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although he hath done thus unkindly towards you, it is more for the satisfying of some, than for any indignation : and yet you knowe well, he is able to recompence you againe, and to restore you twise so much; and thus he bad me, that I should shewe you, and willed me to bid you to take all this matter in patience. And sir, for my parte, I trust to see you in better estate, than ever you were. But when he had heard Mr. Norris reporte the good and comfortable words of the king, he quickly lighted off his mule, all alone, as thoughe he had bine the youngest amongst us, and incontinent kneeled downe in the dirte upon bothe his knees, holding up his hands for joye of the king's most comfortable message. Mr. Norris alighted also, espying him so sone upon his knees, and kneeled by him, and toke him in his armes, and asked howe he did, calling upon him to credite bis message. • Mr. Norris,' quoth he, when I consider the joyfull newes that yee have brought to me, I could doe no lesse than greatly rejoice. Your wordes pierced my harte, that the sodain joye, surmounted my memory, having no regarde or respecte to the place, but I thought it my duty, in the same place where I received this comforte, to laude and praise God upon my knees, and most humbly to render to my soveraigne lorde my harty thanks for the same.'
“ And as he was thus talking upon his knees to Mr, Norris, he would have pulled off a velvet night cap, which he wore under his black hat, and scarlet cap ; but he could not undoe the knot under his chin : wherefore with violence he rent the laces of his cap, and pulled his said cap from his head, and kneeled bare headed. And this done, he rose up and mounted upon his mule, and so rode forthe up the high waye in the towne, talking with Mr. Norris. And when he came unto Putney Heathe, where Mr. Norris should departe from him, Mr. Norris gave him a ring of gold with a stone, and sayd unto him, that the king sent bim the same for token of good will, which ringe,' quothe he, the king saithe you knowe very well.' It was the privy token between the king and him, when the king would have any especiall thing sped at his hands. Then saide he to Mr. Norris, . If I were Lorde of a realme, the one halfe were too small a rewarde to give you for your paines, and good newes. But, good Mr. Norris, consider with me, that I have nothinge lefte me but my clothes upon my backe. Therefore I shall desire you to take this small rewarde at my hands;' the which was a little chaine of gold, made like a bottle chaine, with a crosse of gold, wherein was a piece of the Holy Crosse, which he continually ware about his necke next his body; and saide furthermore, · Master Norris, I assure you, when I was in prosperity, although it seme but small in value, yet I would not gladly have departed with the same for a thousand poundes. Therefore I shall require you to take it in good worthe, and to weare it about your necke continually for my sake, and to remember me to the king when ye shall see opportunity, unto whose Highness I shall most instantly require you, to have me most humbly commended; for whose charitable disposition to me, I can but pray for the preservation of his royall estate. I am his obedient subject, his poore chaplaine, and beadman, and so will be during my life, accompting myselfe nothinge, nor to have any thinge, but only of him and by him, whome I have justly and truely served, to the beste of my grosse wit.' And with that he toke Master Norris by the hand bareheaded, and so departed. And when he was gone but a small distance, he returned againe, and caused Mr. Norris to be called to him. When Master Norris was returned, he said unto him, I am sorry,' quothe he, that I have no token to send to the king. But if you will at my request present the king, with this poore Foole, I trust he will accept him, for he is, for a nobleman's pleasure, forsoothe, worthe a thousand poundes.'
“So Master Norris toke the Foole; with whom my Lorde was faine to send sixe of his tallest yeomen, to helpe him to convaie the Foole to the courte; for the poore Foole toke on like a tyrant, rather than he would have departed from my Lord. Notwithstanding they convaied him away, and so brought him to the courte, where the king received him very gladly. After departure of Master Norris with his token to the kinge, my Lorde rode straight to Ashur, which is an house belonging to the Bishopricke of Winchester, situate in the county of Surry, nor farre from Hampton Courte, where my Lord and his family continued the space of three or fowre weeks, without either beds, sheets, table clothes, or dishes, to eat their meete in, or wherewith to buy any. Howbeit, there was good provision of all kind of victualls and of drinke, as bere and wine, whereof there was sufficient and plenty enough. My Lord was compelled of necessity to borrowe of Mr. Arundell, and of the Bishop of Carlile, plate and dishes, bothe to drinke in, and to eate his meate in. Thus my Lord with his family continued in this strange estate, untill after All-hallowne tide,"
Cromwell, the Cardinal's Secretary, and afterwards Earl of Essex, figures as a principal character in these pages, and, under the descriptive pen of Cavendish, discloses those traits which foretold his future distinction. The first glimpse we have of him is in the following passage, after the fall of his master :
“ I chaunced me upon All-hallowne day to come into the Great Chamber at Assher, in the morning, to give mine attendance, where I found Mr. Cromwell leaning in the great windowe, with a Primer in his hand, saying our Lady mattens; which had bine a strange sight in him afore. Well what will you have more ? He prayed no more earnestly, than he distilled teares as fast from his eyes. Whom I saluted, and bad good morrowe. And with that I perceived his moist chekes, the which he wiped with his napkine. To whom I saide, • Why, Mr. Cromwell, what meaneth this dole? Is my Lord in any danger, that ye doe lament for him? or is it for any other losse, that ye have sustained by misfortune?
". Nay,' quoth he, ' it is for my unhappy adventure. For I am like to lose all that I have laboured for, all the daies of my life, for doing of my master true and diligent service.' Why, sir,' quoth I, . I trust that you be too wise, to do any thing by my Lord's commaundement, otherwise than ye might doe, whereof you ought to be in doubt or daunger for losse of your goods.' 'Well, well,' quoth he,
I cannot tell; but this I see before inine eyes, that every thing is as it is taken; and this I knowe well, that I am disdained withal for my master's sake ; and yet I am sure there is no cause, why they should doe so. An evill name once gotten will not lightly be put away. I never had promotion by my Lord to tbe encrease of my living. But this inuch I will say to you, that I will this afternoone, when my Lord hath dined, ride to London, and so to the Courte, where I will either make or marre, or ever I come againe. I will put myselfe in prease, to see what they be able to lay to my charge. Mary,' quoth I, • then in so doing you shall doe wisely, beseeching God to send you good lucke, as I would myselfe.' And with that I was called into the closet, to see and prepare all things ready for my Lord, whoe intended to say masse there that day himselfe; and so I did.”
Cromwell is soon after found interceding with the Cardinal for some reward, for the numerous servants who still faithfully adhere to his person.
"• Alas! Thomas,' quoth my Lord, ye knowe I have nothing to give them, and wordes without deeds be not often well taken. For if I had but as I late had; I would departe with them so frankely, as they should be well contente : but nothing hath no savor; and I am bothe ashamed, and also sorry, that I am not able to requite their faithful service. And although I doe rejoice as I may, to consider the fidelity I see in a number of my servants, who will not forsake me in my miserable estate, but be as diligent and serviceable about me as they were in my great triumphe and glory, yet I doe lament againe, as vehemently, the want of substance, to distribute among them.' • Why, sir,' quoth Master Cromwell, have ye not here a number of chapleines, to whom ye have departed liberally with spirituall promotions, in so much as some may dispend, by your Grace's preferment, a thousand pounds by yeare, and some five hundred marks, and some more and some lesse; you have not a chapleine within all your house, or belonging to you, but he may spend well at the least (by your procurement and promotion) three hundred markes yearely, who have had all the profit and gaines at your handes, and other your servauntes nothing: and yet have your poore servauntes taken much more paines in one day, than all your idle chapleines have done in a yeare. Therefore if they will not frankely and freely consider your liberallity, and departe with you of the same goods gotten in your service, now in your great indigence and necessity, it is pitty that they live ; and all the world will have them in indignation and hatred, for their ingratitude to their master.'
““ I think no lesse, Thomas,' quoth my Lord, “wherefore, I pray you, cause all my servants to assemble without, in my great chamber, after dinner, and see them stand in order, and I will declare my mind unto them.'”
The gentlemen and yeomen are then assembled, to whom
the Cardinal addresses a most impressive speech, full of eloquence and natural dignity.
“ And at the laste my Lord came out in his Rochet upon a violet gowne, like a Bishop, who went streight to the upper ende of the saide chamber, where was the great windowe. Standing there a while, his chapleins about him, beholding this goodly number of his servants, he could not speake upto them, untill the teares ran downe his chekes : which fewe teares perceived by his servants, caused the fountaines of water to gusshe out of their faithfull eyes, in such sorte as it would cause a cruell harte to lament. At the last, after he had turned his face to the windowe, and dried his moisted chekes, he spake to them in this sorte in effect: 'Most faithfull gentlemen, and true harted yeomen, I doe not lament to see you about me, but I lament in a manner a certaine ingratitude on my behalfe towards you all, in whome hath bin a great defaulte, that in my prosperity I have not done so much for you as I might have done, either in deede or worde, which lay in my power then to doe: but then I knewe not the juell and speciall treasure I had in my house of you my faithful servants ; but now experience hath taught me, and with the eyes of iny discretion I doe well perceive the same. There was never thing that repented me more that ever I did, than doeth the remembraunce of my great and most oblivious negligence and unkinde ingratitude, that I have not promoted, preferred or advaunced you all, accordinge to your demerits. Howbeit, it is not unknowne unto you all, that I was not so fully furnished of temporall promotions in my gifte, as I was of spirituall preferments. And if I should have preferred you to any of the king's offices, then should I have runne in the indignation of the king's servants, who would not much let to reporte behinde my backe that there could no office in the king's gifte escape the Cardinal and his servants, and thus should I have runne in open slaunder before all the world. But now it is come to this passe, that it hath pleased the king to take all that ever I have into his hands, so that I have nothing to give you; for I have nothing lefte me but my bare clothes upon my backe, the which are simple in comparison to that I had : howbeit if it might doe you any good, I would not sticke to divide the same among you, yea, and the skinne of my backe too, if it might countervaile any value among you. But my good gentlemen and yeomen, my trusty and faithful servaunts, and of whome no prince hath the like, I shall require you to take some patience with me awhile, for I doubt not but that the kinge, considering my suggested offence by mine enemies, which is put against me, to be of small griefe or hurte, for so great and soddaine an overthrowe, will shortely restore me to my living, so that I shall be more able to divide my substance among you, whereof ye shall not lacke. For whatsoever shall chaunce hereafter to be an overplus and superfluity of my revenewes, at the determination of my yearely accompt, it shall be distributed among you. For I will never during my life esteeme the goods and riches of this world any otherwise than which shall be sufficient to mainetaine the estate that God hath and shall call me unto. And if the kinge doe not shortly restore me, then will I write for you, either to the king, or to any nobleman within this realme, to retaine your service; for I doubt not but the kinge or any nobleman within this realme, will credite my letter in your commendation. Therefore, in the mean time, I would advise you to repaire home to your wives, such as have wives; and some of you that have no wives, to take a time to visit your parents in the country. There is none of you all, but would once in a yeare require license to see and visit your wife, and other of your friends: take this time therefore in that respect, and in your retourne I will not refuse you, to beg with you. I consider that your service in my house hath been such, that ye be not apt to serve any man under the degree of a King; therefore I would advise you to serve no man but the King, who I am sure will not refuse you. Therefore I shall desire you to take your pleasure for a month, and then ye may come againe, and by that time, I trust the king will extend his mercy upon me.' ”
Cromwell again attacks the chaplains in the shape of a subscription.
“ Sir,' quoth Master Cromewell, there be diverse of these your yeomen, that would be glad to see their friends, but they lacke money: therefore here be diverse of your Chapleines that have received at your hands great benefices and livings, let them shew themselves unto you as they be bound to doe. I think their honesty and charity is such, that they will not see you lacke any thing that may doe you good or pleasure. And for my parte, although I have not received of your Grace's gifte one penny towards the increase of my livinge, yet will I give you this towards the dispatch of your servantes,' and therewith delivered unto my Lord five pounds in gold. “And now let us see what your Chapleines will doe. I think they will departe with you, much more liberally than I, who be more able to give you a pound than I a penny.' "Goe to, my Masters,' quoth he to the Chapleines : insomuch as they gave to my Lord liberally, some ten pounds, some twenty nobles, some five pounds, and so some more and some lesse, as their powers would extend, at that time ; by means whereof my Lord received among them as much as paid the yeomen ten shillings the pece towardes their quarter's wages, and as much money as would pay every of them for a monthe's borde wages; and then they departed downe into the Hall, where some determined to goe to their friends, and some would not departe from my Lorde, untill they might see him in better estate. My Lord retourned into his chamber lamenting the departure from his servants, making his mone to Master Cromewell, who comforted him the best he could, and desired my Lord to give him leave to goe to London, whereas he would either make or marre (the which was alwaies his common terme). Then after a liule communication with my Lord in secret, he departed and toke his horse, and rode to London, at whose departinge I was by, to whome he saide, · Farewell, ye shall heare shortly of mee, and if I speede well, I will not faile to be here againe, within these two daies.'