Notes and Queries, Number 51, October 19, 1850
Author: Various
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"When found, make a note of."—CAPTAIN CUTTLE.

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No. 51.] SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19 16. 1850. [Price, with Supplement, 6d. Stamped Edition, 7d.

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NOTES:— Roberd the Robber, by R.J. King 321 On a Passage in the Merry Wives of Windsor, and on Conjectural Emendation 322 Minor Notes:—Chaucer's Damascene—Long Friday—Hip, hip, Hurrah!—Under the Rose—Albanian Literature 322 QUERIES:— Bibliographical Queries 323 Fairfax's Tasso 325 Minor Queries:—Jeremy Taylor's Ductor Dubitantium—First Earl of Roscommon—St. Cuthbert—Vavasour of Haslewood—Bells in Churches—Alteration of Title-pages—Weights for Weighing Coins—Shunamitis poema—Lachrymatories—Egg-cups used by the Romans—Meleteticks—Luther's Hymns—"Pair of Twises"—Countermarks on Roman Coin 325 REPLIES:— Gaudentio di Lucca 327 Englemann's Bibliotheca Scriptorum Classicorum, by Professor De Morgan 328 Shakspeare's Use of the Word "Delighted," by Samuel Hickson 329 Collar of Esses, by John Gough Nichols 329 Sirloin, by T.T. Wilkinson, &c. 331 Riots of London, by E.B. Price, &c. 332 Meaning of "Gradely" 334 Pascal and his Editor Bossut, by Gustave Masson 335 Kings-skugg-sio, by E. Charlton, &c. 335 Gold in California 336 The Disputed Passage from the Tempest, by Samuel Hickson, &c. 337 "London Bridge is broken down," by Dr. E.F. Rimbault 338 Arabic Numerals 339 Caxton's Printing-office, by J. Cropp 340 Cold Harbour 340 St. Uncumber, by W.J. Thoms 342 Handfasting 342 Gray's Elegy—Droning—Dodsley's Poems 343 Replies to Minor Queries:—Zuendnadel Guns—Thompson of Esholt—Minar's Books of Antiquities—Smoke Money—Holland Land—Caconac, Caconacquerie—Discourse of national Excellencies of England—Saffron Bags—Milton's Penseroso—Achilles and the Tortoise—Stepony Ale—North Side of Churchyards—Welsh Money—Wormwood—Puzzling Epitaph—Umbrella—Pope and Bishop Burgess—Book of Homilies—Roman Catholic Theology—Modum Promissionis—Bacon Family—Execution of Charles I., and Earl of Stair—Watermarks on Writing-paper—St. John Nepomuc—Satirical Medals—Passage in Gray—Cupid Crying—Anecdote of a Peal of Bells, &c. 343 MISCELLANEOUS:— Notes on Books, Sales, Catalogues, &c. 350 Books and Odd Volumes Wanted 351 Notices to Correspondents 351 Advertisements 351

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In the Vision of Piers Ploughman are two remarkable passages in which mention is made of "Roberd the robber," and of "Roberdes knaves."

"Roberd the robbere, On Reddite loked, And for ther was noght wherof He wepte swithe soore." Wright's ed., vol. i. p. 105.

"In glotonye, God woot, Go thei to bedde, And risen with ribaudie, The Roberdes knaves." Vol. i. p. 3.

In a note on the second passage, Mr. Wright quotes a statute of Edw. III., in which certain malefactors are classed together "qui sont appellez Roberdesmen, Wastours, et Dragelatche:" and on the first he quotes two curious instances in which the name is applied in a similar manner,—one from a Latin song of the reign of Henry III.:

"Competenter per Robert, robbur designatur; Robertus excoriat, extorquet, et minatur. Vir quicunque rabidus consors est Roberto."

It seems not impossible that we have in these passages a trace of some forgotten mythical personage. "Whitaker," says Mr. Wright, "supposes, without any reason, the 'Roberde's knaves' to be 'Robin Hood's men.'" (Vol. ii. p. 506.) It is singular enough, however, that as early as the time of Henry III. we find the term 'consors Roberto' applied generally, as designating any common thief or robber; and without asserting that there is any direct allusion to "Robin Hood's men" in the expression "Roberdes knaves," one is tempted to ask whence the hero of Sherwood got his own name?

Grimm (Deutsche Mythol., p. 472.) has suggested that Robin Hood may be connected with an equally famous namesake, Robin Goodfellow; and that he may have been so called from the hood or hoodikin, which is a well-known characteristic of the mischievous elves. I believe, however, it is now generally admitted that "Robin Hood" is a corruption {322} of "Robin o' th' Wood" equivalent to "silvaticus" or "wildman"—a term which, as we learn from Ordericus, was generally given to those Saxons who fled to the woods and morasses, and long held them against their Norman enemies.

It is not impossible that "Robin o' the Wood" may have been a general name for any such outlaws as these and that Robin Hood, as well as "Roberd the Robbere" may stand for some earlier and forgotten hero of Saxon tradition. It may be remarked that "Robin" is the Norman diminutive of "Robert", and that the latter is the name by which we should have expected to find the doings of a Saxon hero commemorated. It is true that Norman and Saxon soon came to have their feelings and traditions in common; but it is not the less curious to find the old Saxon name still traditionally applied by the people, as it seems to have been from the Vision of Piers Ploughman.

Whether Robin Goodfellow and his German brother "Knecht Ruprecht" are at all connected with Robin Hood, seems very doubtful. The plants which, both in England and in Germany, are thus named, appear to belong to the elf rather than to the outlaw. The wild geranium, called "Herb Robert" in Gerarde's time, is known in Germany as "Ruprecht's Kraut". "Poor Robin", "Ragged Robin", and "Robin in the Hose", probably all commemorate the same "merry wanderer of the night."


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The late Mr. Baron Field, in his Conjectures on some Obscure and Corrupt Passages of Shakspeare, published in the "Shakspeare Society's Papers," vol. ii. p. 47., has the following, note on The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act ii. Sc. 2.:—

"'Falstaff. I myself sometimes having the fear of heaven on the left hand, and hiding mine honour in my necessity, am fain to shuffle, to hedge, and to lurch; and yet you, you rogue, will esconce your rags, your cat-a-mountain looks, your red-lattice phrases and your bold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your honour.'

"Pistol, to whom this was addressed, was an ensign, and therefore rags can hardly bear the ordinary interpretation. A rag is a beggarly fellow, but that will make little better sense here. Associated as the phrase is, I think it must mean rages, and I find the word used for ragings in the compound bard-rags, border-ragings or incursions, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, ii. x. 63., and Colin Clout, v. 315."

Having on one occasion found that a petty larceny committed on the received text of the poet, by taking away a superfluous b, made all clear, perhaps I may be allowed to restore the abstracted letter, which had only been misplaced and read brags, with, I trust, the like success? Be it remembered that Pistol, a braggadocio, is made up of brags and slang; and for that reason I would also read, with Hanmer, bull-baiting, instead of the unmeaning "bold-beating oaths."

I well know with what extreme caution conjectural emendation is to be exercised; but I cannot consent to carry it to the excess, or to preserve a vicious reading, merely because it is warranted by the old copies.

Regretting, as I do, that Mr. Collier's, as well as Mr. Knight's, edition of the poet, should both be disfigured by this excess of caution, I venture to subjoin a cento from George Withers, which has been inscribed in the blank leaf of one of them.

"Though they will not for a better Change a syllable or letter, Must the Printer's spots and stains Still obscure THE POET'S Strains? Overspread with antique rust, Like whitewash on his painted bust Which to remove revived the grace And true expression of his face. So, when I find misplaced B's, I will do as I shall please. If my method they deride, Let them know I am not tied, In my free'r course, to chuse Such strait rules as they would use; Though I something miss of might, To express his meaning quite. For I neither fear nor care What in this their censures are; If the art here used be Their dislike, it liketh me. While I linger on each strain, And read, and read it o'er again, I am loth to part from thence, Until I trace the poet's sense, And have the Printer's errors found, In which the folios abound."



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Minor Notes.

Chaucer's Damascene.—Warton, in his account of the physicians who formed the Library of the Doctor of Physic, says of John Damascene that he was "Secretary to one of the caliphs, wrote in various sciences before the Arabians had entered Europe, and had seen the Grecian philosophers." (History of English Poetry, Price's ed., ii. 204.) Mr. Saunders, in his book entitled Cabinet Pictures of English Life, "Chaucer", after repeating the very words of this meagre account, adds, "He was, however, more famous for his religious than his medical writings; and obtained for his eloquence the name of the Golden-flowing" (p 183.) Now Mr. Saunders certainly, whatever Warton did, has confounded Damascenus, the physician, with Johannes Damascenus Chrysorrhoas, "the {323} last of the Greek Fathers," (Gibbon, iv. 472.) a voluminous writer on ecclesiastical subjects, but no physician, and therefore not at all likely to be found among the books of Chaucer's Doctour,

"Whose studie was but litel on the Bible."

Chaucer's Damascene is the author of Aphorismorum Liber, and of Medicinae Therapeuticae, libri vii. Some suppose him to have lived in the ninth, others in the eleventh century, A.D.; and this is about all that is known about him. (See Biographie Universelle, s.v.)


Long Friday, meaning of.—C. Knight, in his Pictorial Shakspeare, explains Mrs. Quickly's phrase in Henry the Fourth—"'Tis a long loan for a poor lone woman to bear,"—by the synonym great: asserting that long is still used in the sense of great, in the north of England; and quoting the Scotch proverb, "Between you and the long day be it," where we talk of the great day of judgment. May not this be the meaning of the name Long Friday, which was almost invariably used by our Saxon forefathers for what we now call Good Friday? The commentators on the Prayer Book, who all confess themselves ignorant of the real meaning of the term, absurdly suggest that it was so called from the great length of the services on that day; or else, from the length of the fast which preceded. Surely, The Great Friday, the Friday on which the great work of our redemption was completed, makes better sense?


Hip, hip, Hurrah!—Originally a war cry, adopted by the stormers of a German town, wherein a great many Jews had taken their refuge. The place being sacked, they were all put to the sword, under the shouts of, Hierosolyma est perdita! From the first letter of those words (H.e.p.) an exclamation was contrived. We little think, when the red wine sparkles in the cup, and soul-stirring toasts are applauded by our Hip, hip, hurrah! that we record the fall of Jerusalem, and the cruelty of Christians against the chosen people of God.


Under the Rose (Vol. i., p. 214.).—Near Zandpoort, a village in the vicinity of Haarlem, Prince William of Orange, the third of his name, had a favourite hunting-seat, called after him the Princenbosch, now more generally known under the designation of the Kruidberg. In the neighbourhood of these grounds there was a little summer-house, making part, if I recollect rightly, of an Amsterdam burgomaster's country place, who resided there at the times I speak of. In this pavilion, it is said, and beneath a stucco rose, being one of the ornaments of the ceiling, William III. communicated the scheme of his intended invasion in England to the two burgomasters of Amsterdam there present. You know the result.

Can the expression of "being under the rose" date from this occasion, or was it merely owing to coincidence that such an ornament protected, as it were, the mysterious conversation to which England owes her liberty, and Protestant Christendom the maintenance of its rights?


Huis te Manpadt.

Albanian Literature.—Bogdano, Pietro, Archivescovo di Scopia, L'Infallibile Verita della Cattolica Fede, in Venetia, per G. Albrizzi, MDXCI, is I think much older than any Albanian book mentioned by Hobhouse. The same additional characters are used which occur in the later publications of the Propaganda, in two parts, pp. 182. 162.


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1. Has anything recently transpired which could lead bibliographers to form an absolute decision with regard to the "unknown" printer who used the singular letter R which is said to have originated with Finiguerra in 1452? That Mentelin was the individual seems scarcely credible; and there is a manifest difference between his type and that of the anonymous printer of the editio princeps of Rabanus Maurus, De Universo, the copy of which work (illuminated, ruled, and rubricated) now before me was once in Heber's possession; and it exhibits the peculiar letter R, which resembles an ill-formed A, destitute of the cross stroke, and supporting a round O on its reclined back. (Panzer, i. 78.; Santander, i. 240.)

2. Is it not quite certain that the acts and decrees of the synod of Wuertzburg, held in the year 1452, were printed in that city previously to the publication of the Breviarium Herbiplense in 1479? The letter Q which is used in the volume of these acts is remarkable for being of a double semilunar shape; and the type, which is very Gothic, is evidently the same as that employed in an edition of other synodal decrees in Germany about the year 1470.

3. When and where was the Liber de Laudibus gloriosissime Dei genitricis Marie semper Virginis, by Albertus Magnus, first printed? I do not mean the supposititious work, which is often confounded with the other one; but that which is also styled Super Evangelium Missus est Quaestiones. And why are these Questions invariably said to be 230 in number, when there are 275 chapters in the book? Beughem asserts that the earliest edition is that of Milan in 1489 (Vid. Quetif et Echard, i. 176.), but what I believe to be a volume of older date is "sine ulla nota;" and a bookseller's observation respecting it is, that it is "very rare, and unknown to De Bure, Panzer, Brunet, and Dibdin." {324}

4. Has any discovery made as to the author of the extraordinary 4to. tract, Oracio querulosa contra Inuasores Sacerdotum? According to the Crevenna Catalogue (i. 85.), the work is "inconnu a tous les bibliographes." Compare Seemiller, ii. 162.; but the copy before me is not of the impression described by him. It is worthy of notice, that at signature A iiiij the writer declares, "nostris jam temporibus calchographiam, hoc est impressioram artem, in nobilissima Vrbanie germe Maguncia fuisse repertam."

5. Are we to suppose that either carelessness or a love of conjectures was the source of Chevillier's mistake, not corrected by Greswell (Annals of Paris. Typog., p. 6.), that signatures were first introduced, anno 1476, by Zarotus, the printer, at Milan? They may doubtless be seen in the Opus Alexandride Ales super tertium Sententiarum, Venet. 1475, a book which supplies also the most ancient instance I have met with of a "Registrum Chartarum." Signatures, however, had a prior existence; for they appear in the Mammetractus printed at Beron Minster in 1470 (Meermau, ii. 28.; Kloss, p. 192.), but they were omitted in the impression of 1476. Dr. Cotton (Typ. Gaz., p. 66.), Mr. Horne (Introd. to Bibliog., i. 187. 317), and many others, wrongly delay the invention or adoption of them till the year 1472.

6. Is the edition of the Fasciculus Temporum, set forth at Cologne by Nicolaus de Schlettstadt in 1474, altogether distinct from that which is confessedly "omnium prima," and which was issued by Arnoldus Ther Huernen in the same year? If it be, the copy in the Lambeth library, bearing date 1476, and entered in pp. 1, 2. of Dr. Maitland's very valuable and accurate List, must appertain to the third, not the second, impression. To the latter this Louvain reprint of 1476 is assigned in the catalogue of the books of Dr. Kloss (p. 127.), but there is an error in the remark that the "Tabula" prefixed to the editio princeps is comprised in eight leaves, for it certainly consists of nine.

7. Where was what is probably a copy of the second edition of the Catena Aurea of Aquinas printed? The folio in question, which consists of 417 unnumbered leaves, is an extremely fine one, and I should say that it is certainly of German origin. Seemiller (i. 117.) refers it to Esslingen, and perhaps an acquaintance with its water-marks would afford some assistance in tracing it. Of these a rose is the most common, and a strigilis may be seen on folio 61. It would be difficult to persuade the proprietor of this volume that it is of so modern a date as 1474, the year in which what is generally called the second impression of this work appeared.

8. How can we best account for the mistake relative to the imaginary Bologna edition of Ptolemy's Cosmography in 1462, a copy of which was in the Colbert library? (Leuglet du Fresnoy, Meth. pour etud. l'Hist., iii. 8., a Paris, 1735.) That it was published previously to the famous Mentz Bible of this date is altogether impossible; and was the figure 6 a misprint for 8? or should we attempt to subvert it into 9? The editio princeps of the Latin version by Angelus is in Roman letter, and is a very handsome specimen of Vicenza typography in 1475, when it was set forth "ab Hermano Leuilapide," alias Hermann Lichtenstein.

9. If it be true, as Dr. Cotton remarks in his excellent Typographical Gazetteer, p. 22., that a press was erected at Augsburg, in the monastery of SS. Ulric and Afra, in the year 1472, and that Anthony Sorg is believed to have been the printer, why should we be induced to assent to the validity of Panzer's supposition that Nider's Formicarius did not make its appearance there until 1480? It would seem to be more than doubtful that Cologne can boast of having produced the first edition, A.D. 1475/7; and it may be reasonably asserted, and an examination of the book will abundantly strengthen the idea, that the earliest impression is that which contains this colophon, in which I would dwell upon the word "editionem" (well known to the initiated): "Explicit quintus ac totus formicarii liber uxta editionem fratris Iohannis Nider," &c., "Impressum Auguste per Anthonium Sorg."

10. In what place and year was Wilhelmi Summa Viciorum first printed? Fabricius and Cave are certainly mistaken when they say Colon. 1479. In the volume, which I maintain to be of greater antiquity, the letters c and t, s and t, are curiously united, and the commencement of it is: "Incipit summa viciorum seu tractatus moral' edita [sic] a fratre vilhelmo episcopo lugdunes. ordinsq. fratru predicator." The description given by Quetif and Echard (i. 132.) of the primary impression of Perault's book only makes a bibliomaniac more anxious for information about it: "in Inc. typ. absque loco anno et nomine typographi, sine numeris reclamat. et majusculis."

11. Was Panormitan's Lectura super primo Decretalium indubitably issued at Venice, prior to the 1st of April, 1473? and if so, does it contain in the colophon these lines by Zovenzonius, which I transcribe from a noble copy bearing this date?

"Abbatis pars prima notis que fulget aliemis Est vindelini pressa labore mei: Cuius ego ingenium de vertice palladis ortum Crediderim. veniam tu mihi spira dabis."

12. Is it not unquestionable that Heroldt's Promptuarium Exemplorum was published at least as early as his Sermones? The type in both works is clearly identical, and the imprint in the latter, at the end of Serm. cxxxvi., vol. ii., is Colon. 1474, an edition unknown to very nearly all bibliographers. For instance, Panzer and Denis commence with that of Rostock, in 1476; Laire {325} with that of Cologne, 1478; and Maittaire with that of Nuremberg, in 1480. Different statements have been made as to the precise period when this humble-minded writer lived. Altamura (Bibl. Domin., pp. 147. 500.) places him in the year 1400. Quetif and Echard (i. 762.), Fabricius and Mansi (Bibl. Med. et inf. Latin.), prefer 1418, on the unstable ground of a testimony supposed to have proceeded from the author himself; for whatever confusion or depravation may have been introduced into subsequent impressions, the editio princeps, of which I have spoken, does not present to our view the alleged passage, viz., "a Christo autem transacti sunt millequadringenti decem et octo anni," but most plainly, "M.cccc. & liij. anni." (Serm. lxxxv., tom. ii.) To this same "Discipulus" Oudin (iii. 2654.), and Gerius in the Appendix to Cave (p. 187.), attribute the Speculorum Exemplorum, respecting which I have before proposed a Query; but I am convinced that they have confounded the Speculum with the Promptuarium. The former was first printed at Deventer, A.D. 1481, and the compiler of it enters upon his prologue in the following striking style: "Impressoria arte jamdudum longe lateque per orbem diffusa, multiplicatisque libris quarumcunque fere materiarum," &c. He then expresses his surprise at the want of a good collection of Exempla; and why should we determine without evidence that he must have been Heroldus?


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In a copy of Fairfax's Godfrey of Bulloigne, ed. 1600 (the first), which I possess, there occurs a very curious variorum reading of the first stanza of the first book. The stanza, as it is given by Mr. Knight in his excellent modern editions, reads thus:

"The sacred armies and the godly knight, That the great sepulchre of Christ did free, I sing; much wrought his valour and foresight, And in that glorious war much suffer'd he; In vain 'gainst him did hell oppose her might, In vain the Turks and Morians armed be; His soldiers wild, to brawls and mutines prest, Reduced he to peace, so heaven him blest."

By holding up the leaf of my copy to the light, it is easy to see that the stanza stood originally as given above, but a cancel slip printed in precisely the same type as the rest of the book gives the following elegant variation:

"I sing the warre made in the Holy Land, And the Great Chiefe that Christ's great tombe did free: Much wrought he with his wit, much with his hand, Much in that braue atchieument suffred hee: In vaine doth hell that Man of God withstand, In vaine the worlds great princes armed bee; For heau'n him fauour'd; and he brought againe Vnder one standard all his scatt'red traine."

Queries.—1. Does the above variation occur in any or many other copies of the edition of 1600?

2. Which reading is followed in the second old edition?


Demerary, September 11. 1850.

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Jeremy Taylor's Ductor Dubitantium.—Book I. chap. 2. Rule 8. Sec. 14.—

"If he (the judge) see a stone thrown at his brother judge, as happened at Ludlow, not many years since."

(The first ed. was published in 1660). Does any other contemporary writer mention this circumstance? or is there any published register of the assizes of that time?

Ibid. Chap. 2. Rule 3. Sec. 32.—

"The filthy gingran."

Apparently a drug or herb. Can it be identified, or its etymology pointed out?

Ibid. Sec.. 50.—

"That a virgin should conceive is so possible to God's power, that it is possible in nature, say the Arabians."

Can authority for this be cited from the ancient Arabic writers?


First Earl of Roscommon.—Can you or any of your correspondents put me on any plan by which I may obtain some information on the following subject? James Dillon, first Earl of Roscommon, married Helen, daughter of Sir Christopher Barnwell, by whom he had seven sons and six daughters; their names were Robert, Lucas, Thomas, Christopher, George, John, Patrick. Robert succeeded his father in 1641, and of his descendants and those of Lucas and Patrick I have some accounts; but what I want to know is, who are the descendants of Thomas (particularly), or of any of the other three sons?

Lodge, in his Peerage, very kindly kills all the sons, Patrick included; but it appears that he did not depart this life until he had left issue, from whom the late Earl had his origin. If Lodge is thus wrong in one case, he may be in others, and I have reason to believe that Thomas left a son settled in a place in Ireland called Portlick.


St. Cuthbert.—The body of St. Cuthbert, as is well known, had many wanderings before it found a magnificent resting-place at Durham. Now, in an anonymous History of the Cathedral Church of Durham, without date, we have a very particular account of the defacement of the shrine of St. {326} Cuthbert, in the reign of Henry VIII. The body was found "lying whole, uncorrupt, with his face bare, and his beard as of a fortnight's growth, with all the vestments about him as he accustomed to say mass withal." The vestments are described as being "fresh, safe, and not consumed." The visitors "commanded him to be carried into the Revestry, till the king's pleasure concerning him was further known; and upon the receipt thereof the prior and monks buried him in the ground under the place where his shrine was exalted." Now, there is a tradition of the Benedictines (of whose monastery the cathedral was part) that on the accession of Elizabeth the monks, who were apprehensive of further violence, removed the body in the night-time from the place where it had been buried to some other part of the building. This spot is known only to three persons, brothers of the order; and it is said that there are three persons who have this knowledge now, as communicated from previous generations.

But a discovery was made in 1827 of the remains of a body in the centre of the spot where the shrine stood, with various relics of a very early period and it was asserted to be the body of St. Cuthbert. This, however, has not been universally assented to, and Mr. Akerman, in his Archaeological Index, has—

"The object commonly called St. Cuthbert's Cross" (though the designation has been questioned), "found with human remains and other relics of the Anglo-Saxon period, in the Cathedral of Durham in 1827."—p. 144.

There does seem considerable discrepancy in the statements of the remains found in 1827 and the body deposited 1541.

I will conclude with asking, Is there any evidence to confirm the tradition of the Benedictines?


Vavasour of Haslewood.—Bells in Churches.—It is currently reported in Yorkshire that three curious privileges belong to the chief of the ancient Roman Catholic family of Vavasour of Haslewood:

1. That he may ride on horseback into York Minster.

2. That he may specially call his house a castle.

3. That he may toll a bell in his chapel, notwithstanding any law prohibiting the use of bells in places of worship not in union with the Church of England.

Is there any foundation for this report; and what is the real story? Is there still a law against the use of bells as a summons to divine services except in churches?


Alteration of Title-pages.—Among the advertisements in the last Quarterly and Edinburgh Reviews, is one which replies to certain criticisms on a work. One of these criticisms was a stricture upon its title. The author states that the reviewer had a presentation copy, and ought to have inquired into the title under which the book was sold to the public before he animaverted upon the connexion between the title and the work. It seems then that, in this instance, the author furnished the Reviews with a title-page differing from that of the body of his impression, and thinks he has a right to demand that the reviewers should suppose such a circumstance probable enough to make it imperative upon them to inquire what the real title was. Query, Is such a practice common? Can any of your readers produce another instance?


Weights for Weighing Coins.—A correspondent wishes to know at what period weights were introduced for weighing coins.

He has met with two notices on the subject in passages of Cottonian manuscripts, and would be glad of farther information.

In a MS. Chronicle, Cotton. Otho B. xiv.—

"1418. Novae bilances instituuntur ad ponderanda aurea Numismata."

In another Cottonian MS., Vitell. A. i., we read—

"1419. Here bigan gold balancis."


Shunamitis Poema.—Who was the author of a curious small 8vo. volume of 179 pages of Latin and English poems, commencing with "Shunamitis Poema Stephani Duck Latine redditum?"

The last verse of some commendatory verses prefixed point out the author as the son of some well-known character:

"And sure that is the most distinguish'd fame, Which rises from your own, not father's name. London, 21 April, 1738."

My copy has no title-page: a transcript of it would oblige.


Lachrymatories.—In many ancient places of sepulture we find long narrow phials which are called lachrymatories, and are supposed to have been receptacles for tears: can you inform me on what authority this supposition rests?


Egg-cups used by the Romans.—That the Romans used egg-cups, and of a shape very similar to our own, the ruins at Pompeii and other places afford ocular demonstration. Can you tell me by what name they called them?


Sir Oliver Chamberlaine.—In Miss Lefanu's Memoirs of Mrs. Frances Sheridan, the celebrated authoress of Sidney Biddulph, Nourjahad, and The Discovery, and mother of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, it is stated that "her grandfather, Sir {327} Oliver Chamberlaine," was an "English baronet." The absence of his name in any of the Baronetages induces the supposition, however, that he had received only the honour of knighthood; and the connexion of his son with Dublin, that the statement of Whitelaw and Walsh, in their history of that city, may be more correct,—viz. that "Sir Oliver Chamberlaine was descended from a respectable English family that had been settled in Dublin since the Reformation." I should be glad to be informed on this point, and also respecting the paternity of this Sir Oliver, who is not only distinguished as one of the progenitors of the Sheridans, but also of Dr. William Chamberlaine, the learned author of the Abridgement of the Laws of Jamaica, which he for some time administered, as one of the judges in that island; and of his grandson, the brave, but ill-fated, Colonel Chamberlaine, aide-de-camp to the president Bolivar.


October 10. 1850.

Meleteticks.—In Boyle's Occasional Reflections (ed. 1669), he uses the word meleteticks (pp. 8. 38.) to express the "way and kind of meditation" he "would persuade." Was this then a new word coined by him, and has it been used by any other writer?


Luther's Hymns.—"In the midst of life we are in death," &c., in the Burial Service, is almost identical with one of Luther's hymns, the words and music of which are frequently closely copied from older sources. Whence?


"Pair of Twises."—What was the article, carried by gentlemen, and called by Boyle (R.B.), in his Occasional Reflections (edit. 1669, p. 180.), "a pair of twises," out of which he drew a little penknife?


Countermarks on Roman Coin.—Several coins in my cabinet of Tiberius, Trajan, &c. bear the stamp NCAPR; others have an open hand, &c. I should be glad to know the reason of this practice, and what they denote.


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(Vol. ii., p. 247. 298.)

The Memoirs of Sig. Gaudentio di Lucca have very generally been ascribed to Bishop Berkeley. In Moser's Diary, written at the close of the last century (MS. penes me), the writer says,—

"I have been reading Berkeley's amusing account of Sig. Gaudentio. What an excellent system of patriarchal government is there developed!"

See the Retrospective Review, vol iv. p. 316., where the work is also ascribed to the celebrated Bishop Berkeley.


In the corrigenda and addenda to Kippis's Biographia Britannica, prefixed to vol. iii. is the following note, under the head of Berkeley:

"On the same authority [viz., that of Dr. George Berkeley, the bishop's son,] we are assured that his father did not write, and never read through, the Adventures of Signor Gaudentio di Lucca. Upon this head, the editor of the Biographia must record himself as having exhibited an instance of the folly of building facts upon the foundation of conjectural reasonings. Having heard the book ascribed to Bishop Berkeley, and seen it mentioned as his in catalogues of libraries, I read over the work again under this impression, and fancied that I perceived internal arguments of its having been written by our excellent prelate. I was even pleased with the apprehended ingenuity of my discoveries. But the whole was a mistake, which, whilst it will be a warning to myself, may furnish an instructive lesson to others. At the same time, I do not retract the character which I have given of the Adventures of Signor Gaudentio di Lucca. Whoever was the author of that performance, it does credit to his abilities and to his heart."

After this decisive testimony of Bishop Berkeley's son, accompanied by the candid confession of error on the part of the editor of the Biographia Britannica, the rumour as to Berkeley's authorship of Gaudentio ought to have been finally discredited. Nevertheless, it seems still to maintain its ground: it is stated as probable by Dunlop, in his History of Fiction; while the writer of a useful Essay on "Social Utopias," in the third volume of Chambers's Papers for the People, No. 18., treats it as an established fact.


In addition to the remarks of your correspondent L., I may state that the first edition in 1737, 8vo., contains 335 pages, exclusive of the publisher's address, 13 pages. It is printed for T. Cooper, at the Globe, in Paternoster Row. The second edition in 1748, 8vo., contains publisher's address, 12 pages; the work itself 291 pages.

I find no difference between the two editions, except that in the first the title is The Memoirs of Sigr. Gaudentio di Lucca; and in the second, The Adventures of Sigr. Gaudentio di Lucca; and that in the second the notes are subjoined to each page, while in the first they follow the text in smaller type, as Remarks of Sigr. Rhedi. The second edition is—

"Printed for W. Innys in Paternoster Row, and R. Manby and H.S. Cox on Ludgate Hill, and sold by M. Cooper in Paternoster Row."

With respect to the author, it must be observed that there is no evidence whatever to justify its being attributed to Bishop Berkeley. Clara Reeve, in her Progress of Romana, 1786, 8vo., mentions him as having been supposed to be the author; {328} but her authority seems only to have been the anonymous writer in the Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xlvii. p. 13., referred to by your correspondent. The author of an elaborate review of the work in the Retrospective Review, vol. iv., advocates Bishop Berkeley's claim, but gives no reasons of any validity; and merely grounds his persuasion upon the book being such as might be expected from that great writer. He was, however, at least bound to show some conformity in style, which he does not attempt. On the other hand, we have the positive denial of Dr. George Berkeley, the bishop's son (Kippis's Biog. Brit., vol. iii., addenda to vol. ii.), which, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, seems to be quite sufficient.

In a letter signed C.H., Gent. Mag., vol. vii. p. 317., written immediately on the appearance of the work, the writer observes:—

"I should have been very glad to have seen the author's name prefixed to it: however, I am of opinion that it its very nearly related to no less a hand than that which has so often, under borrowed names, employed itself to amuse and trifle mankind, in their own taste, out of their folly and vices."

This appears to point at Swift; but it is quite clear that he could not be the author, for very obvious reasons.

A correspondent of the Gent. Mag., who signs his initials W.H. (vol. lv. part 2. p. 757), states "on very good authority" that the author was—

"Barrington, a Catholic priest, who had chambers in Gray's Inn, in which he was keeper of a library for the use of the Romish clergy. Mr. Barrington wrote it for amusement, in a fit of the gout. He began it without any plan, and did not know what he should write about when be put pen to paper. He was author of several pamphlets, chiefly anonymous, particularly the controversy with Julius Bate on Elohim."

Of this circumstantial and sufficiently positive attribution, which is dated October, 1785, no contradiction ever appeared that I am aware of. The person intended is S. Berington, the author of—

"Dissertations on the Mosaical Creation, Deluge, building of Babel, and Confusion of Tongues, &c." London: printed for the Author, and sold by C. Davis in Holborn, and T. Osborn in Gray's Inn, 1750, 8vo., pages 466, exclusive of introduction, 12 pages.

On comparing Gaudentio di Lucca with this extremely curious work, there seems a sufficient similarity to bear out the statement of the correspondent of the Gentleman's Magazine, W.H. The author quoted in the Remarks of Sigr. Rhedi, and in the Dissertations, are frequently the same, and the learning is of the same cast in both. In particular, Bochart is repeatedly cited in the Remarks and in the Dissertations. The philosophical opinions appear likewise very similar.

On the whole, unless some strong reason can be given for questioning the statement of this correspondent of the Gentleman's Magazine, I conceive that S. Berington, of whom I regret that so little is known, must be considered to be the author of The Memoirs of Gaudentio di Lucca.


Manchester, October 7. 1850.

* * * * *


(Vol. ii., pp. 296. 312.)

The sort of defence, explanation, or whatever it may be called, founded upon usage, and offered by ANOTHER FOREIGN BOOKSELLER, is precisely what I wanted to get out, if it existed, as I suspected it did.

If your correspondent be accurate as to Engelmann, it appears that no wrong is done to him; it is only the public which is mystified by a variety of title-pages, all but one containing a suppression of the truth, and the one of which I speak containing more.

I now ask you to put in parallel columns extracts from the title given by Engelmann with the substitutes given in that which I received.

"Schriftsteller—welche vom "Classics ... that have Jahre 1700 bis zu Ende des appeared in Germany and the Jahres 1846 besonders in adjacent countries up to the Deutschland gedruckt worden end of 1846." sind."

I do not think it fair towards Mr. Engelmann, whose own title is so true and so precise, to take it for certain, on anonymous authority, that he sanctioned the above paraphrase. According to the German, the catalogue contains works from 1700 to 1846, published especially in Germany; meaning, as is the fact, that there are some in it published elsewhere. According to the English, all classics printed in Germany, and all the adjacent countries, in all times, are to be found in the catalogue. I pass over the implied compliment to this country, namely, that while a true description is required in Germany, a puff both in time and space is wanted for England. I dwell on the injurious effect of such alterations to literature, and on the trouble they give to those who wish to be accurate. It is a system I attack, and not individuals. There is no occasion to say much, for publicity alone will do what is wanted, especially when given in a journal which falls under the eyes of those engaged in research. I hope those of your contributors who think as I do, will furnish you from time to time with exposures; if, as a point of form, a Query be requisite, they can always end with, Is this right?


October 14. 1850.

* * * * * {329}


(Vol. ii., pp. 113. 139. 200. 234.)

I should have been content to leave the question of the meaning of the word delighted as it stands in your columns, my motive, so kindly appreciated by Mr. SINGER, in raising the discussion being, by such means to arrive at the true meaning of the word, but that the remarks of L.B.L. (p. 234.) recall to my mind a canon of criticism which I had intended to communicate at an earlier period as useful for the guidance of commentators in questions of this nature. It is as follows:—Master the grammatical construction of the passage in question (if from a drama, in its dramatic and I scenic application), deducing therefrom the general sense, before you attempt to amend or fix the meaning of a doubtful word.

Of all writers, none exceed Shakspeare in logical correctness and nicety of expression. With a vigour of thought and command of language attained by no man besides, it is fair to conclude, that he would not be guilty of faults of construction such as would disgrace a school-boy's composition; and yet how unworthily is he treated when we find some of his finest passages vulgarised and degraded through misapprehensions arising from a mere want of that attention due to the very least, not to say the greatest, of writers. This want of attention (without attributing to it such fatal consequences) appears to me evident in L.B.L.'s remarks, ably as he analyses the passage. I give him credit for the faith that enabled him to discover a sense in it as it stands; but when he says that it is perfectly intelligible in its natural sense, it appears to me that he cannot be aware of the innumerable explanations that have been offered of this very clear passage. The source of his error is plainly referable to the cause I have pointed out.

It is quite true that, in the passage referred to, the condition of the body before and after death is contrasted, but this is merely incidental. The natural antithesis of "a sensible warm motion" is expressed in "a kneaded clod" and "cold obstruction;" but the terms of the other half of the passage are not quite so well balanced. On the other hand, it is not the contrasted condition of each, but the separation of the body and spirit—that is, death—which is the object of the speaker's contemplation. Now with regard to the meaning of the term delighted, L.B.L. says it is applied to the spirit "not in its state after death, but during life." I must quote the lines once more:—

"Ay, but to die, and go we know not where; To lie in cold obstruction, and to rot; This sensible warm motion to become A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit To bathe in fiery floods," &c.

And if I were to meet with a hundred thousand passages of a similar construction, I am confident they would only confirm the view that the spirit is represented in the then present state as at the termination of the former clause of the sentence. If such had not been the view instinctively taken by all classes of readers, there could have been no difficulty about the meaning of the word.

As a proof that this view of the construction is correct, let L.B.L. substitute for "delighted spirit", spirit no longer delighted, and he will find that it gives precisely the sense which he deduces from the passage as it stands. If this be true, then, according to his view, the negative and affirmative of a proposition may be used indifferently, in the same time and circumstances giving exactly the same meaning.

MR. SINGER furnishes another instance (Vol. ii., p. 241.) of the value of my canon. I think there can be no doubt that his explanation of the meaning of the word eisell is correct; but if it were not, any way of reading the passage in which it occurs would lead me to the conclusion that it could not be a river. Drink up is synonymous with drink off, drink to the dregs. A child, taking medicine, is urged to "drink it up." The idea of the passage appears to be that each of the acts should go beyond the last preceding in extravagance:—

"Woo't weep? Woo't fight? Woo't fast? Woo't tear thyself? Woo't drink up eisell?"

And then comes the climax—"eat a crocodile?" Here is a regular succession of feats, the last but one of which is sufficiently wild, though not unheard of, and leading to the crowning extravagance. The notion of drinking up a river would be both unmeaning and out of place.


September 18. 1850.

* * * * *


I shall look with interest to the documents announced by Dr. ROCK (Vol. ii., p. 280.), which in his mind connect the Collar of Esses with the "Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus" of the Salisbury liturgy: but hitherto I have found nothing in any of the devices of livery collars that partakes of religious allusion. I am well aware that many of the collars of knighthood of modern Europe, headed by the proud order of the Saint Esprit, display sacred emblems and devices. But the livery collars were perfectly distinct from collars of knighthood. The latter, indeed, did not exist until a subsequent age: and this was one of the most monstrous of the popular errors which I had to combat in my papers in the Gentleman's Magazine. A Frenchman named Favyn, at the commencement of the seventeenth century, published {330} a folio book on Orders of Knighthood, and, giving to many of them an antiquity of several centuries,—often either fabulous or greatly exaggerated,—provided them all with imaginary collars, of which he exhibits engravings. M. Favyn's book was republished in English, and his collars have been handed down from that time to this, in all our heraldic picture-books. This is one important warning which it is necessary to give any one who undertakes to investigate this question. From my own experience of the difficulty with which the mind is gradually disengaged from preconceived and prevailing notions on such points, which it has originally adopted as admitting of no question, I know it is necessary to provide that others should not view my arguments through a different medium to myself. And I cannot state too distinctly, even if I incur more than one repetition, that the Collar of Esses was not a badge of knighthood nor a badge of personal merit; but it was a collar of livery; and the idea typified by livery was feudal dependence, or what we now call party. The earliest livery collar I have traced is the French order of cosses de geneste, or broomcods: and the term "order", I beg to explain, is in its primary sense exactly equivalent to "livery:" it was used in France in that sense before it came to be applied to orders of knighthood. Whether there was any other collar of livery in France, or in other countries of Europe, I have not hitherto ascertained; but I think it highly probable that there was. In England we have some slight glimpses of various collars, on which it would be too long here to enter; and it is enough to say, that there were only two of the king's livery, the Collar of Esses and the Collar of Roses and Suns. The former was the collar of our Lancastrian kings, the latter of those of the house of York. The Collar of Roses and Suns had appendages of the heraldic design which was then called "the king's beast," which with Edward IV. was the white lion of March, and with Richard III. the white boar. When Henry VII. resumed the Lancastrian Collar of Esses, he added to it the portcullis of Beaufort. In the former Lancastrian regions it had no pendant, except a plain or jewelled ring, usually of the trefoil form. All the pendant badges which I have enumerated belong to secular heraldry, as do the roses and suns which form the Yorkist collar. The letter S is an emblem of a somewhat different kind; and, as it proves, more difficult to bring to a satisfactory solution than the symbols of heraldic blazon. As an initial it will bear many interpretations—it may be said, an indefinite number, for every new Oedipus has some fresh conjecture to propose. And this brings me to render the account required by Dr. Rock of the reasons which led me to conclude that the letter S originated with the office of Seneschallus or Steward. I must still refer to the Gentleman's Magazine for 1842, or to the republication of my essays which I have already promised, for fuller details of the evidence I have collected; but its leading results, as affecting the origin of this device, may be stated as follows:—It is ascertained that the Collar of Esses was given by Henry, Earl of Derby, afterwards King Henry IV., during the life-time of his father, John of Ghent, Duke of Lancaster. It also appears that the Duke of Lancaster himself gave a collar, which was worn in compliment to him by his nephew King Richard II. In a window of old St. Paul's, near the duke's monument, his arms were in painted glass, accompanied with the Collar of Esses; which is presumptive proof that his collar was the same as that of his son, the Earl of Derby. If, then, the Collar of Esses was first given by this mighty duke, what would be his meaning in the device? My conjecture is, that it was the initial of the title of that high office which, united to his vast estates, was a main source of his weight and influence in the country,—the office of Steward of England. This, I admit, is a derivation less captivating in idea than another that has been suggested, viz. that S was the initial of Souveraine which is known to have been a motto subsequently used by Henry IV., and which might be supposed to foreshadow the ambition with which the House of Lancaster affected the crown. But the objection to this is, that the device is traced back earlier than the Lancastrian usurpation can be supposed to have been in contemplation. It might still be the initial of Souveraine, if John of Ghent adopted it in allusion to his kingdom of Castille: but, because he is supposed to have used it, and his son the Earl of Derby certainly used it, after the sovereignty of Castille had been finally relinquished, but also before either he or his son can be supposed to have aimed at the sovereignty of their own country, therefore it is that, in the absence of any positive authority, I adhere at present to the opinion that the letter S was the initial of Seneschallus or Steward.


P.S.—Allow me to put a Query to the antiquaries of Scotland. Can any of them help me to the authority from which Nich. Upton derived his livery collar of the King of Scotland "de gormettis fremalibus equorum?"—J.G.N.

Collar of SS (Vol. ii., pp. 89. 194. 248. 280.).—I am surprised that any doubt should have arisen about this term, which has evidently no spiritual or literary derivation from the initial letters of Sovereign, Sanctus, Seneschallus, or any similar word. It is (as MR. ELLACOMBE hints, p. 248.) purely descriptive of the mechanical mode of forming the chain, not by round or closed links, but by hooks alternately deflected into the shape of esses; thus, . Whether chains so made (being more susceptible of ornament than other forms of links) may not have been in special use for particular {331} purposes, I will not say; but I have no doubt that the name means no more than that the links were in the shape of the letter S.


* * * * *


Several correspondents who treat of Lancashire matters do not appear to be sufficiently careful to ascertain the correct designations of the places mentioned in their communications. In a late number Mr. J.G. NICHOLS gave some very necessary corrections to CLERICUS CRAVENSIS respecting his note on the "Capture of King Henry VI." (Vol. ii., p. 181.); and I have now to remind H.C. (Vol. ii., p. 268.) that "Haughton Castle" ought to be "Hoghton Tower, near Blackburn, Lancashire." Hoghton Tower and Whittle Springs have of late been much resorted to by pic-nic parties from neighbouring towns; and from the interesting scenery and splendid prospects afforded by these localities, they richly deserve to be classed among the lions of Lancashire. It is not improbable that the far-famed beauties and rugged grandeur of "The Horr" may, for the time, have rendered it impossible for H.C. to attend to orthography and the simple designation "Hoghton Tower," and hence the necessity for the present Note.

The popular tradition of the knighting of the Sirloin has found its way into many publications of a local tendency, and, amongst the rest, into the graphic Traditions of Lancashire, by the late Mr. Roby, whose premature death in the Orion steamer we have had so recently to deplore. Mr. Roby, however, is not disposed to treat the subject very seriously; for after stating that Dr. Morton had preached before the king on the duty of obedience, "inasmuch as it was rendered to the vicegerent of heaven, the high and mighty and puissant James, Defender of the Faith, and so forth," he adds:—

"After this comfortable and gracious doctrine, there was a rushbearing and a piping before the king in the great quadrangle. Robin Hood and Maid Marian, with the fool and Hobby Horse, were, doubtless, enacted to the jingling of morris-dancers and other profanities. These fooleries put the king into such good humour, that he was more witty in his speech than ordinary. Some of these sayings have been recorded, and amongst the rest, that well-known quibble which has been the origin of an absurd mistake, still current through the county, respecting the sirloin. The occasion, as far as we have been able to gather, was thus. Whilst he sat at meat, casting his eyes upon a noble surloin at the lower end of the table, he cried out, 'Bring hither that surloin, sirrah, for 'tis worthy a more honourable post, being, as I may say, not sur-loin, but sir-loin, the noblest joint of all;' which ridiculous and desperate pun raised the wisdom and reputation of England's Solomon to the highest."—Traditions, vol. ii. pp. 190-1.

Most probably Mr. Roby's view of the matter is substantially correct; for although tradition never fails to preserve the remembrance of transactions too trivial, or perhaps too indistinct for sober history to narrate, the existence of a tradition does not necessarily prove, or even require, that the myth should have had its foundation in fact.

Had the circumstance really taken place as tradition prescribes, it would probably have obtained a greater permanency than oral recital; for during the festivities at Hoghton Tower, on the occasion of the visit of the "merrie monarch", there was present a gentleman after Captain Cuttle's own heart, who would most assuredly have made a note of it. This was Nicholas Assheton, Esq., of Downham, whose Journal, as Dr. Whitaker well observes, furnishes an invaluable record of "our ancestors of the parish of Whalley, not merely in the universal circumstances of birth, marriage, and death, but acting and suffering in their individual characters; their businesses, sports, bickerings, carousings, and, such as it was, religion." This worthy chronicler thus describes the King's visit:—

"August 15. (1617). The king came to Preston; ther, at the crosse, Mr. Breares, the lawyer, made a speche, and the corporn presented him with a bowle; and then the king went to a banquet in the town-hall, and soe away to Houghton: ther a speche made. Hunted, and killed a stagg. Wee attend on the lords' table.

"August 16, Houghton. The king hunting: a great companie: killed affore dinner a brace of staggs. Verie hot: soe hee went in to dinner. Wee attend the lords' table, abt four o'clock the king went downe to the Allome mynes, and was ther an hower, and viewed them p[re]ciselie, and then went and shott at a stagg, and missed. Then my Lord Compton had lodged two brace. The king shott again, and brake the thigh-bone. A dogg long in coming, and my Lo. Compton shott agn and killed him. Late in to supper.

"Aug. 17, Houghton. Wee served the lords with biskett, wyne, and jellie. The Bushopp of Chester, Dr. Morton, p[re]ched before the king. To dinner. Abt four o'clock, ther was a rush-bearing and piping affore them, affore the king in the middle court; then to supp. Then abt ten or eleven o'clock, a maske of noblemen, knights, gentlemen, and courtiers, affore the king, in the middle round, in the garden. Some speeches: of the rest, dancing the Huckler, Tom Bedlo, and the Cowp Justice of Peace.

"Aug. 18. The king went away abt twelve to Lathome."

The journalist who would note so trivial a circumstance as the heat of the weather, was not likely to omit the knighting of the Sirloin, if it really occurred; and hence, in the absence of more positive proof, we are disposed to take Mr. Roby's view of the case, and treat it as one of the thousand and one pleasant stories which "rumour with her hundred tongues" ever circulates amongst the peasantry of a district where some royal visit, or {332} other unexpected memorable occurrence, has taken place.

But this is not the only "pleasant conceit" of which the "merrie monarch" is said to have delivered himself during his visit to Hoghton Tower. On the way from Preston his attention was attracted by a huge boulder stone which lay in the roadside, and was still in existence not a century ago. "O' my saul," cried he, "that meikle stane would build a bra' chappin block for my Lord Provost. Stop! there be letters thereon: unto what purport?" Several voices recited the inscription:—

"Turn me o're, an I'le tel thee plaine."

"Then turn it ower," said the monarch, and a long and laborious toil brought to light the following satisfactory intelligence:—

"Hot porritch makes hard cake soft, So torne me o'er againe."

"My saul," said the king, "ye shall gang roun' to yere place again: these country gowks mauna ken the riddle without the labour." As a natural consequence, Sir Richard Hoghton's "great companie" would require a correspondingly great quantity of provisions; and the tradition in the locality is, that the subsequent poverty of the family was owing to the enormous expenses incurred under this head; the following characteristic anecdote being usually cited in confirmation of the current opinion. During one of the hunting excursions the king is said to have left his attendants for a short time, in order to examine a numerous herd of horned cattle then grazing in what are now termed the "Bullock Pastures," most of which had probably been provided for the occasion. A day or two afterwards, being hunting in the same locality, he made inquiry respecting the cattle, and was told, in no good-humoured way, by a herdsman unacquainted with his person, that they were all gone to feast the beastly king and his gluttonous company. "By my saul," exclaimed the king, as he left the herdsman, "then 'tis e'en time for me to gang too:" and accordingly, on the following morning, he set out for Lathom House.

In conclusion, allow me to ask the correspondents to the "NOTES AND QUERIES," what is meant by "dancing the Huckler, Tom Bedlo, and the Cowp Justice of Peace?"


Burnley, Lancashire, Sept. 21. 1850.

Sirloin.-In Nichols's Progresses of King James the First, vol. iii. p. 401., is the following note:—

"There is a laughable tradition, still generally current in Lancashire, that our knight-making monarch, finding, it is presumed, no undubbed man worthy of the chivalric order, knighted at the banquet in Hoghton Tower, in the warmth of his honour-bestowing liberality, a loin of beef, the part ever since called the sirloin. Those who would credit this story have the authority of Dr. Johnson to support them, among whose explanations of the word sir in his dictionary, is that it is 'a title given to the loin of beef, which one of our kings knighted in a fit of good humour.' 'Surloin,' says Dr. Pegge (Gent. Mag., vol. liv. p. 485.), 'is, I conceive, if not knighted by King James as is reported, compounded of the French sur, upon, and the English loin, for the sake of euphony, our particles not easily submitting to composition. In proof of this, the piece of beef so called grows upon the loin, and behind the small ribs of the animal.' Dr. Pegge is probably right, and yet the king, if he did not give the sirloin its name, might, notwithstanding, have indulged in a pun on the already coined word, the etymology of which was then, as now, as little regarded as the thing signified is well approved."


Sirloin.-Whence then comes the epigram—

"Our second Charles, of fame faeete, On loin of beef did dine, He held his sword pleased o'er the meat, 'Rise up thou famed sir-loin!'"

Was not a loin of pork part of James the First's proposed banquet for the devil?


* * * * *


The reminiscences of your correspondent SENEX concerning the riots of London in the last century form an interesting addition to the records of those troubled times; but in all these matters correctness as to dates and facts are of immense importance. The omission of a date, or the narration of events out of their proper sequence, will sometimes create vast and most mischievous confusion in the mind of the reader. Thus, from the order in which SENEX has stated his reminiscences, a reader unacquainted with the events of the time will be likely to assume that the "attack on the King's Bench prison" and "the death of Allen" arose out of, and formed part and parcel of, the Gordon riots of 1780, instead of one of the Wilkes tumults of 1768. By the way, if SENEX was "personally either an actor or spectator" in this outbreak, he fully establishes his claim to the signature he adopts. I quite agree with him that monumental inscriptions are not always remarkable for their truth, and that the one in this case may possibly be somewhat tinged with popular prejudice or strong parental feeling; but, at all events, there can be but little doubt that poor Allen, whether guilty or innocent, was shot by a soldier of the Scotch regiment, be his name what it may; and further, the deed was not the effect of a random shot fired upon the mob,—for the young man was chased into a cow-house, and shot by his pursuer, away from the scene of conflict. {333}

Noorthouck, who published his History of London, 1773, thus speaks of the affair:—

"The next day, May 10. (1768,) produced a more fatal instance of rash violence against the people on account of their attachment to the popular prisoner (Wilkes) in the King's Bench. The parliament being to meet on that day to open the session, great numbers of the populace thronged about the prison from an expectation that Mr. W. would on that occasion recover his liberty; and with an intention to conduct him to the House of Commons. On being disappointed, they grew tumultuous, and an additional party of the third regiment of Guards were sent for. Some foolish paper had been stuck up against the prison wall, which a justice of the peace, then present, was not very wise in taking notice of, for when he took it down the mob insisted on having it from him, which he not regarding, the riot grew louder, the drums beat to arms, the proclamation was read, and while it was reading, some stones and bricks were thrown. William Allen, a young man, son of Mr. Allen, keeper of the Horse Shoe Inn in Blackman Street, and who, as appeared afterwards, was merely a quiet spectator, being pursued along with others, was unfortunately singled out and followed by three soldiers into a cow-house, and shot dead! A number of horse-grenadiers arrived, and these hostile measures having no tendency to disperse the crowd, which rather increased, the people were fired upon, five or six were killed, and about fifteen wounded; among which were two women, one of whom afterwards died in the hospital."

The author adds,—

"The soldiers were next day publicly thanked by a letter from the Secretary-at-War in his master's name. McLaughlin, who actually killed the inoffensive Allen, was withdrawn from justice and could never be found, so that though his two associates Donald Maclaine and Donald Maclaury, with their commanding officer Alexander Murray, were proceeded against for the murder, the prosecution came to nothing and only contributed to heighten the general discontent."

With respect to the monument in St. Mary's, Newington, I extract the following from the Oxford Magazine for 1769, p. 39.:—

"Tuesday, July 25. A fine large marble tombstone, elegantly finished, was erected over the grave of Mr. Allen, junr., in the church-yard of St. Mary, Newington, Surry. It had been placed twice before, but taken away on some disputed points. On the sides are the following inscriptions:—

North Side.

Sacred to the Memory of William Allen,

An Englishman of unspotted life and amiable disposition, [who was inhumanely murdered near St. George's Fields, the 10th day of May, 1768, by the Scottish detachment from the army.][1]

"His disconsolate parents, inhabitants of this parish, caused this tomb to be erected to an only son, lost to them and the world, in his twentieth year, as a monument of his virtues and their affections."

At page 53. of the same volume is a copperplate representing the tomb. On one side appears a soldier leaning on his musket. On his cap is inscribed "3rd Regt.;" his right hand points to the tomb; and a label proceeding from his mouth represents him saying, "I have obtained a pension of a shilling a day only for putting an end to thy days." At the foot of the tomb is represented a large thistle, from the centre of which proceeds the words, "Murder screened and rewarded."

Accompanying this print are, among other remarks, the following:—

"It was generally believed that he was m——d by one Maclane, a Scottish soldier of the 3d Regt. The father prosecuted, Ad——n undertook the defence of the soldier. The solicitor of the Treasury, Mr. Nuthall, the deputy-solicitor, Mr. Francis, and Mr. Barlow of the Crown Office, attended the trial, and it is said, paid the whole expence for the prisoner out of the Treasury, to the amount of a very considerable sum. The defence set up was, that young Allen was not killed by Maclane, but by another Scottish soldier of the same regiment, one McLaughlin, who confessed it at the time to the justice, as the justice says, though he owns he took no one step against a person who declared himself a murderer in the most express terms.... The perfect innocence of the young man as to the charge of being concerned in any riot or tumult, is universally acknowledged, and a more general good character is nowhere to be found. This McLaughlin soon made his escape, therefore was a deserter as well as a murtherer, yet he has had a discharge sent him with an allowance of a shilling a day."

Maclane was most probably the "Mac" alluded to by SENEX; but his account differs in so many respects from cotemporaneous records that I have ventured to trespass somewhat largely upon your space. I may add, that I by no means agree in the propriety of erasing a monumental inscription of more than eighty years' existence without some much stronger proof of its falsehood; for I quite coincide with the remarks of Rev. D. Lysons, in his allusion to this monument (Surrey, p. 393.), that

"Allen was illegally killed, whether he was concerned in the riots or not, as he was shot apart from the mob at a time when he might, if necessary, have been apprehended and brought to justice."


September 30. 1850.

The Rev. Dr. John Free[2] preached a sermon on the above occasion (which was printed) from the {334} 24th chapter of Leviticus, 21st and 22nd verses, "He that killeth a man," &c.; and he boldly and fearlessly denominates the act as a murder, and severely reprehends those in authority who screened and protected the murderer. The sermon is of sixteen pages, and there is an appendix of twenty-six pages, in which are detailed various depositions, and all the circumstances connected with the catastrophe.

Sec. N.

Your correspondent SENEX will find in Malcolm's Anecdotes of London (Vol. ii., p. 74.), "A summary of the trial of Donald Maclane, on Tuesday last, at Guildford Assizes, for the murder of William Allen, Jun., on the 10th of May last, in St. George's Fields."


A long account of this lamentable transaction may be found in every magazine eighty-two years since. The riot took place in St. George's Fields, May 10. 1768, and originated in the cry of "Wilkes and Liberty."


[Footnote 1: A foot-note informs us that "a white-wash is put over these lines between the crotchets."]

[Footnote 2: Dr. Free was of Christ Church, Oxford, and perhaps some of your readers may know where his biography is.]

* * * * *


(Vol. ii., p. 133.)

For the origin of this word, A.W.H. may refer to Brocket's Glossary of North Country Words, where he will find—

"Gradely, decently, orderly. Sax. grad, grade, ordo. Rather, Mr. Turner says, from Sax. gradlie upright; gradely in Lanc., he observes, is an adjective simplifying everything respectable. The Lancashire people say, our canny is nothing to it."

The word itself is very familiar to me, as I have often received a scolding for some boyish, and therefore not very wise or orderly prank, in these terns:—"One would think you were not altogether gradely," or, as it was sometimes varied into, "You would make one believe you were not right in your head;" meaning, "One would think you had not common sense."



Gradely.—This word is not only used in Yorkshire, but also very much in Lancashire, and the rest of the north of England. I have always understood it to mean "good," "jolly," "out and out." Its primary meaning is "orderly, decently." (See Richardson's Dictionary.) The French have grade; It. and Sp., grado; Lat. gradus.


Gradely.—This word, in use in Lancashire and Yorkshire, means grey-headedly, and denotes such wisdom as should belong to old age. A child is admonished to do a thing gradely, i.e. with the care and caution of a person of experience.


Gradely.—In Webster's and also in Richardson's Dictionaries it is defined, "orderly, decently." It is a word in common use in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and also Cheshire. A farmer will tell his men to do a thing gradely, that is, "properly, well."


Gradely.—In Carr's Craven Dialect appears "Gradely, decently." It is also used as an adjective, "decent, worthy, respectable."

2. Tolerably well, "How isto?" "Gradely." Fr. Gre, "satisfaction"; a mon gre.


Gradely.—Holloway[3] derives gradely from the Anglo-Saxon Grade, a step, order, and defines its meaning, "decently." He, however, fixes its paternity in the neighbouring county of York.

In Collier's edition of Tim Bobbin it is spelt greadly, and means "well, right, handsomely."

"I connaw tell the greadly, boh I think its to tell fok by."—p. 42.

"So I seete on restut meh, on drank meh pint o ele; boh as I'r naw greadly sleekt, I cawd for another," &c.—p. 45.

"For if sitch things must be done greadly on os teh aught to bee," &c.—p. 59.

Mr. Halliwell[4] defined it, "decently, orderly, moderately," and gives a recent illustration of its use in a letter addressed to Lord John Russell, and distributed in the Manchester Free Trade Procession. It is dated from Bury, and the writer says to his lordship,—

"Dunnot be fyert, mon, but rapt eawt wi awt uts reef, un us Berry foke'll elp yo as ard as we kon. Wayn helps Robdin, un wayn elp yo, if yoan set obeawt yur work gradely."

Gradely.—I think this word is very nearly confined to Lancashire. It is used both as an adjective and adverb. As an adjective, it expresses only a moderate degree of approbation or satisfaction; as an adverb, its general force is much greater. Thus, used adjectively in such phrases as "a gradely man," "a gradely crop," &c., it is synonymous with "decent." In answer to the question, "How d'ye do?" it means, "Pretty well," "Tolerable, thank you."

Adverbially it is (1.) sometimes used in sense closely akin to that of the adjective. Thus in "Behave yourself gradely," it means "properly, decently." But (2.) most frequently it is precisely equivalent to "very;" as in the expressions "A gradely fine day," "a gradely good man"—which last is a term of praise by no means applicable to the mere gradely man, or, as such a one is most commonly described, a "gradely sort of man."

Though one might have preferred a Saxon origin for it, yet in default of such it seems most natural to connect it with the Latin gradus, especially as the word grade, from which it is immediately formed, has a handy English look about it, that would soon naturalise it amongst us. Gradely {335} then would mean "orderly, regular, according to degree."

The difference in intensity of meaning between the adjective and the adverb seems analogous to that between the adjectives proper, regular, &c., and the same words when used in the vulgar way as adverbs.


[Footnote 3: Dictionary of Provincialisms.]

[Footnote 4: Dictionary of Provincial Words.]

* * * * *


(Vol. ii., p. 278.)

Although I am not afraid of the fate with which that unfortunate monk met, of whom it is said,—

"Pro solo puncto caruit Martinus Asello,"

yet a blunder is a sad thing, especially when the person who is supposed to commit it attempts to correct others.

Now the printer of the "NOTES AND QUERIES" has introduced, in my short remark on Pascal, the very error which has led the author of the article in the British Quarterly Review, as well as many others, to mistake the Bishop of Meaux for the editor of Pascal's works. Once more, that unfortunate editor is BOSSUT, not BOSSUET; and if it may appear to some that the difference of one letter in a name is not of much consequence, yet it is from an error as trifling as this that people of my acquaintance confound Madame de Stael with Madame de Staal-Delauney, in spite of chronology and common sense. Again, by the leave of the Christian Remembrancer (vol. xiii. no. 55.), the elegant and accomplished scholar to whom we owe the only complete text of Pascal's thoughts, is M. Faugere, not Fougere. All these are minutiae; but the chapter of minutiae is an important one in literary history.

Another remarkable question which I feel a wish to touch upon before closing this communication, is that of impromptus. Your correspondent MR. SINGER (p. 105.) supposes Malherbe the poet to have been "ready at an impromptu." But, to say the least, this is rather doubtful, unless the extemporaneous effusions of Malherbe were of that class which Voiture indulged in with so much success at the Hotel de Rambouillet—sonnets and epigrams leisurely prepared for the purpose of being fired off in some fashionable "ruelle" of Paris. Malherbe is known to have been a very slow composer; he used to say to Balzac that ten years' rest was necessary after the production of a hundred lines: and the author of the Christian Socrates, himself rather too fond of the file, after quoting this fact, adds in a letter to Consart:

"Je n'ai pas besoin d'un si long repos apres un si petit travail. Mais aussi d'attendre de moi cette heureuse facilite qui fait produire des volumes a M. de Scudery, ce serait me connaitre mal, et me faire une honneur que je ne merite pas."

Malherbe certainly had a most happy influence on French poetry; he checked the ultra-classical school of Ronsard, and began that work of reformation afterwards accomplished by Boileau.

As I have mentioned Voiture's name, I shall add a very droll "soi-disant" impromptu of his, composed to ridicule Mademoiselle Chapelain, the sister of the poet. Like her brother, she was most miserly in her habits, and not distinguished by that virtue which some say is next to godliness.

"Vous qui tenez incessamment Cent amans dedans votre manche, Tenez-les au moins proprement, Et faites qu'elle soit plus blanche.

"Vous pouvez avecque raison, Usant des droits de la victoire, Mettre vos galants en prison; Mais qu'elle ne soit pas si noire.

"Mon coeur, qui vous est bien devot, Et que vous reduisez en cendre, Vous le tenez dans un cachot Comme un prisonnier qu'on va pendre.

"Est-ce que, brulant nuit et jour, Je remplis ce lieu de fumee, Et que le feu de mon amour En a fait une cheminee?"


Hadley, near Barnet.

* * * * *


(Vol. ii., p. 298.)

The author of the Kongs-skugg-sio is unknown, but the date of it has been pretty clearly made out by Bishop Finsen and others. (V. Finsen, Dissertatio Historica de Speculo Regali, 1766.) There is only one complete edition of this remarkable work, viz. that published at Soroee in 1768, in 4to. Bishop Finsen maintains the Kongs-skugg-sio to have been written from 1154 to 1164. Ericksen believes it not to be older than 1184; while Suhm and Eggert Olafsen do not allow it to be older than the thirteenth century. Rafn, and the modern editors of the Groenlands Historiske Mindesmaerker, p. 266., vol. iii., accept the date given by Finsen as the true one. From the text of the work we learn that it was written in Norway, by a young man, a son of one of the leading and richest men there, who had been on terms of friendship with several kings, and had lived much, or at least had travelled much, in Helgeland. Rafn and others believe the work to have been written by Nicolas, the son of Sigurd Hranesoen, who was slain by the Birkebeiners on the 8th of September, 1176. Their reasons for coming to this conclusion are given at full length in the work above quoted. {336}

The whole of the Kongs-skugg-sio is well worthy of being translated into English. It may, indeed, in many respects, be considered as the most remarkable work of the old northerns.


Newcastle-on-Tyne, Oct 7. 1850.

If F.Q. will look into Halfdan Einersen's edition of Kongs-skugg-sio, Soroee, 1768, the first time it was printed, he will find in the editor's preliminary remarks all that is known of the date and origin of the work. The author is unknown, but that he was a Northman and lived in Nummedal, in Norway, and wrote somewhere between 1140 and 1270, or, according to Finsen, about 1154; and that he had in his youth been a courtier, and afterwards a royal councillor, we infer from the internal evidence the work itself affords us. Kongs-skugg-sio, or the royal mirror, deserves to be better known, on account of the lively picture it gives us of the manners and customs of the North in the twelfth century; the state of the arts and the amount of science known to the educated. It abounds in sound morals, and its author might have sate at the feet of Adam Smith for the orthodoxy of his political economy. He is not entirely free from the credulity of his age and his account of Ireland will match anything to be found in Sir John Mandeville. Here we are told of an island on which nothing rots, of another on which nothing dies, of another on one-half of which devils alone reside, of wonderful monsters and animals, and of miracles the strangest ever wrought. He invents nothing. What he relates of Ireland he states to have found in books, or to have derived from hearsay. The following extract must therefore be taken as a specimen of Irish Folk-lore in the twelfth century:—

"There is also one thing, he says, that will seem wonderful, and it happened in the town which is called Kloena [Cloyne]. In that town there is a church which is dedicated to the memory of a holy man called Kiranus. And there it happened one Sunday, as the people were at prayers and heard mass, that there descended gently from the air an anchor, as if it had been cast from a ship, for there was a cable to it, and the fluke of the anchor caught in the arch of the church-door, and all the people went out of church, and wondered, and looked up into the air after the cable. There they saw a ship floating above the cable, and men on board; and next they saw a man leap overboard, and dive down to the anchor to free it. He appeared, from the motions he made with both hands and feet, like a man swimming in the sea. And when he reached the anchor, he endeavoured to loosen it, when the people ran forwards to seize the man. But the church in which the anchor stuck fast had a bishop's chair in it. The bishop was present on this occasion, and forbade the people to hold the man, and said that he might be drowned just as if in water. And immediately he was set free he hastened up to the ship, and when he was on board, they hauled up the cable and disappeared from men's sight; but the anchor has since laid in the church as a testimony of this."


* * * * *


(Vol. ii., p. 132.)

E.N.W. refers to Shelvocke's voyage of 1719, in which reference is made to the abundance of gold in the soil of California. In Hakluyt's Voyages, printed in 1599-1600, will be found much earlier notices on this subject. California was first discovered in the time of the Great Marquis, as Cortes was usually called. There are accounts of these early expeditions by Francisco Vasquez Coronada, Ferdinando Alarchon, Father Marco de Nica, and Francisco de Ulloa, who visited the country in 1539 and 1540. It is stated by Hakluyt that they were as far to the north as the 37th degree of latitude, which would be about one degree south of St. Francisco. I am inclined, however, to believe from the narrations themselves that the Spanish early discoveries did not extend much beyond the 34th degree of latitude, being little higher than the Peninsular or Lower California. In all these accounts, however, distinct mention is made of abundance of gold. In one of them it is stated that the natives used plates of gold to scrape the perspiration off their bodies!

The most curious and distinct account, however, is that given in "The famous voyage of Sir Francis Drake into the South Sea, &c. in 1577", which will be found in the third volume of Hakluyt, page 730., et seq. I am tempted to make some extracts from this, and the more so because a very feasible claim might be based upon the transaction in favour of our Sovereign Lady the Queen. At page 737. I find:

"The 5th day of June (1579) being in 43 degrees wards the pole Arctike, we found the ayre so colde, that our men being grievously pinched with the same, complained of the extremitie thereof, and the further we went, the more the colde increased upon us. Whereupon we thought it best for that time to seeke the land, and did so, finding it not mountainous, but low plaine land, till we came within thirty degrees toward the line. In which height it pleased God to send us into a faire and good baye, with a good winde to enter the same. In this baye wee anchored."

A glance at the map will show that "in this baye" is now situated the famous city of San Francisco.

Their doings in the bay are then narrated, and from page 738. I extract the following:—

"When they [the natives with their king] had satisfied themselves [with dancing, &c.] they made signes to our General [Drake] to sit downe, to whom the king and divers others made several orations, or rather supplications, that hee would take their province or {337} kingdom into his hand, and become their king, making signes that they would resigne unto him their right and title of the whole land, and become his subjects. In which, to persuade us the better, the king and the rest with our consent, and with great reverence, joyfully singing a song, did set the crowne upon his head, inriched his necke with all their chaines, and offred unto him many other things, honouring him by the name of Hioh, adding thereulto, as it seemed, a sign of triumph; which thing our Generall thought not meet to reject, because he knew not what honour and profit it might be to our countrey. Whereupon, in the name and to the use of Her Majestie, he took the scepter, crowne, and dignitie of the said country into his hands, wishing that the riches and treasure thereof might so conveniently be transported to the inriching of her kingdom at home, as it aboundeth in ye same.

"Our Generall called this countrey Nova Albion, and that for two causes; the one in respect of the white bankes and cliffes, which lie towards the sea, and the other, because it might have some affinities with our countrey in name, which sometime was so called."

Then comes the curious statement:

"There is no part of earth heere to be taken up, wherein there is not some probable show of gold or silver."

The narrative then goes on to state that formal possession was taken of the country by putting up a "monument" with "a piece of sixpence of current English money under the plate," &c.

Drake and the bold cavaliers of that day probably found that it paid better to rob the Spaniard of the gold and silver ready made in the shape of "the Acapulco galleon," or such like, than to sift the soil of the Sacramento for its precious grains. At all events, the wonderful richness of the "earth" seems to have been completely overlooked or forgotten. So little was it suspected, until the Americans acquired the country at the peace with Mexico, that in the fourth volume of Knight's National Cyclopaedia, published early in 1848, in speaking of Upper California, it is said, "very little mineral wealth has been met with"! A few months after, intelligence reached Europe how much the reverse was the case.


* * * * *


(Vol. ii., pp. 259. 299.)

When the learning and experience of such gentlemen as MR. SINGER and MR. COLLIER fail to conclude a question, there is no higher appeal than to plain common sense, aided by the able arguments advanced on each side. Under these circumstances, perhaps you will allow one who is neither learned nor experienced to offer a word or two by way of vote on the meaning of the passage in the Tempest cited by MR. SINGER. It appears to me that to do full justice to the question the passage should be quoted entire, which, with your permission, I will do.

"Fer. There be some sports are painful; and their labour Delight in them sets off: some kinds of baseness Are nobly undergone; and most poor matters Point to rich ends. This, my mean task Would be as heavy to me as odious, but The mistress, which I serve, quickens what's dead And makes my labours pleasures: O, she is Ten times more gentle than her father's crabbed, And he's compos'd of harshness. I must remove Some thousands of these logs, and pile them up Upon a sore injunction: my sweet mistress Weeps when she sees me work, and says, such baseness Had ne'er like executor. I forget; But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my labour(s), Most busy(l)est when I do it."

The question appears to be whether "most busy" applies to "sweet thoughts" or to Ferdinand, and whether the pronoun "it" refers to the act of forgetting or to "labour(s);" and I must confess that, to me, the whole significancy of the passage depends upon the idea conveyed of the mind being "most busy" while the body is being exerted. Every man with a spark of imagination must many a time have felt this. In the most essential particular, therefore, I think MR. SINGER is right in his correction but at the same time agreeing with MR. COLLIER, that it is desirable not to interfere with the original text further than is absolutely necessary, I think the substitution of "labour" for "labours" is of questionable expediency. What is the use of the conjunction "but" if not to connect the excuse for the act of forgetting with the act itself?

Without intending to follow MR. COLLIER through the course of his argument, I should like to notice one or two points. The usage of Shakspeare's day admitted many variations from the stricter grammatical rules of our own; but no usage ever admitted such a sentence as this,—for though elliptically expressed, MR. COLLIER treats it as a sentence,—

"Most busy, least when I do it."

This is neither grammar nor sense: and I persist in believing that Shakspeare was able to construct an intelligible sentence according to rules as much recognised by custom then as now.

But, indeed, does not MR. COLLIER virtually admit that the text is inexplicable in his very attempt to explain it? He sums up by saying "that in fact, his toil is no toil, and that when he is 'most busy' he 'least does it,'" which is precisely the reverse of what the text says, if it express any meaning at all. I will agree with him in preferring the old text to any other text where it gives a perfect meaning; but to prefer it here, when the omission of a single letter produces an image at once {338} noble and complete, would, to my mind, savour more of superstition than true worship.

P.S. It should be observed that MR. COLLIER'S "least" is as much of an alteration of the original text as MR. SINGER'S "busyest", the one adding and the other omittng a letter. The folio of 1632, where it differs front the first folio, will hardly add to the authority of MR. COLLIER himself.


Oct. 10. 1850.

If one, who is but a charmed listener to Shakspeare, may presume to offer an opinion to practised interpreters, I should suggest to MR. SINGER and MR. COLLIER, another and a totally different reading of the passage in discussion by them from the exquisite opening scene of the 3d Act of the Tempest.

There can be little doubt that "most busy" applies more poetically to thoughts than to labours; and, in so much, MR. SINGER'S reading is to be commended. But it is equally true that, by adhering to the early text, MR. COLLIER'S school of editing has restored force and beauty to many passages which had previously been outraged by fancied improvements, so that his unflinching support of the original word in this instance is also to be respected. But may not both be combined? I think they may, by understanding the passage in question as though a transposition had taken place between the words "least" and "when".

"Most busy when least I do it,"


"Most busy when least employed."

forming just the sort of verbal antithesis of which the poet was so fond.

An actual transposition of the words may have taken place through the fault of the early printers; but even if the present order be preserved, still the transposed sense is, I think, much less difficult than the forced and rather contradictory meaning contended for by MR. COLLIER. Has not the pause in Ferdinand's labour been hitherto too much overlooked? What is it that has induced him to forget his task? Is it not those delicious thoughts, most busy in the pauses of labour, making those pauses still more refreshing and renovating?

Ferdinand says—

"I forget,"—

and then he adds, by way of excuse,—

"But the sweet thoughts do even refresh my labours, Most busy when least I do it."

More busy in thought when idle, than in labour when employed. The cessation from labour was favourable to the thoughts that made it endurable.

Malone quarrelled with the word "but", for which he would have substituted "and" or "for". But in the apologetic sense which I would confer upon the last two lines of Ferdinand's speech, the word "but", at their commencement, becomes not only appropriate but necessary.


Leeds, October 8. 1850.

* * * * *


(Vol. ii., p. 258.)

Your correspondent T.S.D. does not remember to have seen that interesting old nursery ditty "London Bridge is broken down" printed, or even referred to in print. For the edification then of all interested in the subject, I send you the following.

The old song on "London Bridge" is printed in Ritson's Gammer Gurton's Garland, and in Halliwell's Nursery Rhymes of England; but both copies are very imperfect. There are also some fragments preserved in the Gentleman's Magazine for September, 1823 (vol. xciii. p. 232.), and in the Mirror for November 1st of the same year. From these versions a tolerably perfect copy has been formed, and printed in a little work, for which I am answerable, entitled Nursery Rhymes, with the Tunes to which they are still sung in the Nurseries of England. But the whole ballad has probably been formed by many fresh additions in a long series of years, and is, perhaps, almost interminable when received in all its different versions.

The correspondent of the Gentleman's Magazine remarks, that "London Bridge is broken down" is an old ballad which, more than seventy years previous, he had heard plaintively warbled by a lady who was born in the reign of Charles II., and who lived till nearly that of George II. Another correspondent to the same magazine, whose contribution, signed "D.," is inserted in the same volume (December, p. 507.), observes, that the ballad concerning London Bridge formed, in his remembrance, part of a Christmas carol, and commenced thus:—

"Dame, get up and bake your pies, On Christmas Day in the morning."

The requisition, he continues, goes on to the dame to prepare for the feast, and her answer is—

"London Bridge is broken down, On Christmas Day in the morning."

The inference always was, that until the bridge was rebuilt some stop would be put to the dame's Christmas operations; but why the falling of a part of London Bridge should form part of a Christmas carol it is difficult to determine.

A Bristol correspondent, whose communication is inserted in that delightful volume the Chronicles of London Bridge (by Richard Thomson, of the London Institution), says,—

"About forty years ago, one moonlight night, in a street in Bristol, his attention was attracted by dance {339} and chorus of boys and girls, to which the words of this ballad gave measure. The breaking down of the bridge was announced as the dancers moved round in a circle, hand in hand; and the question, 'How shall we build it up again?' was chanted by the leader, whilst the rest stood still."

Concerning the antiquity of this ballad, a modern writer remarks,—

"If one might hazard a conjecture concerning it, we should refer its composition to some very ancient date, when, London Bridge lying in ruins, the office of bridge master was vacant, and his power over the river Lea (for it is doubtless that river which is celebrated in the chorus to this song) was for a while at an end. But this, although the words and melody of the verses are extremely simple, is all uncertain."

If I might hazard another conjecture, I would refer it to the period when London Bridge was the scene of a terrible contest between the Danes and Olave of Norway. There is an animated description of this "Battle of London Bridge," which gave ample theme to the Scandinavian scalds, in Snorro Sturleson; and, singularly enough, the first line is the same as that of our ditty:—

"London Bridge is broken down; Gold is won and bright renown; Shields resounding, War horns sounding, Hildur shouting in the din; Arrows singing, Mail-coats ringing, Odin makes our Olaf win."

See Laing's Heimskringla, vol. ii. p. 10.; and Bulwer's Harold, vol. i. p. 59. The last-named work contains, in the notes, some excellent remarks upon the poetry of the Danes, and its great influence upon our early national muse.


[T.S.D.'s inquiry respecting this once popular nursery song has brought us a host of communications; but none which contain the precise information upon the subject which is to be found in DR. RIMBAULT's reply. TOBY, who kindly forwards the air to which it was sung, speaks of it as a "'lullaby song,' well-known in the southern part of Kent and in Lincolnshire."

E.N.W. says it is printed in the collection of Nursery Rhymes published by Burns, and that he was born and bred in London, and that it was one of the nursery songs he was amused with. NOCAB ET AMICUS, two old fellows of the Society of Antiquaries, do not doubt that it refers to some event preserved in history, especially, they add, as we have a faint recollection "of a note, touching such an event, in an almost used-up English history, which was read in our nursery by an elder brother, something less than three-fourths of a century since. And we have also a shrewd suspicion that the sequel of the song has reference to the reconstruction of that fabric at a later date."

J.S.C. has sent us a copy of the song; and we are indebted for another copy to AN ENGLISH MOTHER, who has accompanied it with notices of some other popular songs, notices which at some future opportunity we shall lay before our readers.—ED.]

* * * * *


(Vol. ii., pp. 27. 61.)

I must apologise for adding anything to the already abundant articles which have from time to time appeared in "NOTES AND QUERIES" on this interesting subject; I shall therefore confine myself to a few brief remarks on the form of each character, and, if possible, to show from what alphabets they are derived:—

1. This most natural form of the first numeral is the first character in the Indian, Arabic, Syriac, and Roman systems.

2. This appears to be formed from the Hebrew [Hebrew: b], which, in the Syriac, assumes nearly the form of our 2; the Indian character is identical, but arranged vertically instead of horizontally.

3. This is clearly derived from the Indian and Arabic forms, the position being altered, and the vertical stroke omitted.

4. This character is found as the fourth letter in the Phoenician and ancient Hebrew alphabets: the Indian is not very dissimilar.

5. and 6. These bear a great resemblance to the Syriac Heth and Vau (a hook). When erected, the Estrangelo-Syriac Vau is precisely the form of our 6.

7. This figure is derived from the Hebrew [Hebrew: z], zayin, which in the Estrangelo-Syriac is merely a 7 reversed.

8. This figure is merely a rounded form of the Samaritan Kheth (a travelling scrip, with a string tied round thus, [Character]). The Estrangelo-Syriac [Character] also much resembles it.

9. Identical with the Indian and Arabic.

0. Nothing; vacuity. It probably means the orb or boundary of the earth.—10. is the first boundary, [Hebrew: tchwm], Tekum, [Greek: Deka], Decem, "terminus." Something more yet remains to be said, I think, on the names of the letters. Cf. "Table of Alphabets" in Gesenius, Lex., ed. Tregelles, and "NOTES AND QUERIES," Vol. i., p. 434.

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