Character Sketches of Romance Volume Iii Part 116
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_Robert_, a servant of Sir Arthur Wardour, at Knockwinnock Castle.--Sir W. Scott, _The Antiquary_ (time, George III.).
_Robert_ (_Mons._), a neighbor of Sganarelle. Hearing the screams of Mde. Martine (Sganarelle's wife), he steps over to make peace between them, whereupon Madame calls him an impertinent fool, and says if she chooses to be beaten by her husband it is no affair of his; and Sganarelle says, "Je la veux battre, si je le veux; et ne la veux pas battre, si je ne le veux pas;" and beats M. Robert again.--Moliere, _Le Medecin Malgre Lui_ (1666).
=Robert Kent.= Weak, vicious husband of Margaret Kent. Causes trouble all his life and dies of yellow fever.--Ellen Olney Kirk, _The Story of Margaret Kent_ (1886).
=Robert Macaire=, a bluff, free-living libertine. His accomplice is Bertrand, a simpleton and a villain.--Daumier, _L'Auberge des Adrets_.
=Robert, duke of Albany=, brother of Robert III. of Scotland.--Sir W.
Scott, _Fair Maid of Perth_ (time, Henry IV.)[TN-130]
=Robert, duke of Normandy=, sold his dominions to Rufus for 10,000 marks, to furnish him with ready money for the crusade, which he joined at the head of 1000 heavy-armed horse and 1000 light-armed Normans.--Ta.s.so, _Jerusalem Delivered_ (1575).
=Robert III.= of Scotland, introduced by Sir W. Scott in the _Fair Maid of Perth_ (time, Henry IV.).
=Robert le Diable=, son of Bertha and Bertramo. Bertha was the daughter of Robert, duke of Normandy, and Bertramo was a fiend in the guise of a knight. The opera shows the struggle in Robert between the virtue inherited from his mother and the vice inherited from his father. His father allures him to gamble till he loses everything, and then claims his soul, but his foster-sister, Alice, counterplots the fiend, and rescues Robert by reading to him his mother's will.--Meyerbeer, _Roberto il Diavolo_ (libretto by Scribe, 1831).
? Robert le Diable was the hero of an old French metrical romance (thirteenth century). This romance in the next century was thrown into prose. There is a miracle-play on the same subject.
=Robert of Paris= (_Count_), one of the crusading princes. The chief hero of this novel is Hereward (3 _syl._), one of the Varangian guard of the Emperor Alexius Comnenus. He and the count fight a single combat with battle-axes; after which Hereward enlists under the count's banner, and marries Bertha, also called Agatha.--Sir W. Scott, _Count Robert of Paris_ (time, Rufus).
=Robert Penfold.= Hero of Foul Play, by Charles Reade. He is foully wronged by Arthur Wardlaw, who forges his father's name on a note with Penfold's endors.e.m.e.nt. Penfold is found guilty and imprisoned. After his release, he takes pa.s.sage in the s.h.i.+p with Helen Rolleston, Wardlaw's betrothed. Penfold also loves her, but hopelessly. They are wrecked and cast upon an island in company, and for several months are the only residents. After their rescue and return home, the truth is made manifest, Robert is vindicated, and marries Helen. His aliases are James Seaton and John Hazel.
=Robert the Devil=, or =Robert the Magnificent=, Robert I., duke of Normandy, father of William "the Conqueror" (*, 1028-1035).
Robert Francois Damiens, who tried to a.s.sa.s.sinate Louis XV., was popularly so called (*, 1714-1757).
=Robert of Lincoln.= The saucy songster is an especial favorite with American poets. Bryant does not disdain to write a long poem that has him as the theme.
"Merrily singing on briar and reed, Near to the nest of his little dame, Over the mountain-side or mead, Robert of Lincoln is telling his name: 'Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link!
Spink, spank, spink!
Snug and safe is that nest of ours, Hidden among the summer flowers, Cha! cha! cha!'"
William Cullen Bryant, _Poems_.
=Roberts=, cash-keeper of Master George Heriot, the king's goldsmith.--Sir W. Scott, _Fortunes of Nigel_ (time, James I.).
_Roberts_ (_John_), a smuggler.--Sir W. Scott, _Redgauntlet_ (time, George III.).
=Robespierre's Weavers=, the fish-f.a.gs and their rabble female followers of the very lowest cla.s.s, partisans of Robespierre in the first French Revolution.
=Robin=, the page of Sir John Falstaff.--Shakespeare, _Merry Wives of Windsor_ (1601).
_Robin_, servant of Captain Rovewell, whom he helps in his love adventure with Arethusa, daughter of Argus.--Carey, _Contrivances_ (1715).
_Robin_, brother-in-law of Farmer Crop, of Cornwall. Having lost his property through the villainy of Lawyer Endless, he emigrates, and in three years returns. The s.h.i.+p is wrecked off the coast of Cornwall and Robin saves Frederick, the young squire. On landing, he meets his old sweetheart, Margaretta, at Crop's house, and the acquaintance is renewed by mutual consent.--P. h.o.a.re, _No Song no Supper_ (1790).
_Robin_, a young gardener, fond of the minor theatres, where he has picked up a taste for sentimental fustian, but all his rhapsodies bear upon his trade. Thus, when Wilhelmina asks why he wishes to dance with her, he replies:
Ask the plants why they love a shower; ask the sunflower why it loves the sun; ask the snowdrop why it is white; ask the violet why it is blue; ask the trees why they blossom; the cabbages why they grow. 'Tis all because they can't help it; no more can I help my love for you.--C. Didbin, _The Waterman_, i. (1774).
_Robin_ (_Old_), butler to old Mr. Ralph Morton, of Milnwood.--Sir W.
Scott, _Old Mortality_ (time, Charles II.).
=Robin Bluestring.= Sir Robert Walpole was so called, in allusion to his blue ribbon as a knight of the garter (1676-1745).
=Robin des Bois.= Mysterious rover of the woods in _Freischutz_, also in Eugene Sue's novels--"a bug-a-boo!"
=Robin Gray= (_Auld_). The words of this song are by Lady Anne Lindsay, daughter of the earl of Balcarres; she was afterwards Lady Barnard. The song was written, in 1772, to an old Scotch tune called _The Bridegroom Grat when the Sun gaed Down_. (See GRAY.)
=Robin Hood= was born at Locksley, in Notts., in the reign of Henry II.
(1160). His real name was Fitzooth, and it is commonly said that he was the earl of Huntingdon. Having outrun his fortune, and being outlawed, he lived as a freebooter in Barnsdale (Yorks.h.i.+re), Sherwood (Notts.), and Plompton Park (c.u.mberland). His chief companions were Little John (whose name was _Nailor_), William Scadlock (or _Scarlet_), George Green, the pinder (or pound-keeper) of Wakefield, Much, a miller's son, and Tuck, a friar, with one woman, Maid Marian. His company at one time consisted of a hundred archers. He was bled to death in his old age by his sister, the Prioress of Kirkley's Nunnery, in Yorks.h.i.+re, November 18, 1247, aged 87 years.
? An excellent sketch of Robin Hood is given by Drayton in his _Polyolbion_, xxvi. Sir W. Scott introduces him in two novels--_Ivanhoe_ and _The Talisman_. In the former he first appears as Locksley, the archer, at the tournament. He is also called "d.i.c.kon Bend-the-Bow."
The following dramatic pieces have the famous outlaw for the hero: _Robin Hood_, i. (1597), Munday; _Robin Hood_, ii. (1598), Chettle; _Robin Hood_ (1741), an opera, by Dr. Arne and Burney; _Robin Hood_ (1787), an opera by O'Keefe, music by s.h.i.+eld; _Robin Hood_, by Macnally (before 1820).
Major tells us that this famous robber took away the goods of rich men only; never killed any person except in self-defence; never plundered the poor, but charitably fed them; and adds, "he was the most humane and the prince of all robbers."--_Britanniae Historia_, 128 (1740).
The abbot of St. Mary's, in York, and the sheriff at Nottingham were his _betes noires_. Munday and Chettle wrote a popular play in 1601, ent.i.tled _The Death of Robert, Earl of Huntington_.
_Epitaph of Robin Hood._
Hear undernead dis laitl stean Laiz robert earl of Huntingtun.
Near arcir ver az hie sa geud, An pipl kauld im robin heud.
Sick utlawz az hi an iz men Vil england nivr si agen.
Obiit 24 (? 14) kal dekembris, 1247.
Dr. Gale (dean of York).
_Robin Hood's Fat Friar_ was Friar Tuck.
Character Sketches of Romance Volume Iii Part 116
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