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

Part 2 out of 10

Lord, have mercy on us!

Rich men, trust not in wealth;
Gold cannot buy you health.
Physic himself must fade:
All things to end are made.
The plague full swift goes by.
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

Beauty is but a flower,
Which wrinkles will devour:
Brightness falls from the air;
Queens have died young and fair.
Dust hath clos'd Helen's eye.
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

Strength stoops into the grave:
Worms feed on Hector brave.
Swords may not fight with fate:
Earth still holds ope her gate.
Come, come, the hells do cry.
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

Wit with his wantonness
Tasteth death's bitterness.
Hell's executioner
Hath no ears to hear,
What vain art can reply.
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

Haste therefore each degree
To welcome destiny:
Heaven is our heritage,
Earth but a player's stage.
Mount we unto the sky.
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us_!

SUM. Beshrew me, but thy song hath moved me.

WILL SUM. "Lord, have mercy on us," how lamentable 'tis!


VER. I have despatched, my lord; I have brought you them you sent me for.

WILL SUM. What say'st thou? hast thou made a good batch? I pray thee,
give me a new loaf![128]

SUM. Christmas, how chance thou com'st not as the rest,
Accompanied with some music or some song?
A merry carol would have grac'd thee well:
Thy ancestors have us'd it heretofore.

CHRIST. Ay, antiquity was the mother of ignorance: this latter world,
that sees but with her spectacles, hath spied a pad in those sports
more than they could.

SUM. What, is't against thy conscience for to sing?

CHRIST. No, not to say, by my troth, if I may get a good bargain.

SUM. Why, thou should'st spend, thou should'st not care to get:
Christmas is god of hospitality.

CHRIST. So will he never be of good husbandry. I may say to you, there
is many an old god that is now grown out of fashion; so is the god of

SUM. What reason canst thou give he should be left?

CHRIST. No other reason, but that gluttony is a sin, and too many
dunghills are infectious. A man's belly was not made for a powdering
beef-tub; to feed the poor twelve days, and let them starve all the year
after, would but stretch out the guts wider than they should be, and so
make famine a bigger den in their bellies than he had before. I should
kill an ox, and have some such fellow as Milo to come and eat it up at a
mouthful; or, like the Sybarites,[129] do nothing all one year but bid
guests against the next year. The scraping of trenchers you think would
put a man to no charges: it is not a hundred pound a year would serve
the scullion in dishclouts. My house stands upon vaults; it will fall,
if it be overladen with a multitude. Besides, have you never read of a
city that was undermined and destroyed by moles? So, say I, keep
hospitality and a whole fair of beggars bid me to dinner every day. What
with making legs[130], when they thank me at their going away, and
settling their wallets handsomely on their backs, they would shake as
many lice on the ground as were able to undermine my house, and undo me
utterly. Is it their prayers would build it again, if it were overthrown
by this vermin, would it? I pray, who began feasting and gormandis[ing]
first, but Sardanapalus, Nero, Heliogabalus, Commodus? tyrants,
whoremasters, unthrifts. Some call them emperors, but I respect no
crowns but crowns in the purse. Any man may wear a silver crown that
hath made a fray in Smithfield, and lost but a piece of his brain-pan;
and to tell you plain, your golden crowns are little better in
substance, and many times got after the same sort.

SUM. Gross-headed sot! how light he makes of state!

AUT. Who treadeth not on stars, when they are fall'n?
Who talketh not of states, when they are dead?
A fool conceits no further than he sees,
He hath no sense of aught but what he feels.

CHRIST. Ay, ay; such wise men as you come to beg at such fools' doors
as we be.

AUT. Thou shutt'st thy door; how should we beg of thee?
No alms but thy sink carries from thy house.

WILL SUM. And I can tell you that's as plentiful alms for the plague as
the Sheriff's tub to them of Newgate.

AUT. For feast thou keepest none; cankers thou feed'st.
The worms will curse thy flesh another day,
Because it yieldeth them no fatter prey.

CHRIST. What worms do another day, I care not, but I'll be sworn upon a
whole kilderkin of single beer, I will not have a worm-eaten nose, like
a pursuivant, while I live. Feasts are but puffing up of the flesh, the
purveyors for diseases; travel, cost, time, ill-spent. O, it were a trim
thing to send, as the Romans did, round about the world for provision
for one banquet. I must rig ships to Samos for peacocks; to Paphos for
pigeons; to Austria for oysters; to Phasis for pheasants; to Arabia for
phoenixes; to Meander for swans; to the Orcades for geese; to Phrygia
for woodcocks; to Malta for cranes; to the Isle of Man for puffins; to
Ambracia for goats; to Tartole for lampreys; to Egypt for dates; to
Spain for chestnuts--and all for one feast.

WILL SUM. O sir, you need not: you may buy them at London better cheap.

CHRIST. _Liberalitas liberalitate perit_; Love me little, and love me
long[131]: our feet must have wherewithal to feed the stones: our backs,
walls of wool to keep out the cold that besiegeth our warm blood; our
doors must have bars, our doublets must have buttons. Item, for an old
sword to scrape the stones before the door with; three halfpence for
stitching a wooden tankard that was burst. These water-bearers will
empty the conduit and a man's coffers at once. Not a porter that brings
a man a letter but will have his penny. I am afraid to keep past one or
two servants, lest (hungry knaves) they should rob me; and those I keep
(I warrant) I do not pamper up too lusty. I keep them under with red
herring and poor John all the year long. I have dammed up all my
chimneys for fear (though I burn nothing but small coal) my house should
be set on fire with the smoke. I will not dine[132] but once in a dozen
year, when there is a great rot of sheep, and I know not what to do with
them; I keep open house for all the beggars in some of my out-yards:
marry, they must bring bread with them; I am no baker.

WILL SUM. As good men as you, and have thought it no scorn to serve
their 'prenticeships on the pillory.

SUM. Winter, is this thy son? Hear'st how he talks?

WIN. I am his father, therefore may not speak,
But otherwise I could excuse his fault.

SUM. Christmas, I tell thee plain, thou art a snudge[133],
And were't not that we love thy father well,
Thou shouldst have felt what 'longs to avarice.
It is the honour of nobility
To keep high-days and solemn festivals;
Then to set their magnificence to view,
To frolic open with their favourites,
And use their neighbours with all courtesy;
When thou in hugger-mugger[134] spend'st thy wealth.
Amend thy manners, breathe thy rusty gold;
Bounty will win thee love, when thou art old.

WILL SUM. Ay, that bounty I would fain meet, to borrow money of; he is
fairly bless'd now-a-days, that 'scapes blows when he begs. _Verba dandi
et reddendi_ go together in the grammar rule: there is no giving but
with condition of restoring.
Ah! _benedicite_:
Well is he hath no necessity
Of gold nor of sustenance:
Slow good hap comes by chance;
Flattery best fares;
Arts are but idle wares:
Fair words want giving hands,
The _Lento_[135] begs that hath no lands.
Fie on thee, thou scurvy knave,
That hast nought, and yet goes brave:
A prison be thy deathbed,
Or be hang'd all save the head.

SUM. Back-winter, stand forth.

VER. Stand forth, stand forth: hold up your head; speak out.

BACK-WIN. What should I stand, or whither should I go?

SUM. Autumn accuses thee of sundry crimes,
Which here thou art to clear or to confess.

BACK-WIN. With thee or Autumn have I nought to do,
I would you both were hanged, face to face.

SUM. Is this the reverence that thou ow'st to us?

BACK-WIN. Why not? What art thou? shalt thou always live?

AUT. It is the veriest dog in Christendom.

WIN. That's for he barks at such as knave as thou.

BACK-WIN. Would I could bark the sun out of the sky;
Turn moon and stars to frozen meteors,
And make the ocean a dry land of ice!
With tempest of my breath turn up high trees,
On mountains heap up second mounts of snow
Which, melted into water, might fall down,
As fell the deluge on the former world!
I hate the air, the fire, the spring, the year,
And whatsoe'er brings mankind any good.
O that my looks were lightning to blast fruits!
Would I with thunder presently might die,
So I might speak in thunder to slay men.
Earth, if I cannot injure thee enough,
I'll bite thee with my teeth, I'll scratch thee thus:
I'll beat down the partition with my heels,
That, as a mud-vault, severs hell and thee.
Spirits, come up! 'tis I that knock for you;
One that envies[136] the world far more than you.
Come up in millions! millions are too few
To execute the malice I intend.

SUM. _O scelus inauditum, O vox damnatorum_!
Not raging Hecuba, whose hollow eyes
Gave suck to fifty sorrows at one time,
That midwife to so many murders was,
Us'd half the execrations that thou dost.

BACK-WIN. More I will use, if more I may prevail.
Back-winter comes but seldom forth abroad,
But when he comes, he pincheth to the proof.
Winter is mild, his son is rough and stern:
Ovid could well write of my tyranny,
When he was banish'd to the frozen zone.

SUM. And banish'd be thou from my fertile bounds.
Winter, imprison him in thy dark cell,
Or with the winds in bellowing caves of brass
Let stern Hippotades[137] lock him up safe,
Ne'er to peep forth, but when thou, faint and weak,
Want'st him to aid thee in thy regiment.

BACK-WIN. I will peep forth, thy kingdom to supplant.
My father I will quickly freeze to death,
And then sole monarch will I sit, and think,
How I may banish thee as thou dost me.

WIN. I see my downfall written in his brows.
Convey him hence to his assigned hell!
Fathers are given to love their sons too well.


WILL SUM. No, by my troth, nor mothers neither: I am sure I could never
find it. This Back-winter plays a railing part to no purpose: my small
learning finds no reason for it, except as a back-winter or an
after-winter is more raging, tempestuous, and violent than the beginning
of winter; so he brings him in stamping and raging as if he were mad,
when his father is a jolly, mild, quiet old man, and stands still and
does nothing. The court accepts of your meaning. You might have written
in the margin of your play-book--"Let there be a few rushes laid[138]
in the place where Back-winter shall tumble, for fear of 'raying[139]
his clothes:" or set down, "Enter Back-winter, with his boy bringing a
brush after him, to take off the dust, if need require." But you will
ne'er have any wardrobe-wit while you live: I pray you, hold the book
well;[140] [that] we be not _non plus_ in the latter end of the play.

SUM. This is the last stroke my tongue's clock must strike.
My last will, which I will that you perform.
My crown I have dispos'd already of.
Item, I give my wither'd flowers and herbs
Unto dead corses, for to deck them with.
My shady walks to great men's servitors,
Who in their masters' shadows walk secure.
My pleasant open air and fragrant smells
To Croydon and the grounds abutting round.
My heat and warmth to toiling labourers,
My long days to bondmen and prisoners,
My short night[s] to young [un]married souls.
My drought and thirst to drunkards' quenchless throats:
My fruits to Autumn, my adopted heir:
My murmuring springs, musicians of sweet sleep,
To malcontents [who], with their well-tun'd ears,[141]
Channell'd in a sweet falling quatorzain,
Do lull their cares[142] asleep, listening themselves.
And finally, O words, now cleanse your course
Unto Eliza, that most sacred dame,
Whom none but saints and angels ought to name,
All my fair days remaining I bequeath
To wait upon her, till she be return'd.
Autumn, I charge thee, when that I am dead,
Be prest[143] and serviceable at her beck,
Present her with thy goodliest ripen'd fruits;
Unclothe no arbours, where she ever sat,
Touch not a tree thou think'st she may pass by.
And, Winter, with thy writhen, frosty face,
Smooth up thy visage, when thou look'st on her;
Thou never look'st on such bright majesty.
A charmed circle draw about her court,
Wherein warm days may dance, and no cold come:
On seas let winds make war, not vex her rest;
Quiet enclose her bed, thought fly her breast.
Ah, gracious queen! though summer pine away,
Yet let thy flourishing stand at a stay.
First droop this universal's aged frame,
Ere any malady thy strength should tame.
Heaven raise up pillars to uphold thy hand,
Peace may have still his temple in thy land.
Lo! I have said; this is the total sum.
Autumn and Winter, on your faithfulness
For the performance I do firmly build.
Farewell, my friends: Summer bids you farewell!
Archers and bowlers, all my followers,
Adieu, and dwell with desolation:
Silence must be your master's mansion.
Slow marching, thus descend I to the fiends.
Weep, heavens!--mourn, earth! here Summer ends.

[_Here the Satyrs and wood-nymphs carry
him out, singing as he came in.

The Song.

Autumn hath all the summer's fruitful treasure;
Gone is our sport, fled is poor Croydon's pleasure!
Short days, sharp days, long nights come on apace:
Ah! who shall hide us from the winter's face?
Cold doth increase, the sickness will not cease,
And here we lie, God knows, with little ease.
From winter, plague, and pestilence, good Lord, deliver us!

London doth mourn, Lambeth is quite forlorn;
Trades cry, woe worth that ever they were born!
The want of term is town and city's harm.[144]
Close chambers we do want to keep us warm.
Long banished must we live from our friends:
This low-built house will bring us to our ends.
From winter, plague, and pestilence, good Lord, deliver us_!

WILL SUM. How is't, how is't? you that be of the graver sort, do you
think these youths worthy of a _plaudite_ for praying for the queen, and
singing the litany? They are poor fellows, I must needs say, and have
bestowed great labour in sewing leaves, and grass, and straw, and moss
upon cast suits. You may do well to warm your hands with clapping before
you go to bed, and send them to the tavern with merry hearts.

_Enter a little_ BOY _with an Epilogue_.

Here is a pretty boy comes with an Epilogue to get him audacity. I pray
you, sit still a little and hear him say his lesson without book. It is
a good boy: be not afraid: turn thy face to my lord. Thou and I will
play at pouch to-morrow morning for breakfast. Come and sit on my knee,
and I'll dance thee, if thou canst not endure to stand.


Ulysses, a dwarf, and the prolocutor for the Grecians, gave me leave,
that am a pigmy, to do an embassage to you from the cranes. Gentlemen
(for kings are no better), certain humble animals, called our actors,
commend them unto you; who, what offence they have committed I know not
(except it be in purloining some hours out of Time's treasury, that
might have been better employed) but by me (the agent of their
imperfections) they humbly crave pardon, if haply some of their terms
have trod awry, or their tongues stumbled unwittingly on any man's
content. In much corn is some cockle; in a heap of coin here and there a
piece of copper: wit hath his dregs as well as wine; words their waste,
ink his blots, every speech his parenthesis; poetical fury, as well
crabs as sweetings for his summer fruits. _Nemo sapit omnibus horis_.
Their folly is deceased; their fear is yet living. Nothing can kill an
ass but cold: cold entertainment, discouraging scoffs, authorised
disgraces, may kill a whole litter of young asses of them here at once,
that hath travelled thus far in impudence, only in hope to sit a-sunning
in your smiles. The Romans dedicated a temple to the fever quartan,
thinking it some great god, because it shook them so; and another to
ill-fortune in Esquiliis, a mountain in Rome, that it should not plague
them at cards and dice. Your grace's frowns are to them shaking fevers;
your least disfavours the greatest ill-fortune that may betide them.
They can build no temples but themselves and their best endeavours, with
all prostrate reverence, they here dedicate and offer up wholly to your
service. _Sis bonus, O, faelixque tuis_.[145] To make the gods merry,
the celestial clown Vulcan tuned his polt foot to the measures of
Apollo's lute, and danced a limping galliard in Jove's starry hall: to
make you merry, that are gods of art and guides unto heaven, a number of
rude Vulcans, unwieldy speakers, hammer-headed clowns (for so it
pleaseth them in modesty to name themselves) have set their deformities
to view, as it were in a dance here before you. Bear with their wants;
lull melancholy asleep with their absurdities, and expect hereafter
better fruits of their industry. Little creatures often terrify great
beasts: the elephant flieth from a ram: the lion from a cock and from
fire; the crocodile from all sea-fish; the whale from the noise of
parched bones. Light toys chase great cares: the great fool _Toy_ hath
marr'd the play. Good night, gentlemen; I go.

[_Let him be carried away_.[146]

WILL SUM. Is't true, jackanapes? do you serve me so? As sure as this
coat is too short for me, all the points of your hose for this are
condemned to my pocket, if you and I e'er play at span-counter more.
_Valete, spectatores_: pay for this sport with a _plaudite_, and the
next time the wind blows from this corner, we will make you ten times
as merry.

_Barbarus hic ego sum, quia non intelligor ulli_.



_The Downfall of Robert Earle of Huntington, afterward called Robin Hood
of merrie Sherwodde; with his love to chaste Matilda, the Lord
Fitzwaters Daughter, afterwarde his faire Maide Marian. Acted by the
Right Honourable the Earle of Notingham, Lord high Admirall of England,
his servants. Imprinted at London for William Leake_. 1601. 4to. B.L.


"The Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington" and "The Death of Robert
Earl of Huntington"[147] were both formerly ascribed to Thomas Heywood,
on the always disputable authority of Kirkman the Bookseller. The
discovery of the folio account-book of Philip Henslowe, proprietor of
the Rose theatre on the Bank-side, enabled Malone to correct the
error.[148] The following entries in Henslowe's MSS. contain the
evidence upon the subject:--

"Feb. 1597-8.--The first part of Robin Hood by Anthony Mundy.

"The second part of the Downfall of Earl Huntington, sirnamed
Robinhood by Anthony Mundy and Henry Chettle."

It is to be observed that what Henslowe mentions as "the second part of
the Downfall of Earl Huntington" is in fact the play called on the
printed title-page "The Death of Robert Earl of Huntington." Hence we
find that Anthony Munday wrote the _first part_ or "Downfall" alone, and
the _second part_ or "Death" in conjunction with Henry Chettle:
nevertheless there is a memorandum by Henslowe, by which it seems that
Chettle had something to do also with the _first part_. It is in these

"Lent unto Robarte Shawe the 18 of Novemb. 1598, to lend unto
Mr Cheattle upon the mending of The First Part of Robart Hoode,
the sum of xs."

The loan here mentioned was perhaps in anticipation of "the mending;"
and Malone subsequently met with the following notice: "For mending
of Robin Hood for the Corte;" which might be written after the
improvements, considered necessary before the performance of the play
at Court, had been completed.

Anthony Munday must have been born in 1553, for the monument to him in
the Church of St Stephen, Coleman Street, states, that at the time of
his death, 10th August 1633, he was eighty years old. From the
inscription we likewise learn that he was "a citizen and draper." In
1589 he lived in the city, and dates his translation of "The History of
Palmendos" "from my house in Cripplegate." That he carried on the
business of a draper, or had some connection with the trade as late as
1613, may be gathered from the following passage at the close of "The
Triumphs of Truth," the city pageant for that year, by Thomas Middleton:
"The fire-work being made by Maister Humphrey Nichols, a man excellent
in his art; and the whole work and body of the Triumph, with all the
proper beauties of the workmanship, most artfully and faithfully
performed by John Grinkin; and those _furnished with apparel_ and
porters by Anthony Munday, Gentleman." The style of "gentleman" was
probably given to him with reference to the productions of his pen.

At what date he acquired the title of "poet to the city" does not
appear: he wrote the Lord Mayor's Pageant in 1605; but he had certainly
earlier been similarly employed, as Ben Jonson introduces him in that
capacity in "The Case is Altered," which was written in the end of 1598
or beginning of 1599.[149] He there throws some ridicule upon Don
Antonio Balladino (as he calls Munday), and Mr Gifford was of opinion
that Middleton meant to censure him in his "Triumphs of Truth," as the
impudent "common writer" of city pageants; but this is hardly consistent
with the mention Middleton introduces of Munday at the close of that
performance. Besides, Dekker wrote the pageant for the year 1612,
immediately preceding that for which Middleton was engaged; and that
Munday was not in disrepute is obvious from the fact that in 1614, 1615,
and 1616, his pen was again in request for the same purpose.

Whatever might have been Munday's previous life, in the year 1582 he was
placed in no very enviable situation. He had been mainly instrumental in
detecting the Popish Conspiracy in that year, which drew down upon him
the bitter animosity of the Jesuits. They charged him in their
publications (from which extracts may be seen in Mr A. Chalmers'
"Biographical Dictionary," and elsewhere) with having been "first a
stage-player and afterwards an apprentice," and after being "hissed from
the stage" and residing at Rome, with having returned to his original
occupation. Munday himself admits, in the account he published of Edmund
Campion and his confederates, that he was "some time the Pope's scholar
in the Seminary of Rome," but always stoutly denied that he was a Roman
Catholic. Perhaps the most curious tract upon this subject is that
entitled, "A breefe and true reporte of the Execution of certaine
Traytours at Tiborne the xxviii, and xxx dayes of May 1582. Gathered
by A.M. who was there present." He signs the Dedication at length
"A. Munday," and mentions that he had been a witness against some of
the offenders. The persons he saw executed were, Thomas Foord, John
Shert, Robert Johnson, William Filbie, Luke Kirbie, Lawrance Richardson,
and Thomas Cottom; and he seems to have been publicly employed to
confute them at the foot of the gallows, and to convince the populace
that they were traitors and Papists, denying the supremacy of Queen
Elizabeth. He there had a long dispute with Kirbie upon matters of fact,
and, according to his own showing, was guilty while abroad, at least of
a little duplicity. He notices having seen Captain Stukely at Rome, who
was killed at the Battle of Alcazar in 1578. In the conclusion he
promises his "English Romaine Lyfe" "so soon as it can be printed," in
which he purposes to disclose the "Romish and Sathanical juglings," of
the Jesuits.

Munday was a very voluminous author in verse and prose, original and
translated, and is certainly to be reckoned among the predecessors of
Shakespeare in dramatic composition. His earliest work, as far as can
be now ascertained, was "The Mirror of Mutability," 1579, when he was
in his 26th year: he dedicates it to the Earl of Oxford, and perhaps
then belonged to the company of players of that nobleman, to which he
had again attached himself on his return from Italy.[150] The Council
Registers show that this nobleman had a company of players under his
protection in 1575. Munday's "Banquet of Dainty Conceits" was printed
in 1588, and we particularise it, because it was unknown to Ames,
Herbert, and Ritson. Catalogues and specimens of his other undramatic
works may be found in "Bibliographia Poetica," "Censura Literaria,"
"British Bibliographer,"[151] &c. The earliest praise of Munday is
contained in Webbe's "Discourse of English Poetrie," 1586, where his
"Sweete Sobs of Sheepheardes and Nymphes" is especially pointed out
as "very rare poetrie." Francis Meres, in 1598 ("Palladis Tamia,"
fo. 283, b.), enumerating many of the best dramatic poets of his day,
including Shakespeare, Heywood, Chapman, Porter, Lodge, &c., gives
Anthony Munday the praise of being "our best plotter," a distinction
that excited the spleen of Ben Jonson in his "Case is Altered," more
particularly, as he was omitted.

Nearly all the existing information respecting Anthony Munday's dramatic
works is derived from Henslowe's papers.[152] At what period he began to
write for the stage cannot be ascertained: the earliest date in these
MSS. connected with his name is December 1597; but as he was perhaps a
member of the Earl of Oxford's theatrical company before he went abroad,
and as he was certainly at Rome prior to 1578, it is likely that he was
very early the author of theatrical performances. In the old catalogues,
and in Langbaine's "Momus Triumphans," 1688, a piece called "Fidele and
Fortunatus" is mentioned, and such a play was entered at Stationers'
Hall, Nov. 12, 1584. There is little doubt that this is the same
production, two copies of which have been discovered, with the running
title of "Two Italian Gentlemen," that being the second title to "Fidele
and Fortunatus" in the Register. Both copies are without title-pages;
but to one of them is prefixed a dedication signed A.M., and we may with
tolerable certainty conclude that Anthony Munday was the author or
translator of it, and that it was printed about the date of its entry on
the Stationers' Books. It is pretty evident that the play now reprinted
from the only known edition in 1601 was written considerably before
1597-8, the year when it is first noticed in the accounts of the
proprietor of the Rose. The story is treated with a simplicity bordering
upon rudeness, and historical facts are perverted just as suited the
purpose of the writer. Whether we consider it as contemporary with, or
preceding the productions of the same class by Shakespeare, it is a
relic of high interest, and nearly all the sylvan portions of the play,
in which Robin Hood and his "merry men" are engaged, are of no ordinary
beauty. Some of the serious scenes are also extremely well written, and
the blank-verse, interpersed with rhymes, as was usual in our earlier
dramas, by no means inharmonious.

The subsequent catalogue of plays which Munday wrote, either alone or in
conjunction with others, is derived from the materials supplied by

1. Mother Redcap, by Anthony Munday and Michael Drayton. December 1597.
Not printed.[153]

2. The Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington, by Anthony Munday.
February 1597-8. Printed in 1601.

3. The Death of Robert Earl of Huntington, by Anthony Munday and Henry
Chettle. February 1597-8. Printed in 1601.

4. The Funeral of Richard Cordelion, by Robert Wilson, Henry Chettle,
Anthony Munday, and Michael Drayton. May 1598. Not printed.

5. Valentine and Orson, by Richard Hathwaye and Anthony Munday. July
1598. Not printed.

6. Chance Medley, by Robert Wilson, Anthony Munday, Michael Drayton, and
Thomas Dekker. August 1598. Not printed.

7. Owen Tudor, by Michael Drayton, Richard Hathwaye, Anthony Munday, and
Robert Wilson. January 1599-1600. Not printed.

8. Fair Constance of Rome, by Anthony Munday, Richard Hathwaye, Michael
Drayton, and Thomas Dekker. June 1600. Not printed.

9. Fair Constance of Rome, Part II., by the same authors. June 1600.
Not printed.

10. The Rising of Cardinal Wolsey,[154] by Anthony Munday, Michael
Drayton, Henry Chettle, and Wentworth Smith. November 12, 1601. Not

11. Two Harpies, by Thomas Dekker, Michael Drayton, Thomas Middleton,
John Webster, and Anthony Munday. May 1602. Not printed.

12. The Widow's Charm, by Anthony Munday. July 1602. Printed in 1607, as
Malone conjectured, under the title of "The Puritan or Widow of Watling
Street," and ascribed to Shakespeare.

13. The Set at Tennis, by Anthony Munday. December 1602. Not

14. The first part of the Life of Sir John Oldcastle, by Anthony Munday,
Michael Drayton, Robert Wilson, and Richard Hathwaye.

Of the last, two editions were published in 1600, the one with, and the
other without, the name of Shakespeare on the title-page; but Mr Malone
discovered, from the Registers of the Stationers' Company, that he was
not concerned in it. Whether Munday wrote any plays subsequent to the
date to which Henslowe's papers extend, is not known.

Such particulars as have come down to us regarding Henry Chettle will be
prefixed to "The Death of the Earl of Huntington," the second part of
the play now reprinted.


MUCH, _the Clown_.
_Jailor of Nottingham, Sheriff, Messenger, Boy, Colliers, &c_.
MATILDA, _Fitzwater's Daughter_.



_Enter_ SIR JOHN ELTHAM, _and knocks at_ SKELTON'S _door_.[157]

SIR JOHN. How, Master Skelton; what, at study hard?
[_Opens the door_.

SKEL. Welcome and wish'd-for honest Sir John Eltham.
I have sent twice, and either time he miss'd
That went to seek you.

ELT. So full well he might:
These two hours it pleased his majesty
To use my service in surveying maps,
Sent over from the good King Ferdinand,
That to the Indies, at Sebastian's suit,
Hath lately sent a Spanish colony.

SKEL. Then 'twill trouble you,
After your great affairs, to take the pain
That I intended to entreat you to,
About rehearsal of our[158] promis'd play.

ELT. Nay, Master Skelton; for the King himself,
As we were parting, bid me take great heed
We fail not of our day: therefore, I pray,
Send for the rest, that now we may rehearse.

SKEL. O, they are ready all, and dress'd to play.
What part play you?

ELT. Why, I play Little John,
And came on purpose with this green suit.

SKEL. Holla, my masters! Little John is come.

[_At every door all the players run out, some crying
"Where? where?" others, "Welcome, Sir John:" among
others the boys and Clown_.

SKEL. 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.

CLOWN. But, master, Sir John is my fellow, for I am
Much the miller's son, am I not?

SKEL. I know ye are, sir;
And, gentlemen, since you are thus prepar'd,
Go in, and bring your dumb-scene on the stage;
And I, as prologue, purpose to express
The ground whereon our history is laid.

[_Exeunt. Manent_ SKELTON _and_ SIR JOHN.

_Trumpets sound. Enter first_ KING RICHARD, _with drum
and ancient, giving_ ELY _a purse and sceptre; his mother,
and brother_ JOHN, CHESTER, LEICESTER, LACY, _others at
the_ KING'S _appointment doing reverence. The_ KING _goes
in: presently_ ELY _ascends the chair_: CHESTER, JOHN, _and
the_ QUEEN _part displeasantly. Enter_ EGBERT EARL OF
HUNTINGTON, _leading_ MARIAN: _follows him_ WARMAN, _and
after_ WARMAN _the_ PRIOR; WARMAN _ever flattering and making
courtesy, taking gifts of the_ PRIOR _behind and his master
before_. PRINCE JOHN _Enters, offereth to take_ MARIAN. QUEEN
ELINOR _enters, offering to pull_ ROBIN _from her; but they
enfold each other, and sit down within the curtains_. WARMAN
BROUGHTON _fold hands, and drawing the curtains, all (but the_
PRIOR) _enter, and are kindly received by_ ROBIN HOOD.
_The curtains are again shut_.

SKEL. Sir John, once more, bid your dumb shows come in,
That, as they pass, I may explain them all.

_Enter_ KING RICHARD, _&c_.[159]

Richard, call'd Coeur de Lion, takes his leave,
Like the Lord's champion, 'gainst the pagan foes,
That spoil Juda and rich Palestine.
The rule of England and his princely seat
He leaves with Ely, then lord chancellor;
To whom the Mother Queen, her son, Prince John,
Chester, and all the peers are sworn.
[_Exit_ RICHARD _cum militibus_.
ELY _ascends the chair_.
Now reverend Ely, like the deputy
Of God's great deputy, ascends the throne;
Which the Queen Mother and ambitious John
Repining at, raised many mutinies:
And how they ended, you anon shall hear.

[_Exeunt omnes_.

_Enter_ ROBERT EARL OF HUNTINGTON, _leading_ MARIAN, _&c_.[160]

This youth that leads yon virgin by the hand
(As doth the sun the morning richly clad)
Is our Earl Robert or your Robin Hood,
That in those days was Earl of Huntington.
The ill-faced miser, bribed in either hand,
Is Warman, once the steward of his house,
Who, Judas-like, betrays his liberal lord
Into the hands of that relentless Prior,
Call'd Gilbert Hood, uncle to Huntington.
Those two, that seek to part these lovely friends,
Are Elinor the queen and John the prince:
She loves Earl Robert, he Maid Marian;
But vainly, for their dear 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 Huntington's fair house a feast is held;
But envy turns it to a house of tears;
For those false guests, conspiring with the Prior,
To whom Earl Robert greatly is in debt,
Mean at the banquet to betray the earl
Unto a heavy writ of outlawry.
The manner and escape you all shall see.

ELT. Which all, good Skelton?

SKEL. Why, all these lookers on;
Whom if we please, the king will sure be pleas'd.
Look to your entrance; get you in, Sir John. [_Exit_ SIR JOHN.
My shift is long, for I play Friar Tuck;
Wherein, if Skelton have but any luck,
He'll thank his hearers oft with many a duck.
For many talk of Robin Hood, that never shot in his bow,
But Skelton writes of Robin Hood what he doth truly know.[161]

Therefore I pray ye,
Contentedly stay ye,
And take no offending,
But sit to the ending,
Likewise I desire
Ye would not admire
My rhyme, so I shift;
For this is my drift,
So mought I well thrive
To make ye all blithe:
But if ye once frown,
Poor Skelton goes down;
His labour and cost,
He thinketh all lost
In tumbling of books
Of marry-go-looks.
The Sheriff with staves,
With catchpoles and knaves,
Are coming, I see:
High time 'tis for me,
To leave off my babble
And fond ribble-rabble.
Therefore with this court'sy
Awhile I will leave ye.[162]


_Enter, as it were in haste, the_ PRIOR OF YORK, _the_
SHERIFF, _Justice_ WARMAN, _Steward to_ ROBIN HOOD.

PRIOR. Here, Master Warman, there's a hundred crowns
For your good-will and futherance in this.

WAR. I thank you, my Lord Prior. I must away,
To shun suspicion; but be resolute,
And we will take him, have no doubt of it.

PRIOR. But is Lord Sentloe and the other come?

WAR. Lord Sentloe, Sir Hugh Lacy, and Sir Gilbert Broughton
Are there, and as they promis'd you last night,
Will help to take him, when the Sheriff comes.
[_Exit_ WARMAN.

PRIOR. Awhile, farewell, and thanks to them and you.
Come, Master Sheriff, the outlawry is proclaim'd,
Send therefore quickly for more company,
And at the back-gate we will enter in.

SHER. We shall have much ado, I am afraid.

PRIOR. No, they are very merry at a feast;
A feast where Marian, daughter to Lord Lacy,
Is troth-plighted to wasteful Huntington;
And at the feast are my especial friends,
Whom he suspects not. Come, we'll have him, man,
And for your pains here is a hundred marks.

SHER. I thank your lordship: we'll be diligent.



_Enter_ ROBIN HOOD, LITTLE JOHN _following him;
the one Earl of Huntington, the other his servant_,
ROBIN _having his napkin on his shoulder, as if he
were suddenly raised from dinner_.

ROB. H. As I am outlaw'd from my fame and state,
Be this day outlawed from the name of days.
Day luckless, outlaw luckless, both accurs'd!
[_Flings away his napkin and hat, and sitteth down_.

LIT. JOHN. Do not forget your honourable state,
Nor the true noblesse of your worthy house.

ROB. H. Do not persuade me; vain as vanity
Are all thy comforts: I am comfortless.

LIT. JOHN. Hear me, my lord.

ROB. H. What shall I hear thee say?
Already hast thou said too much to hear:
Already hast thou stabb'd me with thy tongue,
And the wide wound with words will not be clos'd.
Am I not outlaw'd by the Prior of York?
Proclaim'd in court, in city, and in town
A lawless person? this thy tongue reports,
And therefore seek not to make smooth my grief;
For the rough storm thy windy words have rais'd,
Will not be calm'd, till I in grave be laid.

LIT. JOHN. Have patience yet.

ROB. H. Yea, now indeed thou speakest.
Patience hath power to bear a greater cross
Than honour's spoil or any earthly loss.

LIT. JOHN. Do so, my lord.

ROB. H. Ay, now I would begin:
But see, another scene of grief comes in.

_Enter_ MARIAN.[163]

MAR. Why is my lord so sad? wherefore so soon,
So suddenly, arose ye from the board?
Alas, my Robin! what distempering grief
Drinks up the roseate colour of thy cheeks?
Why art thou silent? answer me, my love.

ROB. H. Let him, let him, let him make thee as sad.
He hath a tongue can banish thee from joy,
And chase thy crimson colour from thy cheeks.
Why speak'st thou not? I pray thee, Little John,
Let the short story of my long distress
Be utter'd in a word. What, mean'st thou to protract?
Wilt thou not speak? then, Marian, list to me.
This day thou wert a maid, and now a spouse,
Anon, poor soul, a widow thou must be!
Thy Robin is an outlaw, Marian;
His goods and land must be extended on,
Himself exil'd from thee, thou kept from him
By the long distance of unnumbered miles.
[_She sinks in his arms_.
Faint'st thou at this? speak to me, Marian:
My old love, newly met, part not so soon;
We have a little time to tarry yet.

MAR. If but a little time, let me not stay
Part we to-day, then will I die to-day!

LIT. JOHN. For shame, my lord! with courage of a man
Bridle this over-grieving passion,
Or else dissemble it to comfort her.

ROB. H. I like thy counsel. Marian, clear these clouds,
And with the sunny beams of thy bright eyes
Drink up these mists of sorrow that arise.

MAR. How can I joy, when thou art banished?

ROB. H. I tell thee, love, my grief is counterfeit;
And I abruptly from the table rose,
The banquet being almost at an end,
Only to drive confused and sad thoughts
[Out of][164] the minds of the invited guests.
For, gentle love, at great or nuptial feasts,
With comic sports or tragic stately plays
We use to recreate the feasted guests,
Which I am sure our kinsfolk do expect.

MAR. Of this, what then? this seems of no effect.

ROB. H. Why, thus of this: as Little John can tell,
I had bespoken quaint comedians;
But great John, John the prince, my liege's brother--
My rival, Marian, he that cross'd our love--
Hath cross'd me in this jest,[165] and at the court
Employs the players should have made us sport.
This was the tidings brought by Little John,
That first disturbed me, and begot this thought
Of sudden rising, which by this, I know,
Hath with amazement troubled all our guests.
Go in, good love: thou as the chorus shalt
Express the meaning of my silent grief,
Which is no more but this: I only mean
(The more to honour our right noble friends)
Myself in person to present some scenes
Of tragic matter, or perchance of mirth,
Even such as first shall jump with my conceit.

MAR. May I be bold thou hast the worst expressed?

LIT. JOHN. Fair mistress, all is true my lord hath said.

ROB. H. It is, it is.

MAR. Speak not so hollow then:
So sigh and sadly speak true-sorrowing men.

ROB. H. Believe me, love, believe me (I beseech),
My first scene tragic is, therefore tragic speech
And accents filling woful action,
I strive to get. I pray thee, sweet,
Go 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 me with a lofty verse
Bewitch the hearers' ears, and tempt their eyes
To gaze upon the action that I use.

MAR. If it be but a play, I'll play my part:
But sure some earnest grief affrights thy[166] heart.

LIT. JOHN. Let me entreat ye, madam, not to fear,
For, by the honesty of Little John,
It's but a tragic scene we have in hand,
Only to fit the humour of the queen,
Who is the chiefest at your troth-plight feast.

MAR. Then will I fetch her highness and the rest.

ROB. H. Ay, that same jealous queen, whose doting age
Envies the choice of my fair Marian,
She hath a hand in this.

LIT. JOHN. Well, what of that?
Now must your honour leave these mourning tunes,
And thus by my areed you shall provide.
Your plate and jewels I will straight pack up,
And toward Nottingham convey them hence.
At Rowford, Sowtham, Wortley, Hothersfield,
Of all your cattle money shall be made;
And I at Mansfield will attend your coming,
Where we'll determine which way's best to take.

ROB. H. Well, be it so; a' God's name, let it be;
And, if I can, Marian shall come with me.

LIT. JOHN. Else care will kill her. Therefore, if you please,
At th'utmost corner of the garden wall,
Soon in the evening wait for Marian;
And as I go I'll tell her of the plan.[167]
Your horses at the Bell shall ready be,
I mean Belsavage;[168] whence as citizens,
That mean[169] to ride for pleasure some small way,
You shall set forth.

ROB. H. Be it as thou dost say.
Farewell awhile:
In spite of grief, thy love compels me smile,
But now our audience comes, we must look sad.[170]

WARMAN, _Robin's steward. As they meet_, LITTLE JOHN
_whispers with_ MARIAN, _and exit_.

QU. ELIN. How now, my Lord of Huntington?
The mistress of your love, fair Marian,
Tells us your sudden rising from the banquet
Was but a humour which you mean to purge
In some high tragic lines or comic jests.

ROB. H. Sit down, fair queen (the prologue's part is play'd;
Marian hath told ye, what I bad her tell):
Sit down, Lord Sentloe, cousin Lacy, sit:
Sir Gilbert Broughton, yea, and Warman, sit:
Though you my steward be, yet for your gathering wit
I give you place: sit down, sit down, I say:
God's pity! sit: it must, it must be so,
For you will sit when I shall stand, I know. [_Sits them all down_.
And, Marian, you may sit among the rest,
I pray ye do, or else rise, stand apart:
These helps shall be beholders of my smart--
You that with ruthless eyes my sorrows see,
And came prepar'd to feast at my sad fall,
Whose envy, greediness, and jealousy
Afford me sorrow endless, comfort small,
Know what you knew before, what you ordain'd
To cross the spousal banquet of my love,
That I am outlaw'd by the Prior of York,
My traitorous uncle and your toothless friend.
Smile you, Queen Elinor? laugh'st thou, Lord Sentloe?
Lacy, look'st thou so blithe at my lament?
Broughton, a smooth brow graceth your stern face;
And you are merry, Warman, at my moan.
The Queen except, I do you all defy!
You are a sort[171] of fawning sycophants,
That, while the sunshine of my greatness 'dur'd,
Revelled out all my day for your delights;
And now ye see the black night of my woe
O'ershade the beauty of my smiling good,
You to my grief add grief; and are agreed
With that false Prior to reprieve my joys
From execution of all happiness.

WAR. Your honour thinks not ill of me, I hope.

ROB. H. Judas speaks first, with "Master, is it I?"
No, my false steward; your accounts are true;
You have dishonour'd me, I worshipp'd[172] you.
You from a paltry pen-and-inkhorn clerk,
Bearing a buckram-satchel at your belt,
Unto a justice' place I did prefer;
Where you unjustly have my tenants rack'd,
Wasted my treasure, and increas'd your store.
Your sire contented with a cottage poor,
Your mastership hath halls and mansions built;
Yet are you innocent, as clear from guilt
As is the ravenous mastiff that hath spilt
The blood of a whole flock, yet slyly comes
And couches in his kennel with smear'd chaps.
Out of my house! for yet my house it is,
And follow him, ye catchpole-bribed grooms;
For neither are ye lords nor gentlemen,
That will be hired to wrong a nobleman:
For hired ye were last night, I know it, I,
To be my guests, my faithless guests this day,
That your kind host you trothless might betray.
But hence, and help the Sheriff at the door,
Your worst attempt. Fell traitors, as you be,
Avoid, or I will execute ye all
Ere any execution come at me! [_They run away_.
They run[173] away, so ends the tragedy.
(_Aside_) Marian, by Little John, my mind you know:
If you will, do; if not, why be it so.
[_Offers to go in_.

QU. ELIN. No words to me, Earl Robert, ere you go?

ROB. H. O, to your highness? yes; adieu, proud queen;
Had not you been, thus poor I had not been.

QU. ELIN. Thou wrong'st me, Robert Earl of Huntington,
And were it not for pity of this maid,
I would revenge the words that thou hast said.

MAR. Add not, fair queen, distress unto distress,
But, if you can, for pity make his less.

QU. ELIN. I can and will forget deserving hate,
And give him comfort in this woful state.
Marian, I know Earl Robert's whole desire
Is to have thee with him from hence away;
And though I lov'd him dearly to this day,
Yet since I see he deadlier loveth thee,
Thou shalt have all the furtherance I may.
Tell me, fair girl, and see thou truly tell,
Whether this night, to-morrow, or next day,
There be no 'pointment for to meet thy love?

MAR. There is, this night there is, I will not lie;
And, be it disappointed, I shall die.

QU. ELIN. Alas, poor soul! my son, Prince John, my son,
With several troops hath circuited the court,
This house, the city, that thou canst not 'scape.

MAR. I will away with Death, though he be grim,
If they deny me to go hence with him.

QU. ELIN. Marian,
Thou shalt go with him clad in my attire,
And for a shift I'll put thy garments on.
It is not me my son 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 stays,
Me in thy clothes the ambush will beset;
Thee in my robes they dare not once approach:
So, while with me a-reasoning they stay,
At pleasure thou with him may'st ride away.

MAR. I am beholding to your majesty,
And of this plot will send my Robin word.

QU. ELIN. Nay, never trouble him, lest it breed suspect:
But get thee in, and shift off thy attire:
My robe is loose, and it will soon be off.
Go, gentle Marian, I will follow thee,
And from betrayers' hands will set thee free.

MAR. I thank your highness, but I will not trust ye:
My Robert shall have knowledge of this shift,
For I conceive already your deep drift.
[_Aside. Exit_.

QU. ELIN. Now shall I have my will of Huntington
Who, taking me this night for Marian,
Will hurry me away instead of her;
For he dares not stand trifling to confer.
Faith, pretty Marian, I shall meet with you,[174]
And with your lovely sweetheart Robert too:
For when we come unto a baiting-place,
If with like love my love he do not grace,
Of treason capital I will accuse him,
For trait'rous forcing me out of the court,
And guerdon his disdain with guilty death,
That of a prince's love so lightly weighs.



_Enter_ LITTLE JOHN _fighting with the_ SHERIFF _and
his men_; WARMAN _persuading him_.

LIT. JOHN. Warman, stand off!
Tit-tattle, tell not me what ye can do:
The goods, I say, are mine, and I say true.

WAR. I say the Sheriff must see them, ere they go.

LIT. JOHN. You say so, Warman: Little John says no.

SHER. I say I must, for I am the king's shrieve.

LIT. JOHN. Your must is false; your office I believe.

WATCH. Down with him! down with him!

LIT. JOHN. Ye bark at me like curs, but I will down
With twenty "Stand, and who goes there?"[175] of you,
If ye stand long tempting my patience.
Why, Master Sheriff, think you me a fool?
What justice is there you should search my trunks,
Or stay my goods for that my master owes?

SHER. Here's Justice Warman, steward to your lord,
Suspects some coin, some jewels, or some plate
That 'longs unto your lord, are in your trunks,
And the extent is out for all his goods;
Therefore we ought to see none be convey'd.

WAR. True, Little John; I am the sorrier.

LIT. JOHN. A plague upon ye else, how sore ye weep!
Why, say, thou upstart, that there were some help,
Some little, little help in this distress,
To aid our lord and master comfortless,
Is it thy part, thou screen-fac'd snotty-nose,
To hinder him that gave thee all thou hast?

_Enter_ JUSTICE WARMAN'S [_French_] WIFE _oddly attired_.

WIFE. Who's that, husband? you, you! means he you?

WAR. I, by'r Lady is it, I thank him.

WIFE. Ah, ye knave you! God's pity, husband, why dis no your worship
send the kneve to Newgate?

LIT. JOHN. Well, Master Sheriff, shall I pass or no?

SHER. Not without search.

LIT. JOHN. Then here the casket stands:
Any that dares unto it set their hands,
Let him begin.

WIFE. Do, hisband;
You are a majesty: I warrant
There's old knacks, chains, and other toys.

LIT. JOHN. But not for you, good madam beetle-brows.

WIFE. Out upon him! By my truly, Master Justice, and ye do not clap him
up, I will sue a bill of remorse, and never come between a pair of
sheets with ye. Such a kneve as this! down with him, I pray.

[_Set upon him: he knocks some down_.

WIFE. Ah, good Lord! come not near, good husband; only charge him,
charge him! Ah, good God! help, help!

_Enter_ PRINCE JOHN, _the_ BISHOP OF ELY, _the_
PRIOR OF YORK, _with others. All stay_.

JOHN. What tumult have we here? who doth resist
The king's writs with such obstinate contempt?

WIFE. This kneve.

WAR. This rebel.

JOHN. How now, Little John,
Have you no more discretion than you show?

ELY. Lay hold, and clap the traitor by the heels.

LIT. JOHN. I am no traitor, my good Lord of Ely
First hear me, then commit me, if you please.

JOHN. Speak, and be brief.

LIT. JOHN. Here is a little box,
Containing all my gettings twenty year,
Which is mine own, and no man's but mine own:
This they would rifle, this I do defend,
And about this we only do contend.

JOHN. You do the fellow wrong: his goods are his.
You only must extend upon the Earl's.

PRIOR. That was, my lord, but now is Robert Hood;
A simple yeoman, as his servants were.

WIFE. Back with that leg, my Lord Prior: there be some that were his
servants think foul scorn to be called yeomen.

PRIOR. I cry your worship mercy, Mistress Warman:
The squire, your husband, was his servant once.

LIT. JOHN. A scurvy squire, with reverence of these lords.

WIFE. Does he not speak treason, pray?

ELY. Sirrah, ye are too saucy: get you hence.

WAR. But hear me first, my lords, with patience.
This scoffing, careless fellow, Little John,
Hath loaden hence a horse 'twixt him and Much,
A silly, rude knave--Much, the miller's son.

_Enter_ MUCH, _Clown_.

MUCH. I am here to answer for myself, and have taken you in two lies at
once: first, Much is no knave, neither was it a horse Little John and I
loaded, but a little curtal of some five handfuls high, sib to the ape's
only beast at Paris Garden.[176]

LIT. JOHN. But, Master Warman, you have loaded carts,
And turned my lord's goods to your proper use.
Whoever hath the right, you do the wrong,
And are--

WIFE. What is he, kneve?

LIT. JOHN. Unworthy to be nam'd a man.

MUCH. And I'll be sworn for his wife.

WIFE. Ay, so thou mayest, Much.

MUCH. That she sets new marks of all my old lady's linen (God rest her
soul!), and my young lord never had them since.

WIFE. Out, out! I took him them but for to whiten, as God mend me.

ELY. Leave off this idle talk; get ye both hence.

LIT. JOHN. I thank your honours: we are not in love
With being here.
We must seek service that are masterless.

[_Exeunt_ MUCH _and_ LITTLE JOHN.

ELY. Lord Prior of York, here's your commission.
You are best make speed, lest in his country houses,
By his appointment, all his herds be sold.

PRIOR. I thank your honour, taking humble leave.

ELY. And, Master Warman, here's your patent sealed
For the High Sheriffwick of Nottingham;
Except the king our master do repeal
This gift of ours.

JOHN. Let him the while possess it.

ELY. A God's name, let him; he hath my good will.

JOHN. Well, Warman, this proud priest I cannot brook.
But to our other matter: send thy wife away.

WAR. Go in, good wife; the prince with me hath private conference.

WIFE. By my troth, ye will anger me: now ye have the pattern, ye should
call me nothing but Mistress Sheriff; for I tell you I stand upon my
replications. [_Exit_.

JOHN. Thinkest thou that Marian means
To 'scape this evening hence with Robin Hood?
The horse-boy told me so; and here he comes,
Disguised like a citizen, methinks.
Warman, let's in; I'll fit him presently:
Only for Marian am I now his enemy.


_Enter_ ROBIN, _like a citizen_.

ROB. H. Earl John[177] and Warman, two good friends of mine:
I think they knew me not, or if they did
I care not what can follow. I am sure
The sharpest end is death, and that will come.
But what of death or sorrow do I dream?
My Marian, my fair life, my beauteous love
Is coming, to give comfort to my grief,
And the sly queen, intending to deceive,
Hath taught us how we should her sleights receive.[178]
But who is this? God's pity! here's Prince John.

JOHN. Good even, sir. This clear evening should portend
Some frost, I think: how judge you, honest friend?

ROB. H. I am not weather-wise; but it may be
We shall have hard frost; for true charity,
Good dealing, faithful friendship, honesty,
Are chill-cold, dead with cold.

JOHN. O good sir, stay,
That frost hath lasted many a bitter day.
Know ye no frozen hearts that are belov'd?

ROB. H. Love is a flame, a fire, that being moved,
Still brighter grows. But say, are you beloved?

JOHN. I would be, if I be not: but pass that.
Are ye a dweller in this city, pray?

ROB. H. I am; and for a gentlewoman stay,
That rides some four or five mile in great haste.

_Enter_ QUEEN _and_ MARIAN.[179]

JOHN. I see your labour, sir, is not in waste,
For here come two; are either of these yours?

ROB. H. Both are--one most.[180]

JOHN. Which do you most respect?

ROB. H. The youngest and the fairest I reject.

JOHN. Robin, I'll try you, whether ye say true. [_Aside_.

ROB. H. As you with me, so, John, I'll jest with you. [_Aside_.

QU. ELIN. Marian, let me go first to Robin Hood,
And I will tell him what we do intend.

MAR. Do what your highness please; your will is mine.

JOHN. My mother is with gentle Marian:
O, it doth grieve her to be left behind.

QU. ELIN. Shall we away, my Robin, lest the queen
Betray our purpose? sweet, let us away:
I have great will to go, no heart to stay.

ROB. H. Away with thee? No; get thee far away
From me, foul Marian, fair though thou be nam'd;
For thy bewitching eyes have raised storms,
That have my name and noblesse ever sham'd;
Prince John, my dear friend once, is now for thee
Become an unrelenting enemy.

JOHN. But I'll relent and love thee, if thou leave her.

ROB. H. And Elinor my sovereign, mother-queen,[181]
That yet retains true passion in her breast,
Stands mourning yonder. Hence! I thee detest.
I will submit me to her majesty.
Great princess, if you will but ride with me
A little of my way, I will express
My folly past, and humble pardon beg.

MAR. I grant, Earl Robert, and I thank thee too.

QU. ELIN. She's not the queen; sweet Robin, it is I.

ROB. H. Hence, sorceress! thy beauty I defy.
If thou have any love at all to me,
Bestow it on Prince John; he loveth thee.

[_Exeunt_ ROBIN, MARIAN.

JOHN. And I will love thee, Robin, for this deed,
And help thee, too, in thy distressful need.

QU. ELIN. Wilt thou not stay nor speak, proud Huntington?
Ay me! some whirlwind hurries them away.

JOHN. Follow him not, fair love, that from thee flies,
But fly to him that gladly follows thee.
Wilt thou not, girl? turn'st thou away from me?

QU. ELIN. Nay, we shall have it then,
If my quaint son his mother 'gin to court. [_Aside_.

JOHN. Wilt thou not speak, fair Marian, to Prince John,
That loves thee well?

QU. ELIN. Good sir, I know you do.

JOHN. That can maintain thee.

QU. ELIN. Ay, I know you can,
But hitherto I have maintained you.

JOHN. My princely mother!

QU. ELIN. Ay, my princely son.

JOHN. Is Marian then gone hence with Huntington?

QU. ELIN. Ay, she is gone; ill may they either thrive.

JOHN. Mother, they [needs] must go, whom the devil drives;
For your sharp fury and infernal rage,
Your scorn of me, your spite to Marian,
Your overdoating love to Huntington,
Hath cross'd yourself, and me it hath undone.

QU. ELIN. I in mine own deceit have met deceit:
In brief the manner thus I will repeat.
I knew with malice that the Prior of York
Pursued Earl Robert; and I furthered it,
Though God can tell, for love of Huntington.
For thus I thought: when he was in extremes,
Need and my love would win some good regard
From him to me, if I reliev'd his want.
To this end came I to the mock spouse-feast;
To this end made I change for Marian's weed,
That me for her Earl Robert should receive:
But now I see they both of them agreed,
In my deceit I might myself deceive.
Come in with me, come in, and meditate
How to turn love to never-changing hate.

JOHN. In by yourself; I pass not for your spells.
Of youth and beauty still you are the foe:
The curse of Rosamond rests on your head,
Fair Rose confounded by your cank'rous hate,[182]
O, that she were not as to me she is,
A mother, whom by nature I must love,
Then I would tell her she were too-too base
To dote thus on a banish'd careless groom:
Then should I tell her that she were too fond
To trust[183] fair Marian to an exile's hand.

_Enter a_ MESSENGER _from_ ELY.

MES. My lord, my Lord of Ely sends for you
About important business of the state.

JOHN. Tell the proud prelate I am not dispos'd
Nor in estate to come at his command.
[_Smites him; he bleeds_.
Begone with that; or tarry, and take this!
'Zwounds! are ye list'ning for an after-errand?
I'll follow with revengeful, murd'rous hate
The banish'd, beggar'd, bankrupt Huntington.

_Enter_ SIMON, _Earl of Leicester_.

LEI. How now, Prince John? body of me! I muse
What mad moods toss ye in this busy time
To wound the messenger that Ely sent,
By our consents? i'faith, ye did not well.

JOHN. Leicester, I meant it, Ely, not his man:
His servant's head but bleeds, he headless shall
From all the issues of his traitor-neck
Pour streams of blood, till he be bloodless left.
By earth, it shall--by heaven, it shall be so!
Leicester, it shall, though all the world say no.

LEI. It shall, it shall! but how shall it be done?
Not with a stormy tempest of sharp words,
But slow, still speeches and effecting deeds.
Here comes old Lacy and his brother Hugh!
One is our friend, and the other is not true.

_Enter_ LORD LACY, SIR HUGH, _and his Boy_.

LACY. Hence, treacher, as thou art! by God's bless'd mother!
I'll lop thy legs off, though thou be my brother,
If with thy flattering tongue thou seek to hide
Thy traitorous purpose. Ah, poor Huntington!
How in one hour have villains thee undone!

HUGH. If you will not believe what I have sworn,
Conceit your worst. My Lord of Ely knows
That what I say is true.

LACY. Still facest thou?
Draw, boy, and quickly see that thou defend thee.

LEI. Patience, Lord Lacy! get you gone, Sir Hugh;
Provoke him not, for he hath told you true:
You know it, that I know the Prior of York,
Together with my good lord chancellor,
Corrupted you, Lord Sentloe, Broughton, Warman,
To feast with Robert on his day of fall.

HUGH. They lie that say it: I defy ye all.

JOHN. Now, by the rood, thou liest. Warman himself,
That creeping Judas, joy'd, and told it me.

LACY. Let me, my lords, revenge me of this wretch,
By whom my daughter and her love were lost.

JOHN. For her, let me revenge: with bitter cost,
Shall Sir Hugh Lacy and his fellows buy
Fair Marian's loss, lost by their treachery;
And thus I pay it.
[_Stabs him; he falls; Boy runs in_.

LEI. Sure payment, John.

LACY. There let the villain lie.
For this old Lacy honours thee, Prince John:
One treacherous soul is sent to answer wrong.

_Enter_ ELY, CHESTER, _Officers, Hugh Lacy's Boy_.

BOY. Here, here, my lord! look, where my master lies.

ELY. What murd'rous hand hath kill'd this gentle knight,
Good Sir Hugh Lacy, steward of my lands?

JOHN. Ely, he died by this princely hand.

ELY. Unprincely deed! Death asketh death, you know.
Arrest him, officers.

JOHN. O sir, I will obey.
You will take bail, I hope.

CHES. 'Tis more, sir, than he may.

LEI. Chester, he may by law, and therefore shall.

ELY. Who are his bail?


LACY. And I.

ELY. You are confederates.

JOHN. Holy Lord, you lie.

CHES. Be reverend, Prince John: my Lord of Ely,
You know, is Regent for his majesty,

JOHN. But here are letters from his majesty,
Sent out of Joppa, in the Holy Land,
To you, to these, to me, to all the state,
Containing a repeal of that large grant,
And free authority to take the seal
Into the hands of three lords temporal
And the Lord Archbishop of Roan, he sent.
And he shall yield it, or as Lacy lies,
Desertfully, for pride and treason stabb'd,
He shall ere long lie. Those, that intend as I,
Follow this steely ensign, lift on high.

[_Lifts up his drawn sword. Exit, cum_ LEICESTER _and_ LACY.

ELY. A thousand thousand ensigns of sharp steel,
And feather'd arrows from the bow of death,
Against proud John wrong'd Ely will employ.
My Lord of Chester, let me have your aid,
To lay the pride of haught,[184] usurping John.

CHES. Some other course than war let us bethink:
If it may be, let not uncivil broils
Our civil hands defile.

ELY. God knows that I
For quiet of the realm would aught forbear:
But give me leave, my noble lord, to fear,
When one I dearly lov'd is murdered
Under the colour of a little wrong
Done to the wasteful Earl of Huntington;
Whom John, I know, doth hate unto the death,
Only for love he bears to Lacy's daughter.

CHES. My lord, it's plain this quarrel is but pick'd
For an inducement to a greater ill;
But we will call the council of estate,
At which the Mother Queen shall present be:
Thither by summons shall Prince John be call'd,
Leicester, and Lacy, who, it seems,
Favour some factious purpose of the prince.

ELY. You have advised well, my Lord of Chester;
And as you counsel, so do I conclude.



_Enter_ ROBIN HOOD _and_ MATILDA _at one door_; LITTLE JOHN
_and_ MUCH _the Miller's son at another door_.

MUCH. Luck, I beseech thee, marry and amen!
Blessing betide them! (it be them indeed)
Ah, for my good lord and my little lady![185]

ROB. H. What, Much and John! well-met in this ill time.

LIT. JOHN. In this good time, my lord, for, being met,
The world shall not depart us till we die.[186]

MAT. Say'st thou me so, John? as I am true maid,
If I live long, well shall thy love be paid.

MUCH. Well, there be on us, simple though we stand here, have as much
love in them as Little John.

MAT. Much, I confess thou lov'st me very much,
And I will more reward it than with words.

MUCH. Nay, I know that; but we miller's children love the cog a little,
and the fair speaking.

ROB. H. And is it possible that Warman's spite
Should stretch so far, that he doth hunt the lives
Of bonny Scarlet and his brother Scathlock.

MUCH. O, ay, sir: Warman came but yesterday to take charge of the jail
at Nottingham, and this day he says he will hang the two outlaws. He
means to set them at liberty!

MAT. Such liberty God send the peevish wretch,
In his most need.

ROB. H. Now, by my honour's hope,
Yet buried in the low dust of disgrace,
He is to blame. Say, John, where must they die?

LIT. JOHN. Yonder's their mother's house, and here the tree
Whereon, poor men, they must forego their lives:
And yonder comes a lazy losel friar,
That is appointed for their confessor;
Who, when we brought your money to their mothers,
Was wishing her to patience for their deaths.

_Enter_ FRIAR TUCK _and_ RALPH, _Warman's man_.

RAL. I am timorous, sir, that the prigioners are passed from the jail.

FRIAR. Soft, sirrah! by my order I protest
Ye are too forward: 'tis no game, no jest,
We go about.

ROB. H. Matilda, walk afore
To Widow Scarlet's house; look, where it stands.
Much, man your lady: Little John and I
Will come unto you thither presently.

MUCH. Come, madam; my lord has 'pointed the properer man to go before ye.

MAT. Be careful, Robin, in this time of fear.

[_Exeunt_ MUCH, MATILDA.

FRIAR. Now, by the relics of the holy mass,
A pretty girl, a very bonny lass.

ROB. H. Friar, how like you her?

FRIAR. Marry, by my hood,
I like her well, and wish her nought but good.

RAL. Ye protract, Master Friar. I obsecrate ye with all courtesy,
omitting compliment, you would vouch or deign to proceed.

FRIAR, Deign, vouch, protract, compliment, obsecrate?
Why, goodman Tricks, who taught you thus to prate?
Your name, your name? Were you never christen'd?

RAL. My nomination Radulph is, or Ralph: Vulgars corruptly use to call
me Rafe.

FRIAR. O foul corruption of base palliardize,[187]
When idiots, witless, travail to be wise.
Age barbarous, times impious, men vicious!

Able to upraise,
Men dead many days,
That wonted to praise
The rhymes and the lays
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 upfly
To the heavens high,
With vain foolery
And rude ribaldry.
Some of them write
Of beastly delight,
Suffering their lines
To flatter these times
With pandarism base,
And lust do uncase
From the placket to the pap:
God send them ill-hap!
Some like quaint pedants,
Good wit's true recreants,
Ye cannot beseech
From pure Priscian speech.
Divers as nice,
Like this odd vice,
Are word-makers daily.
Others in courtesy,
Whenever they meet ye,
With new fashions greet ye:
Changing each congee,
Sometime beneath knee,
With, "Good sir, pardon me,"
And much more foolery,
Paltry and foppery,
Dissembling knavery:
Hands sometime kissing,
But honesty missing.
God give no blessing
To such base counterfeiting.

LIT. JOHN. Stop, Master Skelton! whither will you run?

FRIAR. God's pity! Sir John Eltham, Little John,
I had forgot myself. But to our play.
Come, goodman Fashions, let us go our way,
Unto this hanging business. Would, for me,
Some rescue or reprieve might set them free.

[_Exeunt_ FRIAR, RALPH.

ROB. H. Heard'st thou not, Little John, the friar's speech,
Wishing for rescue or a quick reprieve?

LIT. JOHN. He seems like a good fellow, my good lord.

ROB. H. He's a good fellow, John, upon my word.
Lend me thy horn, and get thee in to Much,
And when I blow this horn, come both, and help me.

LIT. JOHN. Take heed, my lord: that villain Warman knows you,
And ten to one he hath a writ against you.

ROB. H. Fear not.
Below the bridge a poor blind man doth dwell,
With him I will change my habit, and disguise:
Only be ready when I call for ye;
For I will save their lives, if it may be.

LIT. JOHN. I will do what you would immediately.

_Enter_ WARMAN, SCARLET, _and_ SCATHLOCK, _bound_;
FRIAR TUCK _as their confessor; officers with halberts_.

WAR. Master Friar, be brief; delay no time.
Scarlet and Scathlock, never hope for life:
Here is the place of execution,
And you must answer law for what is done.

SCAR. Well, if there be no remedy, we must:
Though it ill-seemeth, Warman, thou should'st be
So bloody to pursue our lives thus cruelly.

SCATH. Our mother sav'd thee fro the gallows, Warman:
His father did prefer thee to thy lord.
One mother had we both, and both our fathers
To thee and to thy father were kind friends.

FRIAR. Good fellows, here you see his kindness ends:
What he was once he doth not now consider.
You must consider of your many sins:
This day in death your happiness begins.

SCAR. If you account it happiness, good Friar,
To bear us company I you desire:
The more the merrier; we are honest men.

WAR. Ye were first outlaws, then ye proved thieves,
And now all carelessly ye scoff at death.
Both of your fathers were good, honest men;
Your mother lives, their widow, in good fame;
But you are scapethrifts, unthrifts, villains, knaves,
And as ye lived by shifts, shall die with shame.

SCATH. Warman, good words, for all your bitter deeds:
Ill-speech to wretched men is more than needs.

_Enter_ RALPH, _running_.

RAL. Sir, retire ye, for it hath thus succeeded: the carnifex or
executor, riding on an ill-curtal, hath titubated or stumbled, and is
now cripplified, with broken or fractured tibiards, and, sending you
tidings of success, saith yourself must be his deputy.

WAR. Ill-luck! but, sirrah, you shall serve the turn:
The cords that bind them you shall hang them in.

RAL. How are you, sir, of me opinionated? not to possess your
seneschalship or shrievalty, not to be Earl of Nottingham, will
Ralph be nominated by the base, scandalous vociferation of a

_Enter_ ROBIN HOOD, _like an old man_.

ROB. H. Where is the Shrieve, kind friends, I you beseech?
With his good worship let me have some speech.

FRIAR. There is the Sheriff, father: this is he.

ROB. H. Friar, good alms and many blessings! thank thee.
Sir, you are welcome to this troublous shire:
Of this day's execution did I hear.
Scarlet and Scathlock murder'd my young son:
Me have they robb'd and helplessly undone.
Revenge I would, but I am old and dry:
Wherefore, sweet master, for saint Charity,
Since they are bound, deliver them to me,
That for my son's blood I reveng'd may be.

SCAR. This old man lies: we ne'er did him such wrong.

ROB. H. I do not lie: you wot it too-too well.
The deed was such as you may shame to tell;
But I with all entreats might not prevail
With your stern, stubborn minds, bent all to blood.
Shall I have such revenge then, Master Sheriff,
That with my son's loss may suffice myself?
[ROBIN _whispers with them_.

WAR. Do, father, what thou wilt, for they must die.

FRIAR. I never heard them touch'd with blood till now.

WAR. Notorious villains! and they made their brags,
The Earl of Huntington would save their lives:
But he is down the wind, as all such shall,
That revel, waste and spend, and take no care.

ROB. H. My horn once winded, I'll unbind my belt,
Whereat the swords and bucklers are fast-tied.

SCATH. Thanks to your honour. [_Aside_.] Father, we confess,
And were our arms unbound, we would upheave
Our sinful hands with sorrowing hearts to heaven.

ROB. H. I will unbind you, with the sheriff's leave.

WAR. Do: help him, Ralph: go to them, Master Friar.

ROB. H. And as ye blew your horns at my son's death,
So will I sound your knell with my best breath:
[_Sounds his horn_.
And here's a blade, that hangeth at my belt,
Shall make ye feel in death what my son felt.

_Enter_ LITTLE JOHN _and_ MUCH.[188] _Fight: the_ FRIAR,
_making as if he helped the_ SHERIFF, _knocks down his men,
crying, Keep the king's peace_!

RAL. O, they must be hanged, father.

ROB. H. Thy master and thyself supply their rooms.
Warman, approach me not! tempt not my wrath,
For if thou do, thou diest remediless.

WAR. It is the outlaw'd Earl of Huntington!
Down with him, Friar! O, thou dost mistake![189]
Fly, Ralph, we die else! let us raise the shire.

[SHERIFF _runs away, and his men_.

FRIAR. Farewell. Earl Robert, as I am true friar,
I had rather be thy clerk than serve the Prior.

ROB. H. A jolly fellow. Scarlet, know'st thou him?

SCAR. He is of York, and of St Mary's cloister,


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