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Gamelyn

(3 syl., g hard). The youngest of the three sons of Sir Johan de Boundys. On his death-bed the old knight left “five plowes of land” to each of his two elder sons, and the rest of his property to Gamelyn. The eldest took charge of the boy, but entreated him shamefully; and when Gamelyn, in his manhood, demanded of him his heritage, the elder brother exclaimed, “Stand still, gadelyng, and hold thy peace!” “I am no gadelyng,” retorted the proud young spirit; “but the lawful son of a lady and true knight.” At this the elder brother sent his servants to chastise the youngling, but Gamelyn drove them off with “a pestel.” At a wrestling-match held in the neighbourhood, young Gamelyn threw the champion, and carried off the prize ram; but on reaching home found the door shut against him. He at once kicked down the door, and threw the porter into a well. The elder brother, by a manœuvre, contrived to bind the young scapegrace to a tree, and left him two days without food; but Adam, the spencer, unloosed him, and Gamelyn fell upon a party of ecclesiastics who had come to dine with his brother, “sprinkling holy water on the guests with his stout oaken cudgel.” The sheriff now sent to take Gamelyn and Adam into custody; but they fled into the woods and came upon a party of foresters sitting at meat. The captain gave them welcome, and in time Gamelyn rose to be

“king of the outlaws.” His brother, being now sheriff, would have put him to death, but Gamelyn constituted himself a lynch judge, and hanged his brother. After this the king appointed him chief ranger, and he married. This tale is the foundation of Lodge's novel, called Euphue's Golden Legacy, and the novel furnished Shakespeare with the plot of As You Like It.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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