ROBIN to Robinson

ROBIN, the page of sir John Falstaff.—Shakespeare: Merry Wives of Windsor (1601).

Robin, servant of captain Rovewell, whom he helps in his love adventures with Arethusa daughter of Argus.—Carey: Contrivances (1715).

Robin, brother-in-law of Farmer Crop, of Cornwall. Having lost his property through the villainy of lawyer Endless, he emigrates, and in three years returns. The ship is wrecked off the coast of Cornwall, and Robin saves Frederick the young squire. On landing, he meets his old sweetheart Margaretta at Crop’s house, and the acquaintance is renewed by mutual consent.—Hoare: No Song no Supper (1790).

Robin, a young gardener, fond of the minor theatres, where he has picked up a taste for sentimental fustian, but all his rhapsodies bear upon his trade. Thus, when Wilelmina asks why he wishes to dance with her, he replies—

Ask the plants why they love a shower; ask the sunflower why it loves the sun; ask the snowdrop why it is white; ask the violet why it is blue; ask the trees why they blossom; the cabbages why they grow. ’Tis all because they can’t help it; no more can I help my love for you.—Dibdin: The Waterman, i. (1774).

Robin (Old), butler to old Mr. Ralph Morton of Milnwood.—Sir W. Scott: Old Mortality (time, Charles II.).

Robin Adair, written by lady Caroline Keppel, daughter of the second earl of Albemarle; she married (after the usual unsmooth run of true love) Robert Adair, a young Irish surgeon, in 1758. The air was the old Irish tune of “Eileen Aroon,” which her lover had sung to her. Robin Adair left a son who became the hon. sir Robert Adair, G.C.B.

Robert Adair was the father of the right hon. sir Robert Adair, who died in 1855.

Robin Bluestring. Sir Robert Walpole was so called, in allusion to his blue ribbon as a knight of the Garter (1676–1745).

Robin Goodfellow, another name for Puck. The ballad so called is attributed by Peck to Ben Jonson, but it is not among his collected songs.

Robin Gray (Auld). The words of this song are by lady Anne Lindsay, daughter of the earl of Balcarres; she was afterwards lady Barnard. The song was written in 1772 to an old Scotch tune called The Bridegroom Grat when the Sun gaed Down. (See Gray, p. 445.)

Robin Hood was born at Locksley, in Notts., in the reign of Henry II. (1160). His real name was Fitzooth, and it is commonly said that he was the earl of Huntingdon. Having outrun his fortune, and being outlawed, he lived as a freebooter in Barnsdale (Yorkshire), Sherwood (Notts.), and Plompton Park (Cumberland). His chief companions were Little John (whose name was Nailor), William Scadlock (or Scarlet), George Green the pinder (or pound-keeper) of Wakefield, Much a miller’s son, and Tuck a friar, with one female named Marian. His company at one time consisted of a hundred archers. He was bled to death in his old age by a relative, the prioress of Kirkley’s Nunnery, in Yorkshire, November 18, 1247, aged 87 years.

An excellent sketch of Robin Hood is given by Drayton in his Polyolbion, xxvi. Sir W. Scott introduces him in two novels—Ivanhoe and The Talisman. In the former he first appears as Locksley the archer, at the tournament. He is also called “Dickon Bend-the-Bow.” Ritson, in 1791, published all the ballads, songs, and poems extant on this famous outlaw; and T. L. Peacock, in 1822, wrote a romance on the outlaw, called The Maid Marian.

(The following dramatic pieces have the famous outlaw for the hero:—Robin Hood, i. (1597), Munday; Robin Hood, ii. (1598), Chettle; Robin Hood (1741), an opera, by Dr. Arne and Burney; Robin Hood (1787), an opera, by O’Keefe, music by Shield; Robin Hood, by Macnally, before 1820.)

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