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Suf. My lord, my lord, your matter shall be tried; Meantime, with patience content yourself.

Crom. Perforce I must with patience be content :-
O, dear friend Bedford, dost thou stand so near?
Cromwell rejoiceth one friend sheds a tear.

And whither is't? Which way must Cromwell now?
Gard. My lord, you must unto the Tower. Lieutenant,
Take him unto your charge.

Crom. Well, where you please; but yet before I part,
Let me confer a little with my men.

Gard. Ay, as you go by water, so you shall.

Crom. I have some business present to impart.

Nor. You may not stay: Lieutenant, take your charge. Crom. Well, well, my lord, you second Gardiner's text. Norfolk, farewell! thy turn will be the next.

[Exeunt CROMWELL and LIEUTENANT. Gard. His guilty conscience makes him rave, my lord. Nor. Ay, let him talk; his time is short enough. Gard. My lord of Bedford, come; you weep for him That would not shed even half a tear for you. Bed. It grieves me for to see his sudden fall. Gard. Such success wish I unto traitors all.

SCENE IV.-London.


A Street.

Enter two CITIZENS.

1. Cit. Why, can this news be true? Is't possible? The great Lord Cromwell arrested upon treason? I hardly will believe it can be so.

2 Cit. It is too true, Sir. Would it were otherwise, Condition* I spent half the wealth I have!

I was at Lambeth, saw him there arrested,

And afterward committed to the Tower.

1 Cit. What, was't for treason that he was committed? 2 Cit. Kind, noble gentleman! I'may rue the time: All that I have, I did enjoy by him;

And if he die, then all my state is gone.

1 Cit. It may be hoped that he shall not die, Because the king did favour him so much.

2 Cit. O, Sir, you are deceived in thinking so:
The grace and favour he had with the king"
Hath caused him have so many enemies.
He that in court secure will keep himself,
Must not be great, for then he's envied at.
The shrub is safe, when as the cedar shakes;
For where the king doth love above compare,
Of others they as much more envied are.

1 Cit. 'Tis pity that this nobleman should fall, He did so many charitable deeds.

2 Cit. 'Tis true; and yet you see in each estate There's none so good, but some one doth him hate; And they before would smile him in the face,

* I'd spend half my wealth to have it otherwise.

Will be the foremost to do him disgrace.

What, will you go along unto the court?

1 Cit. I care not if I do, and hear the news,

How men will judge what shall become of him.

2 Cit. Some will speak hardly, some will speak in pity. Go you to the court; I'll go into the city;

There I am sure to hear more news than you.

SCENE V-A Room in the Tower.


Crom. Now, Cromwell, hast thou time to meditate,
And think upon thy state, and of the time.

Thy honours came unsought, ay, and unlook'd for;
Thy fall as sudden, and unlook'd for too.

What glory was in England that had I not?

Who in this land commanded more than Cromwell?
Except the king, who greater than myself?

But now I see what after ages shall;

The greater men, more sudden is their fall.
And now I do remember, the earl of Bedford
Was very desirous for to speak to me;
And afterward sent unto me a letter,
The which I think I still have in my pocket,
Now may I read it, for I now have leisure;
And this I take it is:

My lord, come not this night to Lambeth,
For, if you do, your state is overthrown;
And much I doubt your life, an if you come :
Then if you love yourself, stay where you are.

O God, O God! had I but read this letter,
Then had I been free from the lion's paw:
Deferring this to read until to-morrow,
I spurn'd at joy, and did embrace my sorrow.

Enter LIEUTENANT of the Tower, Officers, &c.
Now, Master Lieutenant, when's this day of death?
Lieu. Alas, my lord, would I might never see it!
Here are the dukes of Suffolk and of Norfolk,
Winchester, Bedford, and Sir Richard Radcliff,
With others; but why they come I know not.

Crom. No matter wherefore. Cromwell is prepared,
For Gardiner has my life and state ensnared.
Bid them come in, or you shall do them wrong,
For here stands he who some think lives too long.
Learning kills learning, and, instead of ink

To dip his pen, Cromwell's heart-blood doth drink.



Enter the Dukes of SUFFOLK and NORFOLK; the Earl of BEDford, GARDINER Bishop of Winchester, SIR RICHARD RAD


Nor. Good morrow, Cromwell. What, alone, so sad ?
Crom. One good among you, none of you are bad.

For my part, it best fits me be alone;

Sadness with me, not I with any one.

What, is the king acquainted with my cause?
Nor. He is; and he hath answer'd us, my lord.
Crom. How shall I come to speak with him myself?
Gard. The king is so advertised of your guilt,
He'll by no means admit you to his presence.

Crom. No way admit me! am I so soon forgot?
Did he but yesterday embrace my neck,

And said that Cromwell was even half himself?
And are his princely ears so much bewitch'd
With scandalous ignomy,* and slanderous speeches,
That now he doth deny to look on me?

Well, my lord of Winchester, no doubt but you
Are much in favour with his majesty:

Will you bear a letter from me to his grace?

Gard. Pardon me; I will bear no traitor's letters.

Crom. Ha!-Will you do this kindness then? Tell him

By word of mouth what I shall say to you?

Gard. That will I.

Crom. But, on your honour, will you?

Gard. Ay, on my honour.

Crom. Bear witness, lords. Tell him, when he hath known


And tried your faith but half so much as mine,
He'll find you to be the falsest-hearted man
In England: pray, tell him this.

Bed. Be patient, good my lord, in these extremes.
Crom. My kind and honourable lord of Bedford,
I know your honour always loved me well:
But, pardon me, this still shall be my theme;
Gardiner's the cause makes Cromwell so extreme.
Sir Ralph Sadler, I pray a word with you;
You were my man, and all that you possess
Came by my means: Sir, to requite all this,
Say will you take this letter here of me,
And give it with your own hands to the king?
Sad. I kiss your hand, and never will I rest

Ere to the king this be delivered.


Crom. Why then yet Cromwell hath one friend in store. Gard. But all the haste he makes shall be but vain. Here is a discharge for your prisoner,

To see him executed presently:

My lord, you hear the tenure of your life.t


Crom. I do embrace it; welcome my last date,
And of this glistering world I take last leave:
And, noble lords, I take my leave of you.
As willingly I go to meet with death,

As Gardiner did pronounce it with his breath.
From treason is my heart as white as snow;
My death procured only by my foe.

*I. e. ignominy.

† I. e. you hear how short a period you have to live.

I pray commend me to my sovereign king,
And tell him in what sort his Cromwell died,
To lose his head before his cause was tried;
But let his grace, when he shall hear my name,
Say only this: Gardiner procured the same.

Enter young CROMWELL.

Lieu. Here is your son, Sir, come to take his leave
Crom. To take his leave? Come hither, Harry Cromwell.
Mark, boy, the last words that I speak to thee:
Flatter not Fortune, neither fawn upon her;
Gape not for state, yet lose no spark of honour;
Ambition, like the plague, see thou eschew it;
I die for treason, boy, and never knew it.
Yet let thy faith as spotless be as mine,
And Cromwell's virtues in thy face shall shine:
Come, go along, and see me leave my breath,
And I'll leave thee upon the floor of death.

Son. O father, I shall die to see that wound,
Your blood being spilt will make my heart to swound.
Crom. How, boy! not dare to look upon the axe?
How shall I do then to have my head struck off?
Come on, my child, and see the end of all;
And after say, that Gardiner was my fall.

Gard. My lord, you speak it of an envious heart;
I have done no more than law and equity.

Bed. O, my good lord of Winchester, forbear:
It would have better seem'd you to have been absent,
Than with your words disturb a dying man.

Crom. Who, me, my lord? no: he disturbs not me.
My mind he stirs not, though his mighty shock

Hath brought more peers' heads down unto the block.
Farewell, my boy! all Cromwell can bequeath,-
My hearty blessing;—so I take my leave.

Exec. I am your death's-man; pray, my lord, forgive me. Crom. Even with my soul. Why, man, thou art my doctor, And bring'st me precious physic for my soul.

My lord of Bedford, I desire of you

Before my death a corporal embrace.

Farewell, great lord; my love I do commend,
My heart to you; my soul to heaven I send.
This is my joy, that ere my body fleet,

Your honour'd arms are my true winding-sheet.

Farewell, dear Bedford; my peace is made in heaven.
Thus falls great Cromwell, a poor ell in length,

To rise to unmeasured height, wing'd with new strength,
Hail, land of worms, which dying men discover!

My soul is shrined with heaven's celestial cover.

Exeunt CROMWELL, Officers, &c. Bed. Well, farewell Cromwell! sure the truest friend

That ever Bedford shall possess again.

Well, lords, I fear that when this man is dead,
You'll wish in vain that Cromwell had a head.

Enter an OFFICER, with CROMWELL's head. Offi. Here is the head of the deceased Cromwell. Bed. Pray thee go hence, and bear his head away Unto his body; inter them both in clay.



Sad. How now, my lords? What, is Lord Cromwell dead? Bed. Lord Cromwell's body now doth want a head. Sad. O God, a little speed had saved his life. Here is a kind reprieve come from the king, To bring him straight unto his majesty.

Suf. Ay, ay, Sir Ralph, reprieves come now too late. Gard. My conscience now tells me this deed was ill. Would Christ that Cromwell were alive again!

Nor. Come, let us to the king, who, well I know,

Will grieve for Cromwell, that his death was so. [Exeunt omnes.

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