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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 :-
And whither is't? Which way must Cromwell now?
Crom. Well, where you please; but yet before I part,
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.
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:
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,
Thy honours came unsought, ay, and unlook'd for;
What glory was in England that had I not?
Who in this land commanded more than Cromwell?
But now I see what after ages shall;
The greater men, more sudden is their fall.
My lord, come not this night to Lambeth,
O God, O God! had I but read this letter,
Enter LIEUTENANT of the Tower, Officers, &c.
Crom. No matter wherefore. Cromwell is prepared,
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
CLIFF, and SIR RALPH SADLER.
Nor. Good morrow, Cromwell. What, alone, so sad ?
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?
Crom. No way admit me! am I so soon forgot?
And said that Cromwell was even half himself?
Well, my lord of Winchester, no doubt but you
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,
Bed. Be patient, good my lord, in these extremes.
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
[To the LIEUTENANT.
Crom. I do embrace it; welcome my last date,
As Gardiner did pronounce it with his breath.
*I. e. ignominy.
† I. e. you hear how short a period you have to live.
I pray commend me to my sovereign king,
Enter young CROMWELL.
Lieu. Here is your son, Sir, come to take his leave
Son. O father, I shall die to see that wound,
Gard. My lord, you speak it of an envious heart;
Bed. O, my good lord of Winchester, forbear:
Crom. Who, me, my lord? no: he disturbs not me.
Hath brought more peers' heads down unto the block.
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,
Your honour'd arms are my true winding-sheet.
Farewell, dear Bedford; my peace is made in heaven.
To rise to unmeasured height, wing'd with new strength,
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,
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.
Enter SIR RALPH SADLER.
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.