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the friends and companions of his youth; and, on the 15th of February 1844, he expired without a struggle, in his 87th year.
There are far more noticeable points in his life than in his character. Dr Pellew, with his affectionate partiality, opens the question, whether his hero and relative was a great man. The zeal of a biographer and a son-in-law may be pardoned for the suggestion ; but few will refrain from smiling at it. The truth is, there never was a man with weaker claims to the appellation of great. He had nothing great or commanding about him, except his person. He had ordinary intelligence, ordinary acuteness, ordinary good-nature, and less than ordinary powers of speaking: He followed ordinary devices in extraordinary times. Had he lived in ancient Rome, his house would have been a temple of Fortune. He was her favourite from the beginning. Accidents conspired to lead him on from one friendship to another, and from one post to another, till he reached an eminence too high for his capacity and vanity. Accident connected him with Pitt, and made him the confidant of George III. Personal address, which had made Bute a minister at the beginning of the reign, and regular habits of business—the qualities of a merchant's clerk engrafted on the demeanour of a courtier-won for him the obstinate attachment of the most selfwilled of kings. As a statesman he failed in the estimation of all persons, except Dr Samuel Clarke, Sir Richard Hill, and Mrs Elizabeth Carter. But, even in his mishaps, Fortune smiled upon her son. His ill-success found a foil rather than a contrast in the policy of his faction. Pitt, who despised Addington, must have been stung at seeing, in his own baffled alliances and campaigns, so little justification for this contempt. As a war-minister, Addington blundered much; but the world thought that Pitt blundered more. Addington was lucky in succeeding a man, whose genius, great for some purposes, was ill adapted for the exigencies of a mighty European conflict. His fortune would have been consistent with itself, if he had never resumed office after 1804. His civil administration was distinguished by intolerance which he called principle, and by a severity which he called vigour. He would have been an admirable Lord Chamberlain, or Privy Seal, as he had been a most respected Speaker of the Commons. But in no age, in which public opinion had its fair play, and the public voice its full power, could such a man have been long intrusted with the fortunes of a struggling nation, and the liberties of a divided people.
His life is not without its lesson. It is curious to observe, throughout the stormy era that extends from 1790 to 1820, that the stanchest champions of the people were the repre
sentatives of ancient and historic names; while the most indefatigable instruments of encroachment upon popular rights, were selected from the class of successful adventurers. The weapons of ordinary misgovernment were taken up, without reluctance, by the Eldons and the Redesdales, by the Liverpools, the Bexleys, and the Sidmouths-lucky lawyers, or more lucky favourites. But the old families—the Howards—the Russells--the Cavendishes, and the Fitzwilliams--were found true to the spirit of the constitution, which their fathers had reared and consecrated, and had transmitted to them to be as a possession for ever. Through good report and evil report, they stood their ground, inaccessible alike to fear and favour, from whatever quarter; and confiding still, under all circumstances, in the masculine sense, the rational love of liberty, and the sober determination of purpose, which have always marked the great body of the English nation. Thus was it reserved for England, in no petty crisis, to show how much she was indebted to her aristocratic order for the preservation of her liberties; as it has been reserved for France, in our own time, to iHustrate the dangers of tyranny, and the greater dangers of corruption, which hang over a nation that has wrenched from her soil the venerated landmarks of an hereditary nobility.
Art. V.-1. A Lytell Geste of Robin Hode, with other Ancient and Modern Ballads and Songs relating to this celebrated Yeo
Edited by John MATHEW GUTCH, F.S.A. 2 vols. 8vo. London: 1847. 2. Robin Hood; a Fragment by the late Robert SOUTHEY,
and CAROLINE SOUTHEY. Svo. Edinburgh and London:
1847. ON n dismissing, in November 1644, the commissioners whom the
Parliament had sent to him at Oxford to treat for peace, Charles I. most needlessly affronted them. He refused them the usual courtesy of communicating to them the contents of his answer to the proposals of which they had been the bearers. The commissioners ventured to remark upon the incivility, on which his Majesty packed them off with the following rebuke• What is that to you, who are but to carry what I send ? . And if I will send the song of Robin Hood and Little • John, you must carry it.' Obsequious cavaliers very probably repeated this impertinence as a notable exhibition of royal spirit; but graver men would ponder on it, as a truer revelation of the character and temper of their infatuated king, than what Clarendon had studied to impress upon his State Papers, in language so solemn and imposing, that it is almost impossible even now to distrust their majestic tone.
Our present purpose, however, is not to comment upon the illhumour of Charles I., but upon his illustration. The song of Robin Hood and Little John, was the most popular instance of a familiar and household story that occurred to him. It was in the mouth of every one, from the palace to the cottage; and it is so still. It has Boated down the stream of time for many centuries, and although it may have lost, in its descent, somewhat of its ancient fascination, there is even now an attractiveness about it, sufficient to allure many eyes and stir many hearts-quite enough to justify the publication of two as handsome volumes as those put forth by Mr Gutch ; and to enliven by its animating title a more appropriate fragment than the posthumous Robin Hood of Southey, which is not likely, we fear, to add another leaf from the holly-tree or the laurel, to either name.
The existing evidences of Robin Hood's wide-spread popularity are singularly numerous. There is scarcely a county in England, or any class of ancient remains, which, in some place or other, does not claim a kind of relationship to this celebrated hero. Cairns on Blackdown in Somersetshire, and barrows near to Whitby in Yorkshire and Ludlow in Shropshire, are termed Robin Hood's pricks or butts ; lofty natural eminences in Gloucestershire and Derbyshire, are Robin Hood's hills ; a huge rock near Matlock is Robin Hood's Tor; ancient boundary stones, as in Lincolnshire, are Robin Hood's crosses ; a presumed loggan or rocking-stone in Yorkshire, is Robin Hood's penny-stone ; a fountain near Nottingham, another between Doncaster and Wakefield, and one in Lancashire, are Robin Hood's wells; a cave in Nottinghamshire, is his stable; a rude natural rock in Hope Dale is his chair ; a chasm at Chatsworth is his leap ; Blackstone Edge in Lancashire, is his bed ; ancient oaks, in various parts of the country, are his trees; Plumpton park in Cumberland, the forest of Feckenham in Worcestershire, the deep glades of Sherwood and Barnsdale, and the innermost recesses of Needwood and Inglewood, still resound with his exploits; while Loxley, the presumed place of his birth, which is set down by the old writers as in Yorkshire or Nottinghamshire, is now claimed by Warwickshire and Staffordshire; and will in due time be contested by the true Homeric number of candidates. A singular saying, · Robin Whood in Barnwood stood,' had at one time made good its way into Westminster Hall, as a proverb for a quibble. It appears, by the reports, that reverend judges have done it the honour of introducing it on more than one occasion. If they could have foreseen the trouble they were bringing upon Ritson by this now obscure allusion, it may be hoped that they would have refrained—the outlaw would have been scarcely more perplexed at finding himself before them in his own proper form in open Court.
Robin Hood's companions have a kind of coparcenary in their master's popularity. Wakefield still remembers her celebrated pinder George à Green; and he is a sign-post hero, not only there, but in places far distant from the scene of his first encounter with his chief. The names of Maid Marian and Friar Tuck, of Scarlet Much, and, above all, of Little John, are linked indissolubly to that of their leader; and the last of them eclipses, in the circumstances of his death and burial, even the exploits of bis chief. If we are to believe his chroniclers, Little John lies interred, not only in three places, but in three kingdoms. England shows the house in which he died, and the spot where he was buried, at Hathersage in Derbyshire; and tradition—that safe guide, as we are told, in matters of faith, but not over trustworthy in matters of history-asserts that his grave having been sacrilegiously opened, some years ago, by order of Captain James • Shuttleworth,' a thighbone was found in it of gigantic dimensions. The bone was as malicious as it was long. The curious captain and his coadjutor, a wicked sexton, were instantly visited by many unlucky accidents. The thighbone threw the captain off his horse, and tripped up the sexton in his churchyard. Neither of them could obtain peace of mind or safety of body, until the pilfered os femoris was restored to its allotted restingplace, when all these troubles ceased. One would have thought that these facts constituted a strong case for England. But Scotland overturns them all, by proving that she gave Little John a grave, not by any mere tradition, but by the ocular testimony of that most veracious canon of Aberdeen, the historian Hector Boece. We read in Bellenden's translation, that, in Murray • land is the kirk of Pette, quhare the banis of Littill Johne re
manis, in gret admiratioun of pepill’; and he very judiciously adds, in reasonable explanation of the popular admiration, · He • hes bene fourtene fut of hicht, with square membris effering • thairto. Six yeris afore the cuming of this werk to licht, we 6 saw his hanche bane, als mekill as the baill bane of ane man ; • for we schot our arme in the mouth thairof : be quhilk apperis,' he concludes, and it is the moral of his story, how strang and
square pepill grew, in our regioun, afore they were effeminat ' with lust and intemperance of mouth.'—(Bellenden's Boece, i. xxxiv.) But Scotland is not allowed to repose in triumph, notwithstanding the possession of this enormous hanch-bane,' and
the energetic testimony of Hector Boece. Ireland puts forth a claim which has an antecedent probability, arising from its singular conformity with the national character. Little John, we are told, took refuge from English oppression in the neighbourhood of Dublin. A hillock, perhaps a barrow, which once stood on Ostmantowne green, and was termed Little John's shot, was a lasting evidence of his presence and of his skill in archery: But no Toxophilite dexterity could appease the severe majesty of Irish justice; and it appears,' we are told, from some records in the Southwell family, that he was publicly executed for rob
bery on Arbor Hill, Dublin.' Hard-pressed by this Irish evidence, Ritson could only suggest, that there should be a profert in curiam of the remains.
The existence of ballads, of which Robin Hood is the hero, can be traced back to the reign of Edward III. The author of Piers Ploughman, who wrote about A.D. 1362, introduces Sloth confessing himself unable to say his pater noster, and ignorant of all the hymns respecting the Saviour and Our Lady, but well versed in the rhymes of Robin Hood.'—(Wright's Edition, i. 101.) Of these 'rhymes' probably several still exist, in altered forms, but there is no one which has come down to us in any unquestionable manuscript of the time of Piers Ploughman. The earliest that is at present known, occurs in a manuscript which formerly belonged to Withers the poet, and is now in the public library of the University of Cambridge. Mr Wright has contended that this manuscript, although upon paper, is of the age of Edward II., but the more general opinion seems to be, that it belongs to the following century. Whatever the age of the manuscript, the poem itself may be of the date Mr Wright has assigned to it; although we cannot say that the internal evidence has led us to that conclusion.* It is, however, a singular poem, and introduces Robin Hood to us in a light which broadly distinguishes him from vulgar freebooters. He was not only the boldest, and the most courteous, he was also the most religious of robbers; and here, at Whitsuntide, when the woods had put on their first brilliant livery, and the birds were singing merrily, and the deer were seeking shelter under the green-wood tree,
Suum cuique. It is said, in the last edition of Ritson's Robin Hood, that this poem, which is known by the title of · Robin Hood and the Monk,' was first published by Hartshorne in bis Metrical Tales, London. 8vo, 1829. Hartshorne was preceded by Jamieson, in whose collection of Popular Ballads, (Edinburgh, 8vo, 1806, it will be found, vol. ii.