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THE FORESTER S.*
ACT I.-SCENE I., THE BOND; SCENES be in their liveries, and each of 'ena II., III., The OUTLAWRY.
full of meat as an egg, and as sleek 29
as round-about as a mellow codlin. ACT I.
Fourth Retainer. But I be wors SCENE 1.—THE GARDEN BEFORE SIR
than any of you, for I be lean by catz
and if you cram me crop-full I be liti RICHARD LEA'S CASTLE.
better than Famine in the picture, but Kate (gathering flowers). These roses you starve me I be Gaffer Death himse. for my Lady Marian; these lilies to lighten I would like to show you, Mistress has Sir Richard's black room, where he sits how bare and spare I be on the rib: 1: and eats his heart for want of money to ianker than an old horse turned out!! pay the Abbot.
die on the common.
[Sings. Kate. Spare me thy spare ribs, I pz The warrior Earl of Allendale,
thee; but now I ask you all, did nodes He loved the Lady Anne; The lady loved the master well,
you love young Walter Lea? The maid she loved the man.
First Retainer. Ay, if he had : All in the castle garden,
gone to fight the king's battles, we sto Or ever the day began,
have better battels at home. The lady gave a rose to the Earl,
Kate. Right as an Oxford scholar, be The maid a rose to the man.
the boy was taken prisoner by the loans “I go to fight in Scotland
First Retainer. Ay.
Kate. And Sir Richard was told
might be ransomed for two thousat
marks in gold. *Farewell, farewell, my warrior Earl!'
First Retainer. Ay.
Kate. Then he borrowed the mos
from the Abbot of York, the Sheria Enter four ragged RETAINERS.
brother. And if they be not paid back
at the end of the year, the land goes First Retainer. You do well, Mistress the Abbot. Kate, to sing and to gather roses. You be First Retainer. No news of your fed with tit-bits, you, and we be dogs that Walter? have only the bones, till we be only bones Kate. None, nor of the gold, nor the our own selves.
man who took out the gold: but now te Second Retainer. I am fed with tit. know why we live so stintedly, and in bits no more than you are, but I keep a ye have so few grains to peck at. good heart and make the most of it, and, Richard must scrape and scrape till truth to say, Sir Richard and my Lady get to the land again. Come, come, *** Marian fare wellnigh as sparely as their do you loiter here? Carry fresh rasa people.
into the dining-hall, for those that a Third Retainer. And look at our there they be so greasy and smell so izle suits, out at knee, out at elbow. We be that my Lady Marian holds her nose the more like scarecrows in a field than she steps across it. decent serving men ; and then, I pray Fourth Retainer. Why there, go! you, look at Robin Earl of Huntingdon's that very word 'greasy' hath a kind
unction in it, a smack of relish about First Retainer. She hath looked well The rats have gnawed 'em already. at one of 'em, Little John.
pray Heaven we may not have to take o Third Retainer. Ay, how fine they the rushes.
* Copyright, 1892, by Macmillan & Co.
Kate. Poor fellows!
The maid her hand to the man.
Enter LITTLE JOHN. Little John. My master, Robin the Earl, is always a-telling us that every man, for the sake of the great blessed Mother in heaven, and for the love of his own little mother on earth, should handle all womankind gently, and hold them in all honour, and speak small to 'em, and not scare 'em, but go about to come at their love with all manner of homages, and observances, and circumbendibuses.
The maid a rose to the man. Little John (seeing her). O the sacred little thing! What a shape! what lovely arms! A rose to the man! Ay, the man had given her a rose and she gave him another.
Kate. Shall I keep one little rose for Little John? No.
Little John. There, there! You see I was right. She hath a tenderness toward me, but is too shy to show it. It is in her, in the woman, and the man must bring it out of her.
The inaid a kiss to the man. Little John. Did she? But there I am sure the ballad is at fault. It should have told us how the man first kissed the maid. She doesn't see me. Shall I be bold? shall I touch her? shall I give her the first kiss? O sweet Kate, my first love, the first kiss, the first kiss !
Kate (turns and kisses him). Why lookest thou so amazed?
Little John. I cannot tell; but I came to give thee the first kiss, and thou hast given it me.
Kate. But if a man and a maid care for one another, does it matter so much if the maid give the first kiss?
Little John. I cannot tell, but I had sooner have given thee the first kiss. I was dreaming of it all the way hither.
Kate. Dream of it, then, all the way back, for now I will have none of it.
Little John. Nay, now thou hast given me the man's kiss, let me give thee the maid's.
Kate. If thou draw one inch nearer, I will give thee a buffet on the face.
Little John. Wilt thou not give me rather the little rose for Little John?
K’ate (throws it down and tramples on it). There !
[Kate seeing Marian exit hurriedly.
Enter MARIAN (singing). Love flew in at the window,
As Wealth walk'd in at the door. “You have come for you saw Wealth coming,'
said I. But he flutter'd his wings with a sweet little cry,
I'll cleave to you rich or poor. Wealth dropt out of the window,
Poverty crept thro' door. 'Well now you would fain follow Wealth,' said I, But he flutter'd his wings as he gave me the lie, I cling to you all the more.
Little John. Thanks, my lady—inasmuch as I am a true believer in true love myself, and your Ladyship hath sung the old proverb out of fashion.
Marian. Ay but thou hast ruffled my woman, Little John. She hath the fire in her face and the dew in her eyes. I believed thee to be too solemn and formal to be a ruffler. Out upon thee!
Little John. I am no ruffler, my lady; but I pray you, my lady, if a man and a maid love one another, may the maid give the first kiss?
Marian. It will be all the more gracious of her if she do.
Little John. I cannot tell. Manners be so corrupt, and these are the days of Prince John.
[Exit. Enter Sir RICHARD LEA (reading a
bond). Sir Richard. Marian! Marian. Father!
Sir Richard. Who parted from thee even now?
Marian. That strange starched stiff creature, Little John, the Earl's man. He would grapple with a lion like the King, and is flustered by a girl's kiss.
Sir Richard. There never was an Earl so true a friend of the people as Lord Robin of Huntingdon.
Marian. A gallant Earl. I love him as I hate John.
Sir Richard. I fear me he hath wasted his revenues in the service of our good King Richard against the party of John, as I have done, as I have done: and where is Richard ?
Marian. Cleave to him, father! he will come home at last.
Sir Richard. I trust he will, but if he do not I and thou are but beggars.
Marian. We will be beggar'd then and be true to the King.
Sir Richard. Thou speakest like a fool or a woman. Canst thou endure to be a beggar whose whole life hath been folded like a blossom in the sheath, like a careless sleeper in the down; who never hast felt a want, to whom all things, up to this present, have come as freely as heaven's air and mother's milk?
Marian. Tut, father! I am none of your delicate Norman maidens who can only broider and mayhap ride a-hawking with the help of the men. I can bake and I can brew, and by all the saints I can shoot almost as closely with the bow as the great Earl himself. I have played at the foils too with Kate: but is not to-day his birthday?
Sir Richard. Dost thou love him indeed, that thou keepest a record of his birthdays? Thou knowest that the Sheriff of Nottingham loves thee.
Marian. The Sheriff dare to love me? me who worship Robin the great Earl of Huntingdon? I love him as a damsel of his day might have loved Harold the Saxon, or Hereward the Wake. They both fought against the tyranny of the kings, the Normans.
But then your Sheriff, your little man, if he dare to fight at all, would fight for his rents, his leases, his houses, his monies, his oxen, his dinners, himself. Now your great man, your Robin, all England's Robin, fights not for himself but for the people of England. This John--this Norman tyranny--the stream is bearing us all down, and our little Sheriff will ever swim with the
stream! but our great man, our R" against it. And how often in old bist have the great men striven against stream, and how often in the long ra of years to come must the great strive against it again to save his cours and the liberties of his people! 6 bless our well-beloved Robin, Earl Huntingdon. Sir Richard. Ay, ay.
He wore | colours once at a tourney. I am old as forget. Was Prince John there?
Marian. The Sheriff of Nottingham was there--not John.
Sir Richard. Beware of John ardt Sheriff of Nottingham.
They hunt couples, and when they look at a I. they blast her.
Marian. Then the maid is not lig hearted enough.
Sir Richard. There-there-ben a fool again. Their aim is ever at the which flies highest-hut () girl, girl, i 23 alınost in despair. Those two thousemarks lent me by the Abbot for the sasom of my son Walter-I believed to Abbot of the party of King Richard, a7 he hath sold himself to that beast la --they must be paid in a vear abia month, or I lose the land. There is on that should be grateful to me overscs
Count in Brittany-he lives net Quimper. I saved his life once in batt He has monies. I will go to him. I saved him. I will try him. but sure of him. I will go to him.
Marian. And I will follow thee, az God help us both.
Sir Richard Child, thou shock marry one who will pay the mortge. This Robin, this Earl of Huntingdonis a friend of Richard—I know not, bet may save the land, he may save the lar:
Marian (showing a cross hun£*T** her neck). Father, you see this cross?
Sir Richarit. Ay the King, thy girl father, gave it thee when a baby.
Marian. And he said that wheners I married he would give me away, 19 on this cross I have sworn [kisses ir tt till I myself pass away, there is no other man that shall give me away.
Sir Richard. Lo there-thou art fod
gain-I am all as loyal as thyself, but vhat a vow! what a vow !
Re-enter LITTLE JOHN. Little John. My Lady Marian, your voman so flustered me that I forgot my nessage from the Earl. To-day he hath iccomplished his thirtieth birthday, and he prays your ladyship and your ladyship’s ather to be present at his banquet to-night.
Marian. Say, we will come. Little John. And I pray you, my lady, o stand between me and your woman, Sate.
Marian. I will speak with her.
Little John. I thank you, my lady, ind I wish you and your ladyship's father a nost exceedingly good morning. [Exit.
Sir Richard. Thou hast answered for ne, but I know not if I will let thee go.
Marian. I mean to go.
Sir Richard. Not if I barred thee up n thy chamber, like a bird in a cage.
Marian. Then I would drop from the casement, like a spider.
Sir Richard. But I would hoist the drawbridge, like thy master.
Marian. And I would swim the moat, ike an otter.
Sir Richard. But I would set my men-at-arms to oppose thee, like the Lord of the Castle.
Marian. And I would break through them all, like the King of England.
Sir Richard. Well, thou shalt go, but o the land! the land! my great great great grandfather, my great great grandfather, my great grandfather, my grandfather and my own father-they were born and bred on it-it was their mother —they have trodden it for half a thousand years, and whenever I set my own foot on it I say to it, Thou art mine, and it answers, I am thine to the very heart of the earth--but now I have lost my gold, I have lost my son, and I shall lose my land also. Down to the devil with this bond that beggars me!
[Flingrs down the bond. Marian. Take it again, dear father, be not wroth at the dumb parchment. Sufficient for the day, dear father! let us be merry to-night at the banquet.
SCENE II.-A BANQUETING- HALL IN
THE HOUSE OF ROBIN HOOD THE EARL
OF HUNTINGDON. Doors open into a banqueting-hall where he is at feast with his friends.
Robin and Richard!
Down with John!
Him that is gone.
God's good Angel
And down with John!
Robin and Richard !
And down with John!
and the SHERIFF OF NOTTINGHAM. Cries of 'Down with John,' 'Long live K'ing Richard,' 'Down with John.'
Prince John. Down with John! ha. Shall I be known? is my disguise perfegt?
Sheriff. Perfect—who should know you for Prince John, so that you keep the cowl down and speak not?
[Shouts from the banquet-room. Prince John. Thou and I will still these revelries presently.
[Shouts, ‘Long live King Richard!' I come here to see this daughter of Sir Richard of the Lea and if her beauties answer their report.
[Shouts, ' Down with John!' Prince John. You hear!
Sheriff. Yes, my lord, fear not. I will answer for you. Enter LITTLE JOHN, SCARLET, MUCH,
&vc., from the banquet singing a snatch of the Drinking Song.
Little John. I am a silent man myself, and all the more wonder at our Earl. What a wealth of words-() Lord, I will live and die for King Richard-not so much for the cause as for the Earl. 0 Lord, I am easily led by words, but I
Is darkness. Nay, this may be the iss
time When I shall hold my birthday in to
hall: I may be outlaw'd, I have heard a rumot
All. God forbid !
think the Earl hath right. Scarlet, hath not the Earl right? What makes thee so down in the mouth?
Scarlet. I doubt not, I doubt not, and though I be down in the mouth, I will swear by the head of the Earl.
Little John. Thou Much, miller's son, hath not the Earl right?
Much. More water goes by the mill than the miller wots of, and more goes to make right than I know of, but for all that I will swear the Earl hath right. But they are coming hither for the dance
(Enter FRIAR TUCK.) be they not, Friar Tuck? Thou art the Earl's confessor and shouldst know,
Tuck. Ay, ay, and but that I am a man of weight, and the weight of the church to boot on my shoulders, I would dance too. Fa, la, la, fa, la, la.
[Capering Much. But doth not the weight of the flesh at odd times overbalance the weight of the church, ha friar?
Tuck. Homo sum. I love my dinner —but I can fast, I can fast; and as, to other frailties of the flesh-out upon thee! Homo sum, sed virgo sum, I am a virgin, my masters, I am a virgin.
Much. And a virgin, my masters, three yards about the waist is like to remain a virgin, for who could embrace such an armful of joy?
Tuck. Knave, there is a lot of wild fellows in Sherwood Forest who hold by King Richard. If ever I meet thee there, I will break thy sconce with my quarterstaff. Enter from the banqueting-hall Sir
RICHARD LEA, Robin Hood, &C. Robin. My guests and friends, Sir
Richard, all of you Who deign to honour this my thirtieth
year, And some of you were prophets that I
might be, Now that the sun our King is gone, the
light Of these dark hours; but this new moon,
All. God forbid !
Robin. Ay God forbid, But if it be so we must bear with John. The man is able enough—no lack of a. And apt at arms and shrewd in polio. Courteous enough too when he wills; as.
yet I hate him for his want of chivalry. He that can pluck the flower of made
hood From off the stalk and trample it in t.
mire, And boast that he hath trampled it :
hate him, I hate the man.
I may not hate to King For aught I know, So that our Barons bring his bases
under. I think they will be mightier than king.
[Dance si (MARIAN enters with other dassels. Robin. The high Heaven guard) 1*
from his wantonness Who art the fairest flower of maidenti That ever blossom’d on this English Marian. Cloud not thy birthday
one fear for me. My lord, myself and my good father photo Thy thirtieth summer may be thirtel. As happy as any of those that went to Robin, My Lady Marian you be
make it so If you will deign to tread a measure as it
Marian. Full willingly, my lor!
Robin (afler dance). My Lady, . you answer me a question?