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ST. PATRICK AND THE SHAMROCK.
(3rd S. v. 40, 60.)
While innocently wandering in the pleasant meads of literary antiquities, culling a flower here and there, and occasionally interchanging courtesies with congenial spirits delighting in similar pursuits, I find that I have unwittingly stumbled into a perfect Santa Barbara of something very like odium theologicum. Of course, the consequent explosion took place, sudden, fierce, and strong as a treble charge could make it, but, with respect to myself, quite innocuous; in all good feeling, I earnestly hope that the magazine has suffered as little injury as the intruder, and that the engineers have not been hoisted by their own petards.
First in place, as first in ability and candour, appears F. C. H. His argument, if it be worthy of the name, has no reference to what St. Patrick did or did not, but as to what he (F. C. H.) would do, if placed in similar circumstances, and just amounts to this-I would do it, argal St. Patrick did. Apart from its obvious weakness, this is a most dangerous method of dealing with things spiritual. Eliminate the beautiful language and florid French sentiment from M. Rénan's Vie de Jésus, and we shall find a very similar absence of reasoning, if I may so express myself, impotently brandished against the miracles of our SaviourM. Rénan cannot work miracles, he would not if he could, and therefore, &c. &c. I have not the honour of being personally acquainted with F. C. H., but from his communications in this Journal, I believe him to be a Christian gentleman and scholar, a man of common sense, and more than ordinary ability; nevertheless, he must excuse me for not placing him in the same category as St. Patrick, the venerated Apostle of my much loved native land. "What could any enemy to Christianity have hoped to gain by inventing such a story?" asks F. C. H. I answer, the story is one eminently calculated to throw contempt on the sacred mystery of the Trinity; but I would certainly despair of being able to bring F. C. H. to my opinion.
With respect to CANON DALTON's communication, I am sorry to say it is characterised by nothing less than disingenuousness. He says, alluding to me, "Your correspondent supposes that St. Patrick compared the Shamrock to the mystery of the Trinity." This is incorrect; my paper was, on the contrary, an objection to that supposition, as expressed by others. Again, he says, "MR. PINKERTON refers to the well-known treatise of St. Augustine De Trinitate." This also is incorrect; I referred to and related a legend of St. Augustine, said to have occurred when he was writing De. Trinitate. CANON DALTON then adduces St. Augustine's verbal illustration of the Trinity, and ends by saying, "I maintain that
tion has been modified by F. C. H. and CANON DALTON, since they first used it, regarding this alleged act of St. Patrick. The former now terms it "some sort of illustration, however feeble and imperfect," and the latter, a faint illustration." To illustrate a subject is literally to throw light upon it, and may be done either rhetorically, or, in our commonest use of the word at the present day, by a pictorial or material representation; the latter, of course, being the stronger and more forcible. A wretched man, named Carlile, a few years ago, exposed in his shop-window in Fleet Street, a hideous engraving, under which were the words "Jews and Christians, behold your God!" A Jewish gentleman smashed the pane, and in consequence was taken before a magistrate. The gentleman pleaded just indignation as his excuse; while Carlile urged that the engraving was carefully made from Scriptural descriptions of the Deity. The magistrate at once dismissed the case, observing that the exposure of such an engraving was a blasphemous insult to the community at large. Suppose Carlile had put a shamrock in his window, and had written beneath it, Christians, behold your Trinity!-would the blasphemy or insult be any the less?
I could say something of the word comparison; its derivation from the Latin com par, signifying the putting together of equals; of the well-known mode of comparison by illustration; but I fear it would be of little service to persons seemingly ignorant of the meaning of the simple word tradition. (Vide 3rd S. iv. 187, 233, 293).
D. P. points out "that the appearance of the fleur-de-lys on the mariner's compass has no bearing at all" upon my case. As in the same paragraph, I was endeavouring to show that "the triad is still a favourite figure in national and heraldic emblems," I am certain that it has a very extended and important bearing. For D. P.'s information on the antiquity of the mariner's compass, I am obliged; but as an old sailor and traveller in almost all parts of the globe, who has long studied the history of that most valuable instrument, I fancy that I know much more about it than is to be found either in Moreri or Du Fresnoy.
The legend of St. Augustine, which D. P. terms a well-known incident in the life of that saint, is not apposite, I am told. If words have any, meaning, it was not intended to be so. I designated it as charming and instructive, while I stigmatised the story of St. Patrick as absurd, if
not egregiously irreverent. As these last words refer to a simple matter of opinion, and seem to have given offence, I retract them, with regret that I had ever used them; though, of course, my opinion remains unchanged. And it is consoling to me, in this case, to be informed by F. C. H. that "no one is bound to believe the tradition of St. Patrick and the Shamrock." Having thus retracted my expression of opinion, I shall conclude with a matter of fact. The reply of F. C. H. though feeble, was at least fair; but the communications of CANON DALTON and D. P. are tainted by either a stolid misapprehension, or wilful perversion, of what I did write. And I confidently appeal to the grand jury, formed by the intelligent readers of "N. & Q.," if this language be too strong for the occasion.
(3rd S. iv. 499.)
This author, John Shurley, or Shirley (for he wrote his name both ways), was a voluminous writer of ephemeral productions in the last quarter of the seventeenth century. He is, undoubtedly, the person so graphically described in the following passage from old John Dunton's Life and Errors:
"Mr. Shirley (alias Dr. Shirley) is a good natured writer, as I know. He has been an indefatigable pressmauler for above these twenty years. He has published at least a hundred bound books, and about two hundred sermons; but the cheapest, pretty, pat things, all of them pence a-piece as long as they will run. His great talent lies at collection, and he will do it for you at six shillings a sheet. He knows to disguise an author that you shall not know him, and yet keep the sense and the main scope entire. He is as true as steel to his word, and would slave off his feet to oblige a bookseller. He is usually very fortunate in what he goes upon. He wrote Lord Jeffreys's Life for me, of which six thousand were sold. After all, he subsists, as other authors must expect, by a sort of geometry."-Edit. 1818, i. 184.
Besides numerous small tracts and ballads, mostly printed by "William Thackeray in Duck Lane," Shirley was the author of the following works, chiefly "collections as Dunton expresses it-a list very far short of the "hundred bound books" which came from his ready pen:
1. The Most Delightful History of Reynard the Fox, in heroic verse. 4to, 1681.
2. The Renowned History of Guy, Earl of Warwick; containing his noble Exploits and Victories. 4to, 1681. 3. Ecclesiastical History Epitomiz'd. 8vo, 1682-3. 4. The Honour of Chivalry; or, the Famous and Delectable History of Don Bellianis of Greece. Translated out of Italian. 4to, 1683.
5. The History of the Wars of Hungary, or an Account of the Miseries of that Kingdom. 12mo, 1685.
6. The Illustrious History of Women; the whole Work
enrich'd and intermix'd with curious Poetry and delicate Fancie. 8vo, 1686.
12mo, 1688. 7. The Accomplished Ladie's rich Closet of Rarities.
8. The True Impartial History of the Wars of the Kingdom of Ireland. 12mo, 1692.
9. The Unfortunate Favorite; or, Memoirs of the Life of the late Lord Chancellor [Jefferies]. 8vo, n. d. When T. B. says, "there is no mention of him [J. Shurley] in Bohn's edition of Lowndes," he is in error. The works in the above list, marked 2, 6, 7, and 8, are duly chronicled by Lowndes; but under Shirley, not Shurley. There should have been a counter reference under the latter name. In this respect much might be done towards improving this (with all its errors) valuable handbook to the literary collector.
Anthony Wood mentions a John Shirley, the son of a London bookseller of the same name, who was born in 1648, and entered Trinity College in 1664. But for the certain fact that this person died at Islington in 1679, I should have imagined him to have been the John Shirley of whom I have given a notice; especially as Wood tells us "he published little things of a sheet and half-a-sheet of paper."
Dunton, it will be seen, calls our author "Mr. Shirley, alias Dr. Shirley." If, therefore, we suppose him to have been originally educated for the medical profession, he may have been the author of the following works, unnoticed by Lowndes or his editor. They were certainly written by a John Shirley:
1. A Short Compendium of Chirurgery. 8vo, 1678. 2. The Art of Rowling and Bolstring, that is, the Method of Dressing and Binding up the several Parts. 8vo, 1683. EDWARD F. RIMBAULT.
"Hannover hat kein eigenthümliches Wappen. Auf dem Revers der Munzen zeigt sich entweder das Altsächsische rennende Pferd," &c. &c. JOHN DAVIDSON.
SATIRICAL SONNET: Gozzo AND PASQUIN (3rd S. iii. 151.)—Chevreau gives a sonnet by M. des Yveteaux, founded on Martial's Vitam quæ faciunt beatiorem (lib. x. ep. 47), and says:
"Un Abbé, qui avoit lu le sonnet crut me donner quel que chose de fort bon, en me donnant à Rome le sonnet qui suit:
"Haver la moglie brutta ed ingelosita;
Amar chi mai veder non si possa;
Trattar con gente cerimoniosa; L'haver à far con hosti, e vettorini; Certo rendon la vita assai noiosa: Ma star a Roma e non haver quattrini, E più d'ogn' altra insopportabil cosa.' Chevræana, t. i. p. 295, Amst. 1700. Gravina settled at Rome, in 1685. His reputation was high, and he was the principal founder of the Arcadians in 1695; but he was not appointed Professor of Civil Law till 1699. His temper was not good, as may be seen by the quarrels between him and Sergardi, and probably he was unquiet at waiting so long for promotion. The Letters from Roma and Bologna are dated 1699. Chevreau does not say when he met the "Abbé"; but supposing him to be Gravina, we may guess that the sonnet as described in the Letters was written in an impatient spirit before the appointment, and the sting changed from, "to seek promotion at Rome without ready money," to 66
star in Roma e non aver quattrini," after it. He might have thought the sonnet too good to be lost, though the point was spoiled, as the evil of being without is not felt more at Rome than money in many other places. I think this is enough to fix the authorship of the sonnet; but would Chevreau, who never omits an opportunity of naming a clever or illustrious acquaintance, have called so distinguished a man as Gravina “Un Abbé”?
There is a satirical dialogue been Gobbo (not
Gozzo) and Pasquin, of which I cannot give an account, not having been tempted to read enough of it. Though probably stinging when fresh, it is not interesting now. The title is
"Le Visioni politiche sopra gli interessi piu reconditi, di tutti Prencipi e Republiche della Christianità, divisi in varii Sogni e Ragionamenti tra Pasquino e il Gobbo di Rialto." Germania, 1671, 24mo, pp. 540. H. B. C.
U. U. Club.
BULL-BULL (3rd S. v. 38.)- A joke on this name of the nightingale is told as having been made by the late Lord Robertson (a Judge of the Court of Session, well known as Peter or Patrick Robertson), in order fully to see the wit of which, that in the Scotch vernacular the word "cow" is it is necessary to explain to your English readers pronounced "coo." A lady having asked him, "What sort of animal is the bull-bull?" he replied "I suppose, Ma'am, it must be the mate of the coo-coo (cuckoo). G.
MADMAN'S FOOD TASTING OF OATMEAL PORRIDGE (3rd S. v. 35, 64.) — In Sir Walter Scott's novel, The Pirate, there is the following note:
"A late medical gentleman, my particular friend, told me the case of a lunatic patient confined in the Edinburgh Infirmary. He was so far happy that his mental alienation was of a gay and pleasant character, giving a kind of joyous explanation to all that came in contact with him. He considered the large house, numerous servants, &c., of the hospital, as all matters of state and consequence belonging to his own personal establishment, and had no doubt of his own wealth and grandeur. One thing alone puzzled this man of wealth. Although he was provided with a first-rate cook and proper assistants, although his table was regularly supplied with every delicacy of the season, yet he confessed to my friend, that by some uncommon depravity of the palate, everything which he ate "tasted of porridge." This peculiarity, of course, arose from the poor man being fed upon nothing else, and because his stomach was not so easily deceived as his other senses."-The Pirate, vol. ii. chap. xiii, note i. A WYKEHAMIST. CHURCHWARDEN QUERY (3rd S. v. 34, 65.) In answer to A. A. I extract the following:
"Sidesmen (rectius synodsmen) is used for those persons or officers that are yearly chosen in great parishes in London and other cities, according to custom, to assist the churchwardens in their presentments of such offenders and offences to the ordinary as are punishable in the spiritual courts: and they are also called questmen. They take an oath for doing their duty, and are to present persons that do not resort to church on Sundays, and there continue during the whole time of divine service, &c. Canon 90. They shall not be cited by the ordinary to
appear but at usual times, unless they have wilfully
Devil a Proper NAME (3rd S. iv. 141, 418, 479.)
Formerly there were many persons surnamed the
Devil.' In an ancient book we read of one Rogerius
William the Conqueror, was surnamed the Devil.' In
ARTHUR DOBBS (3rd S. v. 63.)—May I express will kindly favour us with some particulars from a hope that your correspondent, MR. CROSSLEY, (if not with the whole of) George Chalmers's unpublished biography of Arthur Dobbs? Francis Dobbs, whose Concise View from History and Prophecy, &c. (Dublin, 1800), is certainly a curiosity, was, I presume, a member of the same family. Авива.
BISHOP DIVE DOWNES'S "TOUR THROUGH CORK AND ROSS" (2nd S. ix. 45.)—Having sent a query respecting this valuable and interesting document, I may be permitted to record in "N. & Q.," that "the whole of Bishop Dive Downes's Tour through Diocese of Cork and Ross, in 1699 and following years, has been incorporated into" the Rev. Dr. Brady's Clerical and Parochial Records of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross, of which two volumes have appeared (Dublin, 1863).
W. I. S. HORTON. WATSON OF LOFTHOUSE, YORKSHIRE (3rd S. iv. 515.)-The following may assist SIGMA THETA in his inquiry after the Watsons of Lofthouse, Yorkshire. The pedigree in the British Museum is evidently that of the Watsons of Lofthouse near Wakefield, a branch of the Watsons of Bolton-in-the Craven. In the year 1493 W. Watson, of Lofthouse, had a quarrel with Gilbert Leigh, Esq., about some land, and referred the case to Sir Ed. Smith, and Sir John York, of Wakefield, for arbitration. About the year 1600 John Rooks, of Royds Hall, near Bradford, mar. Jennet, dau. and co-heir of Richard Watson, of Lofthouse, Esq.; soon after which event the family appear to have removed to Easthaye, near Pontefract, as we find that Edmund Watson, of Easthaye, answered to the summons of Dugdale at his sitting at "Pomfret, 7 Apr. 1666," and claimed,-Arms. Argent, on a chevron azure between three martlets gules, as many crescents or.* Crest. A griffin's head erased sable, holding in his beak, or, a rose-branch slipped vert. "For proofe hereof there is an old glasse window in an house at Loftus, which was antiently belonging to this family, as Mr. John Hopkinson affirms." This was Mr. Hopkinson, the Lofthouse antiquary, who attended Dugdale, in his Visitation of Yorkshire, as his secretary, and compiled the MS. pedigrees of the Yorkshire families, a copy of which is in the British Museum.
I do not trace any connection between the Watsons of Lofthouse and those of Bilton Park, who appear to have sprung from the North Riding, and to have acquired Bilton Park by purchase of the Stockdales. See Hargrove's Knaresborough (Tong), and Dugdale's Visitations of Yorkshire, Ed. Surtees' Society, Whitaker's Craven, also his Loidis and Elmete, James's Bradford, and the Richardson Correspondence. Lofthouse, near Wakefield.
OF WIT (3rd S. v. 30.)—Mr. Peter CunningHAM has favoured us with several interesting examples of the various uses of the word "wit:" may I be allowed to append to his illustrations one or two Biblical passages which show the prosaic definition of the term, as implying ingenuity, sagacity, discernment, or knowledge generally:
"For I was a witty child, and had a good spirit.". Wisdom of Solomon, viii. 19.
ledge of witty inventions." Proverbs, viii. 12.
"I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out know
Holofernes commends Judith for her wit, or wisdom:
"And they marvelled at her wisdom, and said, there is not such a woman from one end of the earth to the other, both for beauty of face and wisdom of words.-Likewise Holofernes said unto her, .. and now thou art both beautiful in thy countenance, and witty in thy words."— Judith, xi. 20-23.
suppose the earliest use of this word, as a constituent, occurs in the Anglo-Saxon, witena-gemote, which may be taken to have represented the collective wisdom of the nation in those days. Whatever may have been the intellectual powers of those who composed the witan, we may presume that the knowledge of which the senators gave proof, was solid, prosaic, and practical; we can hardly fancy a sprightly Saxon cutting jokes, or capable of any lively association of ideas, that These arms slightly differ from the Watsons of New- could find its embodiment in a pun worth recordcastle, cir. 1514. ing in "N. & Q." F. PHILLOTT.
ST. MARY MATFELON (3rd S. iv. 5, 55, 419, 483.) I did not at all undertake to interpret the word "Matfelon:" all that I attempted in my former communication was an approximate verification of the meaning said by competent authority to have been traditionally given to it.
Pennant undoubtedly intimates that the word "Matfelon was said to be Hebrew or Chaldaic, Chaldaic being formerly employed in a vague sense to express the almost identical dialects of Arabic and Syriac. This word, "Matfelon," after allowing for the corruptions and abbreviations naturally incident to its use for centuries, bears so strong a resemblance to the Arabic participle equivalent to the word "Paritura," that even if I quoted Pennant incorrectly, yet I think it more probable that he should be mistaken in citing a current tradition, than that so curious a coincidence should be entirely unfounded. But my impression is that I quoted Pennant correctly; and, at all events, if we credit Pennant's testimony to a matter of fact, i. e. the existence of such a tradition, the word "Matfelon" was supposed to express one of the sacred functions assigned by the divine counsels to the Blessed Virgin Mary in her relation to the incarnation of her adorable Son.
Since I last wrote I find that it is not at all necessary to regard "Matfelon " as feminine, and abbreviated from "Matvaladatum," because, although in opposition with "Mary," Eastern syntax commonly admits the agreement of an epithet in gender with the more worthy masculine to which it may refer. In tracing also the word "Matfelon" to the Arabic 66 Matvaladon," or "Matfaladon," I should be glad if one of your correspondents would supply me with examples of d being passed over in rapid pronunciation. The d is nearly the hard th, and this is dropped in the pronoun them. In Greek and Sanscrit there is a kind of interchange of the letters d, s, and h; some Latin supines lose the d. In English Cholmondeley makes Chomley, Sawbridgeworth, Sapsworth. In Scottish bridge makes brigg, &c. I should be pleased with some more examples.
My learned friend A. A. appears to ignore Pennant's tradition, and therefore my remarks do not apply to his suggested interpretation. But, I would ask, are any examples of a similar form in dedicating churches? Would the name of God be subjoined even to that of his greatest saints? J. R.
"ONE SWALLOW DOES NOT MAKE A SUMMER" (3rd S. v. 53.)-The late ingenious Dr. Forster, in his Circle of the Seasons, quotes a line from Horace, connecting the Zephyrs of Spring with the arrival of the swallow :
"Cum Zephyris si concedes et hirundine prima." He also mentions that the swallow's return was a holiday for children in Greece, in anticipation of which they used to exclaim:
“ Ω Ζευς χελιδων αραποτε φαινησθαι.”
He quotes some poet, to him unknown, who says, writing of Spring:
"The swallow, for a moment seen,
I saw her glide on rapid wing,
O'er yonder pond's smooth surface, when I welcomed her come back again." Dr. Forster gives the 15th of April as low Day," and as named in the Ephemeris of Nature, Χελιδονοφορια ; and he mentions that the west wind is called in Italy Chelidonius, from its blowing about the time of the swallow's appearance. All these passages bear upon the subject of MR. HEATH's enquiry, as connecting the swallow with the first return of Spring. F. C. H.
I can refer MR. HEATH to one modern poet, who, in a well-known passage, connects the swallow with the earlier of the two seasons: : underneath the eaves,
PSALM XC. 9. (3rd S. v. 57.) — The following extract, from a very striking sermon by the Rev. A. J. Morris (I believe) an Independent minister, may be interesting to MR. DIXON, and to other readers:
"We spend our years as a tale that is told.' The words scarcely give the true idea. That is told,' is in italics, the sign of insertion by the translators: there is nothing answering to it in the original. Instead of 'tale,' the margin has meditation;' we spend our years as a meditation." But even this hardly gives the full