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This man in time of need did save my life;
I therefore cannot do too much for him.
By this old man I oftentimes was fed,
Else might I have gone supperless to bed.
Such kindness have I had of these three men,
That Cromwell no way can repay again.
Now in to dinner, for we stay too long;
And to good stomachs is no greater wrong.


SCENE V-The same. A Room in the Bishop of


Gard. Sirrah, where be those men I caused to stay?
Serv. They do attend your pleasure, Sir, within.
Gard. Bid them come hither, and stay you without:

For by those men the fox of this same land,
That makes a goose of better than himself,
Must worried be unto his latest home;
Or Gardiner will fail in his intent.

As for the dukes of Suffolk and of Norfolk,
Whom I have sent for to come speak with me;
Howsoever outwardly they shadow it,

Yet in their hearts I know they love him not.
As for the earl of Bedford, he's but one,

And dares not gainsay what we do set down.

Enter the two WITNESSES.


Now, my good friends, you know I saved your lives,
When, by the law, you had deserved death;

And then you promised me, upon your oaths,

To venture both your lives to do me good.

Both Wit. We swore no more than that we will perform.

Gard. I take your words; and that which you must do,
Is service for your God and for your king:
To root a rebel from this flourishing land,

One that's an enemy unto the church:

And therefore must you take your solemn oaths,
That you heard Cromwell, the lord chancellor,
Did wish a dagger at King Henry's heart.
Fear not to swear it, for I heard him speak it;
Therefore we'll shield you from ensuing harms.
2 Wit. If you will warrant us the deed is good,
We'll undertake it.

Gard. Kneel down, and I will here absolve you both:
This crucifix I lay upon your heads,

And sprinkle holy water on your brows.

The deed is meritorious that you do,

And by it shall you purchase grace from heaven.
1 Wit. Now, Sir, we'll undertake it, by our souls.
2 Wit. For Cromwell never loved none of our sort,
Gard. I know he doth not; and for both of you,

I will prefer you to some place of worth.
Now get you in, until I call for you,

For presently the dukes mean to be here. [Exeunt WITNESSES.
Cromwell, sit fast; thy time's not long to reign.

The abbies that were pull'd down by thy mean
Are now a mean for me to pull thee down.
Thy pride also thy own head lights upon,
For thou art he hath changed religion:-
But now no more, for here the dukes are come.

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Suf. Good even to my lord bishop.

Nor. How fares my lord? what, are you all alone?
Gard. No, not alone, my lords; my mind is troubled.

I know your honours muse wherefore I sent,

And in such haste. What, came you from the king?

Nor. We did, and left none but Lord Cromwell with him.
Gard. O what a dangerous time is this we live in !
There's Thomas Wolsey, he's already gone,
And Thomas More, he follow'd after him:
Another Thomas yet there doth remain,
That is far worse than either of those twain;
And if with speed, my lords, we not pursue it,
I fear the king and all the land will rue it.

Bed. Another Thomas? pray God, it be not Cromwell.
Gard. My lord of Bedford, it is that traitor Cromwell.
Bed. Is Cromwell false? my heart will never think it.
Suf. My lord of Winchester, what likelihood

Or proof have you of this his treachery?

Gard. My lord, too much: call in the men within.

Enter the WITNESSES.

These men, my lord, upon their oaths, affirm
That they did hear Lord Cromwell in his garden
Wishing a dagger sticking at the heart

Of our King Henry: what is this but treason?

Bed. If it be so, my heart doth bleed with sorrow.

Suf. How say you, friends? What, did you hear these words? 1 Wit. We did, an't like your grace.

Nor. In what place was Lord Cromwell when he spake them? 2 Wit. In his garden; where we did attend a suit, Which we had waited for two years and more.

Suf. How long is't since you heard him speak these words? 2 Wit. Some half-year since.

Bed. How chance that you conceal'd it all this time?

1 Wit. His greatness made us fear; that was the cause. Gard. Ay, ay, his greatness, that's the cause indeed,

And to make his treason here more manifest,

He calls his servants to him round about,
Tells them of Wolsey's life, and of his fall;
Says that himself hath many enemies,

I. e. wonder.

And gives to some of them a park, or manor,
To others leases, lands to other some:
What need he do thus in his prime of life,
An if he were not fearful of his death?

Suf. My lord, these likelihoods are very great.

Bed. Pardon me, lords, for I must needs depart;

Their proofs are great, but greater is my heart.* [Exit BEDFORD. Nor. My friends, take heed of that which you have said;

Your souls must answer what your tongues report:

Therefore take heed, be wary what you do.

2 Wit. My lord, we speak no more but truth. Nor. Let him

Depart, my lord of Winchester: and let

These men be close kept till the day of trial.

Gard. They shall, my lord: ho, take in these two men.

[Exeunt WITNESSES, &c.

My lords, if Cromwell have a public trial,

That which we do is void, by his denial:

You know the king will credit none but him.

Nor. 'Tis true; he rules the king even as he pleases.

Suf. How shall we do for to attach him, then?

Gard. Marry, thus, my lords; by an act he made himself,

With an intent to entrap some of our lives;

And this it is: If any counsellor

Be convicted of high treason, he shall

Be executed without public trial:

This act, my lords, he caused the king to make.

Suf. He did, indeed, and I remember it;

And now 'tis like to fall upon himself.

Nor. Let us not slack it; 'tis for England's good:

We must be wary, else he'll go beyond us.

Gard. Well hath your grace said, my good lord of Norfolk: Therefore let us go presently to Lambeth;

Thither comes Cromwell from the court to-night.

Let us arrest him; send him to the Tower;

And in the morning cut off the traitor's head.

Nor. Come, then, about it; let us guard the town:

This is the day that Cromwell must go down.

Gard. Along, my lords. Well, Cromwell is half dead; He shaked my heart, but I will shake his head.



SCENE I-A Street in London.

Enter BEDFord.

Bed. My soul is like a water troubled;

And Gardiner is the man that makes it so.

O Cromwell, I do fear thy end is near;

*I. e. my affection for him; my confidence in his innocence.

Yet I'll prevent their malice if I can :

And, in good time, see where the man doth come,

Who little knows how near's his day of doom.

Enter CROMWELL, with his train. BEDFORD makes as though he would speak to him. CROMWELL goes on.

Crom. You're well encounter'd, my good lord of Bedford.
I see your honour is address'd* to talk.
Pray, pardon me; I am sent for to the king,
And do not know the business yet myself:
So fare you well, for I must needs be gone.

Bed. You must; well, what remedy?

[Exit CROMWELL, &c.

I fear too soon you must be gone indeed.
The king hath business; but little dost thou know,
Who's busy for thy life; thou think'st not so.

Re-enter CROMWELL, attended.

Crom. The second time well met, my lord of Bedford:

I am very sorry that my haste is such.

Lord marquis Dorset being sick to death,

I must receive of him the privy seal.

At Lambeth soon, my lord, we'll talk our fill.

Bed. How smooth and easy is the way to death!


Mes. My lord, the dukes of Norfolk and of Suffolk,
Accompanied with the bishop of Winchester,
Entreat you to come presently to Lambeth,
On earnest matters that concern the state.

Bed. To Lambeth! so: go fetch me pen and ink;


I and Lord Cromwell there shall talk enough:

Ay, and our last, I fear, an if he come.


Here, take this letter, and bear it to Lord Cromwell;

Bid him read it; say it concerns him near:

Away, be gone, make all the haste you can.

To Lambeth do I go a woeful man.


SCENE II-A Street near the Thames.

Enter CROMWELL, attended.

Crom. Is the barge ready? I will straight to Lambeth: And, if this one day's business once were past,

I'd take my ease to-morrow after trouble.


How now, my friend, wouldest thou speak with me?

Mes. Sir, here's a letter from my lord of Bedford.

[Gives him a letter. CROMWELL puts it in his pocket. Crom. O good, my friend, commend me to thy lord:

Hold, take those angels; drink them for thy pains.

* I. e. prepared.

Mes. He doth desire your grace to read it,

Because he says it doth concern you near.

Crom. Bid him assure himself of that. Farewell. To-morrow, tell him, he shall hear from me.

Set on before there, and away to Lambeth.

SCENE III.-Lambeth.



Gard. Halberts, stand close unto the water-side; Sergeant-at-arms, be you bold in your office;

Herald, deliver your proclamation.

Her. This is to give notice to all the king's subjects, the late Lord Cromwell, lord chancellor of England, vicar-general over the realm, him to hold and esteem as a traitor against the crown and dignity of England. So God save the king.

Gard. Amen.

Bed. Amen, and root thee from the land!

For whilst thou livest, the truth cannot stand.
Nor. Make a lane there, the traitor is at hand.

Keep back Cromwell's men; drown them, if they come on.
Sergeant, your office.

Enter CROMWELL, attended. The halbert-men make a lane. Crom. What means my lord of Norfolk by these words? Sirs, come along.

Gard. Kill them, if they come on.

Ser. Lord Thomas Cromwell, in King Henry's name, I do arrest your honour of high treason.

Crom. Sergeant, me of treason?

[CROMWELL'S Attendants offer to draw.

Suf. Kill them, if they draw a sword.

Crom. Hold; I charge you, as you love me, draw not a sword. Who dares accuse Cromwell of treason now ?

Gard. This is no place to reckon up your crime;

Your dove-like looks were view'd with serpents' eyes.

Crom. With serpents' eyes, indeed; by thine they were.

But, Gardiner, do thy worst: I fear thee not.

My faith compared with thine, as much shall pass

As doth the diamond excel the glass.

Attach'd of treason, no accusers by!

Indeed, what tongue dares speak so foul a lie?

Nor. My lord, my lord, matters are too well known;

And it is time the king had note thereof.

Crom. The king! let me go to him face to face;

No better trial I desire than that.

Let him but say, that Cromwell's faith was feign'd,

Then let my honour and my name be stain'd.

If e'er my heart against the king was set,

O, let my soul in judgment answer it!

Then if my faith's confirmed with his reason,

'Gainst whom hath Cromwell then committed treason?

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