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among the solitary rocks of Staunton Moor,
in Derbyshire.

The antiquaries hare fought hard over
Little John's grave. One says he died in
Scotland, another that he was hung near
Dublin, while Mr. Hicklin, the last speaker,
loudly asserts that he was buried at the
picturesque village of Hathersage, in
Derbyshire, where he was born, and where his
cottage is still shown. His green cap used
to be hung up in Hathersage church, but it
is now removed to Carron Hill. There has
been equal fighting as to where Robin
Hood's birth took place. The oldest records
say Lockesly Chase, near Sheffield (hence
the name Sir Walter has given brave Robin
in Ivanhoe). Others say the real Loxly was
in Staffordshire or Warwickshire. Leland
(Henry the Eighth) calls Robin a noble,
and others boldly make him Robert FitzOdo,
an Earl of Huntingdon outlawed in the
twelfth century. Mr. Planché inclines to
the opinion that he was a claimant at least
of the earldom. After much controversy,
it is almost certain that if Robin ever
lived, he lived between 1160 and 1247,
that is through the reigns of Henry the
Second, Richard the First, John, and part
of Henry the Third. Thierry, the French
historian, has shown with much discrimination
that in Richard Coeur de Lion's
time Sherwood Forest stretched from
Nottingham to the very centre of Yorkshire,
and in these wilds bands of Saxon outlaws
lived, who long defied and tormented the


AN English newspaper published in the
East has just told us that the Burmese
pull a rope when they want rain. A capital
idea: seeing that the pulling of a rope is
within the competency of most of us. It is
managed in Burmah thus: Two parties
those who wish for rain, and those who don't
lay hold of opposite ends of the rope;
whichever pull hardest, win the day. It is
said, however (as is the case in relation to
many controversies and contests going on
around us here at home), that the affair is
prearranged; it is agreed beforehand that
the rain-pullers shall be permitted to pull
with more vigour than their competitors.
Whether the rain comes when the rope has
been pulled, our informant unfortunately
has omitted to state.

There are rain-doctors in all countries:
some further removed than others from
science, but doctors still. The looking out
for omens (a habit more general than we
are in the habit of supposing) is a residuum
of a belief that was almost universal in old
days. The signs or symptoms connected
with the movements of animals may, in
many instances, be worthy of attention; but
they are mixed up with the strangest
absurdities. Of the rain prognostics accepted
two or three centuries ago, there was a
pretty extensive variety. If ducks and
drakes flutter their wings unusually when
they rise; if young horses rub their backs
against the ground; if sheep begin to bleat
and skip about; if swine are seen to carry
hay and straw to hiding-places; if oxen
lick themselves the wrong way of the
hair; if a lamp or candle sputter; if a
great deal of soot falls down the chimney;
if frogs croak more than usual; if swallows
fly low; if hogs run home loudly grunting
and squeaking; if cattle and donkeys prick
up their ears; if ants come out of their
hills, and moles and worms out of the
ground; if crows assemble in crowds, and
ravens croak; if water-fowl come to land;
if (as an old writer describes it) "beastes
move here and there, makynge a noyse, and
brethynge up the ayre with open nostrels;"
if the down fly off from the dandelion and
the thistle when there is no wind; if
church-bells be heard further than usual;
in all such cases, we are told to expect
rain. Gay, in his Pastorals, tells us that
when a heifer sticks her tail bolt upright,
or when our corns prick, it is an omen
of approaching rain; whereas fine weather
is foreshown by the high flying of swallows.
In another of his works, Trivia, Gay
says (in relation to the signboards which
the streets of London so abundantly
displayed in his day):

When the swinging signs your ears offend
With creaking noise, then rainy floods impend;
Soon shall the kennels swell with rapid streams.

Poor Robin's Almanack, about a century
and a half ago, announced that when a
hedgehog builds a nest with the opening
in one direction, the next rain and wind
will come from the opposite direction.
Another writer asked:

Why doth a cow, about half an hour
Before there comes a hasty shower,
Clap her tail against a hedge?

The question is, does she? And the next
question would be, is it one peculiarly-constituted
cow who does so, or do cows
generally so conduct themselves?

Rain-doctors and rain-prophets are two
different classes. The latter wish to know