Excerpt from Robin Hood: A Collection of All the Ancient Poems, Songs, and Ballads, Now Extant, Relative to That Celebrated English Outlaw; To Which Are Prefixed Historical Anecdotes of His Life
There is no one of the royal heroes of England that enjoys a more enviable reputation than the bold outlaw of Barnsdale and Sherwood. His chance for a substantial immortality is at least as good as that of stout Lion Heart, wild Prince Hal, or merry Charles. His fame began with the yeomanry full five hundred years ago, was constantly increasing for two or three centuries, has extended to all classes of society, and, with some changes of aspect, is as great as ever. Bishops. sheriffs, and game-keepers, the only enemies he ever had, have relinquished their ancient grudges, and Englishmen would be almost as loath to surrender his exploits as any part of the national glory. His free life in the woods, his unerring eye and strong arm, hi3 open hand and love of fair-play, his never-forgotten courtesy, his respect for women and devotion to Mary, form a picture eminently healthful and agreeable to the imagination, and commend him to the hearty favor of all genial minds.
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