Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 5 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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with Robin Hood, Guy of Gisborne, and others. The editor of the Reliques has pointed out several allusions to the ballad in our dramatic poets, which show the extreme popularity of the story. " Shakespeare, in his comedy of Much Ado about Nothing, act i. makes Benedick confirm his resolves of not yielding to love, by this protestation: ' If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat, and shoot at me, and he that hits me, let him be clapt on the shoulder, and called Adam :'— meaning Adam Bell, as Theobald rightly observes, who refers to one or two other passages in our old poets, wherein he is mentioned. The Oxford editor has also well conjectured, that ' Abraham Cupid,' in Romeo and Juliet, act ii. sc. 1, should be 'Adam Cupid,' in allusion to our archer. Ben Jonson has mentioned Clym o' the Clough in his Alchemist, act i. sc. 2. And Sir William Davenant, in a mock poem of his, called The Long Vacation in London, describes the attorneys and proctors as making matches to meet in Finsbury Fields.
' With loynes in canvas bow-case tyde, Where arrowes stick with mickle pride; Like ghosts of Adam Bell and Clymme; Sol sits for fear they'l shoot at him.'—
Worhs, 1673, fol. p. 291."
The place of residence ascribed in the present ballad to these outlaws is Englewood or Inglewood, a forest in Cumberland sixteen miles in length, and extending from Carlisle to Penrith, which, according, to Wyntown, was also frequented by Robin Hood, (Cronykil, vii. 10, 431.) By the author of the ballad of Robin Hood's Birth, Breeding, Valour, and Marriage, they are made contemporary with Robin Hood's father.