The Project Gutenberg eBook of Notes and Queries, Number 22, March 30, 1850

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Title: Notes and Queries, Number 22, March 30, 1850

Author: Various

Release date: April 1, 2004 [eBook #12198]
Most recently updated: December 14, 2020

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Jon Ingram, Internet Library of Early Journals, William
Flis, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.





"When found, make a note of."—CAPTAIN CUTTLE.

No. 22. SATURDAY, MARCH 30. 1850. Price Threepence.
Stamped Edition 4d.


NOTES:— Pages
The Taming of the Shrew, by Samuel Hickson 345
Proverbial Sayings and their Origins 347
William Basse and his Poems 348
Folk Lore:—Something else about Salting. Norfolk Weather Proverb, Irish Medical Charms. Death-bed Superstitions 349
Note on Herodotus by Dean Swift 350
Herrick's Hesperides, by J.M. Gutch 350
Rev. Dr. Thomlinson 350
Minor Queries:—"A" or "An"—The Lucky have whole Days—Line quoted by De Quincey—Bishop Jewel's Papers—Allusion in Friar Brackley's Sermon—Quem Deus Vult perdere—Snow of Chicksand Priory—The Bristol Riots—A living Dog better than a dead Lion—American Bittern—Inquisition in Mexico—Masters of St. Cross—Etymology of "Dalston"—"Brown Study"—Coal-Brandy—Swot 350
The Dodo, by S.W. Singer 353
Watching the Sepulchre, by Rev. Dr. Rock, and E.V. 354
Poem by Sir E. Dyer 355
Robert Crowley, by Rev. Dr. Maitland 355
Replies to Minor Queries:—John Ross Mackay—Shipster—Gourders—Rococo—God tempers the Wind—Guildhalls—Treatise of Equivocation—Judas Bell—Grummet 356
Duke of Monmouth—To Philautus—Junius—Arabic Numerals 358
Books and Odd Volumes wanted 359
Notices to Correspondents 359
Advertisements 359


In two former communications on a subject incidental to that to which I now beg leave to call your attention, I hinted at a result far more important than the discovery of the author of the Taming of a Shrew. That result I lay before your readers, in stating that I think I can show grounds for the assertion that the Taming of the Shrew, by Shakspeare, is the original play; and that the Taming of a Shrew, by Marlowe or what other writer soever, is a later work, and an imitation. I must first, however, state, that having seen Mr. Dyce's edition of Marlowe, I find that this writer's claim to the latter work had already been advanced by an American gentleman, in a work so obvious for reference as Knight's Library Edition of Shakspeare. I was pretty well acquainted with the contents of Mr. Knight's first edition; and knowing that the subsequent work of Mr. Collier contained nothing bearing upon the point, I did not think of referring to an edition published, as I understood, rather for the variation of form than on account of the accumulation of new matter. Mr. Dyce appears to consider the passages cited as instances of imitation, and not proofs of the identity of the writer. His opinion is certainly entitled to great respect: yet it may, nevertheless, be remarked, first that the instance given, supposing Marlowe not to be the author, would be cases of theft rather than imitation, and which, done on so large a scale, would scarcely be confined to the works of one writer; and, secondly, that in original passages there are instances of an independence and vigour of thought equal to the best things that Marlowe ever wrote—a circumstance not to be reconciled with the former supposition. The following passage exhibits a freedom of thought more characteristic of this writer's reputation than are most of his known works:—

"And custom-free, you marchants shall commerce

And interchange the profits of your land,

Sending you gold for brasse, silver for lead,

Casses of silke for packes of wol and cloth,

To bind this friendship and confirme this league."

Six Old Plays, p. 204.

A short account of the process by which I came to a conclusion which, if established, must overthrow so many ingenious theories, will not, I trust, be uninteresting to your readers. In the relationship between these two plays there always seemed to be something which needed explanation. It was the only instance among the works of Shakspeare in which a direct copy, even to matters of detail, appeared to have been made; and, in spite of all attempts to gloss over and palliate, it was impossible to deny that an unblushing act of mere piracy seemed to have been committed, of which I never could bring myself to believe that Shakspeare had been guilty. The readiness to impute this act to him was to me but an instance of the unworthy manner in which he had almost universally been treated; and, without at the time having any suspicion of what I now take to be the fact, {346} I determined, if possible, to find it out. The first question I put to myself was, Had Shakspeare himself any concern in the older play? A second glance at the work sufficed for an answer in the negative. I next asked myself on what authority we called it an "older" play. The answer I found myself obliged to give was, greatly to my own surprise, On no authority whatever! But there was still a difficulty in conceiving how, with Shakspeare's work before him, so unscrupulous an imitator should have made so poor an imitation. I should not have felt this difficulty had I then recollected that the play in question was not published; but, as the case stood, I carefully examined the two plays together, especially those passages which were identical, or nearly so, in both, and noted, in these cases, the minutest variations. The result was, that I satisfied myself that the original conception was invariably to be found in Shakspeare's play. I have confirmed this result in a variety of ways, which your space will not allow me to enter upon; therefore, reserving such circumstances for the present as require to be enforced by argument, I will content myself with pointing out certain passages that bear out my view. I must first, however, remind your readers that while some plays, from their worthlessness, were never printed, some were withheld from the press on account of their very value; and of this latter class were the works of Shakspeare. The late publication of his works created the impression, not yet quite worn out, of his being a later writer than many of his contemporaries, solely because their printed works are dated earlier by twenty or thirty years. But for the obstinate effects of this impression, it is difficult to conceive how any one could miss the original invention of Shakspeare in the induction, and such scenes as that between Grumio and the tailor; the humour of which shines, even in the feeble reflection of the imitation, in striking contrast with those comic(?) scenes which are the undisputed invention of the author of the Taming of a Shrew.

The first passage I take is from Act IV. Sc. 3.

"Grumio. Thou hast fac'd many things?

"Tailor. I have.

"Gru. Face not me: thou hast brav'd many men; brave not me. I will neither be fac'd nor brav'd."

In this passage there is a play upon the terms "fac'd" and "brav'd." In the tailor's sense, "things" may be "fac'd" and "men" may be "brav'd;" and, by means of this play, the tailor is entrapped into an answer. The imitator, having probably seen the play represented, has carried away the words, but by transposing them, and with the change of one expression—"men" for "things"—has lost the spirit: there is a pun no longer. He might have played upon "brav'd," but there he does not wait for the tailor's answer; and "fac'd," as he has it, can be understood but in one sense, and the tailor's admission becomes meaningless. The passage is as follows:—

"Saudre. Dost thou hear, tailor? thou hast brav'd many men; brave not me. Th'ast fac'd many men.

"Tailor. Well, Sir?

"Saudre. Face not me; I'll neither be fac'd nor brav'd at thy hands, I can tell thee."—p. 198.

A little before, in the same scene, Grumio says, "Master, if ever I said loose-bodied gown, sew me in the skirts of it, and beat me to death with a bottom of brown thread." I am almost tempted to ask if passages such as this be not evidence sufficient. In the Taming of a Shrew, with the variation of "sew me in a seam" for "sew me in the skirts of it," the passage is also to be found; but who can doubt the whole of this scene to be by Shakspeare, rather than by the author of such scenes, intended to be comic, as one referred to in my last communication (No. 15. p. 227., numbered 7.), and shown to be identical with one in Doctor Faustus? I will just remark, too, that the best appreciation of the spirit of the passage, which, one would think, should point out the author, is shown in the expression, "sew me in the skirts of it," which has meaning, whereas the variation has none. A little earlier, still in the same scene, the following bit of dialogue occurs:—

"Kath. I'll have no bigger; this doth fit the time,

And gentlewomen wear such caps as these.

"Pet. When you are gentle, you shall have one too,

and not till then."

Katharine's use of the term "gentlewomen" suggests here Petruchio's "gentle." In the other play the reply is evidently imitated, but with the absence of the suggestive cue:—

"For I will home again unto my father's house.

"Ferando. I, when y'are meeke and gentle, but not before."—p. 194.

Petruchio, having dispatched the tailor and haberbasher, proceeds—

"Well, come my Kate: we will unto your father's,

Even in these honest mean habiliments;

Our purses shall be proud, our garments poor;"—p. 198.

throughout continuing to urge the vanity of outward appearance, in reference to the "ruffs and cuffs, and farthingales and things," which he had promised her, and with which the phrase "honest mean habiliments" is used in contrast. The sufficiency to the mind of these,

"For 'tis the mind that makes the body rich,"

is the very pith and purpose of the speech. Commencing in nearly the same words, the imitator entirely mistakes this, in stating the object of clothing to be to "shrowd us from the winter's rage;" which is, nevertheless, true enough, though completely beside the purpose. In Act II. Sc. 1., Petruchio says,—


"Say that she frown; I'll say she looks as clear

As morning roses newly wash'd with dew."

Here is perfect consistency: the clearness of the "morning roses," arising from their being "wash'd with dew;" at all events, the quality being heightened by the circumstance. In a passage of the so-called "older" play, the duke is addressed by Kate as "fair, lovely lady," &c.

"As glorious as the morning wash'd with dew."—p. 203

As the morning does not derive its glory from the circumstance of its being "wash'd with dew," and as it is not a peculiarly apposite comparison, I conclude that here, too, as in other instances, the sound alone has caught the ear of the imitator.

In Act V. Sc. 2., Katharine says,—

"Then vail your stomachs; for it is no boot;

And place your hand below your husband's foot;

In token of which duty, if he please,

My hand is ready: may it do him ease."

Though Shakspeare was, in general, a most correct and careful writer, that he sometimes wrote hastily it would be vain to deny. In the third line of the foregoing extract, the meaning clearly is, "as which token of duty;" and it is the performance of this "token of duty" which Katharine hopes may "do him ease." The imitator, as usual, has caught something of the words of the original which he has laboured to reproduce at a most unusual sacrifice of grammar and sense; the following passage appearing to represent that the wives, by laying their hands under their husbands' feet—no reference being made to the act as a token of duty—in some unexplained manner, "might procure them ease."

"Laying our hands under their feet to tread,

If that by that we might procure their ease,

And, for a precedent, I'll first begin

And lay my hand under my husband's feet."—p. 213.

One more instance, and I have done. Shakspeare has imparted a dashing humorous character to this play, exemplified, among other peculiarities, by such rhyming of following words as—

"Haply to wive and thrive as least I may."

"We will have rings and things and fine array."

"With ruffs, and cuffs, and farthingales and things."

I quote these to show that the habit was Shakspeare's. In Act I. Sc. 1. occurs the passage—"that would thoroughly woo her, wed her, and bed her, and rid the house of her." The sequence here is perfectly natural: but observe the change: in Ferando's first interview with Kate, he says,—

"My mind, sweet Kate, doth say I am the man

Must wed and bed and marrie bonnie Kate."—p. 172.

In the last scene, Petruchio says,—

"Come, Kate, we'll to bed:

We three are married, but you two are sped."

Ferando has it thus:—

"'Tis Kate and I am wed, and you are sped:

And so, farewell, for we will to our bed."—p. 214.

Is it not evident that Shakespeare chose the word "sped" as a rhyme to "bed," and that the imitator, in endeavouring to recollect the jingle, has not only spoiled the rhyme, but missed the fact that all "three" were "married," notwithstanding that "two" were "sped"?

It is not in the nature of such things that instances should be either numerous or very glaring; but it will be perceived that in all of the foregoing, the purpose, and sometimes even the meaning, is intelligible only in the form in which we find it in Shakespeare. I have not urged all that I might, even in this branch of the question; but respect for your space makes me pause. In conclusion, I will merely state, that I have no doubt myself of the author of the Taming of a Shrew having been Marlowe; and that, if in some scenes it appear to fall short of what we might have expected from such a writer, such inferiority arises from the fact of its being an imitation, and probably required at a short notice. At the same time, though I do not believe Shakspeare's play to contain a line of any other writer, I think it extremely probable that we have it only in a revised form, and that, consequently, the play which Marlow imitated might not necessarily have been that fund of life and humour that we find it now.


St. John's Wood, March 19. 1850.


"Ον οι Θεοι φιλουσιν αποθνησκει νεοσ."

Brunck, Poëtæ Gnomici, p. 231., quoted by Gibbon, Decl. and Fall (Milman. Lond. 1838. 8vo.), xii. 355. (note 65.)

"Quem Jupiter vult perdere, priùs dementat."

These words are Barnes's translation of the following fragment of Euripides, which is the 25th in Barnes' ed. (see Gent.'s Mag., July, 1847, p. 19, note):—

"Οταν δε Δαιμων ανδρι πορσυνη κακα,

Τον νουν εξλαψε προτον."

This, or a similar passage, may have been employed proverbially in the time of Sophocles. See l. 632. et seq. of the Antigone (ed. Johnson. Londini. 1758. 8vo.); on which passage there is the following scholium:—

"Μετα σοφιασ γαρ υπο τινοσ αοιδιμου κλεινον εποσ πεφανται,

Οταν δ' ο δαιμων ανδρι πορσυνη κακα,

Τον νουν εξλαψε προτον ω βουλευεtai.


Respecting the lines referred to in the Chorus, Dr. Donaldson makes the following remarks, in his critical edition of the Antigone, published in 1848:—

"The parallel passages for this adage are fully given by Ruhnken on Velleius Paterculus, ii. 57. (265, 256.), and by Wyttenbach on Plutarch, De Audiendis Poetis, p. 17. B. (pp. 190, 191.)"

"Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast,

To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak."

Congreve's Mourning Bride, act i. sc. i. l. 1.

"L'appetit vient en mangeant."

Rabelais, Gargantua, Liv. i. chap. 5. (vol. i. p. 136, ed. Variorum. Paris, 1823. 8vo.)

This proverb had been previously used by Amyot, and probably also by Jerome le (or de) Hangest, who was a Doctor of the Sorbonne, and adversary of Luther, and who died in 1538.—Ibid. p. 136 (note 49.).

I know not how old may be "to put the cart before the horse." Rabelais (i. 227.) has—

"Il mettoyt la charrette devant les beufz."

"If the sky falls, we shall catch larks."

Rabelais (i. 229, 230.):—

"Si les nues tomboyent, esperoyt prendre alouettes."

"Good nature and good sense must ever join;

To err is human, to forgive divine."

Pope's Essay on Criticism, pp. 524, 525.

"Nay, fly to altars, there they'll talk you dead;

For fools rush in where angels fear to tread."

Ib. pp. 624, 625.

The Emperor Alexander of Russia is said to have declared himself "un accident heureux." The expression occurs in Mad. de Staël's Allemagne, § xvi.:—

"Mais quand dans un état social le bonbeur lui-même n'est, pour ainsi dire, qu'un accident heureux ... le patriotisme a peu de persévérance."

Gibbon, Decl. and Fall (Lond. 1838. 8vo.), i. 134.:—

"His (T. Antoninus Pius') reign is marked by the rare advantage of furnishing very few materíals for history; which is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind."

Gibbon's first volume was published in 1776, and Voltaire's Ingenii in 1767. In the latter we find—

"En effet, l'historie n'est que le tableau des crimes

et des malheurs."—Oeuvres de Voltaire (ed. Beuchot.

Paris, 1884. 8vo.), tom. xxxiii. p. 427.

Gibbon, vol. ix. p. 94.:—

"In every deed of mischief, he (Andronicus Comnenus) had a heart to resolve, a head to contrive, and a hand to execute."

Cf. Voltaire, "Siècle de Louis XV." (Oeuvres, xxi. p. 67.):—

"Il (le Chevalier de Belle-Isle) était capable de tout imaginer, de tout arranger, et de tout faire."

"Guerre aux chateaux, paix à la chaumière,"

ascribed to Condorcet, in Edin. Rev. April, 1800. p. 240. (note*)

By Thiers (Hist. de la Rév. Franç. Par. 1846. 8vo. ii. 283.), these words are attributed to Cambon; while, in Lamartine's Hist. des Girondins (Par. 1847. 8vo.), Merlin is represented to have exclaimed in the Assembly, "Déclarez la guerre aux rois et la paix aux nations."

Macaulay's Hist. of England (1st ed.), ii. 476:—

"But the iron stoicism of William never gave way: and he stood among his weeping friends calm and austere, as if he had been about to leave them only for a short visit to his hunting-grounds at Loo."

"... non alitèr tamen

Dimovit obstantes propinquos,

Et populum reditus morantem,

Quàm si clientum longa negotia

Dijudicatâ lite relinqueret,

Tendens Venafranos in agros,

Aut Lacedæmonium Tarentum."

Hor. Od. iii. v. 50-56.

"De meretrice puta quòd sit sua filia puta,

Nam sequitur levitèr filia matris iter."

These lines are said by Ménage (Menagiana, Amstm. 1713. 18mo., iii. 12mo.) to exist in a Commentary "In composita verborum Joannis de Galandiâ."



Your correspondent, the Rev. T. Corser, in his note on William Basse, says, that he has been informed that there are, in Winchester College Library, in a 4to. volume, some poems of that writer. I have the pleasure of assuring him that his information is correct, and that they are the "Three Pastoral Elegies" mentioned by Ritson. The title-page runs thus:—

"Three Pastoral Elegies of Anander, Anetor, and Muridella, by William Bas. Printed by V.S. for J.B., and are to be sold at his shop in Fleet Street, at the sign of the Great Turk's Head, 1602."

Then follows a dedication, "To the Honourable {349} and Virtuous Lady, the Lady Tasburgh;" from which dedication it appears that these Pastoral Elegies were among the early efforts of his Muse. The author, after making excuses for not having repaid her Ladyship's encouragement earlier, says,—

"Finding my abilitie too little to make the meanest satisfaction of so great a principall as is due to so many favourable curtesies, I am bold to tende your Ladyship this unworthy interest, wherewithal I will put in good securitie, that as soone as time shall relieve the necessitie of my young invention, I will disburse my Muse to the uttermost mite of my power, to make some more acceptable composition with your bounty. In the mean space, living without hope to be ever sufficient inough to yeeld your worthinesse the smallest halfe of your due, I doe only desire to leave your ladyship in assurance—

"That when increase of age and learning sets

My mind in wealthi'r state than now it is,

I'll pay a greater portion of my debts,

Or mortgage you a better Muse than this;

Till then, no kinde forbearance is amisse,

While, though I owe more than I can make good,

This is inough, to shew how faine I woo'd,

Your Ladyship's in all humblenes


The first Pastoral consists of thirty-seven stanzas; the second of seventy-two; the third of forty-eight; each stanza of eight ten-syllable verses, of which the first six rhyme alternately; the last two are a couplet. There is a short argument, in verse, prefixed to each poem. That of the first runs thus:—

"Anander lets Anetor wot

His love, his lady, and his lot."

of the second,—

"Anetor seeing, seemes to tell

The beauty of faire Muridell,

And in the end, he lets hir know

Anander's plaint, his love, his woe."

of the third,—

Anander sick of love's disdaine

Doth change himself into a swaine;

While dos the youthful shepherd show him

His Muridellaes answer to him."

This notice of these elegies cannot fail to be highly interesting to your correspondent on Basse and his works, and others of your readers who feel an interest in recovering the lost works of our early poets.


Winchester, March 16. 1850.


Something else about "Salting."—On the first occasion, after birth, of any children being taken into a neighbour's house, the mistress of the house always presents the babe with an egg, a little flour, and some salt; and the nurse, to ensure good luck, gives the child a taste of the pudding, which is forthwith compounded out of these ingredients. This little "mystery" has occurred too often to be merely accidental; indeed, all my poorer neighbours are familiarly acquainted with the custom; and they tell me that money is often given in addition at the houses of the rich.

What is the derivation of cum grano salis as a hint of caution? Can it come from the M.D.'s prescription; or is it the grain of Attic salt or wit for which allowance has to be made in every well-told story?


Ecclesfield Vicarage, March 16, 1850.


"First comes David, then comes Chad,

And then comes Winneral as though he was mad,

White or black,

Or old house thack."

The first two lines of this weather proverb may be found in Hone's Every-Day Book, and in Denham's Proverbs and Popular Sayings relating to the Seasons (edited for the Percy Society): but St. Winwaloe, whose anniversary falls on the 3rd of March, is there called "Winnold," and not, as in our bit of genuine Norfolk, Winneral. Those versions also want the explanation, that at this time there will be either snow, rain, or wind; which latter is intended by the "old house thack," or thatch.

Medical Charms used in Ireland—Charm for Toothache.—It is a singular fact, that the charm for toothache stated (No. 19. p. 293.) to be prevalent in the south-eastern counties of England, is also used by the lower orders in the county of Kilkenny, and perhaps other parts of Ireland. I have often heard the charm: it commences, "Peter sat upon a stone; Jesus said, 'What aileth thee, Peter?'" and so on, as in the English form.

To cure Warts, the following charm is used:—A wedding-ring is procured, and the wart touched or pricked with a gooseberry thorn through the ring.

To cure Epilepsy, take three drops of sow's milk.

To cure Blisters in a cow's mouth, cut the blisters; then slit the upper part of the tail, insert a clove of garlic, and tie a piece of red cloth round the wound.

To cure the Murrain in Cows.—This disease is supposed to be caused by the cow having been stung about the mouth while feeding, in consequence of contact with some of the larger larvæ of the moth (as of the Death's-head Sphynx, &c.), which have a soft fleshy horn on their tails, erroneously believed to be a sting. If a farmer is so lucky as to procure one of these rare larvæ, he is to bore a hole in an ash tree, and plug up the unlucky caterpillar alive in it. The leaves of that ash tree will, from thenceforth, be a specific against the disease.

The universal prevalence of the superstition concerning the ash is extremely curious.




Death-bed Superstition.—See Guy Mannering, ch. xxvii. and note upon it:—

"The popular idea that the protracted struggle between life and death is painfully prolonged by keeping the door of the apartment shut, was received as certain by the superstitious eld of Scotland."

In my country (West Gloucestershire) they throw open the windows at the moment of death.

The notion of the escape of the soul through an opening is probably only in part the origin of this superstition. It will not account for opening all the locks in the house. There is, I conceive, a notion of analogy and association.

"Nexosque et solveret artus," says Virgil, at the death of Dido. They thought the soul, or the life, was tied up, and that the unloosing of any knot might help to get rid of the principle, as one may call it. For the same superstition prevailed in Scotland as to marriage (Dalyell, p. 302.). Witches cast knots on a cord; and in a parish in Perthshire both parties, just before marriage, had every knot or tie about them loosened, though they immediately proceeded, in private, severally to tie them up again. And as to the period of childbirth, see the grand and interesting ballad in Walter Scott's Border Poems, vol. ii. p. 27., "Willye's Lady."



The inclosed unpublished note of Dean Swift will, I hope, be deemed worthy of a place in your columns. It was written by him in his Herodotus, which is now in the library of Winchester College, having been presented to it in 1766, by John Smyth de Burgh, Earl of Clanricarde. The genuineness of the handwriting is attested by a certificate of George Faulkner, who, it appears, was well qualified to decide upon it. The edition is Jungerman's, folio, printed by Paul Stephens, in 1718.


"Judicium de Herodoto post longum tempus relicto:—

"Ctesias mendacissimus Herodotum mendaciorum arguit, exceptis paucissimis (ut mea fert sententia) omnimodo excusandum. Cæterum diverticulis abundans, hic pater Historicorum, filum narrationis ad tædium abrumpit; unde oritur (ut par est) legentibus confusio, et exinde oblivio. Quin et forsan ipsæ narrationes circumstantiis nimium pro re scatent. Quod ad cætera, hunc scriptorem inter apprimè laudandos censeo, neque Græcis, neque barbaris plus æquo faventem, aut iniquum: in orationibus fere brevem, simplicem, nec nimis frequentem: Neque absunt dogmata, e quibus eruditus lector prudentiam, tam moralem, quam civilem, haurire poterit.

"Julii 6: 1720. J. SWIFT"

"I do hereby certify that the above is the handwriting of the late Dr. Jonathan Swift, D.S.P.D., from whom I have had many letters and printed several pieces from his original MS.

"Dublin, Aug. 21. 1762. GEORGE FAULKNER."


There can be few among your subscribers who are unacquainted with the sweet lyric effusion of Herrick "to the Virgins, to make much of Time," beginning—

"Gather you rose-buds while ye may,

Old Time is still a-flying;

And this same flower, that smiles to-day,

To-morrow will be dying."

The following "Answer" appeared in a publication not so well known as the Hesperides. I have therefore made a note of it from Cantos, Songs, and Stanzas, &c., 3rd ed. printed in Aberdeen, by John Forbes, 1682.

"I gather, where I hope to gain,

I know swift Time doth fly;

Those fading buds methinks are vain,

To-morrow that may die.

"The higher Phoebus goes on high,

The lower is his fall;

But length of days gives me more light,

Freedom to know my thrall.

"Then why do ye think I lose my time,

Because I do not marrie;

Vain fantasies make not my prime,

Nor can make me miscarrie."





Mr. G. Bouchier Richardson, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, who is at present engaged in compiling the life and correspondence of Robert Thomlinson, D.D., Rector of Whickham, co. Dur.; Lecturer of St. Nicholas, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and founder of the Thomlinson Library there; Prebendary of St. Paul's; and Vice-Principal of Edmund Hall, Oxon., is very anxious for the communication of any matter illustrative of the life of the Doctor, his family and ancestry; which, it is presumed, is derivable from the family of that name long seated at Howden, in Yorkshire.


"A" or "An," before Words, beginning with a Vowel.—Your readers are much indebted to Dr. Kennedy for his late exposure of the erroneous, though common, use of the phrase "mutual friend," and I am convinced that there are many similar solecisms which only require to be denounced to ensure their disuse. I am anxious to ask the opinion of Dr. K., and others of your subscribers, on another point in the English language, namely, the principles which should guide our use of "A" or "An" before a word beginning with a vowel, as the practice does not appear to be uniform in this respect. The {351} minister of my parish invariably says in his sermon, "Such an one," which, I confess, to my ear is grating enough. I conclude he would defend himself by the rule that where the succeeding word, as "one," begins with a vowel, "An," and not "A," should be used; but this appears to me not altogether satisfactory, as, though "one" is spelt as beginning with a vowel, it is pronounced as if beginning with a consonant thus, "won." The rule of adding or omitting the final "n," according as the following word commences with a vowel or a consonant, was meant, I conceive, entirely for elegance in speaking, to avoid the jar on the ear which would otherwise be occasioned, and has no reference to writing, or the appearance on paper of the words. I consider, therefore, that an exception must be made to the rule of using "An" before words beginning with a vowel in cases where the words are pronounced as if beginning with a consonant, as "one," "use," and its derivatives, "ubiquity," "unanimity," and some others which will no doubt occur to your readers. I should be glad to be informed if my opinion is correct; and I will only further observe, that the same remarks are applicable towards words beginning with "h." An horse sounds as bad as a hour; and it is obvious that in these cases employment of "A" or "An" is dictated by the consideration whether the aspirate is sounded or is quiescent, and has no reference to the spelling of the word.


The Lucky have whole Days.—I, like your correspondent "P.S." (No. 15., p. 231.), am anxious to ascertain the authorship of the lines to which he refers.

They stand in my Common-place Book as follows, which I consider to be a more correct version than that given by "P.S.":—

"Fate's dark recesses we can never find,

But Fortune, at some hours, to all is kind:

The lucky have whole days, which still they choose;

The unlucky have but hours, and those they lose."


Line quoted by De Quincey.—"S.P.S." inquires who is the author of the following line, quoted by De Quincey in the Confessions of an English Opium Eater:—

"Battlements that on their restless fronts bore stars."

Bishop Jewel's Papers.—It is generally understood that the papers left by Bishop Jewel were bequeathed to his friend Dr. Garbrand, who published some of them. The rest, it has been stated, passed from Dr. G. into the possession of New College, Oxford. Are any of these still preserved in the library of that college? or, if not, can any trace be found of the persons into whose hands they subsequently came, or of the circumstances under which they were lost to New College?


Allusion in Friar Brackley's Sermon.—In Fenn's Paston Letters, XCVIII. (vol. iii., p. 393., or vol. i., p. 113. Bohn), entitled "An ancient Whitsunday Sermon, preached by Friar Brackley (whose hand it is). At the Friers Minors Church in Norwich" occurs the following:—

"Semiplenum gaudium est quando quis in præsenti gaudet et tunc cogitans de futuris dolet; ut in quodam libro Græco, &c."

"Quidam Rex Græciæ, &c.; here ye may see but half a joy; who should joy in this world if he remembered him of the pains of the other world?"

What is the Greek Book, and who is the king of Greece alluded to?


Selden's Titles of Honour.—Does any gentleman possess a MS. Index to Selden's Titles of Honour? Such, if printed, would be a boon; for it is a dreadful book to wade through for what one wants to find.


Colonel Hyde Seymour.—In a book dated 1720, is written "Borrow the Book of Col. Hyde Seymour." I am anxious to know who the said Colonel was, his birth, &c.?


Quem Deus vult perdere, &c.—Prescot, in his History of the Conquest of Peru (vol. ii., p. 404., 8vo. ed.), says, while remarking on the conduct of Gonzalo Pisaro, that it may be accounted for by "the insanity," as the Roman, or rather Grecian proverb calls it, "with which the gods afflict men when they design to ruin them." He quotes the Greek proverb from a fragment of Euripides, in his note:—

"Οταν δε Δαιμων ανδρι παρσυνη κακα

Τον νουν εβλαψε πρωτον."

I wish to know whether the Roman proverb, Quem vult perdere Deus prius dementat, is merely a translation of this, or whether it is to be found in a Latin author? If the latter, in what author? Is it in Seneca?


Southwell's Supplication.—Can any one inform me where I can see a copy of Robert Southwell's Supplication to Queen Elizabeth, which was printed, according to Watts, in 1593? or can any one, who has seen it, inform me what is the style and character of it?


Gesta Grayorum.—In Nichol's Progresses of Queen Elizabeth, vol. iii., p. 262., a tract is inserted, entitled "Gesta Grayorum; or, History of the High and Mighty Prince Henry, Prince of Purpoole, &c., who lived and died in A.D. 1594." The original is said to have been printed in 1688, by Mr. Henry Keepe. Is any copy of it to be had or seen?


Snow of Chicksand Priory.—"A.J.S.P." desires information respecting the immediate descendants of R. Snow, Esq., to whom the site of {352} Chicksand Priory, Bedfordshire, was granted, 1539: it was alienated by his family, about 1600, to Sir John Osborn, Knt., whose descendants now possess it. In Berry's Pedigrees of Surrey Families, p. 83., I find an Edward Snowe of Chicksand mentioned as having married Emma, second daughter of William Byne, Esq., of Wakehurst, Sussex. What was his relationship to R. Snow, mentioned above? The arms of this family are, Per fesse nebulée azure, and argent three antelopes' heads, erased counterchanged, armed or.

The Bristol Riots.—"J.B.M." asks our Bristol readers what compilation may be relied on as an accurate description of the Bristol riots of 1831? and whether The Bristol Riots, their Causes, Progress, and Consequences, by a Citizen, is generally received as an accurate account?

1, Union Place, Lisson Grove.

A Living Dog better that a Dead Lion.—Can any of your readers inform me with whom the proverb originated: "A living dog is better than a dead lion?" F. Domin. Bannez (or Bannes), in his defence of Cardinal Cajetan, after his death, against the attacks of Cardinal Catharinus and Melchior Canus (Comment. in prim. par. S. Thom. p. 450. ed. Duaci, 1614), says—

"Certe potest dici de istis, quod de Græcis insultantibus Hectori jam mortuo dixit Homerus, quòd leoni mortuo etiam lepores insultant."

Query? Is this, or any like expression, to be found in Homer? If so, I should feel much obliged to any of your correspondents who would favour me with the reference.


Author of "Literary Leisure."—Can any of your readers inform me of the name of the author of Literary Leisure, published by Miller, Old Bond Street, 1802, in 2 volumes? It purports to have come out in weekly parts, of which the first is dated Sept. 26. 1799. It contains many interesting papers in prose and verse: it is dedicated to the Editors of the Monthly Review. The motto in the title-page is—

"Saiva res est: philosophatur quoque jam;

Quod erat ei nomen? Thesaurochrysonicochrysides."—Plautus.

Is the work noticed in the Monthly Review, about that time?


The Meaning of "Complexion."—Is the word "complexion," used in describing an individual, to be considered as applied to the tint of the skin only, or to the colour of the hair and eyes? Can a person, having dark eyes and hair, but with a clear white skin, be said to be fair?


American Bittern—Derivation of "Calamity."—It has been stated of an American Bittern, that it has the power of admitting rays of light from its breast, by which fish are attracted within its reach. Can any one inform me as to the fact, or refer me to any ornithological work in which I can find it?

In answer to "F.S. Martin"—Calamity (calamitas), not from calamus, as it is usually derived, but perhaps from obs. calamis, i.e. columis, from κολω κολαω κολαζω to maim, mutilate, and so for columitas. (See Riddle's Lat.-Eng. Dictionary.)


Inquisition in Mexico.—"D." wishes to be furnished with references to any works in which the actual establishment of the Inquisition in Mexico is mentioned or described, or in which any other information respecting it is conveyed.

Masters of St. Cross.—"H. EDWARDS" will be obliged by information of any work except Dugdale's Monasticon, containing a list of the names of the Master of the Hospital of St. Cross, Winchester; or of the Masters or Priors of the same place before Humphry de Milers; and of the Masters between Bishop Sherborne, about 1491, and Bishop Compton, about 1674.

Etymology of "Dalston."—The hamlet of Hackney, now universally known only as Dalston, is spelt by most topographists Dorleston or Dalston. I have seen it in one old Gazette Darlston, and I observed it lately, on a stone let in to an old row of houses, Dolston; this was dated 1792. I have searched a great many books in vain to discover the etymology, and from it, of course, the correct spelling of the word, the oldest form of which that I can find is Dorleston.

The only probable derivations of it that I can find are the old words Doles and ton (from Saxon dun), a village built upon a slip of land between furrows of ploughed earth; or Dale (Dutch Dal), and stone, a bank in a valley. The word may, however, be derived from some man's name, though I can find none at all like it in a long list of tenants upon Hackney Manor that I have searched. If any of your readers can furnish this information they will much oblige.


"Brown Study"—a term generally applied to intense reverie. Why "brown," rather than blue or yellow? Brown must be a corruption of some word. Query of "barren," in the sense of fruitless or useless?


Coal Brandy.—People now old can recollect that, when young, they heard people then old talk of "coal-brandy." What was this? Cold? or, in modern phase, raw, neat, or genuine?


Swot.—I have often heard military men talk of swot, meaning thereby mathematics; and persons eminent in that science are termed "good swots." As I never heard the word except amongst the military, but there almost universally in "free and {353} easy," conversation, I am led to think it a cant term. At any rate, I shall be glad to be informed of its origin,—if it be not lost in the mists of soldierly antiquity.




Mr. Strickland has justly observed that this subject "belongs rather to human history than to pure zoology." Though I have not seen Mr. Strickland's book, I venture to offer him a few suggestions, not as answers to his questions, but as slight aids towards the resolution of some of them.

Qu. 1. There can be no doubt about the discovery of Mauritius and Bourbon by the Portuguese; and if not by a Mascarhenas, that the islands were first so named in honour of some member of that illustrious family, many of whom make a conspicuous figure in the Decads of the Portuguese Livy. I expected to have found some notice of the discovery in the very curious little volume of Antonio Galvaõ, printed in 1563, under the following title:—Tratado dos Descobrimentos Antigos, e Modernos feitos até a Era de 1550; but I merely find a vague notice of several nameless islands—"alguma Ilheta sem gente: onde diz que tomaraõ agoa e lenha"—and that, in 1517, Jorge Mascarenhas was despatched by sea to the coast of China. This is the more provoking, as, in general, Galvaõ is very circumstantial about the discoveries of his countrymen.

Qu. 5. The article in Ree's Cyclopædia is a pretty specimen of the manner in which such things are sometimes concocted, as the following extracts will show:—

"Of Bats they have as big as Hennes about Java and the neighbor islands. Clusius bought one of the Hollanders, which they brought from the Island of Swannes (Ilha do Cisne), newly styled by them Maurice Island. It was about a foot from head to taile, above a foot about; the wings one and twenty inches long, nine broad; the claw, whereby it hung on the trees, was two inches," &c. "Here also they found a Fowle, which they called Walgh-vogel, of the bigness of a Swanne, and most deformed shape." (Purchas his Pilgrimage, 1616, p. 642.)

And afterward, speaking of the island of Madura, he says,—

"In these partes are Battes as big as Hennes, which the people roast and eat."

In the Lettres édifiantes (edit. 1781, t. xiii. p. 302.) is a letter from Père Brown to Madame de Benamont concerning the Isle of Bourbon, which he calls "l'Isle de Mascarin" erroneously saying it was discovered by the Dutch about sixty years since. (The letter is supposed to have been written about the commencement of the eighteenth century.) He then relates how it was peopled by French fugitives from Madagascar, when the massacre there took place on account of the conduct of the French king and his court. In describing its production, he says,—

"Vers l'est de cette Isle il y a une petite plaine au haut d'une montagne, qu'on appelle la Plaine des Caffres, où l'on trouve un gros oiseau bleu, dont la couleur est fort éclatante. Il ressemble à un pigeon ramier; il vole rarement, et toujours en rasant la terre, mais il marche avec une vitesse surprenante; les habitans ne lui ont point encore donné d'autre nom que celui d'oiseau bleu; sa chair est assez bonne et se conserve longtemps."

Not a word, however, about the Dodo, which had it then existed there, would certainly have been noticed by the observant Jesuit. But now for the bat:—

"La chauve-souris est ici de la grosseur d'une poule. Cet oiseau ne vit que de fruits et de grains, et c'est un mets fort commun dans le pays. J'avois de la répugnance à suivre l'exemple de ceux qui en mangeoient; mais en ayant goûté par surprise, j'en trouvai la chair fort délicate. On peut dire que cet animal, qu'on abhorre naturellement, n'a rien de mauvais que la figure."

The Italics are mine; but they serve to show how the confusion has arisen. The writer speaks of the almost entire extinction of the land Turtles, which were formerly abundant; and says, that the island was well stocked with goats and wild hogs, but for some time they had retreated to the mountains, where no one dared venture to wage war upon them.

Again, in the Voyage de l'Arabie Heureuse par l'Océan Oriental et le Détroit de la Mer rouge, dans les Années 1708-10 (Paris, 1716, 12mo.), the vessels visit both Mauritius and Bourbon, and some account of the then state of both islands is given. At the Mauritius, one of the captains relates that, foraging for provisions,—

"Toute notre chasse se borna à quelques pigeons rougeâtres, que nous tuâmes, et qui se laissent tellement approcher, qu'on peut les assommer à coup de pierres. Je tuai aussi deux chauve-souris d'une espèce particulière, de couleur violette, avec de petites taches jaunes, ayant une espèce de crampon aux ailes, par où cet oiseau se pend aux branches des arbres, et un bec de perroquet. Les Hollandois disent qu'elles sont bonnes à manger; et qu'en certaine saison, elles valent bien nos bécasses."

At Bourbon, he says,—

"On y voit grandes nombres d'oiseau bleu qui se

nichent dans les herbes et dans les fougères."

This was in the year 1710. There were then, he says, not more than forty Dutch settlers on the Island of Mauritius, and they were daily hoping and expecting to be transferred to Batavia. As editor (La Roque) subjoins a relation furnished on the authority of M. de Vilers, who had been governor there for the India Company, in which it is said,—


"The island was uninhabited when the Portuguese, after having doubled the Cape of Good Hope, discovered it. They gave it the name of Mascarhenas, à cause que leur chef se nommoit ainsi; and the vulgar still preserve it, calling the inhabitants Mascarins. It was not decidedly inhabited until 1654, when M. de Flacour, commandant at Madagascar, sent some invalids there to recover their health, that others followed; and since then it has been named the Isle of Bourbon."

Still no notice of the Dodo! but

"On y trouve des oiseaux appelez Flamans, qui excedent la hauteur d'un grand homme."

Qu. 6. I know not whether Mr. S. is aware that there is the head of a Dodo in the Royal Museum of Natural History at Copenhagen, which came from the collection of Paludanus? M. Domeny de Rienzi, the compiler of Océanie, ou cinquième Partie du Globe (1838, t. iii. p. 384.), tells us, that a Javanese captain gave him part of a Dronte, which he unfortunately lost on being shipwrecked; but he forgot where he said he obtained it.

Qu. 7. Dodo is most probably the name given at first to the bird by the Portuguese; Doudo, in that language, being a fool or lumpish stupid person. And, besides that name, it bore that of Tölpel in German, which has the same signification. The Dod-aers of the Dutch is most probably a vulgar epithet of the Dutch sailors, expressive of its lumpish conformation and inactivity. Our sailors would possibly have substituted heavy-a——. I find the Dodo was also called the Monk-swan of St. Maurice's Island at the commencement of last century. The word Dronte is apparently neither Portugese nor Spanish, though in Connelly's Dictionary of the latter language we have—

"Dronte, cierto páxaro de Indias de alas muy cortas—an appellation given by some to the Dodo."

It seems to me to be connected with Drone; but this can only be ascertained from the period and the people by whom it was applied.

That the bird once existed there can be no doubt, from the notice of Sir Hamon L'Estrange, which there is no reason for questioning; and there seems to be as little reason to suppose that Tradescant's stuffed specimen was a fabrication. He used to preserve his own specimens; and there could be no motive at that period for a fabrication. I had hoped to have found some notice of it in the Diary of that worthy virtuoso Zacharias Conrad von Uffenbach, who visited the Ashmolean Museum in 1710; but though he notices other natural curiosities, there is no mention of it. This worthy remarks on the slovenly condition and inadequate superintendence of our museums, and especially of that of Gresham College; but those who recollect the state of our great national museum forty years since will not be surprised at this, or at the calamitous destruction of Tradescant's specimen of the Dodo. That the bird was extinct above 150 years ago I think we may conclude from the notices I have extracted from La Roque, and the letter of the Jesuit Brown. Mr. Strickland has done good service to the cause of natural science by his monograph of this very curious subject; and to him every particle of information must be acceptable: this must be my excuse for the almost nothing I have been able to contribute.


March 26. 1850.


Inquired about by "T.W." (No. 20. p. 318.), is a liturgical practice, which long was, and still is, observed in Holy Week. On Maundy Thursday, several particles of the Blessed Eucharist, consecrated at the Mass sung that day, were reserved—a larger one for the celebrating priest on the morrow, Good Friday; the smaller ones for the viaticum of the dying, should need be, and carried in solemn procession all round the church, from the high altar to a temporary erection, fitted up like a tomb, with lights, and the figure of an angel watching by, on the north side of the chancel. Therein the Eucharist was kept till Easter Sunday morning, according to the Salisbury Ritual; and there were people kneeling and praying at this so-called sepulchre all the time, both night and day. To take care of the church, left open throughout this period, and to look after the lights, it was necessary for the sacristan to have other men to help him; and what was given to them for this service is put down in the church-wardens' books as money for "watching the sepulchre." By the Roman Ritual, this ceremony lasts only from Maundy Thursday till Good Friday. This rite will be duly followed in my own little church here at Buckland, where some of my flock, two and two, in stated succession, all through the night, as well as day, will be watching from just after Mass on Maundy Thursday till next morning's service. In some of the large Catholic churches in London and the provinces, this ceremony is observed with great splendour.


Buckland, Farringdon.

Watching the Sepulchre.—If no one sends a more satisfactory reply to the query about "Watching the Sepulchre," the following extract from Parker's Glossary of Architecture (3rd edit. p. 197.) will throw some light on the matter:—

"In many churches we find a large flat arch in the north wall of the chancel near the alter, which was called the Holy Sepulchre; and was used at Easter for the performance of solemn rites commemorative of the resurrection of our Lord. On this occasion there was usually a temporary wooden erection over the arch; but, occasionally, the whole was of stone, and very richly ornamented. There are fine specimens at Navenby and Heckington churches, Lincolnshire, and {355} Hawton church, Notts. All these in the decorated style of the fourteenth century; and are of great magnificence, especially the last."

To this account of the sepulchre I may add, that one principal part of the solemn rites referred to above consisted in depositing a consecrated wafer or, as at Durham Cathedral, a crucifix within its recess—a symbol of the entombment of our blessed Lord—and removing it with great pomp, accompanied sometimes with a mimetic representation of the visit of the Marys to the tomb, on the morning of Easter Sunday. This is a subject capable of copious illustration, for which, some time since, I collected some materials (which are quite at your service); but, as your space is valuable, I will only remark, that the "Watching the Sepulchre" was probably in imitation of the watch kept by the Roman soldiers round the tomb of Our Lord, and with the view of preserving the host from any casualty.

At Rome, the ceremony is anticipated, the wafer being carried in procession, on the Thursday in Passion Week, from the Sistine to the Paoline Chapel, and brought back again on the Friday; thus missing the whole intention of the rite. Dr. Baggs, in his Ceremonies of Holy Week at Rome, says (p. 65.):—

"When the pope reaches the altar (of the Capella Paolina), the first cardinal deacon receives from his hands the blessed sacrament, and, preceded by torches, carries it to the upper part of the macchina; M. Sagrista places it within the urn commonly called the sepulchre, where it is incensed by the Pope.... M. Sagrista then shuts the sepulchre, and delivers the key to the Card. Penitentiary, who is to officiate on the following day."



Dr. Rimbault's 4th Qu. (No. 19. p. 302.).—"My mind to me a kingdom is" will be found to be of much earlier date than Nicholas Breton. Percy partly printed it from William Byrds's Psalmes, Sonets, and Songs of Sadnes (no date, but 1588 according to Ames), with some additions and improvements (?) from a B.L. copy in the Pepysian collection. I have met with it in some early poetical miscellany—perhaps Tottel, or England's Helicon—but cannot just now refer to either.

The following copy is from a cotemporary MS. containing many of the poems of Sir Edward Dyer, Edward Earl of Oxford, and their cotemporaries, several of which have never been published. The collection appears to have been made by Robert Mills, of Cambridge. Dr. Rimbault will, no doubt, be glad to compare this text with Breton's. It is, at least, much more genuine than the composite one given by Bishop Percy.

"My mynde to me a kyngdome is,

Suche preasente joyes therin I fynde,

That it excells all other blisse,

That earth affordes or growes by kynde;

Thoughe muche I wante which moste would have,

Yet still my mynde forbiddes to crave.

"No princely pompe, no wealthy store,

No force to winne the victorye,

No wilye witt to salve a sore,

No shape to feade a loving eye;

To none of these I yielde as thrall,

For why? my mynde dothe serve for all.

"I see howe plenty suffers ofte,

And hasty clymers sone do fall,

I see that those which are alofte

Mishapp dothe threaten moste of all;

They get with toyle, they keepe with feare,

Suche cares my mynde coulde never beare.

"Content to live, this is my staye,

I seeke no more than maye suffyse,

I presse to beare no haughty swaye;

Look what I lack, my mynde supplies;

Lo, thus I triumph like a kynge,

Content with that my mynde doth bringe.

"Some have too muche, yet still do crave,

I little have and seek no more,

They are but poore, though muche they have,

And I am ryche with lyttle store;

They poore, I ryche, they begge, I gyve,

They lacke, I leave, they pyne, I lyve.

"I laughe not at another's losse,

I grudge not at another's payne;

No worldly wants my mynde can toss,

My state at one dothe still remayne:

I feare no foe, I fawn no friende,

I lothe not lyfe nor dreade my ende.

"Some weighe their pleasure by theyre luste,

Theyre wisdom by theyre rage of wyll,

Theyre treasure is theyre onlye truste,

A cloked crafte theyre store of skylle:

But all the pleasure that I fynde

Is to mayntayne a quiet mynde.

"My wealthe is healthe and perfect ease,

My conscience cleere my chiefe defence,

I neither seek by brybes to please,

Nor by deceyte to breede offence;

Thus do I lyve, thus will I dye,

Would all did so as well as I.

"FINIS. [Symbol: CROWN] E. DIER."



"Be pleased to observe," says Herbert, "that, though 'The Supper of the Lorde' and 'The Vision of Piers Plowman' are inserted among the rest of his writings, he wrote only the prefixes to them" (vol. ii. p. 278.). Farther on he gives the title of the book, and adds, "Though this treatise is anonymous, Will. Tindall is allowed to have been the author; Crowley wrote only the preface." It was originally printed at Nornberg, and dated as above [the same date as that given by "C.H.," No. 21. p. 332.]. "Bearing no printer's name, nor date of printing, I have placed it to Crowley, being a printer, as having the justest claim to it" (p. 762.). {356} There is a copy in the Lambeth Library, No. 553. p. 249. in my "List," of which I have said (on what grounds I do not now know), "This must be a different edition from that noticed by Herbert (ii. 762.) and Dibdin (iv. 334. No. 2427.)." I have not Dibdin's work at hand to refer to, but as I see nothing in Herbert on which I could ground such a statement, I suppose that something may be found in Dibdin's account; though probably it may be only my mistake or his. As to foreign editions, I always feel very suspicious of their existence; and though I do not remember this book in particular, or know why I supposed it to differ from the edition ascribed to Crowley, yet I feel pretty confident that it bore no mark of "Nornberg." According to my description it had four pairs of [Symbol: pointing hands] on the title, and contained E iv., in eights, which should be thirty six leaves.



John Ross Mackay (No. 8. p. 125.).—In reply to the Query of your correspondent "D.," I beg to forward the following quotation from Sir N.W. Wraxall's Historical Memoirs of his Own Time, 3rd edition. Speaking of the peace of Fontainbleau, he says,—

"John Ross Mackay, who had been private secretary to the Earl of Bute, and afterwards during seventeen years was treasurer of the ordnance, a man with whom I was personally acquainted, frequently avowed the fact. He lived to a very advanced age, sat in several parliaments, and only died, I believe in 1796. A gentleman of high professional rank, and of unimpeached veracity, who is still alive, told me, that dining at the late Earl of Besborough's, in Cavendish Square, in the year 1790, where only four persons were present, including himself, Ross Mackay, who was one of the number, gave them the most ample information upon the subject. Lord Besborough having called after dinner for a bottle of champagne, a wine to which Mackay was partial, and the conversation turning on the means of governing the House of Commons, Mackay said, that, 'money formed, after all, the only effectual and certain method.' 'The peace of 1763,' continued he, 'was carried through and approved by a pecuniary distribution. Nothing else could have surmounted the difficulty. I was myself the channel through which the money passed. With my own hand I secured above one hundred and twenty votes on that most important question to ministers. Eighty thousand pounds were set apart for the purpose. Forty members of the House of Commons received from me a thousand pounds each. To eighty others, I paid five hundred pounds apiece.'"


Godalming, March 19. 1850.

Shipster.—Gourders.—As no satisfactory elucidation of the question propounded by Mr. Fox (No. 14. p. 216.) has been suggested, and I think he will scarcely accept the conjecture of "F.C.B.," however ingenious (No. 21. p. 339.), I am tempted to offer a note on the business or calling of a shipster. It had, I believe, no connection with nautical concerns; it did not designate a skipper (in the Dutch use of the word) of the fair sex. That rare volume, Caxton's Boke for Travellers, a treasury of archaisms, supplies the best definition of her calling:—"Mabyll the shepster cheuissheth her right well; she maketh surplys, shertes, breches, keuerchiffs, and all that may be wrought of lynnen cloth." The French term given, as corresponding to shepster, is "cousturière." Palsgrave also, in his Èclaircissement de la Langue françoyse, gives "schepstarre, lingière:—sheres for shepsters, forces." If further evidence were requisite, old Elyot might be cited, who renders both sarcinatrix and sutatis (? sutatrix) as "a shepster, a seamester." The term may probably be derived from her skill in shaping or cutting out the various garments of which Caxton gives so quaint an inventory. Her vocation was the very same as that of the tailleuse of present times—the Schneiderinn, she-cutter, of Germany. Palsgrave likewise gives this use of the verb "to shape," expressed in French by "tailler." He says, "He is a good tayloure, and shapeth a garment as well as any man." It is singular that Nares should have overlooked this obsolete term; and Mr. Halliwell, in his useful Glossarial Collections, seems misled by some similarity of sound, having noticed, perhaps, in Palsgrave, only the second occurrence of the word as before cited, "sheres for shepsters." He gives that author as authority for the explanation "shepster, a sheep-shearer" (Dict. of Archaic Words, in v.). It has been shown, however, I believe, to have no more concern with a sheep than a ship.

The value of your periodical in eliciting the explanation of crabbed archaisms is highly to be commended. Shall I anticipate Mr. Bolton Corney, or some other of your acute glossarial correspondents, if I offer another suggestion, in reply to "C.H." (No. 21. p. 335.), regarding "gourders of raine?" I have never met with the word in this form; but Gouldman gives "a gord of water which cometh by rain, aquilegium." Guort, gorz, or gort, in Domesday, are interpreted by Kelham as "a wear"; and in old French, gort or gorz signifies "flot, gorgées, quantité" (Roquefort). All these words, as well as the Low Latin gordus (Ducange), are doubtless to be deduced, with gurges, a gyrando.


Rococo (No. 20. p. 321.).—The history of this word appears to be involved in uncertainty. Some French authorities derive it from "rocaille," rock-work, pebbles for a grotto, &c.; others from "Rocco," an architect (whose existence, however, I cannot trace), the author, it is to be supposed, {357} of the antiquated, unfashionable, and false style which the word "Rococo" is employed to designate. The use of the word is said to have first arisen in France towards the end of the reign of Louis XV. or the beginning of that of Louis XVI., and it is now employed in the above senses, not only in architecture, but in literature, fashion, and the arts generally.


Oxford, March 18.

Rococo.—This is one of those cant words, of no very definite, and of merely conventional, meaning, for any thing said or done in ignorance of the true propriety of the matter in question. "C'est du rococo," it is mere stuff, or nonsense, or rather twaddle. It was born on the stage, about ten years ago, at one of the minor theatres at Paris, though probably borrowed from a wine-shop, and most likely will have as brief an existence as our own late "flare-up," and such ephemeral colloquialisms, or rather vulgarisms, that tickle the public fancy for a day, till pushed from their stool by another.


March 18. 1850.

God tempers the Wind, &c.—The French proverb, "A brebis tondue Dieu mesure le vent" (God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb), will be found in Quitard's Dictionnaire étymologique, historique et anecdotique, des Proverbes, et des Locutions proverbiales de la Langue française, 8vo. Paris, 1842. Mons. Quitard adds the following explanation of the proverb:—"Dieu proportionne à nos forces les afflictions qu'il nous envoie." I have also found this proverb in Furetière's Dictionnaire universal de tous les Mots français, &c. 4 vols. folio, La Haye, 1727.


Oxford. March 18.

The proverb, "A brebis pres tondue, Dieu luy mesure le vent," is to be found in Jan. Gruter. Florileg. Ethico-polit. part. alt. proverb. gallic., p. 353. 8vo. Francof. 1611.



Guildhalls (No. 20. p. 320)—These were anciently the halls, or places of meeting, of Guilds, or communities formed for secular or religious purposes, none of which could be legally set up without the King's licence. Trade companies were founded, and still exist, in various parts of the kingdom, as "Gilda Mercatorum;" and there is little doubt that this was the origin of the municipal or governing corporate bodies in cities and towns whose "Guildhalls" still remain—"gildated" and "incorporated" were synonymous terms.

In many places, at one time of considerable importance, where Guilds were established, though the latter have vanished, the name of their Halls has survived.

Your correspondent "A SUBSCRIBER AB INITIO" is referred to Madox, Firma Burgi, which will afford him much information on the subject.



Treatise of Equivocation.—In reply to the inquiry of your correspondent "J.M." (No. 17. p. 263.), I beg to state that, as my name was mentioned in connection with the Query, I wrote to the Rev. James Raine, the librarian of the Durham Cathedral Library, inquiring whether The Treatise of Equivocation existed in the Chapter Library. From that gentleman I have received this morning the following reply:—"I cannot find, in this library, the book referred to in the 'NOTES AND QUERIES,' neither can I discover it in that of Bishop Cosin. The Catalogue of the latter is, however, very defective. The said publication ('NOTES AND QUERIES') promises to be very useful." Although this information is of a purely negative character, yet I thought it right to endeavour to satisfy your correspondent's curiosity.


Nortan Hall.

Judas Bell (No. 13. p. 195.; No. 15. p. 235.).—The lines here quoted by "C.W.G.," from "a singular Scotch poem," evidently mean to express or examplify discord; and the words "to jingle Judas bells," refer to "bells jangled, out of tune, and harsh."

The Maltese at Valletta, a people singularly, and, as we should say, morbidly, addicted to the seeming enjoyment of the most horrid discords, on Good Friday Eve, have the custom of jangling the church bells with the utmost violence, in execration of the memory of Judas; and I have seen there a large wooden machine (of which they have many in use), constructed on a principle similar to that of an old-fashioned watchman's rattle, but of far greater power in creating an uproar, intended to be symbolical of the rattling of Judas's bones, that will not rest in his grave. The Maltese, as is well known, are a very superstitious people. The employment of Judas candles would, no doubt, if properly explained, turn out to mean to imply execration against the memory of Judas, wherever they may be used. But in the expression Judas bell, the greatest conceivable amount of discord is that which is intended to be expressed.


6. Chesterfield street, Mayfair, March 23. 1850.

[To this we may add, that the question at present pending between this country and Greece, so far as regards the claim of M. Pacifico, appears, from the papers laid before Parliament, to have had its origin in what Sir Edward Lyon states "to have been the custom in Athens for some years, to burn an effigy of Judas on Easter day." And from the account of the origin of the riots by the Council of the Criminal Court of Athens, we learn, that "it is proved by the {358} investigation, that on March 23, 1847, Easter Day, a report was spread in the parish of the Church des incorporels, that the Jew, D. Pacifico, by paying the churchwarden of the church, succeeded in preventing the effigy of Judas from being burnt, which by annual custom was made and burnt in that parish on Easter Day." From another document in the same collection it seems, that the Greek Government, out of respect to M. Charles de Rothschild, who was at Athens in April, 1847, forbid in all the Greek churches of the capital the burning of Judas.]

Grummett (No. 20. p. 319.).—The following use of the word whose definition is sought by "Σ" occurs in a description of the members or adjuncts of the Cinque Port of Hastings in 1229:—

"Servicia inde debita domino regi xxi. naves, et in qualibet nave xxi. homines, cum uno garcione qui dicitur gromet."

In quoting this passage in a paper "On the Seals of the Cinque Ports," in the Sussex Archæological Collections (Vol. i. p. 16.), I applied the following illustration:—

"Gromet seems to be a diminutive of 'grome', a serving-man, whence the modern groom. The provincialism grummet, much used in Sussex to designate a clumsy, awkward youth, has doubtless some relation to this cabin-boy of the Ports' navy."

I ought to add, that the passage above given is to be found in Jeake's Charters of the Cinque Ports.


Lewes, March 18. 1850.

Grummett.—Bailey explains, "Gromets or Gromwells, the most servile persons on ship-board," probably, metaphorically, from "Gromet or Grummet," "small rings," adds Bailey, "fastened with staples on the upper side of the yard." The latter term is still in use; the metaphorical one is, I believe, quite obsolete.


Meaning of "Grummett," &c.—The word is derived from the Low Latin "gromettus", the original of our "groom" (see Ducange's, Gromes and Gromus), and answers to the old French gourmète, i.e. garçon. In old books he is sometimes called a "novice" or "page," and may be compared with the "apprentice" of our marine. He was employed in waiting on the sailors, cooking their victuals, working the pumps, scouring the decks, and, in short, was expected to lend a hand wherever he was wanted, except taking the helm (Clairac, Commentaire du premier Article des Rooles d'Oléron); and, consequently, is always distinguished from, and rated below, the mariner or able-bodied seaman.

The information here given is taken from Jal, Archéologie navale, vol. ii. p. 238.

A. RICH, Jun.


The Duke of Monmouth.—I made the following note many years ago, and am now reminded of its existence by your admirable periodical, which must rouse many an idler besides myself to a rummage amongst long-neglected old papers. This small piece of tradition indicates that the adventurous but ill-advised duke was a man of unusual muscular power and activity.

"On the 8th of July, 1685, the Duke of Monmouth was brought a prisoner to Ringwood, and halted at an inn there. My mother, who was a native of Ringwood, used to relate that her grandmother was one of the spectators when the royal prisoner came out to take horse; and that the old lady never failed to recount, how he rejected any assistance in mounting, though his arms were pinioned; but placing his foot in the stirrup, sprang lightly into his saddle, to the admiration of all observers."


Dowry Parade, Clifton Hotwells, March 21. 1850.


(From the Latin of Buchanan.)

Narcissus loved himself we know,

And you, perhaps, have cause to show

Why you should do the same;

But he was wrong: and, if I may,

Philautus, I will freely say,

I think you more to blame.

He loved what others loved; while you

Admire what other folks eschew.


Junius.—Nobody can read, without being struck with the propriety of it, that beautiful passage in the 8th letter—"Examine your own breast, Sir William, &c. &c. &c." A parallel passage may however be found in Bevill Higgons's Short View of English History (temp. Hen. VI.), a work written before 1700, and not published till thirty-four years afterwards:—

"So weak and fallible is that admired maxim, 'Factum valet, quot fieri non debuit,' an excuse first invented to palliate the unfledged villainy of some men, who are ashamed to be knaves, yet have not the courage to be honest."

I have not quoted the whole of the passage from Junius, as I consider it to be in almost every body's hands. I am collecting some curious, and I hope valuable, information about that work.


Arabic Numerals.—Your correspondent T.S.D.'s account of a supposed date upon the Church of St. Brelade, Jersey, brings to my mind a circumstance that once occurred to myself, which may, perhaps, be amusing to date-hunters. Some years ago I visited a farm-house in the north of England, whose owner had a taste for collecting curiosities of all sorts. Not the least valuable of his collection was a splendidly carved oak bedstead, which he considered of great antiquity. Its date, plainly marked upon the panels at the bottom of the front posts, was, he told me, 1111. On {359} examining this astounding date a little closely, I soon perceived that the two middle strokes had a slight curvature, a tendency to approach the shape of an S, which distinguished them from the two exterior lines. The date was, in fact, 1551; yet so small was the difference of the figures, that the mistake was really a pardonable one.

Is your correspondent "E.V." acquainted with the History of Castle Acre Priory, published some years ago? If my memory fails me not, there is a date given in that work, as found inscribed on the plaster of the Priory wall, much more ancient than 1445.

Has the derivation of the first four Arabic numerals, and probably of the ninth, from the ancient Egyptian hieratic and enchorial characters, for the ordinals corresponding with those numbers, ever been noticed by writers upon the history of arithmetical notation? The correspondence will be obvious to any one who refers to the table given in the 4th vol. of Sir G. Wilkinson's Ancient Egyptians (3rd edit.), p. 198.




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