Notes & Queries, No. 19, Saturday, March 9, 1850
Author: Various
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"When found, make a note of."—CAPTAIN CUTTLE.

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No. 19.] SATURDAY, MARCH 9, 1850 [Price Threepence. Stamped Edition 4d.

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Our Progress. 289

NOTES:— Captivity of the Queen of Bruce, by W.B. Rye. 290 A Note on Robert Herrick, by J. Milner Barry. 291 The Meaning of Laerig, by S.W. Singer. 292 Folk-Lore—St. Valentine in Norwich—Cook-eels—Old Charms—Superstitions in North of England—Decking Churches with Yew—Strewing Chaff before Houses. 293 Folk-lore of Wales—Cron Annwn—Cyoerath or Gwrach-y-rhybin. 294 William Basse and his Poems, by Rev. T. Corser. 295 John Stowe. 297 Transposition of Letters—Pet Names—Jack—Pisan—Mary and Polly. 298 Parallel Passages. 299 Inedited Poem by Burns, by Rev. J.R. Wreford. 300 Lacedaemonian Black Broth. 300

QUERIES:— Ten Queries on Poets and Poetry, by E.F. Rimhault, LL.D. 303 Bishop Cosin's Consecration of Churches. 303 Portraits of Luther, Erasmus, and Ulric von Hutten. 303 Queries concerning Chaucer. 303 Letter attributed to Sir Robert Walpole. 304 Queries concerning Bishops of Ossory, by Rev. I. Graves. 305 Burton's Anatomy of (Religious) Melancholy. 305 Minor Queries:—Master of Methuen—Female Captive—Parliamentary Writs—Portraits in British Museum. 305

REPLIES:— College Salting, by C.H. Cooper, &c. 306 Queries answered. No. 5., by Bolton Corney. 307 Replies to Minor Queries:—Old Auster Tenement—Tureen. 307

MISCELLANIES:— M. de Gournay—The Mirror, from the Latin of Owen—Journeyman—Balloons. 308

MISCELLANEOUS:— Books and Odd Volumes wanted. 309 Notices to Correspondents. 309 Advertisements. 309

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Although very unwilling to encroach upon the enlarged space which we have this week afforded to our numerous and increasing contributors, we may be permitted to refer to the fact of our having felt it due to them to find such additional space by giving an extra half-sheet, as a proof at once of the growing interest in our Journal, and of its extended utility.

We trust too that the step which we have thus taken will be received as a pledge of our intention to meet all the requirements which may arise from our Journal becoming more generally known, and consequently, as we are justified by our past experience in saying, being made greater use of, as a medium of intercommunication between all classes of students and men of letters.

Our last and present Number furnish proofs of its utility in a way which when it was originally projected could scarcely have been contemplated. We allude to its being made the channel through which intending editors may announce the works on which they are engaged, and invite the co-operation of their literary brethren. Nor is the readiness with which such co-operation is likely to be afforded, the only good result to be obtained by such an announcement. For such an intimation is calculated not only to prevent the unpleasantness likely to arise from a collision of interests—but also to prevent a literary man either setting to himself an unprofitable task or wasting his time and research upon ground which is already occupied.

One word more. When we commenced our labours we were warned by more than one friendly voice, that, although we should probably find no lack of Queries, we should oftentimes be "straited for a Reply." This, however, as our readers will admit, has not been the case; for though, as Shakspeare says, with that truth and wisdom for which he is proverbial—

"The ample proposition that Hope makes, In all designs begun on earth below, Fails in its promis'd largeness,"

the observation in our Introduction, that "those who are best informed are generally most ready to communicate knowledge, and to confess ignorance, to feel the value of such a work as we are attempting, and to understand that if it is to be well done {290} they must help to do it," has, thanks to the kind assistance of our friends, grown, from a mere statement of opinion, to the dignity of a prediction. We undertook our task in faith and hope, determined to do our best to realize the intentions we had proposed to ourselves, and encouraged by the feeling that if we did so labour, our exertions would not be in vain, for—

"What poor duty cannot do, Noble respect takes it in might not merit."

And the success with which our efforts have been crowned shows we were justified in so doing. And so, gentle reader, to the banquet of dainty delights which is here spread before you!

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I perceive, in one of the recent interesting communications made to the "NOTES AND QUERIES," by the Rev. Lambert B. Larking, that he has given, from a wardrobe roll in the Surrenden collection, a couple of extracts, which show that Bruce's Queen was in 1314 in the custody of the Abbess of Barking. To that gentleman our thanks are due for the selection of documents which had escaped the careful researches of Lysons, and which at once throw light on the personal history of a royal captive, and illustrate the annals of a venerable Abbey. I am glad to be able to answer the concluding query as to the exact date when the unfortunate lady, (Bruce's second wife,) left that Abbey, and to furnish a few additional particulars relative to her eight years' imprisonment in England. History relates that in less than three months after the crown had been placed upon the head of Bruce by the heroic Countess of Buchan, sister of the Earl of Fife (29th March, 1306), he was attacked and defeated at Methven, near Perth, by the English, under Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke. After this signal discomfiture, the king fled into the mountains, accompanied by a few faithful followers: his Queen, daughter, and several other ladies, for awhile shared his misfortunes and dangers; but they at length took refuge at the Castle of Kildrummie, from whence they retreated, in the hope of greater security, to the sanctuary of St. Duthae, at Tain, in Ross-shire. The Earl of Ross, it is said, violated the sanctuary, and delivered the party up to the English, who (as sings Chaucer's contemporary, Barbour, in his not very barbarous Scottish dialect) straightway proceeded to

—"put the laydis in presoune, Sum in till castell, sum in dongeoun."

Among the captives were three ecclesiastics, who had taken a prominent part at the king's coronation—the Bishops of Glasgow and St. Andrews and the Abbot of Scone, arrayed in most uncanonical costume.[1] Peter Langtoft pathetically bewails their misfortune:—

"The Bisshop of Saynt Andrew, and the Abbot of Scone, The Bisshop of Glascow, thise were taken sone; Fettred on hackneis, to Inlond ere thei sent, On sere stedis it seis, to prison mad present."

An instrument in Norman French, printed in Rymer's great collection (Foedera, vol. i. part ii. p. 994, new ed.), directs the manner in which the prisoners were to be treated. As this document is curious, I will give that portion which refers particularly to Bruce's wife, the "Countess of Carrick:"—

"A.D. 1306. (34 Edw. 1.) Fait a remembrer, qi, quant la Femme le Conte de Carrik sera venue au Roi, ele soit envee a Brustewik [on Humber], & qe ele eit tieu mesnee, & sa sustenance ordenee en la manere desouz escrite: cest asavoir,

"Qe ele eit deux femmes du pays oversqe li; cest asaver, une damoisele & une femme por sa chambre, qi soient bien d'age & nyent gayes, & qi eles soient de bon & meur port; les queles soient entendantz, a li por li servir:

"Et deux vadletz, qi soient ausint bien d'age, & avisez, de queux l'un soit un des vadletz le Conte de Ulvestier [the Earl of Ulster, her father], cest asaver Johan de Benteley, ou autre qil mettra en lieu de li, & l'autre acun du pays, qi soit por trencher devant li:

"Et ausant eit ele un garzon a pee, por demorer en sa chambre, tiel qi soit sobre, & ne mie riotous, por son lit faire, & por autres choses qe covendront por sa chambre:

"Et, estre ce, ordenez est qeele eit un Vadlet de mestier, qe soit de bon port, & avisez, por port ses cleifs, por panetrie, & botellerie, & un cu:

"Et ele deit ausint aver trois leveriers, por aver son deduyt en la garrene illueques, & en les pares, quant ele voudra:

"Et qe ele eit de la veneison, & du peisson es pescheries, selene ce qe master li sera:

"Et qe ele gisse en la plus bele maison du manoir a sa volunte: Et, qe ele voit guyer es pares, r'aillois entor le manoir, a se volunte."

These orders are apparently not more severe than was necessary for the safe custody of the Queen; and, considering the date of their issue, they seem to be lenient, considerate, and indulgent. Not so, however, with the unfortunate Countess of Buchan, who was condemned to be encaged in a turret of Berwick Castle ("en une kage de fort latiz, de fuist & barrez, & bien efforcez de ferrement;" i.e. of strong lattice-work of wood, barred, and well strengthened with iron[2]), where she remained immured seven years. Bruce's {291} daughter, Marjory, and his sister Mary, were likewise to be encaged, the former in the Tower of London, the latter in Roxburghe Castle. The young Earl of Mar, "L'enfant qi est heir de Mar," Bruce's nephew, was to be sent to Bristol Castle, to be carefully guarded, "qil ne puisse eshcaper en nule manere," but not to be fettered—"mais q'il soit hors de fers, tant come il est de si tendre age."

In 1308 (1 Edw. 2.), the Bailiff of Brustwick is commanded to deliver up his prisoner, to be removed elsewhere, but to what place it does not appear. A writ of the 6th Feb. 1312, directs her to be conveyed to Windsor Castle, "cum familia sua." In October of the same year, she was removed to "Shaston" (Shaftesbury), and subsequently to the Abbey of Barking, where she remained till March, 1314, when she was sent to Rochester Castle, as appears by the following writ (Rymer, vol. ii. part i. p. 244.):—

"(7 Edw. 2.) De ducendo Elizabetham uxorem Roberti de Brus, usque ad Castrum Rossense.

"Mandatum est Vicecomitibus London quod Elizabetham. Uxorem Roberti de Brus, quae cum Abbatissa de Berkyngg' stetit per aliquot tempus, de mandato Regis, ab cadem Abbatissa sine dilatione recipiant, eam usque Ross' duci sub salva custodia faciant, Henrico de Cobeham, Constabulario Castri Regis ibidem per Indenturam, inde faciendam inter ipsos, liberandam; et hoc nullatenus omittant.

"Teste Rege, apud Westm. xii. die Martii, "Per ipsum Regem.

"Et mandatum est praefatae Abbatissae, quod praefatam Elizabetham, quam nuper, de mandato Regis, admisit in domo sua de Berkyng' quousque Rex aliud inde ordinasset, moraturam, sine dilatione deliberet praefatis Vicecomitibus, ducendam pront eis per Regem plenius est injunctum, et hoc nullatenus omittat.

"Teste Rege ut supra, "Per ipsum Regem.

"Et mandatum est dicto Henrico, Constabulario Castri Regis praedicti, quod ipsam Elizabetham de praedictis Vicecomitibus, per Indenturam hujus modi, recipiat, et ci cameram, infra dictum Castrum competentem pro mora sua assignari:

"Et viginti solidos, de exitibus Ballivae suae, ei per singulas septimanas, quamdiu ibidem moram fecerit, pro expensis suis, liberari faciat:

"Eamque, infra Castrum praedictum, et infra Prioratum Sancti Andreae ibidem, opportunis temporibus spatiari sub salva custodia (ita quod securus sit de corpore suo), permittat:

"Et Rex ei de praedictis viginti solidis, praefatae Elizabethae singulis septimanis liberandis, debitam allocationem, in compoto suo ad Scaccarium Regis, fieri faciet.

"Teste ut supra, "Per ipsum Regem."

But the day of deliverance was close at hand: the battle of Bannockburn, so fatal to the English, was fought on the 24th June; and on the 2nd of October the Constable of Rochester Castle is commanded to conduct the wife, sister, and daughter of Robert Bruce to Carlisle (usque Karliolum), where an exchange of prisoners was made. Old Hector Boece, who, if Erasmus can be trusted, "knew not to lie," informs us, that "King Robertis wife, quhilk was hald in viii. yeris afore in Ingland, was interchangeit with ane duk of Ingland"[3] [Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford]. And the aforesaid Barbour celebrates their restoration in the following lines:—

"Quhill at the last they tretyt sua, That he[4] till Inglond hame suld ga, For owtyn paying of ransoune, fre; And that for him suld changyt be Byschap Robert[5] that blynd was mad; And the Queyne, that thai takyn had In presoune, as befor said I; And hyr douchtre dame Marjory. The Erle was changyt for thir thre."


[Footnote 1: Loricati, (in their coats of mail.)—Matthew of Westminster.]

[Footnote 2: See the order at length in Rymer, ut sup.]

[Footnote 3: Bellenden's translation.]

[Footnote 4: The Earl of Hereford.]

[Footnote 5: Wishcart, Bishop of Gloucester, before alluded to.]

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In the summer of 1844, I visited Dean Prior in company with my brother, in order to ascertain if we could add any new fact to the scanty accounts of the Life of Herrick recorded by his biographers. The events of his life have been related by Dr. Drake, (Literary Hours, vol. iii., 1st edit. 1798.—3rd edit. 1804), by Mr. Campbell, by Dr. Nott (Select Poems from the Hesperides, &c. Bristol, 1810,) by a writer in the Quarterly Review, vol. iv. 1810, by Mr. Wilmott in his elegantly written Lives of Sacred Poets, vol. i., 1834, and in the memoirs prefixed to the recent editions of Herrick's Poems published by Clarke (1844), and Pickering (1846). On examining any of these biographies, it will be found that the year and place of Herrick's death have not been ascertained. This was the point which I therefore particularly wished to inquire into.

Dean Prior is a village about six or seven miles from Totnes: the church, with the exception of the tower, had been recently rebuilt. The monuments and inscribed stones were carefully removed when the old fabric was taken down, and restored as nearly as could be to corresponding situations in the new building. I sought in vain, amongst these, for the name of Herrick. On making inquiry of the old sexton who accompanied us, he said at first in a very decided tone, "Oh, he died in Lunnun," but afterwards corrected himself, and said that Herrick died at Dean Prior, and that an old tombstone in {292} the churchyard, at the right hand side of the walk leading to the south side of the church, which was removed several years ago, was supposed to have covered the remains of the former vicar of Dean Prior.

Being baffled in our search after "tombstone information," we called at the vicarage, which stands close by the church, and the vicar most courteously accorded us permission to search the registers of the marriages, births, and burials, which were in his custody. The portion of the dilapidated volume devoted to the burials is headed thus:—

"Dean Prior

"The names of all those y't have been buried in y'e same parish from y'e year of our Lord God 1561, and so forwards."

After some careful search we were gratified by discovering the following entry:—

"Robert Herrick Vicker was buried y'e 15th day October, 1674."

I fancy I met with a selection from Herrick's Poems edited by Mr. Singer, several years ago, comprised in a small neat volume. Can any of your readers inform me whether there is such a book? I possess Mr. Singer's valuable editions of Cavendish, More, and Hall's Satires, and would wish to place this volume on the same shelf.


Totnes, Feb. 21. 1850.

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This query, evidently addressed to our Anglo-Saxon scholars by the distinguished philologist to whom we are all so much indebted, not having been hitherto replied to, perhaps the journal of "NOTES AND QUERIES" is the most fitting vehicle for this suggestive note:—


Allow me, though an entire stranger to you, to thank you for the pleasure I have derived, in common with all ethnological students, from your very valuable labours, and especially from the Geschichte der Deutschen Sprache. At the same time I venture, with much diffidence, to offer a reply to your question which occur in that work at p. 663.:—"Was heisst laerig?"

Lye says, "Haec vox occurrit apid Caedm. At interpretatio ejus minime liquet." In the Supplement to his Dictionary it is explained "docilis, tyro!" Mr. Thorpe, in his Analecta A.-S. (1st edit. Gloss), says, "The meaning of this word is uncertain: it occurs again in Caedmon;" and in his translation of Caedmon he thus renders the passage:—"Ofer linde laerig=over the linden shields." Here then laerig, evidently an adjective, is rendered by the substantive shields; and linde, evidently a substantive, is rendered by the adjective linden. In two other passages, Mr. Thorpe more correctly translates lindum=bucklers.

Lind, which Lye explained by the Latin labarium, vexillum, that excellent scholar, the late lamented Mr. Price, was the first, I believe, to show frequently signified a shield; which was, probably for lightness, made of the wood of the lime tree, and covered with skin, or leather of various colours. Thus we have "sealwe linde" and "hwite linde" in Caedm., "geolwe linde" in Beowulf.

All this is superfluous to you, sir, I know—"Retournons a nos moutons," as Maistre Pierre Pathelin says.

The sense required in the passage in Brythnoth seems to me to be:—

"baerst bordes laerig=the empty (hollow concave) shields

"and seo byrne sang=and the armour (lorica) resounded."

And in Caedmon:—

"ofer linde laerig=over the empty (hollow concave) shield."

In Judith, Th. Anal. 137, 53. we have a similar epithet:—

"hwealfum lindum=vaulted (arched concave) shields."

We should remember that Somner has ge-laer, void, empty, vacuus; and Lye, with a reference to the Herbarium, laer-nesse, vacuitas. In the Teuthonista we have laer, vacuus, concavus. In Heiland, 3, 4. "larea stodun thar stenuatu sehsi=empty stood there stone-vats six." I need not call to your mind the O.H.G. lari.

I think, therefore, we cannot doubt that what is intended to be expressed by the A.-S. laerig is empty, hollow, concave. But if we wanted further confirmation, leer, leery, leary are still in use in Devonshire, Dorsetshire, and perhaps elsewhere, for empty, hollow, as the provincial Glossaries will show. Skinner has the word leer, vacuus, and says, "foeliciter alludit Gr. [Greek: lagaros], laxus, vacuus." In Layamon we have (244, 16.), "the put waes i-laer." I have found but one instance in Middle English, and that is in the curious old Phrase-Book compiled by William Horman, Head Master of Eton School in the reign of Henry VIII:—

"'At a soden shyfte leere barellis, tyed together, with boardis above, make passage over a streme.' Tumultuario opere, inanes cuppae colligatae et tabulatis instratae fluminis transitu perhibent."—Hormanni Vulgaria, Lond. 1519, f. 272 b.

Instances of the word are not frequent, possibly because we had another word for empty (toom) in common with the Danes; but perhaps there was no necessity for dwelling upon it in the sense of empty; it was only its application as an epithet to a concave or hollow shield that your question could have had in view. {293}

Once more thanking you most heartily for the pleasure and profit I have derived from the Deutsche Grammatik, and all your other important labours, I am, sir, your grateful and obliged servant,


Mickleham, Nov. 23. 1849.

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The day appropriated to St. Valentine is kept with some peculiarity in the city of Norwich. Although "Valentines," as generally understood, that is to say billets sent by means of the post, are as numerously employed here as in other places, yet the custom consists not in the transmission of a missive overflowing with hearts and darts, or poetical posies, but in something far more substantial, elegant and costly—to wit, a goodly present of value unrestricted in use or expense. Though this custom is openly adopted among relatives and others whose friendship is reciprocated, yet the secret mode of placing a friend in possession of an offering is followed largely,—and this it is curious to remark, not on the day of the saint, when it might be supposed that the appropriateness of the gift would be duly ratified, the virtue of the season being in full vigour, but on the eve of St. Valentine, when it is fair to presume his charms are not properly matured. The mode adopted among all classes is that of placing the presents on the door-sill of the house of the favoured person, and intimating what is done by a run-a-way knock or ring as the giver pleases.

So universal is this custom in this ancient city, that it may be stated with truth some thousands of pounds are annually expended in the purchase of Valentine presents. At the time of writing (February 2.) the shops almost generally exhibit displays of articles calculated for the approaching period, unexampled in brilliancy, taste and costliness, and including nearly every item suitable to the drawing room, the parlour, or the boudoir. The local papers contain numerous advertising announcements of "Valentines;" the walls are occupied with printed placards of a similar character, and the city crier, by means of a loud bell and an equally sonorous voice, proclaims the particular advantages in the Valentine department of rival emporiums. All these preparations increase as the avator of St. Valentine approaches. At length the saint and his eve arrives—passes—and the custom, apparently expanding with age, is placed in abeyance until the next year. I am inclined to believe that this mode of keeping St. Valentine is confined to this city and the county of Norfolk.

As regards priority of occurrence this year, I should have first mentioned, that on Shrove Tuesday a custom commences of eating a small bun called cocque'els—cook-eels—coquilles—(the name being spelt indifferently) which is continued through the season of Lent. Forby, in his Vocabulary of East Anglia, calls this production "a sort of cross bun," but no cross is placed upon it, though its composition is not dissimilar. My inquiries, and, I may add, my reading, have not led me to the origin of either of the customs now detailed (with the exception of a few unsatisfactory words given by Forby on cook-eels), and I should be glad to find these brief notices leading by your means to more extended information on both subjects, not only as regards this part of the country, but others also.



Old Charms.—I think that, if you are anxious to accumulate as much as you can of the Folk Lore of England, no set of men are more likely to help you than the clergy, particularly the younger part, viz., curates, to whom the stories they hear among their flock have the gloss of novelty. I send you a specimen of old charms, &c. that have come under my notice in the south-eastern counties.

No. 1. is a dialogue between the Parson and the old Dame:—

"P. Well, Dame Grey, I hear you have a charm to cure the toothache. Come, just let me hear it; I should be so much pleased to know it.

"Dame. Oh, your reverence, it's not worth telling."

(Here a long talk—Parson coaxing the Dame to tell him—old lady very shy, partly suspecting he is quizzing her, partly that no charms are proper things, partly willing to know what he thinks about it.) At last it ends by her saying—

"Well, your reverence, you have been very kind to me, and I'll tell you: it's just a verse from Scripture as I says over those as have the toothache:—

"'And Jesus said unto Peter, What aileth thee? and Peter answered, Lord, I have toothache. And the Lord healed him.'"

"P. Well, but Dame Grey, I think I know my Bible, and I don't find any such verse in it."

"Dame. Yes, your reverence, that is just the charm. It's in the Bible, but you can't find it!"

No. 2. To avert sickness from a family, hang up a sickle, or iron implement, at the bed head.

No. 3. Should a death happen in a house at night, and there be a hive or hives of bees in the garden, go out and wake them up at once, otherwise the whole hive or swarm will die.

I hope your Folk Lore is not confined to the fading memorials of a past age. The present superstitions are really much more interesting and valuable to be gathered together; and I am sure your pages would be very well employed in recording these for a future generation. I would {294} suggest, in all humility, that it would be really useful, for the rulers of our Church and State, to know how far such a superstition as the following prevails among the peasantry:

That, if a dying person sees "glory," or a bright light, at or near the time of their dissolution, such a vision is a sure sign of their salvation, whatever may have been their former life, or their repentance.

D. Sholbus.

Superstitions in North of England.—I find some curious popular superstitions prevalent in the north of England some three centuries ago recorded in the Proceedings before the Special Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Causes appointed by Queen Elizabeth. Thus:

"Anthony Haggen presented for medicioning children with miniting a hammer as a smythe of kynde."


"John Watson presented for burying a quick dogg and a quick cowe."


"Agnes, the wyf of John Wyse, als Winkam John Wyse, presented to be a medicioner for the waffc of an yll wynde, and for the fayryes."

Some of your readers may perhaps explain what these were. It is clear that they were superstitious practices of sufficient prevalence and influence on the popular mind to call for the interference of the queen's commissioners.


Decking Churches with Yew on Easter Day.—In the village of Berkely near Frome, Somerset, and on the borders of Wiltshire, the church is decorated on Easter Sunday with yew, evidently as an emblem of the Resurrection. Flowers in churches on that day are common, but I believe the use of yew to be unusual.

W. Durrant Cooper.

Strewing Straw or Chaff.—The custom mentioned by your correspondent "B." (p. 245.) as prevailing in Gloucestershire, is not peculiar to that county. In Kent, it is commonly practised by the rustics. The publican, all the world over, decorates his sign-board with a foaming can and pipes, to proclaim the entertainment to be found within. On the same principle, these rustics hang up their sign-board,—as one of them, with whom I was once remonstrating, most graphically explained to me. When they knew of a house where the master deems a little wholesome discipline necessary to ensure the obedience of love, considering it a pity that the world should be ignorant of his manly virtues, they strew "well threshed" chaff or straw before his door, as an emblematical sign-board, to proclaim that the sweet fare and "good entertainment" of a "well threshed" article may be found within. The custom, at all events, has one good tendency, it shames the tyrant into restraint, when he knows that his cowardly practices are patent to the world.

Lambert B. Larking.

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No. 1. Cron Annwn.—When a storm sounds over the mountains, the Welsh peasant will tell you that his ear discerns the howl of the Cron Annwn mingling with that of the wind, yet as clearly distinct from it as is the atmosphere in a diving-bell from that of the surrounding waters. These dogs of Annwn, or "couriers of the air," are spirit hounds, who hunt the souls of the dead; or, as occasionally said, they foretell, by their expectant cries, the approaching death of some man of evil deeds. Few have ever pretended to see them; for few, we presume, would linger until they dawned on the sight; but they are described by Taliesin, and in the Mabinogion, as being of a clear shining white, with red ears; colouring which confirms the author of the Mythology of the Ancient Druids in the idea that these dogs were "a mystical transformation of the Druids with their white robes and red tiaras." Popular superstition, however, which must always attribute ugliness to an object of fear, deems that they are either jet black, with eyes and teeth of fire, or of a deep red, and dripping all over with gore. "The nearer," says the Rev. Edmund Jones, "they are to a man, the less their voice is, and the farther the louder, sometimes swelling like the voice of a great hound, or a blood-hound."

They are sometimes accompanied by a female fiend, called Malt y nos—Mathilda or Malen of the night, a somewhat ubiquitous character, with whom we meet under a complication of names and forms.

Jones of Brecon, who tells us that the cry of the Cron Annwn is as familiar to the inhabitants of Ystrad Fellte and Pont Neath-vaughan [in Glamorganshire] as the watchman's rattle in the purlieus of Covent Garden—for he lived in the days when watchmen and their rattles were yet among the things of this world—considers that to these dogs, and not to a Greek myth, may be referred the hounds, Fury, Silver, Tyrant, &c., with which Prospero hunts his enemies "soundly," in the Tempest. And they must recall to the minds of our readers the wisk, wisked, or Yesk hounds of Devon, which are described in the Athenaeum for March 27. 1847, as well as the Maisne Hellequin of Normandy and Bretagne.

There has been much discussion respecting the signification of the word Annwn, which has been increased by the very frequent mistake of writing it Anwn, which means, unknown, strange, and is applied to the people who dwell in the antipodes of the speaker; while Annwn is an adaptation of annwfn, a bottomless or immeasurable pit, voidless {295} space, and also Hell. Thus we find, that when Pwyl, or Reason, drives these dogs off their track, the owner comes up, and, reproving him, declares that he is a crowned king, lord of Annwn and Pendaran, i.e. chief of thunder. (See Myth. Ant. Druids, p. 418.)

This Prince of Darkness is supposed to be the spouse of Andraste, now corrupted into Andras, and equivalent with Malt y nos, the Diana or Hecate of the ancient Britons.

These dogs sometimes appear singly, on which occasions they sit by the side of a stream, howling in so unearthly a manner, that the hapless man who finds one in his path usually loses his senses. This seems to have a connection with the "Manthe Doog" of the Isle of Man; but the tradition is not, we suspect, genuine.


No. 2. Cyoeraeth or Gwrach-y-rhybin.—Another instance of the grand, though gloomy superstitions of the Cymry, is that of the Cyoeraeth, or hag of the mist, an awful being who is supposed to reside in the mountain fog, through which her supernatural shriek is frequently heard. She is believed to be the very personification of ugliness, with torn and dishevelled hair, long black teeth, lank and withered arms and claws, and a most cadaverous appearance; to this some add, wings of a leathery and bat-like substance.

The name Cy-oer-aeth, the last two syllables of which signify cold-grief, is most descriptive of the sad wail which she utters, and which will, it is said, literally freeze the veins of those who hear it; she is rarely seen, but is heard at a cross-road, or beside a stream—in the latter case she splashes the water with her hands—uttering her lamentation, as if in allusion to the relatives of those about to die. Thus, if a man hears her cry fy nqwsaig, fy nqwsaig, &c., his wife will surely die, and he will be heard to mourn in the same strain ere long; and so on with other cases. The cadence of this cry can never be properly caught by any one who has not heard, if not a Cyoeraeth, at least a native of Wales, repeat the strain. When merely an inarticulate scream is heard, it is probable that the hearer himself is the one whose death is fore-mourned.

Sometimes she is supposed to come like the Irish banshee, in a dark mist, to the windows of those who have been long ill; when flapping her wings against the pane, she repeats their names with the same prolonged emphasis; and then it is thought that they must die.

It is this hag who forms the torrent beds which seam the mountain side; for she gathers great stones in her cloak to make her ballast, when she flies upon the storm; and when about to retire to her mountain cave, she lets them drop progressively as she moves onwards, when they fall with such an unearthly weight that they lay open the rocky sides of the mountain.

In some parts of South Wales this hag of the mists either loses her sway, or divides it with a more dignified personage, who, in the form of an old man, and under the name of Brenhin Llwyd, the grey king, sits ever silent in the mist.

Any one who has witnessed the gathering and downward rolling of a genuine mountain fog must fully appreciate the spirit in which men first peopled the cloud with such supernatural beings a those above described; or with those which dimly, yet constantly, pervade the much-admired Legend of Montrose.


* * * * *


I regret that I am unable to offer any information in answer to "Mr. P. Collier's" inquiry (No. 13. p. 200.) respecting the existence of a perfect or imperfect copy of a poem by William Basse on the Death of Prince Henry, printed at Oxford by Joseph Barnes, 1613, and am only aware of such a poem from the slight mention of it by Sir Harris Nicolas in his beautiful edition of Walton's Complete Angler, p. 422. But as the possessor of the 4to. MS. volume of poems by Basse, called Polyhymnia, formerly belonging to Mr. Heber, I feel greatly interested in endeavouring to obtain some further biographical particulars of Basse,—of whom, although personally known to Isaac Walton, the author of one or two printed volumes of poems, and of the excellent old songs of "the Hunter in his Career" and "Tom of Bedlam," and worthy of having his verses on Shakspeare inserted among his collected poems, yet the notices we at present possess are exceedingly slight. We learn from Anth. Wood, in his Ath. Oxon., vol. iv. p. 222., that Basse was a native of Moreton, near Thame in Oxfordshire, and was for some time a retainer of Sir Richard Wenman, Knt., afterwards Viscount Wenman, in the peerage of Ireland. He seems also to have been attached to the noble family of Norreys of Ricot in Oxfordshire, which is not far from Thame; and addressed some verses to Francis Lord Norreys, Earl of Berkshire, from which I quote one or two stanzas, and in the last of which there is an allusion to the [plainness of the] author's personal appearance:

"O true nobilitie, and rightly grac'd With all the jewels that on thee depend, Where goodnesse doth with greatnesse live embrac'd, And outward stiles, on inward worth attend. Where ample lands, in ample hands are plac'd And ancient deeds, with ancient coats descend: Where noble bloud combin'd with noble spirit Forefathers fames, doth with their formes inherit.

"Where ancestors examples are perus'd Not in large tomes, or costly tombs alone, But in their heires: and being dayly us'd Are (like their robes) more honourable growne, {296} Where Loyalty with Piety is infus'd, And publique rights are cherish'd w'th their owne; Where worth still finds respect, good friend, good word, Desart, reward. And such is Ricot's Lord.

"But what make I (vaine voyce) in midst of all The Quires that have already sung the fame Of this great House, and those that henceforth shall (As that will last) for ever sing the same. But, if on me, my garland instly fall, I justly owe my musique to this name. For he unlawfully usurps the Bayes That has not sung in noble Norrey's prayse.

"In playne (my honour'd Lord) I was not borne, Audacious vowes, or forraigne legs to use, Nature denyed my outside to adorne, And I, of art to learne outsides refuse. Yet haveing of them both, enough to scorne Silence, & vulgar prayse, this humble muse And her meane favourite; at yo'r comand Chose in this kinde, to kisse your noble hand."

His Polyhymnia is dedicated to the sister of this person, the Lady Bridget, Countess of Lindsey, and Baroness of Eresbie and of Ricot. Besides the "Anglers' Song" made at Walton's request, and the before-mentioned two songs, which are given at length in the Appendix to the Complete Angler, p. 420., Sir H. Nicolas's edit., besides these, and the verses "on William Shakespeare, who died in April, 1616," sometimes called "Basse his Elegie on Shakespeare," which appear in the edition of Shakespeare's Poems of 1640, 8vo., and are reprinted in Malone's edition of his Plays, vol. i. p. 470.: another poem by William Basse will be found in the collection entitled Annalia Dubrensia, upon the Yearely Celebration of Mr. Robert Dover's Olympick Games upon Cotswold Hills, 4to. 1636. This consists of ten stanzas, of eight lines each, "To the noble and fayre Assemblies, the harmonious concourse of Muses, and their Ioviall entertainer, my right generous Friend, Master Robert Dover, upon Cotswold." Basse was also, as Mr. Collier remarks, the author of a poem, which I have never seen, called Sword and Buckler, or Serving Man's Defence, in six-line stanzas, 4to. Lond., imprinted in 1602. A copy of this was sold in Steevens's sale, No. 767., and is now among "Malone's Collection of Early Poetry" in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. And, according to Ritson, he wrote another work, published in the same year, viz. Three Pastorall Elegies of Anander, Anytor and Muridella, entered to Joseph Barnes, 28 May, 1692, of which I am not aware that any copy is now in existence. These, with the addition of Great Brittaines Sunnes-set, bewailed with a Shower of Teares, at Oxford, printed by Joseph Barnes, 1613, the fragment of which is in the possession of Mr. Collier, appear, as far as I can yet ascertain, to be the only known publications of William Basse, with his name attached to them in full. Other works, however, have been attributed to him from the similarity of the initials,—but most of them probably without much foundation; viz. 1. Scacchia Ludus: Chesse-play: a poetical translation of Vida's poem at the end of Ludus Sacchiae, Chesse-Play, by W.B. 4to. Lond. 1597; by Ritson. 2. A Helpe to Discourse; or a Miscelany of Merriment, by W.B. and E.P. 2nd edit. 8vo. Lond. 1620; by Mr. Malone. And 3. That which seemes Best is Worst, exprest in a Paraphrastical Transcript of Iuuenals tenth Satyre. Together with the Tragicall Narration of Virginius Death interserted, by W.B. small 8vo. Lond.; imprinted by Felix Kyngston, 1617, by Mr. Octavius Gilchrist, who however rather leans to the opinion of William Barkstead being the author, from the circumstance of his having, as early as 1607, paraphrased, much in a similar way, the interesting tale of Myrrha, the mother of Adonis, from the 10th Book of the Metamorphoses. (See Restitutu, vol. i. p. 41.)

Cole, in his MS. Collectanea for Athenae Cantabrigiensis, says:

"Mr. Knight, jun. shewed me a MS. written by William Basse, and corrected by him, in 4to., called Polyhymnia.—Dedication. To the Right Noble and vertuous Lady, the Lady Bridget, Countess of Lindsey, and Baroness of Eresbie and Ricot, in verse, with Verses to the Right Hon. Francis Lord Norreys, Earl of Berkshire (in his days). To the Right Hon. the Lady Aungier (then wife of Sir Thos. Wenman) upon her coming out of Ireland and return thither. To the Right Hon. the lady Viscountess Falkland, upon her going into Ireland, two Sonnets. The Youth in the Boat. Acrostics of the truly noble, vertuous, and learned Lady, the Lady Agnes Wenman; of the Lady Penelope Dynham; of Mrs. Jane Wenman. Verses on the Chapel of Wadham College consecration, St. Peter's Day, 1613; on Caversham or Causham House; of Witham House, Oxfordshire, the house of a noble Knight, and favourer of my Muse; and Elegy on a Bullfinch, 1648; of the Four Mile Course of Bayaides Green, six times run over, by two famous Irish footmen, Patrick Dorning and William O'Farrell.—It contains about 40 leaves, much corrected, and at the end is 'L'Envoy':—

"'Go, sweet Polymnia, thanks for all your cost And love to me; wherein no love is lost. As you have taught me various verse to use, I have to right you to be a Christian Muse.'"

I have been thus particular in transcribing this passage from Cole, because this copy, mentioned as being in the possession of Mr. Knight, jun. (quere, where is it now?), varies from mine, obtained from Mr. Heber's Collection, and was no doubt the one prepared and corrected for the press by Basse. The following poems, mentioned by Cole, are not in my copy:—

"To the Right Hon. the Lady Aungier (then wife of Sir Thos. Wenman) upon her coming out of Ireland, {297} and return thither. Acrostics of the truly noble, vertuous, and learned Lady, the Lady Agnes Wenman; of the Lady Penelope Dynham; of Mrs. Jane Wenman. Verses on the Chapel of Wadham College consecration, St. Peter's Day, 1613; and on Caversham or Causham House."

My copy, however, contains the following poems, not mentioned in the other:—

"Of a Great Floud; of the Raine-bowe; of Pen and Pensill, upon a fayre and vertuous Ladye's Picture; and the Spirituall Race."

The MS. contains 52 leaves, beautifully written without any corrections, and is in the original binding. It was procured by Mr. Heber from Hanwell, the Bookseller in Oxford, who had probably purchased it on the taking down of Ricot, the old seat of the Norreys family, and the dispersion of its contents. It has the autograph of Francis Lord Norreys on the fly-leaf, and was no doubt a presentation copy to him from Basse. The poetry of this work does not rise above mediocrity, and is not equal in thought or vigour to the Epitaph on Shakspeare. The chief portion of the volume is occupied with the singular tale of "The Youth in the Boat," which is divided into two parts; the first, containing (with the introduction) 59 verses of four lines each, and the second 163, exclusive of the "Morall," which occupies 11 more.

We know that it was Basse's intention to have published these poems, from some lines addressed by Dr. Ralph Bathurst "To Mr. W. Basse upon the intended publication of his poems, January 13. 1651," which are given in Warton's Life and Literary Remains of Dean Bathurst, 8vo. 1761, p. 288. In these lines the Dean compares Basse, who was still living, "to an aged oak," and says:—

"Though thy grey Muse grew up with elder times, And our deceased Grandsires lisp'd thy rhymes, Yet we can sing thee too."

From these lines, therefore, written nearly 50 years after the publication of his former works in 1602, when we may reasonably suppose he could not have been under 20, it is certain that Basse was then well stricken in years; and the probability is, that he died very shortly afterwards, and that this was the reason of the non-publication of his poems. It is possible that a search into the registers at Thame or that neighbourhood, or in the court at Oxford, might settle this point, and also furnish some further information concerning his family and connections. Cole mentions that a person of both his names was admitted a sizar in Emanuel College, Cambridge, in 1629, of Suffolk, and took his degree of B.A. in 1632 and M.A. in 1636. But this was too modern a date for our poet, and might possibly be his son.

I have been informed that in Winchester College library, in a 4to. volume, there are some poems by Mr. William Basse; but the title of the volume I have not been able to obtain.

Mr. Collier concludes his remarks, with a supposition that Basse "was a musical composer, as well as writer of verses." I believe Mr. C. to be right in this notion, from a passage which I find in the commencement of the 2nd Part of "The Youth in the Boat," where, alluding to "sweete Calliope," he remarks:—

"A Muse to whom in former dayes I was extremely bound, When I did sing in Musiques prayse, And Voyces heau'nly sound."

And from the circumstance also of one of the Ballads in the Roxburghe Collection, "Wit's never good till 'tis bought," being sung to the tune of "Basse's Carreere." Mr. Collier has reprinted this in his elegant Book of Roxburghe Ballads, 4to. 1847, p. 264., and says:—

"The tune to which is sung, 'Basse's Carreere,' means of course, the tune mentioned in Walton's Angler, 'The Hunter in his Career,' composed, as he states by William Basse."

I have a distant recollection of having seen other pieces in some of our early musical works, composed by Basse. Sir Harris Nicolas, also, in the "Life of Walton," prefixed to his edition of The Complete Angler, p. cxx., says:—

"He (Walton) appears to have been fond of poetry and music.... and was intimate with Basse, an eminent composer, in whose science he took great interest."

I fear that these notices of William Basse, thus collected together from scattered sources, will not afford much information to Mr. Collier, beyond what he is already possessed of; but they may possibly interest others, who may not be quite so conversant with our early writers as that gentleman is known to be. I shall feel much gratified and obliged if he or any other of your correspondents will add any further notices or communications respecting one who may possibly have been personally known to Shakspeare, but whose name, at all events, will be handed down to posterity in connection with that of our immortal bard.


Stand Rectory, Feb. 22. 1850.

* * * * *


In the Gentleman's Magazine, vol. vii., new series, p. 48., is a clever notice of the life and works of the venerable John Stowe. It says:—

"The biographers have affirmed that he quitted his trade; but there is nothing to authorize that assertion in what he says himself upon the subject."

In the preface to an edition of the Summarie for the Year {298} 1575, now in my possession, Stowe says:—

"It is nowe x yeres, since I (seeing the confuse order of our late englishe Chronicles, and the ignorant handling of aunciet affaires) leaning myne own peculiar gains, coscerated my selfe to the searche of our famous antiquities."

Stowe was born in 1525; he was then 40 years of age when he gave up his "peculiar gains," and devoted himself entirely to antiquarian labours. There had already appeared his edition of Chaucer in 1561, also the commencement of the Summaries; but his greater works, the Annals, Survey of London, &c., were not published till several years after.

In his old age he was reduced to poverty, or rather to actual beggary; for shortly before his death, when fourscore years old, he was permitted, by royal letters patent, to become a mendicant. This curious document is printed in Mr. Bolton Corney's Curiosities of Literature Illustrated, and sets forth, that

"Whereas our louing Subject, John Stowe, this fine & forty yeers hath to his great charge, & with neglect of his ordinary meanes of maintenance (for the generall good as well of posteritie, as of the present age) compiled and published diuerse necessary bookes & Chronicles; and therefore we, in recompense of these his painfull laboures, & for the encouragement to the like, haue in our royall inclination ben pleased to graunt our Letters Patents &c. &c.; thereby authorizing him and his deputies to collect amongst our louing subjects, theyr voluntary contributions & kinde gratuities."

The whole preface to this edition of the Summarie is curious, and is followed by a List of "Authors out of whom this Summary is collected."

In Hearne's Robert of Gloster, preface, p. lxi., allusion is made to these Summaries. He says:—

"I have not yet met with a copy of this Summary in which we have an account of his authors."

After a panegyric on Stowe's incredible industry he says:—

"Sir Roger Lestrange, talking some years before his death with a very ingenious and learned Gentleman about our Historians, was pleased to say, that it was always a wonder to him, that the very best that had penn'd our History in English should be a poor Taylour, honest John Stowe. Sir Roger said a Taylour, because Stowe, as is reported, was bred a cap-maker. The trade of Cap-making was then much in fashion, Hats being not at that time much in request."


* * * * *


The only reason, I imagine, which can be given for the transposition of letters spoken of by Mr. Williams (No. 12. p. 184.), is that it was done on "phonetic" principles—for the sake of euphony:—the new way was felt or fancied to be easier to the organs of speech, or (which is nearly the same) pleasanter to those of hearing. Such alterations have at all times been made,—as is well known to those versed in the earlier stages of the language,—and often most arbitrarily. It is needless to say that "provincial and vulgar" usage throws much light on the changes in the forms of words; and perhaps a little attention to the manner in which words are altered by the peasantry would illustrate the point in question more than a learned comment.

No form of verbal corruption is more frequent throughout the rural districts of England than that produced by the transposition of letters, especially of consonants: such words as world, wasp, great, are, as every one knows, still ordinarily (though less frequently than a dozen years ago) pronounced wordle, waps, gurt. So with names of places: thus Cholsey (Berks.) is called Chosley.

The dropping of a letter is to be accounted for in a like manner. Probably the word was first pronounced short, and when the ear became accustomed to the shortened sound, the superfluous (or rather unpronounced) letter would be dropped in writing. In proper names, to which your correspondent particularly refers, we observe this going on extensively in the present day. Thus, in Caermarthen and Caernarvon, though the e is etymologically of importance, it is now very generally omitted—and that by "those in authority:" in the Ordnance Maps, Parliamentary "Blue Books," and Poor-law documents, those towns are always spelled Carnarvon, Carmarthen. A still more striking instance is that of a well-known village on the Thames, opposite Runnimede. Awhile back it was commonly spelled Wyrardisbury; now it appears on the time-tables of the South-Western Railway (and perhaps elsewhere) Wraysbury, which very nearly represents the local pronunciation.

It is, perhaps, worth while to remark that letters are sometimes added as well as dropped by the peasantry. Thus the Cockley, a little tributary of Wordsworth's Duddon, is by the natives of Donnerdale invariably called Cocklety beck; whether for the sake of euphony, your readers may decide.

And now, Sir, you will perhaps permit me to put a query. Tom Brown, in his Dialogues, p. 44. ed. 1704., has a well-known line:—

"Why was not he a rascal Who refused to suffer the Children of Israel to go into the Wilderness with their wives and families to eat the Paschal?"

which he says he found on some "very ancient hangings in a country ale-house." I have never doubted that he was himself the author; but having heard it positively ascribed to a very different person, I should be glad to know whether {299} any of your readers have met with it in an earlier writer; and if so, to whom is it to be ascribed?


Pet-Names—"Jack."—Perhaps one of your many readers, erudite in etymologies, will kindly explain how "Jack" came to be used as the diminutive for John. Dr. Kennedy, in his recent interesting disquisition on pet-names (No. 16. p. 242.), supposes that Jaques was (by confusion) transmuted into "Jack;" a "metamorphosis," almost as violent as the celebrated one effected, some two centuries ago, by Sir John Harrington. "Poor John," from being so long "Jack among his familiars," has been most scurvily treated, being employed to form sundry very derogatory compounds, such as, Jackass, Jackpudding, Jack-a-dandy, Jackanapes, Jack-a-lent, Jack o' oaks (knave of clubs), Jack-o' th' Lantern, &c. &c. Might not "Jack" have been derived from John, somewhat after the following fashion:—Johan—Joan—Jan—Janchen or Jankin.

"Ho! jolly Jenkin, I spy a knave in drinkin."

Jankin = little John. Jank—Jak. This etymology has, I confess, a very great resemblance to the Millerian mode of educing Cucumber from Jeremiah King; but it is the most plausible which occurs at present to

L. Kennaquhair.

John—Pisan.—I will thank you to inform your correspondent "C." (No. 15 p. 234.), that we must look to the East for the "original word" of John. In the Waldensian MSS. of the Gospels of the 12th Century, we find Ioanes, showing its derivation from the Greek Iohannaes. The word Pisan occurs in the 33rd vol. of the Archaeologia, p. 131.

I have considered it was a contraction for pavoisine, a small shield; and I believe this was the late Dr. Meyrick's opinion.

B.W. Feb. 25.

Sir,—If the signature to the article in No. 16., "on Pet Names," had not been Scottish, I should have been less surprised at the author's passing over the name of Jock, universally used in Scotland for John. The termination ick or ck is often employed, as marking a diminutive object, or object of endearment. May not the English term Jack, if not directly borrowed from the Scottish Jock, have been formed through the primary Jock—John—Jock—Jack?


Origin of the Change of "Mary" into "Polly" (No. 14. p. 215.).—This change, like many others in diminutives, is progressive. By a natural affinity between the liquids r and l, Mary becomes Molly, as Sarah, Sally, Dorothea, Dora, Dolly, &c. It is not so easy to trace the affinity between the initials M. and P., though the case is not singular; thus, Margaret, Madge, Meggy, Meg, Peggy, PegMartha, Matty, Patty—and Mary, Molly, Polly and Poll; in which last abbreviation not one single letter of the original word remains: the natural affinity between the two letters, as medials, is evident, as in the following examples, all of which, with one exception, are Latin derivatives: empty, peremptory, sumptuous, presumptuous, exemption, redemption, and sempstress and again, in the words tempt, attempt, contempt, exempt, prompt, accompt, comptroller (vid. Walker's Prin. of Eng. Pron. pp. 42, 43.); in all which instances however, the p is mute, so that "Mary" is avenged for its being the accomplice in the desecration of her gentle name into "Polly." Many names of the other sex lose their initials in the diminutive; as,

Richard Dick Robert Bob William Bill Edward Ned Christopher Kit Roger Hodge,

and probably many others; but I have no list before me, and these are all that occur.

Philologos. Deanery of Gloucester, Shrove Tuesday, 1850.

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Permit me to add two further plagiarisms or parallel passages on the subject of Childe Harold to those already contributed by your valuable correspondent "Melanion."

Mrs. Radcliffe (who I am informed was never out of England) is describing in her Mysteries of Udolpho, Chap. xvi. the appearance of Venice. "Its terraces, crowded with airy, yet majestic fabrics touched as they now were with the splendour of the setting sun, appeared as if they had been called up from the Ocean by the wand of an enchanter."

In the 1st stanza of the 4th canto of Childe Harold we have the well known lines—

"I stood in Venice on the bridge of sighs, A palace and a prison on each hand: I saw from out the wave her structures rise As from the stroke of the enchanter's wand."

In one of his letters Lord Byron tells us of his fondness for the above novel.

Again in Kirke White's Christiad

"The lyre which I in early days have strung, And now my spirits faint, and I have hung The shell that solaced me in saddest hour On the dark cypress—"

May be compared with the last stanza but one of the 4th canto.


* * * * * {300}


The following lines by Robert Burns have never appeared in any collection of his works. They were given to me some time ago at Chatham Barracks by Lieut. Colonel Fergusson, R.M., formerly of Dumfriesshire, by whom they were copied from the tumbler upon which they were originally written.

Shortly before the death of Alan Cunningham I sent these verses to him, as well as two Epigrams of Burns, "On Howlet Face," and "On the Mayor of Carlisle's impounding his Horse," which were not included in his edition of Burns' works. In a letter which I received from Alan Cunningham, and which now lies before me, he says:—

"The pieces you were so good as to send me are by Burns, and the Epigrams are old acquaintances of mine. I know not how I came to omit them. I shall print them in the next edition, and say it was you who reminded me of them."

I believe that one or both of the Epigrams were printed in the 8vo. edition of the works in one volume, but my name is not mentioned as the contributor, which I regret; for, as an enthusiastic admirer of Burns, and a collector for many years of his fugitive pieces, it would have been gratifying to me to have been thus noticed. Perhaps Cunningham did not superintend that edition.

The verses I now send you, and which may, perhaps, be worth preserving in your valuable miscellany, originated thus:—On occasion of a social meeting at Brownhill inn, in the parish of Closeburn, near Dumfries, which was, according to Alan Cunningham, "a favourite resting-place of Burns," the poet, who was one of the party, was not a little delighted by the unexpected appearance of his friend William Stewart. He seized a tumbler, and in the fulness of his heart, wrote the following lines on it with a diamond. The tumbler is carefully preserved, and was shown some years since by a relative of Mr. Stewart, at his cottage at Closeburn, to Colonel Fergusson, who transcribed the lines, and gave them to me with the assurance that they had never been printed.

The first verse is an adaptation of a well known Jacobite lyric.

"You're welcome Willie Stewart! You're welcome Willie Stewart! There's no a flower that blooms in May That's half so welcome as thou art!

Come bumper high, express your joy! The bowl—ye maun renew it— The tappit-hen—gae fetch her ben, To welcome Willie Stewart!

May faes be strong—may friends be slack— May he ilk action rue it— May woman on him turn her back Wad wrang thee Willie Stewart!"

J. Reynell Wreford.

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Your correspondent "R.O." having inquired after the author of the conjecture that the Lacedaemonian Black Broth was composed wholly, or in part, of coffee, such an idea appearing to me to have arisen principally from a presumed identity of colour between the two, and to have no foundation in fact, I have endeavoured to combat it, in the first instance by raising the question, whether it was black or not?

This has brought us to the main point, what the [Greek: zomos melas] really was. And here "R.O." appears to rest content upon the probablity of coffee having been an ingredient. Permit me to assign some additional reasons for entertaining a different opinion.

We read nothing in native writers of anything like coffee in Greece, indigenous or imported; and how in the world was it to get into Laconia, inhabited, as it is well known to have been, by a race of men the least prone of any to change their customs, and the least accessible to strangers. Lycurgus, we are told, forbade his people to be sailors, or to contend at sea[6], so that they had no means of importing it themselves; and what foreign merchant would sell it to them, who had only iron money to pay withal, and dealt, moreover, as much as possible by way of barter?[7]

But it may be said they cultivated the plant themselves; that is, in other words, that the Helots raised it for them. If so, how happens it that all mention of the berry is omitted in the catalogue of their monthly contributions to the Phiditia, which are said to have consisted of meal, wine, cheese, figs, and a very little money?[8] and when the king of Pontus[9] indulged in the expensive fancy of buying to himself (not hiring, let it be recollected) a cook, to make that famous broth which Dionysius found so detestable, how came he not at the same time to think of buying a pound of coffee also? Moreover, if we consider its universal popularity at present, it is hardly to be supposed that, in ancient times, coffee would have suited no palate except that of a Lacedaemonian.

With respect to the colour of the broth, I am reminded of my own reference to Pollux, lib. vi. who is represented by your correspondent to say that the [Greek: melas zomos] was also called [Greek: aimatia], a word which Messrs. Scott and Liddell interpret to {301} denote "blood broth," and go on to state, upon the authority of Manso, that blood was a principal ingredient in this celebrated Lacedaemonian dish. Certainly, if the case were really so, the German writer would have succeeded in preparing for us a most disagreeable and warlike kind of food; but my astonishment has not been small, upon turning to the passage, to find that "R.O.'s" authorities had misled him, and that Pollux really says nothing of the kind. His words (I quote from the edition 2 vols. folio, Amst. 1706) are these,

[Greek: "O de melas kaloumenos zomos Lakonikon men hos epi to poly to edesma. esti de hae kaloumenae haimatia. to de thrion hode eskeuazon, k.t.l."]

The general subject of the section is the different kinds of flesh used by man for food, and incidentally the good things which may be made from these; which leads the writer to mention by name many kinds of broth, amongst which he says towards the end, is that called [Greek: melas zomos] which might be considered almost as a Lacedaemonian dish; adding further, that there was a something called haematia (and this might have been a black pudding or sausage for anything that appears to the contrary); also the thrium, which was prepared in a manner he proceeds to describe. Now the three parts of the sentence which has been given above in the original do, to the best of my judgment, clearly refer to three different species of food; and I would appeal to the candid opinion of any competent Greek scholar, whether, according to the idiom of that language, the second part of it is so expressed, as to connect it with, and make it explanatory of, the first. We want, for this purpose, a relative, either with or without [Greek: esti]; and the change of gender in haematia seems perfectly unaccountable if it is intended to have any reference to [Greek: zomos].

It may not be unimportant to add that the significant silence of Meursius, (an author surely not to be lightly thought of) who in his Miscellanea Laconica says nothing of blood broth at the Phiditia, implies that he understood the passage of Pollux as intended to convey the meaning expressed above.

Another lexicographer, Hesychius, informs us that [Greek: Bapha] was the Lacedaemonian term for [Greek: zomos]; and this, perhaps, was the genuine appellation for that which other Greeks expressed by a periphrasis, either in contempt or dislike, or because its colour was really dark, the juices of the meat being thoroughly extracted into it. That it was nutritive and powerful may be inferred from what Plutarch mentions, that the older men were content to give up the meat to the younger ones, and live upon the broth only[10], which, had it been very poor, they would not have done.

When these remarks were commenced, it was for the purpose of showing, by means of a passage not generally referred to, what the ancients conceived the "black broth" to be, and that consequently, all idea of coffee entering into its composition was untenable. How far this has been accomplished the reader must decide: but I cannot quit the subject without expressing my sincere persuasion, founded upon a view of the authorities referred to, that the account given by Athenaeus is substantially correct. Pig meat would be much in use with a people not disposed to take the trouble of preparing any other: the animal was fit for nothing but food; and the refuse of their little farms would be sufficient for his keep. Athenaeus also, in another passage, supplies us with a confirmation of the notion that the stock was made from pig, and this is stronger because it occurs incidentally. It is found in a quotation from Matron, the maker of parodies, who, alluding to some person or other who had not got on very well at a Lacedaemonian feast, explains the cause of his failure to have been, that the black broth, and boiled odds and ends of pig meat, had beaten him;

"[Greek: Damna min zomos te melas akrokolia t' hephtha.]"[11]

That their cookery was not of a very recondite nature, is evident from what is mentioned by Plutarch, that the public meals were instituted at first in order to prevent their being in the hands of artistes and cooks[12], while to these every one sent a stated portion of provisions, so that there would neither be change nor variety in them. Cooks again were sent out of Sparta, if they could do more than dress meat[13]; while the only seasoning allowed to them was salt and vinegar[14]; for which reason, perhaps, Meursius considers the composition of the [Greek: zomos melas] to have been pork gravy seasoned with vinegar and salt[15], since there seemed to have been nothing else of which it could possibly have been made.

For MR. TREVELYAN's suggestion of the cuttlefish, I am greatly obliged to him; but this was an Athenian dish, and too good for the severity of Spartan manners. It is impossible not to smile at the idea of the distress which Cineparius must have felt, had he happened to witness the performances of any persons thus swallowing ink bottles by wholesale.

The passages which have been already quoted, {302} either by R.O. or myself, will probably give Mr. T. sufficient information of the principal ones in which the "black broth" is mentioned.


[Footnote 6: Xen. de Rep. Lac.]

[Footnote 7: "Emi singula non pecunia sed compensatione mercium, jussit (Lycurgus)."—Justin. iii. 2.]

[Footnote 8: Plut. in Lyc.]

[Footnote 9: Plut. in Lyc. The word is [Greek: priasthai], the cook probably a slave and Helot. There seems some confusion between this story, and that of Dionysius tyrant of Syracuse, noticed in the beginning of the Inst. Lacon., and by Cicero in the Tusculan Questions, v. 34. The Syracusan table was celebrated.]

[Footnote 10: Plut. in Lyc.]

[Footnote 11: Ath. Deip. iv. 13. l. 93.]

[Footnote 12: Plut. in Lyc. "[Greek: En chersi daemiourgon kai mageiron.]"]

[Footnote 13: "[Greek: Edei de opsopoious en Lakedaimoni einai kreos monou ho de para touto epizamenos exelauneto taes Spartaes]."—AEl. Var. Hist. xiv. 7.]

[Footnote 14: "[Greek: Hoi Lakones hoxos men kai halas dontes to mageiro, ta loipa keleuoysin en to hiereio xaetein]."—Plut. de tuenda Sanitate.]

[Footnote 15: Meursii Misc. Lacon. lib. i. cap. 8.]

* * * * *



1. In a curious poetical tract, entitled A Whip for an Ape, or Martin displaied; no date, but printed in the reign of Elizabeth, occurs the following stanza:—

"And ye grave men that answere Martin's mowes, He mockes the more, and you in vain loose times. Leave Apes to Dogges to baite, their skins to Crowes, And let old LANAM lashe him with his rimes."

Was this old Lanam, the same person as Robert Laneham, who wrote "a Narrative of Queen Elizabeth's Visit to Kenilworth Castle in 1575"? I do not find his name in Ritson's Bibliographica Poetica.

2. In Spence's Anecdotes of Books and Men (Singer's edit. p. 22.), a poet named Bagnall is mentioned as the author of the once famous poem The Counter Scuffle. Edmund Gayton, the author of Pleasant Notes upon Don Quixote, wrote a tract, in verse, entitled Will Bagnall's Ghost. Who was Will Bagnall? He appears to have been a well-known person, and one of the wits of the days of Charles the First, but I cannot learn anything of his biography.

3. In the Common-place Book of Justinian Paget, a lawyer of James the First's time preserved among the Harleian MSS. in the British Museum, is the following sonnet:—

"My love and I for kisses play'd; Shee would keepe stakes, I was content; But when I wonn she would be pay'd, This made me aske her what she ment; Nay, since I see (quoth she), you wrangle in vaine, Take your owne kisses, give me mine againe."

The initials at the end, "W.S.", probably stand for William Stroud or Strode, whose name is given at length to some other rhymes in the same MS. I should be glad to know if this quaint little conceit has been printed before, and if so, in what collection.

4. What is the earliest printed copy of the beautiful old song "My Mind to me a Kingdom is?" It is to be found in a rare tract by Nicholas Breton, entitled The Court and Country, or A Briefe Discourse betweene the Courtier and Country-man, 4to. 1618. Query, is Breton its author?

5. Mr. Edward Farr, in his Select Poetry, chiefly Devotional, of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth (vol. i, p. xix.), calls Nicholas Breton, Sir Nicholas. Is there any authority for Breton's knighthood?

6. Can John Davies, the author of Sir Martin Mar-people, 1590, be identified with John Davies of Hereford, or Sir John Davies, the author of Nosce Teipsum, 1599?

7. In whose possession is the copy of Marlow and Chapman's Hero and Leander, 1629, sold in Heber's sale (Part iv., No. 1415)? Has the Rev. Alex. Dyce made use of the MS. notes, and the Latin Epitaph on Sir Roger Manwood, by Marlow, contained in this copy?

8. Has any recent evidence been discovered as to the authorship of The Complaynt of Scotland? Is Sir David Lindsay, or Wedderburn, the author of this very interesting work?

9. In the Rev. J.E. Tyler's Henry of Monmouth (vol. ii Appendix, p. 417.), is a ballad on The Battle of Agincourt, beginning as follows:—

"Fair stood the wind for France, When we our sails advance; Nor now to prove our chance, Longer will tarry; But, putting to the main, At Kaux, the mouth of Seine, With all his martial train, Landed King Harry."

The author of this old ballad, the learned editor says, was Michael Drayton; but I have not been able to find it in any edition of his works which I have consulted. Can Mr. Tyler have confounded it with Drayton's Poem on the same subject? Any information on this point will be very acceptable.

10. On the fly-leaf of an Old Music Book which I lately purchased is the following little poem. I do not remember to have seen it in print, but some of your correspondents may correct me.


"Dazel'd thus with height of place, Whilst our hopes our wits beguile; No man marks the narrow space 'Twixt a prison and a smile.

"Then since fortune's favours fade, You that in her arms do sleep, Learn to swim and not to wade, For the hearts of kings are deep.

"But if greatness be so blind, As to burst in towers of air; Let it be with goodness lin'd, That at least the fall be fair.

"Then, though dark'ned you shall say, When friends fail and princes frown; Virtue is the roughest way, But proves at night a bed of down."

It is in the hand-writing of "Johs. Rasbrick vic. de Kirkton," but whether he was the author, or only the transcriber, is uncertain.


* * * * * {303}


We learn from Wilkins (Concilia, tom. iv. p. 566, ed. Lond. 1737), also from Cardwell (Synodal. pp. 668. 677. 820. ed. Oxon. 1842), and from some other writers, that the care of drawing up a Form of Consecration of Churches, Chapels, and Burial-places, was committed to Bishop Cosin by the Convocation of 1661; which form, when complete, is stated to have been put into the hands of Robert, Bishop of Oxon, Humphrey, Bishop of Sarum, Robert, Bishop of Lincoln, and John, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, for revision.

I should feel much obliged if (when you can find space) you would kindly put the query to your correspondents—"What has become of this Form?"

There is at Durham a Form of Consecration of Churches, said to be in the hand-writing of Basire; at the end of which the following notes are written:

"This forme was used at the consecration of Christ's Church, neare Tinmouth, by the Right Rev. Father in God, John, Lord Bishop of Duresme, on Sunday, the 5th of July, 1668.

"Haec forma Consecrationis consonant cum forma Reverendi in Christo Patris Lanceloti Andewes, edit. anno 1659.

"Deest Anathema, Signaculum in antiquis dedicationibus.

"Deest mentio (Nuptiarum. (Purificationis Mulierum."

As this, however, can hardly be the missing Form of Consecration of Churches, &c., which Cosin himself seems to have drawn up for the Convocation of 1661, but which appears to have been no more heard of from the time when it was referred to the four bishops for revision, the question still remains to be answered—What has become of that Form? Can the MS. by any chance have found its way into the Library of Peterhouse, Cambridge, or into the Chapter Library at Peterborough—or is any other unpublished MS. of Bishop Cosin's known to exist in either of these, or in any other library?

J. Sansom.

8. Park Place, Oxford, Feb. 18, 1850.

* * * * *


I am very much indebted to "S.W.S." for the information which he has supplied (No. 15. p. 232.) relative to ancient wood-cut representations of Luther and Erasmus. As he has mentioned Ulric von Hutten also (for whom I have an especial veneration, on account of his having published Valla's famous Declamatio so early as 1517), perhaps he would have the kindness to state which is supposed to be the best wood-cut likeness of this resolute ("Jacta est alea") man. "S.W.S." speaks of a portrait of him which belongs to the year 1523. I have before me another, which forms the title-page of the Huttenica, issued "ex Ebernburgo," in 1521. This was, I believe, his place of refuge from the consequences which resulted from his annexation of marginal notes to Pope Leo's Bull of the preceding year. In the remarkable wood-cut with which "[Greek: OYTIS, NEMO]" commences, the object of which is not immediately apparent, it would seem that "VL." implied a play upon the initial letters of Ulysses and Ulricus. This syllable is put over the head of a person whose neck looks as if it were already the worse from unfortunate proximity to the terrible rock wielded by Polyphemus. I should be glad that "S.W.S." could see some manuscript verses in German, whcih are at the end of my copy of De Hutten's Conquestio ad Germanos. They appear to have been written by the author in 1520; and at the conclusion, he has added, "Vale ingrata patria."


* * * * *


Lollius.—Who was the Lollius spoken of by Chaucer in the following passages?

"As write mine authour Lolius." Troilus and Cresseide, b. i.

"The Whichecote as telleth Lollius." Ib. b. v.

"And eke he Lollius."—House of Fame, b. iii.

Trophee.—Who or what was "Trophee?" "Saith Trophee" occurs in the Monkes Tale. I believe some MSS. read "for Trophee;" but "saith Trophee" would appear to be the correct rendering; for Lydgate, in the Prologue to his Translation of Boccaccio's Fall of Princes, when enumerating the writings of his "maister Chaucer," tells us, that

"In youth he made a translacion Of a boke which is called Trophe In Lumbarde tonge, as men may rede and se, And in our vulgar, long or that he deyde, Gave it the name of Troylous and Cressyde."

Corinna.—Chaucer says somewhere, "I follow Statius first, and then Corinna." Was Corinna in mistake put for Colonna? The

"Guido eke the Colempnis,"

whom Chaucer numbers with "great Omer" and others as bearing up the fame of Troy (House of Fame, b. iii.).

Friday Weather.—The following meteorological proverb is frequently repeated in Devonshire, to denote the variability of the weather on Friday:

"Fridays in the week are never aleek."

"Aleek" for "alike," a common Devonianism. {304} Thus Peter Pindar describes a turbulent crowd of people as being

"Leek bullocks sting'd by apple-drones."

Is this bit of weather-wisdom current in other parts of the kingdom? I am induced to ask the question, because Chaucer seems to have embodied the proverb in some well-known lines, viz.:—

"Right as the Friday, sothly for to tell, Now shineth it, and now it raineth fast, Right so can gery Venus overcast The hertes of hire folk, right as hire day Is gerfull, right so changeth she aray. Selde is the Friday all the weke ylike."

The Knighte's Tale, line 1536.

Tyndale.—Can any of your readers inform me whether the translation of the "Enchiridion Militis Christiani Erasmi," which Tyndale completed in 1522, was ever printed?


Totnes, Feb. 21. 1850.

* * * * *


In Banks's Dormant Peerage, vol. iii. p. 61., under the account of Pulteney, Earl of Bath, is the following extraordinary letter, said to be from Sir Robert Walpole to King George II., which is introduced as serving to show the discernment of Walpole, as well as the disposition of the persons by whom he was opposed, but evidently to expose the vanity and weakness of Mr. Pulteney, by exhibiting the scheme which was to entrap him into the acceptance of a peerage, and so destroy his popularity. It is dated Jan. 24. 1741, but from no place, and has but little appearance of authenticity.

"Most sacred,

"The violence of the fit of the stone, which has tormented me for some days, is now so far abated, that, although it will not permit me to have the honour to wait on your majesty, yet is kind enough to enable me so far to obey your orders, as to write my sentiments concerning that troublesome man, Mr. Pulteney; and to point out (what I conceive to be) the most effectual method to make him perfectly quiet. Your majesty well knows how by the dint of his eloquence he has so captivated the mob, and attained an unbounded popularity, that the most manifest wrong appears to be right, when adopted and urged by him. Hence it is, that he has become not only troublesome but dangerous. The inconsiderate multitude think that he has not one object but public good in view; although, if they would reflect a little, they would soon perceive that spleen against those your majesty has honoured with your confidence has greater weight with him than patriotism. Since, let any measure be proposed, however salutary, if he thinks it comes from me, it is sufficient for him to oppose it. Thus, sir, you see the affairs of the most momentous concern are subject to the caprice of that popular man; and he has nothing to do but call it a ministerial project, and bellow out the word favourite, to have an hundred pens drawn against it, and a thousand mouths open to contradict it. Under these circumstances, he bears up against the ministry (and, let me add, against your majesty itself); and every useful scheme must be either abandoned, or if it is carried in either house, the public are made to believe it is done by a corrupted majority. Since these things are thus circumstanced, it is become necessary for the public tranquility that he should be made quiet; and the only method to do that effectually is to destroy his popularity, and ruin the good belief the people have in him.

"In order to do this, he must be invited to court; your majesty must condescend to speak to him in the most favourable and distinguished manner; you must make him believe that he is the only person upon whose opinion you can rely, and to whom your people look up for useful measures. As he has already several times refused to take the lead in the administration, unless it was totally modelled to his fancy, your majesty should close in with his advice, and give him leave to arrange the administration as he pleases, and put whom he chooses into office (there can be no danger in that as you can dismiss him when you think fit); and when he has got thus far (to which his extreme self-love and the high opinion he entertains of his own importance, will easily conduce), it will be necessary that your majesty should seem to have a great regard for his health; signifying to him that your affairs will be ruined if he should die; that you want to have him constantly near you, to have his sage advice; and that therefore, as he is much disordered in body, and something infirm, it will be necessary for his preservation for him to quit the House of Commons, where malevolent tempers will be continually fretting him, and where, indeed, his presence will be needless, as no step will be taken but according to his advice; and that he will let you give him a distinguishing mark of your approbation, by creating him a peer. This he may be brought to, for, if I know anything of mankind, he has a love of honour and money; and, notwithstanding his great haughtiness and seeming contempt for honour, he may be won if it be done with dexterity. For, as the poet Fenton says, 'Flattery is an oil that softens the thoughtless fool.'

"If your majesty can once bring him to accept of a coronet, all will be over with him; the changing multitude will cease to have any confidence in him; and when you see that, your majesty may turn your back to him, dismiss him from his post, turn out his meddling partizans, and restore things to quiet; the bee will have lost his sting, and become an idle drone whose buzzing nobody heeds.

"Your majesty will pardon me for the freedom with which I have given my sentiments and advice; which I should not have done, had not your majesty commanded it, and had I not been certain that your peace is much disturbed by the contrivance of that turbulent man. I shall only add that I will dispose several whom I know to wish him well to solicit for his establishment in power, that you may seem to yield to their entreaties, and the finesse be less liable to be discovered.

"I hope to have the honour to attend your majesty {305} in a few days; which I will do privately, that my public presence may give him no umbrage.


"(Dated) 24. January, 1741."

As it seems incredible that Walpole could have written such a letter; and the editor does not say where it is taken from, or where the original is, I beg to ask any of your readers whether they have ever seen the letter elsewhere, or attributed by any other writer to Walpole? The editor adds, "accordingly, the scheme took place very soon after, and Mr. Pulteney was in 1742 dignified with the titles before mentioned, i.e. Earl of Bath, &c."


* * * * *


Acting on "R.R.'s" excellent suggestion (No. 16. p. 243. ante), I beg to solicit from all collectors, who may chance to see these lines, information relative to the Bishops of Ossory. I am at present engaged on a work which will comprise that portion of Harris's edition of Sir James Ware's Bishops of Ireland bearing on the see of Ossory. The following names are those concerning whom, especially, information, either original or by reference to rare printed books, will be most thankfully acknowledged:—

John Parry Succ. 1672 Ob. 1677. Benjamin Parry Succ. 1677 Ob. 1678. Michael Ward Succ. 1678 Trans. 1679. Thomas Otway Succ. 1679 Ob. 1692. John Hartstong Succ. 1693 Trans. 1713. Sir Thos. Vesey, Bart. Succ. 1714 Ob. 1730. Edw. Tennison Succ. 1731 Ob. 1735. Charles Este Succ. 1736 Trans. 1740. Anthony Dopping Succ. 1740 Ob. 1743. Michael Cox Succ. 1743 Trans. 1755. Edward Maurice Succ. 1755 Ob. 1756. Richard Pococke Succ. 1756 Trans. 1765. Charles Dodgson Succ. 1765 Trans. 1775. William Newcome Succ. 1775 Trans. 1779. Sir John Hotham, Bt. Succ. 1779 Trans. 1782. Hon. W. Beresford Succ. 1782 Trans. 1795. Thos. L. O'Beirne Succ. 1795 Trans. 1798. Hugh Hamilton Succ. 1799 Ob. 1805. John Kearney Succ. 1806 Ob. 1813.

I may state, that I have access to that most excellent work Fasti Ecclesiae Hiberniae, by Archdeacon Cotton, who has collected many particulars respecting the above-named prelates.


Kilkenny, Feb. 21. 1850.

* * * * *

Burton's Anatomy of (Religious) Melancholy.—In compliance with the very useful suggestion of "R.R." (No. 16. p. 243.), I venture to express my intention of reprinting the latter part of Burton's "Anatomy of Melancholy," (viz. that relating to Religious Melancholy), and at the same time to intimate my hope that any of your readers who may have it in their power to render me any assistance, will kindly aid me in the work.

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