These attributes jarred on the sensitive Ritson, who racked his brains for contumelious epithets such as "stupid and disgusting," "cart-loads of rubbish," &c.; and during the greater part of the 18th and 19th centuries Lydgate's reputation was at its lowest ebb.
The best collections of Robin Hood poems are those of Ritson (8vo, 1795) and Gutch (2nd ed., 1847), and of Professor Child in the 5th volume of his invaluable English and Scotch Popular Ballads (Boston, 1888).
Ritson pointed out in 1784 that the so-called ancient ballads were some of them of modern date, and Pinkerton confessed that he was the author of the second part of Hardy Kanute and partauthor of some others.
51; Joseph Ritson, Fairy Tales (Lond.
Ritson in Ancient English Metrical Romances (1802); and by L.