« PreviousContinue »
events. First, concerning the classical witches.
Thou shalt have all when I die, and that will be
can make the spirits
Of the entombed to burst out from their marbles. She also speaks of raising storms and hurting men by means of waxen images and otherwise. The modern witches were commonly supposed to change themselves to cats, hares, moorfowl, and other animals, and the witch in Macbeth,' who is about to take a voyage in a sieve, proposes to do so in the likeness of a rat without a tail. When witches transformed themselves to animals they could not give themselves tails. Shakspeare makes his witches vanish into air. This is hardly a greater marvel than their transformation into animals. Titania, in 'Midsummer Night's Dream,' says to Bottom :
I will purge thy mortal grossness so,
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.
If a fairy could do so much for a mortal, the witches could do as much for themselves with the aid of the devil. Charms, incantations, herbs, were used by the classical witches and by those of Christian times. But the ancient enchantresses coerced the powers of nature. The modern witches invoked the devils, who gave their aid conditionally.
Though Shakspeare's weird sisters are witches of the common sort, those mentioned by Holinshed seem to have been Norns, the Fates themselves, or Valkyrs, like the fatal sisters of Gray's ode. These were demi-goddesses. It is, however, possible that the beings mentioned by Holinshed were merely women gifted with the power of second sight.
Were all suspected passages "amended " on the same scale, the authorship of the plays would become a joint-stock affair, in which Shakspeare's quota would be but small. This passage may be turned into excellent sense by a slight change of punctuation and the alteration of one word :
Fear o'ershades me.
Good expedition be my friend and comfort!
'JULIUS CÆSAR,' IV. iii. 218 (8th S. ii. 63).— Readers who do not possess Boccaccio's' Filostrato❜ may perhaps like to see the original Italian of PROF. SKEAT's illustration from Chaucer :
Se una sol volta ha nel mondo ventura
'CORIOLANUS,' I. ix. 41-6 (7th S. xii. 423; 8th S. i. 103). According to Schmidt, overture equals (1) disclosure, communication; (2) proposal, offer; and in no instance is the word used in the sense that MR. INGLEBY uses it, viz., messenger. If the pronoun him be retained it seems to be necessary to conclude that overture is an error for some word applicable to a person. In the Folio it is printed with a capital 0, and as C is easily mistaken for that letter, the MS. may have had
Let him be made a Creature for the wars;
but this does not give a good antithesis. Creature is used in its contemptuous sense without a qualifying adjective in Antony and Cleopatra," III. iii. 44, and 'Julius Caesar,' II. i. 132.
V. i. 67-69.—Shakespeare follows the historian (except that the interval is reduced from thirty days to an hour) and sends two ambassadors to intercede, but Cominius is the first of these, and Menenius the second; there is no hint of any having been sent before Cominius. With regard to the continuation of the speech, I do not see how "to yield to his conditions" can mean to make them yield." Even if we suppose that the Volscians MR. WATKISS LLOYD proposes a sweeping from him that he would not make any concessions, before they trusted Coriolanus exacted an oath emendation in the middle lines:
it is difficult to believe that he would write this to Cominius. To shelter himself behind an oath to
The gracious queen; and pardon his crime, but offspring the Volscians, by making it an excuse for his
Of his ill-ta'en suspicion.
king (to whom voi is always used), or whenever it is wished to show much respect and voi is used, the longer and more correct form that is, voi avevate, &c.-must be used.
sternness, is scarcely a trait of the arbitrary cha-is, I think, shown by the fact that in addressing a racter that the dramatist is depicting. It is more in keeping with the man's nature to represent him as writing his conditions to the Romans and confirming them by an oath. He makes some slight concessions to Menenius, apparently without consulting his colleague, and I cannot see that the text supports the view that he was under any oath to the Volscians. G. JOICEY.
'MERCHANT OF VENICE,' III. v. 82.-
This is the reading of the first quarto. I would like to suggest that the original MS. had winne, which was misread meane. Since Bassanio finds the joys of heaven on earth, then in reason he should not enter heaven, unless he live uprightly so as to win it by his good deeds. Elsewhere Shakespeare has such phrases as win a paradise," "a heaven on earth I've won"; and in Heywood's "If you know not me," part ii. I. i., there is the phrase "win heaven":
If you will follow the religious path
ITALIAN IDIOM.—The following Italian idiom is, I should say, but little known in England. When, namely, a single individual is addressed as voi (= Fr. vous), it is the custom, when the imperfect of the indicative is used (but with that tense only), to put the verb not in the second person plural, as might be expected, but in the second person singular. Thus, voi avevi, voi regalavi, &c. (for the idiom applies to all the conjugations), is what is commonly heard, and voi avevate, voi | regalavate, &c., are considered pedantic-at any rate in Tuscany, for my authority is a Tuscan lady at present on a visit at my house. Her explanation is that, after all, the voi is used of one person only, and so the verb is put in the singular; but here she is clearly wrong, for else we should have the same idiom in all the tenses, and should hear and find voi hai, voi avrai, &c., which are never used. The true explanation seems to me to be that the second person plural of the imperfect-as e.g., avevate, regalavate is disagreeably long, and so, in defiance of grammatical rules, the shorter and more euphonious second person singular is used, for which the only possible excuse is that offered by this Italian lady. If my explanation is correct, we may compare it with the wellknown familiar use in French of the shorter and more euphonious present subjunctive, such as aime, aimions, &c., after a past tense, instead of the more correct, but longer and harsher, imperfect subjunctive, such as aimasse, aimassions, &c. That this explanation of mine is the correct one
I am told this idiom is to be found in Petrocchi's 'Italian Grammar'; but it is not in any Italian grammar which I possess or which I have seen. F. CHANCE. Sydenham Hill.
CITY WOOD CARVING.-It is a tolerably wellknown fact that there are many excellent examples of wood carving about the City of London churches, from St. Paul's Cathedral downward, and visitors have often expressed their admiration of the marvellous beauty of such workmanship. Some has only been rescued from plaster or varnish quite recently, for instance, the exquisite pulpit of St. Giles's, Cripplegate, which is well worth careful examination. In these times of demolition there is reason to fear that much of the carving of the old masters is carted away without ceremony, and therefore it is gratifying to see that a remarkable gateway of this handicraft has been so carefully preserved in the entrance-porch of Allhallows Church, Lombard Street, seeing that it is adorned with the open Bible, cherubs' heads, leaves, hourglasses, skulls, and crossbones. A brass plate thus records its story :
to Allhallows Church soon after the great fire of Lon"This ancient gateway was erected in Lombard Street don, and was removed to this place when the buildings adjoining in Lombard Street were rebuilt in 1865.
Edward Robert Rigby, Church wardens."
"GEE !-Wo!"-These words, so far as I can find, were not thought worth placing on the list of "Interjections" by grammar-book compilers. They are rarely found in dictionaries. There can, I suppose, be little doubt that "Wo!" as an exclamation used to check a horse, is "Woe !" In the Eastern Counties (and perhaps elsewhere) it often takes the sound of "Way" (like the German Weh'). Is "Gee!" "Go!" notwithstanding the soft g? The French Gee! has the g hard. If my surmise be correct, that "Gee!" is "Go!" it looks as if the French Gee! were a Germanic survival. Perhaps some reader of 'N. & Q.' could give instances where, in other languages, exclamations like "Gee !" and "Wo!" are used to stop or urge Į
on beasts of burden or draught. Wedgwood, quoting Halliwell, says: "Gee, to agree, to fit, to suit with, is from Gee!' the exclamation to make a horse go on"; but he does not suggest any derivation of "Gee!" "Wo!" he thinks may be explained by the Finnish Woh! used to represent the sound of panting (?). HENRY ATTWELL. Barnes.
"BLESSED."-The earliest quotation in the 'N. E. D.' for this word, used euphemistically or ironically, is 1806. Smollett twice uses the word in 'The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves,'
"The contents were never exactly known but to the parties themselves; nevertheless, the effects were too visible, for, from that blessed moment, he spoke not one word to any living creature for the space of three days" (c. iv.). "Good lack! a' has been mortally obstropolous, and out of his senses all this blessed day" (c. xvi.).
F. C. BIRKBECK TERRY.
REV. GEORGE Croly, LL.D.—In the account of this well-known divine in the 'Dictionary of National Biography' it is stated that, leaving his curacy in the north of Ireland in 1810, he came to London, and devoted himself to literary pursuits. Jordan, the editor of the Literary Gazette, to which Croly was a leading contributor, endeavoured to procure for him Church preferment, but failed in doing so. But in 1835, through the recommendation of Lord Brougham, Lord Chancellor Lyndhurst gave him the rectory of St. Stephen's, Walbrook.
It may not, however, be known that previously to that date he had been appointed curate-incharge to St. Edward's, Romford, a duty which the parish registers show he discharged from April, 1832, to September, 1835, when he was promoted to the before-mentioned rectory.
TENNYSON'S CROSSING THE BAR.'-When this poem was first published, on reading it I was struck with the similarity of ideas in it and in chapter xvi. of Dickens's 'Dombey and Son,' in which Dickens gives an account of little Paul Dombey's death; of the river running all day, and at last carrying him out to sea to meet his dead mother at the river's mouth. 'Dombey and Son' was written many years before 'Crossing the Bar,' and it still appears to me that Tennyson may from it have picked up the idea. At all events, the sentiment of the two passages is wonderfully alike. E. E. S.
THE VERB "TO WARP."-Having observed two recent notes in your columns on the word "warp" used as a noun, I ask to be permitted to draw attention to a use of the verb "to warp" that does
not seem to have been noticed in N. & Q, and of which I find no explanation in Mr. Skeat's Dictionary.' My quotation is from 'Paradise Lost,' book i. 338:The potent rod
Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day,
Wav'd round the coast, up-call'd a pitchy cloud Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind. A Lancashire friend, to whom I mentioned the matter, contends that the word is synonymous with breeding. In his native county, he says, warping signifies laying of eggs; and a boy will inquire how many eggs a thrush warps. J. LATIMER
MRS. MARY DELANY (1700-1788).—It may be of interest to note, as an addition to the account of her appearing in 'Dict. Nat. Biog.,' vol. xiv. p. 308, that the death of her first husband is thus chronicled in Mawson's 'Obits,' a small folio volume (marked "E.D.N. 61") preserved in the College of Arms :—
Strand, Alexander Pendarvis, Esq, Member of Parliam "1724-5. March 8th dyed in Beaufort Buildings in the for the Burrough of Dunhivid, alias Launceston in the County of Cornwall,"
His burial is recorded in the register of the Savoy
17, Hilldrop Crescent, N.
CHAPEL.-"Where God hath a temple, the Divill will have a chappell" says dear old Robert Burton ('Anat. Mel.,' 1652, p. 640). From this passage it is probable that Defoe got the idea of the oft-quoted lines in the 'True-Born Englishman ’: Wherever God erects a house of prayer,
The Devil always builds a chapel there.
The idea did not originate with us, for in Stallybrass's translation of Grimm's 'Teutonic Mythology,' vol. iii. p. 1002, we find the following quotation:
"The Devil builds away his chapel and nobiskrug where God his church hath set."-Andr. Musculus's 'Housenteufel,' 1630, p. 16.
Thornbury may not have been among the great of records that he attended the funeral in “ the sons of song, but nearly every line of his verse large church and a great chapel"; but he does not that I have read has considerable merit. There is say what the church was. Myngs lived, when on one of his ballads which appeared in some maga-shore, in Goodman's Fields, Whitechapel; but I zine, the name I have forgotten, which I have am informed by the rector of St. Mary's, Whiteunsuccessfully hunted after at intervals for the chapel, that he is not buried there. Can MR. last twenty years. I should be ashamed to let HIPWELL, or any of your readers, say where he was your readers know how many piles of magazines buried? J. K. LAUGHTON. I have turned over in the British Museum and elsewhere in the vain hope of coming upon it. The ballad relates to a fight in an inn during the great Civil War. A young girl is the most prominent character.
The only fragment that sticks to my memory
And Wogan and Hurst,
'OBSERVATIONS IN MARCH.'- In a curious little book of old medicine called 'Ram's Little Dodeon,' 1606, professing to be an abridgment of Lyte's translation of Dodoens's 'Historie of Plants,' though really having little in common with that work, occur the following curious lines. They are placed under the head of Observations in March. They are to me quite unintelligible;
And I am by no means sure that the name I have but perhaps they have a meaning, which some given as Wogan should not be Capel.
Dunstan House, Kirton-in-Lindsey.
We must request correspondents desiring information on family matters of only private interest to affix their names and addresses to their queries, in order that the answers may be addressed to them direct.
AMBROSE GWINETT AND GOLDSMITH. - Mr. Theodore Watts, in the Athenæum of Sept. 10, 1881, tells an amusing story of how he awakened the sympathies of George Borrow by referring to a very scarce eighteenth century pamphlet narrating the history of Ambrose Gwinett, the man who, after having been hanged and gibbeted for murdering a traveller with whom he had shared a doublebedded room at a seaside inn, revived in the night, escaped from the gibbet-irons, went to sea as a common sailor, and afterwards met on a British man-of-war the very man he had been hanged for murdering.
Borrow told Mr. Watts that the pamphlet was written by Goldsmith, from Gwinett's dictation, for a platter of cow-heel. Borrow, romancer as he was, would hardly have made this statement without some authority. Is any such authority known? JAMES HOOPER.
reader of N. & Q.' may be able to supply.
Look how, my dear, the feathered kind,
should like to learn who was the author of the poem, and when it was first published. In the volume mentioned the source is given as 'The Satyrs of Boileau, Imitated,' 1696; but though I have searched the British Museum Catalogue, I cannot find anything answering the description. FRANK E. BLISS.
Hawthornden, Queen's Ride, Barnes, Surrey.
'THE HOMILY BOOK.'-If there was published in the reign of Queen Elizabeth a book called The Homily Book,' out of which the clergymen read homilies instead of preaching sermons, what would a copy of the same cost? P. W. H.
PARLIAMENT: LORD BURLEIGH.-In Blackstone's 'Commentaries,' vol. i. bk. i. chap. ii. p. 161 (tenth ed., 1787), occurs the following: "It was a known apophthegm of the great Lord Treasure Burleigh, that England could never be ruined but
LIVERY COMPANIES OF LONDON.-In Hazlitt's 'Livery Companies of London,' 1892, I find mention (p. 302) of an official list" of the freemen in the Ironmongers' Company in 1699. Their number was then one hundred. But as the guild was of much greater antiquity, having a charter in 1457, I would gladly know if there are not earlier lists extant of the members, not merely of ironmongers, but of any other guilds. Such lists would often show, like those in medieval Germany, how many mechanics made their marks, but would be a mine of long desiderated genealogical matter.
Madison, Wis., U.S.
JAMES D. BUTLER.
ROBERT FERGUSSON, SCOTS POET.-The maiden name of the poet's mother was Forbes, and one of the incidents of his brief life is concerned with the visit which he paid, at the age of seventeen, to an uncle of the same name (Forbes) in the neighbourhood of Aberdeen. I am anxious to get information as follows: Mother's full name; family; where born; and particulars as to the poet's uncle, exact neighbourhood in which he lived, &c. A. N.
41, College Road, College Park, W.
DEBARTUS.-Mr. Luttrell, in his 'Diary' for April 8, 1699, says that "another great fish, called a debartus, has been seen at the mouth of the River Thames, but as yet not taken." Will any learned ichthyologist explain what sort of fish this same debartus is? I have a note that the late Frank Buckland was once asked this question. His answer is not on record. W. F. W.
GEORGE WASHINGTON A CUMBRIAN.— "The Pacquet mentions that an American gentleman has been in Whitehaven, searching for records of the ancestry of George Washington. The English home of the male branch of the family will probably always be
in dispute, but it is established that the President's grandmother was Mildred Warner, who married Lawrence Washington, and, after his death, George Gale, of Whitehaven. The link has long been missed, through the entry of her name in the death register as Gale, not Washington. It is stated that the intimate connexion between Cumberland and Virginia will be shown by some correspondence which a New York Club is about to publish."-East Cumberland News, Sept. 24.
When will English people have the opportunity of seeing this correspondence? V. E.
WESLEY AND THE MICROSCOPE.-John Wesley, in one of his sermons, speaks of the discoveries made by the microscope, and says that it was still doubtful whether the objects seen by its aid in water were living things or specks of non-living matter. Can any of your readers refer me to the passage, or, what would be still better, print it in your columns? As far as I remember, it would not take up more than four or five lines.
PARGITER, DERING, AND FERRIES.-The following entry occurs at p. 223 of the Vicar-General's Marriage Allegations' (Harl. Soc., vol. xxx.), January 20, 1686:
40, and Eleanor Pargiter, of St. Giles in the Fields, "Henry Dering, of the Inner Temple, Bachelor, about Spinster, about 20, with consent of her brother in law La Ferries (8.0.), her Parents dead; at St Giles aforesaid or (-)."
I suspect this is the lady who afterwards, as widow of "Sir Edward Dearling, B," married Charles Howe, of Gritworth (born 1661), third son of John Grubham Howe, and was mother of Leonora, wife of Peter Bathurst. I shall be glad of any assistance in tracing her first husband, Edward or Henry Dering, and her brother-in-law "Lord Ferries."
GROTE'S HISTORY OF GREECE.'-In what estimation is this work now held by scholars and competent judges? Is it as good as, or better than, Thirlwall's 'History'? If it is not so good, in what does Grote come short of his rival? Mr. Ruskin, I think, some years ago spoke of Grote's History' in terms more than derogatory; but Mr. Ruskin is not infallible. What are Grote's chief excellences and defects, if defects he has? At all events, Grote was considered worthy of a grave in Westminster Abbey.
from Yelverton to Prince Town, soon after passing “CATTLE-CREEP."-The branch line of railway Dousland, runs across Yennadon Down. In order to enable cattle grazing on the Down to cross the line, a passage has been made under the railway. This is known locally as the " cattle-creep." It is not intended for wheeled traffic, as there is a level crossing about a quarter of a mile off, and the bridge by which the railway crosses the "cattlecreep" is too low for a person to ride under. Can