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"I most devoutly wish I were living near London What are mountains, trees, heaths, or even the glorious and ever-beautiful sky, with such sunsets as I have seen at Hampstead, to friends? "
I could multiply quotations from Shelley's letters, showing how he groaned under his Italian imprisonment. His absence, in that sunny jail, caused his principal poems to have been very inacTHOS, L'ESTRANGE. curately printed. P.S. Your correspondent C. A. W. wishes the whole of Shelley's little poem to be made intelligible to earthly human beings! Let me remind C. A. W. of poor Shelley's own words on his "Epipsychidion "-"You might as well go to a gin-shop for a leg of mutton, as expect anything human or earthly from me."
and at p. 144, "mottoes have not been found on Scottish seals earlier than the sixteenth century."
ANGLO-SCOTUS has given the French version of the story of John Mercer: the English will be found in Walsingham's Chronicle (p. 24), Frankfort edition, 1603. Thomas Mercer held lands of the Abbot of Scone, in Perth, cir. 1280. His son John flourished from 1328 to 1380: he was a burgess of Perth, a merchant and banker; was on several occasions Commissioner in Parliament for the burgh, and Provost of Perth; was ambassador to Flanders in 1366, and to England in 1378: was a personal friend and confidential adviser of Charles the Wise of France, and acted as Chamberlain of Scotland during the illness of Sir Walter Byger in 1376, and was, on his death, appointed Receptor pecuniarum Regis "; and gave up this office on Oct. 20, 1377. He married Ada, daughter of Sir Andrew Murray of Tullibardine, by whom he had Andrew, Robert, and other children.
Early in 1376, leaving the duties of his office to his son Andrew, he went to France on private business; on his return, having been wrecked off the Northumberland coast, he was seized by the English and imprisoned in Scarborough Castle. Earl Douglas, the Warden of the Marches, sent a remonstrance to Edward III., complaining of the enormity of seizing "mon homme," as he styles him, "contre la vertue de noz grantz trews" (i. e. the truce of 1357).* On this remonstrance, the prisoner was released without ransom, or, as Walsingham says:
I, for one, repudiate O. T. D.'s emendation. His "slight" seems to me simply a slight on Shelley. My conviction is that the poet left the line as we possess it. Similar instances of carelessness are not rare in his pages, notwithstanding the delicacy of his musical ear; whereas I defy O. T. D. to present us with a precedent for his "slight breath," however skilled he may be in sleight of hand. Furthermore and seriously, I think it is time all reverent and modest men should protest against the modern practice of cobblering and tinkering the works of writers who are no longer here to defend their own. Let us tinker and cobble our own verses-they no doubt need it hugely-but let us leave the great dead poets in peace, if we would escape the sin of sacrilege. Surely it is more becoming to take the shoes off our feet on holy ground than to ride over it roughshod, or to delve and dibble in it as if it were any man's acre. Such, at least, is my opinion, if O. T. D. and his fellow workers in the same field will forgive my fashion of expressing it.
"The adoption of the motto as an accessory to the heraldic achievement, which had been pretty common during the latter portion of the fourteenth century, gradually became more and more extended,"
"Cito post deliberatus fuerat ad magnum damnum totius regni et omnium incolarum. Nam si redemptus fuisset captivorum more regem et regnum inestimabili pecunia divites effecisset."
To indemnify himself for his losses, he, in his capacity of King's Receiver, deducts 2000 merks from the ransom of King David, payable to He fitted out a England on June 24, 1377. fleet at his own charges; with these, and some French and Spanish ships under his command (hence, probably, his title of Admiral), his son Andrew attacked Scarborough in 1377, as related in Walsingham; and cruised in those seas until his capture, prior to January 1, 1377-8, by John Philpot, a citizen of London; at which date he, Andrew, as "Armiger carissimi consanguinei Regis Scotorum," gets a safe conduct to return to Scotland. Showing that the Duke of Lancaster, to spite Philpot, had released his prisoner and sent him home with an especial safe conduct. As to the arms: Sir Andrew's seal, in the
SIR ANDREW MERCER.
(3rd S. xii. 252, 467.)
If ANGLO-SCOTUS will consult Seton's Scottish beginning of 1385, bore the Murray arms; later in that year he was knighted, and bore the arms Heraldry, he will find, at p. 211 -now borne by the family thus described:
* See Pinkerton's History of Scotland (vol. i. p. 16), and Appendix (p. 441), where the letter is given.
"On MERCER's scutcheon, in a field of gold,
In MURRAY'S silver star to azure turned,
CHRIST'S CROSS OUR CROWN."
Scotland's three Andrews were-Sir Andrew Mercer, 1385; Sir Andrew Wood, 1484; and Sir Andrew Barton, 1520.
In 1378, Sir Andrew obtained from the crown the lands of Balleve and Balladoes; which, as well as Aldie, Meiklour and Tullybeagles, all acquired prior to 1364, are still in the female representatives of the family. Countess Flahault was fifteenth in descent from John Mercer. There are three other families lineally descended from John: the heads of these are, one the fifteenth, the other two fourteenth, in descent. THE SEANACHIE.
"N. & Q." FROM A SICK ROOM.
I have had the misfortune to be suffering from very severe illness, and am now at a dull seasid town, where no books are to be had. During my sickness I have, however, duly received "N. & Q."; and your readers will at once believe me when I say its numbers have been no small solace to me. May I venture a few remarks on some of the late articles, and may I be pardoned if, in the absence of authorities, or from lack of memory, I should fall into any
UNKNOWN OBJECT IN YAXLEY CHURCH (3rd S. xii. 128, 362.)-It seems probable that MR. PIGGOT's suggestion is correct. He will find a very beautiful woodcut of a wheel hung with bells
in the manner he describes in Mr. Street's Gothic Architecture in Spain, which that gentleman
sketched in one of the cathedrals there.
MASONRY (3rd S. xii. 371.)-Is your correspondent correct in stating that Austria is the only
country where Masonic lodges are forbidden? I have always been told no secret societies are tolerated in any Roman Catholic countries, on the ground of their interference with the duties of the confessional. I know, a short time ago, Masonry was proscribed in Italy with the utmost rigour.
BRASSES (3rd S. xii. 374.)-A kind friend, a most able analytical chemist, has promised to make an analysis of any portions of brasses which may be sent to your office with the particulars, place, name, date, &c. The best way will be to cut off a small piece weighing fifteen to twenty grains with a cold chisel, somewhere where it would not interfere with the figure, and send it sealed up.
DR. BLOW (3rd S. xii. 433.)-The story, as I remember it traditionally, is this. The composition alluded to was in ten parts, and the composer while exhibiting it defied any one to add another part. The doctor desired to be left for a few hours with pen and ink, and added ten other parts instead of All this, however, would be thrown into the shade by Tallis's Anthem in forty real parts. I have heard this latter extraordinary composition is extant in MS., but have forgotten where. Perhaps some of your readers could inform us.
WENCE: WHENCE (3rd S. xii. 131, 384.)—I did venture to suggest that two words so like in spelling and in sound might, in some degree, have something to do with each other. I thought (though I did not like to say so without some investigation) that names for "the road by which thou wendest," and "the place from which thou wendest," might have something in common. We are now told that "wents" are derived from the A.-S. wendan; but the other word is traced to the Moso-Gothic hwathro, and such a storm was poured on my poor devoted head as no writer in "N. & Q." ever sustained. "Wild hypotheses ""unscholarly"-supposition that the unlucky writer was capable of maintaining Mary Queen of Scots to be the Mary vulgarly called the sanguinary (by the way, if the former really was accessory to the murder of her husband, the appellation would not be ill deserved)—that with him "accuracy is of no consequence." Such an attack was "N. & Q." before. never seen in the peaceful and friendly pages of Your correspondent asks, investigation ?" Simply because the suggestor "Why should the making suggestions precede may not have it in his power to investigate. He books, or too ill, or there may be many other may be too busy, or away from his home and reasons why the task of investigation should be taken up by others than the suggestor. Nay, I conceive this to be the great use of "N. & Q." It is not a vehicle for controversy, an arena for faction-fights, but "a medium of intercommunica
tion for literary men." However, transeat cum cæteris. If any friendly correspondent will inform me in the meantime, I can only say I shall be under the same obligation I have often been before to correspondents of "N. & Q." If not, I must wait patiently till I can get back to my Junius, Skinner, Bosworth, &c., and satisfy myself whether whence is more probably to be derived from wend than from hwathro.
RULE OF THE ROAD AT SEA FOR SAILING VESSELS. (3rd S. xii. 139, 469.) - You have already given the laws for steam-boats. The pilots where I am all tell me the rule is, in meeting, for each sailing-vessel to port her helm. The stem of each of course tends to starboard, and the distance between each vessel increases every moment. course they pass each other on the port side. The rule, when one vessel crosses the track or course of another, is that the one on the port tack shall give way to the one on the starboard tack.
SACKBUT (3rd S. xii. 331.) — This word is the old name for a trombone. MR. CHAPPELL first showed this fact from a passage in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, and subsequently his view has been confirmed by a passage in Mersennus, where the instrument is not only described but figured in a woodcut. As these instruments are always of brass, the meaning of the phrase quoted by your correspondent is simply "he could blush no more than if his face was brazen."
FENIAN.-The "bare armed Fenians " tioned by Hector McIntyre in the Antiquary, and these no doubt allude to men of Celtic race. Is there any other mention of the word in Ossian or any published work, or did Sir Walter Scott borrow it from verbal tradition among the Highlanders?
"GRANDY NEEDLES" (3rd S. xii. 329.)-I have often seen in the country villages in the South of England what is called "threading grandmother's needle." It is done thus. Two persons, generally young girls, stand opposite each other holding hands. The others run between them in single file, stooping their heads as they pass under the outstretched arms." The pace, as your correspondent suggests, is a kind of dance, and is accompanied by a sort of song, the burden of which, as I recollect, is "we go out to play and thread our grandmother's needle." The idea seems to be this: the two leaders who stand and hold out their arms represent the eye of a needle, and the line who pass through in Indian file the thread. A. A.
(of) Poets' Corner.
ORIGINAL MS. OF "EIKON BASILIKE” (3rd S. xii. 1.)-Having seen to-day the July number of "N. & Q.," I lose no time in replying to the inquiry of your correspondent as to whether the original MS. of the Icon mentioned by Sir Thomas Herbert is among the papers at Worsbrough. I can find no trace of its ever having been in the possession of my family. About twenty-five years ago the MSS. in this house, of which there was a large collection, were carefully looked over by the Icon had been here it would most probably a well-known antiquary, and if the original of have been discovered and preserved among the other relics of Charles I. and Sir Thomas Herbert. Should I at any time meet with anything likely to throw light on the subject, I shall have much pleasure in communicating it.
W. H. MARTIN EDMUNDS. Worsbrough Hall, Dec. 19, 1867.
CYRIL will find the above lines in Dryden's ode is undoubtedly a very fine one, but if I may "Alexander's Feast, or the Power of Music." This venture to differ from so great a critic as Lord Macaulay, I hardly think we can call it, as he does, the finest in the English language.
456.)-My son, the Rev. H. N. ELLACOMBE, in his SECRETS OF ANGLING, BY J. D. (3rd S. xii. correspondence with MR. WESTWOOD, appears to me to have omitted to mention one strong internal proof of evidence in favour of J. Dennis being the author of the Secrets of Angling, viz., that the river Boyd runs through the property at Bitton, which belonged to the Dennis family, viz., the Court Farm, or, as it is now sometimes called, Dennisses. And in his opening poem he invokes that little stream in these words:
"And thou, sweet Boyd, that with thy wat'ry sway
I quote from my edition by W. Lauson, reprinted by Triphook, 1811.
The Dennis pedigree is, I believe, correct. More may be seen about this family in Nichols's Herald and Genealogist, vol. iv. p. 209, recently published. H. T. ELLACOMBE.
DENNIS OR DENNYS (3rd S. xii. 456; iv. 53.)— On page 456 the pedigree of Dennys gives the name of the wife of the last John as "Mary, dau. and coh. of Nat. Hill of Hutton; died 1698 annis plena; buried at Pucklechurch."
The name Hill is probably an error of a transcriber or the printer. The real name is Still. The monument at Pucklechurch, which was put up to commemorate her, her son, and an infant grandson, by her daughter-in-law Dorothy Cotton, her son's widow-describes her as "annis et virtutibus plena." At page 53, iv., I gave details which I will not repeat here.
But I wish to add to what I said there, that I have since obtained the first edition of Guillim, 1610-11, the only edition published during his life. In that, contrary to the blazon which I quoted from the first issue of 1660, this is given: He beareth Gules, a Bend Ingrailed Azure betweene three Leopards Heads Or, Jessant Flowers de lices of the second, by the name of Dennys."
But the bend in the woodcut annexed is carried over the fleur-de-lys in dexter chief. Stuarts Lodge, Malvern Wells.
THE RULE OF THE ROAD (3rd S. xii. 236.) — The difference between the practice in England and "the rest of the world" (by which I suppose A. A. means the continent of Europe) in respect of this particular, may be rationally explained with reference to the position of the party driving, which is, and should be, so that in passing another vehicle, whether in the same or an opposite direction, he shall have it next to himself. In England, where the habit of driving from a seat or box generally prevailed, and where consequently (the exigencies of the operation requiring the right arm to be free) the driver occupies the extreme right of the driving-seat, this condition
necessitated the adherence to the left side of the road. On the Continent, where all public vehicles were wont to be driven by postillions, whose proper seat is on the left or near horse, the same condition involved a recurrence to the opposite or right side of the road. Any one who was in the habit of travelling at home and abroad as an outside passenger in the days of stage-coaches and diligences, will at once recognise the propriety of this explanation.
T. M. M.
ANONYMOUS IRISH BOOKS (3rd S. xii. 225.)— In answer to the inquiry of Ev. PH. SHIRLEY respecting the authorship of certain Irish works, MR. MACRAY has referred (xii. 295) to a memorandum in the handwriting of Malone on the title-page of a copy of one of them-the Letters from an Armenian in Ireland-in the Bodleian Library, wherein the authorship is assigned to "Edm. Sexton Pery, Esq.," afterwards Speaker of the House of Commons. I much doubt the accuracy of this assignment. In the Irish collection of the late W. Monck Mason, Esq., author of the History of St. Patrick's Cathedral (and which was sold at Sotheby's, March 29-31, 1858,) was a copy of the work, the title-page of which was supplemented with the name of "Judge Hellen," author of another publication, likewise anonymous, entitled Observations on a Speech delivered Dec. 26, 1769, in the House of Lords, Ireland, &c. 1770, of which also a copy similarly inscribed with his name was in the same collection. Both these copies are now in the library of the British Museum, sub. tit. Robert Hellen.
In the sale catalogue of the collection referred to, comprising upwards of 3000 pamphlets and broadsides systematically arranged and separately recorded, are several, of which (having been published anonymously) the authors' names, extrinsically ascertained, are supplied in brackets. The other work alluded to by Ev. PH. SHIRLEY, the Modest Apology, &c., not however among them.
T. M. M.
PROVERBS (3rd S. xii. 413, 487.)-In illustration of "King Henry loved a man," a friend refers me to a passage in Fuller's Worthies, where he speaks thus of the three Palmers of Augmering:
"These three were knighted for their valour by King Henry VIII. (who never laid his sword on his shoulders who was not a man)," &c.
In illustration of "Where nought is to wend [wed?] with, wise men flee the clog," I find in Winter's Tale, Act IV. Sc. 4, 1. 662:
ing away from his father with his clog at his heels," "The prince himself is about a piece of iniquity, stealwhere the clog is Perdita.
"As nice as a nun's hen."-This phrase, in the poem on "Women," edited by Mr. Halliwell from the Lambeth MS. (306) in Reliquiæ Antiqua
(i. 248), and by me in The Wright's Chaste Wife, Early English Text Society (1865, p. 25), is found in The Proverbs and Epigrams of John Heywood, just issued by the Spenser Society (p. 43):
"She tooke thenterteinment of the yong men
"Draffe was his errand, but drink he would.”This brings to my remembrance (by a remote association, I allow) an anecdote which was told by Sir Walter Scott, in a company where a gentleman was present who repeated it to me. Scotch laird had a servant named Thomas, who had been with him for many years, and the master was present at the servant's funeral. As they were lowering the body into the grave, the master was moved even to tears, and said with a sob:
"O Tammas, Tammas, I could have trusted you wi' untold gold!" but immediately appearing to recollect, he added, wiping his eyes-"but no' wi G. unmeasured whiskey.'
THE MOTHER OF GRATIAN (3rd S. xii. 392.)The story is given in the Life of Gratian, prefixed to the Decretum, fol. Lugd. 1572. C. P. E.
BLAEU'S ATLAS (3rd S. xii. 463.)-I possess a copy of Blaeu's Atlas, folio, six vols., published in Amsterdam, 1654. There is a copy in the House of Commons' Library. Not only are the English and Scotch maps of the greatest possible interest to all topographical inquirers, but the maps of other countries and their districts are equally curious. I may add, some years ago I was offered
a large price by a learned friend if I would part
with my copy.
"VIA PERFICIENDORUM (3rd S. xii. 434.)—
C. P. L. wishes to know what divines draw a
distinction between monks who are in via perficiendorum, and prelates who are perfecti.
Your correspondent will find the question treated of by St. Thomas Aquinas, Summ. Theol. 2nda 2ndae, q. 134, art. 5 and 6.
"Homines statum perfectionis (i. e. monastic life) assumunt nom quasi profitentes seipsos perfectos esse, sed profitentes se ad perfectionem tendere. Episcopi autem (St. Thomas expressly excludes "prelati" as suchi) quia sunt in statu perfectionis," &c.
He quotes from St. Dionysius, Eccles. Hierarch. сар. 5 :
"Dionysius attribuit perfectionem episcopis tanquam perfectioribus; et attribuit perfectionem religiosis quos vocat monachos vel feparevrás, id est, Deo famulantes, tanquam perfectis."
"Dionysius dicit Pontificum quidem ordo consummativus est et perfectivus, sacerdotum autem illuminativus.'"
D. J. K.
QUAKERISM (3rd S. xii. 450.)—Will you allow me to set LORD HOWDEN right as to a matter of fact alluded to in his article on Quakerism? In the latter part of it he comments on what he supposes is the case, that "the Quakers have never appeared in France as a sect." I wish to inform him that there are, and have been for years, small bodies of Friends living at Nismes, and also at Congenies, Fontanès, and one or two other villages in that part of France, where Protestantism has most flourished. As to why they are not more I think the fact that "the government only pays numerous, I presume the causes are various; but a certain number of recognised communions," hinted by LORD HOWDEN, cannot be one, because not thinking it right to make the preaching of the Gospel a matter of payment, they, of course, neither pay their ministers nor ask the governbably be one cause as not likely to find many ment to do so. Their peace principles may proadvocates among a people so warlike as the French. R. B.