Sir Thomas More – Act 5, Scene 2

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Robin Brewer, how now, man?  What cheer, what cheer?

Faith, Ned Butler sick of thy disease; and these our other fellows here, Ralph Horsekeeper and Giles Porter, sad, sad; they say my lord goes to his trial today.

To it, man?  Why, he is now at it, God send him well to speed.

Amen.  Even as I wish to mind own soul, so speed it with my honourable lord and master, Sir Thomas More.

I cannot tell; I have nothing to do with matters above my capacity, but as God judge me, if I might speak my mind, I think there lives not a more harmless gentleman in the universal world.

Nor a wiser, nor a merrier, nor an honester.  Go to, I’ll put that in upon mine own knowledge.

Nay, and ye bate him his due of his housekeeping, hang ye all.  Ye have many lord chancellors comes in debt at the year’s end, and for very housekeeping!

Well, he was too good a lord for us, and therefore, I fear, God himself will take him. But I’ll be hanged if ever I have such another service.

Soft, man, we are not discharged yet.  My lord may come home again and all will be well.

I much mistrust it; when they go to ‘raigning once, there’s ever foulweather for a great while after.

Enter GOUGH and CATESBY with a paper.

But soft, here comes Master Gough and Master Catesby; now we shall hear more.

Before God, they are very sad, I doubt my lord is condemned.

God bless his soul, and a fig then for all worldly condemnation!

Well said, Giles Porter, I commend thee for it,
‘Twas spoken like a well-affected servant
Of him that was a kind lord to us all.

Which now no more he shall be, for, dear fellows,
Now we are masterless, though he may live
So long as please the king.  But law hath made him
A dead man to the world, and given the axe his head,
But his sweet soul to live among the saints.

Let us entreat you to go call together
The rest of y our sad fellows—by the roll
Y’are just seven score—and tell them what ye hear
A virtuous honourable lord hath done
Even for the meanest follower that he had.
This writing found my lady in his study
This instant morning, wherein is set down
Each servant’s name, according to his place
And office in the house.  On every man
He frankly hath bestowen twenty nobles,
The best and worst together, all alike,
Which Master Catesby here forth will pay ye.

Take it, as it is meant, a king remembrance
Of a far kinder lord, with whose sad fall
He gives up house, and farewell to us all.
Thus the fair spreading oad falls not alone,
But all the neighbour plants and under-trees
Are crushed down with his weight.  No more of this,
Fellow-like hence, co-partners of one woe.                                   [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene


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