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1588 - Harvey, John - Discursive Problem (1)

Allusion
Date 1588
Author Harvey, John
Title A discoursiue probleme concerning prophesies
Mentions Robin Hood and Little John; Friar Tuck and Maid Marian; Thomas of Lancaster [Thomas, Earl of Lancaster]

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2014-08-20. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2016-05-30.

Allusion

Now touching the Finall why; or the generall and speciall ends therof, were not these extrauagant prophesies, mostwhat inuented and published to some such great holie effect as the tales of Hobgoblin, Robin Goodfellow, Hogmagog, Queene Grogorton, king Arthur, Beuis of Southhampton, Launcelot du Lake, Sir Tristram, Thomas of Lancaster, Iohn à Gaunt, Guy of Warwike, Orlando furioso, Amadis du Gaul, Robin Hood and little Iohn, Frier Tuck and maid Marian, with a thousand such Legendaries, in all languages; viz. to busie the minds of the vulgar sort, or to set ther heads aworke withal, and to auert their conceits from the consideration of serious, and grauer matters, by feeding their humors, and delighting their fansies with such fabulous and ludicrous toyes. For was it not the grand pollicie of that age, wherein those counterfet prophesiers cheefly florished, to occupie and carry away the commons with od rumors, by flimflams, wily cranks, and sleightie knacks of the maker, euen with all possible indeuors and vnderminings, fearing least they might otherwise ouermuch or ouer deeply intend other actions, and negotiations of greater importance, priuate or publike affaires of higher value, matters of state or religion, politike or ecclesiasticall gouernment, which from time to time they kept secret and couert, as mysticall priuities, and sacred intendiments, to be meerly handled, and disposed by the cleargie, or other professed in learning; thinking therby to maintaine themselues, and vphold al their proceedings in the greater credit, authoritie, and admiration amongst the people. It was a trim worke, indeede, and a gay world no doubt, for some idle Cloister-men, mad merry Friers, and lustie Abbey-lubbers [...][1]

Source notes

Italics as in source.

IRHB comments

An interesting and unusually long list of popular heroes.

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