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Be it not king Edward. For stature he is fram’d
Enter one with the EARL OF KENDAL prisoner. Soft, who have we there?
Cup. Here is a traitor, the earl of Kendal.
K. Edw. Aspiring traitor! how dar'st thou once Cast thine eyes upon thy sovereign, That honour'd thee with kindness and with favour? But I will make thee buy this treason dear.
Ken. Good, my lord
K. Edw. Reply not, traitor.
Cud. George-a-Greene, the Pinner of Wakefield.
K. Edw. George-a-Greene! now shall I hear news Certain, what this Pinner is : Discourse it briefly, Cuddy, how it befell.
Cup. Kendal and Bonfield, with sir Gilbert ArmCame to Wakefield town disguis'd,
strong, And there spoke ill of your Grace; Which George but hearing, felld them at his feet, And, had not rescue come unto the place, George had slain them * in his close of wheat.
* them] The 4to.“ him.”
K. Edw. But, Cuddy, canst thou not tell Where I might give and grant some thing, That might please, and highly gratify the Pinner's
thoughts? Cup. This at their parting George did say to me:* If the king vouchsafe of this my service, Then, gentle Cuddy, kneel upon thy knee, And humbly crave a boon of him for me.
K. Edw. Cuddy, what is it?
Cud. It is his will your Grace would pardon them, And let them live, although they have offended.
K. Edw. I think the man striveth to be glorious.
Ken. Gracious is Edward to offending subjects.
to the court.
* This at their parting George did say to me, &c.] Yet Cuddy has just told the king he never saw George-a-Greene! Perhaps the printer of the old 4to.jumbled two scenes together.
Away then, conduct him to the Tower. -
(Exeunt omnes. Enter Robin Hood, Maid MARIAN, SCARLET,
and Much the Miller's Son. Rob. Why is not lovely Marian blithe of cheer? What ails my leman,* that she 'gins to lour ? Say, good Marian, why art thou so sad ?
Mar. Nothing, my Robin, grieves me to the heart, But whensoever I do walk abroad, I hear no songs but all of George-a-Greene; Bettris his fair leman passeth me: And this, my Robin, galls my very soul.
Rob. Content; What wreaks it us, though George-a-Greene be stout, So long as he doth proffer us no scath? Envy doth seldom hurt but to itself, And therefore, Marian, smile upon thy Robin.
Mar. Never will Marian smile upon her Robin, Nor lie with him under the green-wood shade, Till that thou go to Wakefield on a green, And beat the Pinner for the love of me.
Rob. Content thee, Marian, I will ease thy grief,
SCAR. As I am Scarlet, next to little John,
Much. As I am Much, the miller's son,
* leman) i.e. mistress, love.
This pleasant life contenteth me;
Mar. And, Robin, Marian she will go with thee, To see fair Bettris how bright she is of blee.*
Rob. Marian, thou shalt go with thy Robin.
Scar. I will have friar Tuck's.
Rob. I will have one made of an ashen plank,t
[Exeunt omnes. Enter a SHOEMAKER sitting upon the stage at
work; JENKIN to him. JEN. My masters, he that hath neither meat nor money, and hath lost his credit with the alewife, for anything I know, may go supperless to bed. But soft, who is here? here is a shoemaker; he knows where is the best ale. Shoemaker, I pray thee tell me, where is the best ale in the town?
Shoe. Afore, afore, follow thy nose; at the sign of the egg-shell.
Jen. Come, shoemaker, if thou wilt, and take thy part of a pot.
SHOE. "Sirrah, down with your staff, down with your staff.
* how bright she is of blee] Bright of blee is an expression frequent in old ballads: blee is colour, complexion.-Sax. bleo.
+ plank] The 4to.“ plunk.” Qy. “plant.” VOL. II.
Jen. Why, how now, is the fellow mad? I pray thee tell me, why should I hold down my staff?
Shoe. You will down with him, will you not, sir? Jen. Why, tell me wherefore ?
Shoe. My friend, this is the town of merry Wakefield, and here is a custom held, that none shall pass with his staff on his shoulders, but he must have a bout with me; and so shall you, sir.
Jen. And so will not I, sir.
Show. That will I try. Barking dogs bite not the sorest. JEN. I would to God, I were once well rid of him.
[Aside. Shoe. Now, what, will you down with your staff ? JEN. Why, you are not in earnest, are you? SHOE. If I am not, take that.
JEN. You whoreson cowardly scab, it is but the part of a clapperdudgeon,* to strike a man in the street. But darest thou walk to the town's end with me ?
SHOE. Ay, that I dare do: but stay till I lay in my tools, and I will go with thee to the town's end presently. Jen. I would I knew how to be rid of this fellow.
Aside. Shoe. Come, sir, will you go to the town's end now, sir?
Jen. Ay, sir, come. Now we are at the town's end, what say you now?
SHOE. Marry come, let us even have a bout. Jen. Ha, stay a little, hold thy hands, I pray thee. Shoe. Why, what's the matter? Jen. Faith, I am Under-pinner of a town, and * clapperdudgeon] i. e. beggar. A clap-dislı,-a wooden dish with a cover, which they clapped to shew that it was empty, used to be carried by beggars.