For once you are mistaken in your man.
The deed you wot of shall forthwith be done.
A bird let loose, a secret out of hand,
Returns not back. Why, then ’tis baby policy
To menace him who hath it in his keeping.
I will go look for Gray;
Then, northward ho! such tricks as we shall play
Have not been seen, I think, in merry Sherwood,
Since the days of Robin Hood, that archer good.
SCENE.—An Apartment in Woodvil Hall.
JOHN WOODVIL (alone)
A weight of wine lies heavy on my head,
The unconcocted follies of last night.
Now all those jovial fancies, and bright hopes,
Children of wine, go off like dreams.
This sick vertigo here
Preacheth of temperance, no sermon better.
These black thoughts, and dull melancholy,
That stick like burrs to the brain, will they ne’er leave me?
Some men are full of choler, when they are drunk;
Some brawl of matter foreign to themselves;
And some, the most resolved fools of all,
Have told their dearest secrets in their cups.
Sir, we are sorry we cannot return your French salutation.
Nor otherwise consider this garb you trust to than as a poor disguise.
Nor use much ceremony with a traitor.
Therefore, without much induction of superfluous words, I attach you,
Sir Walter Woodvil, of High Treason, in the King’s name.
And of taking part in the great Rebellion against our late lawful
Sovereign, Charles the First.
John has betrayed us, father.
Come, Sir, you had best surrender fairly. We know you, Sir.
SIMON Hang ye, villains, ye are two better known than trusted. I have seen those faces before. Are ye not two beggarly retainers, trencher-parasites, to John? I think ye rank above his footmen. A sort of bed and board worms—locusts that infest our house; a leprosy that long has hung upon its walls and princely apartments, reaching to fill all the corners of my brother’s once noble heart.
We are his friends.
Fie, Sir, do not weep. How these rogues will triumph! Shall I whip off
their heads, father? (Draws.)
Come, Sir, though this shew handsome in you, being his son, yet the law
must have its course.
SIMON And if I tell you the law shall not have its course, cannot ye be content? Courage, father; shall such things as these apprehend a man? Which of ye will venture upon me?—Will you, Mr. Constable self-elect? or you, Sir, with a pimple on your nose, got at Oxford by hard drinking, your only badge of loyalty?