Notes and Queries, Number 54, November 9, 1850 online

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* * * * *

"When found, make a note of." - CAPTAIN CUTTLE.

* * * * *

No. 54.]
[Price Threepence. Stamped Edition 4d.

* * * * *


NOTES: - Page
English and Norman Songs of the Fourteenth Century,
by James Graves. 385
Misplaced Words in Shakspeare's Troilus and Cressida 386
Master John Shorne, by W. J. Thoms 387
Corrigenda of Printer's Errors 388
Folk-lore of Wales: No. 3. Meddygon Myddvai - No. 4.
Trwyn Pwcca 388
Connexion of Words: the Word "Freight" 389
Minor Notes: - Smith's Obituary - George Wither the
Poet, a Printer - Corruption of the Text of Gibbon's
"Decline and Fall" - Traditional Story concerning
Cardinal Wolsey 389


Early Sale of Gems, Drawings, and Curiosities 390
Minor Queries: - Quotations wanted - Death of Richard
H. - Sir W. Herschel's Observations and Writings -
Swearing by Swans - Automachia - Poa cynosuwides -
Vineyards - Martin, Cockerell, and Hopkins
Families - Camden's Poem on the Marriage of the
Thames and Isis - National Airs of England - Poor
Pillgarlick - Inscription on a Portrait - Burton's
Parliamentary Diary - Tobacconists - "The Owl is
abroad" - Scandal against Queen Elizabeth - Letters
of Horning - Cromwell poisoned 391


Collar of SS. 393
Daniel De Foe, by W. Crafter 395
"Antiquitas Sæculi Juventus Mundi" 395
Replies to Minor Queries: - Sir Gammer Vans -
Hipperswitches - Cat and Bagpipes - Forlot, Firlot,
or Furlet - Sitting during the Lessons - Engelmann's
Bibliotheca Auctor. Class. - News - Derivation of
Orchard 396


Notes on Books, Sales, Catalogues, &c. 398
Books and Odd Volumes Wanted 398
Notice to Correspondents 399
Advertisements 399

* * * * *



In a vellum book, known as _The Red Book of Ossory_, and preserved in the
archives of that see, is contained a collection of Latin religious poetry,
written in a good bold hand of the 14th century; prefixed to several of the
hymns, in a contemporary and identical hand, are sometimes one sometimes
more lines of a song in old English or Norman French, which as they occur I
here give:

"Alas hou shold y syng, yloren is my playnge
Hou sholdy wiz zat olde man}
} swettist of al zinge."
To leven and let my leman }

* * * * *

"Harrow ieo su thy: p fol amo^r de mal amy."

* * * * *

"Have m^rcie on me frere: Barfote zat ygo."

* * * * *

"Do Do. nightyngale syng ful myrie
Shal y nevre for zyn love lengre karie."

* * * * *

"Have God day me lemon," &c.

* * * * *

"Gaveth me no garlond of greene,
Bot hit ben of Wythones yuroght."

* * * * *

"Do Do nyztyngale syng wel miry
Shal y nevre for zyn love lengre kary."

* * * * *

"Hew alas p amo^r
Oy moy myst en tant dolour."

* * * * *

"Hey how ze chevaldoures woke al nyght."

It is quite evident that these lines were thus prefixed (as is still the
custom), to indicate the _air_ to which the Latin hymns were to be sung.
This is also set forth in a memorandum at the commencement, which states
that these songs, _Cantilene_, were composed by the Bishop of Ossory for
the vicars of his cathedral church, and for his priests and clerks,

"ne guttura eorum et ora deo sanctificata polluantur cantilenis
teatralibus turpibus et secularibus: et cum sint cantatores, provideant
sibi notis convenientibus, secundum quod dictamina requirunt." - _Lib.
Rub. Ossor._ fol. 70.

We may, I think, safely conclude that the lines above given were the
commencement of the _cantilene teatrales turpes_ et _seculares_, which the
good bishop wished to deprive his clergy of all excuse for singing, by
providing them with pious hymns to the same airs; thinking, I suppose, like
John Wesley in after years, it was a pity the devil should monopolise all
the good tunes. I shall merely add that the author of the Latin poetry
seems to have been Richard de Ledrede, who filled {386} the see of Ossory
from 1318 to 1360, and was rendered famous by his proceedings against Dame
Alice Kyteller for heresy and witchcraft. (See a contemporary account of
the "proceedings" published by the Camden Society in 1843; a most valuable
contribution to Irish history, and well deserving of still more editorial
labour than has been bestowed on it.) I have copied the old English and
Norman-French word for word, preserving the contractions wherever they

I shall conclude this "note" by proposing two "Queries:" to such of your
contributors as are learned in old English and French song-lore, viz.,

1. Are the entire songs, of which the above lines form the commencements,
known or recoverable?

2. If so, is the music to which they were sung handed down?

I shall feel much obliged by answers to both or either of the above
Queries, and

"Bis dat, qui cito dat."


Kilkenny, Nov. 1. 1850.

* * * * *


In that immaculate volume, the first folio edition of Shakspeare, of which
Mr. Knight says: "Perhaps, all things considered, there never was a book so
correctly printed"! a passage in _Troilus and Cressida_, Act. v. Sc. 3.,
where Cassandra and Andromache are attempting to dissuade Hector from going
to battle, is thus given:

"_And._ O be perswaded: doe not count it holy,
To hurt by being iust; it is lawful:
For we would count giue much to as violent thefts,
And rob in the behalfe of charitie."

Deviating from his usual practice, Mr. Knight makes an omission and a
transposition, and reads thus:

"Do not count it holy
To hurt by being just: it is as lawful,
For we would give much, to count violent thefts,
And rob in the behalf of charity."

with the following note; the ordinary reading is

"'For we would give much _to use_ violent thefts.'"

_To use thefts_ is clearly not Shakspearian. Perhaps _count_ or _give_
might be omitted, supposing that one word had been substituted for another
in the manuscript, without the erasure of the first written; but this
omission will not give us a meaning. We have ventured to transpose _count_
and omit _as_:

"For we would give much, to count violent thefts."

We have now a clear meaning: it is as lawful because we desire to give
much, to count violent thefts as _holy_, "and rob in the behalf of

Mr. Collier also lays aside his aversion to vary from the old copy, and
makes a bold innovation: he reads, -

"Do not count it holy
To hurt by being just: it is as lawful,
For us to give much count to violent thefts,
And rob in the behalf of charity."

Thus giving his reasons: "This line [the third] is so corrupt in the folio
1623, as to afford no sense. The words and their arrangement are the same
in the second and third folio, while the fourth only alters _would_ to
_will_." Tyrwhitt read:

"For we would give much to use violent thefts,"

which is objectionable, not merely because it wanders from the text, but
because it inserts a phrase, "to _use_ violent thefts," which is awkward
and unlike Shakspeare. The reading I have adopted is that suggested by Mr.
Amyot, who observes upon it: "Here, I think, with little more than
transposition (_us_ being, substituted for _we_, and _would_ omitted), the
meaning, as far as we can collect it, is not departed from nor perverted,
as in Rowe's strange interpolation:

"For us to count we give what's gain'd by thefts."

The original is one of the few passages which, as it seems to me, must be
left to the reader's sagacity, and of the difficulties attending which we
cannot arrive at any satisfactory solution."

Mr. Collier's better judgment has here given way to his deference for the
opinion of his worthy friend; the deviation from the old copy being quite
as violent as any that he has ever quarrelled with in others.

Bearing in mind MR. HICKSON'S valuable canon (which should be the guide of
future editors), let us see what is the state of the case. The line is a
nonsensical jumble, and has probably been printed from an interlineation in
the manuscript copy, two words being evidently transposed, and one of them,
at the same time, glaringly mistaken. The poet would never have repeated
the word _count_, which occurs in the first line, in the sense given to it
either by Mr. Collier or by Mr. Knight.

Preserving every word in the old copy, I read the passage thus: -

"O! be persuaded. Do not count it holy
To hurt by being just: it is as lawful as
(For we would give much) to commit violent thefts
And rob in the behalf of charity."

"To _count_ violent thefts" here would be sheer nonsense; and when we
recollect how easy it is to mistake _comit_ for _count_, the former word
being almost always thus written and often thus printed, we must, I think,
be convinced that in copying an interlineated MS., the printer _misplaced_
and _misprinted_ that word, and transposed _as_, if the repetition of it be
not also an error. - "For," commencing the parenthesis, "we would give much"
stands for _cause_. The emphasis should, I think, be {387} laid on _for_;
and _commit_ be accented on the first syllable. Thus the line, though of
twelve syllables, is not unmetrical; indeed much less prosaic than with the
old reading of _count_.

This correction, upon the principle which governs Messrs. Collier and
Knight, and which indeed should govern all of us,

"To lose no drop of that immortal man,"

ought to be satisfactory; for it is effected without taking away a letter.
The transposition of two evidently _misplaced_ words, and the correction of
a letter or two palpably misprinted in one of them, is the whole gentle
violence that has been used in a passage which has been, as we see,
considered desperate. But, as Pope sings:

"Our sacred Shakspeare, - comprehensive mind!
Who for all ages writ, and all mankind,
Has been to careless printers oft a prey,
Nor time, nor moth e'er spoil'd as much as they;
Let the right reading drive the cloud away,
And sense breaks on us with resistless day."


October, 1850.

* * * * *


If proof were wanted how little is now known of those saints whose names
were once in everybody's mouth, although they never figured in any
calendar, it might be found in the fact that my friend, Mr. Payne Collier,
whose intimate knowledge of the phrases and allusions scattered through our
early writers is so well known and admitted, should, in his valuable
_Extracts from the Registers of the Stationers' Company_ (1557-1570), have
illustrated this entry, -

"1569-70. Rd. of Thomas Colwell, for his lycense for the pryntinge of a
ballett intituled 'Newes to Northumberlande yt skylles not where, to
Syr John Shorne, a churche rebell there' ... iiij^d."

by a note, from which the following is an extract: -

"Sir John Shorne no doubt is to be taken as a generic name for a shaven
Roman Catholic priest."

Reasonable, however, as is Mr. Collier's conjecture, it is not borne out by
the facts of the case. The name Sir John Shorne is not a generic name, but
the name of a personage frequently alluded to, but whose history is
involved in considerable obscurity. Perhaps the following notes may be the
means, by drawing forth others, of throwing some light upon it. In Michael
Wodde's _Dialogue_, quoted by Brand, we read -

"If we were sycke of the pestylence we ran to Sainte Rooke; if of the
ague, to Sainte Pernel or Master John Shorne."

Latimer, in his _Second Sermon preached in Lincolnshire_, p. 475. (Parker
Society ed.), says, -

"But ye shall not think that I will speak of the popish pilgrimages,
which we were wont to use in times past, in running hither and thither
to Mr. John Shorn or to our Lady of Walsingham."

On which the editor, the Rev. G. E. Corrie, remarks that he was -

"A saint whose head quarters were probably in the parish of Shorn and
Merston near Gravesend, but who seems to have had shrines in other
parts of the country. He was chiefly popular with persons who suffered
from ague."

Mr. Corrie then gives an extract from p. 218. of the _Letters relating to
the Suppression of Monasteries_, edited by Mr. Wright for the Camden
Society; but we quote from the original, Mr. Corrie having omitted the
words given in our extract in Italics: -

"At Merston, Mr. Johan Schorn stondith blessing a bote, whereunto they
do say he conveyd the devill. He ys moch sowzt for the agou. _If it be
your lordeschips pleasur, I schall sett that botyd ymage in a nother
place, and so do wyth other in other parties wher lyke seeking ys._"

In that extraordinary poem _The Fantassie of Idolatrie_, printed by Fox in
his edition of 1563, but not afterwards reprinted until it appeared in
Seeley's edition (vol. v. p. 406.), we read -

"To Maister John Shorne
That blessed man borne;
For the ague to him we apply,
Whiche jugeleth with a _bote_
I beschrewe his herte rote
That will truste him, and it be I."

The editor, Mr. Cattley, having explained _bote_ "a recompense or fee," Dr.
Maitland, in his _Remarks on Rev. S. R. Cattley's Defence of his Edition of
Fox's Martyrology_, p. 46., after making a reference to Nares, and quoting
his explanation, proceeds:

"The going on pilgrimage to St. John Shorne is incidentally mentioned
at pages 232. and 580. of the FOURTH volume of Fox, but in a way which
throws no light on the subject. The verse which I have quoted seems as
if there was some relic which was supposed to cure the ague, and by
which the juggle was carried on. Now another passage in this same fifth
volume, p. 468., leads me to believe that this relic really was, and
therefore the word 'bote' simply means, a boot. In this passage we
learn, that one of the causes of Robert Testwood's troyble was his
ridiculing the relics which were to be distributed to be borne by
various persons in a procession upon a relic Sunday. St. George's
dagger having been given to one Master Hake, Testwood said to Dr.
Clifton, - 'Sir, Master Hake hath St. George's dagger. Now if he had his
horse, and St. Martin's cloak, and _Master John Shorne's boots_, with
King Harry's spurs and his hat, he might ride when he list.'"

That there is some legend connected with Master John Shorne and "his bote,
whereunto they do say he conveyd the devill," is evident from {388} a fact
we learn from the _Proceedings of the Archæological Institute_, namely,
that at the meeting on the 5th Nov. 1847, the Rev. James Bulwer, of
Aylsham, Norfolk, sent a series of drawings exhibiting the curious painted
decorations of the rood screen in Cawston Church, Norfolk, amongst which
appears the singular saintly personage bearing a boot, from which issues a
demon. An inscription beneath the figures gives the name "Magister Johannes
Schorn." It is much to be regretted that fuller details of this painting
have not been preserved in the Journal of the Institute.

The earliest mention of _Master John Schorne_ is in the indenture for
roofing St. George's Chapel at Windsor, dated 5th June, 21 Henry VII.
(1506), printed in the _Reliquiæ Antiquæ_, vol. ii. p. 115., where it is

"That the creastes, corses, beastes, above on the outsides of Maister
John Shorne's Chappell, bee done and wrought according to the other
creastes, and comprised within the said bargayne."


* * * * *


In my note on Conjectural Emendation (Vol. ii., p. 322.), your printer, in
general so very correct, has by a fortunate accident strengthened my
argument, by adding one letter, and taking away another. Should my note be
in existence, you will find that I wrote distinctly and correctly Mr.
Field's prænomen _Barron_, and not _Baron_. And I have too much respect for
my old favourite, honest George _Wither_, to have written _Withers_, a
misnomer never used but by his adversaries, who certainly did speak of him
as "one Withers." I should not have thought it necessary to notice these
insignificant errata, but for the purpose of showing _Printer's errors_ do
and will occur, and that Shakspeare's text may often be amended by their
correction. You will recollect honest George's punning inscription round
his juvenile portrait:



* * * * *


_No. 3. Meddygon Myddvai_. - On the heights of the Black Mountains, in
Caermarthenshire, lies a dark-watered lake, known by the name of _Lyn y Van
Vach_. As might be predicated, from the wild grandeur of its situation, as
well as from the ever-changing hues which it takes from the mountain
shadows, many a superstition - gloomy or beautiful - is connected with its
history. Amongst these may be reckoned the legend of the _Meddygon Myddvai_
or "surgeons of Myddvai." Tradition affirms that "once upon a time" a man
who dwelt in the parish of Myddvai led his lambs to graze on the borders of
this lake; a proceeding which he was induced to repeat in consequence of
his visits being celebrated by the appearance of three most beautiful
nymphs, who, rising from the waters of the lake, frequently came on shore,
and wandered about amongst his flock. On his endeavouring, however, to
catch or retain these nymphs, they fled to the lake and sank into its
depths, singing -

"Cras dy fara,
Anhawdd ein dala!"

which may be rendered [eater of] "hard baked bread, it is difficult to
retain us!" Difficulties, however, but increased the determination of the
shepherd; and day after day he watched beside the haunted lake, until at
length his perseverance was rewarded by the discovery of a substance
resembling unbaked bread, which floated on the water: this he fished up and
ate, and on the following day he succeeded in capturing the nymphs: on
which he requested one of them to become his wife; to this she consented,
on condition that he should be able to distinguish her from her sisters on
the following day. This was no easy task, as the nymphs bore the most
striking resemblance to each other; but the lover noticed some trifling
peculiarity in the dress of his choice, by means of which he identified
her. She then assured him that she would be to him as good a wife as any
_earthly_ maiden could be, until he should strike her three times without a
cause. This was deemed by the shepherd an impossible contingency, and he
led his bride in triumph from the mountain; followed by seven cows, two
oxen, and one bull, which she had summoned from the waters of the lake to
enrich her future home.

Many years passed happily on, and three smiling children - afterwards the
"surgeons of Myddvai" - blessed the shepherd and his Undine-like bride; but
at length, on requesting her to go to the field and catch his horse, she
replied that she would do so presently; when striking her arm three times
he exclaimed, _Dôs, dôs, dôs_; Go, go, go. This was more than a free
dweller in the waters could brook; so calling her ten head of cattle to
follow her, she fled to the lake, and once more plunged beneath its waters.

Such is the legend; of which reason vainly expresses its disbelief, as long
as the eye of faith can discern physical proofs of its truth in the deep
furrow which, crossing the mountain in detached portions, terminates
abruptly in the lake; for it seems that when the two oxen were summoned by
their mistress, they were ploughing in the field; and at their departure,
they carried the plough with them, and dragged it into the lake.

The nymph once more appeared upon the earth; for as her sons grew to
manhood, she met them {389} one day in a place which, from this
circumstance, received the name of _Cwm Meddygon_, and delivered to each of
them a bag, containing such mysterious revelations in the science of
medicine, that they became greater in the art than were ever any before

Though so curiously connected with this fable, the "surgeons of Myddvai"
are supposed to be historical personages, who, according to a writer in the
_Cambro-Briton_, flourished in the thirteenth century, and left behind them
a MS. treatise on their practice, of which several fragments and imperfect
copies are still preserved.

_No. 4. Trwyn Pwcca._ - Many years ago, there existed in a certain part of
Monmouthshire a Pwcca, or fairy, which, like a faithful English Brownie,
performed innumerable services for the farmers and householders in its
neighbourhood, more especially that of feeding the cattle, and cleaning
their sheds in wet weather; until at length some officious person,
considering such practices as unchristian proceedings, laid the kindly
spirit for three generations, banishing him to that common receptacle for
such beings - the Red Sea. The spot in which he disappeared obtained the
name of _Trwyn Pwcca_ (Fairy's nose); and as the three generations have
nearly passed away, the approaching return of the Pwcca is anxiously looked
forward to in its vicinity, as an earnest of the "good time coming."

The form which tradition assigns to this Pwcca, is that of a handful of
loose dried grass rolling before the wind (such as is constantly seen on
moors); a circumstance which recalls to mind the Pyrenean legend of the
spirit of the Lord of Orthez, mentioned by Miss Costello, which appeared as
two straws moving on the floor. Query, Has the name of "Will o' the Wisp"
any connexion with the supposed habit of appearing in this form?


* * * * *


The word employed to denote _freight_, or rather the _price of freight_, at
this day in the principal ports of the Mediterranean, is _nolis_, _nolo_,
&c. In the Arabian and Indian ports, the word universally employed to
denote the same meaning is _nol_. Are these words identical, and can their
connexion be traced? When we consider the extensive commerce of the
Phoenicians, both in the Mediterranean and Indian seas, that they were the
great merchants and carriers of antiquity, and that, in the words of
Hieron, "their numerous fleets were scattered over the Indian and Atlantic
oceans; and the Tyrian pennant waved at the same time on the coasts of
Britain and on the shores of Ceylon" - it is natural to look to that country
as the birthplace of the word, whence it may have been imported, westward
to Europe, and eastward to India, by the same people. And we find that it
is a pure Arabic word, [Arabic: nwl] _nawil_ and [Arabic: nwln] _nawlun_,
or _nol_ and _nolan_, both signifying _freight_ (price of carriage), from
the root [Arabic: nwh] _noh, pretium dedit, donum_. I am not aware that the
word _freight_ (not used in the sense of cargo or merchandise, but as the
_price_ of carriage of the merchandise, _merces pro vectura_) is to be
found in the Old Testament, otherwise some light might be thrown on the

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