A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VII (4th edition)

Part 9 out of 11

There what you long to know I'll quickly tell.


LADY F. Stay, here are strangers.

SKINK. A plague upon them, come they in the nick,
To hinder Reynard[506] of his fox's trick?

[LADY FAUCONBRIDGE _retires a little_.

JOHN. Good day, old hermit.

FAU. So to you, fair dame.

JOHN. By Elinor's grey eye, she's fair indeed.
Sweet heart, come ye for holy benisons?
Hermit, hast thou good custom with such clients?
I cannot blame your feats, your juggling tricks,
Plague juggle you!

LADY F. Why curse ye sacred worth?

FAU. Ill done, in sooth, my Lord, very ill done,
Wrong holiness! a very pretty woman! [_aside_.]
Mock gravity! by the mass a cherry lip! [_aside_.]
Ah, it's not well done [to] deride a holy hermit!

JOHN. I have it in my purse shall make amends.

SKINK. His purse and yours shall make me some amends
For hind'ring me this morning from the lady;
For scaring me at tavern yesternight:
For having back your chain, I'll fit you both. [_Aside_.

JOHN. Hermit, a word.

FAU. A word with you, fair mistress.

JOHN. Where lie your devils, that tell all your news?
Would you would trouble them for half an hour,
To know what is become of traitor Gloster,
That in my clothes broke prison in the Fleet?

SKINK. No, it was Skink.

JOHN. Come, old fool, ye dote.

SKINK. But hear me.

FAU. Hear him, Prince.

JOHN. 'Swounds, who hears you?
I'll make your lady graft ye for this work.-- [_Aside_.]
--But to your tale, sir.

SKINK. Know, thrice-honoured Prince,
That Skink did cosen Redcap of his clothes,
Gloster did cosen Skink, and so escap'd.

JOHN. Well done, Fauconbridge!

FAU. My lord, he tells you true.

JOHN. You find it on her lips: but, forward, sir.

SKINK. 'Twas Skink in Gloster's gown, whom you did visit,
That play'd at bowls, and after stole your clothes,
While you went into the Lord Morton's chamber.

JOHN. This savours of some truth.

FAU. 'Tis very like.

JOHN. Well, Fauconbridge, by heaven, I'll tell your wife.

FAU. She'll much believe you! you will? Come,
Tell me not of my wife[507]: this evening fail me not.
My wife, quoth you: I'll send my wife from home.
Do tell my wife, Prince John, by my dear mother,
I love her too-too well to like another.

LADY F. It seems so, fox; O, what a world is this!
There most sin reigns, where least suspicion is.

FAU. You'll come?

LADY F. I will not fail, I warrant you.

JOHN. Hermit, is all this true?

SKINK. Himself,
[If he] deliver not so much, before ye sleep,
Root me from out the borders of this realm.

[JOHN _and_ FAUC. _retire a little_.

JOHN. Well, by your leave, Sir Richard Fauconbridge,
Hence, free from fear; you'll melt, you'll melt, old man.

FAU. Nay, take her to you; she's a shrew, I warrant.
I'll to the holy hermit, and inquire
About my chain, your sword, the pursuivant,
And other matters, that I have to ask.

[_He returns_; JOHN _addresses the_ LADY.

SKINK. You're welcome, good Sir Richard.

JOHN. Nay, do not stand on terms; I am fire, all life,
Nor never tell me, that I have a wife.
I do not mean to marry; ye think so!
But to be merry you the manner know.
And you will have me, have me--'ppoint a meeting;
I'll be your true love, you shall be my sweeting.
If you deny to promise, this is plain
I'll have my will, ere you get home again.

LADY F. Most gracious lord.

JOHN. Tut, tell not me of grace:
I like no goodness but a beauteous face.
Be therefore brief; give me your hand and swear,
Or I'll away with you into the heath:
Neither shall Fauconbridge nor hermit help,
And what I do I'll answer well enough.

LADY F. Why, then, my lord.

JOHN. Nay, do not stand on them:[508]
But tell me, when my lord shall have you, Lady;
It's presently I venture for a baby.

LADY F. This night at Stepney, by my summer-house,
There is a tavern which I sometimes use,
When we from London come a-gossiping;
It is the Hind.

JOHN. Give me thy pretty hand:
Thou'lt meet me at the Hind? I'll be thy roe.

LADY F. One word's enough.

JOHN. Suffice; then be it so.

LADY F. I'll fit my old adulterer and your grace,
I'll send the Princess thither in my place. [_Aside_.

FAU. Prince John, Prince John, the hermit tells me wonders;
He says it was Skink that 'scap'd us at the tavern:
Skink had my chain--nay, sure, that Skink did all.

SKINK. I say, go but to yonder corner,
And ere the sun be half an hour higher,
There will the thief attempt a robbery.

JOHN. Who? Skink?

FAU. Will Skink?

SKINK. Ay, Skink, upon my word.

FAU. Shall we go seize upon him, good Prince John?

JOHN. Nay, we will have him, that's no question.
And yet not hurt the honest rogue.
He'll help us well in quest of changing Gloster.
Hermit, farewell; Lady, keep your hour.

FAU. Adieu, old hermit: soon in the evening, lass.

LADY F. I'll meet you both, and meet with[509] both of you.
Father, what answer do you give to me?

SKINK. Lady, start down; I must into my cell,
Where I am curing of a man late hurt;
He dress'd, I must unto my orisons;
In half an hour all will be despatch'd,
And then I will attend your ladyship.

LADY F. At your best leisure, father. O, the life,
That this thrice-reverend hermit leadeth here.
How far remote from mortal vanities,
Baits to the soul, enticements to the eye!
How far is he unlike my lustful lord?
Who being given himself to be unchaste,
Thinks all men like himself in their effects,
And injures me, that never had a thought
To wrong the sacred rights of spotless faith.

_Enter_ SKINK _with a patch on his face, and a
falconer's lure in his hand_.[510]

SKINK. Hermit, farewell, I'll pay ye or speak with ye next time I see
ye. Sweet mouse, the hermit bids you stay here; he'll visit you anon.
Now, John and Fauconbridge, I'll match ye, and I do not say Skink's a
wretch, a wren, a worm. When I have trick'd them, madam, I will trim
you. Commodity is to be preferr'd before pleasure. About profit, Skink;
for crowns, for crowns, that make the kingly thoughts!

LADY F. (_to the hermit supposed within_.)
I am assur'd that man's some murderer.
Good Father Hermit, speak and comfort me;
Are ye at prayers, good old man? I pray ye, speak.
What's here? a beard? a counterfeited hair?
The hermit's portesse,[511] garments, and his beads?
Jesus defend me! I will fly this den;
It's some thief's cave, no haunt for holy men.
What, if the murderer (as I guess him one)
Set on my husband! Tush, Prince John and he
Are able to defend their[512] noble selves.
Howe'er, I will not tarry, I'll away,
Lest unto theft and rape I prove a prey.


_Enter_ SKINK _solus_.

SKINK. Yonder they are; I'll fit them; here's my ground.
Wa-ha-how, wa-ha-how, wa-ha-how!

_Enter_ FAUCONBRIDGE [_and_ JOHN.]

FAU. I warrant ye, my lord, some man's distress'd.

JOHN. Why, man, 'tis a falconer.

FAU, Marry of me, good fellow, I did think thou had'st been robb'd.

SKINK. Robb'd, sir? No, he that comes to rob me shall have a hard match
on't, yet two good fellows had like to have been robb'd by one tall
thief, had not I stepped in. A bots on him! I lost a hawk by him, and
yet I car'd not to send another after him, so I could find the thief;
and hereabout he is; I know he is squatted.

FAU. Say'st thou me so? we'll find him, by St Mary,
An honest fellow, a good commonwealth's man.

JOHN. There are caves hereabout, good fellow, are there not?

SKINK. Yes, sir; tread the ground, sir, and you shall hear their
hollowness; this way, sir, this way.

JOHN. Help, Fauconbridge.

FAU. O, help me, good Prince John.

SKINK. I'll help you both; deliver, sir, deliver! Swounds, linger not.
Prince John, put up your purse, or I'll throw poniards down upon your
pate. Quickly! when? I am Skink, that 'scap'd ye yesternight, and fled
the Fleet in your cloak, carrying me clean out of wind and rain. I broke
the bonds and links that fettered your chain amity; this cheat is mine.
Farewell, I cannot stay,
Sweet Prince, old Knight, I thank ye for this prey.

FAU. God's marry mother, here's a jest indeed.
We came to take: a thief takes us!
Where are ye, good my lord?

JOHN. No matter where;
I think I was fore-spoken at the teat,
This damn'd rogue serv'd me thus! Gloster and he,
Upon my life, conclude in villany.
He was not wont to plot these stratagems.
Lend me your hand a little; come away,
Let's to the cell again; perchance the hermit
Is Skink and thief, and hermit, all in one.

FAU. Marry a God, then ten to one it's so;
Well thought on, Princely John;
He had my chain, no doubt he had your sword.

JOHN. If there be now no hermit at the cell,
I'll swear by all the saints it's none but he.



_Enter_ GLOSTER _in the Hermit's gown, putting on the beard_.

GLO. This accident hath hit thy humour, Gloster;
From pursuivant I'll turn a hermit now.
Sure, he that keeps this cell's a counterfeit,
Else what does he here with false hair and beard?
Well, howsoe'er it be, I'll seem to be
The holy hermit; for such fame there is,
Of one accounted reverend on this heath.

_Enter_ SKINK.

[SKINK.] I'll fain unto my cell, to my fair lady;
But John and Fauconbridge are at my heels; [_Sees John_.
And some odd mate is got into my gown,
And walks devoutly like my counterfeit.
I cannot stay to question with you now,
I have another gown and all things fit,
These guests once rid, new mate, I'll bum,[513] I'll mark you.

GLOS. What's he, a God's name? he is quickly gone.
I am for him, were he Robin Goodfellow.
Who's yonder, the Prince John and Fauconbridge?
I think they haunt me like my genii,
One good, the other ill; by the mass, they pry,
And look upon me but suspiciously.

JOHN. This is not Skink; the hermit is not Skink.
He is a learned, reverend, holy man;

FAU. He is, he is a very godly man;
I warrant ye, he's at his book at's prayers.
We should have took you, by my halidom,
Even for a very thief.

GLO. Now God forfend
Such noblemen as you should guess me so!
I never gave such cause, for ought I know.

JOHN. Yet thou did'st tell us Skink should do a robbery,
Appointed us the place, and there we found him.

FAU. And he felt us, for he hath robb'd us both.

GLO. He's a lewd fellow; but he shall be taken.

JOHN. I had rather hear of Gloster than of him.

GLO. Gloster did cheat him of the same gold chain,
That deceiv'd Sir Richard Fauconbridge.
He got your sword, Prince John: 'twas he that sav'd
The porter, and beguil'd the pursuivant.

JOHN. A vengeance on him!

GLO. Do not curse, good prince;
He's bad enough, 'twere better pray for him.

JOHN. I'll kill thee, and thou bid us pray for him,
I'll fell [the] woods, and ring thee round with fire,
Make thee an offering unto fierce revenge,
If thou have but a thought to pray for him.

GLO. I am bound to pray for[514] all men, chiefly Christians.

JOHN. Ha, ha, for Christians? think'st thou he is one?
For men? hast thou opinion he is a man?
He that changes himself to sundry shapes,
Is he a Christian? can he be a man?
O irreligious thoughts!

GLO. Why, worthy prince,
I saw him christened, dipp'd into the font.

JOHN. Then nine times, like the northern Laplanders,
He backward circled the sacred font,
And nine times backward said his orisons:
As often curs'd the glorious host of heaven,
As many times invok'd the fiends of hell,
And so turn'd witch; for Gloster is a witch.

GLO. Have patience, gentle prince; he shall appear
Before your kingly father speedily.

JOHN. Shall he indeed? sweet comfort, kiss thy cheek;
Peace circle in thy aged honoured head.
When he is taken, hermit, I protest
I'll build thee up a chapel and a shrine:
I'll have thee worshipp'd as a man divine,
Assure [ye] he shall come, and Skink shall come.

FAU.[515] Aye, that same Skink; I prythee, send that Skink.

JOHN. Send both; and both, as prisoners criminate.
Shall forfeit their lost[516] lives to England's state,
Which way will Fauconbridge?

FAU. Over the water, and
So with all speed I may to Stepney.

JOHN. I must to Stepney too, and revel, and be blithe,
Old [Knight], wink at my mirth; 't may make amends,
So thou and I, and our friends, may be friends.

FAU. With all my heart, with all my heart, Prince [John],
Old Fauconbridge will wait upon your grace.
Be good to Gloster, for my Marian's sake,
And me and mine you shall your servants make.

GLO. Of that anon: my pleasure being serv'd,
Gloster shall have what Gloster hath deserv'd.

FAU. Why, that's well said; adieu, good honest hermit.

JOHN. Hermit, farewell, if I had my desire,
I'll make the world thy wondrous deeds admire.

GLO. Still good, still passing good; Gloster is still
Henry's true hate, foe to John's froward will,
No more of that: for them in better time.
If this same hermit be an honest man,
He will protect me by his[517] simple life;
If not, I care not; I'll be ever Gloster,
Make him my footstool, if he be a slave,
For baseness over worth can have no power.
Robin, bethink thee, thou art come from kings,
Then scorn to be [a] slave to underlings,
Look well about thee, lad, and thou shalt see
Them burst in envy, that would injure thee.
Hermit, I'll meet you in your hermit's gown,
Honest, I'll love you: worse, I'll knock you down.


_Enter_ PRINCE RICHARD, _with music_.

P. RICH. Kind friends, we have troubled Lady Fauconbridge,
And either she's not willing to be seen,
Or else not well, or with our boldness griev'd,
To ease these, I have brought you to this window,
Knowing you are in music excellent.
I have penn'd a ditty here, and I desire
You would sing it for her love and my content.

MUS. With all my heart, my lord.


ROB. Your excellence forgets your princely worth;
If I may humbly crave it at your hands,
Let me desire this music be dismiss'd.

RICH. Forbear, I pray, and withdraw yourselves;
Be not offended, gracious Marian. [_Exeunt music_.
Under the upper heaven nine goodly spheres
Turn with a motion ever, musical;
In palaces of kings melodious sounds
Offer pleasures to their sovereigns ears.
In temples, milk-white-clothed quiristers
Sing sacred anthems, bowing to the shrine;
And in the fields whole quires of winged clerks
Salute the[518] morning bright and crystalline.
Then blame not me; you are my heaven, my queen:
My saint, my comfort, brighter than the morn.
To you all music and all praise is due;
For your delight, for you,[519] delight was born.
The world would have no mirth, no joy, no day,
If from the world your beauty were away.

ROB. Fie on love's blasphemy and forgery,
To call that joy[520] that's only misery!
I, that am wedded to suspicious age,
Solicited by your lascivious youth;
I, that have [only] one poor comfort living--
Gloster my brother, my high-hearted brother--
He flies for fear, lest he should faint, and fall
Into the hands of hate tyrannical.

RICH. What would you I should do?

ROB. I would full fain
My brother Gloster had his peace again.

RICH. Shall love be my reward, if I do bring
A certain token of his good estate,
And after pacify my brother's wrath?
Say you will love, he[521] will be fortunate!

ROB. I will.

RICH. No more; I vow to die unblest
If I perform not this imposed quest.
But one word, madam; pray, can you tell
Where Huntington my ward is?

ROB. I was bold
To send young Robin Hood, your noble ward,
Upon some business of import for me.

RICH. I am glad he is employed in your affairs;
Farewell, kind fair; let [not] one cloudy frown
Shadow the bright sun of thy beauty's light:
Be confident in this--I'll find thy brother,
Raise power but he'll[522] have peace: only perform
Your gracious promise at my back-return.

ROB. Well, here's my hand, Prince Richard; that same night,
Which secondeth the day of your return,
I'll be your bed-fellow, and from that hour
Forswear the loathed bed of Fauconbridge:
Be speedy, therefore, as you hope to speed.

RICH. O that I were as large-winged as the wind,
Then should you see my expeditious will.
My most desire, adieu! guess by my haste
Of your sweet promise the delicious taste.

ROB. Why so: I am rid of him by this device,
He would else have tired me with his songs and sighs.[523]

_Enter_ BLOCK.

But now I shall have ease; here comes the saint,
To whom such suit was made.

BLO. My lady gentlewoman is even here in her privity-walk. Madam,
here's the merchant's wife was here yesterday would speak with ye.
O, I was somewhat bold to bring her in.

_Enter_ LADY FAUCONBRIDGE, _disguised as a merchant's wife_.

ROB. Well, leave us, sir; y'are welcome, gentlewoman.

BLO. These women have no liberality in the world in them; I never let
in man to my lady, but I am rewarded.

ROB. Please ye to walk, sir! wherefore mumble ye?

[_Exit_ BLOCK.

LADY F. Robin, what news? how hast thou done this night?

ROB. My ladyship hath done my part, my task,
Lain all alone for lack of company,
I might have had Prince Richard.

LADY F. Was he here!

ROB. He went away but now;
I have been lov'd and woo'd too simply,
God rid me of the woman once again;
I'll not be tempted so for all the world.
Come, will you to your chamber, and uncase?

LADY F. Nay, keep my habit yet a little while,
Old Fauconbridge is almost at the gate,
I met him at Blackheath just at the hermit's,
And, taking me to be a merchant's wife,
Fell mightily in love, gave me his ring,
Made me protest that I would meet him here.
I told him of his lady--O, tut, quoth he,
I'll shake her up, I'll pack her out of sight.
He comes; kind Robin Hood, hold up the jest.

_Enter_ SIR RICHARD FAUCONBRIDGE _and_ BLOCK, _talking together_.

FAU. God's marry, knave, how long hath she been here?

BLO. Sir, she came but even in afore you.

FAU. A cunning quean, a very cunning quean,
Go to your business, Block; I'll meet with her.

BLO. Ah, old muttonmonger, I believe here's work towards.

FAU. [_seeing the merchant's wife_].
Do not believe her. Moll, do not believe her,
I only spake a word or two in jest,
But would not for the world have been so mad;
Do not believe her, Moll, do not believe her.

ROB. What should I not believe? what do you mean?

LADY F. Why, good Sir Richard, let me speak with you.
Alas, will you undo me? will you shame me?
Is this your promise? came I here for this?
To be a laughing-stock unto your lady?

ROB. How now, Sir Richard, what's the matter there?

FAU. I'll talk with you anon; come hither, woman.
Did'st [thou] not tell my wife what match we made?

LADY F. I tell your wife? think ye I am such a beast?
Now God forgive ye; I am quite undone.

FAU. Peace, duck; peace, duck; I warrant all is well. [_Aside_.

Rob. What's the matter? I pray ye, Sir Richard, tell me!

FAU. Marry, Moll, thus--about some twelve month since,
Your brother Gloster, that mad prodigal,
Caus'd me to pass my word unto her husband
For some two thousand pounds, or more perchance--
No matter what it is, you shall not know,
Nay, ye shall never ask to know.

ROB. And what of this?

FAU. Many, the man's decayed,
And I believe a little thing would please her;
A very little thing, a thing of nothing.
Go in, good Moll, and leave us two alone,
I'll deal with ye as simply as I can.

LADY F. Fox, look about ye, ye are caught, i'faith.

ROB. Deal with her simply! O, O, what kind of dealing?
Can ye not deal with her, and I be by?

FAU. Marry a God, what, are ye jealous?
Ye teach me what to do? in, get you in.
O, I have heard Prince Richard was your guest,
How dwelt you then? In, get you in, I say.
Must I take care about your brother's debts,
And you stand crossing me? In, or I'll send you in. [_Exit_ ROBIN.
Ha, sirrah; you'll be master, you'll wear the yellow,[524]
You'll be an over-seer? marry, shall ye!

LADY F. Ye are too curst (methinks, sir) to your lady.

FAU. Ah, wench, content thee, I must bear her hard,
Else she'll be prying[525] into my dalliance.
I am an old man, sweet girl; I must be merry:
All steel, all spright: keep in health by change;
Men may be wanton, women must not range.

LADY F. You have given good counsel, sir; I'll repent me.
Here is your ring; I'll only love my husband.

FAU. I mean not so, I think to-day thou told'st me
Thy husband was an unthrift and a bankrupt.
And he be so, tut, thou hast favour store;
Let the knave beg, beauty cannot be poor.

LADY F. Indeed my husband is a bankrupt--
Of faith, of love, of shame, of chastity,
Dotes upon other women more than me.

FAU. Ha! do he so? then give him tit for tat,
Have one so young and fair, and loves another?
He's worthy to be cuckolded, by the mass!
What is he, old or young?

LADY F. About your age.

FAU. An old knave,
And cannot be content with such a peat!
Come to my closet, girl, make much of me;
We'll appoint a meeting-place some twice a week,
And I'll maintain thee like a lady, ha!

LADY F. O, but you will forget me presently,
When you look well upon your lady's beauty.

FAU. Who? upon her? why, she is a very dowdy,
A dishclout, a foul gipsy unto thee.
Come to my closet, lass, there take thy earnest
Of love, of pleasure, and good maintenance.

LADY F. I am very fearful.

FAU. Come, fool, never fear.
I am lord here, who shall disturb us then?
Nay, come, or, by the rood, I'll make you come.

LADY F. Help, Madam Fauconbridge, for God's sake.


FAU. How now, what mean'st?

LADY F. Help, gentle madam, help!

ROB. How now, what ail'st thou?

BLOCK. Nay, and't be a woman: ne'er fear my master, madam.

ROB[526]. Why speak'st thou not, what ail'st thou?

FAU. Why, nothing, by the rood, nothing she ails.

LADY F. O madam, this vile man would have abused me,
And forc'd me to his closet.

ROB. Ah, old Cole,[527] now look about: you are catcht!

LADY F. Call in your fellows, Block.

FAU. Do not, thou knave.

LADY F. Do, or I'll crack your crown.

BLO. Nay, I'll do't: I know she means to shame you.

FAU. Why, Moll, wilt thou believe this paltry woman?
Huswife, I'll have you whipp'd for sland'ring me.

ROB. What, lecher? no, she is an honest woman:
Her husband's well known; all the household knows.

BLO. Here's some now to tell all the town your mind.

LADY F. Before ye all I must [now] sure complain.
You see this wicked man, and ye all know
How oft he hath been jealous of my life:
Suspecting falsehood, being false himself.

BLO. O master, O master.

FAU. She slanders me; she is a cozening quean.
Fetch me the constable: I'll have her punish'd.

LADY F. The constable for me? fie, fie upon ye.
Madam, do you know this ring?

ROB. It is Sir Richard's.

BLO. O, aye, that's my master's, too [--too] sure.

FAU. Ay, marry, I did lend it to the false drab
To fetch some money for that bankrupt knave,
Her husband, that lies prisoner in the Fleet.

LADY F. My husband bankrupt? my husband in the Fleet prisoner?
No, no, he is as good a man as you.

ROB. Ay, that he is, and can spend pound for pound
With thee, i'faith, wert richer than thou art.
I know the gentleman.

LADY F. Nay, madam, he is
Hard by: there must be revels at the Hind tonight;
Your copesmate's there--Prince John.

ROB. There's a hot youth!

BLO. O, a fierce gentleman!

LADY F. He was fierce as you; but I have match'd him:
The princess shall be there in my attire.

FAU. A plaguy, crafty quean, marry a God,
I see Prince John courted as well as I;
And since he shall be mock'd as well as I,
It's some contentment.

BLO. Mass, he droops.
Fellow Humphrey, he is almost taken,
Look about ye, old Richard. [_Aside_.

FAU. Hence, knaves; get in a little. Prythee, Moll,
Let thou and I, and she, shut up this matter.

ROB. Away, sirs; get in.

BLO. Come, come,
Let's go; he will be baited now. Farewell.
[_Exit_ BLOCK.

FAU. Marry, sweet Moll, I say, I met this woman;
Lik'd her, lov'd her;
For she is worthy love, I promise thee.
I say, I courted her: tut, make no brawl,
'Twixt thou and I we'll have amends for all.

ROB. Had I done such a trick, what then? what then?

FAU. Ah prythee, Moll, tut, bear with men.

ROB. Aye, we must bear with you; you'll be excus'd,
When women undeserved are abus'd.

FAU. Nay, do not weep: pardon me, gentle lady;
I know thee virtuous, and I do protest
Never to have an evil thought of thee.

ROB. Aye, aye, ye swear; who's that that will believe ye?

FAU. Now, by my halidom and honest faith,
This gentlewoman shall witness what I swear.
Sweet duck, a little help me.

LADY F. Trust him, madam.

FAU. I will be kind, credulous, constant ever,
Do what thou wilt, I'll be suspicious never.

ROB. For which I thank [the] noble Fauconbridge.
[_Discovers himself_.

FAU. Body of me, who's this? young Huntington?

LADY F. And I your lady, whom you courted last,
[_Discovers herself_.
Ye looked about you ill, fox; we have caught ye;
I met ye at Blackheath, and ye were hot.

FAU. I knew thee, Moll; now, by my sword, I knew thee.
I wink'd at all; I laughed at every jest.

ROB. Aye, he did wink; the blind man had an eye.[528]

FAU. Peace, Robin, thou't once be a man as I.

LADY F. Well, I must bear it all.

FAU. Come, and ye bear,
It's but your office; come, forget, sweet Moll.

LADY. F. I do forgive it, and forget it, sir.

FAU. Why, that's well said; that's done like a good girl.
Ha, sirrah, ha, you match'd me, pretty earl.

ROB. I have, ye see, sir; I must unto Blackheath
In quest of Richard, whom I sent to seek
Earl Gloster out. I know he's at the hermit's.
Lend me your coach; I'll shift me, as I ride;
Farewell, Sir Richard.

FAU. Farewell, England's pride.
By the matins, Moll, it is a pretty child;
Shall we go meet John? shall we go mock the prince?

LADY F. We will.

FAU. O, then we shall have sport anon.
Never wear yellow, Moll; 'twas but a trick;
Old Fauconbridge will still be a mad Dick.



_Enter_ REDCAP _and_ GLOSTER.

RED. Do ye s-s-say, fa-fa-father hermit, th-that Gl-Gloster is about
this heath?

GLO. He is upon this heath, son; look about it.
Run but the compass, thou shalt find him out.

RED. R-r-run? I'll r-run the co-compass of all K-Kent but I'll f-find
him out; my f-f-father (where'er he lays his head) dare ne-never come
home, I know, t-t-till he be fo-fo-found.

GLO. Well, thou shalt find him. Know'st thou who's a-hunting?

RED. M-m-marry, 'tis the Earls of La-La-Lancaster and Le-Leicester,
Fa-fa-farewell, f-father; and I find Skink or Glo-Gloster, I'll
g-g-give thee the pr-price of a penny p-p-pudding for thy p-pains.

GLO. Adieu, good friend: this is sure the fellow
I sent on message from the Parl'ament--
The porter's son--he's still in quest of me,
And Skink, that cosen'd him of his red cap!

_Enter_ RICHARD, _like a Serving-man_.

But look about thee, Gloster; who comes yonder?
O, a plain serving-man, and yet perhaps
His bags are lin'd,
And my purse now grows thin:
If he have any, I must share with him.

_Enter_ SKINK, _like a Hermit_.

And who's on yond side? O, it is my hermit;
Hath got his other suit, since I went forth.

SKINK. Sblood, yonder's company; I'll back again,
Else I would be with you counterfeit;
I'll leave the rogue till opportunity,
But never eat, till I have quit my wrong. [_Exit_.

RICH. I saw two men attend like holy hermits;
One's slipp'd away, the other's at his beads.
Now, Richard, for the love of Marian,
Make thy inquire, where mad Gloster lives.
If England or the verge of Scotland hold him,
I'll seek him thus disguis'd. If he be pass'd
To any foreign part, I'll follow him.
Love, thou art Lord of hearts; thy laws are sweet;
In every troubled way thou guid'st our feet.
Lovers, enjoin'd to pass the dangerous sea
Of big-swoll'n sorrow in the bark Affection,
The winds and waves of woe need never fear,
While Love the helm doth, like a pilot, steer.

GLO. Here's some lover come, a mischief on him!
I know not how to answer these mad fools;
But I'll be brief; I'll mar the hermit's tale.
Off, gown; hold, buckler; slice it, Bilbo' blade.

RICH. What's this? what should this mean? old man, good friend.

GLO. Young fool, deliver; else see your end.

RICH. I thought thou hadst been holy and a hermit.

GLO. Whate'er you thought, your purse! come, quickly, sir;
Cast that upon the ground, and then confer.

RICH. There it is.

GLO. Falls it so heavy? then my heart is light.

RICH. Thou'lt have a heavy heart before thou touch it.
Theft shrin'd in holy weeds, stand to't, y'are best.

GLO. And if I do not, seeing such a prey,
Let this be to me a disaster day.

RICH. Art thou content to breathe?

[_Fight and part once or twice_.

GLO. With all my heart.
Take half thy money, and we'll friendly part.

RICH. I will not cherish theft.

GLO. Then I defy thee.

[_Fight again and breathe_.

RICH. Alas for pity, that so stout a man,
So reverend in aspect, should take this course.

GLO. This is no common man with whom I fight,
And if he be, he is of wond'rous spright. [_Aside_.
Shall we part stakes?

RICH. Fellow, take
The purse upon condition thou wilt follow me.

GLO. What, wait on you? wear a turn'd livery,
Whose man's your master? If I be your man,
My man's man's office will be excellent!
There lies your purse again; win it and wear it.

_Enter_ ROBIN HOOD. _They breathe, offer again_.

ROB. Clashing of weapons at my welcome hither?
Bick'ring upon Blackheath. Well-said, old man;
I'll take thy side, the younger hath the odds.
Stay, end your quarrel, or I promise ye
I'll take the old man's part.

RICH. You were not wont.
Young Huntington; [be] still on Richard's side.

ROB. Pardon, gracious prince; I knew ye not.

GLO. Prince Richard? then lie, envy, at his foot.
Pardon thy cousin Gloster, valiant lord.
I knew no common force confronted mine.

RICH[529]. O heaven, I had the like conceit of thine,
I tell thee, Robin, Gloster, thou art met,
Bringing such comfort unto Richard's heart:
As in the foil of war, when dust and sweat,
The thirst of wreak[530], and the sun's fiery heat,
Have seized upon the soul of valiance,
And he must faint, except he be refresh'd.
To me thou com'st, as if to him should come
A perry[531] from the north, whose frosty breath
Might fan him coolness in that doubt[532] of death.
With me then meet'st, as he a spring might meet,
Cooling the earth under his toil-parch'd feet,
Whose crystal moisture, in his helmet ta'en,
Comforts his spirits, makes him strong again.

GLO. Prince, in short terms, if you have brought me comfort,
Know, if I had my pardon in this hand,
That smit base Skink in open Parl'ament,
I would not come to Court, till the high feast
Of your proud brother's birthday be expired,
For as the old king--as he made a vow
At his unlucky coronation, [that I]
Must wait upon the boy and fill his cup,
And all the peers must kneel, while Henry kneels,
Unto his cradle--he shall hang me up,
Ere I commit that vile idolatry.
But when the feast is pass'd, if you'll befriend me,
I'll come and brave my proud foes to their teeth.

RICH. Come, Robin; and if my brother's grace deny,
I'll take thy part, them and their threats defy.

GLO. Gramercy, princely Dick.

ROB. I have some pow'r:
I can raise two thousand soldiers in an hour.

GLO. Gramercy, Robin; gramercy, little wag,
Prince Richard, pray let Huntington
Carry my sister Fauconbridge this ring.

RICH. I'll carry it myself; but I had rather
Had thy kind company; thou might'st have mov'd
Thy sister, whom I long have vainly lov'd.

GLO. I like her that she shuns temptation,
Prince Richard; but I bear with doting lovers.
I should not take it well, that you urge me
To such an office: but I bear with you.
Love's blind and mad. Hie to her boldly: try her;
But if I know she yield, faith, I'll defy her.

RICH. I like thy honourable resolution;
Gloster, I pray thee pardon my intreat.

GLO. It is men's custom: part, part, gentle prince,
Farewell, good Robin, this gold I will borrow;
Meet you at Stepney, pay you all to-morrow.

ROB. Adieu, Gloster.
[_Exit_ ROBIN.

GLO. Farewell, be short.
You gone, I hope to have a little sport.

RICH. Take heed, mad coz.

GLO. Tut, tell not me of heed: [_Exit_ RICHARD.
He that's too wary[533] never hath good speed.


_Hollooing within; enter_ LANCASTER _with a broken
staff in his hand_.

[GLO.] Who's this? old Lancaster, my honour'd friend?

LAN. These knaves have serv'd me well, left me alone,
I have hunted fairly, lost my purse, my chain,
My jewels, and been bang'd by a bold knave,
Clad in a hermit's gown, like an old man--
O what a world is this?

GLO. It's ill, my lord.

LAN. He's come again! O knave, 'tis the worse for thee:
[_Mistakes_ GLOSTER _for the_ HERMIT.
Keep from me: be content with that thou hast,
And see thou fly this heath, for, if I take thee,
I'll make thee to all thieves a spectacle.
Had my staff held, thou hadst not 'scap'd me so.
But come not near me, fellow, thou art not[534] best,
Holla, Earl Leicester! holla, huntsmen, ho!

GLO. Upon my life, old Lancaster, a-hunting,
Hath met my fellow-hermit. Could I meet him,
I'd play [at] rob-thief, at least part stakes with him.

_Enter_ SKINK _as a hermit_.

SKINK. Zounds, he is yonder alone.

_Enter_ REDCAP _with a cudgel_.

SKINK. Now revenge thyself on yonder slave[535],
'Snails, still prevented? this same Redcap rogue
Runs like hob goblin up and down the heath.

RED. Wh-wh-wh-whoop, he-hermit, ye ha-ha-ma-ma-made Re-Redcap run a
fine co-co-compass, ha-have you not?

SKINK. I made thee run?

GLO. Yonder's my evil angel.
Were Redcap gone, Gloster would conjure him.

RED. Je-Je-Jesus bl-bless me, whoop! t-t-two hermits? I'll
ca-ca-caperclaw t-t-t'one of ye, for mo-mo-mocking me, and I d-d-do
not ha-ha-hang me. Wh-wh-which is the fa-fa-false k-k-k-knave? for I
am s-s-sure the old he-he-hermit wo-would never mo-mock an honest man.

GLO. He is the counterfeit; he mock'd thee, fellow.
I did not see thee in my life before,
He wears my garments, and has cosened me.

RED. Have you co-co-cosened the he-he-hermit and m-made Redcap run to
no pu-pu-purpose?

SKINK. No, he's [a] counterfeit; I will tell no lies,
As sure as Skink deceiv'd thee of thy clothes,
Sent thee to Kent, gave thee thy fare by water,
So sure, he's false, and I the perfect hermit.

GLO. This villain is a conjuror, I doubt,
Were he the devil, yet I would not budge.

RED. Si-si-sirrah, you are the co-counterfeit. O, this is the tr-tr-true
he-hermit. Sta-sta-stand still, g-good man, at that, I'll bu-bumbast you
i'faith, I'll make you g-give the old m-m-man his gown.

[_Offers to strike_; GLOSTER _trips up his heels;
shifts_ SKINK _into his place_.

G-G-God's lid, are ye go-good at that? I'll cu-cudgel ye f-f-for the

SKINK. It was not I; 'twas he, that cast thee down.

RED. You li-li-li-lie, you ra-ra-rascal, you; I le-left ye st-standing

SKINK. Zounds, hold, you stammerer, or I'll cut your stumps.

GLO. He is for me; he's weapon'd--I like that!

RED. O, here's a ro-ro-rogue in-ca-ca-carnate, help, mu-murder, murder.

_Enter_ LANCASTER _and_ HUNTSMEN _at one door_,
LEICESTER _and_ HUNTSMEN _at another_.

LAN. Lay hold upon that thievish counterfeit.

LEI. Why, here's another hermit, Lancaster:

GLO. I am the hermit, sir; that wretched man
Doth many a robbery in my disguise:

SKINK. It's he that robs; he slanders me; he lies.

LAN. Which set on thee?

RED. Th-this f-f-fellow has a s-s-sword and a buckler.

LAN. Search him; this is the thief; O, here's my purse,
My chain, my jewels! O thou wicked wretch,
How dar'st thou, under show of holiness,
Commit such actions of impiety?
Bind him, I'll have him made a public scorn.

SKINK. Lay hold upon that other hermit;
He is a counterfeit as well as I.
He stole those clothes from me; for I am Skink.
Search him, I know him not, he is some slave.

GLO. Thou liest, base varlet.

RED. O G-God, he has a sword too. Skink, are you ca-catcht?

LAN. Villain, thou shalt with me unto the Court.

LEI. And this with me; this is the traitor Gloster.

GLO. Thou liest, proud Leicester; I am no traitor,

RED. G-Gloster? O b-brave, now m-my father sh-shall be f-free.

LAN. Earl Gloster, I am sorry thou art taken.

GLO. I am not taken yet, nor will I yield
To any here but noble Lancaster.
Let Skink be Leicester's prisoner; I'll be thine.

LEI. Thou shalt be mine.

GLO. First, through a crimson sluice,
I'll send thy hated soul to those black fiends,
That long have hovered gaping for their part,
When tyrant life should leave thy traitor heart!
Come, Lancaster, keep Skink; I'll go with thee.
Let loose the mad knave, for I praise his shifts.
He shall not start away; I'll be his guide,
And with proud looks outface young Henry's pride.

LEI. Look to them, Lancaster, upon thy life.

RED. Well, I'll r-run and get a p-pardon of the k-k-k-king, Gl-Gloster
and Skink ta-ta-taken! O b-b-brave, r-r-r-run, Re-Re-Redca-cap, a-and
ca-ca-carry the first n-n-news to Co-Co-Court.

LEI. Lancaster, I'll help to guard them to the Court.

LAN. Do as you please.

GLO. Leicester, do not come near me;
For, if thou do, thou shalt buy it dearly.

LEI. I'll have thy hand for this.

GLO. Not for thy heart.

SKINK. Brave Earl, had Skink known thou hadst been the noble Gloster
(whose mad tricks have made me love thee), I would have dyed Blackheath
red with the blood of millions, ere we would have been taken; but what
remedy? we are fast, and must answer it like gentlemen, like soldiers,
like resolutes.

GLO. Aye, ye are a gallant. Come, old Lancaster.
For thy sake will I go, or else, by heaven,
I'd send some dozen of these slaves to hell.



LADY F. Your travail and your comfortable news:
This ring, the certain sign you met with him:
Binds me in duteous love unto your grace;
But on my knees I fall, and humbly crave
Importune that no more you ne'er can have.

RICH. Nay, then, ye wrong me, Lady Fauconbridge,
Did you not join your fair white hands,
Swore that ye would forswear your husband's bed,
[And] if I could but find out Gloster?

LADY F. I swear so!

RICH. [Yes,] by heaven.

ROB. Take heed; it's an high oath, my lord.

RICH. What meanest thou, Huntington?

ROB. To save your soul;
I do not love to have my friends forsworn,
She never promis'd, that you urge her with.

RICH. Go to; provoke me not.

ROB. I tell you true;
'Twas I in her attire that promis'd you.
She was gone unto the wizard at Blackheath,
And there had suitors more than a good many.

RICH. Was I deluded then?

LADY F. No, not deluded;
But hind'red from desire unchaste and rude.
O, let me woo ye with the tongue of ruth,
Dewing your princely hand with pity's tears,
That you would leave this most unlawful suit,
If e'er we live, till Fauconbridge be dead,
(As God defend his death I should desire).
Then, if your highness deign so base a match,
And holy laws admit a marriage,
Considering our affinity in blood,
I will become your handmaid, not your harlot--
That shame shall never dwell upon my brow.

ROB. I'faith, my lord, she's honourably resolv'd,
For shame, no more; importune her no more.

RICH. Marian, I see thy virtue, and commend it;
I know my error, seeking thy dishonour,
But the respectless, reasonless command
Of my inflamed love, bids me still try,
And trample under foot all piety;
Yet, for I will not seem too impious,
Too inconsiderate of thy seeming grief,
Vouchsafe to be my mistress: use me kindly.
And I protest I'll strive with all my power,
That lust himself may in his heat devour.

LADY F. You are my servant, then.

RICH. Thanks, sacred mistress.

ROB. What am I?

LADY F. You are my fellow Robert.

_Enter_ FAUCONBRIDGE _in his hose and doublet_.

FAU. What, Prince Richard? noble Huntington?
Welcome, i'faith, welcome! by the morrow mass!
You are come as fitly as my heart can wish.
Prince John this night will be a reveller,
He hath invited me and Marian,
God's marry mother, go along with us,
It's but hard by, close by--at our town-tavern.

RICH. Your tavern?

FAU. O, aye, aye, aye; 'tis his own made match,
I'll make you laugh, I'll make you laugh, i'faith;
Come, come; he's ready. O, come, come away.

LADY F. But where's the princess?

FAU. She is[536] ready too;
Block, Block, my man, must be her waiting-man.
Nay, will ye go? for God's sake, let us go.

RICH. Is the jest so? nay, then, let us away.

ROB. O, 'twill allay his heat, make dead his fire.

FAU. Ye bobb'd me first; ye first gave me my hire,
But come, a God's name, Prince John stays for us.


ROB. This is the word ever at spendthrifts' feasts,
They are gull'd themselves, and scoff'd at by their guests.



HOOD, RICHARD, _and the others_[537].

JOHN. Baffled and scoff'd! Skink, Gloster, women,
Fools and boys abuse me. I'll be reveng'd.

RICH. Reveng'd? and why, good child?
Old Fauconbridge hath had a worser basting.

FAU. Aye, they have banded [me] from chase to chase;
I have been their tennis-ball, since I did court.

RICH. Come, John, take hand with virtuous Isabel,
And let's unto the court, like loving friends.
Our kingly brother's birth-day's festival
Is forthwith to be kept; thither we'll hie,
And grace with pomp that great solemnity.

JOHN. Whither ye will; I care not, where I go.
If grief will grace it, I'll adorn the show.

FAU. Come, madam; we must thither; we are bound.

LADY.[538] I'm loth to see the court, Gloster being from thence,
Or kneel to him that gave us this offence.

FAU. Body of me, peace, woman, I prythee, peace.

_Enter_ REDCAP.

RED. Go-Go-God [speed] ye, Go-God s-speed ye!

JOHN. Whither run you, sir knave?

RED. R-r-run ye, sir knave? why, I r-run to my La-Lady Fa-Fauconbridge,
to te-te-tell her Sk-Skink and Gl-Gloster is taken, and are g-g-gone to
the c-c-court with L-Lord Leicester and L-Lord La-La-Lancaster.

JOHN. Is Gloster taken? thither will I fly
Upon wrath's wings; not quiet till he die.

[_Exit with_ PRINCESS.

RICH. Is Gloster taken?

RED. Aye, he is ta-taken, I wa-warrant ye, with a wi-witness.

RICH. Then will I to court,
And either set him free, or die the death.
Follow me, Fauconbridge; fear not, fair madam:
You said you had the porter in your house?
Some of your servants bring him; on my life,
One hair shall not be taken from his head,
Nor he, nor you, nor Gloster, injured.

FAU. Come, Moll, and Richard say the word, ne'er fear.

ROB. Madam, we have twenty thousand at our call,
The most young Henry dares is but to brawl.

LADY F. Pray God, it prove so.

RICH. Follow, Huntington:
Sir Richard, do not fail to send the porter.

FAU. Block, bring the porter of the Fleet to court.

BLO. I will, sir.

RED. The p-p-porter of the Fl-Fl-Fleet to court?
What p-p-porter of the Fl-Fl-Fleet?

BLO. What, Redcap? Run, Redcap, wilt thou see thy father?

RED. My fa-father? Aye, that I w-would s-see my f-father, and there be
A p-porter in your ho-house, it is my fa-father.

BLO. Follow me, Redcap, then.

RED. And you were tw-tw-twenty B-Blocks, I'd f-f-follow ye, s-so I would,
and r-run to the co-co-court too, and k-kneel before the k-k-king f-f-for
his pa-pardon.

BLO. [Within.] Come away, Redcap; run, Redcap.

RED. I-I-I r-r-run as f-f-fast as I-I ca-ca-can run, I wa-warrant ye.


_Enter a Signet,[539] first two Heralds, after them_
LEICESTER, _with a sceptre,_ LANCASTER, _with a
crown imperial on a cushion: after them_ HENRY THE ELDER,
_bare-headed, bearing a sword and a globe: after him_
YOUNG HENRY, _crowned_: ELINOR, _the Mother-Queen,
crowned_: YOUNG QUEEN _crowned_: HENRY THE ELDER
_places his son, the two Queens on either hand, himself
at his feet_, LEICESTER _and_ LANCASTER _below him_.

HEN. Herald, fetch Lancaster and Leicester coronets,
Suffer no marquis, earl, nor countess enter,
Except their temples circled are in gold.
[_He delivers coronets to_ LEICESTER _and_ LANCASTER.
Shew them our viceroys: by our will controll'd,
As at a coronation, every peer
Appears in all his pomp; so at this feast,
Held for our birthright, let them be adorn'd,
Let Gloster be brought in, crowned like an earl. [_Exit_ HERALD.
This day we'll have no parley of his death,
But talk of jouissance and gleeful mirth.
Let Skink come in; give him a baron's seat.
High is his spirit, his deserts are great.

KING. You wrong the honour of nobility
To place a robber in a baron's stead.

QUEEN. It's well ye term him not a murderer.

KING. Had I misterm'd him?

QUEEN. Ay, that had you, Henry.
He did a piece of justice at my bidding.

KING. Who made you a justice?

HEN. I, that had the power.

KING. You had none then.

_Enter_ GLOSTER _and_ SKINK.

LEI. Yes, he was crown'd before.

HEN. Why does not Gloster wear a coronet?

GLO. Because his sovereign doth not wear a crown.

HEN. By heaven, put on thy coronet, or that heaven,
Which now with a clear [arch] lends us this light,
Shall not be curtain'd with the veil of night,
Ere on thy head I clap a burning crown
Of red-hot iron, that shall sear thy brains.

RICH. Good Gloster, crown thee with thy coronet.

LAN. Do, gentle earl.

SKINK. Swounds, do; would I had one. [_Aside_.

QUEEN. Do not, I prythee, keep thy proud heart still.

GLO. I'll wear it but to cross thy froward will.

HEN. Sit down, and take thy place.

GLO. It's the low earth;
To her I must, from her I had my birth.[540]

HEN. We are pleas'd thou shalt sit there.
Skink, take thy place among my nobles.

_Enter_ JOHN _and_ ISABEL, _with coronets_.

SKINK. Thanks to King Henry's grace.

JOHN. John, Earl of Morton and of Nottingham,
With Isabel his countess, bow themselves
Before their brother Henry's royal throne!

HEN. Ascend your seats; live in our daily love.

_Enter_ RICHARD _and_ ROBERT, _with coronets_.

RICH. Richard, the Prince of England, with his ward,
The noble Robert Hood, Earl Huntington,
Present their service to your majesty.

HEN. Y'are welcome, too, though little be your love. [_Aside_.]

_Enter_ FAUCONBRIDGE _with his_ LADY, _she a coronet_.

FAU. Old Richard Fauconbridge, Knight of the Cross,
Lord of the Cinque Ports, with his noble wife,
Dame Marian, Countess of West-Hereford,[541]
Offer their duties at this royal meeting.

HEN. Sit down, thou art a neuter, she a foe.
Thy love we doubt; her heart too well we know. [_Aside_.
What suitors are without? let them come in.

GLO. And have no justice, where contempt is king.

HEN. Madman, I give no ear to thy loose words.

JOHN. O sir, y'are welcome; you have your old seat.

GLO. Though thou sit higher, yet my heart's as great.

QUEEN. Great heart, we'll make you lesser by the head.

GLO. Ill comes not ever to the threatened[542].

_Enter_ BLOCK _and_ REDCAP.

HEN. What are you two?

RED. M-ma-marry, and't please you, I am Re-Re-Redcap.

HEN. And what's your mate?

BLO. A poor porter, sir.

JOHN. The porter of the Fleet, that was condemned?

BLO. No, truly, sir; I was porter last, when I left the door open
at the tavern.

JOHN. O, is't you, sir?

LEI. And what would you two have?

RED. I co-co-come to re-re-re-qui-quire the young k-k-king of his
go-goo-goodness, since Glo-Gloster is t-taken, that he wo-wo-would
let my fa-fa-father have his pa-pa-pardon.

HEN. Sirrah, your father has his pardon sign'd.
Go to the office, it shall be delivered.

RED. And shall he be p-p-porter a-ga-gain?

HEN. Aye, that he shall; but let him be advis'd,
Hereafter how [he] lets out prisoners.

RED. I wa-warrant ye, my lord.

HEN. What hast thou more to say?

RED. Marry, I wo-would have Skink pu-punish'd
For co-co-coney-catching me.

LEI. Is that your business?

RED, Aye, by my t-t-troth is it.

HEN. Then get away.

GLO. Against Skink (poor knave) thou gett'st no right this day.

BLO. O, but run back, Redcap, for the pursuivant!
O L-Lord, s-sir, I have another s-suit for the p-p-pursuivant,
That has l-l-lost his b-b-box and his wa-wa-warrant.

HEN. What means the fellow?

RED. Why, the pu-pu-pursuivant, sir, and the po-po-porter.

GLO. The box, that I had from him--there it is.

FAU. Marry a me, and I was charg'd with it.
Had you it, brother Gloster? God's good mercy!

HEN. And what have you to say?

BLO. Nothing, sir,
But God bless you! you are a goodly company!
Except Sir Richard[543] or my lady will command me
Any more service.

FAU. Away, you prating knave! hence, varlet, hence.

[_Exit_ BLOCK.

LEI. Put forth them fellows there.

RED. Af-fo-fore I g-go,
I b-b-be-s-s-seech you, let Sk-Skink and Gl-Gloster be lo-lo-looked to;
For they have p-p-play'd the k-k-knaves too-too-too b-b-bad.

HEN. Take hence that stuttering fellow; shut him[544] forth.

RED. Nay, I'll ru-ru-run; faith, you shall not n-n-need to b-b-b-bid
him ta-t-take m-me away; for Re-Re-Redcap will r-ru-run rarely.
[_Exit_ REDCAP.

HEN. The sundry misdemeanors late committed,
As thefts and shifts in other men's disguise,
We now must (knave Skink) freely tell thy faults.

SKINK. Sweet king, by these two terrors[545] to mine enemies, that lend
light to my body's darkness: Cavilero Skink being beleaguer'd with an
host of leaden heels, arm'd in ring Irish[546]: cheated my hammerer of
his _red cap_ and coat; was surpris'd, brought to the Fleet as a person
suspected, pass'd current, till Gloster stripped me from my counterfeit,
clad my back in silk and my heart in sorrow, and so left me to the mercy
of my mother-wit. How Prince John released me, he knows; how I got
Fauconbridge's chain, I know. But how he will get it again, I know not.

FAU. Where is it, sirrah? tell me where it is?

GLO. I got it from him, and I got John's sword.

JOHN. I would 'twere to the hilt up in thy heart.

RICH. O, be more charitable, brother John.

LEI. My liege, you need not by particulars
Examine, what the world knows too plain;
If you will pardon Skink, his life is sav'd;
If not, he is convicted by the law.
For Gloster, as you worthily resolv'd,
First take his hand, and afterward his head.

HEN. Skink, thou hast life, our pardon and our love.

SKINK [_to_ JOHN.] And your forgiveness for my robbery?

JOHN. Tut, never trouble me with such a toy;
Thou hind'rest me from hearing of my joy.

HEN. Bring forth a block, wine, water, and towel;
Knives, and a surgeon to bind up the veins
Of Gloster's arm, when his right hand is off--
His hand that struck Skink at the Parl'ament.

SKINK. I shall bear his blows to my grave, my lord.

KING. Son Henry, see thy father's palsy hands,
Join'd like two suppliants, pressing to thy throne.
Look, how the furrows of his aged cheek,
Fill'd with the rivulets of wet-ey'd moan,
Begs mercy for Earl Gloster? weigh his guilt.
Why for a slave should royal blood be spilt?

SKINK. You wrong mine honour: Skink must[547] be reveng'd.

HEN. Father, I do commend your humble course;
But quite dislike the project of your suit.
Good words in an ill cause makes the fact worse:
Of blood or baseness justice will dispute.
The greater man, the greater his transgression:
Where strength wrongs weakness, it is mere oppression.

LADY F. O, but, King Henry, hear a sister speak.
Gloster was wrong'd, his lands were given away,
They are not justly said just laws to break,
That keep their own right with what power they may.
Think, then, thy royal self began the wrong,
In giving Skink what did to him[548] belong.

QUEEN. Hear me, son Henry, while thou art a king,
Give, take, prison: thy subjects are thy slaves.
Life, need, thrones[549], proud hearts in dungeons fling,
Grace men to day, to-morrow give them graves.
A king must be, like Fortune, ever turning,
The world his football, all her glory spurning.

GLO. Still your own counsel, beldam policy!
You're a fit tutress in a monarchy.

RICH. Mother, you are unjust, savage, too cruel,
Unlike a woman. Gentleness guides their sex;
But you to fury's fire add more fuel.
The vexed spirit will you delight to vex?
O God, when I conceit what you have done,
I am asham'd to be esteem'd your son.

JOHN. Base Richard, I disdain to call thee brother,
Tak'st thou a traitor's part in our disgrace?
For Gloster wilt thou wrong our sacred mother?
I scorn thee, and defy thee to thy face.
O, that we were in field! then should'st thou try.

ROB. How fast Earl John would from Prince Richard fly!
Thou meet a lion in field? poor mouse,
All thy careers are in a brothel house.

JOHN. 'Zounds, boy!

RICH. Now, man!

LEI. Richard, you wrong Prince John.

RICH. Leicester, 'twere good you prov'd his champion.

JOHN. Hasten the execution, royal lord[s],
Let deeds make answer for their worthless words.

GLO. I know, if I respected hand or head,
I am encompassed with a world of friends,
And could from fury be delivered.
But then my freedom hazards many lives.
Henry, perform the utmost of thy hate,
Let my[550] hard-hearted mother have her will.
Give frantic John no longer cause to prate:
I am prepared for the worst of ill.
You see my knees kiss the cold pavement's face,
They are not bent to Henry nor his friends,
But to all you whose blood, fled to your hearts,
Shows your true sorrow in your ashy cheeks:
To you I bend my knees: you I entreat
To smile on Gloster's resolution.
Whoever loves me, will not shed a tear,
Nor breathe a sigh, nor show a cloudy frown.
Look, Henry, here's my hand; I lay it down,
And swear, as I have knighthood, here't shall lie
Till thou have used all thy tyranny.

LADY F. Has no man heart to speak?

GLO. Let all that love me keep silence, or, by heaven,
I'll hate them dying.

QUEEN. Harry, off with his hand, then with his head.

FAU. By the red rood, I cannot choose but weep,
Come love or hate, my tears I cannot keep.

QUEEN. When comes this ling'ring executioner?

JOHN. An executioner, an executioner!

HEN. Call none, till we have drunk: father, fill wine;
To-day your office is to bear our cup.

RICH. I'll fill it, Henry. [RICH. _kneels down_.

HEN. Dick, you are too mean
To bow unto your sovereign.

GLO. Kneel to his child?
O hell! O torture! Gloster, learn:
Who would love life to see this huge dishonour?

HEN. Saturn kneeled to his son; the god was fain
To call young Jove his age's sovereign.
Take now your seat again, and wear your crown;
Now shineth Henry like the mid-day's sun,
Through his horizon darting all his beams,
Blinding with his bright splendour every eye,
That stares against his face of majesty.
The comets, whose malicious gleams
Threatened the ruin of our royalty,
Stand at our mercy, yet our wrath denies
All favour, but extreme extremities:
Gloster, have to thy sorrow, chafe thy arm,
That I may see thy blood (I long'd for oft)
Gush from thy veins, and stain this palace-roof.

JOHN. 'Twould exceed gilding.

QUEEN. Aye, as gold doth ochre.

GLO. It's well ye count my blood so precious.

HEN. Leicester, reach Gloster wine.

LEI. I reach it him?

HEN. Proud earl, I'll spurn thee; quickly go and bear it.

GLO. I'll count it poison, if his hand come near it.

HEN. Give it him, Leicester, upon our displeasure.

GLO. Thus Gloster takes it: thus again he flings it,
In scorn of him that sent it, and of him that brought it.

SKINK. O brave spirit!

LADY F. Bravely resolv'd, brother; I honour thee.

QUEEN. Hark, how his sister joys in his abuse.
Wilt thou endure it, Hal?

FAU. Peace, good Marian.

HEN. Avoid there every under-officer:
Leave but [with] us our peers and ladies here.
Richard, you love Earl Gloster: look about,
If you can spy one in this company
That hath but[551] done as great a sin as Gloster;
Choose him, let him be the executioner.

RICH. Thou hast done worse then, like, rebellious head,
Hast arm'd ten thousand arms against his life,
That lov'd thee so, as thou wert made a king,
Being his child; now he's thy underling!
I have done worse: thrice I drew my sword,
In three set battles for thy false defence!
John hath done worse; he still hath took thy part.
All of us three have smit our father's heart,
Which made proud Leicester bold to strike his face,
To his eternal shame and our disgrace!

HEN. Silence, I see thou mean'st to find none fit.
I am sure, nor Lancaster, nor Huntington,
Nor Fauconbridge, will lay a hand on him.
Mother, wife, brother, let's descend the throne,
Where Henry, as[552] the monarch of the west.
Hath sat[553] amongst his princes dignified.
Father, take you the place: see justice [done].

KING. It's unjust justice, I must tell thee, son.

HEN. Mother, hold you the basin, you the towel:
I know your French hearts thirst for English blood;
John, take the mallet; I will hold the knife,
And when I bid thee smite, strike for thy life:
Make a mark, surgeon. Gloster, now prepare thee.

GLO. Tut. I am ready; to thy worst I dare thee.

HEN. Then have I done my worst, thrice-honour'd earl,
I do embrace thee in affection's arms.

QUEEN. What mean'st thou, Henry? O, what means my son?

HEN. I mean no longer to be lullabi'd
In your seditious arms.

HEN. WIFE. _Mordieu_[554] Henry.

HEN. _Mordieu_ nor devil, little tit of France,
I know your heart leaps at our heart's mischance.

JOHN. 'Swounds, Henry, thou art mad!

HEN. I have been mad:
What, stamp'st thou, John? know'st thou not who I am?
Come, stamp the devil out, suck'd from thy dam?

QUEEN. I'll curse thee, Henry.

HEN. You're best be quiet;
Lest, where we find you, to the Tower we bear you;
For, being abroad, England hath cause to fear you.[555]

KING. I am struck dumb with wonder.

GLO. I amaz'd, imagine that I see a vision.

HEN. Gloster, I gave thee first this Skink, this slave;
It's in thy power his life to spill or save.

SKINK. He's a noble gentleman, I do not doubt his usage.

HEN. Stand not thus wond'ring; princes, kneel all down,
And cast your coronets before his crown.
Down, stubborn Queen, kneel to your wronged king,
Down, mammet! Leicester, I'll cut off thy legs,
If thou delay thy duty! when, proud John?

JOHN. Nay, if all kneel of force, I must be one.

FAU. Now, by my halidom, a virtuous deed!

HEN. Father, you see your most rebellious son,
Stricken with horror of his horrid guilt,
Requesting sentence fitting his desert:
O, tread upon his head, that trod [upon]
Your heart: I do deliver up all dignity,
Crown, sceptre, sword, unto your majesty.

KING. My heart surfeits with joy in hearing this,
And, dear[est] son, I'll bless thee with a kiss.

HEN. I will not rise; I will not leave this ground
Till all these voices, joined in one sound,
Cry: God save Henry, second of that name,
Let his friends live, his foes see death with shame!

ALL. God save Henry, second of that name,
Let his friends live, his foes see death with shame!

HEN. Amen, amen, amen!

JOHN. Hark! mother, hark!
My brother is already turned clerk.

QUEEN. He is a recreant; I am mad with rage.

HEN. Be angry at your envy, gracious mother,
Learn patience and true humility
Of your worst-tutor'd son; for I am he.
Hence, hence that Frenchwoman; give her her dowry,
Let her not speak, to trouble my mild soul,
Which of this world hath taken her last leave:
And by her power will my proud flesh control.
Off with these silks; my garments shall be grey,
My shirt hard hair; my bed the ashy dust;
My pillow but a lump of hard'ned clay:
For clay I am, and with clay I must.
O, I beseech ye, let me go alone,
To live, where my loose life I may bemoan.

KING. Son!


RICH. Brother!

JOHN. Brother!

HEN. Let none call me their son; I'm no man's brother,
My kindred is in heav'n, I know no other.
Farewell, farewell; the world is your's; pray take it,
I'll leave vexation, and with joy forsake it.

LADY F. Wondrous conversion!

FAU. Admirable good:
Now, by my halidom, Moll, passing good.

RICH. H'hath fir'd my soul; I will to Palestine.
And pay my vows before the Sepulchre.
Among the multitude of misbelief,
I'll show myself the soldier of Christ:
Spend blood, sweat tears, for satisfaction
Of many--many sins, which I lament;
And never think to have them pardoned,
Till I have part of Syria conquered.

GLO. He makes me wonder, and inflames my spirits,
With an exceeding zeal to Portingale,
Which kingdom the unchris'ned Saracens[556],
The black-fac'd Africans, and tawny Moors,
Have got unjustly in possession:
Whence I will fire them with the help of heaven.

SKINK. Skink will scorch them, brave Gloster;
Make carbonadoes of their bacon-flitches;
Deserve to be counted valiant by his valour,
And Rivo[557] will he cry, and Castile too,
And wonders in the land of Seville do.

ROB. O, that I were a man to see these fights:
To spend my blood amongst these worthy knights.

FAU. Marry, aye me, were I a boy again,
I'd either to Jerusalem or Spain.

JOHN. Faith, I'll keep England; mother, you and I
Will live from[558] all this fight and foolery.

KING. Peace to us all, let's all for peace give praise,
Unlook'd-for peace, unlook'd-for happy days!
Love Henry's birth-day; he hath been new-born;
I am new-crowned, new-settled in my seat.
Let's all to th'chapel, there give thanks and praise,
Beseeching grace from Heaven's eternal throne,
That England never know more prince than one.





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