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Act I Scene II

A Great Hall in the House of the Earl of Huntingdon.
Beyond and off R.C. is a banqueting-hall from which laughter and singing are heard.

No. 6 [7KB, 1' 01"]

Chorus.
Long live Richard,
   Robin and Richard!
Long live Richard!
   Down with John!

Drink to the Lion-heart
   Every-one!
Pledge the Plantagenet,
   Him that is gone!
Who knows whither? who knows whither?

   God's good Angel
Help him back hither,
   God's good Angel
Help him back hither,
   And down with John, down with John!

Long live Robin,
   Robin and Richard!
Long live Robin
   And down with John, down with John,
Down with John, down with John!
Next Song

During the song and chorus enter Prince John, disguised as a monk, and the Sheriff of Nottingham. They listen to the chorus and come forward at the end.

Prince John.
Down with John! Shall I be known? is my disguise perfect?

Sheriff.
Perfect. None should know you for Prince John, so that you keep the cowl down and speak not?

No.7 [2KB, 0' 10"]

The chorus heard: 'Down with John!'

Prince John.
Thou and I will still these revelries presently: but not until I see this fair daughter of Richard Lea, and if her beauties do answer their report. If so -

Sheriff.
If so -

Shouts, 'Down with John!'

Prince John.
You hear!

Sheriff.
Yes, my lord, fear not. I will answer for you.

No. 8 [1KB, 0' 7"]

Enter Little John, Scarlet, Much, etc., rise from the table
and come forward 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 - O Lord, I will live and die for King Richard - not so much for the cause as for the Earl. O Lord, I am easily led by words, but I 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.

No. 9 [1.6KB 0' 14"]

Enter, from the dining-hall, Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, Sir Richard Lea etc.

Friar Tuck by Louis Rhead
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 days; but this new moon, I fear,
Is darkness. Nay, this may be the last time
When I shall hold my birthday in this hall:
I may be outlaw'd, I have heard a rumour.

All.
Heav'n forbid!

Robin.
Nay, but we have no news of Richard yet,
And ye did wrong in crying 'Down with John;'
For be he dead, then John may be our King.

All.
Heav'n forbid!

Robin.
Ay, Heav'n forbid,
But if it be so, we must bear with John.
The man is able enough - no lack of wit,
And apt at arms and shrewd in policy.
Courteous enough too when he wills; and yet
I hate him for his want of chivalry.
He that can pluck the flower of maidenhood
From off the stalk and trample it in the mire,
And boast that he hath trampled it.

No. 10 [1KB, 0' 12"]

Dance music.
Enter Maid Marian, attended by Kate and other damsels.
Robin takes Marian's hand.

Robin.
The high Heaven guard thee from his wantonness,
Who art the fairest flower of maidenhood
That ever blossom'd on our English isle!

Marian.
Cloud not thy birthday with one fear for me!
My lord, myself and my good father pray
Thy thirtieth summer may be thirtyfold
As happy as any of those that went before.

Prince John and the Sheriff pass down and eye the two.

Robin.
My lady, will you answer me a question?

Marian.
Any that you may ask.

Robin.
A question that every true man asks of a woman once in his life.

Marian.
I will not answer that, my lord, till King Richard come home again.

No. 11 [12KB, 2' 27"]

The dance begins above, in which Kate and John and
some of the others take part, Marian looking on with Robin.

Prince John.
(Aside to Sheriff.) How she looks up at him, how she holds her face!
Now if she kiss him, I will have his head.

Sheriff.
Peace, my Lord; the Earl and Sir Richard speak; listen.

Robin.
Must you have these moneys before the year and the month end?

Sir Richard.
Or I forfeit my land to the Abbot. I must pass overseas to one that I trust will help me.

Robin.
Leaving your fair Marian alone here?

Sir Richard.
Ay, for she hath somewhat of the lioness in her, and there be men-at-arms to guard her.

Robin.
Fair Lady Marian, will you deign to tread a measure with me?

Marian.
Most willingly.

Sheriff of Nottingham by Louis Rhead
Prince John.
(to Sheriff) Why that will be our opportunity
When the maid be left alone,
That I and thou will rob the nest of her.

Sheriff.
Good prince, art thou in need of any gold?

Prince John.
Gold? Why? Not now.

Sheriff.
I would give thee any gold,
So that myself alone might rob the nest.

Prince John.
Well, well then, thou shalt rob the nest alone.

Sheriff.
Swear to me by that relic on thy neck.

Prince John.
Dost thou mistrust me? Am I not thy friend?
Beware, man, lest thou lose thy faith in me.
I love thee much; and as I am thy friend,
I promise thee to make this Marian thine.
Go now and ask the maid to dance with thee,
And learn from her if she do love this Earl.

Sheriff.
(advancing toward Marian and Robin as they conclude the dance)
Pretty mistress!

Robin.
What art thou, man? Sheriff of Nottingham?

Sheriff.
Ay, my lord. I and my friend, this monk, were here belated, and seeing the hospitable lights in your castle, and knowing the fame of your hospitality, we ventured in uninvited.

Robin.
You are welcome, though I fear you be of those who hold more by John than Richard.

Sheriff.
True, for through John I had my sheriffship. I am John's till Richard come back again, and then I am Richard's. Pretty mistress, will you dance? (The Harpers strike up. They dance.)

Robin.
(talking to Prince John) What monk of what convent art thou?
Why wearest thou thy cowl to hide thy face? (Prince John shakes his head.)
Is he deaf, or dumb, or daft, or drunk belike? (Prince John shakes his head.)
Why comest thou like a death's head at my feast?
(Prince John points to the Sheriff, who is dancing with Marian.)
Is he thy mouthpiece, thine interpreter? (Prince John nods.)

Sheriff.
(to Marian as they cease dancing) Lady a word of friendliest warning,
Beware of John!

Marian.
I hate him.

Sheriff.
Would you cast
An eye of favour on me, I would pay
My brother all his debt and save the land.

Marian.
I cannot answer thee till Richard come.

Sheriff.
And when he comes?

Marian.
Well, you must wait till then. (Goes up to her father.)

Little John.
(dancing with Kate) Is it made up? will you kiss me?

Kate.
You shall give the first kiss.

Little John.
There! (Kisses her.) And when shall we be married?

Kate.
You shall wait for that till Sir Richard has paid the Abbot!

Little John.
The I shall marry my grandmother.

The Sheriff leaves Marian with her father and comes toward Robin.

Robin.
(to Sheriff, Prince John standing by) Sheriff, thy friend, this monk, is but a statue.

Sheriff.
Pardon him, my Lord, he is a holy palmer, bounden by a vow not to show his face, nor to speak word to any one, till he join King Richard in the Holy Land.

Robin.
Going to the Holy Land to Richard! Give me thy hand and tell him - Why, what a cold grasp is thine! - as if thou didst repent the courtesy even in the doing it.

Sheriff.
Pardon him again, I pray you. We thank you, and farewell.

Robin.
Farewell, farewell. (aside) I hate hidden faces.

Exeunt Prince John and Sheriff.

Sir Richard.
(coming forward with Marian) How close the Sheriff peer'd into thine eyes!
What did he say to thee?

Marian.
Bade me beware
Of John: what maid but would beware of John?

Sir Richard.
What else?

Marian.
I care not what he said.

Sir Richard.
What else?

Marian.
That if I cast an eye of favour on him,
Himself would pay this mortgage to his brother,
And save the land.

Sir Richard.
Did he say so, the Sheriff?

Robin.
O good Sir Richard,
I am sorry my exchequer runs so low
I cannot help you in this exigency;
For though my men and I flash out at times
Of festival, like burnished summer-flies,
We make but one hour's buzz, are only like
The rainbow of a momentary sun.
I am mortgaged as thyself.

Sir Richard.
Ay! I warrant thee - thou canst not be sorrier than I am.

No. 11a [1KB, 0' 04"]

A trumpet sounds.

Robin.
Who breaks the stillness of the midnight thus?

Little John
It is a royal messenger, my Lord
I trust he brings us news of the King's coming.

No. 11b [1KB, 0' 04"]

Enter a Pursuivant, attended by two Trumpeters.

Pursuivant.
(Reading.) "In the name of the Regent, and by virtue of this writ: Whereas thou, Robin Hood, Earl of Huntingdon, by force of arms hath trespassed against the King in divers manners, therefore, by the judgement of the officers of the said Lord King, according to the law and custom of the Kingdom of England, thou Robin Hood, Earl of Huntingdon, art dispossessed of all thy lands and goods, and, moreover, art outlawed and banished."

Robin.
I have shelter'd some that broke the forest law. Nought more - nought more. This is the work of John.

All.
Down with him! Tear the coat from his back!

Messenger.
Ho there! Ho there! The Sheriff's men without!

Robin.
Nay, let them be, man, let them be. We yield.
How should we cope with John? The London folkmote
Has made him all but King, and he hath seized
On half the royal castles. Let him alone. (To his men.) A worthy messenger, how should he help it?
Shall we too work injustice? What, thou shakest?
Here, here, a cup of wine - drink and be gone!

Messenger goes up. Robin turns to Marian and Sir Richard.

Robin.
Henceforth I am no more
Than plain man to plain man.

Tuck
(Advancing.) Well, then, plain man,
There be good fellows there in merry Sherwood,
That hold by Richard, tho' they kill his deer.

Robin.
In Sherwood forest. I have heard of them.

Tuck
Be thou their leader and they will all of them
Swarm to thy voice like bees to the brass pan.

Robin.
They hold by Richard - in the wild wood!
I have a sudden passion for the wild wood.
We should be free as air in the wild wood.
What say ye all? Shall we go? Your hands!
Your hands!

No. 12 [3KB, 1' 35"]

All.
We will live and die with thee!

Robin.
Farewell, Sir Richard; farewell, sweet Marian.

Marian.
Till better times.

Robin.
But if better times should never come?

Marian.
Then I shall be no worse.

Robin.
And if the worst time come?

Marian.
Why, then I will be better than this time.

Robin.
This ring my mother gave me: it was her own
Betrothal ring. She pray'd me, when I loved
A maid with all my heart, to pass it down
A finger of that hand which should be mine
Thereafter. Will you have it? Will you wear it?

Marian.
Ay, noble Earl, and never part with it.

Robin.
Never!

Marian.
Not while the swallow skims along the ground,
And while the lark flies up and touches heaven!
Not while the smoke floats from the cottage roof,
And the white cloud is roll'd along the sky!
Not while the rivulet babbles by the door,
And the great breaker beats upon the beach!
Never -
Till Nature, high and low, and great and small
Forgets herself, and all her loves and hates
Sink again into chaos!

Sir Richard.
 Away! away! (Exeunt.)

Robin.
(Turning to the others.) Your hands, your hands!
We'll cast all threadbare habit, mix with all
The lusty life of wood and underwood!
(Gives his hand to each, and then,)
You, Scarlet, you are always moody here.

Will Scarlet by Louis Rhead
Scarlet.
'Tis for no lack of love to you, my lord,
But for lack of happiness in a blatant wife.
She broke my head on Tuesday with a dish.
I would have thwack'd the woman, but I did not,
Because thou sayest such fine things of women,
But I shall have to thwack her if I stay.

Robin.
Would it be better for thee in the wood?

Scarlet.
Ay, so she did not follow me to the wood.


No. 13 [3KB, 1' 12"]

Robin.
Then shalt thou go with me. And thou, good Tuck
And thou, my Little John! I'm happy! Should be happy!
She took my ring. I trust she loves me - yet I fear
Not her, but her father, whose needs do power her.
Ah! I'm only merry for an hour or two,
Upon a birthday! - If this life of ours
Be a good glad thing, why should we make us merry
Because a year of it is gone? But Hope
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come
Whispering 'It will be happier;' and old faces
Press round us, and warm hands close with warm hands,
And thro' the blood the wine leaps to the brain
Like April sap to the topmost tree, that shoots
New buds to heaven, whereon the throstle, rock'd,
Sings a new song to the new year. And you,
Strike up a song, my friends, and then to bed.

Sits by fire, and the men take up their torches and exeunt singing.

No. 14 [8KB, 1' 43"]

Chorus.
To sleep! to sleep!
The long bright day is done,
And darkness rises from the fallen sun.
To sleep! to sleep!
Whate'er thy joys,
    they vanish with the day;
Whate'er thy griefs,
    in sleep they fade away.
To sleep! to sleep!
Sleep, mournful heart,
    and let the past be past!
Sleep, happy soul! all life will sleep at last.
To sleep! to sleep! To sleep! to sleep!
The long bright day is done,
And darkness rises from the fallen sun.
To sleep! to sleep!
Next Song

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