Chelsea. Antechamber in More’s house.
(Sir Thomas More; Third Messenger)
Erasmus having gone, More is cheered to discover that the Lord Mayor and his wife have invited themselves to dinner, and prepares a feast for them. (22 lines)
Enter Third Messenger to More.
My honorable lord, the Mayor of London,
Accompanied with his lady and her train,
Are coming hither, and are hard at hand,
To feast with you. A servant’s come before,
To tell your lordship of there near approach.
Why, this is cheerful news. Friends go and come:
Reverend Erasmus, who delicious words
Express the very soul and life of wit,
Newly took sad leave of me, and with tears
Troubled the silver channel of the Thames,
Which, glad of such a burden, proudly swelled
And on her bosom bore him toward the sea:
He’s gone to Rotterdam; peace go with him!
He left me heavy when he went from hence;
But this recomforts me; the kind Lord Mayor,
His brethren aldermen, with their fair wives,
Will feast this night with us. Why, so it should be;
More’s merry heart lives by good company.
Good gentlemen, be careful; give great charge
Our diet be made dainty for the taste;
For, of all people that the earth affords,
The Londoners fare richest at their boards.