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Good even, good Robin Hood

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2014-07-23. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2017-05-08.

The expression Good even, good Robin Hood is used of civility extorted by fear. A rare variant is "Yea, Robin Hood" (see 1575 allusion by George Gascoigne.)

Citations

1522 - Skelton, John - Why come ye not to Court

He is set so hye
In his ierarchy
Of frantycke frenesy
And follyshe fantasy,
That in the Chambre of Sterres
All maters there he marres,
Clappyng his rod on the borde.
No man dare speke a worde,
For he hathe all the sayenge
Without any renayenge.
He rolleth in his recordes,
He sayth, 'How saye ye, my lordes?
Is nat my reason good?'
Good evyn, good Robyn Hode!
Some say 'yes', and some
Syt styll as they were dom
Thus thwartyng over thom,
He ruleth all the roste.[1]

1575 - Gascoigne, George - Fruits of War

Yea Robyn Hoode, our foes came downe apace,
And first they chargde another Forte likewise,
Alphen I meane, which was a stronger place,
And yet to weake to keepe in warlike wise:
Five other bandes of English *Fanteries, footemen.
Were therein set for to defend the same,
And them they chargde for to beginne the game.[2]

Notes

  1. Skelton, John; Scattergood, John, ed. The Complete English Poems. John Skelton (New Haven & London, 1983), p. 283 (ll. 184-201).
  2. Gascoigne, George; Cunliffe, John W., ed. The Complete Works of George Gascoigne (Cambridge, 1907-10), vol. I, p. 171.

Brief mention