The Life and Death of The Lord Cromwell


William Shakespeare

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The Life and Death of The Lord Cromwell, attributed in part to William Shakespeare.


OLD CROMWELL, a Black-smith at Putney.
Young THOMAS CROMWELL his son.
HODGE, WILL, and TOM, old Cromwell's servants.
Earl of BEDFORD and his Host.
Cardinal WOLSEY.
GARDINER Bishop of Winchester.
M. BOUSER a Merchant.
BANISTER, a broken Merchant and his wife.
BAGOT, a cruel covetous Broker.
FRISKIBALL a Florentine Merchant.
The Governours of the ENGLISH house at ANTWERP.
States and Officers of BONONIA.
Good-man SEELY and his wife JOAN.

ACT I. SCENE I. Putney. The entrance of a smith's shop.

[Enter three Smiths, Hodge and two other, old Cromwell's men.]

HODGE. Come, masters, I think it be past five a clock; is it not time we were at work: my old Master he'll be stirring anon.

FIRST SMITH. I cannot tell whether my old master will be stirring or no: but I am sure I can hardly take my afternoon's nap, for my young Master Thomas, he keeps such a quile in his study, with the Sun, and the Moon, and the seven stars, that I do verily think he'll read out his wife.

HODGE. He skill of the stars! there's good-man Car of Fulhum, he that carried us to the strong Ale, where goody Trundell had her maid got with child: O he knows the stars. He'll tickle you Charles Waine in nine degrees. That same man will tell you goody Trundell when her Ale shall miscarry, only by the stars.

SECOND SMITH. Aye, that's a great virtue; indeed I think Thomas be no body in comparison to him.

FIRST SMITH. Well, masters, come, shall we to our hammers?

HODGE. Aye, content; first let's take our morning's draught, and then to work roundly.

SECOND SMITH. Aye, agreed; go in, Hodge.

[Exit omnes.]

ACT I. SCENE II. The same.

[Enter young Cromwell.]

CROMWELL. Good morrow, morn, I do salute thy brightness. The night seems tedious to my troubled soul, Whose black obscurity binds in my mind A thousand sundry cogitations: And now Aurora, with a lively dye, Adds comfort to my spirit that mounts on high-- Too high indeed, my state being so mean. My study, like a mineral of gold, Makes my heart proud, wherein my hopes enrolled; My books is all the wealth I do possess.

[Here within they must beat with their hammers.]

And unto them I have engaged my heart. O learning, how divine thou seems to me: Within whose arms is all felicity. Peace with your hammers! leave your knocking there: You do disturb my study and my rest. Leave off, I say, you mad me with the noise.

[Enter Hodge and the two Men.]

HODGE. Why, how now, Master Thomas, how now? Will you not let us work for you?

CROMWELL. You fret my heart, with making of this noise.

HODGE. How, fret your heart? Aye, but Thomas, you'll fret your father's purse if you let us from working.

SECOND SMITH. Aye, this tis for him to make him a gentleman. Shall we leave work for your musing? that's well, I faith; But here comes my old master now.

[Enter Old Cromwell.]

OLD CROMWELL. You idle knaves, what, are you loitering now? No hammers walking and my work to do! What, not a heat among your work to day?

HODGE. Marry, sir, your son Thomas will not let us work at all.

OLD CROMWELL. Why, knave, I say, have I thus carked & car'd And all to keep thee like a gentleman; And dost thou let my servants at their work, That sweat for thee, knave, labour thus for thee?

CROMWELL. Father, their hammers do offend my study.

OLD CROMWELL. Out of my doors, knave, if thou likest it not. I cry you mercy! is your ears so fine? I tell thee, knave, these get when I do sleep; I will not have my Anvil stand for thee.

CROMWELL. There's money, father, I will pay your men.

[He throws money among them.]

OLD CROMWELL. Have I thus brought thee up unto my cost, In hope that one day thou wouldst relieve my age, And art thou now so lavish of thy coin, To scatter it among these idle knaves.

William Shakespeare
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