« ПредишнаНапред »
ADAM BELL, CLYM OF THE CLOUGH,
AND. WILLIAM OF CLOUDESLY,
were three noted outlaws, whose skill in archery rendered them formerly as famous in the North of England, as Robin Hobin and his fellows were in the midland counties. Their place of residence was in the forest of Englewood, not far from Carlisle, (called corruptly in the ballad English-wood, whereas Engle, or Ingle-wood
fignifies Wood for firing.) 'At what time they lived does not appear. The author of the common ballad on “ THE PEDIGREE, EDU
CATION, MARRIAGE, OF ROBIN Hood,' makes them contemporary with Robin Hood's father, in order to give him the bonour of beating them: viz.
The father of ROBIN a Forefter was,
And he shot in a'lufty long-bow
As the Pindar of Wakefield does know :
For he brought Adam Bell, and Clim of the Clough,
And William a Clorudéflee
Colle&t. of Old Ballads. 1727. I vol. p.67.
This seems to prove that they were commonly thought to have lived before the popular Hero of Sberweed.
Our northern archers were not unknown to their southern, countrymen, their excellence at the long-bow is often alludeid. to by our ancient poets. Shakespeare, in his comedy of “ Much adoe about nothing,” Azt 1. makes Benedicke confirm bis 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 pasages in our old poets wherein he is mentioned.' The Oxford editor has also well conjectured that “ Abraham Cupid" in Romeo and Juliet, A. 2. f. 1. should be “ Adam Cupid,” in allufion to our archer. Ben Johnson' has mentioned CLYM O' the Clough in his Alchemist, Act 1. fci 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 ;
Works, p. 291. fol. 1673. I have only to add further concerning the principal Hero of this Ballad, that the Bells were noted rogues in the North so late as the time of Q. Elizabeth. See in Rymer's Fædera, a letter from lord William Howard to some of the officers of fate, wherein be mentions them.
As for the follozving stanzas, they will be judged from the style, orthography, and numbers, to be very ancient : they are given from an old black-letter quarto, Imprinted at London in Lothburpe bp Wollpam Eopland (no date):
* Bottles formerly were of leather; though perhaps a wooden bottle might be here meant. It is fill a diversion in Scotland to hang up a cat in a small cask or firkin, balf filled with foot: and then a parcel of clowns on borseback try to beat out the ends of it, order to fhew their dexterity in escaping before the contents fall upons bem,
corrected in some places by another copy in the editor's folia MS. In that volume this ballad is followed by another, intitled Younge CloudEslek, being a continuation of the present story, and reciting the adventures of William of Cloudesly's fon : but greatly inferior to this both in merit and antiquity.
PART THE FIRST.
MERY it was in grene forest
Amonge the levès grene,
Wyth bowes and arrowes kene ;
To ryse the dere oat of theyr denne ;
Suche fightes hath ofte bene fene ;
By them it is I meane.
The one of them hight Adam Bel,
The other Clym of the Clough,
An archer good ynough.
They were outlawed for venyson,
These yemen everychone;
To Englyshe wood for to gone.
Now lith and lyften, gentylmen,
That of myrthe loveth to here : Two of them were fingele men,
The third had a wedded fere.
Wyllyam was the wedded man,
Muche more than was hys care :
To Carleil he wold fare ;
For to speke with fayre Alyce his wife,
And with hys chyldren thre. By my trouth, fayde Adam Bel,
Not by the counfell of me:
For if ye go to Carleil, brother,
And from thys wylde wode wende, If the justice may you take,
Your lyfe were at an ende.
If that I come not to-morowe, brother,
By pryme to you agayne,
Or else that I am slayne.
He toke hys leave of hys brethren two,
And to Carleil he is gon:
Shortlye and anone.
Ver. 24. Caerlel, in PC. paffime
Wher be you, fayre Alyce my wyfe,
And my chyldren thre?
Wyllyam of Cloudeslè.
• Alas! then fayde fayre Alyce,
And fyghed wonderous fore,
Now am I here, fayde Cloudeslè,
I wold that in I were :
And let us make good chere.
She fetched hym meate and drynke plentyè,
Lyke a true wedded wyfe;
Whome she loved as her lyfe.
There lay an old wyfe in that place,
A lytle befyde the fyre,
More than seven yere.
Up she rose, and forth the goes,
Evel mote she spede therefoore;
In seven yere before.