Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne, an old ballad, date unknown. It says that Robin Hood and Little John, wandering together in Sherwood Forest, saw a man standing under a tree, when Little John said he would go and ask his business. Robin Hood thought this was an affront, and threatened to break his head, whereupon Little John parted and went to Burnesdale. Here he was overpowered by the sheriff’s men and bound. Meantime Robin Hood went to the stranger and asked his name and business. “I am Guy of Gisborne,” said he, “and I have sworn to take one Robin Hood captive.” “I am Robin Hood,” said the outlaw, and the two men struggled for the mastery. Ultimately, Robin Hood slew the stranger, and cut off his head. He then changed raiment, and blew Guy’s horn. “Ho! ho!” said the sheriff, “that is Guy’s horn, and he has taken the outlaw captive;” so he hastened to the spot, and mistook Robin Hood for Guy of Gisborne. This enabled Robin to unbind Little John and give him secretly Guy’s bow. The sheriff saw his mistake and fled, but Little John shot him in the back, and he fell dead.—Percy: Reliques, series i. bk. i. 8.

(Ritson has published many other ballads about Robin Hood, but it would occupy too much space to give their gist even in the briefest manner.)

Robin Redbreast. One tradition is that the robin pecked a thorn out of the crown of thorns when Christ was on His way to Calvary, and the blood which issued from the wound, falling on the bird, dyed its breast red.

Another tradition is that it carries in its bill dew to those shut up in the burning lake, and its breast is red from being scorched by the fire of Gehenna.

He brings cool dew in his little bill,
And lets it fall on the souls of sin;
You can see the mark on his red breast still
Of fires that scorch as he drops it in.
   —Whittier: The Robin.

Robin Redbreasts, Bow Street officers. So called from their red vests.

Robin Roughhead, a poor cottager and farm labourer, the son of lord Lackwit. On the death of his lordship, Robin Roughhead comes into the title and estates. This brings out the best qualities of his heart—liberality, benevolence, and honesty. He marries Dolly, to whom he was already engaged, and becomes the good genius of the peasantry on his estate.—Allingham: Fortune’s Frolic (1800).

Robin and Makyne, an old Scotch pastoral. Robin is a shepherd, for whom Makyne sighs, but he turns a deaf ear to her, and she goes home to weep. In time, Robin sighs for Makyne, but she replies, “He who wills not when he may, when he wills he shall have nay.”—Percy: Reliques, etc., II.

Robin des Bois, a mysterious hunter in the forests of Germany.

(The name occurs in one of Eugéne Sue’s novels.)

Robin of Bagshot, alias Gordon, alias Bluff Bob, alias Carbuncle, alias Bob Booty, one of Macheath’s gang of thieves, and a favourite of Mrs. Peachum’s.—Gay: The Beggar’s Opera (1727).

Robins (Zerubbabel), in Cromwell’s troop.—Sir W. Scott: Woodstock (time, Commonwealth).

Robinson. Before you can say, Jack Robinson, a quotation from one of Hudson’s songs; a tobacconist who lived at 98, Shoe Lane, in the early part of the nineteenth century.

(Probably Hudson only adopted the phrase.)

  By PanEris using Melati.

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