Excerpts from The Death of Robert, Earle of Huntington
EXCERPTS FROM THE DEATH OF ROBERT, EARLE OF HUNTINGTON: NOTES
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).
in the order of their appearance
The Bishop of Ely.
Earl of Salisbury.
Earl of Chester.
Prince John (later, King John).
Much, a clown.
Prior of York, Uncle to Robin Hood.
Robin Hood, formerly Robert, Earl of Huntingdon.
Eleanor, the Queen Mother.
Matilda, Robin Hood's Maid Marian.
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
Mowbray (alias Hugh).
Queen Isabel (anticipated in dumbshow).
Young Bruce (alias Young Fitzwater).
Earl of Leicester (perhaps having appeared
earlier in play).
Earl of Richmond.
A Boy, messenger (no speeches).
Winchester (alias Chester).
George, younger son of Old Bruce (no
A Messenger to Oxford on the battlefield.
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.
Sir William Blunt (alias Sir Walter Blunt).
King John's masquers, ladies, soldiers, nuns.
Scene I (see note)
[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):]
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