciter of our causes,
And nearest next our selfe:
Gardiner giue you kinde welcome to the man.
Gardiner imbraces him.
My Lord you are a royall Winer.
Hath got a man besides your bountious dinner,
Well Knight, pray we come no more:
If we come often, thou maist shut thy doore.
Sir Christopher hadst thou giuen me.
Halfe thy lands, thou couldest not haue pleased me
[Page] So much as with this man of thine,
My infant thoughts doe spell:
Shortly his fortune shall be lifted higher,
True industry doth kindle honours fire,
And so kinde Maister of the Roules farewell.
Cromwell farewell.
Cromwell takes his leaue of you
That neare will leaue to loue and honour you.
Exit Omnes.
Enter Chorus.
Now Cromwells highest fortunes doth begin.
The Mu­sicke playes, as they goe in.
Wolsay that lou'd him as he did his life:
Committed all his treasure to his hands,
Wolsay is dead, and Gardiner his man,
Is now created Bishop of Winchester:
Pardon if we omit all Wolsayes life,
Because our play depends on Cromwells death,
Now sit and see his highest state of all;
His height of rysing: and his sodaine fall,
Pardon the errors is all ready past,
And liue in hope the best doth come at last:
My hope vpon your fauour doth depend▪
And looke to haue your liking ere the end.
Enter Gardiner Bishop of Winchester, the Dukes of Norfolke, and of Suffolke, Sir Thomas Moore, Sir Christopher Halles, and Cromwell.
Maister Cromwell, since Cardinall Wolsayes death,
His Maiestie is giuen to vnderstand,
There's certaine billes and writings in your hand,
That much concernes the state of England:
My Lord of Winchester is it not so?
My Lord of Norfolke, we two were whilome fellowes,
And Maister Cromwell, though our Maisters loue:
[Page 16] Did binde vs, while his loue was to the King,
It is no boote now to deny those things
Which may be preiudiciall to the state:
And though that God hath raisde my fortune hyer,
Then any way I lookt for, or deseru'de.
Yet my life no longer with me dwell,
Then I prooue true vnto my Soueraigne:
What say you maister Cromwell haue you those writings, I, or no?
Here are the writings, and vpon my knees,
I giue them vp, vnto the worthy Dukes,
Of Suffolke, and of Norfolke: he was my Maister,
And each vertuous part
That liued in him, I tendered with my hart,
But what his head complotted gainst the state.
My countries loue commands me that to hate:
His sudden death I greeue for, not his fall,
Because he sought to worke my countries thrall.
Cromwell, the King shall here of this thy dutie,
Whom I assure my selfe will well reward thee:
My Lord, lets goe vnto his Maiestie,
And show these writings which he longs to see.
Exit Norfolke and Suffolke.
Enter Bedford hastily.
How now, whose this Cromwell?
By my soule, welcome to England:
Thou once didst saue my life, didst not Cromwell?
If I did so, 'tis greater glory for me that you remember it,
Then for my selfe vainely to report it.
Well Cromwell, now is the time,
I shall commend thee to my Soueraigne:
Cheere vp thy selfe, for I will raise thy state,
A Russel yet was neuer found ingrate.
O how vncertaine is the wheele of state,
Who lately greater then the Cardinall,
For feare, and loue: and now who lower lies?
[Page] Gay honours are but Fortunes flatteries▪
And whom this day, pride and promotion swel [...],
To morrow, enuie and ambition quels.
Who sees the Cob-web intangle the poore Flie,
May boldly say the wretches death is nigh.
I know his state and proud ambition,
Was too too violent to last ouer-long.
Who soares too neare the sunne with golden winges,
Mealtes them, to ruine his owne fortune brings.
Enter the Duke of Suffolke.
Cromwell kneele downe in king Henries name,
Arise sir Thomas Cromwell, thus beginnes thy fame.
Enter the Duke of Norfolke.
Cromwell the Maiestie of England,
For the good liking he conceiues of thee:
Makes thee Maister of the iewell house,
Chiefe Secretary to himselfe, and with all,
Creates thee one of his highnesse priue Counsell.
Enter the Earle of Bedford.
Where is sir Thoma, Cromwell is he knighted,
He is my Lord.
Then to adde honour to his name,
The King creates him Lord keeper of his priuie S [...]ale:
And Maister of the Roules,
Which you sir Christopher doe now enioy;
The King determines higher place for you.
My Lords these honors are too high for my desert,
O content thee man, who would not choose it?
Yet thou art wise in seeming to refuse it.
Here's honors, titles and promotions,
I feare this climing, will haue a sudden fall.
[Page 17]
Then come my Lords, lets altogether bring,
This new made Counseller to Englands King.
Exit all but Gardiner.
But Gardiner meanes is glory shall be dim'd:
Shall Cromwell liue a greater men then I?
My enuie with his honour now is bred,
I hope to shorten Cromwell by the head.
Enter Friskiball very poore.
O Friskiball, what shall become so thee?
Where shalt thou goe, or which way shalt thou turne?
Fortune that turnes her too vnconstant wheele,
Hath turn'd thy wealth and riches in the Sea,
All parts abroade where euer I haue beene,
Growes weary of me, and denies me succour,
My debters they, that should reserue my want,
Forsweares my mony, saies they owe me none:
They know my state too meane, to beare out law,
And here in London where I [...] beene,
And haue done good to many a w [...]ched man,
Am now most wretched here, dispisd my selfe,
In vaine it is, more of their hearts to try,
Be patient therefore, laye thee downe and die.
He lies downe.
Enter-good man Seely, and his wife Ioane.

Come Ioane, come lets see what heele doe for vs now? I wis wee haue done for him, when many a time and often hee might haue gone a hungry to bed.


Alas man, now he is made a Lord, heele neuer looke vp­on vs, heele fulfill the old Prouerbe: set Beggers a horse-backe, & theile ride: a wells day for my cow, such as he hath made vs come behinde hand, we had neuer pawnd our Cowe els to pay our rent.


Well Ioane, heele come this way: and by Gods dickers ile tell him roundly of it, and if hee were tenne LORDS: a shall know that I had not my Cheefe and my Bacon for no­thing.


Doe you remember husband how hee would mouch vp my Cheese cakes, hee hath forgot this now, but now weele remember him.


I we shall haue now three flappes with a Foxe taile: but I faith ile gibber a ioynt, but ile tell him his owne: stay who comes here? O stand vp here he comes, stand vp.

Enter Hodge very fine with a Tipstafe, Cromwell, the Mace caryed before him: Norfolke, and Suffolke, and attendants.
Come, away with these beggars here, rise vp sirra,
Come out good people: runne afore there no.
Friskiball riseth, and stands a farre off.

I vvee are kicked away now, vvee come for our owne, the time hath beene hee vvould a looked more friend­ly vpon vs: And you Hodge, we know you well inough though you are so fine.

Come hether sirrah: stay, what men are these?
My honest Host of Hounslow, and his wife:
I owe thee mony father, doe I not?

I by the body of mee dooest thou, vvould thou wouldest pay mee, good foure pound it is, I haue a the poste at home.

I know tis true, sirrah giue him ten Angels,
And looke your wife, and you doe stay to dinner:
And while you liue I freely giue to you,
Foure pound a yeere, for the soure pound I ought you.
Art not changed, art ould Tom still?
Now God blesse the good Lord Tom:
Home Ioane, home, ile dine with my Lord Tom to day,
[Page 18] And thou shalt come next weeke,
Fetch my Cow, home Ioane, home.
Now God blesse thee, my good Lord Tom,
Ile fetch my Cow presently.
Exit. Wife.
Enter Cardiner.
Sirra, goe to yon stranger, tell him I desire him
Stay to dinner: I must speake with him;
My Lord of Norfolke see you this same bubble?
That same puffe, but marke the end, my Lord, marke the end.
I promise you, I like not something he hath done,
But let that passe, the King doth loue him well.
Good morrow to my Lord of Winchester.
I know you beare me hard, about the Abby lands.
Haue I not reason, when religion is wronged?
You had no colour for what you haue done.
Yes the abolishing of Antichrist,
And of his Popish order from our Realme:
I am no enemy to religion,
But what is done, it is for Englands good,
What did they serue for but to feede a sort:
Of lazie Abbots, and of full fed Fryers,
They neither plow, nor sowe, and yet they reape
The fat of all the Land, and sucke the poore:
Looke what was theirs, is in King Henries hands,
His wealth before lay in the Abby lands.
Indeede these things you haue aledg'd my Lord,
When God doth know the infant yet vnborne,
Will curse the time, the Abbies were puld downe,
I pray now where is hospitality?
Where now may poore distressed people goe
For to releeue their neede, or rest their bones,
When weary trauell doth oppresse their limmes?
And where religious men should take them in.
[Page] Shall now be kept backe with a Mastiue dogge,
And thousand thousand.
O my Lord no more▪ things past redresse
Tis bootelesse to complaine.
What shall we to the Conuocation house.
Weele follow you my Lord pray leade the way.
Enter Old Cromwell like a Former.
Old Cro.
How, one Cromwell made Lord keeper since I left Putney
And dwelt in Yorkeshire? I neuer hard better newes:
Ile see that Cromwell, or it shall goe hard.
My aged father: state set aside.
Father on my knee I craue your blessing:
One of my seruants goe and haue him in,
At better leasure will we talke with him.
Old Crow.
Now if I die, how happy were the day,
To see this comfort raines forth showers of ioy.
Exit. Old Cromwell.
This dutie in him showes a kinde of grace.
Goe on before for time drawes on apace.
Exit all but Friskiball.
I wonder what this Lord would haue with me,
His man so strictly gaue me charge to stay:
I neuer did offend him to my knowledge,
Well, good or bad, I meane to bide it all,
Worse then I am, now neuer can befall.
Enter Banister and his wife.
Come wi [...]e I take it be almost dinner time,
For Maister Newton, and Maister Crosbie sent to me:
Last might, 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 shalbe welcome, husband Ile goe before,
But is not that man Maister Friskiball?
She runnes and imbraces him.
[Page 19]
O heauens it is kinde Maister Friskiball:
Say sir, what hap hath brought you to this passe?
The same that brought you to your misery.
Why would you not acquaint me with your state?
Is Banister your poore friend forgot?
Whose goods, whose loue, whose life and all is yours.
I thought your vsage would be as the rest,
That had more kindnesse at my hands then you,
Yet looked ascance, when as they saw me poore▪
Mi. Ba.
If Banister should beare so base a hart,
I neuer would looke my husband in the face,
But hath him as I would a Cockatrise.
And well thou mightest, should Banister deale so,
Since that I saw you sir, my state is mended:
And for the thousand pound I owe to you,
I haue it ready for you sir at home,
And though I greeue your fortune is so bad:
Yet that my hap's to help you, makes me glad,
And now sir will it please you walke with me.
Not yet I cannot, for the Lord Chancelour,
Hath here commaunded me to waight on him,
For what I know not▪ pray God it be for good.
Neuer make doubt of that, ile warrant you,
He is as kinde a noble gentleman;
As euer did possesse the place he hath.
Mi. Ba.
Sir my brother is his steward, if you please,
Weale goe along and beare you company:
I know we shall not want for welcome there?
Withall my hart: but whats become of Bagot.
He is hanged, for buying iewels of the Kings.
A iust reward for one so impious,
The time drawes on, sir will you goe along.
Ile follow you kinde Maister Friskiball.
Exit Omnes.
Enter two Marchants.
Now Maister Crosbie, I see you haue a care
To keepe your word, in paiment of your mony.
By my faith I haue reason vpon a bond,
Three thousand pound is too much to forfet,
Yet I doubt not Maister Banister.
By my faith your summe is more then mine,
And yet I am not much behinde you too,
Considering that to day I paid at Court.
Masse and well remembred:
Whats the reason the Lord Cromwels men,
Weare such long skirts vpon their coates?
They reach downe to their very ham.
I will resolue you sir, and thus it is;
The Bishop of Winchester, that loues not Cromwell,
As great men are enuied, aswell as lesse.
A while agoe there was a iarre betweene them,
And it was brought to my Lord Cromwels eare,
That Bishop Gardiner would sit on his skirts,
Vpon which word, he made his men long Blew coates,
And in the Court wore one of them himselfe:
And meeting with the Bishop, quoth he, my Lord
Here's skirt enough now for your Grace to sit on.
Which vexed the Bishop to the very hart,
This is the reason why they weare long coates.
Tis alwaies seene, and marke it for a rule,
That one great man will enuie still another:
But tis a thing that nothing concernes me:
What, shall we now to Maister Banisters?
I come, weele pay him royally for our dinner.
Enter the Vsher and the Shewer, the meate goes ouer the Stage.
Vncouer there Gentlemen.
[Page 20] Enter Cromwell, Bedford, Suffolke, Old Cromwell, Friskiball, good-man Seely, and attendants.
My noble Lords of Suffolke and of Bedford,
Your honors welcome to poore Cromwels house:
Where is my father? nay be couered Father,
Although that duty to these noble men doth challenge it
Yet Ile make bolde with them.
Your head doth beare the calender of care:
What Cromwell couered, and his Father bare?
It must not be. Now sit to you,
Is not your name Friskiball, and a Florentine.
My name was Friskiball, till cruell fate?
Did rob me of my name and of state.
What fortune brought you to this countrie now?
All other parts hath left me succourlesse,
Saue onely this, because of debts I haue
I hope to gaine for to releeue my want.
Did you not once vpon your Florence bridge,
Helpe a distressed men, robd by the Bandetto,
His name was Cromwell?
I neuer made my braine a calender of any good I did,
I alwaies lou'd this nation with my heart.
I am that Cromwell that you there releeu'd,
Sixteene Duckets you gaue me for to cloath me,
Sixteene to beare my charges by the way,
And sixteene more I had for my horse hier,
There be those seuerall summes iustly return'd,
Yet it iniustice were that seruing at thy need,
For to repay them without interest,
Therefore receiue of me these foure seuerall bag [...]
In each of them there is foure hundred marke,
And bring to me the names of all your debtors,
And if they will not see you paide, I will:
[Page] O God forbid, that I should see him fall,
That help [...] me in my greatest need of all▪
Here stands my Father that first gaue me life,
Alas what dutie is too much for him?
This man in time of need did saue my life,
And therefore cannot doe too much for him.
By this old man I often times was sed,
Els might I haue gone supperlesse to bed.
Such kindnesse haue I had of these three men,
That Cromwell no way can repay againe:
Now in to dinner, for we stay too long,
And to good stomackes is no greater wrong
Exit omnes.
Enter Gardiner in his study, and his man.
Sirra, where be those men I caus'd to stay?
They doe attend your pleasure Sir within,
Bid them come hether, and stay you without,
For by those men the Foxe of this same land,
That makes a Goose of better then himselfe,
Must woried be vnto his latest home,
or Gardiner will faile in his intent.
As for the Dukes of Suffolke and of Norfolke,
Whom I haue sent for to come speake with me,
Howsoeuer outwardly they shadow it,
Yet in their harts I know they loue him not;
As for the Earle of Bedford hee is but one,
And dares not gaine- [...]ay what we doe set downe.
Enter the two Witnesses.
Now my friends, you know I sau'd you liues,
When by the law you had deserued death,
And then you promised me vpon your othes,
To venture both your liues to doe me good.
Both wit.
We swore no more then that we will performe.
I take your words, and that which you must doe,
[Page 21] Is seruice for your God, and for your King,
To roote a rebell from this flourishing land,
One thats an enemy vnto the Church:
And therefore must you take your solemne oathes,
That you heard Cromwell, the Lord Chauncellor,
Did wish a dagger at King Henries hart:
Feare not to sweare it, for I hard him speake it,
Therefore weele shield you from insuing harmes,
2 Wit.
If you will warrant vs the deed is good,
Weele vndertake it.
Kneele downe, and I will here absolue you both,
This Crucifixe I lay vpon you heads,
And sprinckle holy-water on your browes,
The deed is meritorious that you doe,
And by it shall you purchase grace from heauen.
Now Sir weele vndertake it by our soules.
For Cromwell neuer loued none of our sort.
I know he doth not, and for both of you,
I will preferre you to some place of worth;
Now get you in, vntill I call for you,
For presently the Dukes meanes to be here.
Exit wit.
Cromwell sit fast, thy time's not long to raigne,
The Abbies that were puld downe by thy meanes,
Is now a meane for me to pull thee downe:
Thy pride also thy owne head lights vpon,
For thou art he hath chang'd religion:
But now no more, for here the Dukes are come.
Enter Suffolke, Norfolke, and the Earle of Bedford.
Good euen to my Lord Bishop.
How fares my Lord? what are you all alone?
No not alone my Lords, my minde is troubled:
I know your honours muse wherefore I sent
And in such hast: What came you from the King?
We did, and left none but Lord Cromwell with him.
O what a dangerous time is this we liue in?
There's Thomas Wolsay, hee's already gone,
And Thomas Moore, he followed after him:
Another Thomas yet there doth remaine,
That is farre worse then either of those twaine,
And if with speed my Lords we not pursue it,
I feare the King and all the land will rue it.
Another Thomas? pray God it be not Cromwell.
My Lord Bedford, it is that traitor Cromwell.
Is Cromwell false? my hart will neuer thinke it.
My Lord of Winchester, what likelihood,
Or proofe haue you of this his treachery.
My Lord too much, call in the men within,
Enter witnesses.
These men my Lord vpon their othes affirme,
That they did here Lord Cromwell in his garden,
Wished a dagger sticking at the hart,
Of our King Henrie, what is this but treason?
If it be so, my hart doth bleed with sorrow.
How say you friends, what, did you here these words?
1 Wit.
We did and't like your grace.
In what place was Lord Cromwell when he spake them?
2 Wit.
In his Garden, where we did attend a sute,
Which we had waited for two yeere and more.
How long ist since you heard him speake these words?
2 Wit.
Some halfe yeere since.
How chance that you conceal'd it all this time?
1 Wit.
His greatnesse made vs feare, that was the cause,
I, I, his greatnesse thats the cause indeed,
And to make his treason here more mainfest,
He calles his seruants to him round about,
Tels them of W [...]lsayes life, and of his fall,
Saies that himselfe hath many enemies,
And giues to some of them a Parke or Manor,
To others Leases, Lands to other some:
What need he doe thus in his prime of life,
And if he were not fearefull of his death?
[Page 22]
My Lord these likelihoods are very great.
Pardon me Lords, for I must needs depart,
Their proofes are great, but greater is my heart.
Exit Bedford.
My friends take heed of that which you haue said,
Your soules must answer what your tongues reports:
Therefore take heed, be wary what you doe.
2 Wit.
My Lord we speake no more but truth.
Let them depart my Lord of Winchester,
Let these men be close kept
Vntill the day of triall.
They shall my Lord: hoe take in these two men.
Exit witnesses.
My Lords, if Cromwell haue a publike triall,
That which we doe, is voide, by his deniall:
You know the King will credit none but him.
Tis true, he rules the King euen as he pleases.
How shall we doe for to attache him then?
Mary my Lords thus, by an Act he made himselfe,
With an intent to intrap some of our liues,
And this it is: If any Councellor
Be conuicted of high treason,
He shall be excecuted without a publike triall.
This Act my Lords he caused the King to make.
A did indeed, and I remember it,
And now it is like to fall vpon himselfe.
Let vs not slak it, tis for Englands good,
We must be warry, els heele goe beyond vs.
Well hath your Grace said my Lord of Norfolke
Therefore let vs presently to Lambeth,
Thether comes Cromwell from the Court to night,
Let vs arest him, send him to the Tower.
And in the morning, cut off the traitors head.
Come then about it, let vs guard the towne,
This is the day that Cromwell must goe downe.
Along my Lords, well Cromwell is halfe dead,
[Page] He shak'd my har [...] but I will shaue his head,
Enter Bedford [...]
My soule is like a water troubled,
And Gardiner is the man that makes it so,
O Cromwell, I doe feare thy end is neare▪
Yet Ile preuent their malice if I can,
And in good time, see where the man doth come,
Who little knowes how neares his day of dome.
Enter Cromwell with his traine, Bedford makes as though be would speake to him: he goes on.
Your well encountered my good Lord of Bedford,
I see your honour is adressed to talke,
Pray pardon me, I am sent for to th' King,
And doe not know the businesse yet me selfe,
So fare you well, for I must needes be gone.
Exit all the traine.
You must, well, what remedy?
I feare too soone you must be gone indeed,
The King hath businesse, but little doest thou know,
Whose busie for thy life: thou think'st not so.
Enter Cromwell, and the traine againe.
The second time well met my Lord of Bedford,
I am very sory that my hast is such,
Lord Marques Dorset being sicke to death,
I must receaue of him the priuie seale
At Lambeth, soone my Lord weele talke our fill,
Exit the traine.
How smooth and easie is the way to death
Enter [...] seruant▪
My Lord, the Dukes of Norfolks and of Suffo [...]ke,
[Page 23] Accompani [...]d Bishop of Winchest [...] [...]
Intreates you to come presently to Lambeth,
On earnest matters that concernes the state▪
To Lambeth, so: goe fetch me pen and inke
I and Lord Cromwell there shall talke enough,
(He writes a letter▪
I and our last, I feare, and if he come,
Here take this letter, and heare it to Lord Cromwell,
Bid him read it, say it concernes him nea [...],
Away be gone make all the hast you can,
To Lambeth doe I goe a woefull man.
Enter Cromwell and his traine.
Is the Barge ready? I will straight to Lambeth,
And if this one dayes businesse once were past,
I'de take me ease to morrow after trouble,
How now my friend wouldst thou speake with me?
The Messenger brings him the letter, he puts it in his pocket.
Sir heres a letter from my Lord of Bedford.
O good my friend commend me to thy Lord,
Hould take those Angels, drinke them for thy paines.
He doth desire your grace to reade i [...]
Because he sayes it doth concerne you neare.
Bid him assure himselfe of that fare [...]ell▪
To morrow tell him shall he heare from me,
Set on before there, and away to Lambeth▪
Ex [...]t [...]
Enter Winchester, Suffolke, No [...]olke, Bedford. Sergiant at armes, the Her [...]uld, and [...].
Halberta stand close vnto the waterside▪
Sergiant at armes be bould in your office,
Herauld deliuer your proclamation.
This is to glue notice to all the Kings subiects.
[Page] The late Lord Cromwell Lord Chancellor of England,
Vicar generall ouer the realme,
Him to hould and esteeme as a traytor,
Against the Crowne and dignitie of England▪
So God saue the King.
Amen, and roote thee from the land,
For whilst thou liuest truth cannot stand.
Make a lane there, the traitor is at hand,
Keepe backe Cromwells men:
Drowne them if they come on, Sergiant your office.
Enter Cromwell, they make a lane with their Halberts.
What meanes my Lord of Norfolke by these words?
Sirs come along.
Kill them if they come on.
Lord Cromwell, in King Henries name,
I doe arrest your honour of high treason.
Sergiant, me of treason?
Cromwels men offer to draw.
Kill them if they draw a sword.
Hould, I charge you, at you loue me draw not a sword,
Who dares accuse Cromwell of treason now?
This is no place to reckon vp your crime,
Your Doue-like lookes were viewed with serpents eyes.
With serpents eyes indeed, by thine they were,
But Gardiner doe thy woorst, I feare thee not,
My faith compared with thine as much shall passe,
As doth the Diamond excell the glasse:
Attached of treason, no accusers by,
Indeede what tongue dares speake so foule a lie?
My Lord, my Lord, matters are too well knowne,
And it is time the King had note thereof.
The King, let me goe to him face to face,
No better triall I desire then that,
[Page 24] Let him but say that Cromwells faith was [...]ained,
Then let my honour, and my name be stained:
If euer my hart against my King was set,
O let my soule in Iudgement answere it,
Then if my faith's confirmed with his reason,
Gainst whom hath Cromwell then committed treason?
My Lord your matter shall be tried,
Meane time, with patience content your selfe.
Perforce I must with patience be content:
O deare friend Bedford doest thou stand so neate?
Cromwell reioyceth one friend sheds a teare,
And whether ist? which way must Cromwell now?
My Lord you must vnto the tower,
Lieutenant, take him to your charge
Well where you please, yet before I part,
Let me conferre a little with my men.
As you goe by water so you shall.
I haue some businesse present to impart.
You may not stay, Lieutenant, take your charge.
Well, well my Lord, you second Gardiners text.
Norfolke farewell, thy turne wil be the next.
Exit Cromwell, and the Lieutenant.
His guiltie conscience makes him raue my Lord.
I let him talke his time is short enough.
My Lord of Bedford, come you weepe for him,
That would not shed halfe a teare for you.
It grieues me for to see his sudden fall.
Such successe wish I vnto traitours all.
Enter two Citizens.
Why? can this newes be true? ist possible?
The great Lord Cromwell arrested vpon treason▪
I hardly will beleeue it can be so,
It is too true sir, would it were otherwise.
Condition I spent halfe the wealth I haue,
[Page] I was at Lambeth? s [...]w him there arrested,
And afterward committed to the Tower.
What wast for treason that he was commit [...]d?
Kinde noble Gentlem [...]n [...] time,
All that I haue, I did in [...]oy by him,
And if he [...], then all my state is gone.
It may be hoped that he shall not die,
Because the King did fauour him so much.
O sir, you are deceiued in thinking so,
The grace and fauour he had with the King,
Hath causde him haue so many enemies:
He that in court secure ill keepe himselfe,
Must not be great, for then he is enuied at.
The Shrub is safe, when as the Cedar shakes,
For where the King doth loue aboue compare,
Of others they as much more entiled are.
Tis pittie that this noble man should fall,
He did so many charitable deeds.
Tis true, and yet you see in each estate,
There [...] none so good, but some one doth him hate,
And they before would smile him in the face,
will be the formost to doe him disgrace:
What will you goe along vnto the Court?
I care not if I do, and heare the newer,
How men will iudge what shall become of him▪
Some will speake hardly some will speake in pitie▪
Goe you to the Court, Ile goe into the Citie,
There I am sure to here more newes then you.
Why then soone will we meet againe.
Enter Cromwell in the Tower.
Now Cromwell hast thou time to meditate,
And thinke vpon thy state, and of the time:
Thy honours came vnsought, I, and vnlooked for,
Thy fall as sudden, and vnlooked for to,
[Page 25] What glory was in England that I had not?
Who in this land commanded more then Cromwell?
Except the King who greater then my selfe?
But now I see what after ages shall,
The greater man, more sudden is their fall.
And now I doe remember the Earle of Bedford
Was very desirous for to speake to me:
And afterward sent vnto me a letter,
The which I thinke I haue still in my pocket,
Now may I read it, for I now haue leasure,
And this I take it is.
He reade [...] the Letter.
My Lord come not this night to Lambeth,
For if you doe, your state is ouerthrowne.
And much I doubt your life, and if you come:
Then if you loue your selfe, stay where you are.
O God had I but read this letter,
Then had I beene free from the Lions paw,
Deferring this, to read vntill to morrow,
I spurnd at ioy, and did imbrace my sorrow,
Enter the Leiutenant of the Tower and officers.
Now Maister Lieutenant, when's this day of death?
Alas my Lord would I might neuer see it,
Here are the Dukes of Suffolke and of Norfolke,
Winchester, Bedford, and sir Richard Ratcliffe,
With others, but why they come I know not.
No matter wherefore, Cromwell is prepard,
For Gardiner has my state and life insnard,
Bid them come in, or you shall doe them wrong,
For here stands he, whom some thinkes liues too long,
Learning killes learning, and insteed of Inck
To dip his Pen, Cromwels heart blood doth drinke.
[Page] Enter all the Nobles.
Good morrow Cromwell, what alone so sad?
One good among you, none of you are bad,
For my part, it best fits me be alone,
Sadnesse with me, not I with any one.
What, is the King acquainted with my cause?
We haue, and he hath answered vs my Lord.
How, shall I come to speake with him my selfe?
The King is so aduertised of your guilt,
He will by no meanes admit you to his presence.
No way admit me, am I so soone forgot?
Did he but yesterday imbrace my neck,
And said that Cromwell was euen halfe himselfe,
And is his Princely eares so much bewitched
With scandolous ignomie, and slanderous speeches,
That now he doth deny to looke on me,
Well, my Lord of Winchester, no doubt but you,
Are much in fauour with his Maiestie,
Will you beare a letter from me to his grace?
Pardon me, ile beare no traitors letters,
Ha, will you doe this kindnesse then?
Tell him by word of mouth, what I shall say to you.
That will I.
But on your honour will you?
I on my honour.
Beare witnesse Lords,
Tell him when he hath knowne you,
And tried your faith but halfe so much as mine.
Heele finde you to be the falsest harted man
In England: Pray tell him this.
Be patient good my Lord in these extreames.
My kinde and honorable Lord of Bedford,
I know your honour alwaies loued me well,
But pardon me, this still shall be my theame,
[Page 26] Gardiner is the cause makes Cromwell so extreame,
Sir Ralph Sadler, pray a word with you,
You were my man, and all that you possesse
Came by my meanes, to requite all this,
Will you take this letter here of me,
And giue it with your owne hands to the King.
I kisse your hand, and neuer will I rest,
Eare to the King this be deliuered.
Exit Sadler.
Why yet Cromwell hath one friend in store.
But all the [...]ast he makes shall be but vaine;
Heres a discharge for your prisoner,
To see him executed presently:
My Lord, you here the tenor of your life.
I doe imbrace it, welcome my last date,
And of this glistering world I take last leaue,
And noble Lords, I take my leaue of you,
As willingly I goe to meete with death,
As Gardiner did pronounce in with his breath,
From treason is my hart as white as Snow,
My death onely procured by my foe:
I pray commend me to my Soueraigne King,
And tell him in what sort his Cromwell died,
To loose his head before his cause were tride:
But let his Grace, when he shall here my name,
Say onely this, Gardiner procured the same.
Enter young Cromwell.
Here is your sonne come to take his leaue.
To take his leaue,
Come hether Harry Cromwell,
Marke boy the last words that I speake to thee,
Flatter not Fortune, neither fawne vpon her,
Gape not for state, yet loose no sparke of honour,
Ambition, like the plague see thou eschew it,
I die for treason boy, and neuer knew it,
Yet let thy faith as spotlesse be as mine,
And Cromwels vertues in thy face shall shine,
[Page] Come goe along and see me leaue my breath,
And Ile leaue thee vpon the floure of death.
O father I shall die to see this wound,
Your blood being spilt will make my hart to sound.
How boy, not looke vpon the Axe▪
How shall I doe then to haue my head stroke off▪
Come on my childe and see the end of all,
And after say that Gardiner was my fall.
My Lord you speake it of an enuious hart,
I haue done no more then law and equitie.
O good my Lord of Winchester for beare,
It would better seemed you to beene absent,
Then with your words disturbe a dying man.
Who me my Lord? no: he disturbes not me,
My mind he stirres not, though his mightie shocke
Hath brought mo peeres heads downe to the blocke▪
Farewell my boy, all Cromwell can bequeath,
My hartie blessing, so I take my leaue.
I am your death [...] man, pray my Lord forgiue me.
Euen with my soule, why man thou art my Doctor,
And brings me Precious phisicke for my soule,
My Lord of Bedford I desire of you,
Before my death a corporall imbrace.
Bedford comes to him, Cromwell [...] him.
Farewell great Lord, my loue I doe commend.
My hart to you, my soule to lieauen I send,
This is my ioy that ere my body fleete,
Your honourd armes is my true winding sheete,
Farewell deare Bedford, my p [...]ce is made in heauen,
Thus falles great Cromwell a poore ell in length,
To rise to vnmeasured height [...] with new strength.
The land of Wormea, which dying men discouer.
My soule is shrinde with heauens [...] couer.
Exit Cromwell and the [...] and others.
Well, farewell Cromwe [...] the [...] friend,
[Page 27] That euer Bedford shall possesse againe,
Well Lords I feare when this man is dead,
Youle wish in vaine that Cromwell had a head.
Enter one with Cromwels head.
Here is the head of the deceased Cromwell.
Pray thee goe hence, and beare his head away,
Vnto his body, interre them both in clay.
Enter for Raulph Salder.
Ho now my Lords, what is Lord Cromwell dead?
Lord Cromwels body now doth want a head,
O God a little speede had saued his life,
Here is a kinde repriue come from the King,
To bring him straight vnto his Maiestie.
I, I sir Raulph, repriues comes now too late.
My conscience now tels me this deede was ill,
Would Christ that Cromwell were aliue againe.
Come let vs to the King whom well I know,
Will grieue for Cromwell, that his death was so.
Exeunt [...]mnes.

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