Childe Roland

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King Lear

James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps (1820—1889) antiquary and literary scholar


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In an old Scottish ballad, a son of King Arthur. His sister, Burd Ellen, is carried away by the fairies to the castle of the king of Elfland. Aided by the instructions of Merlin, Childe Roland makes his way into the castle and rescues his sister.Child Rowland to the dark tower came,His word was still ‘Fie, foh, and fum,I smell the blood of a British man.’(Shakespeare, King Lear, iii. iv) Halliwell (Nursery Rhymes) thinks that Shakespeare is here quoting from two different compositions, the first line from a ballad on Roland, the second and third from the story of Jack the Giant‐killer.

Subjects: Literature.

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