Excerpts from The Death of Robert, Earle of Huntington

EXCERPTS FROM THE DEATH OF ROBERT, EARLE OF HUNTINGTON: NOTES

The excerpts of The Death of Robert, Earle of Huntington are based on the Malone Society's edited text in facsimile type (1965 [1967]) of William Leake's 1601 quarto printing, prepared by John C. Meagher. The full title in Leake was The Death of Robert, Earle of Huntington. Otherwise called Robin Hood of merrie Sherwodde: with the lamentable Tragedie of chaste Matilda, his faire maid Marian. Imprinted at London, for William Leake, 1601. Line count corresponds to the idiosyncracies of Meagher's 1967 edition. Meagher based his reconstructed facsimile on the fourteen known copies of Leake's printing of the play, using xerographs of the Harvard copy as his base text against which he collated the two copies in the British Library, the two in the Bodleian, and the Lincoln College, Oxford, copy. He then checked variants against the other eight copies. Leake prints proper names in roman type, the text in black letter, and parentheticals in italics. I have ignored these distinctions in this edition. In the 4o version, speakers are identified in various ways: e.g., Prince John, later King John, may be Pr. Iohn, Prin., Ioh., and, at the end of the play, King. I have identified speakers in boldface type and, space permitting, expanded Leake's abbreviations to give the full name; I usually have followed his designations, however, so Marian, for example, appears as Marian, Marilda, and Matilda, and Prince John according to the designation printed in Leake. I have silently expanded all abbreviations of pronouns, prepositions, and conjunctions and followed the Middle English Texts Series policy of adjusting u/v and i/j to modern spelling. I have placed glosses of hard words in a smaller italic type at the right margin. I have not followed Leake's punctuation or idiosyncratic capitalizations, but have, rather, adhered to modern conventions, except where noted. I have not altered L's formations of genitive constructions, however; they remain as his compositor presented them. I have treated stage directions uniformly, marking them in italics at ends of lines, if that is where they appear in Leake, or between lines, but inset, if that is how they appear, since Meagher includes them, along with scene designations, in his line count in the edited facsimile edition.

Abbreviations: L = Leake's 1601 black-letter 4o edition. C = Collier's 1828 edition. H = Hazlitt's 1874 edition. F = Farmer's 1913 facsimile edition. M = Meagher, with date identifying appropriate edition.

1 Scene I. L: Sceane I. In this play L marks scene divisions, which are included in the line count. They were not so marked in The Downfall.

1-863 It seems likely that some version of these lines was originally the conclusion to The Downfall. M (1980) suggests that the reintroduction of Skelton may once have been part of the ending of The Downfall, rounding the play off by returning to the role he had in the Induction (p. 83); M also notes that no fewer than thirteen characters disappear permanently after Robin's death. Most had roles in The Downfall.

4-10 The irregular lines in this opening prose passage are headed by a large capital H in the 1601 edition, after which full length lines 11-16 complete the passage. I have maintained L's line division for the sake of reference to M's Malone Society edition.

4-16 Friar Tuck, with his rough Skeltonics, provides the play's Induction, somewhat as Skelton did in The Downfall. H suggests that the same actor played both roles (p. 219). In his bustle the Friar forgets even the plot (line 13) as Robin's Yeomen hunt for an audience ("the goodly heart") rather than deer; meanwhile, without missing a word, Tuck puts on his costume before our very eyes, then, in line 34, takes it off again to set the first scene. After Robin's death, the Friar takes his leave (lines 860 ff.) only to be interrupted by Chester, who objects that the play ends too soon, whereupon, Tuck provides a second Induction for the remainder of the play, serving as director and stage manager as the dumb show to Matildaes Tragedie (line 871) is introduced. Compare his role in The Downfall, where Skelton is also in and out of character for comic effect.

7-8 followed. C and H emend to follow. M (1980) accepts to followed, as ellipsis for "to have followed," but allows that the C/H emendation may be sound.

17 Now in his role, the Friar moves into verse to present his Prologue.

18 where wee left. The Friar alludes to The Downfall, or Part I, which has, presumably, preceded this production. Such lines must have been added to what was once the conclusion to The Downfall as it was converted to what Henslowe referred to as Part II.

28 Hurt. H emends to Housed, explaining that there are two inside plotting together (p. 220). But in line 202 we learn that both men have been wounded in the field but yesterday, thus explaining their hurt today. See The Downfall, lines 2495-98, where we learn of their wounding and Robin's rescue of their lives.

41 Mounted in a stand. Blinds were set up with bowmen in them toward which the game is driven with the hounds and hallooing. Queen Eleanor is herself presented as a bowman, as well she may have been. See Malory, Bk. XVIII, The Great Tournament, where ladies hunt with bow the "barayne hynde" but wound the resting Lancelot in the buttock by an accidental overshot.

43-44 According to Turbervile, The Noble Arte of Venerie or Hunting (1575), a stag is a five-year-old male and a buck a six-year-old. See M's notes (1980) on hunting details in the play.

49 and. L: aud; so too in lines 619, 714, 715, all compositor's errors.

54 To wear horns is to be cuckolded.

66 The speech prefix is omitted by L, but the lines are clearly spoken by Much in answer to the King. H's emendation, which I have followed.

82 A plague upon his kindnesse, let him die. Pairs of lurking villains who compete in villainy are common in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama. Robin's virtues are like goads to both Doncaster, a practiced murderer (see lines 83 and 297), and Robin's kinsman the Prior, who would destroy him simply because he is good. Together they embody the Machiavellian self-interest of the first two estates, the gentry and the church, against which the virtuous Robin so often competed and sought redress.

95 Here is the poyson. Both Sir Doncaster and the Prior are hypocrites who would rely on poison to accomplish their insidious evil while they practice their policy (line 99) and smilingly (line 247) profess to be helping Robin.

96 by this gold. Apparently Doncaster is bribing the Prior as well as playing upon his jealous hatred of Robin.

100 To make him die disgrac't. The jealous cousin's desire is not simply to murder Robin but to destroy his honor as well by having him unwittingly slay his friend the King through his acts of kindness.

104 C omits the Exeunt; M (1980) discusses the problem of taking the Prior and Doncaster off stage simply to bring them back on, observing: "it is never safe to take exit-lines too seriously. It may be that the scene-heading and the exeunt were both added by another hand" (p. 533).

108 [Enter Frier. Not in L; C's emendation.

111 murren. "Hullabaloo" or "turmoil," but more literally "pestilence."

112 The King cals for thee. King Richard, desiring to have the letters upon the copper ring read, calls upon the Friar. Although the King is apparently unable to read himself, he is able to recognize the script as being English. See note to lines 388-91.

113-14 L places these lines in parentheses, which I have omitted.

148 mine. L: minde. C's emendation.

157 not. L: uot; a compositor's error.

165 fairings. Gifts brought from the fair. The implication is that Robin's presentations are tawdry and self-serving.

170 Envie. Warman sees through their "toyes" (line 142) and labels their villainy precisely.

210 Conscience. Envious Doncaster personifies Warman as Conscience, which he hates and has effectively slain in himself; he thus slays Warman as affirmation of his own dead conscience.

219 [Enter Robin. Not in L; C's emendation.

234 murdered. Suicide is self-murder, and thus a mortal sin. See line 244 where Robin grieves for Warman's presumably lost soul.

235 [Exeunt Robin, Doncaster, with body. L: Exit.

251 Rome. By claiming that the elixir came from Rome, the Prior insidiously suggests holy benefaction by papal endorsement.

252 Moly is the fabulous herb endowed with magical powers that protected Odysseus from Circe's charms and left him sexually superior. Precisely what plant it might be is unclear, though it is identified by some in Renaissance lore with mandrake root and by others with wild garlic, which was thought by some to have the power to ward off evil spirits.
Syrian Balsamum. An aromatic resin thought to have soothing properties; sometimes called balm of Gilead or balsam of Mecca.

253 Golds rich Elixir. The elixer that would turn base metals into gold was sought by alchemists. Gold dust in liquid suspension was thought to have medicinal properties that could transform ill to good health. It was used into the eighteenth century in quack medicine. See Chaucer's Physician who, since "gold in phisik is a cordial, / Therefore he lovede gold in special" (CT I[A] 443-44).

263 cosin. In line 285 the Prior refers to Robin as his nephew and in line 700 as gentle nephew . . . my brothers sonne. Cousin here is a more general term for kinsman, frequently applied to nephew or niece, with a pun perhaps on "cousin" as victim, i.e., one who has been tricked, or "cousined." See also lines 293 and 307 where Robin is also identified as the Prior's cousin.

264 Sophies sonne. The Grand Sophy of Persia, a legendary ruler of fabulous wealth and power. See romances such as The Sowdon of Babylon, where his son is Firambras who betrays him, or The Tragical Reign of Selimus (1594) where the virtuous Sophy is poisoned by his villainous sons. M notes that Sophies "is here anachronistic, since the rulers of Persia were so styled only after ca. 1500" (1980, p. 535). Sowdon is the medieval equivalent. Perhaps the Sophies sonne is in this instance the Souldans sonne, admiral of the Turkish fleet, defeated by Richard in The Downfall, line 1871. There the source may be Kynge Rycharde Coeur du Lyon.

265 Natolia. See Marlowe's Tamburlaine, Pt. II (1590). According to Ethel Seaton "Natolia is much more than the modern Anatolia; it is the whole promontary of Asia Minor, with a boundary running approximately from the modern Bay of Iskenderun eastward toward Aleppo, and then north to Batum on the Black Sea" -- "Marlowe's Map," Essays and Studies by Members of the English Association, 10 (1924), 20. It appears also in The Tragical Reign of Selimus (1594) as a walled city of the Turkish empire.

267-68 to you / I put myselfe. A characteristic device of the con-man is to put himself in his would-be victim's debt as a means of allaying suspicion.

280 dissolved pearle. Pliny, Natural History, IX, lines 119-21, tells how Cleopatra scorned Antony's sumptuous feasting and bet that she could spend ten million sesterces on a single banquet. When Anthony mocked her after the main course she took a glass of vinegar and dissolved in it one of the finest pearls seen by man and drank it, thus winning the bet. English Renaissance playwrights delighted in this image of luxury and often drew upon it: e.g., Ben Jonson, Volpone III.vii.192 (Herford and Simpson edn.); Hoy (Dramatic Works of Thomas Dekker, III, 292-93) cites other references: Dekker, The Wonder of a Kingdom III.i.50-51; and Nashe, The Unfortunate Traveller, II, p. 267), and Dekker in his commendatory verses to Brome's The Northern Lasse alludes to the marvel, as does The Owles Almanacke (1618) C2v. And, Thomas Rogers in "Leicester's Ghost" (c. 1598) writes: "What if I drinke nothing but liquid gold / Lactrina, christal, pearle resolv'd in wine, / Such as th' Egyptians full cups did hold, / When Cleopatra with her lord did dine; / A trifle, care not, for the cost was mine?" (lines 526-30). Pliny's modern editor, H. Rackham, in the Loeb Classic edition III, 244, is more sceptical and asserts that no such soluable vinegar exists and that Cleopatra "no doubt swallowed the pearl in vinegar knowing that it could be recovered later on."

306 I cannot tel. O yes, now I ha't. Like Iago, Doncaster has trouble explaining reasons for his hatred: he just hates. Bernard Spivack, Shakespeare and the Allegory of Evil: The History of a Metaphor in Relation to His Major Villains (New York: Columbia University Press, 1958), pp. 362-64, discusses Doncaster's villainous hatred in this passage at some length, stressing his professional pride in his villainy.

308-09 Doncaster provides a casebook definition of Envy in his hatred of Robin Because so many love him as there doe, / And I myselfe am loved of so fewe. See Gower's Confessio Amantis, Book II, where the first aspect of Envy is grief at another man's joy and the second joy at another man's grief.

310 ff. Doncaster's litany of reasons for my hate defines the villain's practiced love of evil, in which he takes a kind of professional atheistic pride. In this regard he might be compared to Shakespeare's most envious villian, Iago, who begrimes all he looks upon.

314 greedie cormorants. A long-necked sea-bird of voracious appetite; in Renaissance figurative language "an insatiably greedy or rapacious person" (OED, sb. 2), with the idiom "money-cormorant" in popular usage. Elyot (Gov. III, xxii) speaks of such people as cormorants to which "neither lande, water, ne ayre mought be sufficient"; Shakespeare, Richard II II.i.38, speaks of the "insatiate cormorant," and Greene (1592), Upstart Courtier in the Harliean Miscellany II.21, speaks of "cormorants or usurers . . . gathered to fill their coffers." Sometimes spelled "corvorant," as in Holinshed II.704, with pun on L. vorantem, "devouring" (OED, sb. 3). That Doncaster specifies peasants to be greedy cormorants, along with the privileged, simply reflects his aristocratic view that he should have the wealth, the upstart lesser people nothing.

317 no theefe. Doncaster's point is that Robin was outlawed for financial reasons, not thievery, and thus abuses the good name of thief and outlaw that he (Doncaster) so villainously upholds.

356-57 A boone, a boone . . . thee. The phrasing often occurs in Robin Hood ballads. See, for example, Robin Hood and the Curtal Friar, lines 97-98.

360-61 O there dwelleth a jolly pinder . . . on a greene. H observes that the lines are taken, with slight change, from The Jolly Pinder of Wakefield (p. 232). Compare lines 1-2 of The Jolly Pinder in the present edition.

378-83 Ritson, Notes and Illustrations of Robin Hood (1828, I, 62), notes that Fitzwater confuses Harold Harefoot, the son and successor of Canute the Great, with Harold Godwin. M (1980) suggests that the confusion may be Fitzwater's rather than the dramatist's (pp. 537-38).

388-91 The King's sense of linguistics exceeds his wisdom in natural history. It does not seem to bother him that the deer would have to be some 1200 years old. His proof against Chester's suggestion that Julius Caesar may have banded the deer is that English is not written until after the establishment of the Saxons in the seventh century. Ritson (Robin Hood [London, 1832], p. lxxi) cites an inscription in Rays Itineraries (1760), p. 153, wherein a stag is found two miles from Leeds with a ring of brass about its neck with the inscription: "When Julius Caesar here was king, / About my neck he put this ring: / Whosoever doth me take, / Let me go for Caesar's sake." Perhaps Chester had been reading Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII, 32, who mentions a deer over a hundred years old with a collar placed upon it by Alexander or Turbervile (v. 41n.), who says that "Hartes and Hyndes may liue an hundreth yeres . . . . And wee finde in auncient hystoriographers, that an Harte was taken, a hauing [sic] coller about his necke full three hundreth yeares after the death of Cesar, in which coller Caesars armes were engraued, and a note written, saying, Caesarus me fecit." See M's excellent note (1980, p. 537).

445 yee. L: you. C/H's emendation for the sake of rhyme; followed by M (1980).

455 with a trice. H emends to in a trice, objecting that with lies outside Renaissance idiom and is "no doubt wrong" (p. 235). But the emendation is unnecessary.

458 [Enter Much. Not in L. C's emendation.

473 H identifies Jinny as "a country wench" whose language (strawed) is dialectical.

505 [Exeunt Prior, Doncaster, and Frier. L omits Doncaster. C's emendation.

518 a cuppe, a towell. M (1980) notes: "These may be brought on as instruments for bleeding Robin in attempt to counteract the poison, but nothing is done with them. It will be remembered that all extant versions of Robin Hood's death written before this play have him meet his end by being bled to death under the pretense of a medical bleeding" (p. 539).

534 H's stage direction.

535 Thanks. L: Thans. Certainly a compositor's error.

548 Shavings of animal horns were thought to be medicinal. Harts-horn shavings were said to be a preservative against poison, so perhaps that is the powder the Queen produces. M cites Ioyfull News (V.252n) on use of the unicorn's horn "for swilling in a drink as a precaution against poison (MM 2)" and identifies Bezars stone as a ruminant calcitrant, which "made into a pouder, in all kinde of venome . . . is the most principal remedy that we know nowe, and that which hath wrought best effect in many that haue beene poysoned" (Ioyfull News, BB3v), noting that GG4v ff. has a separate treatise on the Bezar stone (1980, pp. 539-40). H cites Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errors (1658): "Lapis lasuli hath in it a purgative faculty, we know: That Bezoar is antidotal, Lapis Judaicus diuretical, Coral antipilaptical, we will not deny." According to Browne, the bezoar nut has a "leguminous smell and taste, bitter like a lupine."

552-53 thanklesse groome . . . foe. M notes the reference to "the early part of the Downfall, where Eleanor becomes Robert's bitter enemy when he 'thanklessly' refuses her love (v. Downfall, lines 657-58). From this it may be inferred that the double-triangle shown in the opening part of the Downfall was retained when Downfall 1-781 was revised" (1980, p. 540).

555 How the wolfe howles. Marian recognizes that she is among wolves who would destroy her, were it not for Robin's protection. By the end of the play the ravens will seaze upon thy dove (line 558), but she will fly to heaven, unharmed, except by mortal poison.

560 Lyon. Robin knows that King Richard the Lion-Hearted will defend Marian, as long as he lives.

576 I am a knight. Doncaster audaciously claims the knighthood denied him earlier when his spurs were stripped. See note to line 625.

582 your father. I.e., Henry II, Queen Eleanor's husband, whose role as queen mother in The Downfall is prominent.

616 vintners grate. "The grate of a vintner was no doubt what is often-termed in old writers the red lattice, grate, or checkered pattern painted on the doors of vintners, and still preserved at almost every public house" (H, p. 241). See also John Brand, Popular Antiquities of Great Britain, Comprising Notices of the Moveable and Immoveable Feasts. Customs, Superstitions, and Amusements Past and Present, with large corrections and additions by W. Carew Hazlitt. 3 volumes (London: John Russell Smith, 1870), II, 277-78, where there are citations of the figure in several Renaissance plays.

625 rent his spurres off. To win one's spurs is to be knighted (OED, spurs, sb. 3). To remove the spurs is to degrade the knight, to un-knight him, so to speak, thus denying him participation in the honored roles of chivalry. Bradford B. Broughton, Dictionary of Medieval Knighthood and Chivalry (New York: Greenwood Press, 1986), cites instances of the degraded knight's spurs being thrown onto a dung heap (pp. 156-57); such disgrace might lead to hanging or exile, but, at least, being cast out of privilege. Grant Uden, A Dictionary of Chivalry (New York: Thomas Crowell, 1968), cites the example of Sir Francis Mitchell's spurs being "hewn off his heels and thrown, one one way, the other the other" (p. 160). It is this degradation as much as the crimes themselves that prohibits Doncaster from being seen amongst certain aristocratic company, where, should he reappear, he would be pursued to his death. Thus he needs the Prior to do the poisoning for him. See lines 87-100, where the two plan that Robin himself die disgraced, and line 576 where Doncaster tenaciously proclaims his knighthood.

643 bower. L: power. C/H emendation, followed by M (1980).

689 Let sweete forgivenesse be my passing bell. M (1980, p. 30) suggests that this may be the play's principal theme, if it may be said to have one. Matilda, at the end, will likewise so overwhelm Brand, her murderer, with her forgiveness that he, smitten with remorse, hangs himself.

714 Ely identifies the Prior as churchman and thus not subject to secular law. But the Prior knows the law better than his fellow churchman or king and seals his own doom (lines 716 ff.).

737 hang alive in chaines. According to The Common-Welthe of England (1589) the most notable murderers were hanged in cords till they be dead and then "hanged with chaines while they rotte in the ayre." But before Elizabeth's reform the most villainous murderers were subject to the extraordinary torture of being hanged alive in chains. Henry Chettle, in England's Mourning Garment (1603), praises Elizabeth for her accepting of the death penalty as sufficient punishment in itself. See M (1980), p. 542.

753 Against the faithlesse enemies of Christ. King Richard announces his second crusade against the infidel on which he will take Robin's yeomen as his own. Thus they will not be available to help Marian against John as they were in The Downfall. The king's crusade figures prominently in subsequent Robin Hood adventures, where the king sets off not only prior to Robin's death but prior to there being a need for Robin and his yeomen.

762 Chaist Maid Marilda. The spelling seems intentional. Here we find the two titles blended as Maid Marian, assuming the role of Countess of Huntington, resumes her noble name. Henceforth, after this moment as Marilda, she is Matilda.

806-11 Robin's stylized composing of his bier reflects the ballad tradition as well as Renaissance stage conventions. See Robin Hood's Death, lines 133-42, in this volume.

835 wod-songs. This term does not appear in the OED, but evidently refers to the lament sung by Robin's wod-men, lines 848-59. Perhaps a pun is intended in wod (madness>grief); or perhaps wod simply alludes to the wood and its woodsmen, Robin's yeomen, that is, the common people who have joined him. The King exhorted Matilda and the nobility to cease their lamentation -- Laments are bootlesse, teares cannot restore / Lost life. Matilda, therefore weepe no more (lines 829-30) -- as if to suggest that the shrill keening be performed by the common folk, while the nobility piously reflect upon life's transience.

859 all except Frier. Added to Exeunt by C/H.

871ff. Matildaes Tragedie. In constructing this portion of the new play, for which the author(s) borrowed lines from the conclusion to an earlier version of The Downfall (see note to lines 1-863 above), Munday has drawn heavily for plot details upon Michael Drayton's The Legend of Matilda (1594; augmented, 1596), where King John lecherously pursues Lord Fitzwater's daughter, grieviously harming the nation's welfare. Drayton's poem was popular, which may account in part for the desire of theater impressario Philip Henslowe and the prolific playwright Henry Chettle to sponsor the new play as a sequel to The Downfall. Chettle may have assisted in the restructuring of the play into two parts to take advantage of the popularity of Drayton's poem by shifting the plot to the melodramatic hardships and death of the virtuous Matilda. The adaptation and continuation must have taken place rapidly, for Philip Henslowe purchased for the Admirals Men Munday's first Robin Hood play on 15 February 1597/98 and within five days made an initial payment for its sequel, which may not yet have been written. By the end of March the Master of the Revels licensed the two parts of "the downefall of earlle huntington surnamed Roben Hood," and the two plays were performed at the Rose Theatre.

872 Kendall greene. Perhaps referring to Chester, who at this point exits, though it seems odd that he would be dressed as a yeoman. Perhaps Chester put on green at Robin's dying request that none wear black. Or, perhaps, he's still in green from the previous play where Robin and the barons greet the returning King Richard, all dressed in green. See The Downfall, lines 2699-2700.

3034 Bruse is the younger of the play's two (or perhaps three) Bruces who, as kinsmen to the banished Fitzwater (Matilda's father), lead the opposition to John. See M's extended discussion of the confusions (1980, pp. 554-56).

3036 Bruce's mother and brother had been murdered earlier. Their bodies were displayed as Bruce drew back a curtain (line 2778) to reveal them in "this wide gappe" (line 2865) through some sort of stage arras designed as a discovery space. M's note on staging of the scene is useful (1980, pp. 575-76).

3040 The Queen is now Isabel. Earlier in the play she, misled by John, had attacked Matilda, tearing her hair and scratching her face. When Matilda subsequently defended the queen from having done so, putting the blame on the soldiers instead, Isabel honored her for her chastity and kindness and became her defender. At the end she reappears at Matilda's death, holding her in her arms to comfort her as Matilda forgives her enemies and dies, instructing her soul: Fly forth my soule, heavens king be there thy friend (line 2667).

3041 Dunmow. A Priory in Essex, historically under the patronage of Fitzwater.

3048 Matilda martyrde for her chastitie. Despite the sprawling structure of the play, the deaths of virtuous Robin and Marian/Matilda by poison provide a striking symmetry which Matilda, with gratitude to her executioner, emphatically recognized herself (lines 2589-2603).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Excerpts from The Death of Robert, Earle of Huntington

List of Characters

in the order of their appearance
Friar Tuck.
King Richard.
The Bishop of Ely.
Lord Fitzwater.
Earl of Salisbury.
Earl of Chester.
Prince John (later, King John).
Little John.
Scathlock.
Much, a clown.
Sir Doncaster.
Prior of York, Uncle to Robin Hood.
Robin Hood, formerly Robert, Earl of Huntingdon.   
Warman.
Eleanor, the Queen Mother.
Scarlet.
Matilda, Robin Hood's Maid Marian.
Jinny.
Chorus.
Characters of the dumbshow: Austria,
     Ambition, Constance, Arthur, Insurrection,   
     King of France, Hugh le Brun (Earl of
     March), Queen Isabel, two children.
Hubert de Burgh (alias Bonville and possibly
     identical with Chorus).
 
Aubrey De Vere, Earl of Oxford (alias
     Salisbury).
Mowbray (alias Hugh).
Queen Isabel (anticipated in dumbshow).
Young Bruce (alias Young Fitzwater).
Old Bruce.
Earl of Leicester (perhaps having appeared
     earlier in play).
Earl of Richmond.
A Boy, messenger (no speeches).
Lady Bruce.
Winchester (alias Chester).
George, younger son of Old Bruce (no
     speeches).
A Messenger to Oxford on the battlefield.
Will Brand.
A Soldier, guide for Matilda (no speeches).
Abbess of Dunmow.
A Messenger to King John.
A Monk of Bury.
A Servant, messenger of Brand's death.
A Drummer.
Sir William Blunt (alias Sir Walter Blunt).
King John's masquers, ladies, soldiers, nuns.

 
Scene I (see note)
 




5




10




15




20




25




30




35






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45








50








55





60







65





70









75



Frier






































King

Pr. John


Fitzwater

Ely

Chester

Salsbury

Prince

Scathlocke


Prince

Lit. John

Prince

Lit. John

Prince


King









Much

King

Much





King

Much

Scathlocke

King

Much

     [Enter Frier Tucke.


Holla, holla, holla: follow, follow,
followe.     [Like noyse within.
Now benedicité, what fowle absur-
ditie, follie and foolerie had like to fol-
lowed mee! I and my mates, are addle
pates, inviting great states, to see
our last play, are hunting the hay,
with ho, that way, the goodly heart ranne, with followe
Little John, Much play the man; and I, like a sot, have
wholly forgot the course of our plot; but crosse-bowe
lye downe, come on friers gowne, hoode cover my
crowne, and with a lowe becke, prevent a sharpe
checke.
     Blithe sit yee all, and winke at our rude cry,
     Minde where wee left, in Sheerewod merrily,
     The king, his traine, Robin, his yeomen tall
     Gone to the wodde to see the fat deare fall.
     Wee left Maid Marian busie in the bower,
     And prettie Jinny looking, every hower,
     For their returning from the hunting game,
     And therefore seeke to set each thing in frame.
     Warman all wofull for his sinne we left.
     Sir Doncaster, whose villanies and theft
     You never heard of, but too soone yee shall,
     Hurt with the Prior; shame them both befall,
     They two will make our mirth be short and small.
     But least I bring yee sorrowe ere the time,
     Pardon I beg of your well judging eyne,
     And take in part bad prologue, and rude play:
     The hunters holloo, Tucke must needes away.
Therefore downe weede, howe doe the deede, to make
the Stagge bleede, and if my hand speede, hey for a cry,
with a throate strained hie, and a lowde yall, at the beasts
fall.     [Exit, Holloo within.

     [Enter King, Ely, Fitzwater, Salsbury, Chester,
     Prince John, Little John, Scathlocke.

Where is our mother?

Mounted in a stand.
Sir, fallowe deere have dyed by her hand.

Three stags I slewe.

Two bucks by me fell downe.

As many dyed by mee.

But I had three.

Scathlocke, wheres Much?

When last I saw him, may it please your Grace,
He and the Frier footed it apace.

Scathlocke, no Grace, your fellowe and plaine John.

I warrant you, Much will be here anone.

Thinkst thou Little John, that he must Jinny wed?

No doubt he must.

Then to adorne his head, we shall have hornes
good store.

God, for thy grace,
How could I misse the stagge I had in chase!
Twice did I hit him in the very necke,
When backe my arrowes flewe, as they had smit
On some sure armour. Where is Robin Hood
And the wighte Scarlet? Seeke them Little John.    [Exit John.
Ile have that stagge before I dine today.

     [Enter Much.

O the Frier, the Frier, the Frier.

Why, how now Much?

Cry ye mercy, master King. Marry this is the matter;
Scarlet is following the stagge you hit, and has al-
most lodg'd him: now the Frier has the best bowe but
yours, in all the field, which and Scarlet had, he would
have him straight.

Where is thy master?

Nay, I cannot tell, nor the Frier neither.

I heare them holloo, farre off in the wod.

Come Much, canst lead us where as Scarlet is?

Never feare you; follow me.     [Exeunt, hollooing.

(see note)


(see note)


(see note)

worthy dignitaries

deer



bow
reproof
(see note)
(see note)



hour

put things in order



Wounded (Aggrieved); (see note)

lest
eyes




high







(see note)


(see note)










were walking; (see note)









(see note)







clever








(see note)

except for
if












Scene II
 




80






85






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Doncaster



Prior

Doncaster




Prior

Doncaster





Prior

Doncaster



Prior

Doncaster

Prior



Doncaster

Prior




       [Enter Sir Doncaster, Prior.

You were resolved to have him poysoned,
Or kild, or made away, you car'd not how.
What divell makes you doubtfull to doo't?

Why, Doncaster, his kindnesse in our needes.

A plague upon his kindnesse, let him die.
I never temperd poyson in my life, but I imployd it.
By th'masse and I loose this,
For ever looke to loose my company.

But will you give it him?

That cannot bee.
The Queene, Earle Chester, and Earle Salsbury,
If they once see mee, I am a deade man.
Or did they heare my name, Ile lay my life,
They all would hunt me, for my life.

What hast thou done to them?

Faith, some odde toyes,
That made me fly the south. But passe wee them.
Here is the poyson. Will you give it Robin?

Now by this gold I will.

Or as I said, for ever I defie your company.

Well, he shall die, and in his jollity;
And in my head I have a policy
To make him die disgrac't.

O tell it Prior.

I will, but not as now.     [Call the Frier within.
Weele seeke a place; the wods have many eares,
And some methinkes are calling for the Frier.
       [Exeunt.





devil



(see note)
mixed
if I lose












tricks

(see note)

(see note)





(see note)






(see note)

Scene III
 
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John

Scathlocke

Frier



Robin





Frier

Robin


Both

Robin







Warman




Doncaster


Warman


Prior



Warman

Doncaster







Warman

Prior








Warman


Doncaster



Warman

Prior


Doncaster




Prior



Warman


Doncaster




Prior




Doncaster




Prior

Warman






















Doncaster


Warman

Prior

Doncaster

Warman


Prior

Doncaster

Prior


Doncaster


Prior



Robin

Prior



Robin



Doncaster


Robin





Prior







Doncaster

Robin


Prior









Robin

Prior















Robin


Prior




Robin



Prior



Robin



Prior

Doncaster






Prior




Doncaster




Prior


Doncaster

Prior



Doncaster






















Prior


       [Enter, calling the Frier, as afore.

The Frier, the Frier?

Why, where's this Frier?     [Enter Frier.

Here, sir. What is your desire?

       [Enter Robin Hoode.

Why, Frier, what a murren dost thou meane?
The King cals for thee. For, a mightie stagge,
That hath a copper ring about his necke,
With letters on it, which hee would have read,
Hath Scarlet kild, I pray thee goe thy way.

Master, I will; no longer will I stay.     [Exit.

Good unkle, be more carefull of your health,
And you, Sir Doncaster, your wounds are greene.

Through your great kindnes, we are comforted.

And, Warman, I advise you to more mirth.
Shun solitary walkes, keepe company,
Forget your fault: I have forgiven the fault.
Good Warman be more blithe, and at this time,
A little helpe my Marian and her maide.
Much shall come to you straight. A little now,
We must al strive to doe the best we may.     [Exit winding.

On you and her Ile waite, untill my dying day.

       [Exeunt, and as they are going out, Doncaster puls
       Warman.

Warman, a word. My good Lord Prior and I
Are full of griefe, to see thy misery.

My misery, Sir Doncaster? Why, I thanke God,
I never was in better state than now.

Why, what a servile slavish minde hast thou?
Art thou a man, and canst be such a beast,
Asse-like to beare the burthen of thy wrong?

What wrong have I? Ist wrong to be reliev'd?

Reliev'd saist thou?
Why, shallow witted foole,
Dost thou not see Robins ambitious pride?
And how he clymes by pittying, and aspires,
By humble lookes, good deedes, and such fond toyes,
To be a monarch, raigning over us,
As if wee were the vassals to his will?

I am his vassall, and I will be still.

Warman, thou art a foole. I doe confesse,
Were these good deedes done in sinceritie,
Pittie of mine, thine or this knights distresse,
Without vaine brags, it were true charitie;
But to relieve our fainting bodies wants,
And grieve our soules with quippes, and bitter braids,
Is good turnes overturnd. No thanks wee owe
To any, whatsoever helps us so.

Neither himselfe, nor any that hee keepes,
Ever upbraided mee, since I came last.

O God have mercie on thee, silly asse.
Doth he not say to every gueste that comes:
"This same is Warman, that was once my steward?"

And what of that?

Ist not as much to say:
"Why, here he stands that once did mee betray?"

Did hee not bring a troope to grace himselfe,
Like captives waiting on a conquerours chaire,
And calling of them out, by one and one,
Presented them, like fairings, to the king?

O, I; there was a rare invention.
A plague upon the foole.
I hate him worse for that than all the rest.

Why should you hate him? Why should you or you
Envie this noble Lord, thus as you doe?

Nay rather, why dost thou not joyne in hate
With us, that lately liv'dst like us, in wealthy state?
Remember this, remember foolish man,
How thou hast bene the Shrieve of Notingham.

Cry to thy thoughts, let this thought never cease,
I have bene Justice of my Soveraignes Peace,
Lord of faire livings; men with cap and knee,
In liveries waited howerly on mee.

And when thou thinkst, thou hast bene such and such,
Thinke then what tis to be a mate to Much,
To runne when Robin bids, come at his call,
Be mistresse Marians man.

Nay thinke withall.

What shall I thinke? but thinke upon my need,
When men fed dogs, and me they would not feede,
When I despaird through want, and sought to die,
My pitious master, of his charitie,
Forgave my fault, reliev'd and saved mee.
This doe I thinke upon, and you should thinke,
If you had hope of soules salvation,
First, Prior, that he is of thy flesh and bloode,
That thou art unkle unto Robin Hoode,
That by extortion thou didst his lands.
God and I know how it came to thy hands,
How thou pursu'dst him in his misery,
And how heaven plagu'd thy hearts extreamitie.
Thinke, Doncaster, when, hired by this Prior,
Thou cam'st to take my master with the Frier,
And wert thyselfe tane, how he set thee free,
Gave thee an hundred pound to comfort thee,
And both bethinke yee how but yesterday,
Wounded and naked in the fielde you lay,
How with his owne hand he did raise your heads,
Powrd balme into your wounds, your bodies fed,
Watcht when yee slept, wept when he sawe your woe.

Stay Warman, stay. I grant that he did so,
And you, turnd honest, have forsworne the villainé?

Even from my soule, I villany defie.

A blessed hower, a fit time now to die!

And you shall, Conscience.     [Stab him, he fals.

O forgive mee, God,
And save my master from their bloodie hands.

What, hast thou made him sure?

Its deade sure: he is dead, if that be sure.

Then let us thrust the dagger in his hand,
And when the next comes, cry he kild himselfe.

That must be now. Yonder comes Robin Hood.
No life in him.

No, no, not any life.     [Enter Robin.
Three mortall wounds have let in piercing ayre,
And at their gaps, his life is cleane let out.

Who is it, uncle, that you so bemone?

Warman, good nephew, whom Sir Doncaster and I
Found freshly bleeding, as he now doth lye.
You were scarce gone, when he did stab himselfe.

O God, he in his own hand houlds his own harts hurt;
I dreaded too much his distressed looke.
Belike the wretch despaird and slewe himselfe.

Nay, thats most sure, yet he had little reason,
Considering how well you used him.

Well, I am sorie; but must not be sad,
Because the King is comming to my bower.
Helpe mee, I pray thee, to remoove his bodie,
Least he should come and see him murdered.
Sometime anone he shall be buried.     [Exeunt Robin, Doncaster, with body.

Good, all is good. This is as I desire.
Now for a face of pure hypocrisie.
Sweete murder, cloath thee in religious weedes,
Raigne in my bosome, that with helpe of thee,
I may effect this Robins Tragedie.

       [Enter Robin, Doncaster.

Nay, nay, you must not take this thing so heavily.

A bodies losse, Sir Doncaster, is much;
But a soules, too, is more to be bemon'd.

Truly I wonder at your vertuous minde.
O God, to one so kinde, who'ud be unkinde!
Let goe this griefe, now must you put on joy,
And for the many favours I have found,
So much exceeding all conceipt of mine,
Unto your cheere, Ile adde a pretious drinke,
Of colour rich, and red, sent mee from Rome.
There's in it Moly, Syrian Balsamum,
Golds rich Elixir--O tis pretious!

Where it is uncle?

As yesterday,
Sir Doncaster and I rid on our way,
Theeves did beset us, bound us as you saw;
And, among other things, did take from mee
This rich confection. But regardlesly,
As common drinke, they cast, into a bush,
The bottle, which this day Sir Doncaster
Fetcht, and hath left it in the inner lodging.
I tell you, cosin (I doe love you well),
A pint of this ransomde the Sophies sonne,
When he was taken in Natolia.
I meant indeede to give it my liege lord,
In hope to have his favour; but to you
I put myselfe, be my good friend,
And, in your owne restoring, mee restore.

Unkle, I will. You neede urge that no more.
But whats the vertues of this pretious drinke?

It keepes fresh youth, restores diseased sight,
Helps natures weakenesse, smothes the scars of wounds,
And cooles the intrals with a balmie breath,
When they by thirst or travell boyle with heate.

Unkle, I thanke you, pray you let me have
A cuppe prepared, gainst the King comes in,
To coole his heate. Myselfe will give it him.

And when he drinkes, be bold to say he drinkes
A richer draught than that dissolved pearle
Which Cleopatra dranke to Antonie.

I have much businesse; let it be your charge
To make this rich draught readie for the King,
And I will quit it, pray yee doe not faile.     [Exit.

I warrant you, good nephew.

Better, and better still.
We thought before but to have poysond him,
And now shall Robin Hoode destroy the King.
Even when the King, the Queen, the Prince, the Lords
Joy in his vertues, this supposed vice
Will turne to sharpe hate their exceeding love.

Ha, ha, ha, I cannot chuse but laugh,
To see my cosin cosend in this sort.
Faile him quoth you? Nay hang mee if I doe.
But, Doncaster, art sure the poysons are well mixt?

Tut, tut, let me alone for poysoning.
I have alreadie turnd ore foure or five
That angerd mee. But tell mee Prior,
Wherefore so deadly dost thou hate thy cosin?

Shall I be plaine? Because if he were deade,
I should be made the Earle of Huntington.

A prettie cause. But thou a church-man art.

Tut, man, if that would fall,
Ile have a dispensation, and turne temporall.
But tell mee, Doncaster, why dost thou hate him?

By the Masse, I cannot tel. O yes, now I ha't.
I hate thy cousin, Earle of Huntington,
Because so many love him as there doe,
And I myselfe am loved of so fewe.
Nay, I have other reasons for my hate;
Hee is a foole, and will be reconcilde
To anie foe hee hath; he is too milde,
Too honest for this world, fitter for heaven.
Hee will not kill these greedie cormorants,
Nor strippe base pesants of the wealth they have;
He does abuse a thieves name and an outlawes,
And is indeede no outlawe, nor no theefe--
He is unworthy of such reverent names.
Besides, he keepes a paltry whinling girle,
And will not bed, forsooth, before he bride.
Ile stand too't, he abuses maidenhead,
That will not take it, being offered,
Hinders the common wealth of able men.
Another thing I hate him for againe:
He saies his prayers, fasts eves, gives alms, does good.
For these and such like crimes, sweares Doncaster
To worke the speedie death of Robin Hoode.

Well said, yfaith. Harke, hark, the King returns.
To doe this deede, my heart like fuel burns.     [Exeunt.





(see note)





pestilence; (see note)
(see note)
(see note)







































tricks







(see note)










(see note)










gifts from a fair; (see note)

Oh, indeed




(see note)









hourly

















possessed





taken




Poured



villainy





(see note)














(see note)



















(see note)
(see note)



















precious
(see note)
(see note)
(see note)







without regard



(see note)
ransomed; (see note)
(see note)

(see note)












before



(see note)




















you can rely on me
murdered









secular


(see note)

(see note)

(see note)



rapacious persons; (see note)


(see note)

whining












Scene IIII
 
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Frier




Queene


Chester

John



King








Both

Much









King


Much


John

Frier


King





Fitzwater







King

Chester



King




John



King

Frier



King

Frier













King

Frier






King




Robin





Frier

Robin


Queene

Frier





John





Frier

Robin



King


Robin




King


Robin

Frier

       [Windehornes. Enter King, Queene, John, Fitzwater,
       Ely, Chester, Salsbury, Lester, Little John, Frier Tuck, Scar-
       let, Scathlocke, and Much. Frier Tuck carrying a stags
       head, dauncing.


Gramercy, Frier, for thy glee,
Thou greatly hast contented mee,
What with thy sporting and thy game,
I sweare I highly pleased am.

It was my masters whole desire
That maiden, yeoman, swaine and frier
Their arts and wits should all apply,
For pleasure of your Majestie.

Sonne Richard, looke I pray you on the ring
That was about the necke of the last stagge.

Was his name Scarlet, that shot off his necke?

Chester, it was this honest fellow Scarlet.
This is the fellowe, and a yeoman bold,
As ever courst the swift hart on the molde.

Frier, heres somewhat grav'd upon the ring,
I pray thee reade it. Meanewhile list to mee.

       [This while, most compassing the Frier about the ring.

Scarlet and Scathlock, you bold bretheren,
Twelve pence a day I give each for his fee,
And henceforth see yee live like honest men.

We will, my Liege, else let us dye the death.

A boone, a boone, upon my knee,
Good King Richard, I begge of thee.
For indeede, sir, the troth is, Much is my father, and hee
is one of your tenants in Kings Mill at Wakefield all on
a greene. O there dwelleth a jolly pinder, at Wake-
field all on a greene. Now I would have you, if you wil
doe so much for mee, to set mee forward in the way of
marriage to Jinny: the mill would not be cast away upon
us.

Much, be thou ever master of that mill;
I give it thee for thin inheritance.

Thanks, pretious Prince of curtesie.
Ile to Jinny and tell her of my lands yfaith.     [Exit.

Here, Frier, here, here it begins.

[reads]: "When Harold hare-foote raigned king,
About my necke he put this ring."

In Harolds time, more than a hundred yeare,
Hath this ring bene about his newe slaine deere!
I am sory now it dyde; but let the same
Head, ring and all be sent to Notingham,
And in the castle kept for monuments.

My Leige, I heard an olde tale long agoe,
That Harold being Goodwins sonne of Kent,
When he had got faire Englands government,
Hunted for pleasure once within this wood,
And singled out a faire and stately stagge,
Which, foote to foote, the king in running caught.
And sure this was the stagge.

It was no doubt.

But some, my Lord, affirme
That Julius Caesar, many yeares before,
Tooke such a stag, and such a poesie writ.

It should not be in Julius Caesars time:
There was no English bred in this land,
Untill the Saxons came, and this is writ
In Saxon characters.

Well, 'twas a goodly beast.

       [Enter Robin Hoode.

How now Earle Robert?

A forfet, a forfet, my liege Lord.
My masters lawes are on record;
The Court-roll here your Grace may see.

I pray thee, Frier, read them mee.

One shall suffice, and this is hee.
No man that commeth in this wod
To feast or dwell with Robin Hood
Shall call him Earle, Lord, Knight, or Squire;
He no such titles doth desire,
But Robin Hood, plaine Robin Hoode,
That honest yeoman stout and good,
On paine of forfetting a marke,
That must be paid to me his clarke.
My liege, my liege, this lawe you broke,
Almost in the last word you spoke.
That crime may not acquited bee,
Till Frier Tuck receive his fee.     [Casts him purse.

Theres more than twenty marks, mad Frier.

If thus you pay the clarke his hire,
Oft may you forfet, I desire.
You are a perfect penitent,
And well you doe your wrong repent.
For this your Highnesse liberall gift,
I here absolve you without shrift.

Gramercies, Frier. Now, Robin Hood,
Sith Robin Hood it needes must bee,
I was about to aske before
If thou didst see the great stags fall.

I did my Lord, I sawe it all.
But missing this same prating Frier,
And hearing you so much desire
To have the lozels companie,
I went to seeke small honestie.

But you found much, when you found mee.

I, Much my man, but a jot
Of honestie in thee, God wot.

Robin, you doe abuse the Frier.

Madam, I dare not call him lyer;
He may be bold with mee, he knowes.
How now, Prince John, how goes, how goes
This wod-mans life with you today?
My fellow Wodnet you would bee.

I am thy fellowe, thou dost see.
And to be plaine, as God me save,
So well I like thee, merry knave,
That I thy company must have.
Nay, and I will.

Nay, and you shall.

My Lord, you neede not feare at all,
But you shall have his company,
He will be bold I warrant yee.

Know you where ere a spring is nie?
Faine would I drink, I am right dry.

I have a drinke within my bower,
Of pleasing taste and soveraigne power.
My reverend uncle gives it mee
To give unto your Majestie.

I would be loath indeede, being in heate,
To drinke cold water. Let us to thy bower.

Runne Frier before, and bid my unkle be in readines.

Gon with a trice, on such good business.     [Exeunt omnes.






song
















pursued; earth












(see note)



(see note)























(see note)












(see note)
























accountant







wage




confession









fool's




only
knows



















(see note)














(see note)

Scene V
 






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Marian

Much

Marian




Jinny

Marian

Much


Marian



Much

Marian


Jinny





Marian







Doncaster


Prior


Marian



Prior





Frier

Doncaster

Frier

Prior

Frier





Prior






Marian


King


Marian




King





Robin

Frier

Much

King

Robin



King


Robin


Marian



Robin


King

Robin


Fitzwater


Robin

King

Robin

Queene


Doncaster









Marian




Robin


Queene

Robin

King

Robin



Marian

John

Robin


Fitzwater


Doncaster


King

Doncaster

Chester



King

Chester





























Queene


Doncaster









Queene



King

Fitzwater

Chester



Richard

Salsbury






Doncaster





King



Doncaster


Ely


Doncaster

Ely


Doncaster



Prior






Doncaster


Prior










Doncaster



Fitzwater







Prior





All




Robin




Prior


Robin






Prior









Robin



King





Prior
















Doncaster

Prior

King




Doncaster



John


Robin


King










Robin


























Queene


John








Robin









Matilda




Robin


Fitzwater


Robin






















Matilda


Fitzwater


King















Frier

















Frier






Chester







Frier






       [Enter Marian, with a white apron.

What, Much? What, Jinny? Much? I say.     [Enter Much.

Whats the matter, mistresse?

I pray thee see the fueller
Suffer the cooke to want no wodde.
Good Lord, where is this idle girle?
Why, Jinny?

[within]     I come, forsooth.

I pray thee bring the flowers forth.

Ile goe send her mistres, and help the cookes, if
they have any neede.     [Exit Much.

Dispatch, good Much. What, Jin, I say?

       [Enter Jinny.

Hie thee, hie thee: she cals for life.

Indeede, indeede, you doe me wrong,
To let me cry and call so long.

Forsooth, I strawed the dining bowers
And smoth'd the walkes with hearbes and flowers,
The yeomens tables I have I have spied,
Drest salts, laid trenchers, set on bread--
Nay all is well, I warrant you.

You are not well, I promise you,
Your forsleeves are not pind (fie, fie)
And all your hed-geere stands awry.
Give me the flowers. Goe in for shame,
And quickly see you mend the same.     [Exit Jinny.

       [Marian strewing flowers. Enter Sir Doncaster, Prior.

How busie mistresse Marian is?
She thinkes this is her day of blisse.

But it shall be the wofull'st day
That ever chancst her, if I may.

Why are you two thus in the ayre?
Your wounds are greene,
Good cuz, have care.

Thanks for your kindnesse, gentle maid.
My cosin Robert us hath praid
To helpe him in this businesse.

       [Enter Frier.

Sir Doncaster, Sir Doncaster?

Holla.

I pray you, did you see the Prior?

Why, here I am. What wouldst thou, Frier?

The King is heated in the chace,
And posteth hitherward apace.
He told my master he was dry,
And hee desires ye presently
To send the drinke whereof ye spake.     [Hornes blowe.

Come, it is here; haste let us make.

       [Exeunt Prior, Doncaster, and Frier.

       [Enter King, John, Queene, Scarlet, Scathlocke, Ely, Fitz-
       water, Salsbury, Chester. Marian kneeles downe.

Most gratious Soveraigne, welcome once again.
Welcome to you and all your princely traine.

Thanks, lovely hostesse; we are homely guests.
Wheres Robin Hood? He promised me some drinke.

Your handmaid. Robin will not then be long.
The Frier indeede came running to his unkle,
Who with Sir Doncaster were here with mee,
And altogether went for such a drinke.

Well, in a better time it could not come,
For I am very hot and passing dry.

       [Enter Robin Hoode, a cuppe, a towell, leading Doncaster.
       Tuck, and Much pulling the Prior.]

Traitor, Ile draw thee out before the King.

Come, murderous Prior.

Come yee, dogges face.

Why, how now Robin? Wheres the drink you bring?

Lay holde on these.
Farre be it I should bring your Majestie,
The drinke these two prepared for your taste.

Why, Robin Hoode, be briefe and answere mee.
I am amazed at thy troubled lookes.

Long will not my ill lookes amaze your Grace.
I shortly looke, never to looke againe.

Never to looke? What will it still be night?
If thou looke never, day can never be.
What ailes my Robin? Wherefore dost thou faint?

Because I cannot stand; yet now I can.     [King and Marian support him.
Thanks to my King, and thanks to Marian.

Robin, be briefe, and tell us what hath chanst?

I must be briefe, for I am sure of death,
Before a long tale can be halfeway tolde.

Of death, my sonne, bright sunne of all my joy?
Death cannot have the power of vertuous life.

Not of the vertues, but the life it can.

What dost thou speak of death? How shouldst thou die?

By poison and the Priors treachery.

Why, take this soveraigne pouder at my hands,
Take it and live in spite of poysons power.

I, set him forward. Powders, quoth ye? Hah,
I am a foole then, if a little dust,
The shaving of a horne, a Bezars stone,
Or any antidote have power to stay
The execution of my hearts resolve.
Tut, tut, you labour, lovely Queene, in vaine,
And on a thanklesse groome your toyle bestowe.
Now hath your foe reveng'd you of your foe;
Robin shall die, if all the world sayd no.

How the wolfe howles! Fly like a tender kid
Into thy sheepeheards bosome. Shield mee love.
Canst thou not, Robin? Where shall I be hid?
O God, these ravens will seaze upon thy dove.

They cannot hurt thee, pray thee do not feare,
Base curres will couch, the Lyon being neare.

How workes my powder?

Very well, faire Queene.

Dost thou feele any ease?

I shall, I trust, anone:
Sleepe fals upon mine eyes.
O I must sleepe, and they that love me, do not waken me.

Sleepe in my lap, and I will sing to thee.

He should not sleepe.

I must, for I must die.
While I live therfore let me have some rest.

I, let him rest; the poyson urges sleepe.
When he awakes, there is no hope of life.

Of life? Now by the little time I have to live,
He cannot live one hower for your lives.

Villaine, what art thou?

Why, I am a knight.

Thou wert indeede.
If it so please your Grace,
I will describe my knowledge of this wretch.

Doe, Chester.

This Doncaster, for so the fellon hight,
Was, by the king your father, made a knight,
And well in armes he did himselfe behave.
Many a bitter storme, the winde of rage
Blasted this realme with, in those woful daies,
When the unnaturall fights continued,
Betweene your kingly father and his sonnes.
This cut-throat, knighted in that time of woe,
Seaz'd on a beautious nunne at Barkhamsted
As wee were marching toward Winchester
After proud Lincolne was compeld to yield;
Hee tooke this virgine straying in the field,
For all the nunnes and every covent fled
The daungers that attended on our troopes.
For those sad times too oft did testifie,
Wars rage hath no regard of pietie.
She humbly praid him, for the love of heaven,
To guid her to her fathers, two miles thence.
He swore he would, and very well he might,
For to the campe he was a forager.
Upon the way they came into a wood,
Wherein, in briefe, he stript this tender maid
Whose lust, when she in vaine had long withstood,
Being by strength and torments overlaid,
He did a sacrilegious deede of rape
And left her bath'd in her owne teares and blood.
When she reviv'd, she to her fathers got,
And got her father to make just complaint
Unto your mother, being then in campe.

Is this the villaine Chester, that defilde
Sir Eustace Stutuiles chast and beautious childe?

I, Madam, this is hee,
That made a wench daunce naked in a wood;
And for shee did denie what I desirde,
I scourg'd her for her pride till her faire skinne
With stripes was checkred like a vintners grate.
And what was this? A mighty matter sure.
I have a thousand more than she defilde,
And cut the squeaking throats of some of them:
I grieve I did not hirs.

Punish him, Richard.
A fairer virgine never sawe the sunne.
A chaster maid was never sworne a nunne.

How scap't the villaine punishment, that time?

I rent his spurres off, and disgraded him.

And then he raild upon the Queene and mee.
Being committed, he his keeper slue,
And to your father fled, who pardond him.

God give his soule a pardon for that sinne.

O had I heard his name, or seene his face,
I had defended Robin from this chance.
Ah villaine, shut those gloomy lights of thine,
Remembrest thou a little sonne of mine,
Whose nurse at Wilton first thou ravishedst
And slew'st two maids that did attend on them?

I grant, I dasht the braines out of a brat,
Thine if he were, I care not; had he bin
The first borne comfort of a royall king,
And should have yald when Doncaster cried peace,
I would have done by him as then I did.

Soone shall the world be rid of such a wretch.
Let him be hangd alive, in the high way that joyneth to
the bower.

Alive or deade, I reck not how I die.
You, them, and these, I desperately defie.

Repent, or never looke to be absolv'd,
But die accurst as thou deservest well.

Then give me my desert; curse one by one.

First I accurse thee, and, if thou persist,
Unto damnation leave thee wretched man.

What doe I care for your damnation?
Am I not doom'd to death? What more damnation
Can there insue your loud and yelling cryes?

Yes divell. Heare thy fellowe spirit speake,
Who would repent. O faine he would repent.
After this bodies bitter punishment,
There is an ever-during endlesse woe,
A quenchlesse fire, and unconsuming paine,
Which desperate soules and bodies must indure.

Can you preach this, yet set me on, Sir Prior,
To runne into this endlesse, quenchlesse fier?

High heavens, shewe mercie to my many ils.
Never had this bene done, but like a fiend,
Thou temptedst me with ceaselesse divelish thoughts.
Therefore I curse, with bitternesse of soule,
The hower wherein I saw thy balefull eyes.
My eyes I curse, for looking on those eyes.
My eares I curse, for harkning to thy tongue.
I curse thy tongue for tempting of myne eares,
Each part I curse, that wee call thine or mine:
Thine for enticing mine, mine following thine.

A holy prayer. What collect have we next?

       [This time Robin stirres.

My Marian wanteth words, such is her woe;
But old Fitzwater for his girle and him
Begs nothing, but worlds plague for such a foe,
Which causelesse harmd a vertuous noble man,
A pitier of his griefes, when he felt griefe.
Therefore bethinke thee of thy hatefull deede,
Thou faithlesse Prior, and thou this ruthlesse theefe.

Will no man curse me, giving so much cause?
Then, Doncaster, ourselves ourselves accurse,
And let no good betide to thee or mee.

       [All the yeomen, Frier, Much, Jinny cry.

Amen, amen: accursed may ye bee,
For murdring Robin, flower of curtesie.

       [Robin sits up.

O ring not such a peale for Robins death;
Let sweete forgivenesse be my passing bell.
Art thou there, Marian? Then fly forth my breath.
To die within thy armes contents me well.

Keepe in, keepe in a little while thy soule,
Till I have powr'd my soule forth at thy feete.

I slept not, unkle; I your griefe did hear.
Let Him forgive your soule that bought it deare.
Your bodies deede, I in my death forgive,
And humbly begge the King that you may live.
Stand to your cleargie, unkle, save your life,
And lead a better life than you have done.

O gentle nephew, ah my brothers sonne,
Thou dying glory of old Huntington,
Wishest thou life to such a murdrous foe?
I will not live, sith thou must life forgoe.
O happie Warman, blessed in thy end,
Now too too late thy truth I doe commend.
O nephew, nephew, Doncaster and I
Murdred poore Warman, for he did denie
To joyne with us in this blacke tragedy.

Alas, poore Warman. Frier, Little John,
I told ye both where Warmans bodie lay.
And of his buriall Ile dispose anone.

Is there no lawe, Lord Ely, to convict
This Prior, that confesseth murders thus?

He is a hallowed man and must be tried
And punisht by the censure of the Church.

The Church therin doth erre: God doth allowe
No canon to preserve a murderers life.
Richard, King Richard, in thy grandsires daies,
A law was made, the Cleargie sworne thereto,
That whatsoever Church-man did commit
Treason, or murder, or false felonie,
Should like a seculer be punished.
Treason we did, for sure we did intend
King Richards poisoning, soveraigne of this land.
Murder we did in working Warmans end,
And my deare nephewes, by this fatall hand,
And theft we did, for we have robd the King,
The state, the nobles, commons, and his men,
Of a true peere, firme piller, liberall lord.
Fitzwater we have robd of a kinde sonne,
And Marians love-joyes we have quite undoone.

Whoppe, what a coyle is here with your confession?

I aske but judgement for my foule transgression.

Thy own mouth hath condemned thee.
Hence with him.
Hang this man dead, then see him buried;
But let the other hang alive in chaines.

I thank you, sir.

       [Exeunt yeomen, Frier, prisoners, Much.

Myselfe will goe, my Lord,
And see sharpe justice done upon these slaves.

O goe not hence, Prince John. A word or two
Before I die I faine would say to you.

Robin, wee see what we are sad to see,
Death like a champion treading downe thy life.
Yet in thy end somwhat to comfort thee,
Wee freely give to thy betrothed wife,
Beautious and chast Matilda, all those lands,
Falne by thy folly, to the Priors hands,
And by his fault now forfetted to mee.
Earle Huntington, she shall thy Countesse bee,
And thy wight yeomen, they shall wend with mee,
Against the faithlesse enemies of Christ.

Bring forth a beere, and cover it with greene,

       [A beere is brought in.

That on my death-bed I may here sit downe.

       [Beere brought, he sits.

At Robins buriall let no blacke be seene,
Let no hand give for him a mourning gowne:
For in his death, his King hath given him life,
By this large gift, given to his maiden wife.
Chaist Maid Marilda, Countess of account,
Chase, with thy bright eyes, all these clouds of woe
From these faire cheekes, I pray thee sweete do so.
Thinke it is bootelesse folly to complaine,
For that which never can be had againe.
Queene Elianor, you once were Matilds foe;
Prince John, you long sought her unlawfull love;
Let dying Robin Hood intreat you both,
To change those passions: Madame, turne your hate,
To princely love; Prince John, convert your love
To vertuous passions, chast and moderate.
O that your gratious right hands would infolde,
Matildas right hand, prisoned in my palme,
And sweare to doe what Robin Hood desires.

I sweare I will, I will a mother be,
To faire Matildas life and chastitie.

When John solicites chaste Matildaes eares
With lawlesse sutes, as he hath often done,
Or offers to the altars of her eyes,
Lascivious poems, stuft with vanities,
He craves to see but short and sower daies,
His death be like to Robins he desires,
His perjur'd body prove a poysoned prey,
For cowled monkes, and barefoote begging friers.

Inough, inough. Fitzwater, take your child.
My dying frost which no sunnes heat can thawe
Closes the powers of all my outward parts;
My freezing blood runnes backe unto my heart,
Where it assists death, which it would resist.
Only my love a little hinders death.
For he beholds her eyes and cannot smite.
Then goe not yet, Matilda, stay a while.
Frier, make speede, and list my latest will.

O let mee looke forever in thy eyes,
And lay my warme breath to thy bloodlesse lips,
If my sight can restraine deaths tyrannies,
Or keepe lives breath within thy bosome lockt.

Away, away,
Forbeare, my love; all this is but delay.

Come, maiden daughter, from my maiden sonne,
And give him leave to doe what must be done.

First I bequeath my soule to all soules Saver,
And will my bodie to be buried
At Wakefield, underneath the abbey wall.
And in this order make my funerall:
When I am dead, stretch me upon this beere,
My beades and primer shall my pillowe bee;
On this side lay my bowe, my good shafts here,
Upon my brest the crosse, and underneath
My trustie sworde, thus fastned in the sheath.
Let Warmans bodie at my feete be laid,
Poore Warman, that in my defence did die;
For holy dirges, sing me wodmens songs
As ye to Wakefield walke, with voices shrill.
This for myselfe. My goods and plate I give
Among my yeomen; them I doe bestowe
Upon my Soveraigne, Richard. This is all.
My liege farewell, my love, farewell, farewell.
Farewell, faire Queene, Prince John and noble lords.
Father Fitzwater, heartily adieu,
Adieu, my yeomen tall.
Matilda, close mine eyes.
Frier farewell, farewell to all.

O must my hands with envious death conspire,
To shut the morning gates of my lives light?

It is a duetie, and thy loves desire,
Ile helpe thee girle to close up Robins sight.

Laments are bootelesse, teares cannot restore
Lost life. Matilda, therefore weepe no more.
And since our mirth is turned into mone,
Our merry sport, to tragick funerall,
Wee will prepare our power for Austria,
After Earle Roberts timelesse buriall.
Fall to your wod-songs therefore, yeoman bold,
And deck his herse with flowers, that lov'd you deare,
Dispose his goods as hee hath them dispos'd.
Fitzwater and Matilda, bide you here.
See you the bodie unto Wakefield borne,
A little wee will beare yee company,
But all of us at London point to meete.
Thither, Fitzwater, bring Earle Robins men:
And Frier, see you come along with them.

Ah, my liege Lord, the Frier faints,
And hath no words to make complaints;
But since he must forsake this place,
He will awaite, and thanks, your Grace.

Song: Weepe, weepe, ye wod-men waile,
     Your hands with sorrow wring:
     Your master Robin Hood lies deade,
     Therefore sigh as you sing.
Here lies his primer and his beades,
His bent bowe and his arrowes keene,
His good sworde and his holy crosse,
Now cast on flowers fresh and greene:
     And as they fall, shed teares and say,
     Wella, wella day, wella, wella day;
     Thus cast yee flowers and sing,
     And on to Wakefield take your way.     [Exeunt all except Frier.

Here dothe the Frier leave with grievance.
Robin is deade, that grac't his entrance;
And being dead he craves his audience,
With this short play, they would have patience.

       [Enter Chester.

Nay, Fryer, at request of thy kinde friend,
Let not thy Play so soone be at an end.
Though Robin Hoode be deade, his yeomen gone,
And that thou thinkst there now remaines not one,
To act an other Sceane or two for thee;
Yet knowe full well, to please this company,
We meane to end Matildaes Tragedie.

Off then, I with you, with your Kendall greene:
Let not sad griefe in fresh aray be seene.
Matildaes storie is repleat with teares,
Wrongs, desolations, ruins, deadly feares.
In, and attire yee. Though I tired be,
Yet will I tell my mistresse Tragedie.



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Hurry



Hasten




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chase







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exceedingly

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expose you





















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Aye

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even if

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slew



















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devil













hour






offering























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poured





Claim benefit of clergy



















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stout
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bier











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stuffed
sour

























Saviour


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rosary; prayer book




















duty




moan


untimely
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prayer book






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[As Friar Tuck announces the woes to follow, Chorus (played perhaps by Chester, who must have exited after line 872), appears in black. Tuck says we must "suppose king Richard now is deade, / And John, resistlesse [i.e., without resistence], is faire Englands Lord" (lines 903-04). Chorus introduces a dumb show which reveals three dreams of the sleeping King John: Austria appears, tempting him to add to his kingdom by conquest, but the king puts by Ambition. Constance (wife of Geoffrey, Henry II's third son, who was John's older brother) then appears (line 937) leading her young son Arthur, Duke of Brittany; both seek the crown but King John's foot "overturneth them" (line 938). Next, Insurrection, led by the French King and Lord Hugh le Brun, brings the child Arthur back to menace the king; this time when the king's foot overthrows Arthur he is taken up dead (line 943) and Insurrection flees. In the third dumb show/dream Queen Isabel (John's second wife), with her two children (the Princes Henry and Richard), wrings her hands while John turns his attention to chaste Matilda in mourning veil. Smitten by love, John resumes his "sutes, devices, practices and threats: / And when he sees all serveth to no end, / Of chaste Matilda let him make an end" (lines 891-93). During the next 2100 lines Matilda never yields to his pressure, takes refuge in a convent, but ultimately is poisoned by Brand, one of John's agents. The dying Matilda forgives her executioner, who, in remorse, confesses to having slain a hundred "with mine owne hands" (line 2621), including Lady Bruce and her young son George at Windsor Castle (lines 2622-23). Brand, stunned by Matilda's virtuous behavior at her death, escapes during the confusion and, Judas-like, hangs himself with his own garters in a tree. The branch breaks and his "bones and flesh / lie gasht together in a poole of bloode" (lines 2694-95). Bruce, who arrives too late to save his mother and brother, seizes Windsor Castle, and the barons confront King John, knowing that King Louis of France has landed in England to support their cause against the king. But they will not serve Louis: "can noble English hearts beare the French yoke?" (line 2998). When Queen Isabel, who sides with the rebel barons, allows that they know not the French king's nature--he may be worse than John--Bruce makes peace with John, who, having learned of Matilda's death, is now deeply repentent (lines 878–3033):]
 


3035







3040





3045





3050   





Bruse

King John







Queene

King John















Of Windsor Castle here the keyes I yield.

Thanks, Bruse. Forgive mee, and I pray thee see
Thy mother and thy brother buried.

       [Bruse offers to kisse [the dead] Matilda.

In Windsor Castle Church, doe kisse her cheeke.
Weepe thou on that, on this side I will weepe.

Chaste virgine, thus I crowne thee with these flowers.

Let us goe on to Dunmow with this maid;
Among the hallowed nunnes let her be laide.
Unto her tombe, a monthly pilgrimage
Doth King John vowe in penance for this wrong.
Goe forward maids; on with Matildaes herse,
And on her toombe see you ingrave this verse:
     Within this marble monument, doth lye
     Matilda martyrde for her chastitie.     [Exeunt.

Epilogus.

Thus is Matildaes story showne in act.
And rough heawen out by an uncunning hand,
Being of the most materiall points compackt,
That with the certainst state of truth doe stand.

FINIS.

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Go to Robin Hood and His Crew of Souldiers: Introduction