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Robin Hood; or, The Forester's Fate!

This text was transcribed and edited by Makenna Poindexter (Ball State University, Class of 2023), with the support and guidance of Dr. Alexander Kaufman (Ball State University). For full formatting, please see the PDF version.








An Extravaganza.






F. C. BURNAND, Esq.,

Author of

Dido, Romance under Difficulties, In for a Holiday, Lord Lovel and Nancy Bell, Villikins and Dinah, King of the Merrows, Deerfoot, Fair Rosamond.

Part Author of

Isle of St. Tropez, Turkish Bath, “B.B.,” &c., &c.










First Performance at the Royal Olympic Theatre, on the 26th day of December, 1862,

(under the management of Messrs. F. Robson and W. S. Emden),



The Overturn and Music arranged and composed expressly by Mr. J. H. Tully. The Dances and Action arranged by M. Milano. The new Scenery by Mr. Telbin. The last Scene by Mr. Danson.


QUEEN MAB (who I’m abby to say will appear in her Draytonian chariot)………………………………………………………………..

Miss Newham.

PUCK (a very puck-uliar little Sprite)…………………………………

Master Newham.

MAB’S “SPECIAL MAIDS OF HONOR,” Hop, Mop, Snip, Pip, Trip, Skip, Fib, Tip, Pinck, Pin, Tick, Quick, Jill, Jin, Tit, Nit, Wap, Win, (the Train that wait upon her) Misses Chambers, Davis, Hicks, Hayward, Blewitt, Loton, Lennox, Withers, Beckett, Ellar, Webb, Shavey, &c., &c.,…………………………………………………………...


ROBERT, EARL OF HUNTINGDON (who, Early in the piece, appears as a peer, and subsequently as Robin Hood………..

Miss Latimer

Her first appearance here.

SIR JOHN LITTLE (a friend of Earl Robert’s who accompanies him to Sherwood Forest as Little John; but as we are not writing with a little John-quil instead of a common pen, we can’t say anything more about him except that he is played by……………………….


Miss. M. Haydon.

SIR GILBERT DE MOUNTFLACON (a mellow-dramatic villain, ripe for anything, who might have been called Sir Guilt but he wasn’t; first cousin to the Earl of Huntongdon, and looking unkindly at kin, ‘s played by……………………………………..


Mr. Atkins

His first appearance here.

SHERRIF OF NOTTINGHAM (not the name Sherriff as the one in the Robin Hood ballads, as this is Sheriff of Not-in-em’—this character, being a She-riff, is played by………………………….

Mrs. W. S. Emden.

WILL SCARLET (Robert’s Tiger, and, as may be imagined from the name of Scarlet, a very reddy young man).....................................

Miss Raynham.

TUCK (Lady Clare’s Steward who, complaining of the place as too ’ard follows Robin Hood, and prepares out-of-door banquets for his band, by attending to his cool-an’-airy department, becomes a Fryer, and quite a wild g’rilla in the forest)………………………………………………………


Mr. Horace Wigan.

ALLAN-A-DALE (the Sheriff’s Officer, who is only like a barrister when you see him feed with numerous retainers)………………..

Mr. H. Cooper.

MUCH (who, as he is always grumbling, is considered to be the author of “Much ado about Nothing”[1])…………………………..

Mr. H. Rivers.

LADY CLARE (a very tall lady in one sense, but very “short” one in another; having an empty purse, she will be empty-purse-onated by)…………………………………………………………………

Mrs. St. Henry.

M5ARIAN (Lady Clare’s daughter, who will be recognized as Maid Marian of Sherwood Forest, considered among the archers as the Belle among the Bows, and played therefore as Hughesual by

Miss Hughes.

ALICE (the Sheriff’s daughter, who is far from being all cold by nature, although Al-ice by name; and who, when naughty having been told by her nurse to “A done, do!” is represented by)…….

Miss F. Haydon.

CLARIBELLE (Marian’s Waiting-Maid—a very pert and very purty creature)…………………………………………………………

Miss Conway.

DOROTHY (Nurse to Miss Alice, and, having a great affection for the bottle, holds her situation as a very dry nurse)……………..

Mrs. W. H. Stephens.

Noblemen, Duchesses, Double Duchesses (a host of Guests, each of whose names not being set down here must be guess’d). Huntingdon Retainers, (Menials of the House of Clare, who Clare the Kitchen, &c.) Rural Policemen, (instructed according to the New Game Laws). Soldiers, (Foot soldiers, who shout till they’re Hoarse Guards).




This ring is not the P.R., as will ap-pe-ar—Elves dancing by themselves—Queen Mab’s chariot drawn by gnats, a gnatty turn out—The Vision, and vish’un all sorts of happiness to Marian and Robin, we go on to


Chorus of duns, which being done, Sir Gilbert comes to woo, and so we pass on to a beautiful woo of


The Sheriff’s mean process—Old English games—The archery fete—The challenge—Arrival of Earl of Huntingdon—The plot—The arrest—The outlawry—The struggle of affection—Finding in a-faction fight


Nurse Dorothy comes in at the Door-o’-the room—The cat mews, and Robert appurrs—Alice and Marian agree to be the outlaw’s squaws,[2] and, assisted by Will Scarlet, join in a squawtette.[3] And so away to


The Outlaw’s home—“Uprouse ye then, my merry merry men”—mutiny about a-ration of food quelled by Tuck’s o-ration—The stump speech—“Robin Hood and the Friar”—Marian made Queen of Sherwood,


Robin carried away—swearing in volunteers—the band of robbers join in ban-itty—Grand operatic Chorus.


“He’s a Lunatic” —Robin twists straws round his neck; a-neck-strau-dinary proceeding—the Sheriff, struck by a heavy blow shows signs of turning king’s Heavy-dents—a mysterious stranger—’tisn’t the cowl that makes the monk—the monk is greeted with a cowl’d reception—agonizing scene, after which we arrive at


Mournful procession—Robin tied makes every one’s H’eye water—Robin plays a trump—blows to summon some on his men to blows—free pardon to Robin—Maid Merry-an and merry men—poetic justice is done to Sir Gilbert, and Sir Gilbert “does” poetic justice resulting in an AWFUL DENOUEMENT!



Assists at the Nuptials of the young Archer,
















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Introductory Scene.- Sherwood Forest. The fairy

       Ring by moonlight- Fairies and Pixies dancing and

       singing among the water lilies; Puck seated, c., on a

       mushroom, playing a pipe; Glow-worms with lamps.

Chorus of Fairies. Air, “Dana, the Elves of Night.”

Hop, Mop, Pip, and Trip,

Round about we skip;

In the moonbeam’s light

Dance the elves o’ night.

Music.Queen Mab appears, c., at back, drawn on in

       her carshe comes downthe Elves bend before her.

Queen M. Fays, rest awhile each noiseless toe and heel;

       Don’t let Queen Mab’s dance be a bâl Mab-ille.[4]

       This, you’ll remember, is St. Agnes’ night,[5]

       When sleeping maids are “fed with promised sight

       Of husbands and of lovers.” Say, what fair

       Has my Puck chosen for our special care.

Puck. My task is done, Queen Mab, as you directed,

       And Marian Clare’s the maid whom I’ve selected.

Queen M. To visit her in dreams, then I propose.

       Does she now sleep!

Puck.                                I rather think she doze.

Puck. (speaks through music) Ho! Robert, Earl of

                    Huntington, so dear

       To future bards as Robin Hood—appear!

            (Music. Scene at back opens, discovering a tableau

                 of Robin Hood and Maid Marian)

Queen M. (speaking through music) You, Puck, and

                  Fairies all who haunt this glade!

        (to Puck)  Earl Robert be your charge, (to Fairies)

                  And yours the maid.

                (Tableau.—Scene closes on dance of Fairies)


Scene First.—Corridor in Clare Castle.  Window

practicable, l.

Enter Tuck, followed by clamorous Tradesmen presenting

their little bills.

Chorus.“Fra Diavolo.[6]

Receipts we would be signing,

      And put the money in our tills.

We’ll put up with no more whining.

    Why don’t she pay our bills?


Enter Lady Clare, l., singing

Lady C. Now then, what have you all got to say?

Won’t go Home till Morning.”

Lady C.          They’ve found me at home in the morning.

Tradesmen.   We’ve found her at home in the morning.

Lady C.          I wish you would go away.

Tradesmen.   We’ll none of us go away.

Lady C. What’s this? (a Tradesman advances but is

prevented by Tuck)

Tuck.            Permit me, ma’am, the tradesmen come

       Holding their unpaid bills, and looking glum.

Lady C.  Well, by-and-bye—

Tuck.                                     An easy word to say,

       But who would buy and buy must pay and pay.

       The baker, here, on payment does insist, (looking at

                    long bill)

       For rolls—you must have had a precious twist.

                                                       (looking at another bill)      

       This for French bread, the petit pain[7] you took.

Lady C. (shuddering) It gives me quite a petit pang to look.

       Did you not tell them, that, if they but tarried

       Until our daughter Marian was married

       To the well-known Sir Gilbert de Montfalcon,

       Whose riches all folks in the country talk on,

       We’d pay their bills?

Baker.                                Then in that case we’ll drop

       Our claims pro tem,[8] and law proceedings stop.

Lady C. Go, steward, tell your housemaids, menials, pages,

       That they’ll be paid. I’ll not forget your wages;

       Of cash we soon may hope to have a fund,

       Now have they all quite done? (to Tuck)

Tuck.                                        Yes, ma’am, they’ve dunn’d.

Lady C. (aside to Tuck) Give them some liquor.

Tuck. (to Tradesmen)                  Friends we will repair

       Unto the cellar.

Tradesmen. (joyously) Long live Lady Clare!

                                           Exeunt Tuck and Tradesmen, r.

Lady C. Yes, it is difficult to cut a dash,

       Without the requisite amount of cash;

       I must give up these gems, I fear on one day,

       Sell diamonds on Black Monday[9]Dire Mon-day!


Enter Claribelle, l.

       Now, Claribelle, where is our Marian?

Clari.                                                           Coming;

       But now upon the stairs I heard her humming.


Marian sings without, then enters, l.

Marian. (after embracing Lady Clare) Ma, in such

                   Pleasant dreams the night has sped—

       My heart’s so light!

Lady C. (severely)         I think you mean your head.

       Dreams, child! What were they?

Clari.                                        Oh, miss don’t refuse

       To tell us of your sleep, the latest snooze.

SongMarian. —Air. —“Nel dolce incanto,”[10]

Sweet fairies came to

Say they were sent to

Guard me, and meant to

Tell me some more.

Puck was one’s name, too

Rapid he was to see

Dance on the floor,

Jumping in ecstasy,

All in his glory

Within an inch o’ me

On top the story,

He did not injure me

Sleeping on, for he

Laughed o’ver his wee physi-

-Ognomy fairy,

Jumping in ecstasy

On to a chair.


Clari. Sweet!

Lady C.           Hem! these fancies walking fact soon cures;

       To-day we give our féte[11] and settle yours.

Marian. (pettishly) An arch’ry meeting, where my hand’s

                    The prize

       For the best shot.

Clari. (disdainfully) There’s only one who tries,

       And that’s Sir Gilbert.

Marian.                             Odious man!

Lady C. (apologetically)                    Don’t storm.

       ’Tis an Old English custom, merely form.

Clari. (looking out of window) They’re putting up the


Marian. (angrily)          “Butt me no Butts.”

       If I’m going to be a prize shot for, like nuts,

       Let it to all nobles round be known,

       Why should Sir Gilbert press his shoot alone?

Clari. (joining in) Yes, please ’m—

Lady C. (silencing her sharply)          Peace!

Marian.                                          Or must I then consider

       Myself as purchased by the highest bidder?

Clari. (to Marian) It seems to me, Miss Marian, Lady Clare

       Has fairly sold you, as you are a-ware. (knock heard)

Lady C. Sir Gilbert comes! (to Claribelle) Attend

                    Him; (Exit Claribelle, l. c.) and I’ll go;

       When lovers meet, third parties are de trop.[12]

       By his wealth through his crisis we’ll be carried,

       So don’t you show your temper till you’re married;

       And when your lover comes do not be coy—

       And thus I leave you, dear, good girl, Good Boye.

         (as Lady Clare is going out, r., Marian rushes

            to her and seizes her hand—recitative)

Marian. Oh, ma’, one moment stay!

Lady C. (recitative)                No, don’t come near me!

Marian. I merely want to say—

Lady C.                                   No, I’ll not hear thee!


Duet. — “Vien tutt ‘oblio per te.”[13]

Vain to {me/her} one word to say,

{I/she} will not listen to {thee/me}

{You/I} may talk, {I/you} may talk all the day

 But no good will it be-e

But no good will it be.

No, no {I’ll/she’ll} not hear anymore.

So all of {my/her} commands {you will/I won’t} obey,

Nor will {I/you} open the door

And {I’ll/you’ll} go, go away.


Lady Clare throws off Marian, and exits, r.


Marian. (alone) Married! oh, Locksley, why are you away?

       He promised me that he’d be here to-day.

       Against my mother’s will I can’t revolt,

       Or else I’d have a mind to make—(a blurred arrow

                  flies in through window with a letter tied to it)

                 A bolt!

       (takes letter) A note! (reads) “To-day your own true

                    love, who’s here

       In propriâ personâ[14] will appear.”

       This phrase my parent’s grasping mind will strike,

       A propria purse-owner she will like;

       He’ll win the prize, no arrow is so true.

Sir G. (without l.) Up stairs?

Marian. (concealing letter) That voice! Sir Gilbert!


Enter Sir Gilbert, l.

Sir. G (very politely)                                      How d’ye do,

       Sweet? does your bridal much your thoughts disturb?

Marian. (sharply) I don’t want bridals.

Sir G. (aside)                               No, you need a curb.

       (aloud and tenderly) Miss Marian.
Marian. (crossly)                                    Well?

Sir G. (remonstrating gently) Why is your speech so rough?

Marian. Because I can’t abide you, that’s enough.

Sir G. So that’s the gulf that separates so wide us.

       You will be called “the Bride of can’t Abide-us.”

Marian. (superciliously) You’ll never suit me.

Sir G.                                            ’Cos I’m not a dandy,

       Or beau[15] enough!

Marian.                       Beau! Why, you’re slightly bandy.

Sir G. Bandy! But I’ll not bandy words, indeed

       One day you’ll find me, perhaps a friend in knee’d;

       But there, I can’t allow you to be cross,

       To-day victorious, I walk o’er the course.

       Oh! I have practiced on the sands of Margate,

       And well I know, miss, how to hit a target;

       Since of its mark an arrow can’t go wide,

       When I have shot, I’ll claim you as my bride.

Marian. You’ll miss!

Sir G.                      Miss! hit! hit! miss, is all the same;

       None will be present to dispute my claim,

       No other marksman is against me matched.

Marian. (going r.) Ha, ha! (at wing r.) don’t count

                   Your chickens ’fore they’re hatched.

Exit Marian, r.   

Sir G. What does she mean? Why does she turn away?

       She never will hear what I’ve got to say;

       Sometimes she smiles, her smiles as near a sneer at me

       As can be—if she speaks, it is to jeer at me,

       She always gives a cold glance when she sees me

       As a nice looking girl, she tries to freeze me.

       Her hand’s stone cold when I it try to seize,

       To me her hair appears a Cheraux de freeze;[16]

       But what o’that? no rival’s in my way,

       I shall be wed, I hope, next Wed-nesday.


Song. Air, “Fra poco.”[17]


Cruelly my heart she’s wringing,

What a chance away she flinging;

O-pe-ra-ti-cal-ly singing

An old tune that all must know.


Married next Wednesdee.”


       To love me I have not yet taught her, oh!

                                              Though I’ve sought her oh!

                                              Come to court her oh!

       By her beauty I’m hit—

                                               ’Tis in this quarter oh!

                                                      (touching his heart)

       I’ve asked her to marry me.

She wriggled and she giggled, and she said “Oh la!”

“I cannot love you, and I never mind ma’!”

Says I with delight,

All right, we might

Be married next Wednesdee.

Oh, such a duck!

Oh, such a luck!

By Cupid’s dart my heart is struck!

Oh, goodness gracious me!

We’ll be married next Wednesdee.

                                          (dance to symphony)


       I never knew a girl so fickle ah,

                                         So particular,

                                         Such a stickeler,

       Oh! The words to tickle her,

                                         Small auricular,

       Are, “Marian, marry me’”

Oh, go away and leave me do, and don’t you make a fuss,

I never mean to take you, sir, for better or for wuss.

Oh, my Mary Anne,

I’m the man who can,

Be married next Wednesdee.

She’s such a duck,

’Tis like my luck,

By Cupid’s dart my heart is struck.

Oh, goodness gracious me!

We’ll be married next Wednesdee!

                                            Dance and Exit, l.


Scene Second.The Grounds of Clare Castle.


Enter Sheriff and Alice, preceded by Claribelle, r. 1 e.

       —Sheriff has a lawyer’s blue bag on table, and various



Sheriff. (to Clari.) Announce the Sheriff and Miss Alice.

Clari.                                                               Yes.

Alice. I’ll go and see dear Marian’s new dress.

Clari. (to Alice) The arch’ry costume she is going to try.

       Oh! She’s got such a sweet green in her eye.

Alice and Claribelle exeunt, l. 1 e.

Sheriff. (who has been extracting papers from bag)

       Miss Marian’s marriage is a pretty venture.

       I’ve drawn the settlements—hem! (reads) “This


       Um—um! —“between Sir G.” —all right, and he

       Will pay his mother-in-law’s debts to me.

       All parties will be here to make their mark.

       Now for some other business. Where’s my clerk?


Allan-a-Dale appears cautiously from behind a tree, r.



Allan. (comes r. of Sheriff) I’m here.

Sheriff.                                           And why so pale?

       Have you been drinking?

Allan.                                     I’m Allan-had-ale.

Sheriff. (producing another set of papers)

       These bills of Locksley’s for some thousands more

       Are overdue. I fear he’s made of straw.

       I’ve heard that in the crowd he’ll be to-day.

       You’ll find and writ him in the usual way.

Allan. If there’s in me one bright redeeming feature,

       It is my wish to serve a fellow creature. (going, r.)

Sheriff. Mind—caution. Mix in all the sports—be hearty.

Allan. Sir, they shall find me quite a taking party.

Exit mysteriously, r.

Sheriff. (looking at bills) If this one sum some one’d

pay in a lump,

       I’d call that deed the action of (flourish of trumpets

without) a trump!

       That sound proclaims the sports for competition.

(more flourishes of trumpets)

       Things seem in quite a flourishing condition,

       Who from appearances the truth can tell!


Music—Enter Guests, Lady Clare, Alice, Claribelle,

   and Marian in full archery costumes, l. 1 and 2 e.,

  Servants place chairs, l., at back. Tuck comes down, c.


Marian. The Sheriff! (curtseys and Sheriff bows)

Lady C. (in a stately manner) Sir, I hope I see you well!

       You drove here?

Sheriff.                          No, a lawyer saves his pelf,[18]

       And draws his own conveyances himself.

(Sheriff goes up and stands, r. of Lady Clare

Marian, l. of Lady ClareAlice and Clari-

belle, l. of Marian)

Lady C. (taking seat) Steward announce the sports!

Tuck. (advancing, c., with a long trumpet in one hand, and

                      a proclamation in the other) All in! All in!

       Old English games a going to begin;

       Jumping in sacks for Saxons—next to foller,

       The angry losers grin through their own choler.

       Then, sat up on a pole—mind this particular—

       You’ll see the popinjay stand popindicular!

       There’ll be a masque, with trumpet, fife, and drummer,

       Each mother’s son will come with his own mummer.

       Then at the quintain all will have a fling.

       Throwing the quoit, that’s quoit another thing!

       Last, but not least, that on this list does stand,

       The archer’s prize, the Lady Marian’s hand;

       Open to all, there’ll be no sport, I fear,

       There’s only one name down—Sir Gilbert.


Enter Sir Gilbert, r. u. e., coming down, r. c., in full

archery costume.

Sir G.                                                                           Here!

Marian. (to Alice) Oh! I shall faint!

Sir G.                                           Now in the name of love

       I challenge all the world. (to Tuck) Throw down the

                  glove. (gives Tuck a gauntlet, aside)

       No one will take it up. (aloud) Off with your hat

       And sound the challenge.

(Tuck goes to l., blows the trumpet very power-

fully—it is answered by a penny trumpet without

all start)

Sir G. (c.)                                        What the deuce was that?

(Tuck sounds a phrase from “Nix my dolly”[19]

which is answered by penny trumpet without

and so in like manner to the end of the tune, the

penny alternating with the large trumpet, finishing

together, and with the last note prolonged. Enter

Will Scarlet, r. 2 e., playing on a penny


Song.—Will Scarlet. —Air, “Nix my Dolly.”


Will S. On the box of our drag here I was borne,

       But I sat behind and played the horn.

Sir G.                                                          Go away!

Will S. My noble master, as you’ve heard say,

       Is the Earl of Huntingdon so gay.

Will S.     Bricks our jolly pals are you’ll say,

All.          Fix this jolly pal’s in {I/we} say.

(repeat chorusWill Scarlet singing to Lady

Clare and Marian and the rest singing to Sir

  Guildbert[20], who sings by himself)

Will S. As we went to Derby one morn in May,

       So we came down here for holiday.

Sir G.                                                          Go away!

Will S. For the lady’s hand we’ll shoot at the ring,

       Dance, ride, fence, or this sort of things.

(squares up to Sir Gilbert)

Chorus, as before.

Will S.    Bricks, our jolly pals are, you’ll say.

All.         Fix this jolly pal’s in {I/we} say.

Lady C. The Earl of Huntingdon, and at my gate!

Will S. He waits without, my lady.

Sir G. (surlily)                                    Let him wait.

Marian. (to Sir Gilbert) He is your cousin.

Sir G. (darkly)                          Well— (stops himself)

Lady C.                                                       This hesitation


Sir G.               That I can’t get on with my relation.

Lady C. (to Will Scarlet) We’re quite prepared the

                       nobleman to greet.

Will S. (loudly) Way of the Earl of Huntingdon and



Music. Enter the Huntingdon Retainers, Robert Earl

       of Huntingdon, Sir John Little, and others—all

       more or less prepared for the archery fète. Marian

       has come down, l. c.; Sheriff, l.


Marian. (starting on seeing Robert, then half aside)


Sheriff. (starting) An earl! (goes up, l.)

Robert. (l. c., to Lady Clare, and speaking at Marian)

                    Lady, with your permission,

       I’ve come to enter into competition

       For the fair hand your daughter’s pleased to show me.

(takes Marian’s hand and speaks aside to her)

       All right! of course you’re not supposed to know me.

(aloud to Lady Clare, presenting Sir John Little)

       This is Sir John Little, Lady Clare.

Lady C.                                                    I am

       Delighted, sir.

Sir J. (r. c., bowing) The pleasure’s mutual, ma’am.

Robert. (c. to Sir G., in an off-hand manner) Ah, cousin,

                    how dy’e do? Eh, why refuse

       To take my hand, coz?

Sir G. (sulkily turning away, and getting l.) Coz—coz I

                      don’t choose. (crosses extreme l.)

Robert. (c.) Let us begin, I am with ardour fired!

(to Lady Clare)

Lady C. (courteously) After your drive you really must

                      be tired.

Tuck. (coming forward close to Sir Gilbert, l.)

       Luncheon’s awaiting.

Sir G. (starting) Well, you needn’t hollow.

Tuck. (majestically) To the refreshment tent.

Robert.                                                Lead on! I follow


Chorus. —“Dark Girl dressed in Blue.”[21]

Sir G. Will you take my arm?

Lady C. (taking Sir Gilbert by the left ear and turning

him over to MarianSheqiff[22] takes Lady

Clare’s arm)            No thank you, sir.

Sir G.        Oh, well, ’tis all the same.

             Then p’raps with your permission, ma’am.

Marian. (repeating same businessRobert takes her arm)

                      Get out, Sir What’s-your-name.

Sir G. Allow me then the pleasure, miss.

Alice. (same businessSir John takes her arm)

                  Now go away, sir, do.

Sir G. Then, Claribelle, accept of this.

Will S. (as Claribelle twirls Sir Gilbert round, Will

                    Scarlet takess[23] her arm)

                There’s a fine twirl for you.

got a fine twirl, fol de riddle I do.

All        He   

fol de riddle lay!

Sir G.     I  

Sir G.   I’ll harm yer!   

All.     Be calmer!   

Lady C. (to Sheriff) We lunch beneath an awning.

Sir G. (r., aside) Rage shakes my every limb!

Marian. (to Robert) On pigeon pie we’ll feed.

Sir G. (aside)                                              Oh, I

       ’d be pigeon into him. (with appropriate action)

Rob. (to Marian) So pleased by you to take a seat;

Marian. (to Robert) I’ll be most happy too,

Sir G. (aside) Oh, shouldn’t I just like to beat


                   That dark Earl black and blue.

                    He’s such a fine earl, fol de riddle lol!

                    A fine earl! fol de riddle, eh!

Exeunt dancing l. and r., leaving Sir Gilbert,

who kicks Tuck off, l., as he is dancing by


Sir G. Tho’ unaccustomed much to language strong,

       Holding all such expressions to be wrong;

       I think on giving it consideration,

       That, after well-matured deliberation,

       This fix, for which I’ve not myself to thank,

       Might warrant anyone in saying—blank;

       But I’ll restrain my temper, though it smothers me,

       How this arrival of a rival bothers me!

       He’s my first cousin! Well, I being vexed,

       Might be first cussin’, and a swearing next.

       This trifle oughtn’t to upset me, ought it?

       That he’s have thwarted me; now who’d have thwart it?

       He’ll marry her—of him could I be rid,


Enter Sheriff, very mysteriously, l. e.


       I’d sell myself as Dr. Faustus[24] did.

       Once when men called, dark fiends would rise to serve us.

Sheriff. Hist! (coming down, l.)

Sir G. (dreadfully startled) don’t do that, I am so very

                   nervous. (seeing Sheriff becoming more mys-

                   terious than ever)

      What’s on your mind, that you have got to tell?

       Don’t make those dreadful faces. Aren’t you well?

(Sheriff begins to whisper in his ear)

       That tickles so. (Sheriff crosses to mysteriously)

                 Speak up, or else I’ll make you.

       If you go on like this, I’ll have to shake you.

Sheriff. (huskily) What I’ve to tell must ne’er again be told.

Sir G. Dear me, it seems you’re suffering from cold.

Sheriff. (huskily) No!

Sir G.                      Then permit me, sir, to say, that voice

       Is not the most melodious, for choice.

Sheriff. Would you gain Marian?

Sir G.                                          Of course, I would,

       That is, supposing always, that I could.

Sheriff  You can!

Sir G.                   I can!

Sheriff. (darkly)             If ’tis, ’tis as I say,

       And if it isn’t ’tis the other way.

Sir G. That’s lucid! But as is concerns me nearly,

       P’raps, you would just explain yourself more clearly?

Sheriff. The Earl of Huntingdon is sure to hit

       The target.

Sir G.                 Yes, and I can’t shoot a bit.

Sheriff. Then by the custom, which is nothing new,

       He’ll marry an’ wed Marian. That’s plain.

Sir G.                                                                  As you!

Sheriff. Were he removed, you’d fill his situation.

       You for his riddance, without hesitation,

       Must forge a will!

Sir G. (considerably startled) ’Fore Ge’orge! But how, I say.

Sheriff. Where there’s a will, there always is a way.

       This will’s to make you Earl. Then into pris’n,

       We’ll hurl the Earl for making what’s your’n, his’n.

Sir G. Do it yourself.

Sheriff.                       I will, for I’m not nice. (going, r.)

Sir G. Rather the contrary, but name your price.

Sheriff. Just pay these bills!

Sir G. (dubiously) The name of Locksley to them;

       (dubiously) Well!

Sheriff.                         Think of Marian.

Sir G.                                        You’re right, I’ll do them.

Sheriff. Trust me—you soon shall see, what you shall see.

       Your hand! (clutching his wrist by mistake)

Sir G. (in pain) My wrist!

Sheriff. (with intensity) Yes—leave the wrist to me.


Duet. —“Fanny Frail.”[25]


Sheriff.           Take care we are not heard,

                         And never say a word,

               Not a Boodliar de Boodlium ti Bay.


Sir G.                How could it be inferred,

                          That I should be absurd,

               With my Boodliar de Boodlium ti Bay


Both.                Won’t fail! won’t fail!

                           Our little plan won’t fail,

                           For none our plot’ll guess

                           If our meaning we express,

                In a Boodliar de Boodlium ti Bay.


Sir G.                But forgery, my friend,

                           If found out, is sure to end

                In a Boodlar de Botany um ti Bay.

Sheriff.             I’ll escape to bush or thicket,

                In a Boodlar de Burgliar de way.

Both.                Won’t fail, &c.


Mysterious movement and exeunt, r.

Flourish of trumpets, shouts hear without—Enter excited

       Guests, Tuck, Little John, Will Scarlet, Clari-

         belle, Alice, cheering, l. —Allan-a-Dale, r. 2 e.


Excited Guests. Hooray! Hooray!

Allan.                           What mean these joyous cries?

Sir John. The Earl of Huntingdon has won the prize.

       None stood against him. With his bow he sent a

       Straight flying arrow to the target’s centre.

       He comes.


MusicEnter Robert, Marian, and Lady Clare, l.


Robert.              Thanks friends, ’tis easily earned fame.

       For, as the poet says, what’s in an aim![26]

Marian. Oh, I’m so glad you’ve won.

Robert.                                                  I could not lose,

       Shooting with bow of yew for those beaux yeaux.[27]

Lady C. Sir Gilbert has withdrawn, as we are told,

       You’ve won, and Marian’s yours.

Robert.     (about to rush into one another’s arms)

Marian.                                          Oh! rapture!

Sir G. (suddenly coming down, c., from r. u. e., followed by

                         Sheriff, and a posse commitatus)[28] Hold!

(general consternation)

Robert. (indignantly) What means this?

Sir G. (shrinking close to Sheriff) I’m protected here by


       The strong arm of the law.

Robert. (contemptuously) You mean a limb.


Sir G. (to Lady C.) Beware how you let him accost her.

       He has no rank but as a rank impostor.

Robert. (r. c.) Villain!

Sir G. (getting close to Sheriff) Take care.

Robert.                                  Canst you prove your words?

Sir G.                                                                  Yes, rather;

       The Earl of Huntingdon was not your father.

Sheriff. (producing paper) The legal will here duly

                       witnessed see,

       Naming, as Earl of Huntingdon—

All.                                                      Who?

Sir G. (grandly)                                            Me.

Robert. (furiously) ’Tis false!

Marian.                               Oh, Locksley!

All.                                                     Locksley!

Allan. (r. coming forward with writ) Well, that’s clever!

       Here is the writ, and I arrest you!

Robert. (r. c., putting himself in attitude) Never!

Sir John. (r. of Robert) Come on and try.

Will S. (r. of Sir John, pugilistically to Allan) Do—

                  you’ll get nicely whacked.

Sheriff. (r. of Sir G.) If this goes on I’ll read the riot act.

       His doings are illegal, let none mix in ’em.

       Seize him!

(Allan and Sheriff’s Officers advanceTuck

and Robert’s Followers rally round him)

Robert. My side, hold up your hands, with sticks in ’em!

(The Partisans on both sides flourish their quarter-

staves preparatory to action)

Marian. (rushiug[29] from l. c. to Robert, r.c.) My Robert!


Alice. (rushing from l. to Sir John, r.) John!           (chord)

Clare. (l., clinging to Will S., r.) My Willy?          (chord)

Sheriff. (down r.c., angrily to his daughter) Alice! (chord)

Lady C. (c., distractedly) Daughter!    (chord)

Robert. Whirl round your quarter staves; but show no


Music—“Donnybrook Fair.”[30] Faction fight as scene closes.


Scene Third. —An Interior in Sheriff’s House. Practicable

cupboard r. c.; Window, l. c.


Music—Enter Dorothy, tired and yawning, l. clock

strikes ten.


Doro. Which ten o’clock it is! five hours I’ve waited,

       They’re later than I have expectorated!

       The sheriff and Miss Alice always air

       A galliwanting here and everywhere.

       In setting up for folks there is no ease;

       Partic’lar when they’ve took the cellar keys;

       Such doings in a house don’t speak the gemman,

       There’s not a drop you might squeeze from a lemon.

       (yawns) I’ll snooze—just forty winks will do for me;

       But what are winks, without a pin and tea?

       If you take tea, and what I say I thinks,

       It makes one so awake, you can’t take winks. (takes

chair from r. sits, and drops off to sleep while

singing “’Tis the Last Roge of Summer.”[31]


Music—Enter Robin Hood by window.

Robin. I’m safe! (to Will Scarlett, who appears on

ladder outside) Will Scarlet, you put out that


       And if the watch comes, wind him up.

Will S.                                                          All right!

(Will Scarlet descends ladder and disappears

    Robin closes window)

Robin. I know she’s staying with Miss Alice, here.

       Ah! there she’s dreaming, p’raps of me, the dear!

       (Dorothy snores) Music! I’ll steal a kiss.

Dorothy. (half waking as he leans over back of chair)


Robin. (retreating)                                                The deuce!

(Robin gets into cupboard, r. c.)

Dorothy. (jumping up) Oh! what was that? Here!

                   puss, puss, puss, puss!

       Oh! drat that cat! (calls) Tit, titty! I do hate her.

       (endearingly) Titty! (savagely) If I can catch I’ll

                        titti-vate her!


Enter Marian carrying a small work-basket, and Alice, l.


Alice. Why, nurse!

Marian. (r. c.)          Why, Dorothy, what are you at?

(Robin looks out, kisses Marian, and retires)

Marian. (suddenly startled) Ah!

Dorothy.                                      Eh!

Marian. (looking at Alice)            Oh, nothing.

Dorothy.                                         ’Twas that nasty cat.

(Alice and Marian laugh aside)

Alice. You must be weary, Dorothy.

Dorothy. (protracted yawn)                You’re right.

Alice. Miss Marian’s going to stop with me to night.

Marian. As sitting up does tire. (taking small flask from)


Dorothy. (sighing)                     Well it may so.

Marian. (giving her bottle) I’ve got some noyeau[32] here.

Doro.                                             No you don’t say so!

Doro. This kindness I did not expect nor could.

       When took as medicine, miss, it do me good.

       Here’s wishin’ ’ealth and ’happiness my dears,

       To both young syrups in this wale o’ tears.

       So may your dreams and sweet repoge[33] be pleasant,

       And hopes it leaves you as I do at present. Exit, r.

Alice. Come out. (Robin comes out, door r. c., and embraces

Marian) And when you’ve quite done, pray


       Why you have ventured to appear again.

Robin. Since we last met, as outlaws forced to roam,

       In Sherwood Forest we have made our home.

       You’ll join us in the forest?

Alice. (shaking her head)             Oh! we couldn’t.

Marian. What go to Sherwood! (shakes her head)

Robin.                                        It appears sher-woodn’t.

Marian. How do you live?

Robin.                               Of taxes we are clear.

       Everything’s cheap save ven’son and that’s deer;

       For stags are scarce, of late we haven’t seen ’em.

       My men have not got one high deer between ’em.

Marian. I don’t much like going to grass.

Alice.                                                          Indeed,

       It sounds like running very fast to seed.

Robin. In broiling noon we’ll lie ’neath shady copses,

       Think of the mossy banks.

Marian.                                      Think of the wopses.

Robin. Our evening mean in bowerets shall be,

Alice. Spiders and earwigs tumbling in one’s tea;

Robin. There in cool grot all day we’ll sit at ease.

Marian. No cool garrotting here, sir, if you please.

       If there a river near there?                                           

Robin.                                        No streamlet—though     

       Lovers of hart may go out for a roe.                              

Alice. Oh, then you hunt the buck!                                       

Robin.                                               Yes, dear, I doe.       

Robin. Soft seats that with forget-me-nots are blue,

Marian. Damp grass that gives to everyone its dew.

Alice. T’will spoil our dresses.

Robin.                                        Dress, you need’nt bring.

 No dress! the bare idea of such a thing.



Robin. No, no! my meaning you misunderstand,

       We do not live upon a strip of land;

       You’ll both in archer’s dress, or something near it,

       Be clad—I thought you would be clad to hear it.

Alice. Delightful!

Marian.                But this dwelling in the wood,

       Shall we not meet the robber, Robin Hood;

       Who steals, at least so go the num’rous tales,

       From women, bonnets—and from men, their vails.

Robin. (laughing) He won’t hurt us.


Enter Will Scarlett, r.


Will S.                                        Captain, the coast is clear,

       The street doors open, and there’s no one near;

       To guard against all unforeseen surprises,

       I have prepared the horses and disguises.

Marian. Now for a life romantic, new, and pleasant.

Alice. Scenes of my childhood, ta ta for the present.


Quartette. —Air. —“For a Few Days.”[34]

Marian. (walking round) We’re moving off without a tear.

All. (keeping time with hands and feet) For a few days,

For a few days.

Marian.                 At present I have no idea

                                                         Of going home.

Robin. (walking) Oh, what happiness ‘twill be,

All.                                   For a few days, for a few days.

Robin.                When she comes to marry me

                                                            Not going home.

All. (chorus) Through the woods we’ll wander,

                                      For a few days, for a few days.

                      From the forest yonder

                                                       Not go home.

Alice. (walking) Then I’ll see my Little John  

All.                               For a few days, for a few days.

Alice.         These are funny goings on,     

                                                      Not going home.

Will S. (walking) This proceeding’s rather hot,

All.                               For a few days, for a few days.

Will S.             Tho’ I’m walking round I’m not—

                                                      Not going home.

All. Chorus as before, then repeating pianissimo, and either

            exeunt, stealing off, singing without accompaniment,

            or quick movementRobin on banjoWill on

            bones—Alice on triangleMarian on tambourine

            —Exeunt, l.


Scene Fourth.—Sherwood Forest—Daybreak.


MusicLittle John asleep on a bankFriar Tuck

       asleep on a bankMuch the Miller’s son sitting on a

       stump of a treeOutlaws in different attitudes lying

       about the forest.[35]

Little J. (yawning and stretching) Heigho! Where’s


Much. (sulkily) There’s no news about him.

Little J. (aside) The band are getting mutinous without him.

       (aloud) My merry men.

Much. (sulkily)                     They’re not in a merry mood,

       They’ve all (sneezes) got cold, and feel the want of food.

(sneezes and groans from the Merry Men)

       Now, Tuck, why don’t you give us something hot?

       You know you are the only cook we got.

Tuck. You bring no game, in vain I light the fire,

       My office is sinecure as fryer.

Much. I’m sorry we came here in such a hurry.

Tuck. Pooh! This is Nottingham—you can’t be Surrey[36].

Much. (to Outlaws) The captain’s got a private store,

                  and thus,

       Has food which he will not mete out to us.

Little J. Silence!

Much. (mutinously) I shan’t.

Tuck. (aside)                          I must quell this sensation.

(goes to tree stump on which Much was sitting)

       (aloud) Listen to me, friends, hear my stump oration.

    (commences in the approved style of the stump orators)

       Ahem! My fellow citizens—um—oh!

       Um. (bangs umbrella on a stump) Gentlemen, if I

                 may call you so,

       You’ve seen that what is that which what it was.

       Is it because— (pauses for a reply, then decisively)

                                I say it because. (bangs umbrella)

All. Hear, hear!

Tuck.                  Why do the best adopt the plan?

       Don’t what they can’t, and do it when they can.

       Who’s king of Greec? (bangs umbrella) or any

                    Otho man.

       Shew me the slaves who’d bruise his oats in battle,

       Or black his boots with Thorley’s Food for Cattle.

(getting excited)   

       Does pure tea steam from China in a packet?

       Is a potatoe measured for its jacket?

       Shall we give up the former for the latter?

       No, I repeat it, no. (umbrella) That’s what’s the matter

All. Hear, hear!

Much.           Such arguments indeed are strong.

       Your logic has convinced me that I’m wrong.

       Shake hands.                                                     (Music)

Little J. (looking off) Hush! Here are some new comers.

Tuck                                                                           Mem.
       That we’ll get some new commerce out of them.

          MusicLittle John, Much, and Outlaws steal off

             quietlyTuck retires behind tree, watching, r. u. e.


Enter l. 2 e., Robin, Marian, Will Scarlet, and Alice

       in disguise; Robin has a fashionable umbrella.

Marian. I’m tired!

Alice.                    And I!

Robin.                               Soon rest our toil shall crown;

Will S. This tiger up, shall soon be lion down.

Robin. Yes, where the timid fawn sequesters,

       We foresters will lie and be four resters.

       Come on!

Tuck. (comes forward, Hood and Will Scarlet conceal

                       their faces) you go no further in this wood—

       I stop you in the name of Robin Hood.

       Are you an abbot?

Robin.                           No! are you a friar?

Tuck. You’re curious!

Robin.                         Yes! you see I am a pryer!

Tuck. I’ll make you a lay-fellow! (attacking Robin with

                     quarter staff)

Robin. guarding and scoring one on the Friar’s nob with his umbrella) Ah! you would? (sounds his horn, all the

Foresters appear)

Tuck. (rubbing his head) That blow! The Captain!

            (Robin Hood throws off his cloak, Little John, Much,

               and Foresters salute him)

All.                                     Welcome Robin Hood!

Marian. (starting) He?

Alice. (starting)       He?

Tuck. laughing)              He, he!

Robin.                             I care not now who knows it—

       I’m Robin Hood!

Marian.                      What! Robin! who’d suppose it?

Robin. Yes, I am he? And these my merry men.

       You love me still?

Marian.                        I love you now, as then!

Robin. Here see your sov’reign, henceforth this is herwood.

Tuck. Welcome, Maid Marian, made Queen of Sherwood.

All. Hooray!

Robin.           Now each man to his separate duty,

       And bring your plunder to our Queen of booty.

                            Exeunt Will Scarlet—Outlaws severally

       Tuck, get my best champagne.

Tuck.                                                I think I know it.

Robin. ’Tis hidden in the grass.

Tuck.                The grass? Oh, Mo-et. Exit Tuck, l. 1 e.

Little J. We’ll make a well-matched couple, Alice.

Alice. Yes. You are a Little, and I am A-less.

Little J. Now to the chase.

Alice.                               For that my heart is throbbin’

Robin. Let’s have a song.

Marian.                            I’ll join in a round, Robin.


Quartette—“Excursion Train Gallop.”[37]


Robin. Away we go to hunt the roe all thro’ the leafy bow’r.

Marian. I rather fear, my sweetest dear, the clouds begin

                       to low’r.

Alice. I’ll chace the roe, but then you know, there may

                        Come down a show’r.

Little J.               I’ve got with me a parapluie

                               Against a rainy day.

Robin. (operatically) If you love me.

Marian. (ditto)           As I love you.

All.        No knife shall cut our loves in two.

Little J.                       If you love me.

Alice.                           As I love you.

All.        No knife shall cut our loves in two.


             (Gallop, at the finish of which at the third bar from

                 the end, they kiss with a loud smack behind the 

                 umbrellas, l. and r., and dance off)


Music. —Enter cautiously Sir Gilbert, the Sheriff,

                     Allan-a-Dale, and Rural Police.

Sir G. Rural Policemen! this wood is infested

       With poachers, who by you must be arrested;

       For Robin Hood, the leader of the horde,

       The Government has offered a reward;

       A hundred marks. (aside) Though who bold Robin


       Will get more marks I fancy than he likes.

Sheriff. Hear me! whom you suspect of poaching seize,

       You may suspect as many as you please;

       Search every female walking on a bye road,

       Or going to take the hare upon the high road;

       Search every pie where you see pigeon’s legs,

       Search every nest suspicious of poached eggs;

       If unemployed, instead of idly standing

       Search one another just to keep your hand in.

Sir G. Stay within call. Exeunt Police stealthily, l. u. e.

Sheriff. (sadly)       My cheyild!

Sir G.                                       I never saw yer

       So sad, mind though a father, you’re a lawyer.

Sheriff. A legal parent’s tie, mark this I wish you,

       Causes me this attachment, sir, to issue.

Sir G. A footstep, hush! (they conceal themselves at back, r.)


                              Enter Marian, l. 1 e.


Marian.                     They went at such a pace,

       I was obliged to leave them in full chase;

       Not having yet got up my running powers,

       But in a few more days—

                 (Sheriff and Sir Gilbert rush down r. and

                     l. of her and seize her)

Sir G. (r. c.)                           Days! you are ours.

Marian. (c.) Unhand me!

Sheriff. (l. c.) Where’s my cheyild?

Sir G.                                        My pretty dear!

           You’re in my power now.

Marian.                                          Help, Robin!

Robin.                                                             Here!

           (Robin suddenly comes down, c.; Marian clings to

              him—he presents two swords, r. and l., at Sir

                 Gilbert and Sheriff. Tableau.)

Marian. Oh, Robin!

Sir G.                       This my humour doesn’t suit.

       What are you doing now?

                           (seeing Robin putting himself in attitude)

Robin.                                       The grand salute!

       A form which all go through who fence correctly.

Sir G. I feel that he’ll go through this form directly.


           (Trio while the Sheriff does operatic pantomime

                on his own account, l.)


“Don Pasquale.”[38]


Robin.            To wrong you lend yourself,

                       Draw and defend yourself,

                       Soon you’ll extend yourself

                                                       Dead on the field.

                       Now I’m in fettle, so

                       You I will settle, so

                       I’m on my mettle, so

                                                        I will not yield!    

Marian.        I will not, willingly,                                

                      See you look killingly,                             

                      Hitting out millingly,                                


                      Speaking so thrillingly,                           


                      Sword moving drillingly,                        

                      Life taking stillingly,                               

                      I singing thrillingly,                                

                                                         Now go away.     

Robin.         Don’t interfere with me,                          

                     Leave him, dear, here with me,                

                     Scores he shall clear with me.                  

                                                           Do go away!      

Sir G.          Why interfere with him?                           

                     Leave me now here with him,                 

                     Scores I will clear with him.                        

                                                           Do go away!     


(Marian, as the trio finishes, takes a sword out of

Robin’s left hand and fights the Sheriff, who

has been operatically defying somebody though

the above trio—exeunt Sheriff and Marian,

fighting, l. 2 e. —Robin and Sir Gilbert fight

as Robin is about to stab the disarmed Sir Gil-

bert, the rural Policemen, led by Sheriff steal

on, l. u. e., and capture Robin

Robin. (struggling, and unable to lay hold of his horn,

                 which hangs round his neck) Villain!

Sir G.                            Garotte him. ’Tisn’t safe to stay.

Sheriff. (sadly) P’raps he can tell me of my cheyild.

Sir G. (brutally)                                                    Away.

(“Rob Roy”[39] MusicRobin is borne off, l. u. e.,

gagged and bound, by rural Police, Sir Gilbert

and Sheriff follow, dancing a Highland fling

solemnlyAllan exit, carrying Sir Gilbert

pick-a-back, l. 2 e.)


Music—Enter, through trees at back, Dorothy and Clari-

belle, wearily, r. u. e.


Clari. (sitting on bank) Must we much further go? I

                scarce can stir.

       Miss Marian’s not here.

Dorothy.                                 Oh, bother her!

       I want my Alice; for there’s not a sweeter

       Young babe unborn than that lost darling creetur.

       Don’t droop, but take a sip of this cold toddy.

      ’Tis the sole comfort of my aged body. (drinks)


Enter l. u. e. and l. 2 e., Will Scarlet, Alice, and

Little John, followed by Men with preparations for



Will S. Prepare the feast, me men—what do I see?


Clari.                Will!

Alice.                         My nurse.

Dorothy. (mysteriously and hysterically) Ha, ha! ’Tis


(during this, the Merry Men have been arranging

an al fresco luncheon)

Little J. The pic-nic waits.


They are about to sit, when enter Marian, r., distractedly.


Marian.                          Forbear, and eat no more!

       Where is my Robin? I’ll not dine before

       I know.


Friar Tuck rushes in, r. u. e., and staggers down c. —his

head is bandaged, and he has a black eye.


Little J.         The friar!

Marian.                         Speak!

Alice.                                        He’s somewhat shaken.

Tuck. (wildly) “My liege, the Duke of Buckingam[40] is taken.”[41]

Marian. The next line is—if memory does not fail,

       “Off with his head!”[42] I mean on with your tale!

Tuck. Robin’s a prisoner. (the men are about to rush off

                       —he stops them) Rescue’s now too late;

       I tried to do it—but they cracked my pate.

       Five held my arm, all action that encumbers,

       I came out strong in parts, (showing his muscle) and

                   they in numbers!

       They’re gone to Nottingham—the castle!

Marian.                                                                Then,

       I will implore his pardon.

Little J.                                     You, my men,

       If Marian fails, will with your arms be there.

       You swear!

Much and the rest. D—(commencing improperly)

Will S.                        Ladies present.

Much.                                      Oh! (restrains himself)

All. (rushing forward with knives, umbrellas, spears,

                      spoons, &c.)            We swear!


Chorus. —“Welcome Guest Polka.”[43]

Marian. Uprouse ye then, my merry men, my merry

                  men, what ho!

Take your quiver full of arrows and your bow-ow-ow.

                        Through briar and through brake

                        Our speedy way to take,

Play at following my leader as we go-o-o.

Will S. (solo) Swear men all in chorus.

All. (raising their arms and dropping them) We swear!

                  we swear! we swear!

Alice.             Danger is before us.

All. (as before)           For that we do not care.

Little J.          We’re afraid of no man.

All. (as before)           No one of our own size.

Will S.            Death to every foeman!

                                     He dies!

Little J.                                      He dies!

Marian.                                                    He dies!                                               

All. (as before)                                              They dies! &c.


(after which Marian, Little John, Alice, Will,

Claribelle, Fryer, Dorothy, and the Merry

Men dance the hornpipe step back to middle of

stage, strike tableau, and scene closes.


Scene Fifth. —Interior of a Prison Gallery in Nottingham

Castle; door of cell in flat practicable:


Enter Sheriff despondently, l., followed by Lady Clare



Sheriff. (aside) I cannot bear this state of conscience long.

Lady C. It often strikes me you’ve done something wrong.

       You stand aloof and to yourself you mutter.

       Tell me.

Sheriff. (aside) Although I’ve forged I cannot utter.

       And yet I must. (aloud) Listen, there is a crime—


Enter Allan, r., with loaf and jug.


       What want you?

Alice.[44]                         ’Tis the prisoner’s feeding time

Sheriff. (to Lady C.) We are disturbed.

Alice.[45] (opening door of cell) So now I life the bobbin.

       Here! hi! come out!

Robin. (at door of cell)   Who calls upon poor Robin?


Enter Robin, his hands and feet are in chains, he has straw

    in his hair and about his body, presenting a general

    appearance of temporary insanity.


Robin. (singing vacantly) Hey, Robin! jolly, Robin! hey,

                     Robin! —or

       Instead of hey I ought to have said straw.

Sheriff. To see him in this state is very sad.

       He’s quite a lunatic.

Lady C. (a la Dundreary)[46] “Oh yeth, h-h-he’th mad!”

Sheriff. This is a sorry sight.

Robin.                                  Ah! who could tell

       That all my happiness would be a cell.

       My memory brings back those tuneful lays

       That Robin Hood once sang in childhood’s days.


        Air, “I’ve been to the East,”[47] &c.


If I’m in the least mad I request

  Two doctor’s just to sign a

                        Warrant for my own arrest,

                             No method can be finer.

                        If doctors two this act can do,

                              And up you cannot pull ’em,

                        Why take me by force in a cab and horse,

                               And drive me off to Fulham.

                        Dat I am cracked!               (laughs idiotically)

(to one another) Dat am a fact!


Lady C.  

                         Dat am a fact!

Robin.     Dat I am cracked!


Lady C.

Robin. (speaking) And to p-r-r-r-r-r-ove dat I am black,

                    ya, ya, ya!


                 If doctors two, &c.

Lady C. He’s gone out of his mind. (Exit Allan into

                 cell) there’s not a doubt of it.

Sheriff. He’s wandering in it, but has not got out of it.

       Come here! (to bothRobin comes vacantly down, c.)

                  Sir, of foul play one often has heard.

Robin. Foul play! Do you allude to chicken hazard!

(they both appear distressed)

Sir G. (without, r.) Shoot Robin Hood at ten.

Sheriff. (r. c.)                                He comes!

Lady C. (l.)                                               Provoking!


Enter Sir Gilbert, r.


       Shoot Robin? you’re not serious.

Sir G. (ironically)                            No, I’m joking!

       (to Robin) You ought to have the rack now we

                    have caught yer,

       ’Egad I’d like to teach yer what is tort-yer.

Lady C. The rack’s gone by, except a toast rack.

Sir G.                                                                   Pooh!

Robin. I’m iron’d, and he would have me mangled too.

Sir G. (to Allan who has re-entered during the above)

                  Remove him.

Robin. (taken to his cell by Allan) Tyrant! (Exit into cell)

Lady C.                                              Tyrant!

Sir G. (to her politely)                You’re not quite yourself.

Lady C. (turning away from him) Monster, adieu!

Sir G. Take care, ma’am, don’t excite yourself.


            Lady C. exchanges significantly glances with Sheriff,

                 and exit l.

Sir G. (who has watched the above proceeding) I do sus-

                  pect you of some base design!

       But—(threatening with fist)

Sheriff. (sulkily) Do not blow me up.

Sir G.                                      Why not? you’re mine!

Sheriff. But I’ll explode, and throw of all restraint—

       The taint of crime is on us!

Sir G.                                          No it aint!

Sheriff. What have I gained since I my conscience sold?

       Mine has been all the guilt, and yours the gold.

Sir G. Turn’d traitor! (strikes him)

Sheriff. (about to retaliate) Ha! (restrains himself)

Sir G. (is sorry for it, and apologizes) I didn’t mean it though

Sheriff. ’Taint the sea side—I’m not here for a blow.

Sir G. Shake hands!

Sheriff. With all my heart! (aside) I must dissemble!

(aloud) Good morning, dear Sir Gilbert! (aside) Villain,

                  tremble!                                         Exit, l.

Sir G. That man is clearly upon mischief bent.

Enter Allan, r.

Alice.[48] To see the pris’ner, sir, a reverend gent.

Sir G. I said that none should come here—are you drunk?

Alice.[49] It isn’t nun, it looks more like a monk.

Sir G. Admit him—you’re as stupid as an owl;


Enter Marian, disguised in cloak and monk’s hood.


             (aside) I know that smile beneath that friar’s cowl.

Marian. (disguising her voice) I’ve come to see the

                    pris’ner—no offence—

       And bring him to a state of penitence.

       The convict, thus reformed, might pass your wicket,

       If you would give to him the usual ticket.

Sir G. Friend, Mr. Wombwell, in his large menagerie,

       Has tigers fierce, which, from some Indian rajah, he

       Somehow obtained. I don’t know what he named ’em.

       Suffice it for my purpose that he tamed ’em.

       Their drink was water, food, cakes plain and wheaten.

       They seemed quite sorry for the men they’d eaten;

       They’ve become meek and show no sign of rage.

       Does Wombwell ever let ’em quit their cage?

       Or, trusting to their newly-fledged sobriety,

       Ticket and let ’em loose upon society?

       No, no; this system, as it seems to my sense,

       Is not so much of leave as ’tis of license.

Marian. You will not let him go?

Sir G.                                         I am wary ’un.

Marian. Then in another form I’ll sue you. Hear me!


(throws back cowl and kneels)

Sir G.                                                                    Marian!

       In this disguise!

Marian.                   Ah, yes! Methought I would

       Put on this head-dress to look for my Hood.

       Since chance has thus allowed you to defeat him,

       Have pity, for my sake, and don’t ill treat him.

       Let him escape—I know that you’ll see to it.

Sir G. He is in my ward.

Marian.                           A ward from you will do it.

       Art deaf? (rises)

Sir G.             As if my ears were stuffed with cotton.

Marian. He is my lover— (stops short)

Sir G.                              Ha! I had forgotten.

Marian. Do not be surly.

Sir G.                               Surly! Miss, that man,

       I mean to shoot as early as I can,

Marian. Shoot! how that word rings in my ears. Ah, me!

Sir G. A ring upon your fingers soon you’ll see.

       Though unsuccessful I at one time sued you,

       I still, Miss, hope to woo you.

Marian.                                           Woo me, would you?

       (aside) Rather than that I’d stab him. (searching in

                   her pockets) but no—yes.

       I’ve left the dagger in my other dress.

       (aloud) You still refuse me? (trumpet and shout

                     without) Ha! why sounds the clarion?

Sir G. The king and queen, to see him shot, Miss Marion.

Marian. Then to their majesties I’ll take my way.

Sir G. Their majesties! Your mad jest ’tis, I’d say;

       The errand is absurd!

Marian.                              Laugh on! you are

       Fierce as Bashaw, despotic as a Shah.

Sir G. A shah! Pa-sha! Forgive him ma’am, I can’t;

       Were I the Shah I’d say, I’m shah I shan’t.


Duet. —Air—“Quanto Amore.”[50]


Marian. Who’s implore aid

           From such a tartar?

           Naught would touch him to the core.

Sir G. (aside) Says she, Pooh! you’re such a tartar,

           Naught would touch me to the core.

Marian. Donkey! yes, oh! (“dunque-adesso”)[51]

           Ay! you love me no! (“nemo-rino”)[52]

           You’ll no more see me, I start, oh!

Sir G. To t’impress on me you mean, oh!

           This, by Jove, is a rum start, oh! (da capo)[53]

Marian. Ah! ’pon my honour (“ahi equal donna”)[54]

           I’m no retreater,

           But I’ll yet be your defeater.

Sir G. (aside) What a gal, I’d cut her neck, or—

           To—to crop, or to—to check her. (“tuti checca”)[55]

Marian. Oh, you are a cruel tartar! (“tuti, &c.)

Sir G. What the dickens is she arter?

Marian. Naught will touch him to the core!

Sir G. She is getting quite a bore.

Marian. Cruel tartar!

Sir G. What a gal, &c.


           Exeunt Marian, r., and Sir Gilbert, l. —melo-



Scene Last.The Country without Nottingham—A large

tree, r. c.

Music. —Procession of Guards, &c., bringing in Robin

    Hood, l. u. e. —Robin is fast bound, but his horn is

   hanging round his neck—Sir Gilbert attending.”


Robin. Excuse me interrupting the procession,

       I wish to make a last speech and confession.

Sir G. No more delay, the precious time we lose,

       I wouldn’t be in your freebooters shoes.

Robin. (aside) To sound this bugle I’ll some way invent,

       This horn I meant for use not horn-a-ment.

Sir G. To that tree bind him, men.

Robin. (aside)                           I can’t stand mute.

       One moment, gentlemen, before you shoot:—

       Allow me this, t’will make my anguish shorter,

       To see me tied ought to make each eye water.

       Oh let one hand be free.

Sir G.                                     Well, yes.

Robin.                                                     Oh, may it.

       (aside) Having a trump left in my hand, I’ll play it.

Sir G. What are you doing?

Robin.                                All your threats I scorn, sir.

Sir G. Heard you my question?

Robin. (putting horn to his lips) Yes, this is my horn, sir!


The Merry Men, led by Little John, Will Scarlet,

    Dorothy, Tuck, Alice, and Claribelle, suddenly          

   appear, r. and l., and overpower the Soldierstableau.


Robin. We’ve turned the tables! Now, who mercy begs?

Sir G. The tables! Pooh! I only see those Legs.

       Hah! to your tables there’s a new addition,

       Come to our aid, a military division.


Flourish. Enter Marian, r., with a paper, attended by


Marian. (c.) Our king has signed, with one stroke of his pen,

       Pardon for Robin Hood and all his men.

All. Hooray!

Sir G. (aside) I’m done! I’d best get off by stealth,

       I still have got the title and the wealth.

       (looking savagely at Robin) To earth I’d send that

                     form of graceful mould.

       (aloud) Farewell young man! you shan’t live till



Sheriff entering suddenly, r., with Lady Clare and


Sheriff.                          Hold!

(Tuck and Will Scarlet seize Sir Gilbert, r. c.)

Sheriff. (to Sir Gilbert) The money that you owed

              me, you’d not pay,

       You’ve darkly hinted I was in the way;

       You kept me waiting—all my warning you have


       You kept me, sir, too long, and so I turned;

       Then came a blow, pardon would have been farc’cal

       Under such pressures.

Sir G.                                Oh! you pressures rascal!

Sheriff. (crossing to Robin, l. c.) That will was forged!

                (producing another) But this is legal.

All.                                                                     Law!

Sheriff. And you are Earl of Huntingdon once more,

Lady C. My noble boy! my joy there’s no expressing.

Doro. Which to them turtle doves, I give my blessing.

Tuck. What shall we do with him?

Sir G. (fawningly)                           Why, if you can,

       Suspend your judgment.

Will S.                                   No, suspend the man!

Lady C. A sudden thought suggests itself to me.

       Let him take Robin’s place at your yonder tree!

All. He shall!

           (Archers, l., prepares bows, while Tuck and Will

                Scarlet are dragging Sir Guildbert[56] to tree)

Sir G. (in agony) No, no; won’t any one change places?

       I see the shafts, of pity though no traces!

       I feel my brain is going—going—gone!

       None can hurt me, that is of woman born.

       Thus, I defy you! (he is forced against tree, r. c., at back)

Little J.                        Take him to the tree.

Sir G. (wildly) Ha, ha!                                            

Little J. Make ready! Now then—one, two, three!       

Sir G. (madly)                                 He, he, he!           

          (at the signal, they fire—the arrows appear to stick

              through Sir Gilbert into the tree)

Robin. To Hymen’s altar we can go direct to it.

Sir G. (from tree) And leave me here? Oh! no, I

                 Must object to it.

All. Alive!

Sir G. (coming forward) By practicing a trick I know,

       From Chinese jugglers learnt some time ago.

Little J. To aim straight at your throat they made a struggle.

Sir G.                                                                     Ah!

       My juggler’s trick you see has saved my jugular.

Robin. (r. c.) Well, let’s shake hands and be no longer foes.

(taking Marian’s hand, and then to Lady Clare)

       I need not ask for Marian, I suppose!

Little J. (r. Sheriff, taking Alice’s hand)

       As to Miss Alice, Sheriff, I’ll not make a

       Question about your daughter.

Sheriff.                                            Bless you, take her.

Will S. (r.) My Claribelle, as you have got no ma, let

       Us make a match!

Clari.                            Yes, I’ll be Mrs. Scarlett.

Tuck. (l.) We will set up a shop! What say to this?

(showing wedding ring)

Doro. Which it’s a ring!

Tuck.                               We’ll seal it with a kiss.

Doro. Here is my lips, my nerves is discompoged.[57]

       Put your lips to them when you’re so dispoged.[58]

Sir G. (l. Marian) You will forgive, for I meant

                no offence;

       I’ve had a narrow escape, at all events.

Robin. We’ll say no more.

Marian.                               Oh, yes, dear! just one word

       To these in front—with patience you’ll be heard.

Robin. (advancing and looking round)

       Yes, I am sure that kindly they’ll receive me.

       And when I say we’ve done our best, believe me,

       At all events that I, they will allow,

       Who oft have drawn the long bow, speak truth now.

       As I look round upon each smiling fair,

       This archer here sees many an archer there,

       Who all will say, before their seats they quit,

       Whether our marksmen yet have made a hit.

       If the adventures of my merry men,

       Marian, and Little John have pleased you, then

       Return yourselves, and bring your friends to see at a

       Visit, Bold Robin’s Bow and R. O. Theatre.[59]


Finale. —“Here’s a Health to our Master Will.”[60] —An old

English air.

Robin.           Kind friends, here’s the end of it!

                          We’ve our very best very best done.

                      If you’re pleased, then send of it

                           News about that it’s capital fun.

Marian.         To wheedle ’em wheedle ’em, we

                           Have done everything that we could.

                      Can you wheedle ’em hither to see

                            Our version of Bold Robin Hood?

All.                Kind friends, here’s the end of it!

                             We’ve our very best very best done.

                      If you’re pleased, then send of it

                            News about that it’s capital fun.


(General Dance by all the Characters)







[1] This is a phrase used to signify that a person is making a large commotion over something insignificant, and this reference is also a pun on the play by William Shakespeare with the same name, Much Ado About Nothing. All references from Shakespeare plays are from The Riverside Shakespeare, 2nd ed. G. Blakemore Evans, gen. ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996). Plays are cited by act, scene, and line numbers.

[2] This is a derogatory term used to describe Indigenous North American women.

[3] A play on the words "squaw” and “quartette,” an ensemble with four parts: Robert, Alice, Marian, and Will.

[4] A play on the word “abominable” with reference to Queen Mal.

[5] St. Agnes’ night falls on January 20th and it is traditional for an unmarried girl or woman to perform various rituals, such as fasting the day before or reciting a prayer while transferring pins from a pincushion to a sleeve, in the hopes that her future husband would appear to her in her dream that night. This tradition was popularized in John Keat's poem “The Eve of St. Agnes” which was originally published in 1820, but it was inspired by Saint Agnes, a famous martyr and patron saint of virgins who died in 4th-century Rome, and the feast that took place on January 21st to commemorate her death.

[6] Italian, “Brother Devil.”

[7] French, “small loaf.” There's a play on this in the next line with the phrase “petite pang” or “small pain.”

[8] Latin, “for the time being.”

[9] This is a term used to refer to specific Mondays during which particularly devastating or catastrophic events have occurred.

[10] Italian, “In the sweet enchantment.”

[11] French, “party” and also a play on the word “fate.”

[12] French, “not wanted.”

[13] Italian, “All oblivion comes to you.”

[14] Latin, “In their own person.”

[15] French, “handsome,” but this was also a common term used to refer to a male suitor or a man that placed a particular emphasis on his clothing; also commonly referred to as a dandy such as in the line above.