The Foresters


 
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Act III

A forest bower; sunset growing on, and deepening into night and moonlight.

No. 22 [3KB, 1' 01"]

Enter Robin and Marian. She is in a huntress's dress
- a Diana of the woods.

Robin and Maid Marian
Marian.
Here let us rest, where the most beaten track
Runs thro' the forest. Under these huge oaks, knotted
And gnarl'd - older than the thrones of Europe -
Some hollow-hearted from exceeding age -
That never be thy lot or mine! - and some
Pillaring a leaf-sky on their monstrous boles,
Sound at the core as we are. Fifty leagues
Of woodland hear and know thy horn, that scares
The Baron at the torture of his churls,
The pillage of his vassals.

Robin.
Sit here, my queen, and judge the world with me.
Doubtless, like judges of another bench,
However wise, we must at times have wrought
Some great injustice, yet, far as we knew,
We never robb'd one friend of the true King.
We robb'd the traitors that are leagued with John;
We robb'd the lawyer who went against the law;
We spared the craftsman, chapman, all that live
By their own hands, the labourer, the poor priest.
Then after we have eased them of their coins
It is our forest custom they should revel
Along with Robin.

Marian.
And if a woman pass -

Robin.
Dear, in these days of Norman license, We never wrong'd a woman!

No. 23 [2KB, 0' 20"]

Marian.
Noble Robin!

Enter Little John, Much, and Scarlet with an oaken chaplet, and other Foresters and Kate.

Little John.
My lord - Robin - I crave pardon, you always seem to me a lord - I, Little John, he, Much the miller's son, and he, Scarlet, honouring all womankind, and especially my lady Marian, do here, in the name of all our woodmen, present her with this oaken chaplet as Queen of the Wood - I Little John, he, Young Scarlet, and he, Old Much, and all the rest of us.

Much.
And I, Old Much, say as much, for being every inch a man I honour every inch of a woman.

Robin.
Friend Scarlet, art thou less a man than Much? Why art thou mute? Dost thou not honour woman?

Scarlet.
Robin, I do, but I have a bad wife.

Robin.
Then let her pass as an exception, Scarlet.

Scarlet.
So I would, Robin, if any man would accept her.

Marian.
(As Robin puts on chaplet)
Comrades, I thank you for your loyalty,
And take and wear this symbol of your love;
And, were my kindly father sound again,
Could live as happy as the larks in heaven,
And join your feasts and all your forest games
As far as maiden might. Farewell, good fellows!

No. 24 [2KB, 0' 18"]

Several exeunt. As Little John is about to go off he pauses, looks through the wood, and speaks.

Little John
(coming forward) Here come three beggars.

No. 24a [2KB, 0' 14"]

Enter the three Beggars.

Little John.
Toll!

First Beggar.
Eh! we be beggars, we come to ask o' you. We ha' nothing.

Second Beggar.
Rags, nothing but our rags.

Third Beggar.
I have but one penny in pouch, and so you would make it two I should be grateful.

Marian.
Beggars, you are sturdy rogues that should be set to work. You are those that tramp the country, filch the linen from the hawthorn, poison the house-dog, and scare lonely maidens at farmstead. Search them, Little John.

Little John.
Gracious Queen, these two have forty gold marks between them, Robin.

Marian.
Cast them into our treasury, the beggars' mites. Search this other.

Little John.
He hath, as he said, but one penny.

Marian.
Leave it with him and add a gold mark thereto. He hath spoken truth in a world of lies.

Little John.
Sit there, knaves, till the captain call for you.

No. 25 [2KB, 0' 14"]

They pass behind the trunk of an oak on the right.

Kate.
Art thou not hard upon them, my good mistress?

Robin.
They might be harder upon thee, if met in a black lane at midnight. The throat might gape before the tongue could cry who?

No. 26 [2KB, 0' 24"]

Enter three Friars.

Kate.
Toll! toll!

First Friar.
(advancing) Behold a pretty Dian of the wood,
Prettier than that same widow which you wot of.
Ha, brother! Toll, my dear? the toll of love. (Chucks her under the chin.)

Marian.
(Drawing bow.) Back! how much money hast thou in thy purse?

First Friar.
Thou art playing with us. How should poor friars have money?

Marian.
How much? how much? Speak, or the arrow flies.

First Friar.
How much? well, now I bethink me, I have one mark in gold which a pious son of the Church gave me this morning on my setting forth.

Marian.
(bending bow at the second) And thou?

Second Friar.
Well, as he said, one mark in gold.

Marian.
(bending bow at the third) And thou?

Third Friar.
One mark in gold.

Marian.
Search them, Kate, and see if they have spoken truth.

Kate.
They are all marked men. They have all told but a tenth of the truth: they have each ten marks in gold.

Marian.
Leave them each what they say is theirs, and take the twenty-seven marks to the captain's treasury. Sit there till you be called for.

First Friar.
We have fallen into the hands of Robin Hood.

No. 27 [2KB, 0' 24"]

Marian and Kate return to Robin.
The Friars pass behind an oak on the left, prodded out by Much and Scarlet.

Robin.
Honour to thee, brave Marian, and thy Kate.
I know them arrant knaves in Nottingham.
One half of this shall go to those they have wrong'd,
One half shall pass into our treasury.
Come, bring in the wine! These friars, thieves, and liars,

No. 28 [3KB, 0' 24"]

Shall drink the health of our new Woodland Queen.
And they shall pledge thee, Marian, loud enough
To fright the wild swan passing overhead,

Marian.
Robin,
The silent blessing of one honest man
Is heard in Heaven - the wassail yells of thief
But wake the devil, and I may sicken by 'em.
Kate, thou may'st stay the here.
I'll to my father, who lies sore ill beyond -
There, Robin, will I wait for thee. (Exit.)

Enter Friar Tuck, Little John, Much, and Scarlet and Foresters roll in the cask and carry in their hands flasks and flagons. They pour the wine into cups.

Friar Tuck.
Fill to the brim. Our Robin, King o' the Woods,
Wherever the horn sound, and the buck bound,
Robin, the people's friend, the King o' the Woods. (They drink.)

Robin.
To the brim and over till the green earth drink
Her health along with us in this rich draught,
And answer it in flowers! The Queen o' the Woods,
Wherever the buck bound, and the horn sound,
Maid Marian, Queen o' the Woods! (They drink.)
Here, you three rogues, (To the Beggars. They come out.)
You caught a lonely woodman of our band,
And bruised him almost to the death, and took
His moneys.

Third Beggar.
Captain, nay, it wasn't me.

Robin.
You ought to dangle up there among the crows.
Drink to the health of our new Queen o' the Woods,
Or else be bound and beaten.

First Beggar.
Sir, sir - well,
We drink the health of thy new Queen o' the Woods.

Robin.
Louder! louder! Maid Marian, Queen o' the Woods!

Beggars
(shouting) Maid Marian, Queen o' the Woods! Queen o' the Woods!

Robin.
(to the Friars) And you false friars, (They come out.)
Drink to the Queen o' the woods,
Or else be bound and beaten.

First Friar.
Robin Hood,
These be the lies the people tell of us,
Because we seek to curb their viciousness.
However - to this maid, this Queen o' the Woods!

Robin.
Louder, louder, ye knaves! Maid Marian!
Queen o' the Woods!

Friars.
(shouting) Maid Marian, Queen o' the Woods! (They drink.)

Friar Tuck.
Robin, will you not hear these beggars sing a catch? They can do it. I have heard 'em in the market at Mansfield.

Little John.
No, my lord, hear ours. Kate and I have fallen out again, and I pray you to come between us again, for ourselves have made a song in your honour and that of our Queen Marian.

Robin.
Sing, and by Saint Mary these beggars and these friars shall join you.

Little John.
Scarlet, begin.

No. 29 [12KB, 2' 33"]

Scarlet.
By all the deer that spring
Thro' wood and lawn and ling,
When all the leaves are green;
By arrow and gray goosewing,
When horn and echo ring,
We care so much for a King;
We care not much for a Queen-
Not much for a Queen, for a Queen o' the Woods.

Chorus of Men.
We care so much for a King;
We care not much for a Queen, for a Queen, for a Queen,-
For a Queen, for a Queen o' the Woods.
For a Queen, for a Queen o' the Woods.

Robin.
(spoken.) Do you call that in her honour?

Scarlet.
(spoken.) Bitters before dinner, to give you a relish. The first part they put it upon me because I have a bad wife.

Robin.
Tut! Proceed - I'll join our Queen - proceed. (Exit as song continues.)

Scarlet.
By all the leaves of spring,
And all the birds that sing,
When all the leaves are green;
By arrow and bowstring,
When horn and echo ring,
We care so much for a King
That we would die for a Queen,
Would die for a Queen, for a Queen o' the Woods.

Chorus of Men.
We care so much for a King
That we would die for a Queen, for a Queen, for a Queen--
For a Queen, for a Queen o' the Woods
For a Queen, for a Queen o' the Woods.
Next Song

They go off, Foresters, Friars, and All, at the last strains,
leaving Kate and Little John.

Little John.
Speak to me,
I am like a boy now going to be whipt;
I know I have done amiss, have been a fool;
Speak to me, Kate, and say you pardon me!

Kate.
I never will speak word to thee again.
What! to mistrust the girl you say you love
Is to mistrust your own love for your girl!
How should you love if you mistrust your love?

Little John.
O Kate, true love and jealousy are twins,
And love is joyful, innocent, beautiful,
And jealousy is wither'd, sour, and ugly;
Yet are they twins and always go together.

Kate.
Well, well, until they cease to go together,
I am but a stone and a dead stock to thee.

Little John.
I thought I saw thee clasp and kiss a man,
And it was but a woman. Pardon me. (Attempts to caress her.)

Kate.
Quiet Little John, quiet!
You lovers are such clumsy summer-flies,
For ever buzzing at your lady's face.

Little John.
Bees, rather, flying to the flower for honey.

No. 30 [9KB, 1' 15"]

Kate.
The bee buzz'd up in the heat:
'I am faint for your honey, my sweet.'
The flower said, 'Take, it my dear,
For now is the spring of the year.
So come, come!'
'Hum!'
And the bee buzz'd down from the heat.

And the bee buzz'd up in the cold
When the flower was wither'd and old.
'Have you still any honey, my dear?'
She said, 'It's the fall of the year,
But come, come!'
'Hum!'
And the bee buzz'd off in the cold.
Next Song

The scene begins to grow quite dark

Little John.
Out on thy song!

Kate.
Did I not sing in tune?

Little John.
No, sweetheart! Out of tune with love and me!

Kate.
And yet in tune with Nature and the bees.
Enough - no more - I'm no more thine
Till thou thyself shalt come and sing it
In tune. (She runs off, he after her.)

No. 31 [3KB, 1' 33"]

Marian enters slowly and dreamily.

Maid Marian by Louis Rhead
Marian.
My father sleeps. I've left them watching him!
He sleeps and dreams - and dreams and dozes:
She shall not marry Robin. He dotes - she shall not marry
Till Richard comes. Then never perhaps!
An outlaw's bride may not be a wife in law. I am weary. (Lying down on a bank.)
What's here? a dead bat in the fairy ring -
Yes, I remember, Scarlet hacking down
A hollow Ash, a bat flew out at him
And he was scared and slew it. Our men say
The fairies haunt this glade; - if one could catch
A glimpse of them and of their fairy Queen -
Have our loud pastimes driven them all away?
I never saw them; yet I could believe
There came some evil fairy at my birth
And cursed me, as the last one of my race:
"This maid will never wed the man she loves." (Yawns.)
Weary - I'm a-weary -
As tho' a spell were on me. (She dreams.)

The moon rises, lighting up the stage,and the Fairies are seen swinging on boughs
and nestling in hollow trunks. Titania on a hill. Fairies on either side of her.
The moon above the hill.

No. 32 [41KB, 4' 52"]

First Fairy.
Evil Fairy! do you hear?
So she said who lieth here.

Titania.
We be fairies of the wood.
We be neither bad nor good.

First Fairy.
Back and side and hip and rib,
Nip her, nip her for her fib.

Titania.
Nip her not, but let her snore.
We must flit for evermore.

First Fairy.
Tit, my queen, must it be so?
Wherefore, wherefore should we go?

Titania.
I Titania bid you flit,
And you dare to call me Tit.

First Fairy.
Tit, for love and brevity,
Not for love and levity.

Titania.
Tit for love, thou naughty lob,
Wouldst thou call my Oberon Ob?

First Fairy.
Nay, an please your Elfin Grace,
Never Ob before his face.

Titania.
Fairy realm is breaking down
When the fairy slights the crown.

First Fairy.
No, by wisp and glowworm, no!
Only wherefore should we go?

Titania.
We must fly from Robin Hood
And this new queen of the wood.

First Fairy.
True, she is a goodly thing.
Jealousy, jealousy of the King!

Chorus (First Half)
Killed the sward where ever they sat, Queen

Chorus (Second Half)
Bursting bracken beaten flat, Queen

Chorus (First Half)
Honest daisy deadly bruised, Queen

Chorus (Second Half)
Modest maiden lily abused, Queen

Chorus (First Half)
Beetle's jewel armour cracked, Queen

Chorus (Second Half)
Reeds we rocked on broken backed, Queen

Full Chorus.
We be scared with song and shout,
Arrows whistle all about.
All our games be put to rout.
All our rings be trampled out.
Lead us thou to some deep glen,
Far from solid foot of men,
Never to return again,
Never to return again,
Queen,

Titania.
Elf, with spiteful heart and eye,
Talk of jealousy? You see why
We must leave the wood and fly.
Up with you, out of the forest and over the hills and away,

Chorus.
Up with you, out of the forest and over the hills and away,

Titania.
And over this Robin Hood's bay!
Up thro' the light of the seas by the moon's long-silvering ray!

First Fairy & Chorus
To a land where the fay,
Not an eye to survey,
In the night, in the day,
Can have frolic and play.

Titania.
Lady lying here alone,
Moody creature,
Of a nature
Stronger, sadder than my own,
Were I human, were I human,
I could love you like a woman,

Titania. Chorus.
To a land where the fay,
Not an eye to
I could love survey, In the night ,
you like a woman. in the day, Can have frolic and play.

Titania, First Fairy & Chorus.
Soon, soon you shall have you honeymoon,
He shall wed you, Marian,
He shall wed you, Marian,
For you love him, and he loves you
Both be happy, and adieu forever and forever more adieu.

Marian.
(half waking - speaking) Shall I be happy?
Happy vision, stay.

Fairies.
Up with you, all of you, off with you, out of it,
Over the woods and away!
Next Song

CURTAIN


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