The Downfall of Robert, Earle of Huntington
THE DOWNFALL OF ROBERT, EARLE OF HUNTINGTON: NOTES
This edition is based on John C. Meagher's edited facsimile collation of William Leake's black letter printing of 160l (Malone Society, 1965). The full title in Leake's edition is The Downfall of Robert, Earle of Huntington, Afterward Called Robin Hood of merrie Sherwodde: with his love to chaste Matilda, the Lord Fitzwaters daughter, afterwardes his faire Maide Marian. Ten copies of Leake's printing survive. Meagher based his reprint on xerographs of the Harvard copy which he collated with the other nine copies. Line count in the present edition corresponds to the idiosyncracies of Meagher's edition. Leake printed the text in black letter with roman for speech-prefixes, stage directions, and names occuring within the text; and with italic for names occurring within stage directions. I have ignored such distinctions in this edition, using instead boldface for speech prefixes and italic for stage directions, with a smaller italic font on the right margin for glosses of hard words. In Leake speakers are identified in various ways. For the most part I have chosen uniform designations for characters -- Lit. John, for Little John, Pr. John for Prince John -- though I have maintained Leake's distinctions between Marian and Matilda which, though they are the same person, usually (though not always) refer to her in different contexts (Marian in the Greenwood, and Matilda at court). I occasionally have followed Leake's practices in capitalization but usually have followed modern usage. Except for the formation of genitives (where I have followed Leake's practices), I have converted all punctuation to modern usage. In some instances I have elided two word phrases to compound words according to modern practices (e.g., to day > today, to morrowe > tomorrowe, my selfe > myselfe, your selfe > yourselfe). I have noted significant emendations in the notes, and usually compared them with other modern editions.
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. OED = Oxford English Dictionary
[Scene i]. L does not specify scene divisions. But modern editions (C, H, F, and M) use them, so I have adopted them as well. They are not included in line count, however, as they are in The Death, where they are necessary if line count is to correspond to M's two editions, thus facilitating cross-reference.
1-39 The Induction, whereby the play leads the audience from familiar social banter between two men of letters into a theatrical representation of "history," or, at least, entertainment from a former time. By naming Skelton and Eltham as the protagonists, Munday implies that they are rehearsing a performance for Henry VII or Henry VIII ("his Majesty" -- line 9; see also note to line 2741). M (1980, p. 465) suggests that the Induction perhaps imitates Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, which was published twice with an induction (1594 and 1596), where revellers gather in a tavern before putting on their play. See also Greene's James IV, entered in the Stationer's Register in 1594, which likewise begins with an induction. Munday goes a step further by maintaining the illusion of actors rehearsing by placing an interlude between Skelton and Eltham in The Death of Robert, Earle of Huntington after Robert's death before moving on into the Tragedy of Matilda, and by having the Friar, played by Skelton, often interrupt the play to respond as "Skelton"; he then is usually reprimanded for his indulgence by Sir John Eltham, who is playing the part of Little John.
5 Skelton. John Skelton (c. 1460-1529) wrote court verse for three kings: Edward VI, Henry VII, and Henry VIII. He was designated poet laureate for the last two and served as tutor for Henry VIII in his youth, instructing the king-to-be in the performing arts. Noted for his satiric flair and witty short, rhymed verses (Skeltonics), he also wrote comedies, interludes, and morality plays, including the play Magnificence. He is thus a most suitable figure for Munday's theatrical device as he bustles about ordering up the play for his king. By setting the performance in the time of Henry VII or Henry VIII Munday evokes a time of exuberance when the Tudor dynasty was in its youth, a time when May festivals and Robin Hood theater flourished.
11-13 Ferdinand is king of Spain; Sebastian, king of Portugal. But, as M (1980) observes: "Since the former died in 1516 and the latter was born in 1557, the business of the negotiations is plainly the fanciful invention of the dramatist, designed merely to provide the equally fictitious Sir John Eltam with 'great affairs' " (p. 465).
28 the boyes and Clowne. These boys are the actors who will play the women's parts, once the play gets underway; the clown will become Much the Miller's son, from the Robin Hood ballads. As clown, he will speak in prose, despite the fact that L's compositor occasionally breaks the prose up into irregular lines, as if it were verse. The list of characters and line 29 suggest that Marian is played by "little Tracy."
32 Sir Thomas Mantle. Mantle's identity is unknown, except that he seems to be the actor who will play Robin. L reads mantle; C capitalizes the word, which makes sense.
37 dumbe scene. A silent pantomime often used as prelude to a dramatic action in Elizabethan drama. Usually it anticipates the principal roles and plot of what follows. See, for example, the proleptic dumbshow at the outset of Norton and Sackville's Gorboduc (1562); or Lyly's Endymion (1588, 1591), where it foreshadows events about to unfold; or the dumbshow prior to the performance of The Mousetrap in Hamlet (1599-1601); or Bottom's confused exercise in Midsummer Night's Dream (1594-98). In Webster's Duchess of Malfi (1612-14) the dumbshow presents both events to come and events just passed. Here, in Munday, the dumbshow (lines 41-56) is repeated along with Skelton's commentary (lines 59-108) in a way similar to Peele's mingling of dumbshow and commentary in The Battle of Alcazar (1594). See also the dumbshows in The Death of Robert, Earle of Huntington, which establish the political environs of Matilda's tragedy.
73 Now. M (1980) silently emends to No. But Now makes good sense.
94 Gilbert Hoode. The name given to Robert's father in another Robin Hood play entitled Look About You (1600).
101 troth-plight. To engage a woman in a contract of marriage, i.e., engagement (OED). In line 208 Robin calls Marian his spowse, but as M (1980, p. 469) observes, the betrothal, which preceded the actual marriage by an indefinite period, made them man and wife.
116 shot in his bowe. A well-known proverb: "Many speak (talk) of Robin Hood that never shot his bow." See Morris Palmer Tilley, A Dictionary of Proverbs in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1950), R 148, who cites Haywood, Campion, Lyly, Puttenham, Harrington, etc.
118 Skeltonic verse is marked by short lines, irregular meter and rhymes, and alliteration. M (1980), citing Puttenham, notes that Skelton was not often thought of as a serious writer but more as a jokester (pp. 469-70), though in the lines which follow the matter is serious indeed.
135 catchpoles. A catchpole is a barbed device on a pole that is attached to the neck of offenders being brought to justice. It was used originally by tax collectors but became a synecdoche of scorn for any apprehending officer or sheriff's man. See also catchpole bribed groomes in line 360.
139 ribble rabble. See also line 2235: an alliterative doublet of the sort common in popular verse (see tit tattle in line 432); perhaps a variant on bibble babble. See also huckle duckle in the play Robin Hood and the Friar, line 115.
141 [Exit. Not in L; C's emendation, followed by H and M (1980).
152 [Exit Warman. Not in L; C's emendation, followed by H and M (1980).
160 Robin's prodigality is offered as the reason for his being outlawed. The source, according to M (1980, p. 43), is probably Grafton's Chronicle: "But in an olde and auncient Pamphlet I finde this written of the Sayd Robert Hood. This man (sayeth he) discended of a noble parentage: or rather beyng of a base stocke and linage, was for his manhoode and chiualry aduanced to the noble dignitie of an Erle, excellyng principally in Archery, or shootyng, his manly courage agreeyng therevnto: But afterwardes he so prodically exceeded in charges and expences, that he fell into great debt, by reason whereof, so many actions and sutes were commenced against him, wherevnto he aunswered not, that by order of lawe he was outlawed."
167 napkin on his shoulder. M (1980, p. 471) notes that the shoulder is the usual place for napkins, citing An Humerous Day's Mirth (1599), where Verone enters with his napkin on his shoulder.
169 For discussion of outlawry, see the note to line 5 of the Gest.
173 In L the pre-speech signifier is Iohn. I have identified him as Lit. John, for the sake of clarity; later, Prince John, also called John sometimes in L, is here identified as Pr. John.
194 Scene. L frequently capitalizes terms for the theater, a practice I've adhered to. E.g., lines 233, 238, etc.
275 [Exit Marian. Not in L; C's emendation, followed by H and M (1980).
284 The four locations identify Robert's country houses: Rowford = Rufford, Nottinghamshire; Sowtham = Southam, Warwickshire; Wortley is north of Sheffield; and Hothersfield = Hudderfield, Yorkshire.
290 care will kill her. Proverbial: see Tilley C84, for variations from "Sorrow hath killed many" to "care will kill a cat."
295 Belsavage. An inn that stood on Ludgate Hill, used to house Elizabethan plays. See M (1980, p. 475).
318 must. L: mnst: a compositor's error. Inverted letters are not uncommon in L. See also hnmble (line 536), rnnne (line 890), Renenge (line 959), hane (line 968), aud (lines 976, 1301, 1677, 1821, 2236), turue (line 1256), thon (lines 1605, 1680), Yonr (line 1656), Bmt (line 1675), Scotlaud (line 2072), yon (i.e., you, lines 1265, 1354, 2165, 2236).
347 worshipt. "honored your position with proper address." I.e., "I 'your-worshiped' you."
349 buckram satchell. A sachel of course linen rather than leather; hence, without class, as paltry as his pen-and-inkhorn status.
356-58 The trope of the sheep-killing mastiff epitomizes hypocrisy that is not easily recognized when found within one's own domain but which, once exposed, must be dealt with expeditiously.
360 See note to line 135.
370 ran. H emends to run.
417 [Exit. Not in L. C's emendation, followed by H and M (1980).
429 M (1980, p. 477) notes that Prince was used of male and female alike.
433 and I say true. In truth, he says false. M (1980) observes that good people lie "with surprising freedom" in these plays (see also lines 227-56 and Death, lines 1770-81), but cites Guazzo, in Pettie's translation of The Ciuile Conuersation (1586): "I denie not, but that it is commendable to coine a lie at sometime, and in some place, so that it tend to some honest end."
457 odly attyred. Hazlitt conjuctures that Warman's wife, given her odd dialect in lines 460 ff., is French. But M (1980) doubts that that's the case. Perhaps her attire simply means she's eccentric and that her dialect is provincial, or that she is not well bred.
523 Nich. C emends to Much. M (1967) defends Nich as a characteristic distortion by Mistress Warman.
548 The sheriff's wife pretends to lofty speech now that she is a lofty woman, but seldom does she get things right. By Paterne she seems to mean Patent (i.e., the appointment of Warman to Sheriff). Compare the even more pretentious language of Ralph below (see note to line 939).
551-56 C suggests that lines 553-54 are spoken by Warman, with lines 555-56 again by Prince John. M (1980) acknowledges the possibility with bracketted speech prefixes.
558 Earle John. John bears both titles of earl and prince.
566 receive. L: deceive. H's emendation. M (1980) maintains deceive.
566 [Enter John. Not in L; C's emendation, followed by H and M (1980).
572-74 Proverbial paraphrase of Matthew 24.12.
594 Marian. L: War. Another instance of an inverted letter.
661 Rosamond was mistress to Henry II. She was supposedly killed by order of the jealous Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard and John's mother. Munday is having fun with "history."
662 cankers. H emends to cank'rous, or perhaps cankred.
676 Zwouns. God's wounds.
676 after-arrant. Arrant perhaps means "message"; an after-arrant could thus mean "subsequent message" such as the blow just given.
[Exit Messenger. Not in L; supplied by C and all others.
679 Simon. M (1980, p. 482) notes that historically the reference should be to Robert de Beaumont, not Simon.
732 Ely. C suggests Chester could be the speaker.
782 As the stage direction here makes clear, Marian's name has been changed to Matilda. See note to line 1328. She is hereafter referred to as Matilda, except for a brief appearance in the greenwood (lines 1382 ff.), where she becomes Marian once again; Lord Lacy becomes Fitzwater; and the character hereafter called Salsbury was before called Leicester. A new Leicester appears later. M (1980) suggests that lines 1-781 were from early composition of the play which was later revised in the acted version (pp. 67-70); or, perhaps, the adjustments came after decisions were being made to write a two-part play which would center upon Matilda in the second part. See note to lines 871 ff. of The Death of Robert, Earl of Huntington, below.
786 for and. A common expression in the drama of the period, meaning "and also," "and moreover." Collier (cited by M , p. 483) is wrong to suggest "for" to be useless. See, for example, Beaumont's Knight of the Burning Pestle, II.i.163-64: "Your Squire doth come and with him comes the Lady, / For and the Squire of Dames as I take it" (Cyrus Hoy, Beaumont and Fletcher [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980], Vol. I, 33); and the Gravedigger's song in Hamlet, V.i.82-83: "A pick-axe and a spade, a spade, / For and a shrouding sheet."
797 cogge. M suggests a "pun on cog (flattery, or an ingratiating speech of any kind) and cog (the cross-board on a mill wheel): cf. 1431-32" (1980, p. 485).
800 his brother. L: brother. C's emendation, which improves the meter; followed by all others.
843 palliardize. Palliard is a cant term for beggar.
890 Skelton. Skelton is playing the role of the Friar. He becomes so agitated with the vanity of the world that he falls from the Friar's character into his own "moral" voice and has to be reminded by John Eltham, who's playing Little John, to get back into his role. This gest on theatrical decorum proceeds from the Induction, where they assume their roles.
909 [Exeunt. Not in L; C's addition, followed by all others.
919 Will Scarlet, variously known in the ballads as "Scarlock," "Scathelocke," and "Scadlock," has been turned into two separate characters by Munday: Scarlet, in line 916, and Scathlock here.
921 "This is obviously a rationalization of traditions: the author has inserted Scarlet and Scathlock into the position otherwise held by three anonymous brethren, and must reconcile the diversity of names with their common sonship to the widow. The solution he chose gave him an extra father to employ, and it is with characteristic thoroughness that he insists on both fathers' kindness to Warman, throwing in Warman's father for symmetry and good measure" (M, 1980, p. 488).
939 By putting "inkhorn" terms (words borrowed from Latin, Greek, and French) into the mouth of Ralph, Warman's servant, Munday satirizes Ralph's pretension and positions himself with the numerous writers who ridiculed the use of obscure language when adequate English equivalents existed.
1001 [Exit Frier. Not in L; C's addition, followed by all.
1003 Friar Tuck is identified with St. Mary's Abbey, York, where, in the Gest (see lines 217, 337, and 930), Earl Robert's uncle is Prior.
1005-23 This passage is conceivably from an early version which Munday intended to cancel since it overlaps matter repeated in lines 1258-1387. But it cannot be deleted without adjustment of one passage or the other. Perhaps it was this kind of reworking that Chettle was paid to undertake on 25 November 1598, as the play was moved from the Rose Theatre to the Court. See Henslowe's Diary (Part I: Text) (London, 1904), fol. 52. M provides a thoughtful discussion of these problematic lines in his critical edition (1980, pp. 70-74).
1011 [Exeunt Much, Scarlet, Scath. C's addition, not followed by M.
1028 Salsbury is the name given now and henceforth to line 1785 for Leicester.
1203-04 The story of Cynthia and Endimion was well-known to theater-goers through Lyly's Endimion (1591).
1215 Clepstowes. C: Chepstow's.
1242 [Exit Salsbury. Not in L; C's addition, followed by all.
1282 Barnsdale shrogs to Notinghams red cliffes. In Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne Robin is said to be from Barnsdale where mention is made of shrogs. See also the Gest, line 9 and note. M (1980, p. 498) suggests that Munday may be specifically alluding to the ballad here; and, given the fact that Nottingham does have red cliffs, no literary reference to which can M find, he speculates that Munday may have had first-hand knowledge of that region.
1283 Blithe is located on the Northumberland coast, north of Newcastle. Tickhill is in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
1284-85 George a Greene at Bradford . . . Wakefields Pinner. See M's long note on these lines (1980, pp. 499-500): Collier had thought Munday guilty of an error when he conflates George a Greene the pinner of Wakefield with the shoemaker of Bradford. But the text does not say that he is a shoemaker. M suggests that the source of the association of George a Greene with Bradford may be Robert Greene's 1592 play George a Greene the Pinner of Wakefield, which has a scene with both the Shoemaker of Bradford and George a Greene present along with Robin and Scarlet. The psalmic syntax of the two lines may simply mean that "George a Greene the pinner of Wakefield loved us well at Bradford." Wakefield, near Bradford, was an important weaving and dyeing center in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
1286 Barnsley, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, was known for its market.
1288 Nunnes of Farnsfield. Farnsfield is located near Sherwood Forest, though no convent is known to have been there.
1290 Kendall greene. Though Robin Hood and his men are often associated with Lincoln green, as in the Gest (line 1685), here, according to M (1980, p. 500) Munday follows A Mery Geste where the May games are performed in Kendall green. Kendall, in Westmoreland, was noted for its green woollens since the Flemish weavers were established there in the reign of Edward III.
1291 Known for its manufacturing activities, Leeds was a center of coal and iron forging. As early as 1200, the monks of Kirkstall Abbey forged iron.
1292 Rotheram = Rotherham, West Riding, Yorkshire.
1295 Mansfield. In the heart of Sherwood Forest, in Nottinghamshire.
1296 wrestling day. See note to line 538 of the Gest on wrestling as a medieval sport.
1328 Articles. The six provisions constitute the outlaw code: 1) Earl Robert will henceforth be called Robin Hood; 2) Matilda will be called Maid Marian; 3) all yeoman swear to expel lustful thoughts about women; 4) all passers-by will be "invited" to feast with Robin Hood with the unstated condition that they pay for the privilege; 5) the outlaws swear never to wrong a poor man, but priests, usurers, and clerks are fair game; and 6) all yeoman swear to defend maids, widows, orphans, and distressed men. The last four items are drawn from the Gest.
1399 rener. C and H read reaver. Perhaps an archaic form of ME renner, a runner or fugitive. Or possibly a corruption of renter, "a farmer of tolls or taxes," which OED cites in Florio 1598 (sb.3); in which case a lawlesse rener would be one who doesn't pay his taxes. If C's emendation is sound, then the sense of reaner is "robber."
1427 Gifts stinke with proffer. Proverbial. See Tilley S252: "Proffered service (or ware) stinks."
1429 Proverbial. See Tilley K51.
1437 Proverbial. See Tilley J57: "Joan is as good as my lady in the dark."
1439 weye. C reads wi'ye, which is certainly the sense.
1446-47 Farnsfield and Southwell are near Sherwood Forest.
1526 proface. A formula of welcome at a meal; in frequent use from the early sixteenth century to mid-seventeenth century; literally "may it do you good." See C. T. Onions A Shakespeare Glossary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1919), p. 169. See, for example, Shakespeare 2 Henry IV, v.iii.28.
1554 [Enter Frier Tucke . . . Not in L. See note to lines 1571-72 below.
1556-65 More Skeltonics, which should be read in short, irregularly rhyming lines, as in lines 118-41, though here they are to be sung, perhaps in the manner of a street call, in a crude tetrameter. Keep in mind that the Friar is being played by Skelton, so perhaps he is simply being self indulgent. See note to lines 1587-1606 below.
1560 chuse. L: cheape. M's emendation, with note that chuse appears twice more in the song and functions as a refrain (1980, p. 505).
1563 poting sticks. A pote is a stick for poking, used for crimping linen to make ruffs.
1571-72 The stage direction in L reads: [Enter Frier like a Pedlar, and Jinny, Sir Doncaster, and others weaponed. But Tuck and Jinny have entered at lines 1554-55 and conversed with Robin. Now, as Doncaster enters, Tuck addresses him.
1582 [Sings. M (1980, p. 505) suggests that the song of lines 1556-65 be repeated here.
1587-1606 Clearly "Skelton" enjoys being the good guy as the Friar responds to Marian and then to Robin in Skeltonic verse. Earlier, lines 846 ff., the compositor printed the Skeltonics appropriately in short lines. Here, and in lines 1610-11, the lines are run together. In lines 2081-95 the lines are printed in tetrameter. Perhaps a different compositor is at work here, or the same one is short on space. I have maintained L's blocking of the lines so that the line count of this edition will correspond to M's critical edition and that of the Malone society.
1606 certainely. L: certaine. Emendation M's, for purposes of Skeltonic rhyme.
1628 [Exeunt omnes. Not in L; C's emendation, followed by all.
1737 band. Past tense of ban, "to curse."
1740 Servant. L: Sor. C emends to Ser., followed by all.
1753 Prior. L omits speech prefix. But it is necessary and is added by C et al.
1754 C adds [Exit Servant after this line and after line 1760.
1764 Herald. No speech prefix in L.
1770 M (1980) notes that "Primate of England" is a title granted by the Pope to the Archbishop of York, while "Primate of All England" is the title granted the Archbishop of Canterbury (p. 508). Holinshed B3 gives the story.
1777 C adds: Exit Herald.
1782 Let Lester come. Presumably his drum (line 1785) is already being heard.
1825 Acon, Acres. One and the same place: a city in Asia Minor. Grafton's Chronicle uses the name Acon; Holinshed uses Acre. Munday uses both. Richard's title was "king of Jerusalem," which included all domains from the Holy City to Cyprus.
1831 mites. Perhaps an allusion to the widow's mite in Mark 12.41-44.
1856 Richards. C suggests King Richards, which improves the meter.
1858-59 guide of Greece . . . to Tenedos. Tenedos is the inland off the coast of Troy which Agamemnon, the "guide," used as a mustering point against the Trojans. It is mentioned in The Aeneid: "Offshore lies Tenedos, famed and storied island, / rich and a power while Priam's throne held firm" (Aeneid II.21-22, Copley's translation). Its fame as a storied place continued into the Renaissance where the beauty of Marlowe's Helen "summoned Greece to arms, / and drew a thousand ships to Tenedos" (2 Tamburlaine II.iv.87-88).
1862 souldiours. C and H emend to Soldan's, which makes good sense.
1878 not. Omitted in L. Hazlitt's emendation, accepted by M (1980).
1881 Joppa. Haifa.
1885 carpet knight. One who earns glory not on the battle field but by sitting around at home; a term of derision.
1900-01 C speculates that these lines might better be spoken by the Queen.
1912 Beare. The "bear and ragged staff" denote the heraldry of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. M (1980) points out that Munday used the emblem in his book Two godly and learned Sermons, made by . . . Iohn Calvin, which he dedicated to Leicester (pp. 512-13).
2011 [Exeunt. Not in L, but in all others.
2020 Phaeton. Son of Helios, who presumed to drive his father's chariot. When he veered too close to earth, thereby scorching it, Jove smote him with a thunderbolt (Ovid, Metamorphoses I.755 ff.).
2021 [Enter Lester and Richmond. Not in L. C/H place the entrance at line 2018; M (1980), at line 2021.
2032-61 See M (1980, pp. 514-16) on the popularity of the tale of Richard and the lion, which crops up in several sixteenth-century plays and romances. But probably Munday's source was a ballad such as that printed in Thomas Evans' Old Ballads (1784), I, 80-86.
2094 guesse. C/H's emendation to "guesste" is not followed by M (1980), who notes that guesse is a common Renaissance form of guest, whether singular or plural.
2118 Oxen. Probably Oxton, just north of Nottingham.
2128 market man. A man connected with the market: perhaps a vendor or a mercenary; or perhaps a pickpocket who haunts markets.
2138 L reads: Enter Robin. C adds: and John. John speaks at line 2159.
2147 and. L: a. A compositor's error for &.
2179 burning irons. Robin, known for his generosity, here threatens Ely, though all know that he will not carry out his threat, including Ely (see lines 2185-86).
2200 con verse. Robin thoughtfully gives Ely dignified company with which to con verse. The phrase carries several meanings: "tell tales," "make merry," "pass the time," as well as "keep company."
2221 merry jeasts. Apparently Robin Hood plays, perhaps from May festivals, that were especially popular in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Skelton alludes to the story in Colyn Cloute (line 879). Or perhaps, as M (1980, p. 520) suggests, the allusion is to a specific play entered on the Stationers' Register in 1594 called a "pastorall plesant Commedie of Robin Hood and little John" in which Jinny was a prominent character and which included the friar-in-the-well story and an account of Greeneleafe's robbing the Shrieve of Notingham (line 2224). The ballad The Friar in the Well (Child V, no. 276) tells part of the story but does not name the maid. In the Gest (line 596) Little John assumes the identity of Reynolde Grenelef after winning the shooting match.
2229 This line must remain from an early version in which Robin's death was to conclude the play.
2248 The scene is set in Sherwood Forest.
2261 Bingham. In Nottinghamshire, about eight miles east of Nottingham.
2272 M (1980, p. 522) remarks on the precision of Munday's knowledge of Nottinghamshire's geography.
2310 Redford. Probably Retford, Nottinghamshire, north of Sherwood Forest.
2313 Jailer. L omits the pre-speech designation, though clearly it is necessary.
2318 L: thererefore.
2320 thin-cheekt. L: thick-cheek't. C changes to thin-cheek'd, followed by H and M (1980), to accord with chittiface, which means "thin-cheeked," or "pinch-face." But the Jailer is full of angry words and perhaps abuses the language, even as Mrs. Warman does, with his thick-cheekt chittiface, in which case the emendation spoils the joke. Or maybe thick-cheekt chittiface means something like "fat-faced skinflint."
2329 C adds Enter woman, then takes her off again at line 2344, has her reenter at line 2347, then exits her at line 2355.
2344 The woman cruelly tricks Warman with a pun: a caudle is "a warm drink consisting of thin gruel mixed with wine or ale, sweetened and spiced, given chiefly to aid people, especially women in childbed; also to their visitors" (OED, sb. 1). Thus the starving Warman thinks she means to provide him with nurture. But caudle also refers to the hangman's noose (hempen caudle) which is in fact what she brings him, thus dashing his hopes and providing the reality check of his villainy from which he cannot escape.
2355 The woman's exit is not marked in L.
2365 sound hermonious. M (1980) suggests that the moment was probably preceded by bird-sounds produced by the company's musicians.
2419 not. Not in L. M's emendation.
2438 sinksanker. Not in OED. Halliwell is certainly right in calling it a term of contempt; Hazlitt glosses it as a term applicable to a "card sharper." M (1980) suggests that it's nothing more than a malapropism for "blind soothsayer," used here "in reference to Fitzwater's ability to 'hit so right' despite his blindness" (p. 524).
2490 trusse. A close-fitting garment or jacket (OED). M (1980, p. 524) notes that Hensloe's inventory of 13 March 1597/8 included "the fryers trusse in Roben Hoode" (Papers, p. 121).
2496 Bawtrey = Bawtry, in southern Yorkshire.
2505 [Exeunt. Not in L; added by C et al.
2509-10 From The Jolly Pinder of Wakefield, lines 31-32.
2515 Another reference to the Gest's Reynolde Grenelef. See line 2224 and note to line 2221 above.
2531-32 crowne . . . noble. Pun on two English coins, as well as on political hierarchy. A noble was worth half a mark.
2671-72 Compare Adam Bell, where the king makes William a gentleman "of clothynge and of fee" (line 661).
2681 M adds: [Exeunt Scarlet, John].
2682 C adds: Exit Much. Not in L, but necessary for the sense.
2685 [Exit Warman. Not in L. C's addition.
2691 [Enter Prior and Doncaster. Not in L. C's addition followed by M (1980). C wonders if Warman might not enter here as well.
2706 late lost sonne. M (1980, p. 527) observes: "In Look About You (A2v), Robert, Earl of Huntington, is Richard's ward, which may have something to do with this line."
2721-23 Richard's apocryphal siege of Babylon is mentioned in Arnold's Chronicle and in romances of Richard and in some ballads. Wynkyn de Worde's Kynge Rycharde cuer du lyon (1528) includes the story. The title Emperor of the East occurs in The Battle of Alcazar (1594), A3. See M (1980, pp. 527-28).
2741 Moorton my Chancellour. John Morton, Bishop of Ely, was chancellor under Henry VII. Richard's chancellor was William Longchamp. Thus it would seem that Henry VII is the king Skelton is imagined to please in his production of this Robin Hood play. See above, "his Majesty" (line 9).
2787 ff. M (1980, p. 529) notes: "The details predicted for the sequel play make it plain that if the opening section of the Death was not fully written at the time this epilogue was composed, it was at least clearly planned."
2827 M's note (1980, p. 529) on Richard's return to Austria is worth quoting in full: "This is, of course, an apocryphal journey, deriving from the romances; there, Richard's imprisonment takes place on the return journey from a pilgrimage (not a crusade), and part of the work of the subsequent crusade then becomes a trip to settle with his captor. But in all the extant romance versions, the imprisonment (and hence the return trip) is set in Almayn, not Austria, with the villain being the Emperor of Almayn rather than the Duke of Austria. The ballad cited in 2032-6ln is the one exception; and it is possible that there was at one time a group of associated ballads dealing with the subject, or another version of the romance corresponding to the ballad."
2834 The Catastrophe. The sequel is The Death of Robert, Earl of Huntington, which presents fair Matildas Tragedie (line 2835) and her becoming a nun at Dunmowe Abbey (line 2837), a priory located in Essex.
2837 Dunmowe. L: Dumwod. Probably a compositor's error. The historical Fitzwater was patron of Dunmowe Priory in Essex. In The Death, Dunmowe is the Priory to which Matilda flees to escape the lewd advances of King John; there she is betrayed by the worldly prioress, poisoned, and, ultimately, buried.
in the order of their appearance
Sir John Eltham
Sir Thomas Mantle
The other Players, the
characters of the dumbshow
| Characters of the
Lord Lacy, brother of Sir Hugh and father of
Marian (after line 781, Lord Fitzwater).
A boy, servant to Sir Hugh Lacy.
Ralph, Warman's man.
Gilbert de Hood, Prior of York and uncle to
Robert, Earl of Huntingdon.
Justice Warman, Steward to Robert, Earl of
Huntingdon; later Sheriff of Notingham.
Robert Hood, Robert, Earle of Huntingdon.
Little John, his Servant.
Marian, his betrothed (after line 781, Matilda,
daughter of Lord Fitzwater).
Eleanor, the Queen Mother.
Widow Scarlet, mother of Scarlet and
Sir Doncaster of Hothersfield.
Jinny, daughter of the Widow Scarlet.
A servant of the Prior.
Another servant, messenger from York.
Sir Hugh Lacy
Sir Gilbert Broghton
| Conspirators against the
| Earl of Huntingdon.
Earl of Leicester.
The Bishop of Ely.
Much, the Miller's Son, a clown.
A messenger from Ely.
Simon, Earl of Leicester (after line 781, Lord
Jailer of Notingham.
Sheriff's men, Sir Doncaster's ruffians,
Leicester's drum and ancient, soldiers,
officers, attendants, Jailer's dog.
[Enter Sir John Eltam, and knocke at Skeltons
Howe, maister Skelton? What, at studie hard?
[Opens the doore.
Welcome and wisht for, honest Sir John Eltham
I have sent twice, and either time
He mist that went to seeke you.
So full well hee might.
These two howers it pleas'd his Majesty
To use my service in survaying mappes
Sent over from the good King Ferdinand,
That to the Indies, at Sebastians sute,
Hath lately sent a Spanish Colonie.
Then twill trouble you, after your great affairs,
To take the paine that I intended to intreat you to
About rehearsall of your promis'd play.
Nay master Skelton, for the King himselfe,
As wee were parting, bid mee take great heede
Wee faile not of our day; therefore I pray
Sende for the rest that now we may rehearse.
O they are readie all, and drest to play.
What part play you?
Why I play Little John
And came on purpose with this greene sute.
Holla my masters, Little John is come.
[At every doore all the Players runne out, some crying
"where? where?" Others welcome Sir John; among others
the boyes and Clowne.
Faith little Tracy you are somewhat forward:
What, our Maid Marian leaping like a lad?
If you remember, Robin is your love:
Sir Thomas Mantle yonder, not Sir John.
But master, Sir John is my fellowe, for I am
Much, the Millers sonne. Am I not?
I know yee are, sir,
And gentlemen, since you are thus prepar'd,
Goe in and bring your dumbe scene on the stage,
And I, as Prologue, purpose to expresse
The ground whereon our historie is laied.
[Exeunt; manet Skelton.
[Trumpets sounde; enter first king Richard, with drum
and Auncient, giving Ely a purse and scepter, his mother,
and brother John, Chester, Lester, Lacie, others at the
kings appointment doing reverence. The king goes in;
presently Ely ascends the chaire; Chester, John, and the
Queene part displeasantly. Enter Robert, Earle of Hun-
tington, leading Marian; followes him Warman, and, after
Warman, the Prior, Warman ever flattering and making
curtsie, taking gifts of the Prior behinde, and his master
before. Prince John enters, and offereth to take Marian.
Queene Elinor enters, offering to pull Robin from her,
but they infolde each other and sit downe within the
curteines; Warman with the Prior, Sir Hugh Lacy, Lord
Sentloe, & Sir Gilbert Broghton folde hands, and drawing
the curteins, all but the Prior enter and are kindely re-
ceived by Robin Hoode. The curteins are againe shut.
Sir John, once more, bid your dumbe shewes come in,
That as they passe I may explane them all.
[Enter King Richard with drumme and scepter, and Ensigne,
giving Ely a purse; his mother and brother John,
Chester, Lester, Lacie, others at the Kings appointment,
doing reverence. The King goes in.
Richard calde Cor de Lyon takes his leave,
Like the Lords Champion, gainst the Pagan foes
That spoyle Judea and rich Palestine.
The rule of England and his princely seate
He leaves with Ely, then Lord Chancellor,
To whom the mother Queene, her sonne, Prince John,
Chester, and all the Peeres are sworne.
[Exit Richard cum militibus.
[Ely ascends the chaire; Chester, John and the Queene
Now reverend Ely, like the deputie
Of Gods greate deputie, ascends the throne,
Which the Queene mother, and ambitious John
Repining at, rais'd many mutinies;
And how they ended you anone shall heare.
[Enter Robert, Earle of Huntington, leading Marian; fol-
lowes him Warman, and after Warman the Prior, War-
man ever flattering and making curtsie, taking gifts
of the Prior behinde, and his master before. Prince
John enters, offereth to take Marian. Queene Elinor
enters, offering to pull Robin from her; but they in-
folde each other, and sit downe within the curteines.
This youth that leads yon virgin by the hand
(As doth the Sunne, the morning richly clad)
Is our Earle Robert, or your Robin Hoode,
That in those daies was Earle of Huntington.
The ill fac't miser, brib'd in either hand,
Is Warman, once the Steward of his house,
Who Judas-like betraies his liberall Lord
Into the hands of that relentlesse Prior,
Calde Gilbert Hoode, uncle to Huntington.
Those two that seeke to part these lovely friends
Are Elenor the Queene and John the Prince;
She loves Earle Robert, he Maide Marian,
But vainely: for their deare affect is such,
As only death can sunder their true loves.
Long had they lov'd, and now it is agreed
This day they must be troth-plight, after wed.
At Huntingtons faire house a feast is helde,
But envie turnes it to a house of teares.
For those false guestes, conspiring with the Prior,
To whome Earle Robert greatly is in debt,
Meane at the banquet to betray the Earle,
Unto a heavie writ of outlawry.
The manner and escape you all shall see.
Which all, good Skelton?
Why, all these lookers on,
Whom, if wee please, the King will sure be pleas'd.
Looke to your entrance, get you in Sir John. [Exit Sir John.
My shift is long, for I play Frier Tucke,
Wherein if Skelton have but any lucke
Heele thanke his hearers oft, with many a ducke.
For many talk of Robin Hood that never shot in his bowe,
But Skelton writes of Robin Hood what he doth truly knowe.
Therefore, I pray yee,
Contentedly stay yee
And take no offending,
But sit to the ending.
Likewise I desire,
Yea would not admire,
My rime so I shift.
For this is my drift,
So mought I well thrive,
To make yee all blithe:
But if ye once frowne,
Poore Skelton goes downe,
His labour and cost,
He thinketh all lost,
In tumbling of bookes
Of Mary goe lookes.
The Sheriffe with staves,
With catchpoles and knaves,
Are comming, I see,
High time tis for mee
To leave off my babble
And fond ribble rabble.
Therefore with this curtsie
A while I will leave yee. [Exit.
betrothed (see note)
law officers (see note)
babble; (see note)
[Enter, as it were in haste, the Prior of Yorke, the
Sheriffe, Justice Warman, steward to Robin Hoode.
Here master Warman, there's a hundred crowns,
For your good will and furtherance in this.
I thanke you my Lord Prior, I must away
To shunne suspicion, but be resolute,
And wee will take him, have no doubt of it.
But is Lord Sentloe and the other come?
Lord Sentloe, Sir Hugh Lacie, and Sir Gilbert Broghton
Are there and, as they promist you last night,
Will helpe to take him, when the Sheriffe comes. [Exit Warman.
A while farewell, and thankes to them and you.
Come master Sheriffe, the outlawry is proclam'd;
Sende therefore quickly for more companie,
And at the backe gate wee will enter in.
Wee shall have much adoe I am afraide.
No, they are very merry at a feast,
A feast, where Marian, daughter to Lord Lacy,
Is troth-plighted to wastfull Huntington.
And at the feast are my especiall friends,
Whom hee suspectes not: come weele have him, man,
And for your paines, here is a hundred markes. Exeunt.
I thanke your Lordshippe, weele be diligent.
[Enter Robin Hoode, Little John following him -- the one
Earle of Huntington, the other his servant, Robin having
his napkin on his shoulder, as if hee were sodainly
raised from dinner.
As I am outlawed from my fame and state,
Be this day outlawed from the name of daies:
Day lucklesse, outlawe lawlesse, both accurst.
[Flings away his napkin, hat, and sitteth downe.
Doe not forget your honourable state,
Nor the true noblesse of your worthy house.
Doe not perswade mee; vaine as vanitie
Are all thy comforts -- I am comfortlesse.
Heare mee my Lord.
What shall I heare thee say?
Alreadie hast thou saide too much to heare.
Alreadie hast thou stabd mee with thy tongue,
And the wide wound with words will not be clos'd.
Am I not outlawed, by the Prior of Yorke,
Proclaim'd in court, in citie, and in towne,
A lawlesse person? This thy tongue reports:
And therefore seeke not to make smooth my griefe:
For the rough storme thy windie words hath rais'd
Will not be calm'd till I in grave be laied.
Have patience yet.
Yea, now indeede thou speakest.
Patience hath power to beare a greater crosse
Then honours spoyle, or any earthly losse.
Doe so my Lord.
I, now I would beginne;
But see, another Scene of griefe comes in.
Why is my Lord so sad? Wherefore so soone,
So sodainely arose yee from the boorde?
Alas my Robin, what distempering griefe
Drinkes up the roseat colour of thy cheekes?
Why art thou silent? Answere mee my love.
Let him, let him, let him make thee as sad.
Hee hath a tongue can banish thee from joy,
And chase thy crimson colour from thy cheekes.
Why speakest thou not? I pray thee Little John,
Let the short story of my long distresse
Be uttered in a word. What mean'st thou to protract?
Wilt thou not speake? Then Marian list to mee.
This day thou wert a maide, and now a spowse,
Anone (poore soule) a widdowe thou must bee:
Thy Robin is an outlawe, Marian,
His goods and landes must be extended on,
Himselfe exilde from thee, thou kept from him,
[She sinkes in his armes.
By the long distance of unnumbred miles.
Faint'st thou at this? Speake to mee Marian,
My olde love newely met, parte not so soone;
Wee have a little time to tarry yet.
If but a little time, let mee not stay,
Part wee today, then will I dye today.
For shame my Lord, with courage of a man,
Bridle this over-greeving passion,
Or else dissemble it, to comfort her.
I like thy counsell. Marian, cleare these clouds,
And with the sunny beames of thy bright eyes,
Drinke up these mistes of sorrowe that arise.
How can I joy, when thou art banished?
I tell thee love, my griefe is counterfaite,
And I abruptly from the table rose,
The banquet being almost at an ende,
Onely to drive confused and sad thoughts
Into the mindes of the invited guestes.
For, gentle love, at greate or nuptiall feastes,
With Comicke sportes, or Tragicke stately plaies,
Wee use to recreate the feasted guestes,
Which I am sure our kinsfolke doe expect.
Of this what then? This seemes of no effect.
Why thus of this, as Little John can tell,
I had bespoken quaint Comedians:
But greate John, John the Prince, my lieges brother,
My rivall, Marian, he that crost our love,
Hath crost mee in this jest, and at the court,
Imployes the Players, should have made us sport;
This was the tydings brought by Little John,
That first disturbd mee and begot this thought
Of sodaine rysing, which by this I know
Hath with amazement, troubled all our guestes:
Goe in, good love; thou as the Chorus shalt
Expresse the meaning of my silent griefe,
Which is no more but this: I only meane
(The more to honour our right noble friends)
Myselfe in person to present some Sceanes
Of tragick matter, or perchance of mirth,
Even such as first shall jumpe with my conceipt.
May I be bolde thou hast the worst exprest?
Faire mistresse, all is true my Lord hath said.
It is, it is.
Speake not so hollow then;
So sigh and sadly speake true sorrowing men.
Beleeve mee love, beleeve mee (I beseech)
My first Scene tragick is, therefore tragicke speech,
And accents, fitting wofull action, I strive to get.
I pray thee sweete goe in, and with thy sight,
Appease the many doubts that may arise.
That done, be thou their usher, bring them to this place,
And thou shalt see mee with a loftie verse,
Bewitch the hearers eares and tempt their eyes
To gaze upon the action that I use.
If it be but a play, Ile play my part:
But sure some earnest griefe affrights my heart.
Let mee intreate yee, Madam, not to feare,
For by the honestie of Little John,
Its but a tragicke Scene we have in hand,
Only to fit the humour of the Queene,
Who is the chiefest at your troth-plight feast.
Then will I fetch her Highnesse and the rest. [Exit Marian.
I, that same jealous Queene, whose doting age
Envies the choyce of my faire Marian,
She hath a hande in this.
Well, what of that?
Now must your honour leave these mourning tunes,
And thus by my areede you shall provide;
Your plate and jewels Ile straight packe up,
And toward Notingham convey them hence,
At Rowford, Sowtham, Wortley, Hothersfield.
Of all your cattell, mony shall be made,
And I at Mansfield will attend your comming,
Where weele determine, which waie's best to take.
Well be it so, a Gods name let it be;
And if I can, Marian shall come with mee.
Else care will kill her; therefore if you please,
At th'utmost corner of the garden wall,
Soone in the evening waite for Marian,
And as I goe Ile tell her of the place,
Your horses at the Bell shall readie bee,
I meane Belsavage, whence as citizens
That meant to ride for pleasure some small way,
You shall set foorth.
Be it as thou dost say.
Farewell a while.
In spight of griefe, thy love compels mee smile,
But now our audience comes, wee must looke sad.
[Enter Queene Elinor, Marian, Sentloe, Lacie, Brogh-
ton, Warman, Robins stewarde. As they meete, John
whispers with Marian.
How now my Lord of Huntington?
The mistresse of your love, faire Marian,
Tels us your sodaine rising from the banquet
Was but a humor, which you meane to purge,
In some high Tragicke lines, or Comick jests.
Sit down faire Queen (the Prologues part is plaid,
Marian hath tolde yee, what I bad her tell);
Sit downe Lord Sentloe, cosin Lacy sit,
Sir Gilbert Broghton, yea, and Warman sit;
Though you my steward be, yet for your gathering wit,
I give you place, sit downe, sit downe I say,
[Sets them all downe.
Gods pittie sit; it must, it must be so:
For you will sit, when I shall stande I knowe.
And, Marian, you may sit among the rest,
I pray yee doe, or else rise, stand apart;
These helps shall be beholders of my smart.
You that with ruthlesse eyes my sorrowes see,
And came prepar'd to feast at my sad fall,
Whose envie, greedinesse, and jealousie
Afforde mee sorrowe endlesse, comfort small,
Knowe what you knewe before, what you ordaind
To crosse the spousall banquet of my love,
That I am outlawed by the Prior of Yorke,
My traiterous uncle, and your trothlesse friend.
Smile you Queene Elinor? laugh'st thou Lord Sentloe?
Lacy look'st thou so blithe at my lament?
Broghton a smooth browe graceth your sterne face:
And you are merry Warman at my mone.
The Queene except, I doe you all defie.
You are a sort of fawning sycophants,
That while the sunshine of my greatnesse dur'd,
Reveld out all my day for your delights,
And now yee see the blacke night of my woe
Oreshade the beautie of my smiling good,
You to my griefe adde griefe, and are agreed
With that false Prior, to reprive my joyes
From execution of all happinesse.
Your honour thinks not ill of mee, I hope.
Judas speakes first, with "Master, is it I?"
No, my false Steward, your accounts are true.
You have dishonoured mee, I worshipt you.
You from a paltry pen and inkhorne clarke,
Bearing a buckram satchell at your belt,
Unto a Justice place I did preferre,
Where you unjustly have my tenants rackt,
Wasted my treasure and increast your store.
Your sire contented with a cottage poore,
Your mastershippe hath halles and mansions built,
Yet are you innocent, as cleare from guilt,
As is the ravenous mastife that hath spilt
The bloode of a whole flocke, yet slily comes
And couches in his kennell with smeard chaps
Out of my house, for yet my house it is,
And followe him yee catchpole bribed groomes;
For neither are ye Lords, nor Gentlemen,
That will be hired to wrong a Nobleman.
For hir'd yee were last night, I knowe it I,
To be my guests, my faithlesse guestes this day,
That your kinde hoste you trothlesse might betray:
But hence, and helpe the Sheriffe at the doore,
Your worst attempt; fell traitors, as you bee,
Avoide, or I will execute yee all,
Ere any execution come at mee, [Runne away.
They ran away, so ends the tragedie.
Marian, by Little John, my minde you know,
If you will, doe: if not, why, be it so. [Offers to goe in.
No words to me Earle Robert ere you goe?
O to your Highnesse? Yes, adieu proud Queene;
Had not you bene, thus poore I had not beene. [Exit.
Thou wrongst mee Robert, Earle of Huntington,
And were it not for pittie of this maide,
I would revenge the words that thou hast saied.
Adde not, faire Queene, distresse unto distresse;
But if you can, for pittie make his lesse.
I can and will forget deserving hate,
And give him comfort in this wofull state.
Marian, I knowe Earle Roberts whole desire
Is to have thee with him from hence away;
And though I loved him dearely to this day,
Yet since I see hee dearlier loveth thee,
Thou shalt have all the furtherance I may.
Tell mee, faire girle, and see thou truly tell,
Whether this night, tomorrowe, or next day,
There be no pointment for to meete thy love.
There is, this night there is, I will not lie,
And be it disappointed, I shall die.
Alas poore soule, my sonne, Prince John my son,
With severall troupes hath circuited the court,
This house, the citie, that thou canst not scape.
I will away with death, though he be grim,
If they deny mee to goe hence with him.
Marian, thou shalt go with him clad in my attire,
And for a shift, Ile put thy garments on,
It is not mee, my sonne John doth desire;
But Marian it is thee he doteth on.
When thou and I are come into the field,
Or any other place where Robin staies,
Mee in thy clothes, the ambush will beset,
Thee in my roabes they dare not once approach:
So while with mee a reasoning they stay,
At pleasure thou with him maist ride away.
I am beholding to your Majesty,
And of this plot will sende my Robin worde.
Nay, never trouble him, least it breede suspect:
But get thee in, and shift of thy attire,
My roabe is loose, and it will soone be off,
Goe gentle Marian, I will followe thee,
And from betrayers hands will set thee free.
I thanke your Highnesse, [Aside] but I will not trust ye,
My Robert shall have knowledge of this shift:
For I conceive alreadie your deepe drift. [Exit.
Now shall I have my will of Huntington,
Who taking mee this night for Marian,
Will harry mee away in steade of her:
For hee dares not stand trifling to conferre:
Faith, prettie Marian, I shal meete with you,
And with your lovely sweete heart Robert too:
For when wee come unto a baiting place,
If with like love my love hee doe not grace,
Of treason capitall I will accuse him,
For traiterous forcing me out of the court,
And guerdon his disdaine with guiltie death,
That of a Princes love so lightly weighes. [Exit.
agree with my idea
honored; (see note)
charged excessive rents
intention; (see note)
be even with
[Enter Little John, fighting with the Sheriffe and his men,
Warman perswading him.
Warman, stand off, tit tattle, tel not me what ye can do:
The goods I say are mine, and I say true.
I say the Sheriffe must see them ere they goe.
You say so Warman; Little John saies no.
I say I must for I am the kings Shrieve.
Your must is false, your office I beleeve.
Downe with him, downe with him.
Ye barke at me like curres, but I will downe
With twentie stand-and-who-goe-theres of you,
If yee stand long tempting my patience.
Why, master Shrive, thinke you mee a foole?
What justice is there you should search my trunkes,
Or stay my goods, for that my master owes?
Here's Justice Warman, steward to your Lord,
Suspectes some coyne, some jewels, or some plate
That longs unto your Lord, are in your trunkes,
And the extent is out for all his goods:
Therefore wee ought to see none be convaid.
True, Litle John, I am the sorier.
A plague upon ye else, how sore ye weepe?
Why, say thou, upstart, that there were some helpe,
Some little little helpe in this distresse,
To aide our Lord and master comfortlesse;
Is it thy part, thou screenfac't snotty nose,
To hinder him that gave thee all thou hast?
[Enter Justice Warmans wife, odly attyred.
Who's that husband? You, you, means he you?
I, ber Lady is it, I thanke him.
A, ye kneve you, Gods pittie hisband, why dis not
your worshippe sende the kneve to Newgate?
Well master Sheriffe, shall I passe or no?
Not without search.
Then here the casket stands,
Any that dares unto it set their hands,
Let him beginne.
Doe hisband, you are a Majestie, y'warrant ther's
olde knacks, cheins, and other toyes.
But not for you, good Madam beetle browes.
Out upon him. By my truly master Justice, and ye
doe not clap him up, I will sue a bill of remorse, and ne-
ver come betweene a pere of sheetes with yee. Such a
kneve as this, downe with him I pray.
[Set upon him. He knockes some downe.
A good Lord, come not neere good hisband, only
charge him; charge him. A good God; helpe, helpe.
[Enter Prince John, the Bishoppe of Ely, the Prior of
Yorke, with others. All stay.
What tumult have wee here? Who doth resist
The kings writs with such obstinate contempt?
How now Little John,
Have you no more discretion than you shewe?
Lay holde, and clappe the traitor by the heeles.
I am no traitor, my good Lord of Ely,
First heare mee, then commit me if you please.
Speake and be briefe.
Heere is a little boxe,
Containing all my gettings twentie yeare;
Which is mine owne, and no mans but mine owne.
This they would rifle, this I doe defend,
And about this we only doe contend.
You doe the fellow wrong: his goods are his;
You only must extend upon the Earles.
That was my Lord; but nowe is Robert Hood,
A simple yeoman as his servants were.
Backe with that legge, my Lord Prior:
There be some that were his servantes thinke foule
scorne to be cald yeomen.
I cry your worshippe mercy, mistresse Warman.
The squire your husband was his servant once.
A scurvie squire, with reverence of these Lords.
Doo's he not speake treason, prey.
Sirra, yea are too saucie; get you hence.
But heare mee first, my Lords, with patience.
This scoffing carelesse fellowe, Little John,
Hath loaden hence a horse, twixt him and Much,
A silly rude knave, Much the millers sonne.
[Enter Much, clowne.
I am here to answere for myselfe, and have ta-
ken you in two lies at once. First, Much is no knave,
neither was it a horse Little John and I loded, but a
little curtaile, of some five handfuls high, sib to the Apes
onely beast at Parish garden.
But master Warman, you have loded carts
And turnd my Lords goods to your proper use.
Who ever hath the right, you doe the wrong,
And are . . .
What is hee kneve?
Unworthy to be named a man.
And Ile be sworne for his wife,
I, so thou maist Nich.
That shee sets newe markes of all my olde ladies
linnen (God rest her soule) and my young Lord never
had them since.
Out, out, I tooke him them but to whiting, as
God mende mee.
Leave off this idle talke. Get yee both hence.
I thanke your honours. Wee are not in love with
being here; wee must seeke service that are master-
lesse. [Exeunt Much, John.
Lord Prior of Yorke, here's your commission.
You are best make speede, least in his country houses,
By his appointment, all his heards be solde.
I thanke your Honour, taking humble leave. [Exit.
And master Warman, here's your Patent seald,
For the high Sheriffewick of Notingham:
Except the King our master doe repeale
This gift of ours.
Let him the while possesse it.
A Gods name, let him; he hath my good will. [Exit.
Well Warman, this proude Priest I can not brooke.
But to our other matter, send thy wife away.
Goe in good wife, the Prince with mee hath
By my troth yee will anger mee: now yee have
the Paterne, yee should call mee nothing but mistresse
Sheriffe: for I tell you I stand upon my replications.
Thinkest thou that Marian meanes
To scape this evening hence with Robin Hoode?
The horse boy tolde mee so, and here he comes,
Disguised like a citizen me thinkes.
Warman, lets in. Ile fit him presently;
Only for Marian am I now his enemie. [Exeunt.
writ of seizure
by our Lady
Much; (see note)
Patent; (see note)
let us go in
[Enter Robin like a citizen.
Earle John and Warman, two good friends of mine:
I thinke they knewe mee not, or if they did
I care not what can followe. I am sure
The sharpest ende is death, and that will come.
But what of death or sorrowe doe I dreame?
My Marian, my faire life, my beautious love,
Is comming, to give comfort to my griefe,
And the sly Queene, intending to deceive,
Hath taught us how we should her sleights receive. [Enter John.
But who is this? Gods pittie, here's Prince John.
We shall have some good rule with him anone.
God even, sir; this cleare evening should portend
Some frost I thinke. How judge you honest friend?
I am not weatherwise; but it may be,
Wee shall have hard frost. For true charitie,
Good dealing, faithfull friendshippe, honestie,
Are chil-colde, deade with colde.
O good sir, stay.
That frost hath lasted many a bitter day.
Knowe yee no frozen hearts that are belov'd?
Love is a flame, a fire, that being mov'd,
Still brighter growes; but say, are you belov'd?
I would be, if I be not; but passe that.
Are ye a dweller in this citie, pray?
I am, and for a gentlewoman stay,
That rides some foure or five mile in great haste.
[Enter Queene, Marian.
I see your labour, sir, is not in waste.
For here come two: are either of these yours?
Both are, one must.
Which doe you most respect?
The youngest and the fairest I reject.
[Aside] Robin, Ile try you whether yee say true.
[Aside] As you with mee, so John Ile jeast with you.
Marian, let me goe first to Robin Hood,
And I will tell him what wee doe intend.
Doe what your Highnesse please. Your will is mine.
My mother is with gentle Marian;
O it doth grieve her to be left behinde.
Shall we away my Robin, least the Queene
Betray our purpose? Sweete, let us away.
I have great will to goe, no heart to stay.
Away with thee? No! Get thee farre away
From mee foule Marian, faire though thou be nam'd,
For thy bewitching eyes have raised stormes,
That have my name and noblesse ever sham'd.
Prince John, my deare friend once, is now, for thee,
Become an unrelenting enemie,
But Ile relent, and love thee, if thou leave her.
And Elinor, my soveraignes mother Queene,
That yet retaines true passion in her breast,
Stands mourning yonder. Hence, I thee detest.
I will submit mee to her Majestie.
Greate Princesse, if you will but ride with mee,
A little of my way, I will expresse
My folly past, and humble pardon beg.
I grant, Earle Robert, and I thanke thee too.
She's not the Queene, sweete Robin, it is I.
Hence sorceresse, thy beauty I defie.
If thou have any love at all to mee,
Bestowe it on Prince John: he loveth thee.
[Exeunt Robin, Marian.
And I will love thee Robin, for this deede,
And helpe thee too, in thy distressefull neede.
Wilt thou not stay nor speake, proud Huntington?
Ay mee, some whirlwinde hurries them away.
Follow him not, faire love, that from thee flies:
But flie to him that gladly followes thee.
Wilt thou not, girle? Turnst thou away from mee?
Nay, we shall have it then,
If my queint sonne, his mother gin to court.
Wilt thou not speake, faire Marian, to Prince John,
That loves thee well?
Good sir, I know you doe.
That can maintaine thee?
I, I know you can:
But hitherto I have maintained you.
My princely mother?
I, my princely sonne.
Is Marian then gone hence with Huntington?
I, she is gone, ill may they either thrive.
Mother, they must goe whom the divell drives.
For your sharpe furie, and infernall rage,
Your scorne of mee, your spite to Marian,
Your over-doting love to Huntington,
Hath crost yourselfe, and mee it hath undone.
I, in mine owne deceipt, have met deceipt.
In briefe, the manner thus I will repeate;
I knewe, with malice that the Prior of Yorke
Pursu'd Earle Robert; and I furdred it,
Though God can tell, for love of Huntington.
For thus I thought, when he was in extreames,
Neede, and my love would winne some good regarde
From him to mee, if I reliev'd his want.
To this end came I to the mock-spouse feast;
To this end made I change for Marians weede,
That me, for her, Earle Robert should receive.
But now I see they both of them agreed,
In my deceipt, I might myselfe deceive.
Come in with mee, come in and meditate
How to turne love, to never changing hate. [Exit.
In by yourselfe; I passe not for your spels.
Of youth and beautie still you are the foe.
The curse of Rosamond rests on your head,
Faire Rose confounded by your cankers hate.
O that she were not as to mee she is,
A mother, whom by nature I must love,
Then would I tell her shee were too too base,
To dote thus on a banisht carelesse groome:
Then should I tell her that shee were too fond,
To thrust faire Marian to an exiles hand.
[Enter a messenger from Ely.
My Lord, my Lord of Ely sends for you,
About important businesse of the state.
Tell the proude prelate I am not dispos'd,
Nor in estate to come at his commaunde.
[Smite him, hee bleedes.
Be gon with that, or tarry and take this.
Zwouns, are yee listning for an after-arrant? [Exit Messenger.
Ile followe, with revengefull murdrous hate,
The banisht, beggerd, bankrout Huntington.
[Enter Simon, Earle of Leicester.
How now, Prince John? Bodie of mee, I muse
What mad moodes tosse yee, in this busie time,
To wound the messenger that Ely sent,
By our consents? Yfaith yee did not well.
Leyster, I meant it Ely, not his man:
His servants heade but bleedes; hee headlesse shall
From all the issues of his traitor necke,
Poure streames of bloode, till he be bloodlesse left.
By earth it shall, by heaven it shall be so,
Leister, it shall though all the world say no.
It shall, it shall, but how shall it be done?
Not with a stormie tempest of sharpe words,
But slowe, still speaches, and effecting deedes.
Here comes olde Lacy and his brother Hugh.
One is our friend, the other is not true.
[Enter Lord Lacy, Sir Hugh, and his boy.
Hence trechor as thou art! By Gods blest mother
Ile lop thy legges off, though thou be my brother,
If with thy flatring tongue thou seeke to hide
Thy traiterous purpose. Ah poore Huntington,
How in one houre have villaines thee undone?
If you will not beleeve what I have sworne,
Conceipt your worst. My Lord of Ely knowes
That what I say is true.
Still facest thou?
Drawe boy, and quickly see that thou defende thee.
Patience, Lord Lacy, get you gon, Sir Hugh,
Provoke him not, for he hath tolde you true.
You knowe it, that I knowe the Prior of Yorke,
Together with my good Lord Chauncellor,
Corrupted you, Lord Sentloe, Broghton, Warman,
To feast with Robert on his day of fall.
They lie that say it; I defie yee all.
Now by the Roode thou lyest. Warman himselfe,
That creeping Judas, joyed, and tolde it mee.
Let mee, my Lords, revenge me of this wretch,
By whome my daughter and her love were lost.
For her, let mee revenge with bitter cost.
Shall Sir Hugh Lacy and his fellowes buy
Faire Marians losse, lost by their treachery.
And thus I pay it.
[Stabs him. He falles; boy runnes in.
Sure paiment, John.
There let the villane lie.
For this, olde Lacie honours thee, Prince John;
One trecherous soule, is sent to answere wrong.
[Enter Ely, Chester, officers, Hugh Lacies boy.
Here, here, my Lord,
Looke where my master lies.
What murdrous hand hath kild this gentle knight,
Good Sir Hugh Lacy, steward of my lands?
Ely, he died by this princely hand.
Unprincely deed. Death asketh death you know.
Arrest him officers.
O sir, Ile obey; you will take baile, I hope.
Tis more, sir, than hee may.
Chester, he may by lawe, and therefore shall.
Who are his baile?
You are confederates.
Holy Lord, you lye.
Be reverent, Prince John; my Lord of Ely,
You knowe, is Regent for his Majestie.
But here are letters from his Majesty,
Sent out of Joppa, in the holy land,
To you, to these, to mee, to all the State,
Containing a repeale of that large graunt,
And free authoritie to take the seale,
Into the hands of three Lords temporall,
And the Lord Archbishoppe of Roan, he sent,
And hee shall yielde it, or as Lacy lies,
Desertfully, for pride and treason stabd,
He shall ere long lye. Those that intend as I
Followe this steely ensigne, lift on high.
[Lifts up his drawne sword:
Exit, cum Lester and Lacy.
A thousand thousand ensignes of sharpe steele,
And feathered arrowes, from the bowe of death,
Against proud John, wrongd Ely will imploy.
My Lord of Chester, let mee have your aide,
To lay the pride of haute usurping John.
Some other course than warre let us bethinke.
If it may be, let not uncivill broiles,
Our civill hands defile.
God knowes that I,
For quiet of the realme, would ought forbeare.
But give mee leave, my noble Lord, to feare,
When one I dearely lov'd is murdered
Under the colour of a little wrong
Done to the wastfull Earle of Huntington,
Whom John, I knowe, doth hate unto the death,
Only for love he beares to Lacies daughter.
My Lord, its plaine this quarrel is but pickt
For an inducement to a greater ill;
But wee will call the Counsell of Estate,
At which the mother Queene shall present be.
Thither by summons shall Prince John be cald,
Lester, and Lacy, who, it seemes,
Favour some factious purpose of the Prince.
You have advised well, my Lord of Chester;
And as you counsell, so doe I conclude. [Exeunt.
because of you
cankerous; (see note)
[Enter Robin Hoode, Matilda [i.e., Marian], at one doore; Little John,
and Much the millers sonne at another doore.
Luck I beseech thee, Marry and amen,
Blessing betide hem, it be them indeede,
Ah my good Lord, for and my little Ladie.
What? Much and John, well met in this ill time.
In this good time my Lord; for being met,
The world shall not depart us till wee die.
Saist thou mee so, John? As I am true maide,
If I live long, well shall thy love be paide.
Well, there be on us, simple though wee stand
here, have as much love in hem as Little John.
Much, I confesse thou lovest mee very much,
And I will more reward it than with words.
Nay I know that, but wee millers children
love the cogge a little, and the faire speaking.
And is it possible that Warmans spite
Should stretch so farre, that he doth hunt the lives,
Of bonnie Scarlet, and his brother Scathlock.
O, I, sir. Warman came but yesterday to take
charge of the Jaile at Notingham, and this day he saies
he will hang the two outlawes. He meanes to set them
Such libertie God send the pievish wretch
In his most neede.
Now by my honours hope,
Yet buried in the lowe dust of disgrace,
He is too blame. Say John, where must they die?
Yonders their mothers house, and here the tree,
Whereon (poore men) they must foregoe their lives.
And yonder comes a lazie, lozell Frier
That is appointed for their confessor,
Who, when we brought your monie to their mothers,
Was wishing her to patience for their deaths.
[Enter Frier Tucke, and Ralphe, Warmans man.
I am timorous, sir, that the prigioners are passed
from the Jaile.
Soft, sirra, by my order I protest,
Ye are too forward; tis no game, no jeast
We goe about.
Matilda, walke afore,
To widowe Scarlets house. Looke where it stands.
Much, man your Ladie; Little John and I
Will come unto you thither presently.
Come Madame, my Lord has pointed the pro-
perer man to goe before yee.
Be carefull, Robin, in this time of feare.
[Exit Much, Matilda.
Now by the reliques of the holy Masse,
A prettie girle, a very bonny lasse.
Frier, how like you her?
Mary, by my hoode,
I like her well, and wish her nought but good.
Yee protract, master Frier. I obsecrate ye with
all curtesie, omitting complement, you would vouch,
or deigne to proceede.
Deigne, vouch, protract, complement, obsecrate?
Why, good man tricks, who taught you thus to prate?
Your name, your name, were you never christned?
My nomination Radulfe is or Ralph;
Vulgars corruptly use to call mee Rafe.
O foule corruption of base palliardize,
When idiots witlesse travell to be wise.
Age barbarous, times impious, men vitious,
Able to upraise,
Men deade many daies,
That wonted to praise,
The Rimes and the laies
Of Poets Laureate,
Whose verse did decorate,
And their lines lustrate
Both Prince and Potentate.
These from their graves,
See asses and knaves,
Base idiot slaves,
With boastings and braves,
Offer to upstie,
To the heavens hie,
With vaine foolery,
And rude ribaldry.
Some of them write
Of beastly delight,
Suffering their lines,
To flatter these times,
With Pandarisme base,
And lust doe uncase,
From the placket to the pappe:
God send them ill happe.
Some like quaint pedants,
Good wits true recreants,
Yee cannot beseech
From pure Priscian speech.
Divers as nice,
Like this odde vice,
Are wordmakers daily.
Others in curtsie
When ever they meete yee,
With newe fashions greete yee,
Chaunging each congee,
Sometime beneath knee,
With, good sir, pardon mee,
And much more foolerie,
Paltry, and foppry,
Hands sometime kissing,
But honestie missing.
God give no blessing
To such base counterfaiting.
Stoppe, master Skelton; whither will you runne?
Gods pittie, Sir John Eltam, Little John,
I had forgotte myselfe; but to our play.
Come, good man fashions, let us goe our way,
Unto this hanging businesse. Would, for mee,
Some rescue, or repreeve might set them free.
[Exeunt Frier, Ralph.
Heardst thou not, Little John, the Friers speach,
Wishing for rescue, or a quicke repreeve?
He seemes like a good fellowe, my good Lord.
He's a good fellowe, John, upon my word.
Lend mee thy horne, and get thee in to Much,
And when I blowe this horne, come both and helpe mee.
Take heed my Lord: the villane Warman knows you,
And ten to one, he hath a writ against you.
Fear not; below the bridge a poore blind man doth dwell,
With him I will change my habit, and disguise,
Only be readie when I call for yee,
For I will save their lives, if it may bee.
I will doe what you would immediatly. [Exeunt.
them, if it be
and also; (see note)
lewdness (see note)
[Enter Warman, Scarlet, and Scathlock bounde, Frier
Tuck as their confessor, Officers with halberts.
Master Frier, be briefe, delay no time.
Scarlet and Scathlock, never hope for life.
Here is the place of execution,
And you must answere lawe for what is done.
Well, if there be no remedie, we must,
Though it ill seemeth, Warman, thou shouldst bee
So bloodie to pursue our lives thus cruellie.
Our mother sav'd thee from the gallowes, Warman;
His father did preferre thee to thy Lord.
One mother had wee both, and both our fathers,
To thee and to thy father, were kinde friends.
Good fellowes, here you see his kindnesse ends.
What he was once, hee doth not now consider.
You must consider of your many sinnes;
This day, in death, your happinesse beginnes.
If you account it happinesse, good Frier,
To beare us companie, I you desire.
Ye were first outlaws, then ye prooved theeves,
And now all carelessely yee scoffe at death.
Both of your fathers were good honest men;
Your mother lives, their widowe, in good fame.
But you are scapethrifts, unthrifts, villanes, knaves,
And, as yee liv'd by shifts, shall die with shame.
Warman, good words, for all your bitter deeds.
Ill speach, to wretched men, is more than needs.
[Enter Raphe, running.
Sir, retire yee, for it hath thus succeeded, the car-
nifex, or executor, riding on an ill curtall, hath tituba-
ted or stumbled, and is now cripplefied, with broken or
fracted tibiards, and sending you tidings of successe, saith,
yourselfe must be his deputie.
Ill luck! But, sirra, you shall serve the turne.
The cords that binde them, you shall hang them in.
How are you, sir, of mee opiniated? Not to possesse
your seneschalship, or sherivaltie, not to be Earle of
Notingham, will Ralph be nominated by the base scan-
dalous vociferation of a hangman.
[Enter Robin Hoode, like an old man.
Where is the shrieve, kinde friends? I you beseech,
With his good worshippe, let mee have some speech.
Here is the Sheriffe, father, this is hee.
Frier, good alms, and many blessings thank thee.
Sir, you are welcome to this troublous sheere.
Of this daies execution did I heare.
Scarlet and Scathlocke murdered my young sonne,
Mee have they robd, and helplessely undoone.
Revenge I would, but I am olde and dry:
Wherefore, sweete master, for saint charitie,
Since they are bound, deliver them to mee,
That for my sons blood I reveng'd may bee.
This old man lies, we nere did him such wrong.
I doe not lie, you wote it too too well;
The deede was such, as you may shame to tell.
But I with all intreats might not prevaile
With your sterne stubborne mindes, bent all to blood.
Shall I have such revenge then, master Sheriffe,
That with my sonnes losse, may suffice myselfe?
[Robin whispers with them.
Doe, father, what thou wilt, for they must die.
I never heard them toucht with bloode till now.
Notorious villanes, and they made their brags,
The Earle of Huntington would save their lives;
But hee is downe the winde, as all such shall,
That revell, wast and spende, and take no care.
My horne once winded, Ile unbinde my belt,
Whereat the swords and bucklers are fast tied.
Thankes to your Honour. Father, we confesse,
And, were our armes unbounde, we would upheave
Our sinfull hands with sorrowing hearts to heaven.
I will unbinde you, with the Sheriffes leave.
Doe. Helpe him Ralphe; go to them, master Frier.
And as yee blew your horns, at my sons death,
So will I sound your knell, with my best breath.
[Sound his horne.
And here's a blade, that hangeth at my belt,
Shall make ye feele in death, what my sonne felt.
[Enter Little John, Much, Scarlet, and Scathlock. Fight: the
Frier, making as if he helpt the Sheriffe, knockes downe
his men, crying, "Keepe the kings peace."
O they must be hangd, father.
Thy master and thyselfe supply their roomes.
Warman, approach mee not, tempt not my wrath.
For if thou doe, thou diest remedilesse.
It is the outlawed Earle of Huntington;
Downe with him Frier. Oh, thou dost mistake.
Fly Ralph, wee die else; let us raise the shire.
[Sheriffe runnes away, and his men.
Farewell Earle Robert, as I am true frier,
I had rather be thy clarke, then serve the Prior. [Exit Frier.
A jolly fellowe, Scarlet, knowest thou him?
Hee is of Yorke, and of Saint Maries Cloister.
There where your greedie uncle is Lord Prior.
O murren on ye, have you two scap't hanging?
Harke yee, my Lord, these two fellowes kept at Barns-
dale seaven yeare, to my knowledge, and no man.
Here is no biding masters. Get yee in;
Take a short blessing at your mothers hands.
Much, beare them companie, make Matilda merry.
John and myselfe will followe presently. [Exeunt Much, Scarlet, Scath.
John, on a sodaine thus I am resolv'd,
To keepe in Sherewodde, till the Kings returne,
And being outlawed, leade an outlawes life.
Seaven yeares these brethren, being yeomens sons,
Lived and scap't the malice of their foes.
How thinkest thou, Little John, of my intent?
I like your Honours purpose exceeding well.
Nay, no more honour, I pray thee Little John.
Henceforth I will be called Robin Hoode,
Matilda shall be my Maid Marian.
Come, John, friends all, for now beginnes the game,
And after our deserts, so growe our fame. [Exeunt.
get advancement for
plague; (see note)
[Enter Prince John and his Lords, with souldiers.
Now is this comet shot into the sea,
Or lies like slime, upon the sullen earth.
Come, he is deade, else should we heare of him.
I knowe not what to thinke herein, my Lord.
Ely is not the man I tooke him for,
I am afraide wee shall have worse than hee.
Why, good Fitzwater, whence doth spring your fear?
Him, for his pride, we justly have supprest;
But prouder climers are about to rise.
Name them, Fitzwater; know you any such?
Fitzwater meanes not any thing, I know;
For if he did, his tongue would tell his heart.
An argument of my free heart, my Lord,
That lets the worlde be witnesse of my thought.
When I was taught, true dealing kept the schoole;
Deeds were sworne partners with protesting words.
We said and did, these say and never meane.
This upstart protestation of no proofe,
This, I beseech you, sir, accept my love;
Commaund mee, use mee, O you are too blame
That doe neglect my everlasting zeale,
My deare, my kinde affect, when God can tell,
A sodaine puffe of winde, a lightning flash,
A bubble on the streame doth longer dure,
Than doth the purpose of their promise bide.
A shame upon this peevish apish age,
These crouching hypocrite dissembling times.
Well, well, God rid the patrones of these crimes,
Out of this land. I have an inward feare,
This ill, well-seeming sinne will be bought deare.
My Lord Fitzwater is inspir'd I thinke.
I, with some divell; let the olde foole dote.
[Enter Queene Mother, Chester, Sheriffe, Kent
From the pursuing of the hatefull Priest,
And bootlesse search of Ely are wee come.
And welcome is your sacred Majestie.
And, Chester, welcome too, against your will.
Unwilling men come not without constraint,
But uncompeld comes Chester to this place,
Telling thee, John, that thou art much too blame
To chase hence Ely, Chauncelor to the King,
To set thy footesteppes on the cloath of state,
And seate thy body in thy brothers throne.
Who should succeede the brother, but the brother?
If one were deade, one should succeede the other.
My sonne is king, my son then ought to raigne.
One sonne is king, the State allows not twaine.
The subjects many yeares the king have mist.
But subjects must not chuse what king they list.
Richard hath conquered kingdomes in the East.
A signe hee will not loose this in the West.
By Salsburies honour, I will follow John.
So Chester will, to shunne commotion.
Why? John shall be but Richards deputie.
To that, Fitzwater gladly doth agree.
And looke to't Lady, minde King Richards love:
As you will answer't, doe the King no wrong.
Well said old conscience; you keep still one song.
In your contentious humours, noble Lords,
Peeres, and upholders of the English State,
John silent stoode, as one that did awaite
What sentence yee determind for my life.
But since you are agreed that I shall beare
The weightie burthen of this kingdomes state,
Till the returne of Richard, our dread king,
I doe accept the charge, and thanke you all,
That think me worthie of so great a place.
Wee all confirme you Richards deputie.
Now shall I plague proud Chester.
Sit you sure, Fitzwater.
For peace, I yield to wrong.
Now olde man, for your daughter.
To see wrong rule, my eyes run streams of water.
[A noyse within.
[Enter a Collier, crying a monster.
A monster, a monster! Bring her out Robin, a
monster, a monster!
Peace gaping fellowe. Knowest thou where thou art?
Why? I am in Kent, within a mile of Dover.
Sbloud, where I am, peace, and a gaping fellow?
For all your dagger, wert not for your ging,
I would knocke my whipstocke on your addle head.
Come out with the monster, Robin.
I come, I come, help mee she scrats.
Ile gee her the lash; come out yee bearded witch.
[Bring forth Ely, with a yarde in his hand, and lin-
nen cloath, drest like a woman.
Good fellowes let mee goe, there's gold to drinke.
I am a man, though in a womans weedes.
Yonders Prince John, I pray yee let mee goe.
What rude companions have we yonder Salsbury?
Shall we take his money?
No, no; this is the thiefe that robd master
Mighels, and came in like a woman in labour, I war-
Who have yee here, honest colliers?
A monster, a monster! A woman with a bearde,
a man in a petticote! A monster, a monster!
What my good Lord of Ely, is it you?
Ely is taken; here's the Chauncelor.
Pray God wee be not hangd for this tricke?
What my good Lord?
I, I, ambitious Ladie.
Who, my Lord Chauncelour?
I, you proud usurper.
What, is your surplesse turned to a smock?
Peace, Salibury, thou changing weathercocke.
Alas, my Lord, I grieve to see this sight.
Chester, it will be day for this darke night.
Ely, thou wert the foe to Huntington:
Robin, thou knewest, was my adopted sonne:
O Ely, thou to him wert too too cruell,
With him fled hence Matilda, my faire jewell.
For their wrong, Ely, and thy hautie pride,
I helpt Earle John; but now I see thee lowe,
At thy distresse, my heart is full of woe.
Needes must I see Fitzwaters overthrowe.
John, I affect him not; he loves not thee.
Remoove him John, least thou remooved bee.
Mother, let mee alone. By one and one,
I will not leave one, that envies our good.
My Lord of Salsbury, give these honest colliers,
For taking Ely, each a hundred markes.
Come fellowes, goe with mee.
Thanke yee faith; farewell, monster.
[Exeunt Salsbury, Colliers.
Sheriffe of Kent, take Ely to your charge,
From Shreeve to Shreeve, send him to Notingham
Where Warman, by our Patent, is high Shreeve.
There as a traitor, let him be close kept,
And to his triall wee will follow straight.
A traitor, John?
Doe not expostulate.
You at your trial shal have time to prate. [Exeunt cum Ely.
God for thy pittie, what a time is here?
Right gratious mother, wold yourself and Chester
Would but withdrawe you for a little space,
While I conferre with my good Lord Fitzwater.
My Lord of Chester, will you walke aside?
Whether your Highnesse please, thither I wil.
[Exeunt Chester, Queene.
Souldiers, attend the person of our mother. [Exeunt.
Noble Fitzwater, now wee are alone,
What oft I have desir'd, I will intreate,
Touching Matilda, fled with Huntington.
Of her what wold you touch? Touching her flight,
She is fledde hence with Robert, her true knight.
Robert is outlawed, and Matilda free.
Why through his fault should she exiled be?
She is your comfort, all your ages blisse.
Why should your age, so great a comfort misse?
She is all Englands beautie, all her pride.
In forren lands, why should that beautie bide?
Call her againe Fitzwater, call againe
Guiltlesse Matilda, beauties souveraigne.
I graunt, Prince John, Matilda was my joy,
And the faire sunne, that kept old winters frost
From griping deade the marrowe of my bones.
And she is gone, yet where she is, God wote,
Aged Fitzwater truly guesseth not.
But where she is, there is kinde Huntington;
With my faire daughter, is my noble sonne.
If he may never be recald againe,
To call Matilda backe it is in vaine.
Living with him, she lives in vitious state,
For Huntington is excommunicate.
And till his debts be paid, by Romes decree,
It is agreed, absolv'd he can not be.
And that can never be. So never wife,
But in a loath'd adult'rous beggers life,
Must faire Matilda live? This you may amend
And winne Prince John, your ever during friend.
As how, as how?
Cal her from him; bring her to Englands court,
Where, like faire Phoebe, she may sit as Queene,
Over the sacred honourable maids
That doe attend the royall Queene, my mother.
There shall shee live a Princes Cynthia,
And John will be her true Endimion.
By this construction, she should be the Moone,
And you would be the man within the Moone.
A pleasant exposition, good Fitzwater:
But if it fell so out that I fell in,
You of my full joyes should be chiefe partaker.
John, I defie thee. By my honours hope,
I will not beare this base indignitie.
Take to thy tooles. Thinkst thou a noble man
Will be a Pandar to his proper childe?
For what intendst thou else? Seeing I knowe,
Earle Clepstowes daughter is thy married wife.
Come, if thou be a right Plantaginet,
Drawe and defende thee. Oh our Ladie helpe
True English Lords, from such a tyrant Lord.
What, doest thou thinke I jeast? Nay by the Roode,
Ile loose my life, or purge thy lustfull bloode.
What my olde Ruffian, lye at your warde?
Have at your froward bosome, olde Fitzwater.
[Fight: John falles. Enter Queene, Chester, Salsbury
O that thou werte not Royal Richards brother,
Thou shouldst here die in presence of thy mother.
[John rises. All compasse Fitzwater; Fitzwater chafes.
What, is he up? Nay Lords, then give us leave.
What meanes this rage Fitzwater?
Lay hands upon the Bedlam, traitrous wretch.
Nay, hale him hence, and heare you old Fitzwater;
See that you stay not five daies in the Realme,
For if you doe, you die remedilesse.
Speak Lords. Do you confirme what he hath said?
He is our Prince, and he must be obaid.
Harken, Earle John, but one word will I say.
I will not heare thee, neither will I stay.
Thou knowest thy time. [Exit.
Will not your Highnesse heare?
No, thy Matilda robd mee of my deare. [Exit.
I aided thee in battell, Salsbury.
Prince John is moov'd; I dare not stay with thee. [Exit Salsbury.
Gainst thee and Ely, Chester, was I foe?
And dost thou stay to aggravate my woe?
No, good Fitzwater, Chester doth lament
Thy wrong, thy sodaine banishment.
Whence grue the quarrell twixt the Prince and thee?
Chester, the divell tempted old Fitzwater,
To be a Pandar to his only daughter,
And my great heart, impatient, forst my hand,
In my true honours right, to chalenge him.
Alas the while, wrong will not be reproov'd.
Farewell, Fitzwater. Wheresoere thou bee,
By letters, I beseech thee, send to mee. [Exit.
Chester, I will, I will.
Heavens turne to good this woe, this wrong, this ill.
leave it to me
Draw your sword
[Enter Scathlocke and Scarlet, winding their hornes at
severall doores. To them enter Robin Hoode, Matilda
all in greene, Scathlockes mother, Much, Little John, all
the men with bowes and arrowes.
Widowe, I wish thee homeward now to wend,
Least Warmans malice worke thee any wrong.
Master I will, and mickle good attend
On thee, thy love, and all these yeomen strong.
Forget not, widowe, what you promise mee.
O I, mistresse, for Gods sake lets have Jinny.
You shall have Jinny sent you with all speede.
Sonnes farewell, and by your mothers reede,
Love well your master: blessing ever fall
On him, your mistresse, and these yeomen tall. [Exit.
God be with you, mother; have much minde I
pray on Much, your sonne, and your daughter Jinny.
Wind once more, jolly huntsmen, all your horns,
Whose shrill sound, with the ecchoing wods assist,
Shall ring a sad knell for the fearefull deere,
Before our feathered shafts, deaths winged darts,
Bring sodaine summons for their fatall ends.
Its ful seaven years since we were outlawed first,
And wealthy Sherewood was our heritage.
For all those yeares we raigned uncontrolde,
From Barnsdale shrogs to Notinghams red cliffes;
At Blithe and Tickhill were we welcome guests.
Good George a Greene at Bradford was our friend,
And wanton Wakefields Pinner lov'd us well.
At Barnsley dwels a Potter tough and strong,
That never brookt we brethren should have wrong.
The Nunnes of Farnsfield, pretty nunnes they bee,
Gave napkins, shirts, and bands to him and mee.
Bateman of Kendall, gave us Kendall greene,
And Sharpe of Leedes, sharpe arrowes for us made:
At Rotheram dwelt our bowyer, God him blisse.
Jackson he hight; his bowes did never misse.
This for our good, our scathe let Scathlocke tell,
In merry Mansfield, how it once befell.
In merry Mansfield, on a wrestling day,
Prizes there were, and yeomen came to play.
My brother Scarlet and myselfe were twaine.
Many resisted, but it was in vaine,
For of them all we wonne the mastery,
And the gilt wreathes were given to him and mee.
There by Sir Doncaster of Hethersfield,
Wee were bewraid, beset, and forst to yield,
And so borne bound, from thence to Notingham,
Where we lay doom'd to death, till Warman came.
Of that enough. What cheere, my dearest love?
O good cheare anone, sir, she shall have venson
Matilda is as joyfull of thy good,
As joy can make her. How fares Robin Hood?
Well, my Matilda, and if thou agree,
Nothing but mirth shall waite on thee and mee.
O God, how full of perfect mirth were I,
To see thy griefe turnd to true jollitie!
Give me thy hand; now Gods curse on me light,
If I forsake not griefe, in griefes despight.
Much, make a cry, and yeomen stand yee round.
I charge yee never more let woefull sound
Be heard among yee; but what ever fall,
Laugh griefe to scorne; and so make sorrowes small.
Much, make a cry, and loudly, Little John.
O God, O God, helpe, helpe, helpe! I am un-
doone, I am undoone.
Why how now, Much? Peace, peace, you roaring
My master bid mee cry, and I will cry till hee
bid me leave. Helpe, helpe, helpe: I, mary, will I.
Peace, Much; reade on the Articles good John.
First, no man must presume to call our master,
By name of Earle, Lord, Baron, Knight, or Squire,
But simply by the name of Robin Hoode.
Say, yeomen, to this order will ye yielde?
We yield to serve our master Robin Hoode.
Next tis agreed (if thereto shee agree)
That faire Matilda henceforth change her name,
And while it is the chance of Robin Hoode,
To live in Sherewodde a poore outlawes life,
She, by Maid Marians name, be only cald.
I am contented; reade on, Little John,
Henceforth let me be nam'd Maid Marian.
Thirdly, no yeoman, following Robin Hoode
In Sherewod, shall use widowe, wife, or maid,
But by true labour, lustfull thoughts expell.
How like yee this?
Master, we like it well.
But I cry no to it. What shal I do with Jinny then?
Peace, Much; goe forwarde with the orders, fel-
Fourthly, no passenger with whom ye meete
Shall yee let passe till hee with Robin feast --
Except a Poast, a Carrier, or such folke,
As use with foode to serve the market townes.
An order which we gladly will observe.
Fiftly, you never shall the poore man wrong,
Nor spare a priest, a usurer, or a clarke.
Nor a faire wench, meete we her in the darke.
Lastly, you shall defend with all your power,
Maids, widowes, orphants, and distressed men.
All these wee vowe to keepe, as we are men.
Then wend ye to the Greenewod merrily,
And let the light roes bootlesse from yee runne.
Marian and I, as soveraigns of your toyles,
Will wait, within our bower, your bent bowes spoiles.
Ile among them master.
[Exeunt winding their hornes.
Marian, thou seest though courtly pleasurs want,
Yet country sport in Sherewodde is not scant.
For the soule-ravishing delicious sound
Of instrumentall musique, we have found
The winged quiristers, with divers notes,
Sent from their quaint recording prettie throats,
On every branch that compasseth our bower,
Without commaund, contenting us each hower.
For Arras hangings, and rich Tapestrie,
We have sweete natures best imbrothery.
For thy steele glasse, wherein thou wontst to looke,
Thy christall eyes, gaze in a christall brooke.
At court, a flower or two did decke thy head:
Now with whole garlands is it circled.
For what in wealth we want, we have in flowers,
And what wee loose in halles, we finde in bowers.
Marian hath all, sweete Robert, having thee,
And guesses thee as rich, in having mee.
I am indeede,
For having thee, what comfort can I neede?
Goe in, goe in.
To part such true love, Robin, it were sinne. [Exeunt.
thickets (undergrowth); (see note)
bow maker; bless; (see note)
post (i.e., message carrier)
[Enter Prior, Sir Doncaster, Frier Tucke.
To take his bodie, by the blessed Roode,
Twold doe me more than any other good.
O tis an unthrift, still the Churchmens foe,
An ill end will betide him, that I knowe.
Twas hee that urg'd the king to sesse the clergie
When to the holy land he tooke his jorney;
And he it is that rescued those two theeves,
Scarlet and Scathlocke, that so manie grieves
To churchmen did. And now they say
Hee keepes in Sherewod, and himselfe doth play
The lawlesse rener; heare you, my Lord Prior;
He must be taken, or it will be wrong.
I, and he shall bee to.
I, I; soone sed. But ere he be, many wil lie deade --
Except it be by sleight.
I there, there, Frier.
Give mee, my Lord, your execution.
The widowe Scarlets daughter, lovely Jinny,
Loves and is belov'd of Much the millers sonne.
If I can get the girle to goe with mee,
Disguis'd in habit, like a pedlers mort,
Ile serve this execution, on my life,
And single out a time alone to take
Robin, that often carelesse walkes alone.
Why? Answere not. Remember what I saide.
Yonder I see comes Jinny, that faire maide;
If wee agree, then back me soone with aide.
[Enter Jinny with a fardle.
Tuck, if thou doe it . . .
Pray you doe not talke;
As we were strangers, let us carelesse walke.
Now to the greene wodde wend I, God me speede.
Amen, faire maid, and send thee, in thy neede,
Much, that is borne to doe thee much good deeds.
Are you there, Frier? Nay, then yfaith we have it.
What, wenche? My love?
I, gee't mee when I crave it.
Unaskt I offer, pre thee, sweete girle, take it.
Gifts stinke with proffer; foh, Frier, I forsake it.
I will be kinde.
Will not your kindnesse kill her?
Tut, girle, I am no miller; heare in your eare.
[Aside] The Frier courts her.
Tush, let him alone,
He is our Ladies Chaplaine, but serves Jone.
Then, from the Friers fault, perchance, it may be
The proverbe grew, Jone's taken for my Ladie.
Peace, good Sir Doncaster, list to the end.
But meane yee faith and troth, shall I go weye?
Upon my faith, I doe intend good faith.
And shall I have the pinnes and laces too,
If I beare a pedlers packe with you?
As I am holy Frier, Jinny, thou shalt.
Well, there's my hand; see, Frier, you do not halt.
Goe but before into the miry mead,
And keepe the path that doth to Farnsfield lead.
Ile into Suthwell, and buy all the knacks,
That shall fit both of us for pedlers packes.
Who be they two that yonder walke, I prey?
Jinny, I knowe not; be they what they may,
I care not for them, pre thee doe not stay,
But make some speede that we were gone away.
Wel Frier, I trust you that we go to Sherewod.
I, by my beads, and unto Robin Hoode.
Make speede, good Frier. [Exit Jinny.
Jinny, doe not feare.
Lord Prior, now you heare
As much as I; get mee two pedlers packes,
Points, laces, looking glasses, pinnes and knackes:
And let Sir Doncaster with some wight lads,
Followe us close; and ere these fortie howers,
Upon my life, Earle Robert shall be ours.
Thou shalt have any thing, my dearest Frier,
And in amends, Ile make thee my subprior.
Come, good Sir Doncaster, and if wee thrive,
Weele frolicke with the Nunnes of Leeds belive.
fugitive; (see note)
Aye, give it to
flatterer (deceiver/mill wheel)
with you; (see note)
[Enter Fitzwater, like an olde man.
Well did he write, and mickle did he knowe,
That said this worlds felicitie was woe,
Which greatest states can hardly undergoe.
Whilom Fitzwater in faire Englands court,
Possest felicitie and happie state;
And in his hall blithe fortune kept her sport,
Which glee, one howre of woe did ruinate.
Fitzwater once had castles, townes, and towers,
Faire gardens, orchards, and delightfull bowers;
But now nor garden, orchard, towne, nor tower
Hath poore Fitzwater left within his power.
Only wide walkes are left mee in the world,
Which these stiffe limmes wil hardly let me tread;
And when I sleepe, heavens glorious canopy
Mee and my mossie coutch doth over-spreade.
Of this, injurious John can not bereave mee;
The aire and earth he (while I live) must leave mee.
But from the English aire and earth, poore man,
His tyranny hath ruthlesse thee exil'd.
Yet ere I leave it, Ile do what I can,
To see Matilda, my faire lucklesse childe.
[Curtaines open; Robin Hoode sleepes on a greene
banke, and Marian strewing flowers on him.
And in good time, see where my comfort stands,
And by her lyes dejected Huntington.
Looke how my flower holds flowers in her hands,
And flings those sweetes upon my sleeping sonne.
Ile close mine eyes as if I wanted sight,
That I may see the end of their delight.
[Goes knocking with his staffe.
What aged man art thou? Or by what chance,
Cam'st thou thus farre into the wailesse wodde?
Widowe or wife, or maiden if thou be,
Lend mee thy hand: thou seest I cannot see.
Blessing betide thee, little feel'st thou want.
With mee, good childe, foode is both hard and scant.
These smooth even vaines, assure mee he is kinde,
What ere he be, my girle, that thee doth finde.
I poore and olde am reft of all earths good
And desperately am crept into this wodde
To seeke the poore mans patron, Robin Hoode.
And thou art welcome, welcome aged man,
I, ten times welcome to Maid Marian.
Sit downe olde father, sit and call me daughter.
O God, how like he lookes to olde Fitzwater! [Runs in.
Is my Matilda cald Maid Marian?
I wonder why her name is changed thus.
[Brings wine, meate.
Here's wine to cheere thy hart. Drink aged man.
There's venson and a knife, here's manchet fine.
Drinke good old man, I pre you drinke more wine.
My Robin stirres, I must sing him a sleepe.
Nay, you have wak't me Marian with your talke.
What man is that, is come within our walke?
An aged man, a silly sightlesse man,
Neere pin'd with hunger: see how fast he eates.
Much good may't doe him. Never is good meat
Ill spent on such a stomacke. Father, proface;
To Robin Hood thou art a welcome man.
I thanke you master. Are you Robin Hood?
Father, I am.
God give your soule much good,
For this good meat Maid Marian hath given mee.
But heare you, master, can you tell mee newes,
Where faire Matilda is, Fitzwaters daughter?
Why? Here she is, this Marian is shee.
Why did she chaunge her name?
What's that to thee?
Yes, I could weepe for griefe that it is so,
But that my teares are all dryed up with woe.
Why? Shee is cald Maid Marian, honest friend,
Because she lives a spotlesse maiden life,
And shall, till Robins outlawe life have ende,
That he may lawfully take her to wife;
Which, if King Richard come, will not be long;
For, in his hand is power to right our wrong.
If it be thus, I joy in her names change.
So pure love in these times is very strange.
Robin, I thinke it is my aged father.
Tell mee old man, tell me in curtesie.
Are you no other than you seeme to be?
I am a wretched aged man, you see.
If you will doe mee ought for charitie,
Further than this, sweete, doe not question mee.
You shall have your desire, but what be these?
[Enter Frier Tucke, and Jinny, like Pedlers,
What lacke ye? What lacke yee? What ist ye wil buy?
Any points, pins, or laces, any laces, points or pins?
Fine gloves, fine glasses, any buskes, or maskes?
Or any other prettie things?
Come chuse for love, or buy for money.
Any cony cony skins,
For laces, points, or pins? Faire maids, come chuse or buy.
I have prettie poting sticks,
And many other tricks, come chuse for love, or buy
Pedler, I pre thee set thy packe downe here.
Marian shall buy, if thou be not too deare.
Jinny, unto thy mistresse shewe thy packe;
Master, for you I have a pretty knacke.
From farre I brought it, please you see the same.
[Enter Sir Doncaster,
and others weaponed.
Sir Doncaster, are not we pedlerlike?
Yes, passing fit, and yonder is the bower.
I doubt not wee shall have him in our power.
You and your companie were best stand close.
What shal the watchword be to bring us forth?
Take it, I pray, though it be much more worth.
When I speake that aloude, be sure I serve
The execution presently on him.
Frier, looke too't.
Now Jinny to your song. [Sings.
[Enter Marian, Robin.
Pedler, what prettie toyes have you to sell?
Jinny, unto our mistresse shewe your ware.
Come in, good woman. [Exit.
Master, looke here, and God give care,
So mote I thee, to her and mee, if ever wee, Robin to
thee, that art so free, meane treachery.
On, Pedler, to thy packe;
If thou love mee, my love thou shalt not lacke.
Master, in briefe, there is a theefe, that seekes
your griefe, God send reliefe, to you in neede; for a foule
deede, if not with speede, you take good heede, there is
In yonder brake, there lies a snake, that meanes to
take, out of this wodde, the yeoman good, calde Ro-
Pedler, I pre thee be more plaine: what brake?
What snake? What trappe? What traine?
Robin, I am a holy Frier, sent by the Prior, who
did mee hire, for to conspire thy endlesse woe, and over-
throwe; but thou shalt knowe, I am the man whome
Little John from Notingham desir'd to be a clarke to
thee; for hee to mee saide thou wert free, and I did see,
thy honestie; from gallowe tree, when thou didst free
Scathlocke and Scarlet certainely.
Why then it seemes that thou art Frier Tucke.
Master, I am.
I pray thee, frier, say
What treachery is meant to mee this day?
First winde your horne; then drawe your sworde.
[Hee windes his horne.
For I have given a friers worde
To take your bodie prisoner
And yield you to Sir Doncaster,
The envious Priest of Hothersfield,
Whose power your bushie wodde doth shielde;
But I will die, ere you shall yield.
[Enter Little John, &c:
And sith your yeomen doe appeare,
Ile give the watchword without feare.
Take it I pray thee, though it be more worth.
[Rushe in Doncaster with his crue.
Smite down, lay hold on outlawed Huntington.
Soft, hot spurd priest, tis not so quickly done.
Now out alas, the frier and the maide
Have, to false theeves, Sir Doncaster betraide. [Exeunt omnes.
feeling his way
high quality bread
welcome; (see note)
So might I thrive
[Enter John crowned, Queene Elianor, Chester, Sals-
bury, Lord Prior. Sit down all. Warman stands.
As Gods Vicegerent, John ascends this throne,
His head impal'd with Englands diademe,
And in his hand the awfull rodde of rule,
Giving the humble, place of excellence,
And to the lowe earth, casting downe the proude.
Such upright rule is in each realme allowed.
Chester, you once were Elies open friend,
And yet are doubtfull whether he deserve
A publicke triall for his private wrongs.
I still am doubtfull, whether it be fit
To punish private faults with publicke shame
In such a person as Lord Ely is.
Yes honorable Chester, more it fits
To make apparant sinnes of mightie men,
And on their persons sharpely to correct
A little fault, a very small defect,
Than on the poore to practise chastisement.
For if a poore man die, or suffer shame,
Only the poore and vile respect the same;
But if the mightie fall, feare then besets
The proud harts of the migtie ones, his mates.
They thinke the world is garnished with nets,
And trappes ordained to intrappe their states.
Which feare, in them, begets a feare of ill,
And makes them good, contrary to their will.
Your Lordship hath said right. Lord Salsbury,
Is not your minde as ours, concerning Ely?
I judge him worthy of reproofe and shame.
Warman, bring forth your prisoner, Ely, the Chancellor,
And with him, bring the seale that he detains.
Warman, why goest thou not?
Be good to mee, my Lord.
What hast thou done?
Speake for mee, my Lord Prior.
All my good Lords, intreate his Grace for mee.
Ely, my Lord . . .
Why? Where is Ely, Warman?
Fled today, this mistie morning he is fled away.
O Judas, whom nor friend nor foe may trust,
Thinkst thou with teares and plaints to answere this?
Doe I not knowe thy heart? Doe I not knowe
That bribes have purchast Ely this escape?
Never make anticke faces, never bende
With fained humblesse, thy still crouching knee;
But with fixt eyes unto thy doome attend.
Villane, Ile plague thee for abusing mee.
Goe hence, and henceforth never set thy foote
In house or fielde, thou didst this day possesse.
Marke what I say; advise thee to looke too't,
Or else be sure thou diest remedilesse.
Nor from those houses see that thou receive
So much as shall sustaine thee for an hower;
But as thou art, goe where thou canst get friends,
And hee that feedes thee, be mine enemie.
O, my good Lord.
Thou thy good Lord betrayedst,
And all the world for money thou wilt sell.
What saies the Queene?
Why thus I say:
Betray thy master, thou wilt all betray.
My Lords, of Chester and of Salsbury?
Speake not to us, all traitors we defie.
Good my Lord Prior.
Alas, what can I doe?
Then I defie the worlde; yet I desire
Your Grace would read this supplication.
I thought as much; but Warman dost thou thinke
There is one moving line to mercie here?
I tell thee no; therefore away, away.
A shamefull death followes thy longer stay.
O poore poore man!
Of miserable, miserablest wretch I am. [Exit.
Confusion be thy guide; a baser slave
Earth cannot beare. Plagues followe him, I crave.
Can any tell mee if my Lord of Yorke
Be able to sit up.
The Archbishoppes Grace
Was reasonable well even now, good sonne.
And he desir'd mee that I should desire
Your Majestie to send unto his Grace,
If any matter did import his presence.
Wee will ourselves steppe in and visit him.
Mother, and my good Lords, will you attend us?
I gladly will attend your Majestie.
Now good Lord helpe us.
When I saide good Lords,
I meant not you Lord Prior. Lord I know you are;
But good, God knowes, you never meane to bee.
[Exeunt John, Queene, Chester, Salsbury.
John is incenst, and very much I doubt
That villane Warman hath accused mee,
About the scape of Ely. Well, suppose he have.
Whats that to mee? I am a cleargie man,
And all his power, if hee all extend,
Cannot prevaile against my holy order;
But the Archbishoppes Grace is now his friend
And may perchance attempt to doe me ill.
[Enter a serving man.
What newes with you, sir?
Even heavie news, my Lord; for the light fire
Falling, in manner of a fier drake,
Upon a barne of yours, hath burnt six barnes,
And not a strike of corne reserv'd from dust.
No hand could save it, yet ten thousand hands,
Labourd their best, though none for love of you.
For every tongue with bitter cursing band,
Your Lordshippe as the viper of the land.
What meant the villanes?
Thus and thus they cride:
Upon this churle, this hoorder up of corne,
This spoyler of the Earle of Huntington,
This lust-defiled, mercilesse false Prior,
Heaven raigneth vengeance downe in shape of fier.
Old wives that scarce could with their crouches creep,
And little babes, that newly learnde to speake,
Men masterlesse that thorough want did weepe,
All in one voice, with a confused cry,
In execrations band you bitterly,
Plague followe plague, they cry, he hath undone
The good Lord Robert, Earle of Huntington,
And then . . .
What then, thou villane? Get thee from my sight.
They that wish plagues, plagues wil upon them light.
[Enter another servant.
What are your tidings?
The Covent of Saint Maries are agreed
And have elected, in your Lordshippes place,
Olde Father Jerome, who is stald Lord Prior,
By the newe Archbishoppe.
Of Yorke thou meanst.
A vengeance on him, he is my hopes foe.
[Enter a Herald.
Gilbert de Hood, late Prior of Saint Maries,
Our Soveraigne John commandeth thee by mee,
That presently thou leave this blessed land,
Defiled with the burden of thy sinne.
All thy goods temporall and spirituall,
With free consent of Hubert Lorde Yorke,
Primate of England and thy Ordinary,
He hath suspended, and vow'd by heaven,
To hang thee up, if thou depart not hence,
Without delaying or more question.
And that he hath good reason for the same,
He sends this writing firm'd with Warmans hand,
And comes himselfe, whose presence if thou stay,
I feare this sunne will see thy dying day.
O, Warman hath betraid mee. Woe is mee.
[Enter John, Queene, Chester, Salsbury.
Hence with that Prior, sirra do not speake,
My eyes are full of wrath, my heart of wreake.
Let Lester come; his hault hart, I am sure,
Will checke the kingly course we undertake.
[Exeunt cum Prior.
[Enter Lester, drumme and Ancient.
Welcome from warre, thrice noble Earle of Lester;
Unto our court, welcome, most valiant Earle.
Your court in England, and King Richard gone,
A king in England, and the king from home:
This sight and salutations are so strange,
That what I should, I know not how to speake.
What would you say? Speake boldly, we intreat.
It is not feare, but wonder barres my speach;
I muse to see a mother and a Queene,
Two peeres, so great as Salsbury and Chester,
Sit and support proud usurpation,
And see King Richards crowne, worne by Earle John.
He sits as viceroy and a substitute.
He must and shal resigne when Richard comes.
Chester, he will without your must and shall.
Whether he will or no, he shall resigne.
You knowe your own will Lester, but not mine.
Tell me among ye, where is reverent Ely,
Left by our dreade King, as his deputie?
Banisht he is, as proud usurpers should.
Pride then, belike, was enemy to pride:
Ambition in yourselfe, his state envied.
Where is Fitzwater, that old honoured Lord?
Dishonourd and exil'd, as Ely is.
Exil'd he may be, but dishonourd never.
He was a fearelesse souldier, and a vertuous scholler.
But where is Huntington, that noble youth?
Undoone by ryot.
Ah, the greater ruth.
Lester, you question more than doth become you.
On to the purpose, why you come to us.
I came to Ely, and to all the State,
Sent by the King, who three times sent before,
To have his ransome brought to Austria;
And if you be elected deputie,
Doe as you ought, and send the ransome money.
Lester, you see I am no deputie;
And Richards ransome if you doe require,
Thus wee make answere: Richard is a king,
In Cyprus, Acon, Acres, and rich Palestine.
To get those kingdomes England lent him men,
And many a million of her substance spent,
The very entrals of her wombe was rent.
No plough but paid a share, no needy hand,
But from his poore estate of penurie,
Unto his voyage offered more than mites,
And more, poore soules, than they had might to spare.
Yet were they joyfull. For still flying newes,
And lying I perceive them now to be,
Came of King Richards glorious victories,
His conquest of the Souldans, and such tales
As blewe them up with hope, when he returnd
He would have scattered gold about the streetes.
Doe Princes fight for gold? O leaden thought!
Your father knewe that honour was the aime
Kings levell at. By sweete Saint John I sweare,
You urge mee so that I cannot forbeare.
What doe you tell of money lent the King,
When first he went into this holy warre?
As if he had extorted from the poore,
When you, the Queene, and all that heare me speake,
Know with what zeale the people gave their goods:
Olde wives tooke silver buckles from their belts,
Young maids the gilt pins that tuckt up their traines,
Children their prettie whistles from their neckes,
And every man what he did most esteeme,
Crying to souldiours, "Weare these gifts of ours."
This prooves that Richard had no neede to wrong
Or force the people that with willing hearts
Gave more than was desir'd. And where you say,
You guesse Richards victories but lies,
I sweare he wan rich Cyprus with his sworde.
And thence, more glorious than the guide of Greece
That brought so huge a fleete to Tenedos,
He saild along the Mediterran sea,
Where on a sunbright morning he did meete
The warlike souldiours well prepared fleete.
O still mee thinkes I see King Richard stand,
In his guilt armour staind with Pagans blood,
Upon a gallies prowe, like warres fierce god,
And on his crest, a crucifix of golde.
O that daies honour can be never tolde:
Six times six severall brigandines he boarded,
And in the greedie waves flung wounded Turkes,
And three times thrice the winged gallies bankes,
(Wherin the Souldans sonne was Admirall)
In his owne person royall Richard smooth'd,
And left no heathen hand to be upheav'd
Against the Christian souldiers.
Did he all this?
I, by God hee did,
And more than this; nay jeast not at it, John:
I sweare hee did, by Lesters faith hee did,
And made the greene sea red with Pagan blood,
Leading to Joppa glorious victory,
And following feare that fled unto the foe.
All this hee did, perchance all this was so.
Holy God helpe mee, souldiers come away:
This carpet knight sits carping at our scarres,
And jeasts at those most glorious well fought warres.
Lester, you are too hot. Stay, goe not yet.
Me thinkes, if Richard wonne these victories,
The wealthie kingdomes he hath conquered
May better than poore England pay his ransome.
He left this realme as a young orphant maid
To Ely, the stepfather of this state,
That stript the virgin to her very skinne.
And, Lester, had not John more carefull bin
Than Richard, at this hower, England had not England bin.
Therefore, good warlike Lord, take this in briefe:
We wish King Richard well,
But can send no reliefe.
O, let not my heart breake with inward griefe.
Yes let it, Lester, it is not amisse
That twenty such hearts breake, as your heart is.
Are you a mother? Were you Englands Queene?
Were Henry, Richard, Gefferey (your sonnes)
All sonnes, but Richard, sunne of all those sonnes?
And can you let this little meteor,
This ignis fatuus, this same wandring fire,
This goblin of the night, this brand, this sparke,
Seeme through a lanthorne, greater than he is?
By heaven you doe not well, by earth you doe not.
Chester, nor you, nor you, Earle Salsbury,
Ye doe not, no yee doe not what yee should.
Were this Beare loose, how he wold tear our mawes!
Pale death and vengeance dwel within his jawes.
But we can muzzle him and binde his pawes;
If King John say we shall, wee will indeede.
Doe if you can.
Its well thou hast some feare.
No curres, ye have no teethe to baite this Beare.
I will not bid mine ensigne bearer wave
My tottered colours in this worthlesse aire
Which your vile breathes vilely contaminate.
Beare, thou hast bene my auncient bearer long,
And borne up Lesters Beare in forren lands.
Yet now resigne these colours to my hands.
For I am full of griefe and full of rage.
John, looke upon mee: thus did Richard take
The coward Austrias colours in his hand,
And thus he cast them under Acon walles,
And thus he trod them underneath his feete.
Rich colours, how I wrong ye by this wrong!
But I will right yee. Beare, take them againe,
And keepe them ever, ever them maintaine.
We shall have use for them I hope, ere long.
Darest thou attempt thus proudly in our sight?
What ist a subject dares, that I dare not?
Dare subjects dare, their soveraigne being by?
O God, that my true soveraigne were ny.
Lester, he is.
Madam, by God you ly.
A plague of reverence,
Where no regard is had of excellence. [Sound drum.
But you will quit mee nowe; I heare your drummes,
Your principalitie hath stird up men.
And now ye thinke to muzzle up this Beare.
Still they come nearer, but are not the neare.
What drums are these?
I thinke some friends of yours
Prepare a power to resist this wrong.
Let them prepare; for Lester is preparde,
And thus he wooes his willing men to fight;
Souldiers, yee see King Richards open wrong,
Richard that led yee to the glorious East,
And made yee treade upon the blessed land,
Where He, that brought all Christians blessednesse,
Was borne, lived, wrought His miracles, and died,
From death arose, and then to heaven ascended;
Whose true religious faith ye have defended.
Yee fought, and Richard taught yee how to fight
Against prophane men following Mahomet.
But if ye note, they did their kings their right,
These more than heathen, sacrilegious men,
Professing Christ, banish Christs champion hence,
Their lawfull Lord, their homeborne soveraigne,
With pettie quarrels, and with slight pretence.
[Enter Richmond, souldiers.
O let me be as short as time is short,
For the arm'd foe is now within our sight.
Remember how gainst ten, one man did fight,
So hundreds against thousands, have borne head.
You are the men that ever conquered.
If multitudes oppresse ye that ye die,
Lets sell our lives and leave them valiantly.
Courage; upon them, till wee cannot stand.
Richmond is yonder.
I, and sonne, I thinke,
The King is not farre off.
Now heaven forfend.
Why smite ye not, but stand thus cowardly?
If Richmond hurt good Lester, let him die.
Richmond, O pardon mine offending eye,
That tooke thee for a foe; welcome deare friend;
Where is my Soveraigne Richard? Thou and he
Were both in Austria. Richmond, comfort mee,
And tell mee where he is, and how he fares.
O, for his ransome, many thousand cares
Have mee afflicted.
Lester, he is come to London,
And will himselfe to faithlesse Austria,
Like a true king, his promis'd ransome beare.
At London saist thou, Richmond, is he there?
Farewell, I will not stay to tell my wrongs,
To these pale coloured, hartlesse, guiltie Lords.
Richmond, you shall goe with mee, doe not stay,
And I will tell you wonders by the way.
The King did doubt you had some injury,
And therefore sent this power to rescue yee.
I thanke his Grace. Madam adieu, adieu.
Ile to your sonne, and leave your shade with you.
Harke how he mocks mee, calling me your shade.
Chester and Salsbury, shall wee gather power,
And keepe what we have got?
And in an hower,
Be taken, judg'd, and headed with disgrace?
Salsbury, what say you?
My Lord, I bid your excellence adieu --
I to King Richard will submit my knee,
I have good hope his Grace will pardon mee.
And Salsbury, Ile goe along with thee.
Farewell, Queene mother; fare you well, Lord John. [Exeunt.
Mother, stay you.
Not I sonne, by Saint Anne.
Will you not stay?
Goe with me. I will doe the best I may,
To beg my sonnes forgivenesse of my sonne. [Exit.
Goe by yourselfe. By heaven twas long of you,
I rose to fall so soone. Lester and Richmonds crue,
They come to take me. Now too late I rue
My proud attempt. Like falling Phaeton,
I perish from my guiding of the sunne. [Enter Lester and Richmond.
I will goe backe yfaith once more and see,
Whether this mock-king and the mother Queene,
And, who! Heres neither Queene nor Lord.
What, king of crickets, is there none but you?
Come off, off. This crowne, this scepter are King Richards right.
Beare thou them, Richmond, thou art his true knight.
You would not send his ransome, gentle John.
He's come to fetch it now. Come, wily Fox,
Now you are stript out of the Lyons case,
What, dare you looke the Lyon in the face?
The English Lyon, that in Austria,
With his strong hand, puld out a lyons heart.
Good Richmond tell it mee; for Gods sake doe:
Oh, it does mee good to heare his glories tolde.
Lester, I saw King Richard with his fist,
Strike deade the sonne of Austrian Leopold,
And then I sawe him, by the Dukes commaund,
Compast and taken by a troope of men,
Who led King Richard to a lyons denne,
Opening the doore and in a paved court,
The cowards left King Richard weaponlesse.
Anone comes forthe the fier-eyde dreadfull beast,
And with a heart-amazing voice he roarde,
Opening (like hell) his iron-toothed jawes,
And stretching out his fierce death-threatning pawes,
I tell thee Lester, and I smile thereat,
(Though then, God knowes, I had no power to smile)
I stoode by treacherous Austria all the while.
Who in a gallery with iron grates,
Staid to beholde King Richard made a prey.
What wast, thou smilest at in Austria?
Lester, he shooke, so helpe me God, he shooke,
With very terrour, at the Lyons looke.
Ah coward; but goe on what Richard did.
Richard about his right hand wound a scarfe
(God quit her for it) given him by a maide,
With endlesse good may that good deede be paid,
And thrust that arme downe the devowring throat
Of the fierce Lyon, and withdrawing it,
Drewe out the strong heart of the monstrous beast,
And left the senselesse bodie on the ground.
O royall Richard! Richmond, looke on John.
Does he not quake in hearing this discourse?
Come, we will leave him; Richmond, let us goe.
John, make sute for grace, that is your means you knowe.
A mischiefe on that Lester. Is he gone?
I were best goe too, lest in some mad fit
He turne againe and leade me prisoner.
Southward I dare not flie; faine, faine I would
To Scotland bend my course; but all the woddes
Are full of outlawes that in Kendall greene
Followe the outlawed Earle of Huntington.
Well, I will cloath myselfe in such a sute,
And by that meanes as well scape all pursuite,
As passe the daunger-threatning Huntington.
For having many outlawes theyl thinke mee,
By my attire, one of their mates to be. [Exit.
cursing cursed; (see note)
Diocesan Superior; (see note)
arrogant heart; (see note)
rubbed out (eradicated)
i.e., supreme son
throats (bellies); (see note)
on account of
[Enter Scarlet, John, and Frier Tucke.
Scarlet and John, so God me save,
No minde unto my beades I have.
I thinke it be a lucklesse day,
For I can neither sing, nor say,
Nor have I any power to looke,
On Portasse, or on Mattins booke.
What is the reason, tell us Frier?
And would yee have mee be no lyer.
No: God defend that you should lie,
A Churchman be a lyer? Fie.
Then by this hallowed Crucifixe,
The holy water, and the pixe,
It greatly at my stomacke stickes,
That all this day we had no guesse,
And have of meate so many a messe.
[Much brings out Ely, like a country man with
Well, and ye be but a market, ye are but a market
I am sure, sir; I doe you no hurt, doe I?
Wee shall have company, no doubt.
My fellowe Much hath founde one out.
A fox, a fox! As I am Frier,
Much is well worthie of good hire.
Say, Frier, soothly knowest thou him?
It is a wolfe in a sheepes skinne.
Goe call our master, Little John,
A glad man will he be anone.
It's Ely man, the Chancelor.
Gods pittie looke unto him, Frier. [Exit John.
What, ha ye egges to sell, old fellowe?
I, sir, some fewe, and those my neede constraines
mee beare to Mansfield,
That I may sell them there, to buy me bread.
Alas good man: I pre the, where dost dwell?
I dwell at Oxen sir.
I knowe the towne.
Alas poore fellow, if thou dwell with Oxen,
It's strange they doe not gore thee with their hornes.
Masters, I tell yee truly where I dwell,
And whether I am going; let mee goe:
Your master would be much displeas'd I knowe,
If he should heare, you hinder poore men thus.
Father, one word with you before we part.
Scarlet, the Frier will make us have anger all.
Farewell, and beare me witnesse, though I staid him,
I staid him not.
An olde fellowe, and a market man? [Exit.
Whoop! In your riddles, Much? Then we shall ha't.
What dost thou Frier? Pre thee, let him goe.
I pre the, Scarlet, let us two alone.
Frier, I see thou knowest me; let me goe,
And many a good turne I to thee will owe.
My masters service bids me answere no;
Yet love of holy churchmen wils it so.
Well, good my Lord, I will doe what I may
To let your holinesse escape away.
[Enter Robin and Little John.
Here comes my master, if he question you,
Answere him like a plaine man, and you may passe.
[Aside] O, my Lord thinkes me an Asse.
Frier, what honest man is there with thee?
A silly man, good master. I will speake for you.
[Aside] Stand you aloofe, for feare they note your face.
Master in plaine, it were but in vaine, long to detaine,
with toyes and with bables, with fond fained fables: but
him that you see, in so mean degree, is the Lord Ely, that
helpt to exile you, that oft did revile you. Though in his
fall, his traine be but small, and no man at all, will give
him the wall, nor Lord doth him call. Yet he did ride,
on Jennets pide, and knightes by his side, did foote it
each tide: O see the fall of pride.
I pray, sir, let him goe.
He is a very simple man in showe;
He dwelles at Oxen and to us doth say
To Mansfield market he doth take his way.
Frier, this is not Mansfields market day.
What would hee sell?
Egges sir, as he saies.
Scarlet, goe thy waies, take in this olde man,
Fill his skinne with venson:
And after give him money for his egges.
No, sir, I thanke you. I have promised them
To master Bailies wife of Mansfield, all.
Nay, sir, you doe me wrong.
No Baily, nor his wife, shall have an egge.
Scarlet, I say, take his egges and give him money.
Tush, let him have your egges.
Faith, I have none.
Gods pittie, then he will finde you soone.
Here are no egges, nor any thing but hay.
Yes, by the masse, here's somewhat like a seale.
O God, my Princes seale, faire Englands royall seale!
Tell mee, thou man of death, thou wicked man,
How cam'st thou by this seale? Wilt thou not speake?
Bring burning irons, I will make him speake.
For I doe knowe the poore distressed Lord,
The Kings Vicegerent, learned reverend Ely,
Flying the furie of ambitious John,
Is murdred by this peasant. Speake vile man,
Where thou hast done thrice honorable Ely?
Why dost thou grace Ely with stiles of Grace,
Who thee with all his power sought to disgrace?
Belike his wisdome sawe some fault in mee.
No I assure thee honorable Earle:
It was his envie, no defect of thine,
And the perswasions of the Prior of Yorke,
Which Ely now repents; see, Huntington,
Ely himselfe, and pittie him, good sonne.
Alas for woe, alack that so greate state
The malice of this world should ruinate.
Come in, great Lord, sit downe and take thy ease,
Receive the seale and pardon my offence.
With me you shall be safe and if you please,
Till Richard come, from all mens violence.
Aged Fitzwater, banished by John,
And his faire daughter shall con verse with you;
I and my men that me attend upon
Shall give you all that is to honour due.
Will you accept my service, noble Lord?
Thy kindnesse drives me to such inward shame,
That for my life I no reply can frame.
Goe, I will followe, blessed maist thou bee,
That thus releev'st thy foes in miserie. [Exeunt.
Skelton, a worde or two beside the play.
Now, Sir John Eltam, what ist you would say?
Me thinks I see no jeasts of Robin Hoode,
No merry morices of Frier Tuck,
No pleasant skippings up and downe the wodde,
No hunting songs, no coursing of the bucke.
Pray God this Play of ours may have good lucke,
And the Kings Majestie mislike it not.
And if he doe, what can we doe to that?
I promist him a Play of Robin Hoode,
His honorable life, in merry Sherewod;
His Majestie himselfe survaid the plat,
And bad me boldly write it, it was good,
For merry jeasts, they have bene showne before,
As how the Frier fell into the Well,
For love of Jinny that faire bonny bell:
How Greeneleafe robd the Shrieve of Notingham,
And other mirthfull matter, full of game.
Our play expresses noble Roberts wrong,
His milde forgetting trecherous injurie;
The Abbots malice, rak't in cinders long,
Breakes out at last with Robins Tragedie.
If these that heare the historie rehearst,
Condemne my Play when it begins to spring,
Ile let it wither while it is a budde,
And never shewe the flower to the King.
One thing beside; you fall into your vaine,
Of ribble rabble rimes, Skeltonicall,
So oft, and stand so long, that you offend.
It is a fault I hardly can amend.
O how I champe my tongue to talke these tearmes,
I doe forget oft times my Friers part;
But pull mee by the sleeve when I exceede,
And you shall see mee mend that fault indeede.
Wherefore still sit you, doth Skelton intreat you,
While he facetè wil breefely repeate you, the history al,
And tale tragical, by whose treachery, and base injury,
Robin the good, calde Robin Hood, died in Sherewodde:
Which till, you see, be rul'd by me, sit patiently, and give
a plaudite, if any thing please yee. [Exeunt.
container for consecrated Host
guest; (see note)
pied Spanish horses
keep company; (see note)
Banisht from all, of all I am bereft,
No more than what I weare unto me left,
O wretched, wretched griefe, desertfull fall.
Striving to get all, I am reft of all;
Yet if I could a while myselfe relieve,
Till Ely be in some place settled,
A double restitution should I get,
And these sharpe sorrowes that have joy supprest
Should turne to joy with double interest.
[Enter a gentleman, Warmans cosin.
And in good time, here comes my cosin Warman,
Whome I have often pleasur'd in my time.
His house at Bingham I bestow'd on him;
And therefore doubt not, he will give me house-roome.
Good even, good cosin.
O cousen Warman, what good newes with you?
Whether so farre a foot walk you in Sherewod?
I came from Rotheram, and by hither Farnsfield
My horse did tire, and I walkt home a foote.
I doe beseech you cousen at some friends,
Or at your owne house for a weeke or two,
Give me some succour.
Ha? Succour say you?
No, sir: I heard at Mansfield how the matter stands,
How you have justly lost your goods and lands,
And that the Princes indignation
Will fall on any that relieves your state.
Away from mee; your trecheries I hate.
You when your noble master was undoone
(That honourable minded Huntington)
Who forwarder than you, all to distraine?
And as a wolfe that chaseth on the plaine,
The harmelesse hinde, so wolfe-like you pursued
Him and his servants: vile ingratitude,
Damnd Judaisme, false wrong, abhorred trechery,
Impious wickednesse, wicked impietie.
Out, out upon thee, foh, I spit at thee.
Away, Ile spurne thee if thou followe me. [Exit.
O just heaven, how thou plagu'st iniquitie!
All that he has, my hand on him bestowed.
My master gave mee all I ever owed;
My master I abus'd in his distresse;
In mine, my kinsman leaves me comfortlesse.
[Enter Jayler of Notingham, leading a dog.
Here comes another, one that yesterday
Was at my service, came when I did call,
And him I made Jayler of Notingham.
Perchance some pittie dwelles within the man.
Jaylor, well met, dost thou not knowe me, man?
Yes, thou art Warman; every knave knowes thee.
Thou knowest I was thy master yesterday.
I, but tis not as it was, farewell, goe by.
Good George, relieve my bitter misery.
By this fleshe and bloode I will not.
No if I do, the divell take me quicke.
I have no money; begger balk the way.
I doe not aske thee money.
Wouldst ha meate?
Would God I had a little breade to eate.
Soft, let me feele my bagge. O heare is meate,
That I put up at Redford for my dogge,
I care not greatly if I give him this.
I pre thee doe?
Yet let me search my conscience for it first.
My dogge's my servant, faithfull, trustie, true;
But Warman was a traitor to his Lord,
A reprobate, a rascall, and a Jewe,
Worser than dogges, of men to be abhorrd.
Starve therefore, Warman; dogge receive thy due;
Followe me not, least I belabour you,
You halfe-fac't groat, you thin-cheekt chittiface,
You Judas, villane, you that have undoone
The honourable, Robert, Earle of Huntington. [Exit.
Worse than a dogge, the villane me respects,
His dogge he feedes, mee in my neede rejects.
What shall I doe? Yonder I see a shed,
A little cottage, where a woman dwelles,
Whose husband I from death delivered.
If she denie mee, then I faint and die.
Ho, goodwife Tomson?
What a noyse is there?
A foule shame on yee; is it you that knockt?
What, doe you knowe mee then?
Whoop, who knowes not you?
The beggerd banisht Shrieve of Notingham,
You that betraid your master, ist not you?
Yes, a shame on you; and forsooth ye come,
To have some succour here, because you sav'd,
My unthrift husband from the gallowe tree.
A pox upon yee both. Would both for me
Were hangd together; but soft, let mee see.
The man lookes faint. Feelst thou indeede distresse?
O doe not mocke me in my heavinesse.
Indeede I doe not; well I have within,
A caudle made, I will goe fetch it him.
O blessed woman, comfortable word.
Be quiet intrals, you shall be releev'd.
Here, Warman, put this hempen caudle ore thy head.
See downeward, yonder is thy masters walke,
And like a Judas, on some rotten tree,
Hang up this rotten trunke of miserie
That goers by thy wretched end may see.
Stirr'st thou not villane? Get thee from my doore.
A plague upon thee, haste and hang thy selfe,
Runne rogue away. Tis thou that hast undone
Thy noble master, Earle of Huntington. [Exit.
Good counsell, and good comfort by my faith.
Three doctors are of one opinion,
That Warman must make speede to hang himselfe.
The last hath given a caudle comfortable,
That to recure my griefes is strong and able.
Ile take her medcine, and Ile chuse this way,
Wherein she saith my master hath his walke.
There will I offer life for trechery,
And hang, a wonder to all goers by.
But soft what sound hermonious is this?
What birds are these, that sing so cheerefully,
As if they did salute the flowring spring?
Fitter it were, with tunes more dolefully
They shriekt out sorrowe than thus cheerely sing.
I will goe seeke sad desperations cell.
This is not it, for here are greene-leav'd trees.
Ah for one winter-bitten bared bough,
Whereon, a wretched life, a wretch would leese.
O, here is one. Thrice blessed be this tree,
If a man cursed, may a blessing give.
[Enter old Fitzwater.
But out alas, yonder comes one to me
To hinder death, when I detest to live.
What woefull voice heare I within this wod?
What wretch is there complaines of wretchednesse?
A man, old man, bereav'd of all earths good,
And desperately seekes death in this distresse.
Seeke not for that which will be here too soone,
At least if thou be guiltie of ill deedes.
Where art thou, sonne? Come and neerer sit;
Heare wholsome counsell gainst unhallowed thoughts.
The man is blinde. Muffle the eye of day
Ye gloomie clouds (and darker than my deedes,
That darker be than pitchie sable night),
Muster together on these high topt trees,
That not a sparke of light thorough their sprayes,
May hinder what I meane to execute.
What dost thou mutter? Heare mee wofull man.
[Enter Marian, with meate.
God morrowe father.
Welcome, lovely maide,
And in good time, I trust you hither come.
Looke if you see not a distressefull man,
That to himselfe intendeth violence.
One such even now was here and is not farre;
Seeke, I beseech you, save him if you may.
Alas, here is, here is a man enrag'd,
Fastning a halter on a withered bough,
And stares upon mee, with such frighted lookes,
As I am fearefull of his sharpe aspect.
What meanst thou, wretch? Say, what ist thou wilt doe?
As Judas did, so I intend to doe.
For I have done alreadie as he did:
His master he betraid: so I have mine.
Faire mistresse looke not on me with your blessed eyne.
From them as from some excellence divine,
Sparkles sharpe judgement, and commaunds with speede.
Faire, fare you well. Foule fortune is my fate.
As all betraiers, I die desperate.
Soft sir, goe Marian call in Robin Hoode.
Tis Warman, woman, that was once his steward.
Alas, although it be, yet save his life.
I will sende helpe unto you presently. [Exit.
Nay, Warman, stay; thou shalt not have thy will.
Art thou a blinde man, and canst see my shame?
To hinder treachers, God restoreth sight,
And giveth infants tongues to cry alowde,
A wofull woe against the trecherous.
[Enter Much running.
Hold, hold, hold. I heare say, my fellowe Warman
is about to hang himselfe, and make I some speede
to save him a labour. O good master, Justice Shrive,
have you execution in hand, and is there such a murren
among theeves and hangmen, that you play two parts
in one? For old inquaintance, I wil play one part. The knot
under the eare, the knitting to the tree: Good master
Warman, leave that worke for mee.
Dispatch me, Much, and I will pray for thee.
Nay, keepe your praiers; no bodie sees us.
[He takes the rope, and offers to clime.
Downe sirra, downe; whether a knaves name
A plague on ye for a blinde sinksanker. Would I
were your match. You are much blinde yfaith, can hit
[Enter Little John.
What, master Warman, are yee come to yield
A true account for your false stewardshippe?
[Enter Scarlet and Scathlocke.
Much, if thou meanst to get a hundred pound,
Present us to the Shrieve of Notingham.
Masse, I thinke there was such a purclamation.
Come, my small fellowe John,
You shall have halfe, and therefore bring in one.
No, my big fellow, honest master Much,
Take all unto yourselfe; Ile be no halfe.
Then stand, you shall be the two theeves, and
I will be the presenter.
O master Shrieve of Notingham,
When eares unto my tidings came
(Ile speake in prose, I misse this verse vilely) that
Scathlock and Scarlet were arrested by Robin Hood, my
master, and Little John, my fellowe, and I, Much his ser-
vant, and taken from you, master Shrieve, being well
forward in the hanging way, wherein yee now are (and
God keepe yee in the same) and also that you, master Shrieve,
would give any man in towne, citie, or contrey, a hun-
dred pound of lawfull arrant money of Englande, that
would bring the same two theeves, being these two. Now
I, the said Much, chalenge of you, the saide Shrieve,
bringing them, the same money.
Faith, he can not pay thee, Much.
I, but while this end is in my hand, and that about
his necke, he is bound to it.
[Enter Robin, Ely, Marian.
Mock on, mock on; make me your jeasting game.
I doe deserve much more than this small shame.
Disconsolate and poore dejected man,
Cast from thy necke that shamefull signe of death,
And live for mee, if thou amende thy life,
As much in favour as thou ever didst.
O worse than any death,
When a man, wrongd, his wronger pittieth.
Warman, be comforted, rise and amend.
On my word, Robin Hoode will be thy friend.
I will indeede. Go in, heart-broken man,
Father Fitzwater, pray you leade him in.
Kinde Marian, with sweete comforts comfort him,
And my tall yeomen, as you mee affect,
Upbraide him not with his forepassed life.
Warman, goe in, goe in and comfort thee.
O God requite your honours curtesie.
Scathlocke or Scarlet, helpe us some of yee.
[Exeunt Warman, Marian, Fitzwater, Scathlock, Scarlet, Much
Enter Frier Tucke in his trusse, without his weede.]
Jesu benedicité, pittie on pittie, mercie on mercy,
misery on misery. O such a sight, as by this light, doth
Tell us the matter, pre thee, holy Frier.
Sir Doncaster the Priest, and the proud Prior
Are stript and wounded in the way to Bawtrey,
And if there goe not spedie remedie,
Theyl die, theyl die in this extreamitie.
Alas, direct us to that wretched place.
I love mine uncle, though he hateth mee.
My weede I cast to keepe them from the colde,
And Jinny, gentle girle, tore all her smocke,
The blodie issue of their wounds to stoppe.
Will you goe with us, my good Lord of EIy?
I will, and ever praise thy perfect charitie. [Exeunt.
pinch-faced; (see note)
soothsayer (see note)
jacket; robe; (see note)
[Enter Prince John, solus, in greene, bowe and arrowes.
Why this is somewhat like, now may I sing,
As did the Wakefield Pinder in his note;
At Michaelmas commeth my covenant out,
My master gives me my fee.
Then, Robin, Ile weare thy Kendall greene,
And wend to the greenewodde with thee.
But for a name now, John, it must not bee,
Alreadie Little John on him attends.
Greeneleafe? Nay surely there's such a one alreadie.
Well, Ile be Wodnet, hap what happen may.
Here comes a greene cote (good lucke be my guide).
Some sodaine shift might helpe me to provide.
What, fellow William, did you meete our master?
I did not meete him yet my honest friend.
My honest friend? Why, what a terme is here?
My name is Scathlocke, man, and if thou be
No other than thy garments shewe to mee,
Thou art my fellowe, though I knowe thee not.
What is thy name? When wert thou entertaind?
My name is Woodnet, and this very day,
My noble master, Earle of Huntington,
Did give mee both my fee and liverie.
Your noble master, Earle of Huntington?
Ile lay a crowne you are a counterfait,
And that you knowe, lacks money of a noble.
Did you receive your livery and fee,
And never heared our orders read unto you?
What was the oath was given you by the Frier?
Who? Frier Tuck? [Enter Frier Tucke.
I doe not play the lyer;
For he comes here himselfe to shrive.
Scathlock, farewell, I will away.
See you this arrowe? It saies nay.
Through both your sides shall fly this feather,
If presently you come not hither.
Now heavens true liberalitie
Fall ever for his charitie
Upon the heade of Robin Hoode,
That to his very foes doth good.
Lord God, how he laments the Prior
And bathes his wounds against the fier!
Faire Marian, God requite it her,
Doth even as much for Doncaster,
Whome newly she hath laine in bed,
To rest his weary wounded head.
Ho, Frier Tuck, knowe you this mate?
He saith my master late
Gave him his fee and livery.
It is a leasing, credit mee.
How chance, sir, then you were not sworne?
What meane this groome and lozell Frier,
So strictly matters to inquire?
Had I a sword and buckler here,
You should aby these questions deare.
Saist thou me so lad? Lend him thine.
For in this bush here lyeth mine.
Now will I try this newcome guest.
I am his first man, Frier Tuck,
And if I faile and have no lucke,
Then thou with him shalt have a plucke.
Be it so Scathlock. Holde thee lad,
No better weapons can be had.
The dewe doth them a little rust.
But heare yee, they are tooles of trust.
Gramercy Frier for this gift,
And if thou come unto my shrift,
Ile make thee call those fellowes fooles
That on their foes bestowe such tooles.
Come let us too't.
[Fight, and the Frier lookes on.
The youth is deliver and light,
He presseth Scathlocke with his might:
Now by my beades to doe him right,
I thinke he be some tryed knight.
Stay, let us breath.
I will not stay.
If you leave, Frier, come away.
I pre the, Frier, holde him play.
Frier Tuck will doe the best he may.
[Fight. Enter Marian.
Why, what a noyse of swordes is here?
Fellowes, and fight our bower so neere?
Mistresse, he is no man of yours,
That fightes so fast with Frier Tucke;
But on my worde he is a man,
As good for strength as any can.
Indeede hee's more than common men can be,
In his high heart there dwels the bloode of kings.
Goe call my Robin, Scathlock: tis Prince John.
Mistresse I will; I pray part the fray. [Exit.
I pre thee goe; I will doe what I may.
Frier, I charge thee holde thy hand.
Nay, yonker, to your tackling stand.
What all amort, wil you not fight?
I yield, unconquered by thy might,
But by Matildas glorious sight.
Mistresse, he knowes you. What is hee?
Like to amazing wonder she appeares,
And from her eye, flies love unto my heart,
Attended by suspicious thoughts and feares,
That numme the vigor of each outward part.
Only my sight hath all sacietie,
And fulnesse of delight, viewing her deitie.
But I have no delight in you, Prince John.
Is this Prince John?
Give me thy hand, thou art a proper man,
And for this mornings worke, by Saints above,
Be ever sure of Frier Tucks true love.
Be not offended that I touch thy shrine;
Make this hand happie, let it folde in thine.
[Enter Robin Hoode, Fitzwater, Ely, Warman.
What sawcie wodman Marian stands so neere?
A wodman, Robin, that would strike your deere,
With all his heart. Nay never looke so strange,
You see this fickle world is full of change.
John is a ranger, man, compeld to range.
You are young, wilde Lord, and wel may travel bear.
What, my olde friende Fitzwater, are you there?
And you, Lord Ely? And old best betrust?
Then I perceive that to this geere we must.
A messe of my good friends, which of you foure
Will purchase thanks by yielding to the King
The bodie of the rash rebellious John?
Will you, Fitzwater?
No, John, I defie
To stain my old hands in thy youthfull bloode.
You will, Lord Ely, I am sure you will.
Be sure, young man, my age means thee no ill.
O you will have the praise, brave Robin Hood,
The lustie outlawe, Lord of this large wodde.
Hee'l lead a kings sonne, prisoner to a king,
And bid the brother smite the brother deade.
My purpose you have much misconstrued.
Prince John, I would not for the wide worlds wealth
Incense his Majestie, but doe my best,
To mitigate his wrath, if he be mov'd.
Will none of you? Then here's one I dare say,
That from his childehoode knowes how to betray.
Warman, will not you helpe to hinder all you may.
With what I have beene, twit me not, my Lord.
My olde sins at my soule I doe detest.
Then that he came this way, Prince John was blest.
Forgive me, Ely; pardon mee, Fitzwater.
And Robin, to thy hands myselfe I yield.
And as my heart, from hurt I will thee shield.
[Enter Much, running.
Master, fly, hide ye mistresse, we al shall be taken.
Why, whats the matter?
The King, the King, and twelve and twenty score of horses.
Peace, foole. We have no cause from him to fly.
[Enter Scarlet, Little John.
Scarlet and I were hunting on the plaine.
To us came royall Richard from his traine
(For a great traine of his is hard at hand)
And questiond us, if we serv'd Robin Hoode.
I saide wee did, and then his Majestie,
Putting this massie chaine about my necke,
Said what I shame to say, but joyde to heare.
Let Scarlet tell it, it befits not mee.
Quoth our good King, "Thy name is Little John,
And thou hast long time serv'd Earle Huntington:
Because thou leftst him not in miserie,
A hundred markes I give thee yearelie fee,
And from henceforth, thou shalt a squier bee."
O Lord, what luck had I to runne away?
I should have bene made a knight, or a lady sure.
Goe, said the King, and to your master say,
Richard is come to call him to the court.
And with his kingly presence chase the clouds
Of griefe and sorrow, that in mistie shades,
Have vaild the honour of Earle Huntington.
Now God preserve him, hye you backe againe,
And guide him, least in by-paths he mistake.
Much, fetch a richer garment for my father. [Exit Much.
Good Frier Tuck, I pre thee rouse thy wits.
Warman, visit myne uncle and Sir Doncaster,
See if they can come forth to grace our showe. [Exit Warman.
Gods pittie, Marian, let your Jinny waite.
Thankes, my Lord Chancellor. You are well prepar'd,
And good Prince John, since you are all in greene,
Disdaine not to attend on Robin Hoode.
Frolick I pray; I trust to doe yee good.
Welcome, good uncle, welcome Sir Doncaster. [Enter Prior and Doncast.
Say, will yee sit, I feare yee cannot stand.
Yes, very well.
Why, cheerely, cheerely then.
The trumpet, sounds, the King is now at hand.
Lords, yeomen, maids, in decent order stand.
[The trumpets sound, the while Robin places them.
Enter first, bare-heade, Little John and Scarlet; likewise
Chester, and Lester, bearing the sword and scepter; the
King follows crowned, clad in green; after him Queene
Mother, after her Salsbury and Richmond, Scarlet and
Scathlocke turne to Robin Hoode; who with all his
company kneele downe and cry:
God save King Richard, Lord preserve your Grace.
Thanks all, but chiefely, Huntington, to thee.
Arise poore Earle, stand up, my late lost sonne,
And on thy shoulders let me rest my armes,
That have bene toyled long with heathen warres:
True piller of my state, right Lord indeede,
Whose honour shineth in the denne of neede,
I am even full of joy, and full of woe;
To see thee, glad; but sad to see thee so.
O that I could powre out my soule in prayers,
And praises for this kingly curtesie.
Doe not, dread Lord, grieve at my lowe estate.
Never so rich, never so fortunate,
Was Huntington as now himselfe he findes.
And to approve it, may it please your Grace,
But to accept such presents at the hand
Of your poore servant, as he hath prepar'd.
You shall perceive, the Emperour of the East,
Whom you contended with at Babilon,
Had not such presents to present you with.
Art thou so rich? Sweet, let me see thy gifts.
First take againe this jewell you had lost,
Aged Fitzwater, banished by John.
A jemme indeede; no Prince hath such a one.
Good, good old man, as welcome unto mee,
As coole fresh ayre, in heats extreamitie.
And I as glad to kisse my soveraignes hand,
As the wrackt swimmer, when he feeles the land.
Welcome, Fitzwater, I am glad to see you.
I thanke your Grace; but let me hug these twain,
Lester and Richmond, Christes sworne champions,
That follow'd Richard in his holy warre.
Noble Fitzwater, thanks, and welcome both.
O God, how glad I am to see this Lord!
I cannot speake; but welcome at a worde.
Next take good Ely in your royall hands,
Who fled from death, and most uncivill bands.
Robin, thy gifts exceede: Moorton my Chancellour!
In this man giv'st thou holinesse and honour.
Indeede he gives me, and he gave me life,
Preserving me from fierce pursuing foes,
When I too blame had wrought him many woes:
With me he likewise did preserve this seale,
Which I surrender to your majestie.
Keepe it, good Ely, keepe it still for me.
The next faire jewell that I will presente
Is richer than both these, yet in the foyle,
My gratious Lord, it hath a foule default,
Which if you pardon, boldly I protest,
It will in value farre exceede the rest.
[Aside] Thats me he meanes, yfaith my turne is next.
He calles me foile, ifaith, I feare a foile.
Well, tis a mad lord, this same Huntington.
Here is Prince John, your brother, whose revolt
And folly in your absence, let me crave,
With his submission may be buried.
For he is now no more the man he was,
But duetifull in all respects to you.
Pray God it proove so. Wel, good Huntington,
For thy sake pardon'd is our brother John,
And welcome to us in all heartie love.
This last I give, as tenants do their lands,
With a surrender, to receive againe,
The same into their owne possession:
No Marian, but Fitzwaters chast Matilda,
The precious jewell that poore Huntington
Doth in this world hold as his best esteeme.
Although with one hand I surrender her,
I holde the other, as one looking still,
Richard returnes her: so I hope he will.
Els God forbid. Receive thy Marian backe,
And never may your love be separate,
But florish fairely to the utmost date.
Now please my King to enter Robins bower,
And take such homely welcome as he findes,
It shall be reckened as my happinesse.
With all my heart. Then as combined friends,
Goe we togither; here all quarrelles ends. [Exeunt.
[Manet Sir John Eltam and Skelton.
Then Skelton here I see you will conclude.
And reason good: have we not held too long?
No in good sadnesse, I dare gage my life,
His Highnesse will accept it very kindly.
But I assure you, he expects withall,
To see the other matters tragicall
That followe in the processe of the storie,
Wherein are many a sad accident,
Able to make the strictest minde relent:
I neede not name the points, you knowe them all.
From Marians eye shall not one teare be shed?
Skelton, yfaith tis not the fashion.
The King must greeve, the Queene must take it ill;
Ely must mourne, aged Fitzwater weepe,
Prince John, the Lords his yeomen must lament,
And wring their wofull hands, for Robins woe.
Then must the sicke man fainting by degrees,
Speake hollowe words, and yield his Marian,
Chast Maid Matilda, to her fathers hands
And give her, with King Richards full consent,
His lands, his goods, late seazd on by the Prior,
Now by the Priors treason made the Kings.
Skelton, there are a many other things,
That aske long time to tell them lineally.
But ten times longer will the action be.
Sir John, yfaith I knowe not what to doe;
And I confesse that all you say is true.
Will you doe one thing for me, crave the King
To see two parts. Say tis a prettie thing.
I know you can doe much, if you excuse mee,
While Skelton lives, Sir John, be bolde to use mee.
I will perswade the King; but how can you
Perswade all these beholders to content?
Stay, Sir John Eltam; what to them I say,
Deliver to the King, from mee, I pray.
Well judging hearers, for a while suspence
Your censures of this Plaies unfinisht end.
And Skelton promises for this offence,
The second part shall presently be pend.
There shall you see, as late my friend did note,
King Richards revels at Earle Roberts bower,
The purpos'd mirth, and the performed mone,
The death of Robin, and his murderers.
For interest of your stay, this will I adde,
King Richards voyage backe to Austria,
The swift returned tydings of his death,
The manner of his royall funerall.
Then John shall be a lawfull crowned king,
But to Matilda beare unlawfull love.
Aged Fitzwaters finall banishment,
His pitious end, of power teares to move
From marble pillers. The Catastrophe
Shall shewe you faire Matildas Tragedie,
Who, shunning Johns pursute, became a nunne,
At Dunmowe Abbey, where she constantly
Chose death to save her spotlesse chastitie.
Take but my word, and if I faile in this,
Then let my paines be baffled with a hisse.
pay penalty for
youngster, hold your ground
lest; (see note)