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And as he came to Nottingham,
tend to the ecclesiastics is clear enough; A tinker he did meet, And seeing him a lusty blade,
his exploits show this, as does a couplet in He kindly did him greet.
one of the ballads : When Robin found on what errand the Theyse byshoppes and theyse archebyshoppes,
Ye shall them bete and bynde ! tinker was
engaged, they settled the matter with the quarter-staff; the result Nevertheless, in his own queer way he had was, as usual, an addition to the members a kind of piety. A very ancient ballad of the band. The Pindar, or pound-keeper, contains four stanzas which notice this chaof Wakefield was another hero :
racteristic in a curious way: “In Wakefield their lives a jolly pindar,
“This is a mery mornynge," said litulle Johne, In Wakefield all on the green,
"Be hym that dyed on tre, There is neither knight nor squire," said the pindar,
A more merry man than I am one “Nor baron so bold, nor baron so bold,
Lives not in Christiante." Dare make a trespass in the town of Wakefield,
“Pluck up thy hert, my dere mayster,' But his pledge goes to the penfold.”
Litulle Johne gan say, Robin Hood, Little John, and Will Scar.
“And think it is a ful fayre time,
In a mornynge of May." let, in some way contravened this rule ;
“ Ze on thyoge greves me,” seid Robyne wherenpon the pindar boldly grappled And does my hert mych woo, with all three :
That I may not so solemn day
To mas nor matyns goo.
“ Hit is a fourtnet and more," said hee,
"Syn I my Sauyour see;
To-day will I to Notyngham,
With the myght of mylde Marye.”
He went, but the seriousness of his errand Robin so admired the pindar, that he in- did not prevent him from playing one of duced him to join the band. One of the his pranks in the city. ballads declares that Robin Hood slew in an encounter fifteen men who had doubted or some of his men, came in contact in
Among the persons with whom Robin, his courage ; and this, too, when he was various adventures, were the Abbot of St. only as many years old. It opens
Mary, the Potter, the Beggar, the Stranger, Robin Hood was a tall young man,
the Ranger, Sir Richard, and the King, all Of fifteen winters old, Derry ding dong!
forming the subjects of distinct ballads. And Robin Hood was a proper young man, The king, we are told, was the means of Of courage stout and bold,
bringing the outlaw back to a more regular Hey derry ding dong!
course of life. Going to Sherwood Forest, On one occasion he met a lady weeping with a view of seeing this redoubtable On inquiring into the cause, he found that Robin Hood, and accompanied by a force three of her sons were to be executed at sufficient to insure a capture, the king Nottingham for killing the king's deer. graciously offered pardon on conditions This was quite enough for him; he re- which Robin accepted. More than one of solved to effect a rescue. Proceeding to the ballads tell of the hero's death. He the city he sought an interview with the fell sick, and went to a religious house in sheriff, professed to be earnest in the king's Yorkshire, the abbess of which was a kinscause, and asked to be permitted to fill the woman of his. She bled him, and allowed office of hangman, with the only further him to bleed to a fatal degree-treacherprivilege of being allowed to make one ously, as the songs assert. He longed to blast on his horn. The sheriff assented, see the greenwood once again, and shoot the arrangements were made, Robin blew
arrow before he died. A parahis horn, whereupon a hundred and ten of phrase on the old rhymes has been prettily his merry men suddenly appeared. The rendered by Bernard Barton : sheriff, thus knowing who was his formid
They rais'd him on his couch, and set able visitor, speedily consented to let the
The casement open wide ; three prisoners escape :
Once more, with vain and fond regret,
Fair Nature's face he eyed. “Oh take them, oh take them,” says great master sheriff,
With kindling glance and throbbing heart, “Oh take them along with thee ;
One parting look he cast, For there's ne'er a man in all Nottingham,
Sped on its way the feather'd dart, Can do the like of thee!”
Sank back, and breath'd his last.
And where it fell they dug his grave, It is noteworthy that Robin, in the midst
Beneath the greenwood tree: of his wild achievements, was credited with Meet resting-place for one so brave, a reverence for the religious services of the
So lawless, frank, and free! church. That this reverence did not ex- In reference to the music to which these
singularly interesting old ballads were set, twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Robin Mr. Chappell
, the experienced author of the Hood and Maid Marian often appear as volumes on the Popular Music of the Olden the names of a shepherd and his rustic Time, finds that it was very plain and lover. simple, easy to sing-a necessary condition There is, however, a greater concurrence in such very lengthy compositions. Robin of testimony to support a belief that a man Hood and the Bishop of Hereford was in named Robin Hood really lived some six two-four time; Robin Hood and the centuries ago, and really disported himself Friar in six-eight time, and in the minor as an outlaw in Sherwood Forest. The mode; and so was Robin Hood and the Reverend Joseph Hunter has found, in a Pindar of Wakefield. On examining many household book of the court of Edward the of the ballads, in the second line of which Second, an entry to the effect that one there comes a “hey down-a-down down,” or Robyn Hode was among the vadlets, valets, something of the kind, Mr. Chappell finds varlets, or porters of the chamber in the that they were all, or nearly all set to the king's palace. This is regarded as giving same tune. This was the case with Robin some support to the account which forms Hood and the Stranger, Robin Hood and the burden of many of the tales and the Beggar, Robin Hood and the Four ballads, and which may be thus summaBeggars, Robin Hood and the Bishop, rised: That Robin Hood was born at Robin Hood's Chase, Robin Hood and the Locksley in the time of Henry the Second ; Tanner, Robin Hood and the Butcher, that his real name was Robert Fitzoothes, Robin Hood and the Ranger, and Robin some say Earl of Huntingdon; that he was Hood and Maid Marian. In many of the a wild extravagant youth, who got into debt ballads the last line is repeated as a chorus. and difficulties; that he became an outlaw
And now, what are we to think of all in Sherwood Forest, where he surrounded this? Did Robin Hood ever really live ? himself with the companions already named; Was he a reality, or only a myth? There that he enlisted all he could of those who are writers who refuse to give credence to were brave and bold, and good archers; that his actual existence. It has been urged, he and his bowmen, something like a hunby one or other of these critics, that the dred in number, made war against every origin of the ballads may be accounted for one except the poor and the weak, and on other grounds. It has been urged that moved about from place to place when Robin Hood was not a patronymic, but a attacked; that the forest supplied them parely descriptive name, applied to the ideal with venison and firewood, while the vilpersonification of a class—the outlaws of the lagers were made to furnish other necesolden time. Robin's fame extended to Scot- saries and comforts, either by purchase or land and France as well as throughout Eng- by more summary means; that the king land. Eugène Sue, in one of his novels, gives pardoned Robin, after an interview ; that the name of Robin de Bois to a mysterious Robin was quietly in the royal service for character employed by French mothers to a considerable time; and that he died at frighten their children. Grimm, in his Kirtley Nunnery, Yorkshire, in the reign German mythology, speaks of the hood or of Henry the Third. There is, it is true, hoodiken assigned in fairy tales to Robin an awkward chronological hitch here; beGoodfellow and other elves; and it is in- cause if Robin Hood died in the time of ferred that Robin Hood may be simply Henry the Third, he could not well have Robin o' the Hood, not a veritable man, been the Robin who lived in the days of bat a mischievous denizen of fairyland. Edward the Second. Where the arrow fell Some settle down into the prosaic explana- resulting from poor Robin's last shot was tion that, as there were in the Middle Ages on a spot not far from Wakefield ; and antimany Englishmen with the surname of quaries agree that some years ago there Hood, and many with the Christian name was really a grave at that spot, with sods of Robin, the chances are in favour of beneath the head and feet ends, and a stone there having been some one man with both bearing the inscription or epitaph : names; but that this need not involve a
Here undernead dis laitl stean belief in the stories and ballads as being
Laiz Robert Earl of Huntingdon. true narratives. A Gloucestershire writer
Ne'er arcir vez az hie sa geud,
An pipl kauld im Robyn Heud. states that, in that county, the peasants
Sich utlawes az hi an iz men often pronounce W like H, converting
Vil England nivir si agen. Wood into Hood, and Robin's Wood Hill One thing is pretty certain. Neither antiinto Robin Hood's Hill. Hallam says that, quary or etymologist will ever kill Robin in the Provençal pastoral poems of the Hood. He will live in popular belief as
he has lived for centuries past, though not thought, to tell Mr. Drage that she intended perhaps so entirely unquestioned. Shake to keep herself concealed during the time speare mentions him in As You Like It, her husband was at Wheatcroft; and, by where the duke and his followers live in every means in her power, to prevent him the Forest of Arden,“ like the old Robin having the slightest idea of her connexion Hood of England.” Sir Walter Scott, in with Sir Geoffry's establishment. Ivanhoe, brings in a bold archer, named She found the rector taking his morning Locksley the Yeoman, as one of the cha- walk round the garden, with little Bertha racters. Richard Cænr de Lion pardons trotting by his side. Directly she caught Locksley for some misdeeds, and addresses sight of Madge, the child rushed towards
her, putting up her face to be kissed, and “And thou, brave Locksley
clinging to Madge's gown with both hands. "Call me no longer Locksley, my liege, “We were talking about you just now, but know me under the name which, I fear, Mrs. Pickering,” said the child. “I was fame hath blown too widely not to have asking papa why you did not come back reached even your royal ears. I am Robin and live here. We should like it so much, Hood, of Sherwood Forest."
pa and I would, and it would be so much "King of outlaws, prince of good fel. more cheerful for you than staying with lows,” said Richard, who declared that the that cross old gentleman at Wheatcroft." name was well known, even as far as “My dear Bertha,” said Madge, with a Palestine ; " be assured, brave outlaw, that grave smile, “I should like to be with you no deed done in our absence, and in the very much, but I cannot come.” turbulent times to which it has given rise,
So papa said,” cried the child, turning shall be remembered to thy disadvantage." to Mr. Drage, who had just come up.
“İ Meanwhile we have many local names to suppose as papa cannot have you here, that refresh the memory : such as Robin Hood's is the reason he has bought a portrait of Well, near Locksley, or Loxley ; the Robin you a ?” Hood and Little John hostelry at Sheffield; "A portrait of me !" cried Madge, look. Robin Hood's Spring, Robin Hood's Moss, ing towards the rector with uplifted eyeRobin Hood's Wood, Robin Hood's Bow, brows. at Fountains Abbey; Robin Hood's Cap * Bertha, my darling, how can you be so and Slippers, at St. Anne's Well; Robin ridiculous," said the rector. “ The fact is, Hood's Bay, on the Yorkshire coast; Mrs. Pickering, that when at Bircester the Robin Hood's Hill, in Derbyshire; Robin other day, I saw in a shop window a print Hood's Stride, in the same county; and of a saint's head, by some German artist
, Robin Hood's Wind, in Lancashire—where and I was so struck with it, that I could this name is given to thaw wind, a wind not resist purchasing it.” blowing during the thawing of snow, which “Yes, and he has had it nailed up over Robin is said to have declared was the only the mantelpiece in his bedroom, Mrs. wind which he could not withstand. Pickering; and when I told him the other
day that I thought it was like you, his face
grew quite red. Didn't it, papa ?" CASTAWAY.
“Now run away, darling, and don't talk
nonsense, said the rector, whose cheeks PORT," &c. &c.
were burning; then as the child darted off,
he turned to his visitor and said, “ Have BOOK III.
you any news, Mrs. Pickering, as you are
away from home so early ?” ALTHOUGH her mind was sufficiently made “I have indeed," she replied, “and up as to the course which she would pur- strange news. Philip Vane is coming to sue, Madge thought it would be advisable Wheatcroft !" to take counsel with Mr. Drage, and accord- “Good Heavens!" cried the rector. “That ingly, early the next morning, she set off woman has told him of your visit to her.” for the rectory. She intended to tell Mr. “Oh, no,” said Madge, with a smile, Drage that Philip Vane was coming to she has not told him ; she will not tell Wheatcroft on a matter of business, but did him. She has determined to play the game not think it necessary to explain what that out in her own way, and to run the risk. business was, nor to acquaint the rector No, Mr. Vane is coming with another genwith the information which she had gleaned tleman from London to see Sir Geoffry on by unravelling the mysteries of the cipher business.” telegram. It would be sufficient, she The rector gave a sudden start, and a
BY THE AUTHOR OF "BLACK SHEEP, " "WRECKED IN
CHAPTER IV. VISITORS.
bright eager look crossed his face, but died quite foreign to his nature, and half put away immediately.
forth his hand, as though about to wish He will be at Wheatcroft, then, some her good-bye. It was evident that he was little time?" he said.
anxious for her departure, so Madge, won“He will pass one night there,” replied dering much what could have so strangely Madge. “The distance from London is moved her friend, took her leave. The too great for them to return the same day. rector accompanied her to the gate, and Besides, they have business to discuss with then, returning to his study, turned the Sir Geoffry which will probably take some key in the lock, and, falling upon his knees, hours."
prayed long and fervently. “What do you intend to do ?”
When Madge arrived at Wheatcroft she “I intend asking Sir Geoffry's permis- found Sir Geoffry in a state of great exsion to remain in my room. In the ordi- citement. nary course of events, a person in my posi- “I have received a letter from these tion would not be brought into contact with gentlemen, Mrs. Pickering,” he said, “and company remaining for so short a period they will be here at mid-day to-morrow. in the house; and it is only through Sir Very luxurious fellows for men of business Geoffry's courtesy and consideration that I they seem to be too. Springside is too far take a more prominent place in the house- distant from London for them to complete hold. I shall retire to my room when they the journey in one day; they must sleep at arrive, and remain there until after their Bircester forsooth. Deuced easy style this departure. The name of Mrs. Pickering, Mr. Delabole writes in too; says he has no the housekeeper, will doubtless be men doubt that, after I have perused the private tioned occasionally, but it is one which Mr. papers which he intends bringing with him, Vane has never heard of in connexion with and listened to all he has to say, I shall be me, and will convey to his mind no idea of convinced of the excellence of the undertakme whatsoever. Do you approve of what ing, and that he shall carry away the deed I propose doing ?"
duly inscribed with my name. He speaks so ** Perfectly," said Mr. Drage, with a confidently that the investment which he nervous and excited air. “It is most im- proposes must be a very sound one, or else he portant that your husband should not know must have but a poor opinion of my business of your presence in this place. You feel qualifications. I dare say he thinks it will tolerably certain that Mrs. Bendixen has be easy enough, with specious words and not acquainted him with your visit?” cooked accounts, to get over an old soldier ;
"I feel quite certain of it,” said Madge. however, that will remain to be proved. “Her last words to me were convincing on You will be quite ready for the reception of that point."
these gentlemen, Mrs. Pickering, and will " Then Mr. Vane will stay over the night make them comfortable, I am sure.' at Wheatcroft. Who is the other gentle- "You may depend upon their being made man who is coming down with him ?” perfectly comfortable, Sir Geoffry," said
“The chairman of the company of which Madge. “ There will, I presume, be no Mr. Vane is the general manager.
occasion for my being in attendance when “ The chairman! Oh, then it is through they are here ?” him that the business will principally be “None in the world,” said Sir Geoffry, conducted ; and Mr. Vane is probably only promptly. coming down to be referred to on points “I mean that I shall not be called upon of detail. Is he a man likely to walk out to see them, and that I may keep to my much while he is here ?"
room during their stay ?” "What an extraordinary question !" said Certainly, if you wish it,” said Sir Madge. "I can scarcely understand what Geoffry. “But you know, Mrs. Pickering, you mean."
that I am rather proud of you, and* I meant was he fond of exercise ? Some “I am a little over-fatigued by my men whose lives are passed in the City are journey, and I dread any introduction to delighted at every chance of getting into strangers, fearing I might absolutely break the fresh air. However, I only asked for down. Ithe sake of something to say. I think you “Don't say another word about it; you are perfectly right in what you propose, shall do exactly as you please, and no stress my dear Mrs. Pickering, and I would re- shall be laid upon you. Sensitive woman commend you to take every precaution that that," said the old general to himself, lookyour intentions are not frustrated.”
ing after Madge's retreating figure," highHe spoke in a nervous, jerky manner, spirited, and all that kind of thing. Does
not mind the people about here, but doesn't temper. The promptitude which his comlike strangers. Is afraid, I suppose, of panion displayed in seizing upon every meeting people who knew her in better word uttered by their host as a personal days, and who would be ashamed of recog- matter was not without its effect upon Mr. nising her in her present position. Now I Delabole. When Sir Geoffry pushed his must once more look through the papers chair back from the table and suggested which Irving sent to me, and coach my- that they should adjourn to the library, self up in readiness to meet these gentle- there to discuss the object of their visit, men from the City.”
Mr. Delabole said : Punctual to its time, the train containing "If you have no objection, Sir Geoffry, the two gentlemen arrived at the Spring- I think that this question will be more side station the following morning, and likely to be brought to a speedy conclusion Mr. Delabole, hopping briskly out, called a if it is left to you and me. My friend Mr. fly, then turned back to assist his com- Vane is invaluable in all matters of detail, panion in extricating their luggage from and when we come to them we can request the carriage. There were but few persons him to favour us with his presence ; for on the platform, for it was an early and un- the old saying of two being better company fashionable train; but amongst them was than three holds good in business discusa tall, thin man, of stooping figure, dressed sions as well as in social life, and if you in a long clergyman's coat, who hovered have no objection, I think the basis of any round the two strangers, and seemed to arguments which are to be made between take particular notice of them-such par- our friend Irving, represented by you, and ticular notice as to attract Mr. Vane's at the company represented by me, would tention, and induce him to inquire jocularly better be settled by us alone." of Mr. Delabole “Who was his friend ?" Sir Geoffry bowed stiffly enough. “WhatWhereupon Mr. Delabole stared with easy erer Mr. Delabole thought he should be assurance at the tall gentleman, and told happy to agree to. From the position Mr. Vane “ that their friend was probably which Mr. Delabole held in the City, it a parson who had got wind of the rich was quite evident that in such a talk as marriage Mr. Vane was about to make, and they proposed to have, he, by himself, had come there to draw him of a little would be more than a match for an old money for the local charities."
retired Indian officer.” They drove straight to Wheatcroft, and Mr. Delabole smiled at this speech. on their arrival were received with much “ There was, he hoped, no question of formality and politeness by Sir Geoffry, who brains or ingenuity in it. If the stability told them that luncheon was awaiting and excellence of the investment did not by them. During the discussion of this meal, themselves persuade Sir Geoffry to advise at which the three gentlemen alone were his friend to embark in it—and he hoped to present, the conversation was entirely of a embark in it a little himself-no blandishsocial character; Springside, its natural ments of his should be brought forward to beauties and its mineral waters; the style bring about that end. It was simply a of persons frequenting it; the differences question of confidence and figures, not of between a town and country life-were listening to compliments and blarney. He all lightly touched upon. The talk then would willingly retire with the general drifted into a discussion on the speculative into the library, while his good friend Mr. mania which had recently laid such hold Vane would perhaps stroll about the upon English society, then filtering off into grounds, taking care to be within call if a narrow channel of admiration for Mr. his valuable services were required.” Irving and his Midas-like power, worked His good friend, Mr. Vane, who during back into the broad stream of joint-stock luncheon had been paying particular atcompanies and rapid fortune-making, and tention to some old and remarkable Madeira finally settled down upon the Terra del which was on the table, did not seem at Fuegos mine. During this conversation, all to relish this plan. At first, he seemed Sir Geoffry had given utterance to various inclined to make some open remonstrance, caustic remarks, and what he imagined but a glance from underneath Mr. Delawere unpleasant truths, all of which, bole's bushy eyebrows dissuaded him though somewhat chafed at by Mr. Vane, therefrom, and he contented himself by were received by Mr. Delabole, who acted shrugging his shoulders and indulging in as spokesman for himself and his friend, other mild signs of dissent and objection. with the greatest suavity, and were replied Previously to retiring with Mr. Delabole, to with the utmost coolness and good Sir Geoffry, with punctilious courtesy, ac