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situated in the mountain passes of the Atlantic range, inns for the refreshment and rest of travellers. The writing on this Atlantic monument has been considered to be "pseudophoenicia et spuria," but those, who with the late E. H. Barker, considered it as a forgery, knew not how to decypher it. See Gesenii Scripturæ Linguæque Phoenicia, cap. ix., where the first sign on the right hand at the lower end of the inscription, being a hieroglyph, is read as a letter, and some few of the letters themselves not being understood, no sense has been made of the whole inscription, but its internal evidence is quite sufficient to prove it not a forgery. Southwick, near Oundle, Jan. 15.
T. R. BROWN.
MISQUOTATION.-Butler makes the knight while reasoning with his lady love, observe,
For what is worth in any thing,
But so much money as 'twill bring? Hudibras, Part II. Canto i., Edit. 1678, p. 219. This couplet has since undergone a slight change, For what's the worth of any thing,
But so much money as 'twill bring.
Athenian Sport, 1724, 8vo. p. 154.
But a more recent adaptation in the Gentleman's Magazine, Sept. 1854, p. 262, exhibits a phraseology widely differing from the original.
The value of a thing
Dublin, Jan. 1.
ABUSES IN THE ARMY.
Cradock, in his Literary and Miscellaneous Memoirs, vol. i. p. 171, referring to Lord Chancellor Erskine, says, "Erskine sent me his pamphlet on the Abuses of the Army, and we afterwards examined together his Remarks on Annuities, they were both printed by Tom Davies of Russell Street, Covent Garden."
These productions of the noble author do not seem to be known, at least they are not to me; but, as it is pretty well known that abuses in the army have not ceased to exist, it would be curious to see whether they in any way differ from those which engaged the attention of Erskine, and I shall be glad if you, or any of your readers, will furnish some information on the subject. F. R. A.
AMBRY AND EFFIGY IN AIRLIE KIRK.
THE Ambry, scot., almerie, or almorie, a recess in churches for depositing the alms for the poor, is of considerable antiquity. Du Cange defines it "the Cape-hus of Elfric; a cupboard, storehouse, cabinet, etc.," in that sense, closets, or presses, for containing food and articles for domestic uses are generally known. Every church or chapel in the days of Papal domination, had its ambry; and were frequently hewn from one stone,
The front, decorated with the sculptured denotations of the five Passion wounds of Christ, shows by the broken moulding, the former sockets for the embedding of the iron fastenings. On the wall within, cut into the stone, are the initials a. f. with three crescents, the armorial bearings of the family of Fenton, originally from the border, but who were the lords of the lands and barony of Baikie, in the parish of Airlie, in 1291, if not before, and were extinct in the male line about the middle of the fifteenth century.*
Possibly the ambry was made at the expense of one of the lords of Baikie; or, during the incumbency of one of the family, as parson of this kirk, the initials and arms being intended to denote the period.
The same symbols of our Lord's Passion, represented on the ambry, are also found on the coping stone of an old burying aisle, with the addition of the Scourge, the pillar to which Christ was bound, holy lance, and the pincers; with carvings of the fleur-de-lis, surmounted by a coronet. These, I infer, from their superior delicacy of execution, are of later date to the emblems on the front of the ambry. The coping stone is said to have
Nisbet, referring to Haddington's Collections from the
Registers, describes the arms of Fenton of Baiky, arg. three crescents, gules. William Fenton, Lord Baiky, is so designated in a perambulation with Alexander Ogle, Sheriff of Angus, in 1410. By their arms in our old registers being arg., three crescents gules, Fenton of Ogile, Fenton of Carden, and Fenton of Kelly, were cadets of Fenton of Baikey. System of Heraldry, edit. 1804, vol. i. p. 92.
been taken from the old kirk, which was demolished in 1783.
Built into the west gable of the kirk is a gaunt human effigy, about three feet in height, but much mutilated. The writer of the New Statistical Account of the Parish, 1843, describes it as a representation of St. John the Baptist, to whom, he adds, the church was originally dedicated. The idea is certainly erroneous, for apart from a small hamlet of houses, with a ne spring and knoll, close to the kirk, known by the name of St. Madden, there is extant in the charter-chest at Cortachy Castle, a document bearing date 1447, in which mention is made of "the bell of the Kirk of St. Madden of Airlie," and he doubtless was the patron saiut of the kirk. His festival is held on May 17, and as he is specially said to have devoted certain days to the celebration of the Eucharist and the Passion of Christ, the emblems on the ambry and coping-stone have most probably reference to that tradition. It may, however, be noticed, though the parish kirk was dedicated to St. Madden, there was formerly, about a mile to the south-west a chapel, which had for its patron saint, St. John, and to which William de Fenton, in 1362, presented the adjoining lands of Lunross;† yet to this, the statue cannot by the most distant probability have any reference.
No description, or print of ancient armour, known to the writer, represents the peculiarity observable in the singularly formed apron of plate mail, as shewn on this figure. The carving appears to indicate scale armour, small round plates of iron, lapping one over the other like fish scales, and terminating in a point, to which is pendant an oval or heart-shaped ornaSome Correspondent of Current Notes may possibly be able to explain this curious appendage of old costume. The animal on the book is possibly intended to represent a lamb; hence, it may be inferred, the fore finger of the right hand points to "the Lamb's book of life," an allegory not unworthy of a much later time than that to which the statue appears to belong.
The Fenton estate in the fifteenth century became the property of the younger sons of Lindsay, Earl of Crawford, and Halkett of Pitfirran. Baikie Castle stood on a rising ground, near the west side of the loch of Baikie, but has long been demolished, and a new mansion, a little to the south, erected some years since. Brechin. A. J.
Refer to Crawford's History of the Shire of Renfrew, first printed in 1710, continued by William Semple, printed at Paisley, 1782, 4to. p. 281, where it is said, "the monks of the abbey of Paisley wrote a Chronicle of Scotland, called the Black Book of Paisley, of which an authentic copy was burned in the Abbey of Holyrood House, during the English usurpation." This assertion is derived from Dunlop's Description of the Shire of Renfrew. Another copy is noticed in Sibbald's Theatrum Scotia, as having been in the President Sir Robert Spottiswood's library, whence it was taken by General Lambert, and presented by him to Colonel, afterwards Thomas, Lord Fairfax. There are here also other references respecting this supposed record, of which after all, Chalmers, in his Caledonia, vol. III., p. 125, quoting Bp. Nicolson's Scottish Historical Library, p. 93, thus summarily disposes-" The monks of Paisley are said to have written a Chronicle of Scotland, which was called the Black Book of Paisley, from the colour of its cover; but this like the Black Book of Scone, appears to have been merely a transcript of Fordun's Scotichronicon." ED.
WEIGHT OF TOBACCO SMOKE DETERMINED.
HOWELL in his Letters, Book III. Letter 7, tells the story of Sir Walter Raleigh winning a wager of Queen Elizabeth, by ascertaining the weight of smoke in a pound of tobacco. The incident was recently noticed in an hebdomadal contemporary, but neither the communicant, nor the editor allude to the fact of the trick having been practised more than a thousand years before, as we find in the Dialogues of Lucian, who died in the year 180.
In Franklin's translation, 1781, 8vo. vol. III. p. SS, we read, "Somebody asked him (Demonax) one day in a scoffing manner, this question-Pray, if you burn a thousand pounds of wood, how many pounds will there be of smoke? Weigh the ashes, said he, and all the rest will be smoke." F. R. A.
Howell's Letters are fictions, written by him while confined in the Fleet Prison for debt, and the story of the wager with the Queen doubtless originated in one of his literary embellishments. Lucian's Dialogues were translated by Hickes, and printed at Oxford in 1634, where possibly Howell met with the jocosery, or, as he was quite capable, he read it in one of the Latin versions, and, adopting the tradition of Raleigh's being the introducer of tobacco from Virginia, made it an illustration of his intimacy with her Majesty, in compliment to whom that country was so named. ED.
THE DEATH OF COWPER.
The swan, 'tis fabled, sweetly sings
With her expiring breath
O Cowper! had'st thou touch'd the strings
What glorious, what mellifluous strains
And was it then indeed despair,
Ah no! insanity was there,
With genius high combin'd.
O had the darkness pass'd away,
Then how his raptur'd soul of fire
Had kindled into praise;
And struck while here an angel's lyre,
This was denied-to mental gloom
Thro' midnight shadows of the tomb,
A death that wore so stern a frown,
Peckham, Dec. 1841.
W. B. COLLYER.
MARY RUSSELL MITFORD, born at Alresford, in Hampshire, Dec. 16, 1786, authoress of Our Village, and other popular works, died at Swallowfield, near Reading, on Wednesday, the 10th inst., in her sixtyninth year. These dates are based on the beginning of a letter addressed to one of her most intimate friends"Swallowfield, Dec. 16, 1854. "My dear Friend. This is a day I never thought to see again-my 68th birth-day."
GARRICKIANA.-Mr. O. Smith, the eminent comedian, having been obliged by deafness and declining health, to relinquish his connection with the stage, which he has trodden with so much credit for upwards of half a century, his library and choice collection of MSS. and Engravings illustrative of the Drama, will be sold by auction by Messrs. Puttick and Simpson, at the close of next month. His GARRICKIANA, illustrative of Garrick and his contemporaries, comprising almost every known engraving connected therewith, will form one of the most interesting features.
Let some kindly hand make up a gathering. My thoughts have been wandering in scented chambers, and I wish some one would edit on paper of appropriate blush, the association of Rosemary, Lavender, and Rue-three favourites, long popularly united. In the old music books, of an elementary character, the air of "Lavender's blue," is frequently found, but it has grown vulgar, and both the words and tune are descending into mere traditionary matters-
Lavender's blue, diddle, diddle, rosemary's green,
Mihi est propositum in taberna mori;
which may be thus rendered
May it be my good hap,
For he lived and died mellow.
Gerard, gardener to Lord Burleigh, notices in his Herbal, Rosemary grew in Languedoc in such plenty that the inhabitants burned scarcely any other fuel. In the gardens of Italy and England, he adds, they made hedges of it as an ornament, and it was called Rosemarinus Coronaria, "because women have been accustomed to make crowns and garlands thereof." Hence the propriety of its standing for the queen's emblem in the old oral stanzas. Gerard, moreover, mentions it serving as spice in German kitchens and in other cold countries, in his day, as well as used in wine for inebriating, and as oil for medicinal purposes. And hereupon follows another enumeration of blessings:
And Lavender blue,
Thyme and sweet Margerum,
Hyssop and rue.
Rosemary has long been considered as a symbol of remembrance, and was anciently supposed to strengthen the memory; prescriptions are found in the old medicinal treatises for that purpose. Perdita, in Shakespeare's Winter's Tale, act iv. sc. 3; with the flowers
presented to Polyxenes and the guests, as a welcome to the sheep-shearing, adds
For you there's rosemary and rue; these keep
Ophelia, too, presents Laertes a sprig of rosemary, observing
There's rosemary, that's for remembrance ;*
Hamlet, act iv. sc. 5. So Drayton, in his ninth eclogue, has lines to the same purpose
Him rosemary his sweetheart [sent], whose intent
On the festive occasion at Christmas, of bringing in the boar's head, at Queen's College, Oxford, and elsewhere, various carols were sung. One printed by Wynkyn de Worde, in 1521, commences thus
Rosemary was also adopted as an essential at funerals, possibly for its odour, and as a token of remembrance of the deceased
And lavender is passing sweet,
And so's the rosemary;
And yet they deck the winding sheet,
Friar Lawrence on the discovery of Juliet's corpse, bids the bystanders-
Dry up your tears, and stick your rosemary
On this fair corse; and as the custom is,
Romeo and Juliet, act iv. sc. v.
Shakespeare was here referring to the custom as observed in England. On some occasions rosemary was buried with the dead. When to make room for the burial of an ordinary gentlewoman, the body of William Parr, the brother of Queen Catherine, was dug up in the choir of the collegiate church at Warwick, "it was found perfect, the skin entire, dried to the bones, with rosemary and bays in the coffin, fresh and green.'
Cartwright also alludes to the custom, on the bearing of the body to the grave
Prithee see they have
A sprig of rosemary, dipp'd in common water,
The Ordinary, 1651, 8vo. act v. sc. 1.
The practice is noticed so late as the time of Gay, who in his Shepherd's Week, describing Blouselinda's funeral, says
To show their love, the neighbours far and near
Fifth Pastoral; The Dirge, lines 133-138. Henry Kirke White too, bade the rosemary 66 scatter about his tomb-a sweet decaying smell;" and the Rosemary Lane of Newcastle, anciently known as St. John's Chare, if in name only, keeps watch and ward over the graveyard of the beloved apostle.
During the civil commotions in the reign of King Charles the First, it appears to have escaped notice, a sprig of rosemary was the distinctive badge of the Parliamentarians. Baillie, in his diary, Dec. 2, 1640, writes
On Saturday, Burton and Prynne came through most of the City triumphantly; never here such a show; about a thousand horses, and above a hundred coaches, with a world of foot, every one with a rosemary branch.
Nathan Drake, in his manuscript Diary of the first siege of Pontefract, in 1644, in which he was a volunteer
* Dugdale's Baronage, as quoted by Nicolson and Burn.
defender, expresses the apprehension of an immediate assault by the roundheads; the enemy's horse being -drawn up in the parke, and many of their foote with roasemary in theire hattes."
One of the marks for the archers in Finsbury Fields, was named the Rosemary Branch; and in an old map the position is represented as a tree, inscribed Ros' Bra'ch, but in 1737, here was a hostelry, called the Rosemary Branch, or Nevil's House. It was long celebrated as a place of public entertainment, but at length having become part of Walker's lead-works, a new Rosemary Branch was in 1783, erected just beyond the former, at the junction of the parishes of Shoreditch and Islington. W. HYLTON DYER LONGSTAFFE, F.S.A.
Gateshead, Jan. 4.
In your Current Notes, for December, you have treated your readers with a specimen of Belfry Poetry: similar may be found in many belfries. Allow me to send you a copy from a tower in Cornwall. Perhaps some of your readers will be able to multiply other variations of Belfry Poetry. H. T. ELLACOMBE.
Rectory, Clyst St. George, Jan. 17.
VERSES IN LANDULPH CHURCH BELFRY, CORNWALL.
Let awful silence first proclaimed be,
PATTERN VICTORIA FLORINS.
THOUGH the want of a coin of a value between the shilling and half-crown had long been felt, it is only within the last few years that it was determined to supply it. It was considered also a favourable opportunity for an attempt at the introduction of a decimal system of coinage. In the present case considerable trouble was taken and many trials even made before one suitable to the taste of the exalted individuals whose pleasure is
Obv. the same.
Reverse, the same, but in place of One Decade, are the words ONE CENTUM. Obv. the same. Reverse, within the wreath, ONE FLORIN, and below it, ONE-TENTH OF A POUND.
Obv. the Queen's head, to the left, a riband binds the hair, VICTORIA REGINA; 1848 below the head. Rev. the field, within a quatrefoil, occupied by a shapeless V. R. conjoined, the Shamrock, Rose, and Thistle, in the three upper quarters; the Prince's plume in the lower compartment. The legend, ONE CENTUM. ONE-TENTH OF A POUND, as shewn in the woodcut.