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and has not only the celebrated gates of horn and ivory, but two others of iron and brick, which open upon the plain of Stupor, and from which all frightful and murderous dreams issue. At the right hand of the principal entrance is the temple of Night, and on the left the palace of Sleep. In the midst of the forum is the fountain of Drowsiness, and near it are the temples of Deception and Truth. Our voyagers are kindly received and splendidly entertained by the Dreams; and some were even transported by them to their own country, and permitted to see their friends and relations, but they are obliged to return on the same day.
They visit next the island of Calypso, and present to her a letter from Ulysses, which he had written without the knowledge of Penelope, and in which he expresses his anxiety to escape from the happy island and to return to his beloved goddess. As they proceed on their voyage they are attacked by pirates sailing in vessels made of gourds hollowed out; but the enemy is called off by an attack from another maritime people, who sail in walnut shells. They next meet with men, who are all, like Arion, riding upon dolphins; and at night they run foul of the floating nest of a Halcyon, sixty stadia in circumference: to this bird even the roc of the Arabian Nights would appear diminutive. The Halcyon flies away with a lamentable cry, and nearly sinks the ship with the rush of her wings; and in the morning they land on the nest, and find it built of trees, with five hundred eggs in it. They soon after fall in with a floating forest, so thick that they are obliged to drag the ship over the tops of the trees. It is easy to guess the original of the next portent that they meet with, a chasm in the sea, with the water standing like a precipice on each side. At last, however, they discover a bridge of water, and cross the gulf in safety : they land finally upon an island inhabited by women, who receive them with great cordiality, and each conducts one as a guest to her own house. The suspicions of Lucian, however, are roused by seeing some human bones and skulls lying about; and on a closer examination he discovers that his hostess has the hoofs of an ass; he attacks her, therefore, and binds her, and she confesses that they live upon human flesh, and when they have feasted their guests and lulled them to sleep, devour them in the night. Lucian alarms his companions; but his prisoner melts away into water, which becomes blood when he plunges his sword into it. Soon after they have | left this island, they are wrecked upon a land, which they conjecture to be the continent on the farther side of the ocean, or (as the translators have rendered it) the land of the Antipodes : and here the history suddenly breaks off.
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A few of these ballads are probably the work of some joyous yeoman who loved to range the green woods and enjoy the liberty and licence which they afforded; but we are inclined to regard them chieily as the production of the rural ballad-maker, a sort of inferior minstrel, who to the hinds and husbandmen was both bard and historian, and cheered their firesides with rude rhymes and ruder legends, in which the district heroes and the romantic stories of the peasantry were introduced with such embellishments as the taste of the reciter considered acceptable. These ballads, graphic as they are, will by some be pronounced rude : we must admit, too, that they are often in harmonious and deficient in that sequence of sound which critics in these our latter days desire : but the eye, in the times when they were composed, was not called, as now, to the judgment-seat; and the ear—for music accompanied without overpowering the words-was satisfied with anything like similarity of sounds. The ballad-maker therefore was little solicitous about the flow of his words, the harmony of balanced quantities, or the clink of his rhymes. His compositions, delighting as they did our ancestors, sound rough and harsh in the educated ear of our own times, for our taste is delicate in matters of smoothness and melody. They are however full of incident and of human character; they reflect the manners and feelings of remote times; they delineate much that the painter has not touched and the historian forgotten ; they express, but without acrimony, a sense of public injury or of private wrong; nay, they sometimes venture into the regions of fancy, and give pictures in the spirit of romance. A hearty relish for fighting and fun; a scorn of all that is skulking and cowardly; a love of whatever is free and manly and warm-hearted ; a hatred of all oppressors, clerical and lay; and a sympathy for those who loved a merry joke, either practical or spoken, distinguish the ballads of Robin Hood.
The personal character, as well as history, of the bold outlaw is stamped on every verse. Against luxurious bishops and tyrannic sheriffs his bow was ever bent and his arrow in the string; he attacked and robbed, and sometimes slew, the latter without either compunction or remorse; in his more humoursome moods he contented himself with enticing them in the guise of a butcher or a potter, with the hope of a good bargain, into the green wood, where he first made merry and then fleeced them, making them dance to such music as his forest afforded, or join with Friar Tuck in hypocritical thanksgiving for the justice and mercy they had experienced. Robin's eye brightened and his language grew poetical when he was aware of the approach of some swollen pluralist-a Dean of Carlisle or an Abbot of St. Mary's—with sumpterhorses carrying tithes and dining-gear, and a slender train of attendants. He would meet him with great meekness and humility; thank our Lady for having sent a man at once holy and rich into her servant's
sylvan diocese; inquire too about the weight of his purse, as if desirous to augment it; but woe to the victim who, with gold in his pocket, set up a plea of poverty. “Kneel, holy man,” Robin would then say; “kneel, and beg of the saint who rules thy abbey-stede to send money for thy present wants ;” and as the request was urged by quarter-staff and sword, the prayer was a rueful one, while the gold which a search in the prelate's mails discovered was facetiously ascribed to the efficacy of his intercession with his patron saint, and gravely parted between the divine and the robber.
Robin Hood differed from all other patriots-for patriot he was--of whom we read in tale or history. Wallace, to whom he has been compared, was a high-souled man of a sterner stamp, who loved better to see tyrants die than gain all the gold the world had to give; and Rob Roy, to whom the poet of Rydal Mount has likened the outlaw of Sherwood, had little of the merry humour and romantic courtesy of bold Robin. This seems to have arisen more from the nature than the birth of the man; he was no lover of blood, nay he delighted in sparing those who sought his life when they fell into his power; and he was beyond all example, even of knighthood, tender and thoughtful about women; even when he prayed he preferred our Lady to all the other saints in the calendar. Next to the ladies he loved the yeomanry of England; he molested no hind at the plough, no thresher in the barn, no shepherd with his flocks; he was the friend and protector of husbandman and hind, and woe to the priest who fleeced, or the noble that oppressed them. The widow, too, and the fatherless he looked upon as under his care, and wheresoever he went some old woman was ready to do him a kindness for a saved son or a rescued husband.
The personal strength of the outlaw was not equal to his activity ; but his wit so far excelled his might that he never found use for the strength which he had—so well did he form his plans and work out all his stratagems. If his chief delight was to meet with a fierce sheriff or a purseproud priest “ all under the greenwood tree,” his next was to encounter some burly groom who refused to give place to the king of the forest, and was ready to make good his right of way with cudgel or sword : the tinker who, with his crab-tree staff, “made Robin's sword cry twang," was a fellow of their stamp. With such companions he recruited his bands when death or desertion thinned them, and it seemed that to be qualified for his service it was necessary to excel him at the use of the sword or the quarter-staff; his skill in the bow was not so easily approached. He was a man too of winning manners and captivating address, for his eloquence, united with his woodland cheer, sometimes prevailed on the very men who sought his life, to assume his livery, and try the pleasures which Barnesdale or Plompton afforded.
The high blood of Robin seems to have been doubted by Sir Walter
Scott, who, in the character of Locksley, makes the traditionary Earl of Huntingdon but a better sort of rustic, with manners rather of a franklin than a noble. Popular belief is however too much even for the illustrious author of “Ivanhoe,” and bold Robin will remain an earl while woods grow and waters run. He was born, it is believed, in Nottinghamshire, in the year 1160, and during the reign of Henry II. In his youth he was extravagant and wild- dissipated part of his patrimony, and was juggled out of the remainder by the united powers of a sheriff and an abbot. This made him desperate; drove him to the woods, and in the extensive forests which reached from Nottingham over several counties he lived a free life with comrades whom his knowledge of character collected, and who soon learned to value a man who planned enterprises with judgment, and executed them with intrepidity and success. He soon became famous over the whole island, and with captains after his own heart, such as Little John, Will Scarlet, Friar Tuck, and Allan-a-Dale, he ranged at will through the woodlands, the terror alike of the wealthy and the tyrannic. Nay, tradition as well as ballad avers that a young lady of beauty, if not of rank, loved his good looks as well as his sylvan licence so much, that she accompanied him in many of his expeditions.
“ In these forests," says Ritson, “and with this company, he for many years reigned like an independent sovereign; at perpetual war with the King of England and all his subjects, with the exception, however, of the poor and the needy, or such as were desolate and oppressed, or stood in need of his protection.” This wild life had for Robin charms of its own; it suited the taste of a high but irregular mind to brave all the constituted authorities in the great litigated rights of free forestry; the deer with which the woods swarmed afforded food for all who had the art to bend a bow; and a ruined tower, a shepherd's hut, a cavern, or a thicket,
“When leaves were sharp and long," gave such shelter as men who were not scrupulous about bed or toilet desired; while wealthy travellers or churchmen abounding in tithes supplied them, though reluctantly, with Lincoln-green for doublets, and wine for their festivals. Into Robin's mode of life the poet Drayton, who might have been a striker of deer in his day, has entered with equal knowledge and spirit:
“An hundred valiant men had this brave Robin Hood,
Still ready at his call, that bowmen were right good,