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obvious, being the French word gite, formerly spelt giste, a derivative of gésir; Lat. jacere, to lie. The gist of a thing is the point in law whereon the action rests. According to analogy, the pronunciation ought to be with the soft g; and as there is hardly an instance where a soft g is hardened, but many of the contrary, there is no sort of excuse for pronouncing it hard.
WALTER W. SKEAT.
1, Cintra Terrace, Cambridge.
MYSTICS (4th S. i. 597.)-A commencement was made, in 1845, with the publication of the works of the German Mystics of the fourteenth century, by the appearance of the first volume of the intended series. This volume contains the works (in German) of Hermann von Fritslar, Nicolaus von Strassburg, and David von Augsburg; and were announced by the editor, Franz Pfeiffer, as being published for the first time. A second volume appeared in 1857, containing Meister Eckhart, who is described by the editor in his preface as one of the deepest thinkers of all times; and a second part to that volume is represented as intended to contain a literary and historical introduction, notes, and a glossary, &c. That part, however, appears not yet to have seen the light. The volume of Eckhart contains Predigten, Tractate, Sprüche, and a Liber Positionum. The dialect in which Eckhart wrote is the Alemannische. It is to be hoped that the editor will be able to complete his intention of publ shing all the works of the German Mystics of the fourteenth century, among whom he mentions Eckhart, Tauler, and Seuse as the chief. The editor praises the kindness and liberal aid of various learned men in Germany, &c., by whom he was assisted in collecting his materials; and mentions, with just encomium, the name of the Prefect of the Vatican, Augustin Theiner, by whose liberality he was put in possession of important papers from that library relating to Eckhart. The editor from this is led to express a hope that the doors of the Vatican archives, so long closed against the literati of Germany, will, under the rule of his learned countryman A. Theiner, be no longer shut as of old, and that the invaluable treasures there buried will be thrown open to the world. J. MACRAY. THREE WORDS OF A SORT (4th S. i. 605.)-The above phrase may not be quite usual, but the use of the word sort is most natural. Sort is, as everybody knows, from the Latin, sors, fate, a lot. Sorte is let in Italian; sorta is kind. The English word sort has both these meanings combined. The who "could not say three words of a person sort," was one who spoke in such a contradictory manner that the words (or signs of ideas) could not be assorted or classified. She could not speak three consistent words, three words that were able
BOOKS PLACED EDGEWISE IN OLD LIBRARIES (4th S. i. 577.)-Q. Q. asks how books thus placed were distinguished? In the library of King Edward's School, Birmingham, the old books, which have not been rebound, still bear traces of the method of arrangement with the leaf-edges in front. For instance, Golding's Ovid, 4to, 1567, had till lately, and Whitgift against Cartwright, fol. 1574, still has, a narrow slip of paper pasted along the margin of a page, part of which, projecting beyond the surface of the leaves when the book is closed and bent down over them, bears the title of the book, written lengthwise in largehand upon it. The oldest book in the library is a Virgil with the Commentaries of Servius, Ascensius, &c., 4to, Paris, printed by Thielman Kerver ad Kal. Feb. 1500-1. This has "Virgili " written in capitals across the leaves, after the manner of the Post Office Directory. Cowell's interpreter, 4to, 1607, is treated in a similar way.
Áll these books have subsequently (some seventy years ago, I should say) had written titles pasted on to their backs.
By-the-bye, I very much doubt whether Panzer or Brunck, who copies him verbatim (even to the misprint Parrhisis), ever saw the Virgil mentioned above. The following is a correct description of the title-page to the Æneid:
"This woful hande,' quod she, 'Ys strong ynogh in swiche a werke to me; For love shal me geve strengthe and hardynesse, To make my wounde large ynogh I gesse." Legende of Goode Women, Bell's ed. vol. viii. p. 73. Mr. Lovell, who has modernised some passages of Chaucer without spoiling them, renders this:"My woeful hand,' quoth she, 'Is strong enough in such a work for me; For love will give me strength and hardiness To make my wound full large enough, I guess.' Conversations on the Old Poets, p. 85, London, 1845.
In my copy, which I bought second-hand, some one knowing that Mr. Lovell was an American, and probably supposing "I guess" to be his and not Chaucer's, has added in the margin "And, if the first blow fail, my heart is great Enough to strike again, I calculate."
AMELIORATE (4th S. i. 604.)—We take the word ameliorate from the French améliorer, which is the Italian ammigliorare; and this again, like the Italian ammirare, to admire, involves the Latin preposition ad. Thus, admeliorare is a late Latin derivative of meliorare. There is no difficulty about it. WALTER W. SKEAT. 1, Cintra Terrace, Cambridge.
The French and English take this word, I conceive, from the Latin ad meliora. The structure of the following English words follows the same rule: averse, avouch, attune, attract, attest, attend, acrimony, account, accelerate, accession, accept, &c. The English word advocate has fully retained the preposition ad, but the d is lost in the French avocat, and the Italian avvocato. So in English adverse, admonish, address, admit, admirable, &c.
T. J. BUCKTON. TAULER AND LUTHER (4th S. i. 613.)—In reply to the first part of MR. KERSLAKE's note, I have only to say that the judgment I came to in reference to the volume supposed to contain Luther's handwriting has been confirmed by subsequent attention to the subject; but that I have no desire to disparage the relic, nor to oppose an opinion formed during a short observation to that which MR. KERSLAKE appears to maintain with confidence after many years of possession. In reply to the last paragraph, a purely personal one, I can only say that I have no proof that the books were sent "on inspection," as I imagined; nor did I think this point in the slightest degree important. The transaction took place more than nine years ago, and I believe I have given from memory an accurate statement of the facts. If in any matter, however trivial, I have "misunderstood or forgotten," I trust MR. KERSLAKE will accept my apology. J. ELIOT HODGKIN.
GOLD-ENAMELLED COFFIN (4th S. i. 604.) The little enamelled coffin with a skeleton in it (No. 8854, South Kensington Museum) is an object of devotion intended to awaken the thought of death in the soul of its owner. Little skulls and skeletons of ivory or wood, with serpents crawling through them and placed in glass cases, may frequently be seen in the bedrooms of old Italian and Spanish country houses. Their use was recommended by confessors and spiritual advisers during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Athenæum. A. R.
Gold enamelled coffin is merely a personal ornament-memento mori. The idea frequently occurs in Elizabethan jewellery and intaglios. J. C. J.
"TH' MON AT MESTER GRUNDY'S " (4th S. i. 390, 517, 619.)—I may perhaps be permitted to say to MR. T. T. WILKINSON that the late Mr. Harland did not possess a copy of the above song until (not very long before his death) I sent him a copy of it. The one I possess was printed at Preston by J. Hackness, and the first stanza is exactly as you have printed it in “N. & Q.,” June 27. When at a meeting of the Chetham Society I first named the song to him, he had doubts as to its being peculiar to Lancashire, and, as he observed, he had heard it sung on the stage at Hull forty years before. He remembered snatches of it; but, after reading the one (in manuscript) I sent him, he wrote to me saying he felt assured it had its origin in Lancashire. He further said that he had an ample collection of humorous songs decidedly Lancashire, and that if he published them he should certainly include this. I believe both "Mester" and "Mon" belonged to Berry in the county of Lancaster.
PORTRAIT OF Walter GrubbE, ESQ. (4th S. i. 604.)-This portrait was at Mr. Robert Ray's house, No. 22, Queen Square, Bloomsbury, in 1838. The date on the dog's collar was 1702, with the name of Walter Grubbe, who was Member of Parliament for Devizes (James II.), and also of the Convention, 1688. The representatives of Mr. Ray most probably are in possession of this picture. J. G. H.
"TELL THEM ALL THEY LIE" (4th S. i. 529, 590.) See This poem has been printed many times. Hallam's Hist. Lit. ii. 126, ed. 1843; Park's Censura, i. 171, ed. 1815; Nichols's Illustr. Lit. Hist. vi. 562; Ellis's Specimens, &c. &c. There are two versions in the British Museum in MS. Harl. 6910, fol. 141, and Harl. 2296, fol. 135. There is another
in the Chetham Library, Manchester. There have been a great many claims set up for the authorship; among them, Raleigh, Essex, Sylvester, Lord Pembroke (being printed with his Poems). Ritson in Bib. Poet. gives it to Davison, and Campbell to Richard Edwards. The number of versions and variations is legion: your version is printed in Nicolas's edition of Davison.
B. M. PICKERING.
BALIOL FAMILY (4th S. i. 189, 616.)—Of the two competitors for the Scottish throne, who presented the more tenable claims, Baliol undeniably stood first, and, but for his absence of kingly feeling and patriotic spirit, his race had permanently wielded the Scottish sceptre. He the border, and was closely allied with many belonged to a house illustrious on both sides of noble and puissant families. But his unworthy behaviour on the throne spoiled all. The representatives of his family have disowned his name. They have changed it to Baillie, Bayley, and Bayly; one branch has assumed the name of Scott. believe there is not a single individual now living who bears the name of Baliol. CHARLES ROGERS, LL.D.
STEPHENSON (4th S. i. 603.)—In the entries in the family Bible of George Stephenson's father, the first n is omitted throughout. (Smiles's Life, Cf. Walter Scott's Lady of the Lake, canto IV. p. 4.)
JOB J. B. WORKARD.
"The rose is fairest," &c.
Snowdoun Villa, Lewisham.
I beg to inform J. T. F. that these lines form, or rather did form, part of a little poem by Wordsworth, commencing "I met Louisa in the shade"; they were afterwards cancelled by the poet, so they will not be found in any of the complete editions of his works published by Messrs. Moxon. They formed the second stanza of the poem. JONATHAN BOUCHIER. "As the rose of the valley," &c.
St. Neots. CAZOTTE'S "PROPHECY" (4th S. ii. 8.)- The alleged "prophecy" of M. Cazotte, which, as is usual with French anecdotes, has appeared in various forms, rests for its primary authority on a MS. stated to have been found in the papers of M. de la Harpe. "Le morceau suivant a été trouvé dans les papiers de M. de la Harpe." See Euvres choisies et posthumes de M. de la Harpe, Paris, 1806, vol. i. lxii. p. SCHIN. The celebrated "Prophecy of Cazotte" first appeared in the Euvres Posthumes of La Harpe (Paris, 1806, vol. i.), and was invented by him, from beginning to end, as he himself admitted in a subsequent passage, which the editor left unpub
lished. The original MS. of La Harpe was,
The authority for this remarkable story is De la Harpe, who relates it in his Mémoires. The narrative is given at full length in the edition of Le Diable Amoureux, "précédé de sa Vie, de son Procès, et de ses Prophéties et Révélations," edited by Gérard de Nerval, 8vo, Paris, 1845, p. xxxvi. There is a paper on Secret Societies' in Bentley's Miscellany for June, 1863, in which it is stated that, not long before, the editor of a London periodical had been mystified by a translation of this extraordinary romance, which he had purchased as a modern original; and that the prediction of Cazotte was a fiction of De la Harpe. WILLIAM BATES. Your correspondent, W. E. A. AXON, asks what is the original authority for this remarkable narrative. In Converts from Infidelity, Andrew Crichton, vol. ii. (being vol. vii., Constable's Miscellany) is this passage in the life of M. de la Harpe:
FIRE AT STILTON (4th S. i. 194, 376.)-"Fire at Pavingham "does not imply that the church had been burned, but that a fire had occurred in that parish. The amount of loss was generally specified in the brief. JOSEPH RIX, M.D.
"Among the papers of La Harpe there was found a very curious fragment in his own handwriting, containing an extraordinary prophecy uttered by Cazotte, one of his gay companions, and who afterwards suffered on the scaffold, foretelling his conversion, as well as the fate that was to overtake many other celebrated characters under the reign of terror. Some of his biographers have recorded it as authentic, while others regard it as a fictitious prediction; alleging that Petitot, who first
OLD TAYLOR, THE ARTIST (4th S. ii. 11.) — If Mr. Taylor was in his rinetieth year when he died at his house in Cirencester Place on November 21, 1838, he must have been born after November 21, 1748, and could hardly have had a "perfect recollection of having witnessed the execution of the Scots lords on Tower Hill in 1746"! The old gentleman doubtless remembered seeing the heads on Temple Bar, and I suppose muddled the two ideas together.
I think also there is some error in describing published it in the edition of his posthumous works in Taylor as an "original member of the Incorporated 1806, suppressed this fact."
L. C. R.
HOGSHEAD (4th S. i. 554, 613.)—This word is very much the same in all northern languages, as may be easily seen by the following comparative list: English, hogshead; Dutch, onshoofd; German oxhoft; Danish, orehoved; Swedish, oxhuvud. Two questions present themselves immediately to our mind (1) In what language did the word originate? (2) What was its original meaning? I fully believe, on the authority of more than one of our clever etymologists, that the Dutch form of
the expression was the first in existence, and that subsequently it was introduced from the Low into other countries.
In former times, and as far back as 1550, the substantive okshoofd was spelled ockshood, oghshood, hood being a corrupt form of hoofd, which we find in Huygens's works and in our very days in the town of Dordrecht or Dort. The English, in seizing hold of a great many of our naval terms, evidently also incorporated this corrupt oghshood, and made hogshead of it. Later, when the proper meaning of the expression became more generally known in this country, people began to spell it correctly-more correctly, at all events, than had been the case before.
What was the "proper" meaning then? I do not think that the okshoofd derived its name from the fact that it had the dimensions of an "ox-head." What I do think is this: I often see casks in this country marked with a peculiar mark-with a tree, for instance, or with an animal. Might not these old okshoofden have been a particular sort of barrels marked with heads of oxen? I believe this hypothesis to be more probable than the other one, because the hogshead being one of the largest tuns extant, it is ridiculous to compare it to the head of an ox, which would make a very small and odd barrel. H. TIEDEMAN.
Society of Artists, the precursor of the Royal Academy," as this Incorporated Society had become an exhibiting body so early as April 21, 1760, when Taylor was only (to use his own expression) eleven and three-eighths old. Perhaps, however, its official existence is considered only to date from January 26, 1765, when the charter was granted. At this time Taylor, it is true, could not have been more than sixteen years of age; but it is certain that, when only a year older, his name is attached to the Roll Declaration of 1766. Most probably he was indebted for this early introduction to the fact of his being a pupil of Francis Hayman, the president. CHITTELDROOG.
I have a curious engraving, published according to Act of Parliament, Aug. 21, 1746, by M.
* Pronounced hode,
Cooper in Paternoster Row, representing this sad scene, with the names of the sufferers, and eight
The Earl of Kilmarnock and Lord Balmerino were executed on August 18, and this large print appeared on the 21st, from which I would infer that it was executed before the execution. There is no artist's name. Who was the author of it? P. A. L.
THE REV. SIR WILLIAM PALMER, BART. (4th S. i. 460, 520.)—If ESSEX MAN will take the trouble to consult any genuine Irish Baronetage, he will find Sir William Palmer's baronetcy no fiction. I have known the present baronet over twenty years, at the time when his father's elder brother held the title, and it was well known to devolve upon the vicar of Whitchurch Canonicorum. I have not my Irish Baronetage at hand, otherwise should gladly give ESSEX MAN a concise pedigree. H. W. THE WEDDING-RING (4th S. i. 510, 561, 592.)— This subject was fully discussed in your first or second series-" quorum pars magna fui," and I thought had been set at rest. Since writing this, I have just looked over your last number 4th S. ii. 15). We ought to be much indebted to F. C. H. for his elaborate exposition. H. WARD.
meaning, I presume, that judged from our present light, the heirs to the throne during the Georgian era were not especially worthy of esteem. Perhaps not; but it can scarcely be necessary to point out that in their day they received the most fulsome adulation, and therefore the fitness of the inscription is no guide to forming an opinion upon the subject.
MR. ROBINSON writes as if there had been
princes without flatterers, and no honours paid
BELLS ON VESTMENTS, ETC. (4th S. ii. 19.)—
THE EARLIEST BIRD IN THE MORNING (4th S. i. 551.)-On the night between the 8th and 9th of June last, I was engaged in the painful duty of The following references may be of use to MR. sitting by the bedside of a dying relative in a small country town. Just as the chimes in the church tower struck out 2:30, a little bird in the garden outside began to sing-I fancy, a robin. As the bells ceased for the quarter before three, a cuckoo began a few notes, then shifted his perch, then went off. I should not have noticed the circumstance; but as each chime stopped, the bird began, giving me at the moment the idea that the chimes had woke first the little bird, and next, the cuckoo. It was not clear daylight H. W.
PERVERSE PRONUNCIATION (4th S. i. 11, 82.)— These notes remind me of a curious perversion of hearing which seems to follow on any habitual perversity in pronunciation. When about thirteen, I took to task a sharp Kentish boy of say eleven or twelve for interchanging his ws and vs, and in especial for calling The Vines" field near Rochester Cathedral "The Wines." My attempt may be epitomised thus: Q. Say vines. A. Wines. Q. No, v-vines. A. W-wines, &c. &c. Q. Now say wines. A. Vines. Q. No, no, w-wines. A. Well so I do, vines. Q. Dear me, you can say wines well enough; you said it just now: try A. Vines. Q. Again, vines. A. again—wines. Wines. I could not persuade him that when I said one word, he repeated the other.
Rock's "Church of our Fathers," i. 397, 415; ii. 26, 36, 101, 128; iii. 411; iv. 197, with the notes on these passages.
"Union Review," May, 1867 (Inventory of St. Margaret Pattens).
Scott's " Minstrelsy of Scottish Border," ii. 157, edit. 1867, and note.
Ducange, Glos., s. v. "Tintinnabulum," where other
references to the same work are given.
The symbolical meaning of bells on vestments in the Jewish and Christian Churches is set forth in Magius De Tintinnab., cap. ix., and the note of Sweertius; Beyerlink, Magn. Theatr. V. H., s. v.
"Tintinnabulum." There is no doubt that these
The College, Hurstpierpoint.
SULTAN DYING OF ENNUI (4th S. i. 605.)-There is a most amusing story of a sultan who slew all his story-tellers because their stories came to an end, told in a little book called Over the Sea, published some years since by Dr. Pears of Repton, and written by one of his brothers. The successful teller of a story without an end described an enormous granary, with only one little hole in it, into which an interminable flight of locusts made their way, and carried off each a single grain of corn usque ad infinitum. C. W. BINGHAM.