Peter Le Page Renouf.

The Olio, or, Museum of entertainment online

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— ;- ** A Just image of human nature, repreaentlng ita huroonra, and the ehangea

of fortane to which ft U subject, for the delight and instruction of mankind.**— Drtdkn.

" Papers and books, a mixed Olio,

From shilling toach to pompooe folio.**— Mes. Bauuavld,




Printed by ShackeU and Car/ract and Published by





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The Olio haying reached its Second Volume, it is
oar duty, as well as our inclination, to address a word or
two to our supporters, both subscribers and correspon-
dents. To the first we shall put this question : — ^Have
we redeemed the promises made at the conclusion of our
first volume ?«— >If we may judge from our success, and
from its weeltly increase, we hare. We pledged our-
selves to abate no exertion in keeping the Work in all
respects up to its first appearance in paper, print, and
design ; and where there was an opportunity for im-
provemeht, to .make it, wiiliout regard to trouble or
expense. These promises we trust we may be allowed
to say we have performed to the very letter. The
genius of our articles, whether original or selected, has
been ably illustrated by the genius of our artist; and
we look back with allowable pride on both. In typo-
graphical respects we have also sedulously endeavoured
to keep " the word of promise " to the eyes of our
readers; and, though our work is necessarily hurried,
we hope we may be acquitted of presumption, when we
invite a comparison of our weekly production with others
blest with more time and circumspection.

To our correspondents we shall next address ourselves^.
Have we given satisfaction to them?— It has been our

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endeavour to cultivate a good understanding with the
least as well as the greatest of that numerous body ; to
bring, by ^oper encouragement, the diffident into the
day; and to aid and direct the more daring in their flights
of fancy. If we have sometimes refused the crude efforts
of others, it was " more in sorrow than in anger"— we
wished to give theiil t^0 ^J fh^' (^jportunity of doing
better. To some of our writing friends we must indeed
acknowledge ourselves ^eatly indebted — ^to one espe-
cially, the young author of some of our most piquant tales.
To others we would willingly pay the compliment of
personal mention, did their modesty allow of naming them,
and our limits permit. They bave, Wwever, our beaity
thanks, both In private and in public ; and we look to
have their assistance in our continued endeavours to
gratiiy them, our subscribers, and readers in general.
In conclusion, we shall assure them, each and all^
that no pains, no diligence shall be spared to keep the
Olio what it is allowed to be, — a pleasant and an in-
structive miscellany dt many mental meals ; and saying
this, we respectfully wish our friends a happy new year,
which, of course, includes health, and the means of
enjoying it— and turn again to our task.

/antaxry im, 18W.

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By the Author of " Stories of Chivalry
and Romance,**

In the '' hot and piping days" of the first
Plantagcuet, lived, as is well known, that
prince of Archers, Robin Hood; whose well
feathered shafts were aimed with as little ce-
remony against the lordly prior of St. Mary's
as against the fat bucks of Barnsdale and
Sherewood forests. At the same period
also, lived Sir Philip Murdach, the re-
nowned sheriff of Nottingham, immorta-
lized inhallad and legend, for having been
more successful in maintaining the king's
prerogatives in that good town, than in
the wooddd domains by which it was en-
vironed. Now the " proude sheriffe**
had entrusted to his care and guardianship
the daughter of his noble cousin. Sir
Gilbert Marsh ; a khight who po?sessed,
ag hp. well merited, tlie reputation of being

Vol. n. B

See page 4.

a .better soldier than he was a subject ;
seeing, theit upon the first breaking out of
the civil wars, between Henry the Second
and his ingrate sons, he bad joined him-
SMelf to the party of the latter, and at the
time of our tale, he was, with the young
princes, Henry, Geoffroi, and Richard,
at the Court of the French monarch.

Alicfe Marsh was as pretty a maid, and
as cheerful as you would meet with in a
summer day*s ramble, through any coun- ■
ty in this fair realm, not even excepting
Lancashire itself, where, — as we know
to our cost — pretty maidens most abound.
She had been blessed by nature with

** A merry eye,— a cherry Hp,
A passing pleasing tongue !"

and there was a lightness and buoyancy
in her gait, which showed she had been a
stranger to those sorrows and disappoint-
ments which oppress the soul, and darken
the sunny horizon of youth. Moreover,
heaven had favoured her with as lovely a
set of featured as ever entered into the for-
mation even of an English countenance. —
Her hair was black as the raven's wing, and
29— Saturday, July 19, 1828.

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the glances of her eyes were keen enough
to penetrate the heart of the stoutest knight
though cased in a breastplate of steel I

Now the dieriff had a son of nearly the
same age as our fair heroine, an honest,
sprightly youth, who spent most of his
time in protecting his father's deer, or else
iu listening to his sage judgments in the
town-hall of Nottingham ; for he looked
upon his sire as '* a second Daniel," and
even aspired one day to inherit his scarlet
cloak. Between this son and his gentle
ward. Sir Philip Murdach had long ago
in his own mind formed, a ' happy union.*
But princes have told us, " we cannot
control our affections ;" and Master Wal-
ter of Nottingham took it into his head
very early ia life to fall in love with a
daughter of tlie chief ranger of the adjoin-
ing forest. Fortunately this was but a
boy's attachment, and, in obedience to
the prudential whispers of his sire, and the
solemn monitions of his lady-molher, was
soon given up, and he turned his whole
attention seriously and earnestly to press
a lover's suit with the blithsome Alicie

Matters were in precisely this situation,
when late one evening, there rode a young
and gallant knight — your knights of old
werg necessarily gallant — into the ancient
town of Nottingham ; and, notwithstand-
ing the fame of the King's Head for •' pipes
of sack and butts of claret," he passed
by that renowned hostelry, and proceeded
direct to the mansion of the Sheriff, a fair
and goocUy looking fabric . Here he found
an hearty English welcome, and partook
of his host's substantial hospitality, sans
cost, and sans expense. But not content,
as an honest man he should have been,
with satisfying his hunger with the best of.
the land, and resting his wearied limbs
upon a feather-bedif he, quite reckless of
its consequences, actually fell iu love with
the daughter of Sir Gilbert Marsh ; — nay,
what is more, he persisted in declaring his
attachment, and even went so far as to swear
eternal fealty and knight-service to the gentler
Alice, whom he thereby acknowledged as
the true and only lady of his lore : and so
well did he employ the short period of his
visit, that, at his departure, he received
from the maid a pretty bracelet ; in token^

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it toay be presumed, 'of her readiness to
acknowledjj^e him as her sworn champion^
in bower and battle-field. Who the noble
stranger was, or whence he came, could
not then be ascertained ; since he refused to
disclose the secret of his name ; for which,
indeed, he was to be praised ; seeing that,
according to his own account, he had but
very recently been admitted into the order of
knighthood ; and was even then in quest of
his first adventure ; being of course ignorant
how it might terminate. He deemed it
therefore, neither prudent nor becomingto
reveal his name, until he should have
achieved some enterprise calculated to
confer honour thereupon.

** Call me," quoth he, " the knight of
the Wounded Hart, since such is the cog-
nizance on my pennon and on my shield :*'
— ^perhaps also, he had another reason for
saying so, and was willing to

" Moralise two meanings in one word-"

But whoever he might be, his entertainers
felt assured, that he was as brave and ho-
nourable a chevalier, as ever girt himself
in the panoply of war ; the which, cour-
teous reader, thou wilt thyself perceive
when we have advanced a little further
with the history of his " Lyfe and At-

Now it chanced that our hero was on
bis way to join tiie puisaatit army, then
on the eve of embarkation for Normandy,
in order to repel the invasion of Lewis ;
and on leaving Nottingham, his route lay
through the royal and thickly wooded
parks of Sherewood. The day was hot
and sultry, ,and he was right glad to es-
cape from the scorching rays of the sun,
and to travel beneath the shade of elm,
and bsech, and towering oak. He was,
moreover, delighted wii the, rich pros-
pects before him, and while he enjoyed
(he freshness of the breeze, which played
with the deep. green foliage ot summer, his
active fancy pictured to his mind the
happy day when he should return, crown-
ed with the conqueror's laureb,. and hav-
ing had the point of his pennon torn off,
and his name exalted to honour. His
pleasant reverie was, however, broken in
a short time, by the shrill echoes of a bu-
gle-horn. Reining in his steed, he pre-
pared himself for the anticipated attack.
— At the same time, he surmised the
sounds which he had heard proceeded from
the horn of some of the bold companions
of the outlawed earl of Huntingdon ; for
he had not lived all his life in the ^' north
countree " without hearing of the fame of
that noble peer, and of his archers ^ood.
— rHis surmise was right. — ^The invisible
forester again

** Pat his horn to his month.
And blew blasts two or three.

And four and twenty bowmen bold.
Came leaping oyer the Lee,"

'* Oh yield thee. Sir Knight I" exclaun-
ed the foremost of the company, while
his fellows stooped to take aim with their
arrows keen, a cloth-yard long.

'* And prithee, bold knave, who art
thou, that thou thus commandest a true
knight to yield ?" inquired the traveller ;
at the same tune placmg his lance in rest,
and adjusting himself for the rencontre.

** Ay, marry I an thou wouldst know
Sir Knight, we be free rangers of merry
Sherewood, and were we to cry, ' Yield,*
to the king's highness, I trow he would not
risk disobedience. — ^To the mark, my mer-
py men !"

At the word, the archers let fly their
shafts, which the Knight of the Wounded
Hart felt rattle against his helmet and his
mail ; and but for his breastplate and
shield, he had certainly paid dear for his
intrusion into the green wood domains of
bold Robin a Hood ; and ere he had time
to clap spurs into his steed, half a score of
stout yoemen started from the underwood,
and seized fast hold of his courser's bridle.
A violent scuffle ensued ; but whh the
help of their companions, the assailants
succeeded in unhorsing the Knight, who>
thereupon, was forthwith conducted into
tlie presence of the monarch of the gay

f Who have we here, my merry men ?**
inquired the hero of ballad and romance :
— '* By our blessed l^y ! as comely a
knight and proper, as ye shall meet with
at midsummer, 'twixt this and Barnsdale :
ay, and as stout of heart too, I warrant
me, as ye have had to tussle with this
many a day. — Gramercy ! my little yeo-
man, but thou hast stained thy last new
mantle with the king's dye, the which, as
thou art true liegeman and subject, thou
shalt answer for before the proud sheriff
of Nottingham '."

*' An it so turn out, my master," re-
plied Little John, ^' we shsul hold it fair to
make this gentle pay our fine ; for, by
the grey cowl o' father Tuck ! 'twas his
good sword worked the treason, an there
be treason in the matter : and so, my
gallant Knight, unless thou lovest the
stout bow and quarter-staff of Little John
better than thy courtesy and knighthood,
thou wilt tell into his mantle one hundred
marks, in good and honest coins ; for
marry, thou must not expect to leave the
gay green-wood, till thou hast paid fair

" Ransom !'* exclaimed our hero, —
*' talk ye of ransom, knaves ! By St.
George, an I give ye other marks for ran-

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som than those of the lance and sword, ye
will fare better at our expense, that we
intend Ve should do."

" Iiola,.my gallant ! thou talkest bold-
ly, by our Lady ; so prithee come on to
the proof, and bear thyself puissanlly ; or
thou wilt find corslet and habergeon sorry
defence against t)ie sword of Robin Hood ! '
exclaimed that merry forester, as he drew
forth his brand, and placed himself in a
posture of attack. The Knight of the
Wounded Hart was not slow to answer
the call, and a stout and determined con-
flict immediately ensued. At every pass,
his green-coated companions cheerecl the
noble outlaw ; but he found he had a
more skilful antagonist to contend with
than he was prepared just then to meet ;
and, after giving and taking many a down-
stroke and thrust, he proposed a cessation
of arms, to which his generous foe readily

'' By our Lady," quoth the hero of
Lockesiey, " but I did not think thou
couldst give and take so evenly. But I
should be sorry to harm so valiant a sol-
dier ; nay, an it were but for the sake of
thy sword arm alone, I could wish thee
one of Robin's fellows, and a freeman of
nfierry Sherewood ; for, I trow too, from
the dainty device on thy buckler, thou
canst draw a long bow with the best of
us. — Yet, maugre the ^ood opinion I have
of thy skill and cunning, Pll wager ten
crowns, against the secret o* thy name, I
strike the mark first '."

" Agreed, Sir Archer !" replied the
Knight ; and accordingly be threw down
his sword and shield, and took off his
baldric and his gauntlets, lest they should
in any way impede the free use of his
arms. — Robin called for his bow, and
commanded Little John to give his to
tlieif opponent ; to whom he also gave
half a dozen good arrows from his own
sheaf. The distances having been mea-
sured, the outlaw shot first, and struck
the inner-circle of the target. The Knight
proved not so successful, but still made a
very fair hit. Robin's second shot went
farther off the mark than his first, while
the arrow of his rival was lodged in the
bull's-eye I

^* Thy crowns arc mine, bold yeoman I**
said the wearer of the helmet and corslet,
and he held out his hand to receive the
wager ; but Robin was surprised, seeming
as if more unwilling to acknowledge
himself beaten, than to part with his
crowns. — He eyed the stranger attentively
fipom head to heel, and then with a look
of peculiar shrewdness observed.

*' By the blessed Mary ! but thou art
a better bowman than I trow ofiens puts
on the panoply of knighthood, and never

did I see so true an aim in one of gedtltf
blood, except in Aubrey^ son of Earl de
Vere, uid foster-brother of bold Robin

" So then, Fitzooth, this steel array,
though proof against thy sword and quar-
ter-staff, is not against the glaoees of thine
eyes. Well, weU, thon hast a gaKaiit
soul, and thongh thy evil stars fbrrad us
now to entertain thee, as in days of old,
— despight the hue and cry of outlawry,
here in the green -wood thou art still my
brother ;— so there's the glovdess hand,
brave Earl of Huntingdon !"

" A forfeit^ a forfeit. Sir Knight !"
shouted out Friar Tuck, '* for thou hast
broken the laws of Sh»ewood Forest, in
calKng Robin Hood, the Earl of Hunting-
don !"

'' Wdl, honest knave, if it be so, let
the forfeit be paid out of the ten crowns i
won but now at butts from thy master -j**
rejoined the Lord Aubrey ile Vere,.:—
'* but I must on, my yeomen, for urgent
matters will not let me tarry even in such
good and honest company \**

'* Nay, but thou shaft not depart. Sir
Knight, from Sherewood parks," added
the prince of outlaws, ere thou hast eaten
of the royal venison, for it must never be
told of Robin Hood, that he met his bro-
ther in the free forest,, and gave him not a
forester's welcome. Away then, my true
archers, and bring us the fattest buck ye
can find for the nonce, and may we never
taste the king*s deer again,, if we are not
merry to-day, — ^so, hey for the green-
wood-bower '."

The Knight of the Wouncted Hart was
fain to accompany the careless revellers to-
their leafy covert in the most retired part
of the forest, where in due time a rich and
dainty repast was served up; nor was
thtere any lack of good ale and sack, with
spiced wines fit for the flagons and palates
of princes. The Lord Aubrey quaflfed
of the latter tHI he became ''hail fdlow
well met!" with the heroes of the mernr
green-wood, and in the fnhiess of hfe
heart, he revealed to his foster-brother
how tiiat he had become enamoured of the
ward of the sheriff of Noltmgham, the
fair Alice Marsh ; and bow that he had
likewise become her sworn champion in
bower and battle-field. *'Bnt,'* con-
tinued he, " I fear me the maiden will be
forced by her guardian to give her hand
to his son Walter, ere I letum to claim her
plighted troth!"

'^ Have ye no fear on that score," re-
plied the hero of Lockesiey, '• for should
any one lead thy ladye-love to the shrine,
he shall e'en pay a higher price for his
bride than he recxons upon. If the dam-
sel hath plighted troth to thee. Sir Knight,

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THE OI,(0.


ht sure she shall not be forced to we^
even the king*s son !"

** Well then, bold archer, I leave her
to thy watchful care and guardianship : —
but the day wears, and we have far to op
ere the bright sua goes down; so thy
hand, my gallant brother, and — farewelt
Gramcrcy, I had well nigh forgotten the
wager I won, — ^ten crowns, barring the
forfeit claimed by thy father confe jsor : —
Fair reckoning, ye know, makes fair

By command of his master. Little John
counted into the knight's extended hand
moe and a half good silver crowns ; Aot,
however, without hoping that Fortune
would one day oblige tne receiver to make
a double restitution. His steed and trap-
pings were also restored ; and the Knight
of the Wonnded Hart proceeded on his
journey, being accompanied to the out-
^irts of the wood by his generous foster-
brother, and the green coated rangers of
laerry Sherewood Forest.

Jotrraeying with all diligence, he gadn-
ed the port where the troops, destin^ by
Richard de Lucy, guardian of the realm,
for the reinforcement of Kinjr Henry's
army, then on its march to relieve Ver-
neiiu, were waiting a favourable breeze
to wi^ diem to the coast of Normandy^
and havin^ranged himself under the ban-
ner of the Duke of Gloster, in a few days
lie had the pleasure of mingling with the
veteran knights and barons bold of the
royal forces, and of displaying his pen-
non on the battle-field. By an artifice of
the French monarch, Henry failed of
relieving Vemeiiil, and was fain to satisfy
himself with wreaking his vengeance on
the rear guard of Lewis's retreating

From Vemeiiil, the king proceeded to
the siege of Dol, behind the walls of
which place the rebel earls of Chester and
Fougeres were entrenched, and bade defi-
ance to the armn of England. For awhile
they defended themselves with success,
but were ultimately obliged to capitulate.

Now it chanced, that on the morning of
the surrender, ere yet the sun had looked
forth on creation, and while besiegers and
besieged seemed alikf* inattentive to the
duties of attack or defence, that a compa-
ny of horsemen sallied . from the town,
evidently with the intention of forcing
their way through the enemy's army. The
knight who led them forth was a ^wart
looking chief, distinguished from his com-
panions more by his stature than by any
outward insignia of command or superi-
ority, though his port and carriage bespoke
him to be a gallant and a gentle chevalier.
Immediately upon the appearance of these

•warriors, the trumpet ~of the picquet guard
summoned to arms the chivalry of Eng-
land ; among the foremost of whom ap-
•pear^d the knight of the Wounded Hart.
Vaulting ihto his saddle, he sparred on
tiis steed to encounter the giant warrior,
who paused not to receive him, but con-
tinued on his career until the lance of his
assailant renunded him of his danger.
Then turning to repel tfie attack, he ru^ed
upon his adversary, shouting, ^* Soho,
mad stripling ! and deemest thou thy puny
arm can injure knight like me?" The
spears of either hero were shivered In the
-first onset : and the beaming faulchion
flashed on the sight ^m^ the rapidity of
lightning, and seemed scarce less de-
structive. The fight was long and obsti-
nate ; yet a more chivalrous encounter
withal had seldom been witnes<ted upon
battle-field ; at la^t, however, the sword
of the stalwart soldier broke, whereupon

Online LibraryPeter Le Page RenoufThe Olio, or, Museum of entertainment → online text (page 1 of 69)