Page images

Geo. What, have you any more?
Call all your town forth, Cut, and Longtail.

[The shoemakers spy George-a-Greene. Shoe. What, George-a-Greene, is it you? A

plague found * you ! I think you long'd to swinge me well. Come, George, we will crush a pot before we part.

Geo. A pot ! you slave, we will have an hundred. Here, Will Perkins, take my purse, fetch me A stand of ale, and set in the market-place, That all may drink that are athirst this day, For this is for a fee to welcome Robin Hood To Bradford town. [They bring out the stand of ale, and fall a

drinking. Here, Robin, sit thou here; For thou art the best man at the board this day. You that are strangers, place yourselves where you Robin,

[will. Here's a carouse to good king Edward's self, And they that love him not, I would we had The basting of them a little. Enter the Earl of Warwick with other Noble

men, bringing out the king's garments ; then GEORGE-A-GREENE and the rest kneel down to the king.

K. Edw. Come, masters, all fellows. Nay, Robin, You are the best man at the board to-day. Rise up, George. Geo. Nay, good my liege, ill-nurtur'd we were

then : Though we Yorkshire men be blunt of speech, And little skill'd in court, or such quaint fashions,

[ocr errors]

Yet nature teacheth us duty to our king,
Therefore I humbly beseech you pardon George-a-

Rob. And good my lord, a pardon for poor Robin;
And for us all a pardon, good king Edward.

Shoe. I pray you, a pardon for the shoemakers.

K. Edw. I frankly grant a pardon to you all. And George-a-Greene, give me thy hand; There is none in England that shall do thee wrong. Even from my court I came to see thyself; And now I see that fame speaks nought but truth.

Geo. I humbly thank your royal majesty. That which I did against the earl of Kendal, It was but a subject's duty to his sovereign, And therefore little merits such good words.

K. Edw. But ere I go, I'll grace thee with good Say what king Edward may perform, [deeds. And thou shalt have it, being in England's bounds.

Geo. I have a lovely leman, *
As bright of blee + as is the silver moon,
And old Grime her father, will not let her match
With me, because I am a Pinner,
Although I love her, and she me, dearly.

K. Edw. Where is she?
Geo. At home at my poor house,
And vows never to marry unless her father
Give consent, which is my great grief, my lord.

K. Edw. If this be all, I will dispatch it straight; I'll send for Grime and force him give his grant ! He will not deny king Edward such a suit.

Enter Jenkin, and speaks. Jen. Ho, who saw a master of mine? O, he is gotten into company, and a body should rake hell for company.

* leman) See note * p. 192. + As bright of blee] See note * p. 193.

Geo. Peace, ye slave, see where king Edward is.
K. Edw. George, what is he?
Geo. I beseech your Grace pardon him, heis my man.

SH0E. Sirrah, the king hath been drinking with us, and did pledge us too.

SHOE. Beg it of the king, Jenkin. .
Jen. I will. I beseech your worship grant me

one thing.
K. Edw. What is that?
JEN. Hark in your ear.

[He whispers the king in the ear.
K. Edw. Go your ways, and do it.
JEN. Come, down on your knees, I have got it.
SHOE. Let us hear what it is first.

JEN. Marry, because you have drunk with the king, and the king hath so graciously pledged you, you shall be no more called shoemakers; but you and yours to the world's end, shall be called the trade of the Gentle Craft.

Shoe. I beseech your majesty reform this which he hath spoken.

Jen. I beseech your worship consume this which he hath spoken.

K. Edw. Confirm it, you would say: Well he hath done it for you, it is sufficient. Come, George, we will go to Grime, and have thy love.

JEN. I am sure your worship will abide; for yonder is coming old Musgrove, and mad Cuddy his son. Master, my fellow Wily, comes drest like a woman, and Master Grime will marry Wily. Here they come. Enter MUSGROVE and CUDDY, and MASTER GRIME,

Wily, Mair MARIAN and BETTRIS. K. Edw. Which is thy old father, Cuddy? Cup. This, if it please your majesty. [Kneel.

K. Edw. Ah old Musgrove, stand up; It fits not such grey hairs to kneel.

Mus. Long live My sovereign ! long and happy be his days ! Vouchsafe, my gracious lord, a simple gift, At Billy Musgrove's hand. King James at Middleham-castle gave me this; This won the honour, and this give I thee. K. Edw. Godamercy, Musgrove, for this friendly

gift; And for thou fell’dst a king with this same weapon, This blade shall here dub valiant Musgrove knight. Mus. Alas, what hath your Highness done? I

am poor. K. Edw. To mend thy living take thou Middleham

castle, *
The hold of both; and if thou want living, complain,
Thou shalt have more to maintain thine estate.
George, which is thy love?
Geo. This, if please your majesty.
K. Edw. Art thou her aged father?
GRIME. I am, and it like your majesty.
K. Edw. And wilt not give thy daughter unto

GRIME. Yes, my lord, if he will let me marry
With this lovely lass.

K. Edw. What say'st thou, George ?
GEO. With all my heart, my lord, I give consent.
GRIME. Then do I give my daughter unto George.

Wily. Then shall the marriage soon be at an end, Witness, my lord, if that I be a woman :

* Middleham-castle] Grose in his Antiq. of England and Wales, vol. iv. gives two views of this castle, and is at the trouble to enquire what foundation the present play has on history : well might Ritson (Robin Hood, vol. i. p. xxix.) sneer at “ his very gravely sitting down and debating his opinion in form.”

For I am Wily, boy to George-a-Greene,
Who for my master wrought this subtle shift.
K. Edw. What! is it a boy? what say'st thou to

this, Grime?
GRIME. Marry, my lord, I think this boy hath
More knavery than all the world besides.
Yet am I content that George shall both have
My daughter and my lands.

K. Edw. Now, George, it rests I gratify thy worth: And therefore, here I do bequeath to thee, In full possession, half that Kendal hath ; And what as Bradford holds of me in chief, I give it frankly unto thee for ever. Kneel down, George. Geo. What will your majesty do? K. Edw. Dub thee a knight, George. Geo. I beseech your Grace, grant me one thing. K. Edw. What is that? Geo. Then let me live and die a yeoman still : So was my father, so must live his son. For 'tis more credit to men of base degree, To do great deeds, than men of dignity.

K. Edw. Well, be it so, George.

K. James. I beseech your Grace dispatch with me, And set down my ransom.

K. Edw. George-a-Greene, set down the king of His ransom.

[Scots Geo. I beseech your Grace pardon me, It passeth my skill.

K. Edw. Do it, the honour's thine. Geo. Then let king James make good Those towns which he hath burnt upon the borders; Give a small pension to the fatherless, Whose fathers he caus'd murder'd in those wars; Put in pledge for these things to your Grace, And so return,

« PreviousContinue »