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dence more auspiciously than I had foreseen, I venture to offer these suggestions as my leisure will permit.

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I. 'Purg.' i. 31. Vidi presso di me un veglio solo.




On the very threshold of any comments on the Purgatorio' the above line challenges investigation, as of more practical import than Dante's departure from the then orthodox, traditional, or scholastic scheme as to the position or locality of Purgatory, and than the astronomical and allegorical values of the (of 1. 23) Two questions quattro stelle here occur to the beginner: the one textual, the other theological How is it that commentators have unanimously identified the veglio "of this line with Cato of Utica? Though alluded to twice as the veglio (here and in the next Canto. 1. 119), his name appears nowhere in the text, except in Inf. xiv. 15, as "Cato senior." The matter was settled by 1. 74 :


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In Utica la morte, ove lasciasti, etc. The allusion could only fit Cato Junior, but still (a second question), how came it that so Christian a poet as Dante selected a pagan as warden or custodian of a region which was reserved for the souls of those undergoing a

process of purification to render them worthy of entrance into Paradise? Cary has a characteristic note in reply to this problem :

The commentators, and Lombardi amongst the rest, might have saved themselves and their readers much needless trouble if they would have consulted the prose writings of Dante with more diligence. In the Convito, p. 211, he has himself declared his opinion of the illustrious Roman. Quale uomo terreno più degno fu di significare Iddio, che Catone? Certo nullo."


Lombardi's offence was evidently his defence of Dante's introduction of Cato into his poem, without reference to the Convito, and which commences thus:



I regard the last sentence of this quotation as the best explanation and defence of Dante's strange choice of Cato that any commentator, so far as I know, has ever produced. The implied parallel between the two heathens, Cornelius and Cato, and the application of Peter's words (in the original: Ἐν παντὶ ἔθνει ὁ φοβούμενος αὐτὸν και ἐργαζόμενος δικαιοσύνην, δεκτὸς αὐτῷ ἐστι

or law, are masterly. The Dean's insight into the poet's thought in this matter is unique and savours of thought reading across the ages. This absolves him from his commonplace rendering of the line under discussion by

La supposizione, che non possa quì dal poeta nostro collocarsi Catone, se non per farlo un dì passare al Paradiso, ha recato non leggero imbarazzo alla mente di tutti quanti hanno fin ora scritto sopra questo passo.

More modern expositors, with a fuller knowledge, are wiser in their generation. Thus Dean Plumptre observes :

yet lower down. Lucan, however (probably also the single reference in En. viii. 670), had obviously impressed Dante's mind with a profound admiration for Cato as one of the great heroes of the ancient world. He had chosen death rather than the loss of liberty (Mon. ii. 5). He was worthy, more than any man, to be a type of God, whose call he obeyed even in the manner of his death. Marcia's return to him was a parallel of the soul's return to God (Conv. iv. 28). He became the representative instance of the law of Acts x. 35.


The choice of Cato as the warder of Purgatory appears strange enough. As a virtuous heathen, he might have been placed with his wife, Marcia, in the limbus of H. ii.; as suicide, he might have been lowered, like Peter de Vineâ, to the seventh circle of Hell (H. xiii. 58); as an enemy of Cæsar, he might have gone


I saw, hard by, an old man standing sole, to which the exigences of rhyme drove him. Bianchi is curiously silent on this episode; Scartazzini remarks (inter alia) appositely:

Lo mise dunque come custode all'ingresso del Purgatorio, condannandolo ed in pari tempo assolvendolo Cantone è condannato a star lì sino al giudizio finale, allora potra entrare nella gioia del Paradiso;

and Tozer supplies a thought or two worth reproducing here :

The explanation of this [Dante's choice of one who was a pagan and suicide to occupy the position of Guardian of Purgatory] is to be found in the estimate that was formed of Cato in the middle ages. Like Virgil, he was idealized; and in the process of idealization such points in his character and life as might have been prejudicial to him passed out of view. Dante himself says of him in the Convito (iv. 28, 11. 121-3: Quale uomo,' ," etc. [ut supra]. But the primary cause of his selection for this particular office is to be found in a line of Virgil (Aen. viii. 670), where he is describing Elysium : 'Secretosque pios; his dantem jura Catonem.”



But, after all, why attempt any justification of Dante's selection of Cato? If he chose to run counter to the theology of his day it was his own affair, not his critics'. Erasmus had just as much right to make the Religious Orders of his time, Benedictines, Brigitines, Cistercians, Augustinians (his own Order), the butt of his satire by his exclamation :

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II. Ibid., 74.5.

ove lasciasti La veste ch' al gran dì sarà sì chiara.

more modern poets, Dante made sure of his astronomical premisses before he deduced his moral conclusions therefrom. As Dean Church, in his classical essay on the poet, observes (ed. 1897, p. 177):


There is a charm, an imaginative charm to him, not merely in the sensible magnificence of the heavens in their silence, and light, and watchfulness," but in the system of Ptolemy and the theories of astrology; and he delights to interweave the poetry of feeling and of the outward sense with the grandeur-so far as he knew it of order, proportion, measured magnitudes, the relations of abstract forces, displayed on such a scene as the material universe, as if he wished to show that imagination in its boldest flight was not afraid of the company of the clear and subtle intellect.


One wonder's what our poet's verdict
Darwin and his latest exponent, Sir Arthur
Keith, would have been. Presumably the
author of the line ('Inf.' iii. 115) :

Similemente il mal seme d'Adamo.

with his Eusebian chronology of the world's
duration (5232), would have placed them in
Charon's lethal boat. That he would have
welded their as yet embryonic deductions into
poem is clear, for, to quote Dean Church



A lack of charity was not one of Dante's vices, for here he promises, through Virgil, final entrance into Paradise to a positive heathen. Plumptre doubts this explanation, yet, looking to the position of Rifeo in Par.,' xx. 68," admits it as possibly Dante's meaning." Of course it is. Pious pagans were always dealt with favourably antist. in our poet's theology: Virgil, Rifeo, Cato, Trajan (Par.' x. 44). Dan. xii. 3 was probably in his mind all through: Qui autem docti fuerunt, fulgebunt quasi splendor firmamenti; et qui ad justitiam erudiunt multos quasi stellæ in perpetuas æternitates." (Vulgate Version).


III. Ibid., iv. 61.
Castore e Polluce.


"We seem," observes Plumptre on the passage wedged between 11. 57-80, "in all these astronomical passages, to see the poet with his globe and astrolabe before him working out his problems," and adds ('Inf.' xii. 113), Dante, like Milton, was fond of showing that the poet could also be a man of science ('Par. Lost,' viii. 1-150)." Dante's astronomy (Ptolemaic) was, like his theology, antiquated, whilst Milton's was necessarily Copernican, albeit he uses (loc. cit.) some phrases of the elder system. Unlike some


modern poetry, by making not merely nature,
he had anticipated the latest schools
but science tributary to a poetry with whose
general aim and spirit it has little in common-
tributary in its exact forms, even in its techni-


He would have gloried in the epithet obscur

J. B. McGoVERN. F.S.A., SCOT., F.PH.S. Redgarth, Clothorn Road, Didsbury.



The undermentioned scratch dials have not, I believe, received any notice in printed lists.

Roxby Church, Lincolnshire; on a buttress on the S. side of the church; clearly not in situ.

Walkingham Church, Nottinghamshire; near the E. jamb of the priest's door; apparently this is in situ.


Both are of the commonest type, No. III. in Dom. E. Horne's catalogue of varieties, described by him as follows: The stylehole made in a stone, with lines radiating from it downwards only.'


I believe there is a similar dial at Stragglethorpe, near Newark, but I have not seen it. P. B. G. B.

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Readers' Queries.


DOUBLE PISCINAS. In the church of "there is a fine trefoilheaded double piscina of early English date: one basin has six lobes, the other four, both unusually deep: the basin of six lobes is that nearest to the high altar. Has it been noted whether or not such double piscinas have any special significance ? CHARLES SWYNNERTON.


THE MARRIAGE OF CATHERINE THE GREAT. In the book Catherine the Great,' by Katherine Anthony (Jonathan Cape), it is stated (pp. 65, 66) that when her heroine's marriage was arranged, the Empress Elizabeth of Russia the case of the

riage between her nephew, the Grand-Duake (Peter III) and the bride (a Princess of Anhalt Zerbst) before the Archbishop of Novgorod and the Synod to see of it was lawful, and that the Synod replied that the relationship between the contracting parties was not objected to as they were related on the maternal side only, their relationship was merely the shadow of a relationship." " On p. 216 the author repeats this story about the Empress. "She had herself married cousin when she came to Russia."




But did she? Not a first cousin surely, and the Orthodox Church forbids that only, unless I am mistaken. The pedigree of the Dukes of Holstein-Gottorp in the Cambridge Modern History says of the parents of



Peter III, that his father the Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, and the mother of Catherine II, his wife (the latter was Johanna Elizabeth of Holstein-Gottorp, Princess of Anhalt Zerbst) were first cousins. This would make the Empress and her spouse second cousins; surely a very different degree in the eyes of

the Orthodox Church.


A MS. BOOK OF PEDIGREES.-On p. 181 of the Diary of Abraham de la Pryme (Surtees Society, liv.) mention is made of a folio MS. containing arms and pedigrees of sixty-five Yorkshire families,


collected by Thomas Perkins of Fishlake, Esq. An editorial footnote gives an extract from Thoresby's Diary, to the effect that on 4 Feb., 1721, he was engaged in " making an index to Mr. Perkins's manuscripts.'

Can any reader of N. & Q.' give a clue to the present whereabouts of this interesting P. B. G. B.

volume ?

R. D. BLACKMORE AND EDEN PHILLPOTTS.-In Report and Transactions of the Devonshire Association for the Advance

ment of Science, etc. (Torquay, July, 1918), (vol. 1., p. 384, Miss Larter says that Mr. Phillpotts's tribute to Blackmore's memory on the occasion of the unveiling of the "Memorial Window and Tablet in Exeter Cathedral, on 23 April, 1904, was widely reported.' Devon Notes and Queries, vol. iii., January, 1904, to October, 1905, pp. 80-81, indicates that the unveiling took place on 26 April. I am anxious to verify the date, and also to ascertain whether a verbatim report of the speech was printed at the time. M. BUXTON FORMAN.

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WORDSWORTH'S LIBRARY.—In T.P.'s Weekly for 17 Sept. is a very interesting "What Wordsarticle by Arnold Varty on worth Read," based on a catalogue of the sale of Wordsworth's library in a coachhouse at Rydal Mount, in July, 1859. Where is this catalogue? It certainly ought to be in the Wordsworth Collection at Dove Cottage, Grasmere. It contains notes of great interest by "A. W. D." Who was this? The sale included several important items:

Wordsworth's autograph. (a) Byron's Works,' 4 vols., 1830, with

(b) Southey's Vision of Judgment,' 1821. Presentation copy to Wordsworth.


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(c) Wordsworth's Works,' 6 vols., 1837, bought by Thomas Kerslake of Bristol.


(d) Political Disquisitions,' 3 vols., 1774. From Thomas De Quincey to William Wordsworth, Grasmere, June 22nd, 1810.” (e) Epigrammaton Libri. XIIII.' liam Wordsworth, presented by Walter Savage Landor.



(f) Sir Thos. Browne's 'Religio Medici,'


1669; autographed "Wm. Wordsworth, given to him by Charles Lamb." (g) Hone's Table Talk,' 2 vols., 1827, with Lamb's autograph.

(h) Poems by Robert Burns, chiefly in the Scottish dialect, 2 vols., 1793, with MS. marginal glossary, "In the handwriting of my dear Sister done long ago.

Can anyone say where these particular items now are?




I possess two was he? He


IR HENRY BROWNE. letters by him. Who writes from 66 Bromrylln," on 25 Feb., 1836, as to a celebration of St. David's day in ChesThe letter is addressed to "J. Finchett Maddock," Chester, who was M.P. for the city. The second letter is dated 28 Sept., 1843, and deals with an inscription to be placed on a testimonial. What testimonial is referred to? T. CANN HUGHES, F.S.A. IONS AND EAGLES: USE IN SYM

BOLISM.-A common feature in York stained-glass is a lion sejant and cowed on the one hand, as opposed to an eagle on the other. These are generally thought to be royal badges and to refer to Edward IV. But they are to be seen in glass before his time, and appear in the side canopies of the south transept window of Liège Cathedral, which was executed in 1530. What are they intended to symbolize? The only instance in the Bible where the two are mentioned together is at 2 Sam. i. 23, where they are used as a symbol of swiftness as opposed to strength. The lion can hardly be the lion of Judah-a type of Christ-for it is always sitting with its tail between its legs. J A. KNOWLES.

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ROSE MEDHOP: PARENTAGE. Edmund Medhop, clerk to the Irish Parliament, 1616. A grantee of lands in King's Co. (17 James I.), also in Wexford Co. (18 James I.). Married in 1615, Elizabeth, one of the daughters of Sir John Picton, of Picton Castle, Pembrokeshire.

In an Inquisition dated 14 Jan., 1623, King's Co., Edmund Medhop is stated to have died 19 Sept., 1621, leaving a son, Francis, six years old at the time of his father's death. His widow, Elizabeth (died later same year) to have the third part of his estate. This son, Francis Medhop, may have been later the Capt. Francis Medhop listed 'among the "'49 Officers."

Was the aforesaid Edmund also the father of Rose Medhop, who married, 1639, Capt. Trevor Lloyd, of Bodidris yn Vale, Denbighshire, from whom descended the Lloyd family of Gloster, King's Co. ?

Any information throwing light upon the parentage of Rose Medhop would be gratefully received.



LIQUID BUTTER.-In Charles Pendrill's London Life in the 14th Century' I find the following: At that time [1377] butter was sold in liquid or semi-liquid form at the rate of three-half-pence a pint, and a cheese called 'talgar' was brought as far away as Wales."

It is also stated that: "The Hanse or engaged in the importation of cheese." Hanseatic League were a trading company

that in the fourteenth century butter sold What is the authority for the statement in London was in a liquid state?


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HOUSE OF HAMILTON (See clii. 369; cliii. 216). Referring to the enquiry in your issue of May 21, and also to Mr. HAMILTON-EATON's enquiry in your last issue, may I give you my name and address as the gatherer of information for a new edition of Anderson's 'House of Hamilton.' I have almost completed my researches up to the L year 1700, and am now proceeding with the second portion from 1700 to the present date. I will gladly welcome additional information from your readers. Castle House, GEORGE HAMILTON, Park Hill, Bexley. Lieut.-Colonel.

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SIR EVAN MORRICE (MORRIS) OF CARNARVONSHIRE.-Can any reader throw light on this person, and on the stock he sprang from? It appears he was Chancellor of the Diocese of Exeter, 1594, dying 1605. His son, Sir William Morrice, was born at St. Martin's, Exeter, Nov. 6, 1602. Am I correct in surmising the mother to be Mary, daughter of John Castle Scobchester, Ashbury, Devon, who became third wife of Sir Nicholas Prideaux of Solden, who died Oct. 2, 1647 ? ANEURIN WILLIAMS.


SOR CASTLE.-It would be of interest to ascertain the name of those who undertook to produce the material described in the following paragraph, also where it was made, and the cost:

From The Times of Sept. 20, 1827. WINDSOR CASTLE TAPESTRY.-The first order given by His Majesty for silk drapery of British manufacture for the State rooms of Windsor Castle is nearly completed, although but four looms have been employed upon it. It is almost impossible to give any adequate idea of the richness of the manufacture intended for the Castle, and the best judges who have seen it are decidedly of the opinion that it is far superior to anything produced in France. For the principal room of the suite of State apartments of the Castle the drapery is composed of crimson velvet on the richest satin ground, and is embellished by a large tulip-figured pattern. Between the figures a space of about one inch and a half is left, and here appears the satin ground, richly corded. This forms a relief of the most splendid character. His Majesty, we are told, on choosing the pattern, instantly perceived that something was required to dispel the heaviness displayed by the raised velvet figure of the tulip, and suggested with exquisite taste that the satin ground should appear prominently, This has been done, and the effect which will be produced, when the apartments shall have been hung and lighted up, will be splendid in the extreme. J. LANDFEAR LUCAS.


(cliii. 190, 231).

THERE must be thousands of people who have witnessed this spontaneous ignition of bubbles of marsh gas (Methane) generated from decaying vegetation under water and forming a highly explosive compound when mixed with the oxygen of the air. The finest display. I ever saw was among the reeds on the banks of the Weiher, at Langen-Schwalbach, in the torrid August of 1893, when I made notes of the occurrence. The little flames darted backwards and forwards, or sprang into the air incessantly, and with other visitors I watched them for a long time. I shall be surprised if you get no replies from Ireland. I saw the ingnis fatuus often in the marshes on Clare I. (Co. Mayo) in the equally torrid August of 1911, and many others of the scientists who were there then, upon the Royal Irish Academy's Survey, saw them also. EDWARD HERON-ALLEN.

This name and its various synonyms are the offspring of popular ignorance, and they seem to have arisen from the phosphorescence seen on decaying vegetable matter. This manifestation must at all times have been very puzzling, and I do not know the cause of it. There was a wood near a school adjoining Sheffield, where I was a boarder, into which I used to go after dark with other boys. Here we saw scattered all over the ground pieces of luminous rotten wood, which the people called " spunk," and I see in Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary that spunkie" is a name of the ignis fatuus. One night I put a piece of this spunk into my pocket, and laid it on the sill of my bedroom window. It gave out no heat, but it retained its ghastly brightness during the night, and I was not easy about it. So after some hours' sleep I woke in the dark, and flung it out of the window. I was then about eleven years old.


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S. O. ADDY. By enquiry in two distinct rural districts I find spots-in both ground sloping towards a stream-connected with traditional sight of the will-o'-the-wisp. In one case the inhabitant who was reported to have seen it was the wise woman, or curer of warts of the parish, and known to me personally in my childhood. Another case was that of a

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