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

Part 4 out of 10

FITZ. Nay, Warman, stay; thou shalt have thy will.

WAR. Art thou a blind man, and canst see my shame?
To hinder treachers God restoreth sight,
And giveth infants tongues to cry aloud
A woful woe against the treacherous.

_Enter_ MUCH, _running_.

MUCH. Hold, hold, hold! I hear say my fellow Warman is about to hang
himself, and make I some speed to save him a labour. O good master,
Justice Shrieve, have you execution in hand, and is there such a
murrain among thieves and hangmen, that you play two parts in one? For
old acquaintance, I will play one part. The knot under the ear, the
knitting to the tree: Good Master Warman, leave that work for me.

WAR. Despatch me, Much, and I will pray for thee.

MUCH. Nay, keep your prayers, nobody sees us.
[_He takes the rope, and offers to climb_.

FITZ. Down, sirrah, down! whither, a knave's name, climb you?

MUCH. A plague on ye for a blind sinksanker![235] would I were your
match. You are much blind, i'faith, can hit so right.


LIT. JOHN. What, Master Warman, are ye come to yield
A true account for your false stewardship?


SCATH. Much, if thou mean'st to get a hundred pound,
Present us to the Shrieve of Nottingham.

MUCH. Mass, I think there was such proclamation.
Come, my small fellow John,
You shall have half, and therefore bring in one.

LIT. JOHN. No, my big fellow, honest Master Much,
Take all unto yourself: I'll be no half.

MUCH. Then stand: you shall be the two thieves, and I'll be the
O Master Shrieve of Nottingham,
When ears unto my tidings came,[236]
(I'll speak in prose, I miss this verse vilely) that Scathlock and
Scarlet were arrested by Robin Hood, my master, and Little John, my
fellow, and Much, his servant, and taken from you, Master Shrieve,
being well forward in the hanging way, wherein ye now are (and God keep
ye in the same), and also that you, Master Shrieve, would give any man
in town, city, or country a hundred pound of lawful arrant[237] money
of England, that would bring the same two thieves, being these two; now
I, the said Much, challenge of you the said Shrieve, bringing them, the
same money.

SCAR. Faith, he cannot pay thee, Much.

MUCH. Ay, but while this end is in my hand, and that about his neck,
he is bound to it.


WAR. Mock on, mock on: make me your jesting game.
I do deserve much more than this small shame.

ROB. H. Disconsolate and poor dejected man,
Cast from thy neck that shameful sign of death,
And live for me, if thou amend thy life,
As much in favour as thou ever didst.

WAR. O, worse than any death,
When a man wrong'd his wronger pitieth!

ELY. Warman, be comforted, rise and amend:
On my word, Robin Hood will be thy friend.

ROB. H. I will indeed: go in, heart-broken man.
Father Fitzwater, pray lead him in.
Kind Marian, with sweet comforts comfort him,
And my tall yeomen, as you me affect,
Upbraid him not with his forepassed life.
Warman, go in; go in and comfort thee.

WAR. O, God requite your honour's courtesy.

MAR. Scathlock or Scarlet, help us, some of ye.


_Enter_ FRIAR TUCK _in his truss, without his weed_.

FRIAR. Jesu benedicite!
Pity on pity,
Mercy on mercy,
Misery on misery!
O, such a sight,
As by this light,
Doth me affright?

ROB. H. Tell us the matter, prythee, holy Friar.

FRIAR. Sir Doncaster the priest and the proud Prior
Are stripp'd and wounded in the way to Bawtrey,
And if there go not speedy remedy,
They'll die, they'll die in this extremity.

ROB. H. Alas! direct us to that wretched place:
I love mine uncle, though he hateth me.

FRIAR. My weed I cast to keep them from the cold,
And Jenny, gentle girl, tore all her smock
The bloody issue of their wounds to stop.

ROB. H. Will you go with us, my good Lord of Ely?

ELY. I will, and ever praise thy perfect charity.


_Enter_ PRINCE JOHN _solus, in green: with bow and arrows_.

JOHN. Why, this is somewhat like: now may I sing,
As did the Wakefield Pinder in his note--

_At Michaelmas cometh my covenant out,
My master gives me my fee:
Then, Robin, I'll wear thy Kendal green,
And wend to the greenwood with thee_.[238]

But for a name now: John it must not be,
Already Little John on him attends:
Greenleaf? Nay, surely there's such a one already:
Well, I'll be Woodnet, hap what happen may.


Here comes a green coat (good luck be my guide)
Some sudden shift might help me to provide.

SCATH. What, fellow William, did you meet our master?

JOHN. I did not meet him yet, my honest friend.

SCATH. My honest friend! why, what a term is here?
My name is Scathlock, man, and if thou be
No other than thy garments show to me,
Thou art my fellow, though I know thee not.
What is thy name? When wert thou entertain'd?

JOHN. My name is Woodnet; and this very day
My noble master, Earl of Huntington,
Did give me both my fee and livery.

SCATH. Your noble master, Earl of Huntington!
I'll lay a crown you are a counterfeit,
And that, you know, lacks money of a noble.
Did you receive your livery and fee,
And never heard our orders read unto you?
What was the oath was given you by the Friar?

JOHN. Who?--Friar Tuck?

SCATH. Ay, do not play the liar,
For he comes here himself to shrive.


JOHN. Scathlock, farewell; I will away.

SCATH. See you this arrow? it says nay.
Through both your sides shall fly this feather,
If presently you come not hither.

FRIAR. Now heaven's true liberality
Fall ever for his charity
Upon the head of Robin Hood,
That to his very foes doth good.
Lord God! how he laments the Prior,
And bathes his wounds against the fire.
Fair Marian, God requite it her,
Doth even as much for Doncaster,
Whom newly she hath lain in bed,
To rest his weary, wounded head.

SCATH. Ho! Friar Tuck, know you this mate?

FRIAR. What's he?

SCATH. He says my master late
Gave him his fee and livery.

FRIAR. It is a leasing, credit me.
How chance, sir, then you were not sworn?

JOHN. What mean this groom and lozel friar,
So strictly matters to inquire?
Had I a sword and buckler here,
You should aby these questions dear.

FRIAR. Say'st thou me so, lad? lend him thine,
For in this bush here lieth mine.
Now will I try this new-come guest.

SCATH. I am his first man, Friar Tuck,
And if I fail, and have no luck,
Then thou with him shalt have a pluck.

FRIAR. Be it so, Scathlock. Hold thee, lad,
No better weapons can be had:
The dew doth them a little rust;
But, hear ye, they are tools of trust.[239]

JOHN. Gramercy, Friar, for this gift,
And if thou come unto my shrift,
I'll make thee call those fellows fools
That on their foes bestow such tools.

SCATH. Come, let's to't.

[_Fight, and the_ FRIAR _looks on_.

FRIAR. The youth is deliver[240] and light,
He presseth Scathlock with his might:
Now, by my beads, to do him right,
I think he be some tried knight.

SCATH. Stay, let us breathe!

JOHN. I will not stay;
If you leave, Friar, come away.

SCATH. I prythee, Friar, hold him play.

FRIAR. Friar Tuck will do the best he may.


_Enter_ MARIAN.

MAR. Why, what a noise of swords is here!
Fellows, and fight our bower so near?

SCATH. Mistress, he is no man of yours,
That fights so fast with Friar Tuck;
But, on my word, he is a man
As good for strength as any can.

MAR. Indeed, he's more than common men can be;
In his high heart there dwells the blood of kings.
Go call my Robin, Scathlock: [_Aside_] 'tis Prince John.

SCATH. Mistress, I will: I pray [thee] part the fray. [_Exit_.

MAR. I prythee go, I will do what I may.
Friar, I charge thee hold thy hand.

FRIAR. Nay, younker, to your tackling stand.
What, all amort,[241] will you not fight?

JOHN. I yield, unconquer'd by thy might,
But by Matilda's glorious sight.

FRIAR. Mistress, he knows you: what is he?

JOHN. Like to amazing wonder she appears,
And from her eye flies love unto my heart,
Attended by suspicious thoughts and fears
That numb the vigour of each outward part.
Only my sight hath all satiety
And fulness of delight, viewing her deity.

MAR. But I have no delight in you, Prince John.

FRIAR. Is this Prince John?
Give me thy hand, thou art a proper man:
And for this morning's work, by saints above,
Be ever sure of Friar Tuck's true love.

JOHN. Be not offended that I touch thy shrine;
Make this hand happy: let it fold in thine.


ROB. H. What saucy woodman, Marian, stands so near?

JOHN. A woodman, Robin, that would strike your deer
With all his heart. Nay, never look so strange,
You see this fickle world is full of change:
John is a ranger, man, compell'd to range.

FITZ. You are young, wild lord, and well may travel bear.

JOHN. What, my old friend Fitzwater, are you there?
And you, Lord Ely? and old best-betruss'd?[242]
Then I perceive that to this gear we must.
A mess of my good friends! which of you four
Will purchase thanks by yielding to the king
The body of the rash, rebellious John?
Will you, Fitzwater?

FITZ. No, John, I defy[243]
To stain my old hands in thy youthful blood.

JOHN. You will, Lord Ely; I am sure you will.

ELY. Be sure, young man, my age means thee no ill.

JOHN. O, you will have the praise, brave Robin Hood.
The lusty outlaw, lord of this large wood:
He'll lead a king's son prisoner to a king,
And bid the brother smite the brother dead.

ROB. H. My purpose you have much misconstrued:
Prince John, I would not for the wide world's wealth
Incense his majesty, but do my best
To mitigate his wrath, if he be mov'd.

JOHN. Will none of you? then, here's one I dare say,
That from his childhood knows how to betray:
Warman, will you not help to hinder all you may?

WAR. With what I have been, twit me not, my lord:
My old sins at my soul I do detest.

JOHN. Then, that he came this way Prince John was blest.
Forgive me, Ely; pardon me, Fitzwater:
And Robin, to thy hands myself I yield.

ROB. H. And as my heart from hurt I will thee shield.

_Enter_ MUCH, _running_.

MUCH. Master, fly! hide ye, mistress! we all shall be taken.

ROB. H. Why, what's the matter?

MUCH. The king! the king! and twelve and twenty score of horses.

ROB. H. Peace, fool! we have no cause from him to fly.


LIT. JOHN. Scarlet and I were hunting on the plain;
To us came royal Richard from his train,
For a great train of his is hard at hand,
And questioned us if we serv'd Robin Hood?
I said we did; and then his majesty,
Putting this massy chain about my neck,
Said what I shame to say, but joy'd to hear.
Let Scarlet tell it, it befits not me.

SCAR. Quoth our good king, Thy name is Little John,
And thou hast long time serv'd Earl Huntington:
Because thou left'st him not in misery,
A hundred marks I give thee yearly fee,
And from henceforth thou shalt a squire be.

MUCH. O lord, what luck had I to run away!
I should have been made a knight or a lady, sure.

SCAR. Go, said the king, and to your master say,
Richard is come to call him to the court,
And with his kingly presence chase the clouds
Of grief and sorrow, that in misty shades
Have veil'd the honour of Earl Huntington.

ROB. H. Now God preserve him! hie you back again,
And guide him, lest in bypaths he mistake.
Much, fetch a richer garment for my father;
Good Friar Tuck, I prythee rouse thy wits:
Warman, visit mine uncle and Sir Doncaster,
See if they can come forth to grace our show.
God's pity, Marian, let your Jenny wait.
Thanks, my lord chancellor, you are well prepar'd;
And, good Prince John, since you are all in green,
Disdain not to attend on Robin Hood:
Frolic, I pray; I trust to do ye good.

_Enter_ PRIOR _and_ SIR DONCASTER.[244]

Welcome, good uncle, welcome, Sir Doncaster.
Say, will ye sit; I fear ye cannot stand.

PRIOR. Yes, very well.

ROB. H. Why, cheerly, cheerly then.
The trumpet sounds, the king is now at hand:
Lords, yeomen, maids, in decent order stand.

_The trumpets sound the while_ ROBIN HOOD _places them.
Enter first, bareheaded_, LITTLE JOHN _and_ SCARLET;
_likewise_ CHESTER _and_ LEICESTER, _bearing the sword
and sceptre; the_ KING _follows, crowned, clad in green;
after him_ QUEEN MOTHER; _after her_ SALISBURY _and_
_who with all his company kneel down and cry_--

ALL. God save King Richard! Lord preserve your grace!

KING. Thanks all; but chiefly, Huntington, to thee.
Arise, poor earl; stand up, my late-lost son.
And on thy shoulders let me rest my arms,
That have been toiled long with heathen wars.
True pillar of my state, right lord indeed,
Whose honour shineth in the den of need,
I am even full of joy and full of woe,
To see thee, glad; but sad to see thee so.

ROB. H. O, that I could pour out my soul in prayers,
And praises for this kingly courtesy!
Do not, dread lord, grieve at my low estate:
Never so rich, never so fortunate,
Was Huntington as now himself he finds;
And to approve it, may it please your grace,
But to accept such presents at the hand
Of your poor servant as he hath prepar'd.
You shall perceive the Emperor of the East,
Whom you contended with at Babylon,
Had not such presents to present you with.

KING. Art thou so rich? swift,[245] let me see thy gifts.

ROB. H. First, take again this jewel you had lost,
Aged Fitzwater, banished by John.

KING. A gem indeed! no prince hath such a one.
Good, good old man, as welcome unto me
As cool fresh air in heat's extremity.

FITZ. And I as glad to kiss my sovereign's hand,
As the wreck'd swimmer, when he feels the land.

QUEEN. Welcome, Fitzwater, I am glad to see you.

FITZ. I thank your grace: but let me hug these twain,
Leicester and Richmond, Christ's sworn champions,
That follow'd Richard in his holy war.

RICH. Noble Fitzwater, thanks, and welcome both.

LEI. O God, how glad I am to see this lord!
I cannot speak, but welcome at a word.

ROB. H. Next, take good Ely in your royal hands,
Who fled from death and most uncivil bonds.

KING. Robin, thy gifts exceed. Morton, my chancellor!
In this man giv'st thou holiness and honour.

ELY. Indeed he gives me, and he gave me life,
Preserving me from fierce pursuing foes.
When I, to blame, had wrought him many woes.
With me he likewise did preserve this seal,
Which I surrender to your majesty.

KING. Keep it, good Ely, keep it still for me.

ROB. H. The next fair jewel that I will present
Is richer than both these; yet in the foil,
My gracious lord, it hath a foul default
Which if you pardon, boldly I protest,
It will in value far exceed the rest.

JOHN. That's me he means; i'faith, my turn is next.
He calls me foil: i'faith, I fear a foil.
Well, 'tis a mad lord, this same Huntington. [_Aside_.

ROB. H. Here is Prince John, your brother, whose revolt
And folly in your absence, let me crave,
With his submission may be buried;
For he is now no more the man he was,
But dutiful in all respects to you.

KING. Pray God it prove so. Well, good Huntington,
For thy sake pardon'd is our brother John,
And welcome to us in all hearty love.

ROB. H. This last I give, as tenants do their lands,
With a surrender to receive again
The same into their own possession;
No Marian, but Fitzwater's chaste Matilda:
The precious jewel, that poor Huntington
Doth in this world hold as his best esteem.
Although with one hand I surrender her,
I hold the other, as one looking still
Richard return her: so I hope he will.

KING. Else God forbid. Receive thy Marian back,
And never may your love be separate,
But flourish fairly to the utmost date.

ROB. H. Now please my king to enter Robin's bower,
And take such homely welcome as he finds,
It shall be reckon'd as my happiness.

KING. With all my heart. Then, as combined friends,
Go we together: here all quarrel ends.



SIR JOHN. Then, Skelton, here I see you will conclude.

SKEL. And reason good: have we not held too long?

SIR JOHN. No, in good sadness, I dare gage my life,
His highness will accept it very kindly:
But, I assure you, he expects withal
To see the other matters tragical,
That follow in the process of the story.
Wherein are many a sad accident,
Able to make the stoutest mind relent:
I need not name the points, you know them all!
From Marian's eye shall not one tear be shed?
Skelton, i' faith, 'tis not the fashion.
The king must grieve, the queen must take it ill:
Ely must mourn, aged Fitzwater weep,
Prince John, the lords, his yeomen must lament,
And wring their woful hands for Robin's woe.
Then must the sick man, fainting by degrees,
Speak hollow words, and yield his Marian,
Chaste maid Matilda, to her father's hands;
And give her, with King Richard's full consent,
His lands, his goods, late seiz'd on by the Prior,
Now by the Prior's treason made the king's.
Skelton, there are a many other things,
That ask long time to tell them lineally;
But ten times longer will the action be.

SKEL. Sir John, i' faith, I know not what to do,
And I confess that all you say is true.
Will you do one thing for me? Crave the king
To see two parts: say, 'tis a pretty thing.
I know you can do much; if you excuse me,
While Skelton lives, Sir John, be bold to use me.

SIR JOHN. I will persuade the king; but how can you
Persuade all these beholders to content?

SKEL. Stay, Sir John Eltham: what to them I say,
Deliver to the king from me, I pray.
Well-judging hearers, for a while suspend
Your censures of this play's unfinish'd end,
And Skelton promises for this offence
The second part shall presently be penn'd.
There shall you see, as late my friend did note,
King Richard's revels at Earl Robert's bower;
The purpos'd mirth and the performed moan;
The death of Robin and his murderers.
For interest of your stay, this will I add:
King Richard's voyage back to Austria,
The swift-returned tidings of his death,
The manner of his royal funeral.[246]
Then John shall be a lawful crowned king,
But to Matilda bear unlawful love.
Aged Fitzwater's final banishment;
His piteous end, of power tears to move
From marble pillars. The catastrophe
Shall show you fair Matilda's tragedy,
Who (shunning John's pursuit) became a nun,
At Dunmow[247] Abbey, where she constantly
Chose death to save her spotless chastity.
Take but my word, and if I fail in this,
Then let my pains be baffled with a hiss.



_The Death of Robert Earle of Huntington. Otherwise called Robin Hood of
merrie Sherwodde: with the lamentable Tragedie of chaste Matilda, his
faire maid Marian, poysoned at Dunmowe by King Iohn. Acted by the Right
Honourable the Earle of Notingham, Lord high Admirall of England, his
seruants. Imprinted at London, for William Leake_ 1601. 4to. B.L.


Henry Chettle, who certainly joined Anthony Munday in writing "The Death
of Robert Earl of Huntington,"[248] if he did not also assist in penning
"The Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington," was a very prolific
dramatic author. Malone erroneously states that he was the writer of, or
was concerned in, thirty plays; according to information which he
himself furnishes, forty-two are, either wholly or in part, to be
assigned to Chettle. The titles of only twenty-five are inserted in the
"Biographia Dramatica." The proof of his connection with the historical
play now reprinted has been already supplied,[249] and it is derived
from the same source as nearly all the rest of the intelligence
regarding his works--the MSS. of Henslowe.

Of the incidents of the life of Henry Chettle absolutely nothing is
known: we are ignorant of the times and places of his birth and death,
and of the manner in which he obtained his education. It has been
conjectured that he either was, or had been, a printer, but the point
is very doubtful.[250] In a tract by him, called "England's Mourning
Garment," on the death of Queen Elizabeth, he speaks of himself as
having been "young almost thirty years ago," and as having been a
witness of what passed at that period in the Court. If Ritson's
conjecture [had been] well-founded, he [might have been admitted as]
an author as early as 1578;[251] but the poetical tract assigned to
him [under that date was the work of some other writer with the same
initials, whose name is not known.]

The first account we have of Chettle in connection with the stage is
under date of April 1599,[252] when, according to Henslowe, he was
engaged with Dekker in writing a play called "Troilus and Cressida;" but
there is good reason to infer, that if in 1603 he were "young almost
thirty years ago," he had written for the theatre before 1599. Besides,
in his "Kind Hartes Dreame," produced about three months after the
death of his friend Robert Greene, on September 3d, 1592, he speaks
generally of his connection with the dramatic poets of that day, as if
it were not newly formed. Malone supposed that Shakespeare, with whom
Chettle had then recently become acquainted, was alluded to in the same
tract. In "England's Mourning Garment" Chettle addresses a stanza to
"silver-tongued Melicert," [whom some critics have supposed to be
Shakespeare. But this is mere conjecture.]

Francis Meres, in his often-quoted "Palladis Tamia" (1598), includes
Chettle in a long list of other writers for the stage, as "one of the
best for comedy;" but in earlier works upon the poetry and literature of
England, such as Webbe's "Discourse" in 1586, and Puttenham's "Art of
English Poesie" in 1589, he is not mentioned.

Henslowe's list of plays, with the authors' names attached, as [edited
by Mr Collier], begins [in February 1591-2;] and there the first mention
of Chettle is in February 1597-8: between that date and March 1602-3, a
period of little more than five years, he wrote, or assisted in writing,
all the dramatic performances with which his name is associated; a fact
of itself sufficient to show, if Henslowe be accurate, that in many of
them his share must have been very inconsiderable, perhaps only
amounting to a few alterations. They are the following, exclusive of
those pieces already enumerated,[253] in which he was concerned with

1. The Valiant Welchman, by Michael Drayton and Henry Chettle, February
1597-8. Printed in 1615.[254]

2. Earl Goodwin and his Three Sons, Part I., by Michael Drayton, Henry
Chettle, Thomas Dekker, and Robert Wilson, March 1598. Not printed.

3. Earl Goodwin, Part II., by the same authors, and under the same date
in Henslowe's papers. Not printed.

4. Piers of Exton, by the same authors, same date. Not printed.

5. Black Batman of the North, Part I., by Henry Chettle, April 1598. Not

6. Black Batman of the North, Part II., by Henry Chettle and Robert
Wilson. Same date. Not printed.

7. The Play of a Woman, by Henry Chettle, July 1598. Not printed.[255]

8. The Conquest of Brute with the first finding of the Bath, by John
Day, Henry Chettle, and John Singer. Same date. Not printed.

9. Hot Anger soon Cold, by Henry Porter, Henry Chettle, and Ben Jonson,
August 1598. Not printed.

10. Catiline's Conspiracy, by Robert Wilson and Henry Chettle. Same
date. Not printed.

11. 'Tis no Deceit to Deceive the Deceiver, by Henry Chettle, September
1598. Not printed.

12. Aeneas' Revenge, with the Tragedy of Polyphemus, by Henry Chettle,
February 1598-9. Not printed.

13. Agamemnon, by Henry Chettle and Thomas Dekker, June 1599. Not
printed. Malone thought that this was the same play as "Troilus and
Cressida" before mentioned.

14. The Stepmother's Tragedy, by Henry Chettle, August 1599. Not

15. Patient Grissel, by Thomas Dekker, Henry Chettle, and William
Haughton, December 1599. Printed in 1603.

16. The Arcadian Virgin, by Henry Chettle and William Haughton. Same
date. Not printed.

17. Damon and Pithias, by Henry Chettle, January 1599-1600. Not

18. The Seven Wise Masters, by Henry Chettle, Thomas Dekker, William
Haughton, and John Day, March 1599-1600. Not printed.

19. The Golden Ass and Cupid and Psyche, by Thomas Dekker, John Day, and
Henry Chettle, April 1600. Not printed.

20. The Wooing of Death, by Henry Chettle. Same date. Not printed.

21. The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green, by Henry Chettle and John Day.
Same date. Printed in 1659.

22. All is not Gold that Glisters, by Samuel Rowley and Henry Chettle,
March 1600. Not printed.

23. Sebastian, King of Portugal, by Henry Chettle and Thomas Dekker,
April 1601. Not printed.

24. Cardinal Wolsey, Part I., by Henry Chettle, August 1601. Not

25. Cardinal Wolsey, Part II., by Henry Chettle, May 1602. Not printed.

26. The Orphan's Tragedy, by Henry Chettle, September 1601. Not printed.

27. Too Good to be True, by Henry Chettle, Richard Hathwaye, and
Wentworth Smith, November 1601. Not printed.

28. Love Parts Friendship, by Henry Chettle and Wentworth Smith, May
1602. Not printed.

29. Tobyas, by Henry Chettle. Same date. Not printed.

30. Jeptha, by Henry Chettle. Same date. Not printed.

31. A Danish Tragedy, by Henry Chettle. Same date. Not printed.

32. Femelanco, by Henry Chettle and ---- Robinson, September 1602. Not

33. Lady Jane, Part I., by Henry Chettle, Thomas Dekker, Thomas Haywood,
Wentworth Smith, and John Webster, November 1602. Not printed.

34. Lady Jane, Part II., by the same authors, Smith excepted. Same date.
Not printed.

35. The London Florentine, Part I., by Thomas Heywood and Henry Chettle,
December 1602. Not printed.

36. The London Florentine, Part II., by the same authors. Same date. Not

37. The Tragedy of Hoffman, by Henry Chettle. Same date. Printed in

38. Jane Shore, by Henry Chettle and John Day, March 1602-3. Not

Among the scattered notices in Henslowe's papers is an entry, dated
September 3d, 1599, of 40s. advanced to Chettle, Jonson, Dekker, "and
other gentlemen," on account of a tragedy they were engaged upon called
"Robert the Second, King of Scots."

The interest of the "second part" of "Robert Earl of Huntington," on the
whole, is stronger than that of the first part, and some powerful,
though not always tasteful, writing gives effect to the situations. The
death of Robin Hood takes place as early as the end of the first act,
and attention is afterwards directed to the two, otherwise unconnected,
plots of the fate of Lady Bruce and her little son, and of the love of
King John for Matilda. Robert Davenport's Tragedy of "King John and
Matilda," printed in 1655, goes precisely over the same ground, and with
many decided marks of imitation, especially in the conduct of the story.
Davenport's production is inferior in most respects to the earlier work
of Chettle and Munday.


PRINCE JOHN, _afterwards King_.
ROBERT, _Earl of Huntington_.
MUCH, _the Clown_.
BOY, _son of Lady Bruce_.
_Maskers, Messengers, Soldiers, &c_.



_Enter_ FRIAR TUCK.[258]

FRIAR. Holla, holla, holla! follow, follow, follow!
[_Like noise within_.

Now, benedicite!
What foul absurdity,
Folly and foolery
Had like to follow me!
I and my mates,
Like addle-pates,
Inviting great states
To see our last play,
Are hunting the hay,
With "Ho! that way
The goodly hart ran,"
With "Follow, Little John!
Much, play the man!"
And I, like a sot,
Have wholly forgot
The course of our plot
But, cross-bow, lie down,
Come on, friar's gown,
Hood, cover my crown,
And with a low beck
Prevent a sharp check.

Blithe sit ye all, and wink at our rude cry:
Mind, where we left in Sherwood merrily
The king, his train Robin, his yeomen tall,
Gone to the wood to see the fat deer fall.
We left maid Marian busy in the bower,
And pretty Jenny looking every hour
For their returning from the hunting-game,
And therefore seek to set each thing in frame.
Warman all woful for his sin we left:
Sir Doncaster, whose villanies and theft
You never heard of, but too soon ye shall,
Housed[259] with the Prior, shame them both befall!
They two will make our mirth be short and small.
But lest I bring ye sorrow ere the time,
Pardon I beg of your well-judging eyne,
And take in part bad prologue and rude play.
The hunters halloo! Tuck must needs away.
Therefore down, weed;

Bow, do the deed
To make the stag bleed;
And if my hand speed,
Hey for a cry,
With a throat strain'd high,
And a loud yall
At the beast's fall


KING. Where is our mother?[260]

JOHN. Mounted in a stand:
Six fallow deer have died by her hand.

FITZ. Three stags I slew.

ELY. Two bucks by me fell down.

CHES. As many died by me.

SAL. But I had three.

JOHN. Scathlock, where's Much?

SCATH. When last I saw him, may it please your grace,
He and the Friar footed it apace.

JOHN. Scathlock, no grace--your fellow and plain John.

LIT. JOHN. I warrant you, Much will be here anon.

JOHN. Think'st thou, Little John, that he must Jenny wed?

LIT. JOHN. No doubt he must.

JOHN. Then to adorn his head,
We shall have horns good store.

KING. God, for thy grace,
How could I miss the stag I had in chase?
Twice did I hit him in the very neck,
When back my arrows flew, as they had smit
On some sure armour. Where is Robin Hood
And the wight[261] Scarlet? Seek them, Little John.
I'll have that stag, before I dine, to-day.

_Enter_ MUCH.

MUCH. O, the Friar, the Friar, the Friar!

KING. Why, how now, Much?

MUCH. Cry ye mercy, Master King:[262] marry, this is the matter.
Scarlet is following the stag you hit, and has almost lodged him: now,
the Friar has the best bow but yours in all the field; which and
Scarlet had, he would have him straight.

KING. Where is thy master?

MUCH. Nay, I cannot tell, nor the Friar neither.

SCATH. I hear them halloo far off in the wood.

KING. Come, Much, can'st lead us where as Scarlet is?

MUCH. Never fear you: follow me.

[_Exeunt hallooing_.



DON. You were resolv'd to have him poisoned,
Or kill'd, or made away, you car'd not how:
What devil makes you doubtful now to do't?

PRIOR. Why, Doncaster, his kindness in our needs.

DON. A plague upon his kindness! let him die.
I never temper'd poison in my life,
But I employ'd it. By th'mass, and I lose this,
For ever look to lose my company.

PRIOR. But will you give it him?

DON. That cannot be.
The queen, Earl Chester, and Earl Salisbury,
If they once see me, I am a dead man:
Or did they hear my name, I'll lay my life,
They all would hunt me for my life.

PRIOR. What hast thou done to them?

DON. Faith, some odd toys,
That made me fly the south: but pass we them.
Here is the poison; will you give it Robin?

PRIOR. Now, by this gold, I will.

DON. Or, as I said,
For ever I'll defy your company.

PRIOR. Well, he shall die, and in his jollity:
And in my head I have a policy
To make him die disgrac'd.

DON. O, tell it, Prior!

PRIOR. I will, but not as now;
[_Call the_ FRIAR _within_.
We'll seek a place: the woods have many ears,
And some, methinks, are calling for the Friar.[263]

_Enter_ LITTLE JOHN _and_ SCATHLOCK, _calling the_
FRIAR, _as before_.

LIT. JOHN. The Friar! the Friar!

SCATH. Why, where's this Friar?


FRIAR. Here, sir: what is your desire?

_Enter_ ROBIN HOOD _and_ WARMAN.[264]

ROB. H. Why, Friar, what a murrain dost thou mean?
The king calls for thee; for a mighty stag
(That hath a copper-ring about his neck
With letters on it, which he would have read)
Hath Scarlet kill'd. I pray thee, go thy way.

FRIAR. Master, I will: no longer will I stay.


ROB. H. Good uncle, be more careful of your health,
And yours, Sir Doncaster; your wounds are green.

BOTH. Through your great kindness we are comforted.

ROB. H. And, Warman, I advise you to more mirth.
Shun solitary walks, keep company:
Forget your fault; I have forgiv'n the fault,
Good Warman, be more blithe; and at this time
A little help my Marian and her maid.
Much shall come to you straight: a little now
We must all strive to do the best we may.
[_Exit winding_.[265]

WAR. On you and her I'll wait until my dying day.

[WARMAN _is going out_; DONCASTER _pulls him_.

DON. Warman, a word. My good Lord Prior and I
Are full of grief to see thy misery.

WAR. My misery, Sir Doncaster? why, I thank God,
I never was in better state than now.

PRIOR. Why, what a servile slavish mind hast thou!
Art thou a man, and canst be such a beast,
Ass-like to bear the burthen of thy wrongs?

WAR. What wrong have I? is't wrong to be reliev'd?

DON. Reliev'd, say'st thou? why, shallow-witted fool,
Dost thou not see Robin's ambitious pride,
And how he climbs by pitying, and aspires
By humble looks, good deeds, and such fond toys,
To be a monarch reigning over us,
As if we were the vassals to his will?

WAR. I am his vassal, and I will be still.

PRIOR. Warman, thou art a fool. I do confess,
Were these good deeds done in sincerity--
Pity of mine, thine[266] or this knight's distress,
Without vain brags--it were true charity:
But to relieve our fainting bodies' wants,
And grieve our souls with quips and bitter 'braids,
Is good turns overturn'd: no thanks we owe
To any whatsoever helps us so.

WAR. Neither himself nor any that he keeps
Ever upbraided me, since I came last.

DON. O God, have mercy on thee, silly ass!
Doth he not say to every guest that comes,
This same is Warman, that was once my steward?

WAR. And what of that?

PRIOR. Is't not as much to say,
Why, here he stands that once did me betray?

DON. Did he not bring a troop to grace himself,
Like captives waiting on a conqueror's chair,
And calling of them out by one and one,
Presented them, like fairings, to the king?[267]

PRIOR. O, ay: there was a rare invention.
A plague upon the fool!
I hate him worse for that than all the rest.

WAR. Why should you hate him? why should you--or you--
Envy this noble lord thus, as you do?

DON. Nay rather, why dost thou not join in hate
With us, that lately liv'd, like us, in wealthy state?
Remember this, remember, foolish man,
How thou hast been the Shrieve of Nottingham.

PRIOR. Cry to thy thoughts, let this thought never cease--
"I have been justice of my sovereign's peace,
Lord of fair livings; men with cap and knee
In liveries waited hourly on me."

DON. And when thou think'st thou hast been such and such,
Think then what 'tis to be a mate to Much?
To run when Robin bids, come at his call,
Be Mistress Marian's man.

PRIOR. Nay, think withal--

WAR. What shall I think, but think upon my need,
When men fed dogs, and me they would not feed?
When I despair'd through want, and sought to die,
My piteous master, of his charity,
Forgave my fault, reliev'd and saved me.
This do I think upon; and you should think
(If you had hope of soul's salvation)--
First, Prior, that he is of thy flesh and blood,
That thou art uncle unto Robin Hood;
That by extortion thou didst get his lands--
God and I know how it came to thy hands:
How thou pursued'st him in his misery,
And how heaven plagued thy heart's extremity.
Think, Doncaster, when, hired by this Prior,
Thou cam'st to take my master with the Friar,
And wert thyself ta'en; how he set thee free,
Gave thee an hundred pound to comfort thee.
And both bethink ye, how but yesterday
Wounded and naked in the field you lay;
How with his own hand he did raise your heads,
Pour'd balm into your wounds, your bodies fed,
Watch'd when ye slept, wept when he saw your woe--

DON. Stay, Warman, stay! I grant that he did so;
And you, turn'd honest, have forsworn the villain?

WAR. Even from my soul I villany defy.

PRIOR. A blessed hour; a fit time now to die.

DON. And you shall, conscience.

[_Stabs him_, WARMAN _falls_.

WAR. O, forgive me, God,
And save my master from their bloody hands!

PRIOR. What, hast thou made him sure?

DON. It's dead--sure he is dead, if that be sure?

PRIOR. Then let us thrust the dagger in his hand,
And when the next comes, cry he kill'd himself.

DON. That must be now: yonder comes Robin Hood.
No life in him?

PRIOR. No, no, not any life.
Three mortal wounds have let in piercing air,
And at their gaps his life is clean let out.


ROB. H. Who is it, uncle, that you so bemoan?

PRIOR. Warman, good nephew, whom Sir Doncaster and I
Found freshly bleeding, as he now doth lie.
You were scarce gone, when he did stab himself.

ROB. H. O God!
He in his own hand holds his own heart's hurt:
I dreaded, too, much his distressed look.
Belike the wretch despair'd, and slew himself.

DON. Nay. that's most sure: yet he had little reason,
Considering how well you used him.

ROB. H. Well, I am sorry, but must not be sad,
Because the king is coming to my bower.
Help me, I pray thee, to remove his body,
Lest he should come and see him murdered.
Some time anon he shall be buried.

[_Exeunt_ ROBIN HOOD _and_ SIR DONCASTER _with the body_.[268]

PRIOR. Good! all is good! this is as I desire:
Now for a face of pure hypocrisy.
Sweet murder, clothe thee in religious weeds,
Reign in my bosom, that with help of thee
I may effect this Robin's tragedy.


DON. Nay, nay, you must not take this thing so heavily.

ROB. H. A body's loss, Sir Doncaster, is much;
But a soul's too is more to be bemoan'd.

PRIOR. Truly I wonder at your virtuous mind.
O God, to one so kind who'd be unkind!
Let go this grief: now must you put on joy,
And for the many favours I have found,
So much exceeding all conceit of mine,
Unto your cheer I'll add a precious drink,
Of colour rich and red, sent me from Rome,
There's in it moly,[269] Syrian balsamum,
Gold's rich elixir; O, 'tis precious!

ROB. H. Where is it, uncle?

PRIOR. As yesterday
Sir Doncaster and I rid on our way,
Thieves did beset us, bound us, as you saw,
And among other things did take from me
This rich confection: but regardlessly,
As common drink, they cast into a bush
The bottle, which this day Sir Doncaster
Fetch'd, and hath left it in the inner lodging.
I tell you, nephew (I do love you well).
A pint of this ransom'd the Sophy's son
When he was taken in Natolia.
I meant, indeed, to give it my liege lord,
In hope to have his favour; but to you
I put myself: be my good friend,
And, in your own restoring me restore.

ROB. H. Uncle, I will; you need urge that no more.
But what's the virtue of this precious drink?

PRIOR. It keeps fresh youth, restores diseased sight,
Helps nature's weakness, smooths the scars of wounds,
And cools the entrails with a balmy breath,
When they, by thirst or travail, boil with heat.

ROB. H. Uncle, I thank you: pray you, let me have
A cup prepared 'gainst the king comes in,
To cool his heat: myself will give it him.

PRIOR. And when he drinks, be bold to say, he drinks
A richer draught than that dissolved pearl,
Which Cleopatra drank to Antony.

ROB. H. I have much business: let it be your charge
To make this rich draught ready for the king,
And I will quit it; pray ye, do not fail.

PRIOR. I warrant you, good nephew.

DON. Better and better still!
We thought before but to have poison'd him,
And now shall Robin Hood destroy the king.
Even when the king, the queen, the prince, the lords,
Joy in his virtues, this supposed vice
Will turn to sharp hate their exceeding love.

PRIOR. Ha, ha, ha! I cannot choose but laugh,
To see my cousin cozen'd in this sort.
Fail him, quoth you; nay, hang me if I do.
But, Doncaster, art sure the poisons are well-mix'd?

DON. Tut, tut! let me alone for the poisoning:
I have already turn'd o'er four or five,
That anger'd[270] me. But tell me, Prior,
Wherefore so deadly dost thou hate thy cousin?

PRIOR. Shall I be plain? because, if he were dead,
I should be made the Earl of Huntington.

DON. A pretty cause; but thou a churchman art.

PRIOR. Tut, man, if that would fall,
I'll have a dispensation, and turn temporal.
But tell me, Doncaster, why dost thou hate him?

DON. By the mass, I cannot tell. O yes, now I ha't:
I hate thy cousin Earl of Huntington,
Because so many love him as there do,
And I myself am loved of so few.
Nay, I have other reasons for my hate:
He is a fool, and will be reconcil'd
To any foe he hath: he is too mild,
Too honest for this world, fitter for heaven.
He will not kill these greedy cormorants,
Nor strip base peasants of the wealth they have!
He does abuse a thief's name and an outlaw's,
And is, indeed, no outlaw nor no thief:
He is unworthy of such reverend names.
Besides, he keeps a paltry whimling[271] girl,
And will not bed, forsooth, before he bride.
I'll stand to't, he abuses maidenhead;
That will not take it, being offered,
Hinders the commonwealth of able men.
Another thing I hate him for again:
He says his prayers, fasts eves, gives alms, does good:
For these and such like crimes swears Doncaster
To work the speedy death of Robin Hood.

PRIOR. Well-said, i' faith. Hark, hark! the
king returns;
To do this deed my heart like fuel burns.


_Wind horns. Enter_ KING, QUEEN, JOHN, FITZWATER,
TUCK _carrying a stag's head, dancing_.

KING. Gramercy, Friar, for thy glee,
Thou greatly hast contented me:
What with thy sporting and thy game,
I swear, I highly pleased am.

FRIAR. It was my master's whole desire
That maiden, yeoman, swain, and friar,
Their arts and wits should all apply
For pleasure of your majesty.

QUEEN. Son Richard, look, I pray you, on the ring,
That was about the neck of the last stag.

CHES. Was his name Scarlet, that shot off his neck?

JOHN. Chester, it was this honest fellow Scarlet:
This is the fellow, and a yeoman bold
As ever cours'd the swift hart on the mould.

KING. Friar, here's somewhat 'graved upon the ring;
I pray thee read it: meanwhile, list to me.

[_This while most compassing the_ FRIAR _about the ring_.

Scarlet and Scathlock, you bold brethren,
Twelvepence a day I give each for his fee;
And henceforth see ye live like honest men.

BOTH. We will, my liege, else let us die the death.

MUCH. A boon, a boon, upon my knee,
Good King Richard, I beg of thee!
For indeed, sir, the troth is, Much is my father, and he is one of your
tenants, in King's Mill at Wakefield, all on a green:--
O there dwelleth a jolly pinder,
At Wakefield, all on a green.[272]
Now I would have you, if you will do so much for me, to set me forward
in the way of marriage to Jenny: the mill would not be cast away upon us.

KING. Much, be thou ever master of that mill:
I give it thee for thine inheritance.

MUCH. Thanks, precious prince of courtesy.
I'll to Jenny, and tell her of my lands, i'faith.

JOHN. Here, Friar, here; here it begins.

FRIAR (_reads_). "When Harold Harefoot reigned king,
About my neck he put this ring."

KING. In Harold's time? more than a hundred year
Hath this ring been about this new-slain deer!
I am sorry now it died; but let the same
Head, ring and all, be sent to Nottingham,
And in the castle kept for monument.[273]

FITZ. My liege, I heard an old tale long ago,
That Harold, being Godwin's son of Kent,[274]
When he had got fair England's government,
Hunted for pleasure once within this wood,
And singled out a fair and stately stag,
Which foot to foot the king in running caught:
And sure this was the stag.

KING. It was, no doubt.

CHES. But some, my lord, affirm
That Julius Caesar, many years before,
Took such a stag, and such a poesy writ.

KING. It should not be in Julius Caesar's time.
There was no English used in this land
Until the Saxons came; and this is writ
In Saxon characters.

JOHN. Well, 'twas a goodly beast.


KING. How now, Earl Robert?

FRIAR. A forfeit, a forfeit, my liege lord!
My master's laws are on record!
The court-roll here your grace may see.

KING. I pray thee, Friar, read it me.[275]

FRIAR. One shall suffice, and this is he.
No man, that cometh in this wood
To feast or dwell with Robin Hood,
Shall call him earl, lord, knight, or squire:
He no such titles doth desire,
But Robin Hood, plain Robin Hood,
That honest yeoman stout and good,
On pain of forfeiting a mark,
That must be paid to me his clerk.
My liege, my liege, this law you broke,
Almost in the last word you spoke:
That crime may not acquitted be,
Till Friar Tuck receive his fee.

KING. There's more than twenty marks, mad Friar.
[_Casts him purse_.

FRIAR. If thus you pay the clerk his hire,
Oft may you forfeit, I desire.
You are a perfect penitent,
And well you do your wrong repent:
For this your highness' liberal gift
I here absolve you without shrift.

KING. Gramercies, Friar. Now, Robin Hood,
Sith Robin Hood it needs must be,
I was about to ask before,
If thou didst see the great stag's fall.

ROB. H. I did, my lord, I saw it all;
But missing this same prating friar,
And hearing you so much desire
To have the losel's company,
I went to seek Small-Honesty.

FRIAR. But you found Much, when you found me.

ROB. H. Ay, Much my man; but not a jot
Of honesty in thee, God wot.

QUEEN. Robin, you do abuse the Friar.

FRIAR. Madam, I dare not call him liar:
He may be bold with me, he knows.
How now, Prince John, how goes, how goes
This woodman's life with you to-day?
My fellow Woodnet you would be.

JOHN. I am thy fellow, thou dost see;
And to be plain, as God me save,
So well I like thee, merry knave,
That I thy company must have:
Nay, and I will.

FRIAR. Nay, and you shall.

ROB. H. My lord, you need not fear at all,
But you shall have his company:
He will be bold, I warrant you.

KING. Know you, where-e'er a spring is nigh?
Fain would I drink, I am right dry.

ROB. H. I have a drink within my bower
Of pleasant taste and sovereign power:
My reverend uncle gives it me,
To give unto your majesty.

KING. I would be loth, indeed, being in heat
To drink cold water. Let us to thy bower.

ROB. H. Run, Friar, before,
And bid my uncle be in readiness.

FRIAR. Gone in a trice[276] on such good business.

[_Exeunt omnes_.


_Enter_ MARIAN, _with a white apron_.

MAR. What, Much! What, Jenny! Much, I say!

MUCH. What's the matter, mistress?

MAR. I pray thee, see the fueller
Suffer the cook to want no wood.
Good Lord, where is this idle girl?
Why, Jenny!

JENNY (_within_). I come, forsooth.

MAR. I pray thee, bring the flowers forth.

MUCH. I'll go send her, mistress, and help the cooks, if they have
any need.

MAR. Despatch, good Much. What, Jen, I say!

_Enter_ JENNY.

MUCH. Hie ye, hie ye! she calls for life. [_Exit_ MUCH.

MAR. Indeed, indeed, you do me wrong,
To let me cry, and call so long.

JEN. Forsooth, I straw'd[278] the dining bowers,
And smooth'd the walks with herbs and flowers.
The yeomen's tables I have spread,
Dress'd salts, laid trenchers, set on bread.
Nay, all is well, I warrant you.

MAR. You are not well, I promise you,
Your 'foresleeves are not pinn'd; fie, fie!
And all your head-gear stands awry.
Give me the flowers. Go in, for shame,
And quickly see you mend the same.

[_Exit_ JENNY.

_Enter_ SIR DONCASTER, PRIOR. MARIAN _strewing flowers_.

DON. How busy Mistress Marian is!
She thinks this is her day of bliss.

PRIOR. But it shall be the wofull'st day
That ever chanc'd her, if I may.

MAR. Why are you two thus in the air?
Your wounds are green. Good coz, have care.

PRIOR. Thanks for your kindness, gentle maid:
My cousin Robert us hath prayed
To help him in his business.

_Enter_ FRIAR.

FRIAR. Sir Doncaster, Sir Doncaster!

DON. Holla!

FRIAR. I pray you, did you see the Prior?

PRIOR. Why, here I am. What wouldst thou. Friar?

FRIAR. The king is heated in the chase,
And posteth hitherward apace.
He told my master he was dry,
And he desires ye presently
To send the drink whereof ye spake.

PRIOR. Come, it is here: haste let us make.

[_Exeunt_ DONCASTER, PRIOR, _and_ FRIAR.

_Horns blow.


MARIAN _kneels down_.

MAR. Most gracious sovereign, welcome once again:
Welcome to you and all your princely train.

KING. Thanks, lovely hostess; we are homely guests.
Where's Robin Hood? he promis'd me some drink.

MAR. Your handmaid, Robin, will not then be long:
The Friar, indeed, came running to his uncle,
Who, with Sir Doncaster, were here with me,
And all together went for such a drink.

KING. Well, in a better time it could not come,
For I am very hot and passing dry.

_Enter_ ROBIN HOOD, _with a cup, a towel, leading_
DONCASTER: TUCK _and_ MUCH _pulling the_ PRIOR.

ROB. H. Traitor! I'll draw thee out before the king.

FRIAR. Come, murderous Prior.

MUCH. Come, ye dog's face.

KING. Why, how now, Robin? Where's the drink you bring?

ROB. H. Lay hold on these!
Far be it I should bring your majesty
The drink these two prepared for your taste.

KING. Why, Robin Hood? be brief and answer me.
I am amazed at thy troubled looks.

ROB. H. Long will not my ill-looks amaze your grace;
I shortly look never to look again.

MAR. Never to look! What, will it still be night?
If thou look never, day can never be.
What ails my Robin? Wherefore dost thou faint?

ROB. H. Because I cannot stand: yet now I can.
[KING _and_ MARIAN _support him_.
Thanks to my king, and thanks to Marian.

KING. Robin, be brief, and tell us what hath chanc'd.

ROB. H. I must be brief, for I am sure of death,
Before a long tale can be half-way told.

FITZ. Of death, my son! bright sun of all my joy!
Death cannot have the power of[279] virtuous life.

ROB. H. Not o'er[280] the virtues, but the life it can.

KING. What, dost thou speak of death? how shouldst thou die?

ROB. H. By poison and the Prior's treachery.

QUEEN. Why, take this sovereign powder at my hands:
Take it, and live in spite of poison's power.

DON. Ay, set him forward. Powders, quoth ye? hah!
I am a fool, then, if a little dust,
The shaving of a horn, a Bezoar stone,[281]
Or any antidote have power to stay
The execution of my heart's resolve.
Tut, tut! you labour, lovely queen, in vain,
And on a thankless groom your toil bestow.
Now hath your foe reveng'd you of your foe:
Robin shall die, if all the world said no.[282]

MAR. How the wolf howls! Fly, like a tender kid,
Into thy shepherd's bosom. Shield me, love!
Canst thou not, Robin? Where shall I be hid?
O God! these ravens will seize upon thy dove.

ROB. H. They cannot hurt thee; pray thee, do not fear:
Base curs will couch, the lion being near.

QUEEN. How works my powder?

ROB. H. Very well, fair queen.

KING. Dost thou feel any ease?

ROB. H. I shall, I trust, anon:
Sleep falls upon mine eyes. O, I must sleep,
And they that love me, do not waken me.

MAR. Sleep in my lap, and I will sing to thee.

JOHN. He should not sleep.

ROB. H. I must, for I must die;
While I live, therefore, let me have some rest.

FITZ. Ay, let him rest: the poison urges sleep.
When he awakes, there is no hope of life.

DON. Of life! Now, by the little time I have to live,
He cannot live one hour for your lives.

KING. Villain! what art thou?

DON. Why, I am a knight.

CHES. Thou wert indeed. If it so please your grace,
I will describe my knowledge of this wretch.

KING. Do, Chester.

CHES. This Doncaster, for so the felon hight,
Was by the king, your father, made a knight,
And well in arms he did himself behave.
Many a bitter storm the wind of rage
Blasted this realm within those woful days,
When the unnatural fights continued
Between your kingly father and his sons.
This cutthroat, knighted in that time of woe,
Seized on a beauteous nun at Berkhamstead,
As we were marching toward Winchester,
After proud Lincoln was compell'd to yield.
He took this virgin straying in the field--
For all the nuns and every covent[283] fled
The dangers that attended on our troops:
For those sad times too oft did testify,
War's rage hath no regard to piety--
She humbly pray'd him, for the love of heaven,
To guide her to her father's, two miles thence:
He swore he would, and very well he might,
For to the camp he was a forager.
Upon the way they came into a wood,
Wherein, in brief, he stripp'd this tender maid:
Whose lust, when she in vain had long withstood,
Being by strength and torments overlaid,
He did a sacrilegious deed of rape,
And left her bathed in her own tears and blood.
When she reviv'd, she to her father's got,
And got her father to make just complaint
Unto your mother, being then in camp.

QUEEN. Is this the villain, Chester, that defil'd
Sir Eustace Stutville's chaste and beauteous child?

DON. Ay, madam, this is he
That made a wench dance naked in a wood;
And, for she did deny what I desired,
I scourg'd her for her pride, till her fair skin
With stripes was checquer'd like a vintner's grate.[284]
And what was this? A mighty matter, sure!
I have a thousand more than she defil'd,
And cut the squeaking throats of some of them--
I grieve I did not hers.

QUEEN. Punish him, Richard.
A fairer virgin never saw the sun;
A chaster maid was never sworn a nun.

KING. How 'scaped the villain punishment that time?

FITZ. I rent his spurs off, and disgraded him.

CHES. And then he rail'd upon the Queen and me.
Being committed, he his keeper slew,
And to your father fled, who pardon'd him.

RICH. God give his soul a pardon for that sin.

SAL. O, had I heard his name or seen his face,
I had defended Robin from this chance!
Ah, villain! shut those gloomy lights of thine.
Remember'st thou a little son of mine,
Whose nurse at Wilton first thou ravishedst,
And slew'st two maids that did attend on them?

DON. I grant I dash'd the brains out of a brat--
Thine if he were, I care not: had he been
The first-born comfort of a royal king,
And should have yall'd, when Doncaster cried peace,
I would have done by him as then I did.

KING. Soon shall the world be rid of such a wretch.
Let him be hang'd alive in the highway
That joineth to the tower.[285]

DON. Alive or dead (I reck not how I die),
You, them, and these I desperately defy.

ELY. Repent, or never look to be absolv'd;
But die accurs'd, as thou deservest well.

DON. Then give me my desert: curse, one by one!

ELY. First I accurse thee; and if thou persist,
Unto damnation leave thee, wretched man.

DON. What do I care for your damnation?
Am I not doomed to death? what more damnation
Can there ensue your loud and yelling cries?

PRIOR. Yes, devil! hear thy fellow-spirit speak--
Who would repent; O, fain he would repent!--
After this body's bitter punishment,
There is an ever-during endless woe,
A quenchless fire, an unconsuming pain,
Which desperate souls and bodies must endure.

DON. Can you preach this, yet set me on, Sir Prior,
To run into this endless, quenchless fire?

PRIOR. High heavens, show mercy to my many ills!
Never had this been done, but like a fiend
Thou temptedst me with ceaseless devilish thoughts.
Therefore I curse with bitterness of soul
The hour wherein I saw thy baleful eyes.
My eyes I curse for looking on those eyes!
My ears I curse for hearkening to thy tongue!
I curse thy tongue for tempting of mine ears!
Each part I curse, that we call thine or mine;
Thine for enticing mine, mine following thine!

DON. A holy prayer. What collect have we next?

[_This time_ ROBIN _stirs_.

FITZ. My Marian wanteth words, such is her woe;
But old Fitzwater, for his girl and him,
Begs nothing but world's plague for such a foe,
Which causeless harm'd a virtuous nobleman,
A pitier of his griefs, when he felt grief.
Therefore, bethink thee of thy hateful deed,
Thou faithless Prior, and thou this ruthless thief.

PRIOR. Will no man curse me, giving so much cause?
Then, Doncaster, ourselves ourselves accurse,
And let no good betide to thee or me!

[_All the Yeomen_, FRIAR, MUCH, JENNY _cry_.

ALL. Amen, amen! accursed may he be
For murdering Robin, flower of courtesy.

[ROBIN _sits up_.

ROB. H. O, ring not such a peal for Robin's death!
Let sweet forgiveness be my passing bell.
Art thou there, Marian? then fly forth, my breath:
To die within thy arms contents me well.

PRIOR. Keep in, keep in a little while thy soul,
Till I have pour'd my soul forth at thy feet.

ROB. H. I slept not, uncle; I your grief did hear,
Let him forgive thy soul that bought it dear:
Your body's deed I in my death forgive,
And humbly beg the king that you may live.
Stand to your clergy, uncle;[286] save your life,
And lead a better life than you have done.

PRIOR. O, gentle nephew! O, my brother's son,
Thou dying glory of old Huntington!
Wishest thou life to such a murderous foe?
I will not live, since thou must life forego.
O, happy Warman! blessed in thy end;
Now too-too late thy truth I do commend.
O, nephew, nephew! Doncaster and I
Murder'd poor Warman, for he did deny
To join with us in this black tragedy.

ROB. H. Alas, poor Warman! Friar, Little John,
I told ye both where Warman's body lay,
And of his burial I'll dispose anon.

KING. Is there no law, Lord Ely, to convict
This Prior, that confesses murders thus?

ELY. He is a hallow'd man, and must be tried
And punish'd by the censure of the church.

PRIOR. The church therein doth err: God doth allow
No canon to preserve a murderer's life.
Richard! King Richard! in thy grandsire's days
A law was made, the clergy sworn thereto,
That whatsoever churchman did commit
Treason or murder, or false felony,
Should like a secular be punished.
Treason we did, for sure we did intend
King Richard's poisoning, sovereign of this land.
Murder we did, in working Warman's end
And my dear nephew's by this fatal hand:
And theft we did, for we have robb'd the king,
The state, the nobles, commons, and his men,
Of a true peer, firm pillar, liberal lord.
Fitzwater we have robbed of a kind son,
And Marian's love-joys we have quite undone.

DON. Whoop! what a coil is here with your confession!

PRIOR. I ask but judgment for my foul transgression.

KING. Thy own mouth hath condemn'd thee.
Hence with him!
Hang this man dead, then see him buried;
But let the other hang alive in chains.

DON. I thank you, sir.

[_Exeunt Yeomen_, FRIAR, _Prisoners_, MUCH.

JOHN. Myself will go, my lord,
And see sharp justice done upon these slaves.

ROB. H. O, go not hence, Prince John! a word or two,
Before I die, I fain would say to you.

KING. Robin, we see what we are sad to see--
Death, like a champion, treading down thy life:
Yet in thy end, somewhat to comfort thee,
We freely give to thy betrothed wife,
Beauteous and chaste Matilda, all those lands,
Fallen by thy folly to the Prior's hands,
And by his fault now forfeited to me.
Earl Huntington, she shall thy countess be:
And thy wight yeomen, they shall wend with me
Against the faithless enemies of Christ.

ROB. H. Bring forth a bier, and cover it with green;
That on my deathbed I may here sit down.
[_A bier is brought in. He sits_.
At Robin's burial let no black be seen,
Let no hand give for him a mourning gown;
For in his death his king hath given him life
By this large gift, given to his maiden wife.
Chaste maid Matilda, countess of account,
Chase with thy bright eyes all these clouds of woe
From these fair cheeks; I pray thee, sweet, do so:
Think it is bootless folly to complain
For that which never can be had again.
Queen Elinor, you once were Matilda's foe;
Prince John, you long sought her unlawful love:
Let dying Robin Hood entreat you both
To change those passions: madam, turn your hate
To princely love: Prince John, convert your love
To virtuous passion, chaste and moderate.
O, that your gracious right hands would enfold
Matilda's right hand, prison'd in my palm,
And swear to do what Robin Hood desires!

QUEEN. I swear I will: I will a mother be
To fair Matilda's life and chastity.

JOHN. When John solicits chaste Matilda's ears
With lawless suits, as he hath often done,
Or offers to the altars of her eyes
Lascivious poems, stuff'd with vanities,
He craves to see but short and sour days:
His death be like to Robin's he desires;
His perjured body prove a poison'd prey
For cowled monks and barefoot begging friars.

ROB. H. Enough, enough! Fitzwater, take your child.
My dying frost, which no sun's heat can thaw,
Closes the powers of all my outward parts:
My freezing blood runs back unto my heart,
Where it assists death, which it would resist:
Only my love a little hinders death,
For he beholds her eyes, and cannot smite:
Then go not yet, Matilda, stay awhile.
Friar, make speed, and list my latest will.

MAT. O, let me look for ever in thy eyes,
And lay my warm breath to thy bloodless lips,
If my sight can restrain death's tyrannies,
Or keep life's breath within thy bosom lock'd.

ROB. H. Away, away!
Forbear, my love; all this is but delay.

FITZ. Come, maiden daughter, from my maiden son,
And give him leave to do what must be done.

ROB. H. First, I bequeath my soul to all souls Sav'our,
And will my body to be buried
At Wakefield, underneath the abbey wall;
And in this order make my funeral.
When I am dead, stretch me upon this bier!
My beads and primer shall my pillow be;
On this side be my bow, my good shafts here;
Upon my breast the cross, and underneath
My trusty sword, thus fasten'd in the sheath.
Let Warman's body at my feet be laid,
Poor Warman, that in my defence did die.
For holy dirges sing me woodmen's songs,
As ye to Wakefield walk with voices shrill.
This for myself. My goods and plate I give
Among my yeomen: them I do bestow
Upon my sovereign Richard. This is all.
My liege, farewell! my love, farewell, farewell!
Farewell, fair Queen, Prince John, and noble lords!
Father Fitzwater, heartily adieu!
Adieu, my yeomen tall. Matilda, close mine eyes.
Friar, farewell! farewell to all!

MAT. O, must my hands with envious death conspire
To shut the morning gates of my life's light!

FITZ. It is a duty and thy love's desire!
I'll help thee, girl, to close up Robin's sight.[287]

KING. Laments are bootless, tears cannot restore
Lost life, Matilda; therefore weep no more:
And since our mirth is turned into moan,
Our merry sport to tragic funeral,
We will prepare our power for Austria,
After Earl Robert's timeless burial.
Fall to your wood-songs, therefore, yeomen bold.
And deck his hearse with flowers, that loved you dear:
Dispose his goods as he hath them dispos'd.
Fitzwater and Matilda, bide you here.
See you the body unto Wakefield borne:
A little we will bear ye company,
But all of us at London 'point to meet:
Thither, Fitzwater, bring Earl Robin's men;
And, Friar, see you come along with them.

FRIAR. Ah, my liege lord! the Friar faints,
And hath no words to make complaints:
But since he must forsake this place,
He will await, and thanks your grace.


Weep, weep, ye woodmen, wail,
Your hands with sorrow wring;
Your master Robin Hood lies dead,
Therefore sigh as you sing.

Here lie his primer and his beads,
His bent bow and his arrows keen,
His good sword and his holy cross:
Now cast on flowers fresh and green;


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