Talk:Robin Hood/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2



Nice work, whoever you are! You've certainly radically improved my rather poor and sarky stab at Robin Hood. Come on in 'n' join us. We definitely need people with your skills. sjc

Was he really a Yorkshireman?

I am concerned that this article makes it appear that the true origins of Robin Hood are agreed and not the subject of debate. The first paragraph states categorically that he was a yorkshireman, and the implication is that all the legends grew around such a person. In truth there may never even have been a historical Robin Hood.

One could almost suspect that the whole thing was, if not written by, edited and approved by the Yorskhire Tourist Board.

At least it does not simply endorse the Nottinghamshire version of the story, but many places have claims to Robin Hodd, including Loxley in Warwickshire.


I have made a few slight alterations to point out that the matter is not settled, and noted that while Sherwood and Nottingham aren't universally mentioned in all early ballads, they do appear in some. (Nottingham appears in RH and the Monk, The Gest, and the Potter -- to name early ballads. Sherwood is specifically mentioned in the Monk.) While there are many early Yorkshire references, the early references aren't exclusively about Yorkshire.

I also think the whole section is too long -- and slanted to one particular theory, but I did not make any deletions.


I feel there is no need for a paragraph about objectivism in this article. Compared to the other interpretations cited in this paper, objectivism is extremely obscure, and given the vast amount of interpretations of the Robin Hood saga in modern day literature and culture I would say it's better to refrain from mentioning them at all in the main paper. It would be better to just put the objectivist view of Robin Hood into an independent article.

Esthurin 11:32, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

The Objectivist view of Robin Hood is, to my knowledge, the only one that casts the Robin Hood of legend in a less-than-favorable light. NPOV requires that an article refrain from making value judgments (value judgments are important--without them our actions would be random and pointless--but encyclopedia articles are there to provide us with the information so we each make our own value judgments, not to make the judgments for us). Kurt Weber 15:56, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

The most likely historical figure to be the Robin Hood is Robert Earl of Mansfield. We know that he took part in the crusades and was injured at the battle of Arsuf in 1191, when he returned to England. He was outlawed in 1193 after failing to make recompense for the slaying of two knights. Little is known about his life following this other than he seems to have disappeared from all records.

Minor POV Issue

Equating Robin Hood to Marx is misleading. Whereas Marx desired the "dictatorship of the Proletariat" (a dictatorship justified in taking from one class for the benefit of another), Robin Hood did not simply take from the rich to give to the poor--he returned what the rich had taken from the individual. That is, the folk hero Robin Hood does not appear to support the legitimacy of any dictatorship taking from the individual.

For a transfer of wealth to cause mention of Robin Hood, the payer would need to "owe" (by some meaning of the word) this amount to the payee. If I mug you, I am not a modern-day Robin Hood. If I steal from the coffers of a company that has poisoned our water (or from ADM, for that matter) to pay medical bills of those who have suffered, Robin Hood may merit mention. But just being poor and stealing from the rich does not make you a modern day Robin Hood--it makes you a thief.

For Marxists, the workers' state "taking" from the rich to give to the poor IS giving them what they owe. See a basic discussion of "surplus value." It's Marxism 101. Whether you agree with it or not, that's not the point. The fact is that Marx argues, using economic formulae, that surplus value is STOLEN from workers in the production process. Herein lies the Robin Hood analogy. I apologize for not knowing how to properly make this comment. I'm not a wikiregular, but I just thought I give some input on this issue. The above comment about Marx calling for STEALING what is not OWED is just demonstrably false.

When Things were Rotten

That was an American TV Sit-Com baised around Robin Hood. I believe it was the late 70's


Not sure I agree with the translation for "I can (i.e. 'ken') 'rimes of Robin Hood." From what I recall "ken" means "know", not "can". This is at least true of Scottish dialect, though as Langland wasn't Scottish I guess it could be different. I doubt it though, as "know" makes more sense. -R. fiend 07:59, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

If you check the page you will see that the writer does give the meaning of "Ken" as "know" Ken probably comes from the old english which was very similar to german,"Kennen " to Know

Yes, I fixed it a while ago. In my mind the original was clearly wrong. -R. fiend 16:41, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Can we please have a translation of the archaic English beneath the actual quotes? My eyes hurt just from looking at it. -- 04:24, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I don't understand the 1st quote, but I think I got the 2nd, here's a rewriting:
Lytil Jhon and Robyne Hude
Wayth-men ware commendyd gude:
In Yngil-wode and Barnysdale
Thai oysyd all this tyme thare trawale.
Little John and Robin Hood 
? were commanded good:
In ?ng?lwood and B?rn?sdale
they used all this time there travel. (or maybe "their travail")

Frankly, doesn't make much sense to me, might contain archaic vocabulary, the other one was easier, though, I think I got it:

Hear undernead dis laitl stean
Lais Robert Earl of Huntingtun
Near arcir der as hie sa geud
An pipl kauld im Robin Heud
Sic utlaws as hi an is men
Vil England nivr si agen.
 Obiit 24 Kal Dekembris 1247
Here underneath this little stone
Lays Robert, Earl of Huntington
(There was) no archer as good as him
And people called him Robin Hood
Such outlaws as he and his men
Will England never see again.

But I haven't studied enough Middle English to be sure I interpreted it all correctly, especially the 3rd line. 10:55, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Suggestion for the first: Wayth in middle english relates to hunting and fishing, especially when done unlawfully. Hence Wayth-men is roughly equivilent to poachers, with the addeconnotation of subordination in the military sense. Going phonetically, commended fits better and makes a bit more sense. Trawale is almost certainly travail, although in this sense equivilant to travel. Comes from the trails of a journey, this evolves into the modern word "travel". So while technically correct to put travail for the sake of translation travel serves better. Not nearly perfect, but:

Little John and Robin Hood [as or 's ?] 
poachers were commended good:
In Englewood(?) and Barnsdale
they used all this time there travel. 

loses any style, but makes a bit more sense. On closer reading I'm unsure as to whether to read wayth-men as a description of the two or as a suggestion to a band of subordinates. Moofresh 04:14, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

"Travail" is from French "travailler", to work - it means works (i.e. deeds), not travels. As for "oysyd", my best guess is that its modern equivalent is "essayed", in the sense of "made, carried out" - so the line would be better translated as "During this time the made their deeds." PiCo 01:11, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Pictures from the Walt Disney film

I slightly disapointed; I sort of hoped to be on the Bad Jokes and Other Deleted Nonsense ! :) Rama 12:44, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

How about more nonsense? ;) [1] enlists four Robin Hood computer games, should we add them here? -- Lightkey 03:30, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Found two of them in Wikipedia: Defender of the Crown and Conquests of the Longbow. -- Lightkey 03:55, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Robin Hood film 1908

I read that the first Robin Hood film dates from 1908. Does anyone have any information about this film, such as title or country of origin? I'm working on a historiography of the middle ages and this is a key example of the early portrayal of the middle ages in film. Nothing mentioned in the article though. --Stbalbach 20:20, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Updated with title. --Stbalbach 16:20, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

The film did not introduce the idea of a Muslim outlaw- the makers will freely admit that that idea was taken from Robin of Sherwood.

neo-Pagan reinterpretations of Robin Hood

I'd like to get some feedback from others before inserting such a segment. I do believe that some of these myths & legends may provide a more "fleshed out" article. Topics could include: Robin as Herne's Son (the Lord of the Hunt), the Merry Men as (Maid) Marion's Men & the group as anti-Christian, anti-establishment rebellion. I can write on this extensively and provide numerous references, if desired. Please let me know your opinion, and if there are any specific legends/myths I should address.--ghost 14:17, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Tax collector passage

The current version says that Robin Hood "stole from the rich to give to the poor (some would say from the tax collector to refund the taxpayer)." Who says that exactly? Is it in the real Robin Hood stories? If not it should go. -R. fiend 18:14, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

No. It's an explanation of how Robin Hood is used as a Rhetorical device or Code word (figure of speech) in U.S. politics. If you need a reference, one can cetainly be provided. BTW, it's not my wording.--ghost 18:43, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I've never heard of this either. --Yath 3 July 2005 21:41 (UTC)
This Texas law has a "Robin Hood" passage, ment to refer to it's redistribution of taxes from "rich" school districts to "poor" ones.--ghost 5 July 2005 14:42 (UTC)
The sense of the "Robin Hood passage" in that law seems very different from taking "from the tax collector to refund the taxpayer". The focus of the law is on school districts; the taxpayer and the tax collector are only peripherally involved. I'll grant you that it is metaphoric, but it isn't an example of the sense reported in the article. --Yath 8 July 2005 22:26 (UTC)

Locations edit by

The following was added on 7/15 by

It is simply not possible to locate the historical Robin Hood with any certainty. The literary corpus very firmly locates the activities of the outlaw in the north, around the Barnsdale area and Sherwood Forest.
This possibly indicates that the legend as we have it already derives from two separate sources, probably two separate 'Robin Hoods'. The Scottish historian John Major, writing in 1521, maintained that Robin Hood was active in 1193-4, at the time of John's attempted coup against Richard, and it is possible to construct an argument which supports this.
On 25th July 1225, the royal justices held an assize at York. When the penalties were recorded in the Michaelmas roll of the Exchequer, they included 32s. 6d. for the chattels of one Robert Hod, fugitive. The account was carried forward into the following year, when he had acquired the nickname of 'Hobbehod', and indicates that he had been a tenant of the archbishopric of York.
'His fame and popularity were such that within a generation his true identity had been obscured by legend.'
This is the only possible original bearing the name of Robin Hood who is know to have been an outlaw (there are other Hoods in Wakefield, but none of them seem to have been fugitives). An epitaph recorded by Thomas Gale in 1702 recorded that a grave purporting to be that of Robin Hood lay at Kirklees (where the legend claims he was killed), dated to 1247.
On this flimsy evidence, it is possible to construct a chronology: Robin active in the 1190s, an outlaw by 1225, dead by 1247 and a legend by 1261. Quite frankly, I wouldn't stake my reputation on it. John Major's dating is purely arbitrary, and two of his contemporaries give Robin's dates as 1283-5 or 1266; while the full date on the Kirklees gravestone, 25 Kalends Decembris 1247, is impossible as there is no 25 Kalends in the Roman calendar.
The only thing to be said in favour of Major's dating is that it fits well with the only two firm pieces of evidence we have, the court rolls of 1225 and 1261. On this basis, I think we would be fully justified in saying that Robin Hood was active during the reign of King John, but that his fame and popularity were such that within a generation his true identity had been obscured by legend.

There's good content here, but alot seems to be original research. Can we review this please?--ghost 19:40, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

Agreed. And this line "Quite frankly, I wouldn't stake my reputation on it", is interesting from an anonymous author, makes me suspect it may be from another source; theres a tone to it that underscores an unspoken knowledge of the authors authority on the subject. Stbalbach 19:53, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
I was right, copyvio of this page from BBC. Stbalbach 20:02, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

Robin Hood Remake

BBC are considering a remake of this Robin Hood SGCommand

For a full history of Robin Hood of Yorkshire see

which si the website of the YORKSHIRE ROBIN HOOD SOCIETY with a full account of his death at Kirklees Priory and also a booklist around the subject.


Monty Python

The sketch was of a highwayman more akin to Dick Turpin than that of Robin Hood. Feel free to change it back as long as you provide evidence to the contrary.

Once and Future King

Robin Hood appears in the fictional The Once and Future King - he is also mentioned as possibly being a character in King Arthur's life by Norma Lorre Goodrich's books in the search for the historical King Arthur... can we get and word on this concept? This would place Robin Hood in the late 4th or early 5th century.

Considering that Merlin talks plentifully about the Normans and the Saxons in The Once and Future King -- conscious anachronism, I would say. Goldfritha 00:21, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Meaning of "merry"

"...named the Merry Men for their famed jollity..."

I'm not sure this is right - "merrie" in medieval English didn't mean "jolly", and "merrie England" wasn't a place with a well-developed comedy industry. Someone with more energy than I can muster might like to find out what it really did mean. PiCo 01:04, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

I hesitate to check how long that had been in there. Jkelly 01:18, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
I note that a number of Child ballads refer to a noble's retinue as their "merry men" Goldfritha 23:32, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Wakefield edits, etc.

Someone please look at [2], all work done by Much of what was changed over those many edits seems suspect, and the ellipsis that survives into the current version is certainly out of place. Is this all nonsense that needs reversion, or does it just need copyediting? --Tardis 02:40, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

I'd just remove it. There doesn't seem to be anything of value. Would you mind? Jkelly 02:49, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I've removed some of it, but haven't the time to finish just now. I'll catch the rest later. Tony Fox (speak) 22:58, 20 June 2006 (UTC)


It's getting long, or so I'm warned. Maybe the lists of Robin Hood appearances should be split off.Goldfritha 00:20, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Hai Yue Han

What is Hai Yue Han, or why is it Robin Hood? There's no reference, no link... nothing. It seems vaguely insane to me.

The poor and tradition

If you read the traditional accounts -- see the ballads articles -- he did very little good for the poor. And robbing tax collectors for their benefit does not appear. Goldfritha 23:32, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree. The term 'traditional' has only multiplied, rather than resolved, any ambiguities in the original text. At what point does this tradition begin? At best the term overlooks the medieval and Early Modern stories; at worst it completely misleads the reader about their nature, transplanting anachronistic details into them. Much better to rewrite/ revert to an earlier version. Ben Parsons 08:40, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Who did he steal from?

I thought in the Robin Hood stories, King John's tax collectors came by and pried money from the population, then Robin and his men ambushed the gold going back to the castle and gave it back to the peasants who paid the taxes in the first place. Isn't this the accurate telling of the Robin Hood story?

Well, it's a fairly accurate telling of the Victorian versions, especially those of Howard Pyle. The earliest surviving Robin texts, however, from the end of the medieval period, contain none of these details at all. Firstly, Edward is the king, not John; secondly, Robin is a far from altruistic figure, with little interest in the poor; thirdly, his crimes are not restricted to robbery, as he breaks prisoners from gaol, kills foresters, steals from clergymen, and extorts money from riders passing through his domain (for his own profit, incidentally). Anyway, there are a number of shaky points in your account. Assuming that Robin Hood was active in the reign of John, peasants, or bondsmen, wouldn't even be paying taxes in that period, not until the Poll Tax was briefly introduced in 1381 - their 'payments' took the form of labour duties to the lords whose tenants they were. So, none of the medieval stories feature any of the events or characters you have described, I'm afraid. Ben Parsons 20:54, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Rabbie Hood

I was watching QI and it mentioned that the first Robin Hoods were based on William Wallace and his first title was Rabbie Hood, not Robin Hood.

This seems unlikely. The name is used in England to describe outlaws (and it is invariably in England) from 1227 onwards - Wallace was not born until c.1270. It may be that in Scotland the legends of the two figures were conflated and confused - both of them were outlaws, both were minor noblemen, both lost their property, and both led guerilla-style bands against figures in authority (at least, in popular fictional sources, such as Blind Harry's Actes and Deidis of Waleis). In fact, an early Scottish chronicle does place Robin Hood in the late 1280s and 90s, which is roughly when Wallace was active, and it is true that Scottish authors in particular (Major, Wyntoun, Bower) were keen to historicise the stories. So it may be that one figure was superimposed upon the other, or identified with him, at least in Scotland. But the Robin Hood figure certainly predates even the historical Wallace, so claiming him as a source is fairly implausible. Ben Parsons 11:59, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Any place for description of "standard modern legend"?

It seems like most recent versions of Robin Hood accept several parts of the legend as standard, so could we not have a section describing this "standard" tale? What I think of is: 1) Robin is Robert/Robin of Locksley, a Saxon nobleman. 2) the outlawing results from Much killing a deer and Robin/Locksley defending him. 3) his first encounter with Little John involves quarterstaffs and a river. 4) Guy of Gisbourne often appears as a more martial sidekick for the Sheriff. 5) Robin not only robs the rich to feed the poor, but often tries to expidite the return of Richard. Much of this owes a lot to Walter Scott's Ivanhoe, as mentioned. The return from the crusades is not quite as ubiquitous, but could be included, along with the "Golden Arrow" tournament trap, fighting Friar Tuck, etc. Not sure if this sort of info would be helpful or not, and I don't claim to know the origin of any of it.

Also, when did Sir Guy of Gisbourne come into the legend? Lordjim13 02:49, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

His first appearance is in a ballad, which means that we have no clue how far he went back. I have heard folklorists think he may have been a pre-existing figure absorbed into the legend, but I don't know what evidence they are basing that on. Goldfritha 00:06, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
To expand: We can not decree that something is the "standard modern legend." That would need a reference. Goldfritha 01:51, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
Also I'm not sure the above can be taken as purely accurate. To take a few examples from the twentieth century screen versions:
1) The Locksley/Huntingdon variations still exist. The 1975 BBC series The Legend of Robin Hood shows Robin as the long lost Earl of Huntingdon, raised by a groundskeeper called Hood. In Robin of Sherwood, Robin of Locksley is of peasant stock, with Robert of Huntingdon a separate nobleman. Others have Locksley as a nobleman, a few give Robin both names and so forth.
2) Often, although from recollection both Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and the current Robin Hood series on the BBC alter this.
3) Yes - I think only the current BBC series does this any differently.
4) Gisbourne's role wanders all over. In The Adventures of Robin Hood he is clearly superior to the Sheriff both in rank and villainy. He's more an ally than a sidekick in The Legend of Robin Hood, totally ignored in Robin and Marian and for that matter doesn't appear to be in Robin Hood: Men in Tights suggesting he's not considered essential for spoofing. (Similarly he doesn't show up until the second season of Maid Marian and her Merry Men.)
5) I'm not sure this is always the case - not all the films and television series revolve around the time when Richard was held for ransom. Certainly Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves ignores this.
Now okay some of these are rare cases, but they include probably the two most famous films (Adventures & Prince of Thieves) and two of the most influential recent contributions (Robin and Marian & Robin of Sherwood). There isn't one single rendition of the legends that virtually everyone's followed since (unlike, say, Odysseus) and anything would be primarily a compilation. Even the few handlings of Robin's death are at slight variance with one another, particularly over the identity and motivation of his killer. Timrollpickering 21:57, 3 February 2007 (UTC)


I question the use of this word in the opening. It seems an attempt on part of the author to sound smart, or perhaps elevate the article for honors it does not otherwise deserve.

It's use makes the meaning of the sentence, (already a victim of poor diction) less understandable to a general reader. In addition, the validity of the metaphor is highly questionable to begin with. Even if it as a valid metaphor technically, in context here it is at best highly archaic. At worst, it is confusing and silly.

At either end of that spectrum, the article it better without it. Any thoughts?

MergeCar 05:27, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

As the original 'author' attempting (and consistently failing) to 'sound smart', I'm forced to admit that amalgam is much better in terms of clarity. Good edit.

Ben Parsons 09:12, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

'Popular Culture'

Would anyone object if I deleted the Popular Culture section? It adds very little that is not said elsewhere, and its talk of 'phrasings' seems embarrassingly sophomoric. Is such stuff genuinely important to the legend? Or integral to the political schools that are mentioned? And if so, why are no specific writers or works cited? The section reads like an undergraduate's attempt to 'read' the legends from a particular standpoint, rather than a reflection of anything concrete or factual. So, to reiterate: would anyone mind if I got rid of this section altogether? Ben Parsons 19:31, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

I might suggest that it would be better to thin it down and maybe poke around to see if there are sources available to back it up. It is linked to the separate article there, I see; perhaps just leaving that in place might be a good route to go. There's definitely a popular culture aspect to the legend, though, so it's probably a good idea to have it mentioned here. Tony Fox (arf!) 21:12, 1 December 2006 (UTC)


Hi, sorry I have just come to this page, helping my 7 year old do his homework, and I have noticed some awful words at the start of the page. I Have never posted and dont have account, so with so many posts by people genuinely editing information I hope someone can fix it.

Kind regards, Natalie —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:54, 29 January 2007 (UTC).

Robin Hood in Stretford?

I'm sure I'm going to get laughed out of town by everyone for this but does Robin Hood have any connection with Stretford in Manchester. I have reacently started working in Stretford and have noticed a few businesses called Robin Hood, there's Taxis, beds and a pub at the very least. Why?

I've been looking for any link between Robin and Stretford but i can't find it, i'm new to Wikipedia so go easy.

Thanks. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 14:22, 17 February 2007 (UTC).

Fictional Foxes

I'm sure we all remember Disney's take on Robin Hood ("Get to the point!") Okay, shouldn't we categorise this under fictional foxes? - 14:43, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Um, is there such a category? Arcayne 14:51, 15 March 2007 (UTC) (admittedly not very knowledgeable about the scads of fictional foxes out there)
Yup. Look at the bottom of Fox McCloud. - 16:24, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, ain't that an interesting bit of cruft? lol :) Arcayne 18:09, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Peer review

Noticing that most of the edits have been vandalism and clearing it up -- does anyone think it's not ready for a peer review? Goldfritha 23:32, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm putting it up. Anyone at all can respond to comments made. Goldfritha 23:54, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Click on "a request has been made", at the top, to see the comments. Goldfritha 23:57, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Someone's made A LOT of comments. I started in, but anyone else would have my gratitude for chipping in. Goldfritha 00:43, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Very Minor Edits

Okay, so I made a minor edit which I wanted to explain and there wasn't a place for me to do so amongst all the (perfectly legitimate) scholarly discussion. Now there is.  :o)

I took out the sentence "Robin was not a real person who lived, he was a fictional character and still is one" from the first paragraph. It's unencyclopaedic, for one thing, and from what I've read about vandalism I wonder if it wasn't just someone being a smartar... being clever. Whatever the case, I'm quite sure that "...and still is one" was redundant: a fictional character doesn't become any more real with time, as a rule. The reason I wanted to explain is because (to me) it wasn't obvious vandalism, so someone might have wanted to know why. - Shrivenzale 21:26, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Lol, nice post. Clearly, uncited information can't be left on the page. If we aren't sure of the citability of the statemetns, I've seen in other articles where they move the info to the talk page under the heading "Uncited statemetns" or some such. I don't know if that's applicable here, but it looks like you did the right thing here. Good job! :) Arcayne (cast a spell) 00:44, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Manuscript of A Geste of Robyn Hode

This follows from discussion in the comments on the edit page: apologies for not taking it here earlier. My contention is that "Also in manuscript is A Gest of Robyn Hode (c.1475)" is wrong. While several sources say that there is a manuscript of Geste (Holt, Dobson and Taylor, Pollard if I recall), this is flatly contradicted by Knight and Ohlgren. Knight and Ohlgren I take to be authoritative in this instance as being the most recent and compendious of critical editions of the core Robin Hood texts; further, none of those that attest to their being a manuscript prior to the printed editions of c.1500 give a reference to that manuscript (it is true that there is a later manuscript). So I'd argue that saying the Gest exists in manuscript in the same way as does Robin Hood and the Monk is not right. 04:22, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

I posted a message on the other user's Talk page, inviting him to respond. He usually posts towards weeks' end, so let's wait until next Sunday night. If no counter argument is forthcoming, we shall consider the argument without challenge and reinstate it. I hope that arrangement is acceptable to you; I was aiming at making sure the article remains stable. Arcayne (cast a spell) 01:13, 17 May 2007 (UTC)