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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/502

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412 NOTES AND QUERIES. [12 S.X.MAY 27, 1922. Ashmole's ' Theat. Chem, Brit.' (A.D. 1652), p. 175, as Many man spekyth wyth wondreng Of Robyn Hode, and of his bow, Which never shot therin I trow. , " To sell Robin Hood's pennyworths " was spoken of things sold under half their value. Halliwell says, " The number of extravagant tales about this celebrated archer was so great, that his name became proverbial for any improbable story," and he refers to Florio, p. 70, and Holinshed's ' England,' p. 69. In Bohn s ' Collection of Proverbs ' we find " Tales of Robin Hood are good enough for fools," which in Hey- wood's ' Proverbs ' (A.D. 1562) occurs as " Tales of Robyn hode are good among fooles." In W. Cunningham's ' Cosmogr. Glasse ' (A.D. 1559), p. 57, there occurs, " Those are Robin Hodes miles as the proverb is," such miles being several times the ordinary length. There is also the saying "to go round by Robin Hood's Barn," which sig- nifies to go the longest way round. Nicholas Assheton of Downham, in his Journal (published by the Chetham Society), in which he does not fail to mention his various drunken sprees, records, under date of Aug. 18, 1617, that at Preston he was " as merrie as Robin Hoode and all his fel- lowes. Hazlitt's version of Robin Hood's story, which is founded on the old ballads and is contained in his ' National Tales and Legends,' says :- j ^ They went to dwell beneath the greenwood winter and summer, and set nought by the weather and by the law, namely, in Barnsdale on the Wat- ling Street. And in his introductory essay, after speaking of Robin Hood seeking a new home in the greenwood, adds, " where his worst enemy was winter and rough weather." As Hazlitt puts the words which I have italicized within inverted commas, he was probably quoting from his authorities. It therefore appears to me to have been the most natural thing that when those to whom Robin Hood was so familiar, and who were so accustomed to use his name proverbially, wished to ex- press the extremely unpleasant nature of a thaw wind, they should have done so by saying it was the only wind which the great outlaw could not stand. Wright's ' Dialect Dictionary,' referring to the ' Folk Speech of South Cheshire,' by Th. Darlington (E.D.S., 1887), as its authority, gives "Robin Hood's wind" as a cold piercing wind from the South or South- East which often accompanies the breaking up of a long frost. This is generally spoken of as a thaw wind, and it is further added, in explanation that Robin Hood could stand any wind but a thaw wind. Wright also gives the following quotation from The Brighouse News of July 23, 1887, " Robin Hood could stand anything budd a thaw-wind." I have been unable to find any early reference to this saying, but I am inclined to agree with MB. BOWES that it is one of considerable antiquity, as it would most probably have originated at a time when Robin Hood's reputation as a popular hero was at its height, and when his frequent personation in local revels kept his name constantly in the minds of all. Popular sayings and proverbial expressions are handed down orally from generation to generation, and it is for this reason often im- possible to say how long they have been current, but in those cases in which any of them happen to have found their way into print they can often be traced a long way back. The association of Robin Hood with a thaw wind is, I have no doubt, of north- country origin. I was brought up in the Isle of Wight and lived several years in London, but it was not till I came to reside in Clitheroe that I ever heard of a " Robin Hood wind." In the Denham Tracts, vol. i., p. 204 (Folk Lore Society), a Manx proverb from Cregeen's ' Manks Dictionary ' (A.D. 1835) is quoted, which the compiler of the Tracts understood to mean The coldest winds that came to Fian McCooil Wind from a thaw, wind from a hole, And wind from under the sails. I believe there is a Spanish proverb to the effect that if you get a cold from a draught through a keyhole you had better make your will. I may perhaps be allowed to add that I have often heard a cold piercing wind de- scribed as a " lazy wind " it is too lazy to go round, so it goes through one. WM. SELF-WEEKS. Westwood, Clitheroe. WOODS, ' THE TIMES ' CORRESPONDENT IN CANADA, 1860 (12 S. x. 369). The Christian name of this clever journalist was Nicholas, and his body lies in Nunhead Cemetery. The last time I attended a glove-fight was at Olympia in July, 1914, when Carpentier won against " Gunboat "