Notes and Queries, Number 79, May 3, 1851 online

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Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected: they
are listed at the end of the text.

* * * * *




* * * * *

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

* * * * *

No. 79.]
SATURDAY, MAY 3. 1851.
[Price Threepence. Stamped Edition 4d.

* * * * *


NOTES: - Page
Illustrations of Chaucer, No. V. 345
Foreign English - Guide to Amsterdam 346
Seven Children at a Birth three Times following 347
Ramasshed, Meaning of the Term 347
Authors of the Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin, by E. Hawkins 348
Minor Notes: - Egg and Arrow Ornament - Defoe's
Project for purifying the English Language - Great
Fire of London - Noble or Workhouse Names 349

Passages in the New Testament illustrated from Demosthenes 350
The House of Maillé 351
Minor Queries: - Meaning of "eign" - The Bonny
Crayat - What was the Day of the Accession of Richard
the Third? - Lucas Family - Watch of Richard
Whiting - Laurence Howel, the Original Pilgrim - Churchwardens'
Accounts, &c. of St. Mary-de-Castro,
Leicester - Aristotle and Pythagoras - When Deans
first styled Very Reverend - Form of Prayer at the
Healing - West Chester - The Milesians - Round
Robbin - Experto credo Roberto - Captain Howe - Bactria 351

The Family of the Tradescants, by Dr. E. F. Rimbault 353
Meaning of Venville, by E. Smirke 355
Replies to Minor Queries: - Newburgh Hamilton - Pedigree
of Owen Glendower - Mind your P's and Q's - The
Sempecta at Croyland - Solid-hoofed Pigs - Porci
solide-pedes - Sir Henry Slingsby's Diary - Criston,
Somerset - Tradesmen's Signs - Emendation
of a Passage in Virgil 356

Notes on Books, Sales, Catalogues, &c. 358
Books and Odd Volumes wanted 358
Notices to Correspondents 358
Advertisements 359

* * * * *



_The Arke of Artificial Day_.

Before proceeding, to point out the indelible marks by which Chaucer has,
as it were, stereotyped the true date of the journey to Canterbury, I shall
clear away another stumbling-block, still more insurmountable to Tyrwhitt
than his first difficulty of the "halfe cours" in Aries, viz. the seeming
inconsistency in statements (1.) and (2.) in the following lines of the
prologue to the Man of Lawe's tale: -

{ "Oure hoste saw wel that the bright sonne,
(1.) { The arke of his artificial day, had ironne
{ The fourthe part and halfe an houre and more,
* * * *
{ And saw wel that the shadow of every tree
{ Was as in length of the same quantitie,
{ That was the body erecte that caused it,
{ And therefore by the shadow he toke his wit
(2.) { That Phebus, which that shone so clere and bright,
{ Degrees was five and fourty clombe on hight,
{ And for that day, as in that latitude
{ It was ten of the clok, he gan conclude."

The difficulty will be best explained in Tyrwhitt's own words: -

"Unfortunately, however, this description, though seemingly intended to
be so accurate, will neither enable us to conclude with the MSS. that
it was '_ten of the clock_,' nor to fix upon any other hour; as the two
circumstances just mentioned are not found to coincide in any part of
the 28th, or of any other day of April, in this
climate." - _Introductory Discourse_, § xiv.

In a foot-note, Tyrwhitt further enters into a calculation to show that, on
the 28th of April, the fourth part of the day and half an hour and more
(even with the liberal allowance of a quarter of an hour to the indefinite
phrase '_and more_') would have been completed by nine o'clock A.M. at the
latest, and therefore at least an hour too soon for coincidence with (2.).

Now one would think that Tyrwhitt, when he found his author relating facts,
"_seemingly intended to be so accurate_," would have endeavoured to
discover whether there might not be some hidden meaning in them, the
explaining of which might make that consistent, which, at first, was
apparently the reverse.

Had he investigated with such a spirit, he must have discovered that the
expression "arke of the artificial day" _could not_, in this instance,
receive its obvious and usual meaning, of the horary duration from sunrise
to sunset -

And for this simple reason: That such a meaning would _presuppose a
knowledge of the hour_ - of the very thing in request - and which was about
{346} to be discovered by "our hoste," who "toke his wit" from the sun's
altitude for the purpose! But he knew already that the fourth part of the
day IN TIME had elapsed, he must necessarily have also known what that time
was, without the necessity of calculating it!

Now, Chaucer, whose choice of expression on scientific subjects is often
singularly exact, says, "Our hoste _saw_ that the sonne," &c.; he must
therefore have been referring to some visible situation: because,
afterwards, when the time of day has been obtained from calculation, the
phrase changes to "_gan conclude_" that it was ten of the clock.

It seems, therefore, certain that, even setting aside the question of
consistency between (1.) and (2.), we must, _upon other grounds_, assume
that Chaucer had some meaning in the expression "arke of the artificial
day," different from what must be admitted to be its obvious and received

To what other ark, then, could he have been alluding, if not to the
_horary_ diurnal ark?

I think, to the AZIMUTHAL ARCH OF THE HORIZON included between the point of
sunrise and that of sunset!

The situation of any point in that arch is called its bearing; it is
estimated by reference to the points of the compass; it is therefore
_visually_ ascertainable: and it requires no previous knowledge of the hour
in order to determine when the sun has completed the fourth, or any other,
portion of it.

Here, then, is _primâ facie_ probability established in favour of this
interpretation. And if, upon examination, we find that it also clears away
the discrepancy between (1.) and (2.), probability becomes certainty.

Assuming, upon evidence which I shall hereafter explain, that the sun's
declination, on the day of the journey, was 13° 26' North, or thirteen
degrees and half, - the sun's bearing at rising, in the neighbourhood of
London, would be E.N.E., at setting W.N.W.; the whole included arch, 224°;
and the time at which the sun would complete one-fourth, or have the
bearing, S.E. by E., would be about 20 minutes past nine A.M., - thus
leaving 40 minutes to represent Chaucer's "halfe an hour and more!"

A very remarkable approximation - which converts a statement apparently
contradictory, into a strong confirmation of the deduction to be obtained
from the other physical facts grouped together by Chaucer with such
extraordinary skill!

On the other hand, it is impossible to deny that the "hoste's" subsequent
admonition to the pilgrims to make the best use of their time, warning them
that "the fourthe partie of this day is gon," seems again to favour the
idea that it is the day's actual horary duration that is alluded to.

This can be only hypothetically accounted for by observing that in this, as
in many other instances, Chaucer seems to delight in a sort of disguised
phraseology; as though to veil his true meaning, and designedly to create
scientific puzzles to exercise the knowledge and discernment of his

A. E. B.

Leeds, April 14. 1851.

* * * * *


I doubt not many of your readers will have been as much amused as myself
with the choice specimens of Foreign English enshrined in your pages. When
at Amsterdam, some years since, I purchased a _Guide_ to that city, which I
regard as a considerable literary curiosity in the same line. It was
published at Amsterdam, by E. Maascamp, in 1829, and contains from
beginning to end a series of broken English, professing all the while to be
written by an Englishman.

It commences with the following "Advertisement:"

"The city of Amsterdam - remarkable as being one of the chief metropoles
of Europe, and as being in many respects the general market of whole
the universe; justly celebrated for - its large interior canals, on both
of their sides enlivened and sheltered by ranges of large, thick, and
beautiful trees, and presenting, on large broad and neatly kept, most
regularly pav'd quays, long chains of sumptuous habitations, or rather
palaces of the principal and _weathy_ merchants; moreover remarkable by
its Museum for the objects of the fine arts, &c., its numberless public
edifices adapted either to the _cultivation_ of arts, or to the
exertions of trade, or to _establishments_ charitable purposes, or of
temples of all manners of divine worship - the city of Amsterdam, we
say," &c. It is dated "This 15^{the} of Juin, 1829."

In page 14. the author gives us an account of his habits, &c.: -

"I live in Amsterdam since some considerable time I drink no strong
liquors, nor do I smoke tobacco and with all this - I have not been
_attacked_ by those agues and fevers w^h frequently reign here from the
month of Juin to the end of the autumn: and twenty foreigners whom I
know, do follow the same system, and are still as healthy as I myself;
while I have seen a great many of natives taking their drams and
smoking their pipes _ad libitem_, and moreover _chawing_ tobacco in a
quite disgusting manner, who," &c.

An Amsterdam Sunday, p. 42.:

"On sundays and holydays the shops and warehouses, and, _intra muros_,
those of public entertainment are _close_: the devotees go to church,
and sanctify the sabbath. Others go to walk outside the towngates:
after their walk, they hasten to fine public-play-gardens, where wine,
thea, &c. is sold. Neither the mobility remains idle at _these_
entertainments. Every one invites his damsel, and joyously they enter
play-gardens of a little less brilliancy than the former. There, at the
crying sound of an instrument that _rents_ the ear, {347} accompanied
by the delightful handle-organs and the rustic triangle, their tributes
are paid to Terpsichore; every where a similitude of talents: the
dancing outdoes not the musician."

Description of the Assize Court:

"The forefront has a noble and sublime aspect, and is particularly
characteristical to what it ought to represent. It is built in a
division of three fronts in the corinthic order: each of them consists
in four raizing columns, resting upon a general basement, from the one
end of the forefront to the other, and supporting a cornish, equally
running all over the face; upon this cornish rests a balustrad, like
the other pieces altogether of Bremen-hardstone. The middle front,
serving for the chief entrance, is adorned with the provincial arms,
sculpted by Mr. Gabriel, &c.... Every where a sublime plan, and exact
execution is exhibited here, and the whole tends as much to the
architects, who are the undertakers of it, as they have earned great
praizes by building anew the burnt Lutheran church."

I will not trespass on your space by any further extracts; but these will
suffice to show that my book is _sui generis_, and worth commemoration.

C. W. B.

* * * * *


Your correspondent N. D.'s papers (Vol. ii., p. 459., and Vol. iii., p. 64)
have reminded me of another remarkable instance of fecundity related by the
well-known civil engineer JAN ADRIAENSZ. LEEG-WATER, in his _Kleyne
Chronycke_, printed at Amsterdam in 1654:

"Some years since," says he, p. 31., "I was at _Wormer_, at an inn near
the town-hall: the landlady, whose name was _Frankjen_, told me of the
Burgomaster of _Hoorn_, who in the spring went over the (Zuyder?) sea
to buy oxen, and going into a certain house he found seven little
children sitting by the fire, each with a porringer in its hand, and
eating rice-milk, or pap, with a spoon; on which the Burgomaster said
'Mother, you are very kind to your neighbours, since they leave their
children to your care.' 'No,' said the woman, they are all my own
children, which I had at one birth; and if you will wait a moment, I
will show you more that will surprise you.' She then fetched seven
other children _a birth_ older: so she had fourteen children at two
births. Then the woman said to the Burgomaster, 'I am now _enceinte_,
and I think in the same way as before: if you come here next year, call
upon me again.' And so, the next year, when the Burgomaster went over
the sea, he called upon the woman and the woman had again brought forth
seven children at a birth. Thus the woman had at three births
twenty-one children."

I subjoin the original of which the above is a literal translation.

J. S.

Woudenberg, April, 1851.

* * * * *


In the curious volume recently edited by Sir Henry Ellis for the Camden
Society, entitled _The Pilgrymage of Syr R. Guylforde, Knyght_, a singular
term occurs, which may claim a note of explanation. It is found in the
following passage:

"Saterdaye to Suse, Noualassa, and to Lyungborugh; and at the sayd
Noualassa we toke moyles to stey us vp the mountayne, and toke also
marones to kepe vs frome fallynge. And from the hyght of the mounte
down to Lyuyngborugh I was ramasshed, whiche is a right strange
thinge." - P. 80.

Sir Henry has not bestowed upon us here any of those erudite annotations,
which have customarily enhanced the interest of works edited under his

Sir Richard Guylforde was on his homeward course from the Holy Places by
way of Pavia, where he visited the convent and church which contained the
shrine and relics of St. Augustine, as also the tomb of Lionel, Duke of
Clarence, second son of Edward III., whose monumental inscription (not to
be found in Sandford's _Genealogical History_) the worthy knight copied.

On the 13th Feb. 1506, Sir Richard approached the ascent of Mont Cenis by
the way of S. Ambrogio and Susa. At the village of Novalese, now in ruins,
the party took mules, to aid their ascent, and _marroni_, long-handled
mattocks, or pick-axes, to prevent their falling on the dangerous
declivities of the snow. The journey was formerly made with frightful
expedition by means of a kind of sledge - an expedient termed _la
ramasse_ - which enabled the traveller, previously to the construction of
that extraordinary road, well known to most readers, to effect in a few
minutes a perilous descent of upwards of 6000 feet. The _ramasse_, as
Cotgrave informs us, was -

"A kind of high sled, or wheelbarrow, whereon travellers are carried
downe certaine steep and slippery hils in Piemont."

Its simplest form had probably been a kind of fagot of
brushwood, - _ramazza_, or a besom, not much unlike the rapid locomotive of
witches, who were called in old times _ramassières_, from their supposed
practice of riding on a _ramée_, _ramasse_, or besom. At the present time
even, it occasionally occurs that an adventurous traveller crossing the
Mont Cenis is tempted to glide down the rapid descent, in preference to the
long course of the zigzag road; and remember to have heard at Lauslebourg
the tale, doubtless often related, of an eccentric _Milord_ who ascended
the heights thrice from that place, a journey of some hours, for the
gratification of the repeated excitement caused by a descent on the
_ramasse_ in about as many minutes. The cranium of a horse, as it was
stated, was the vehicle often preferred for this curious adventure: and the
{348} traveller guided or steadied his course by trailing a long staff, a
practice for security well known to the Alpine tourist. This may probably
have been the use of the "marones" taken by Sir Richard Guyldeford and his
party at Novalese.

The terms, to be "ramasshed," is not, as I believe, wholly disused in
France. It was brought to the metropolis with the strange amusement known
as the _Montagne Russe_. In the valuable _Complément du Dictionnaire de
l'Académie_, compiled under the direction of Louis Barré, we find the
following phrase:

"Se faire ramasser, se dit aujourd'hui, dans une acception
particulière, pour, Se faire lancer dans un char, du haut des
élévations artificielles qui se trouvent dans les jardins publics."

Such a disport had been known previously to the expedition to Moscow, and
the favourite divertisement _à la Russe_, so much in vogue amongst the
Parisians for a few subsequent years. Roquefort informs us that -

"_Ramasse_ étoit le nom d'un jeu que nous avions apporté des Alpes, où
il est encore en usage pendant l'hiver, et principalement en temps de


* * * * *


The following notices of the writers of many of the poetical pieces in the
_Anti-Jacobin_ may prove interesting to many of your readers. They are
derived from the following copies, and each name is authenticated by the
initials of the authority upon which each piece is ascribed to particular

C. Canning's own copy of the poetry.
B. Lord Burghersh's copy.
W. Wright the publisher's copy.
U. Information of W. Upcott, amanuensis.

The copy of the _Anti-Jacobin_ to which I refer is the fourth, 1799, 8vo.

Page. VOL. I.
31. Introd. to Poetry Canning.

35. Inscript. for Door of Cell, Canning,}
&c. Frere, } C.

71. Sapphics: Knifegrinder Frere, }
Canning,} C.

103. Invasio Hely Addington, W.

136. La Sainte Guillolem Canning,}
Frere, } C.
Hammond, B.

169. Soldier's Friend Canning,}
Frere, } C.
Ellis, B.
Sonnet to Liberty Lord Carlisle, B.

201. Dactylics Canning, B.
Gifford, W.
Ipsa mali Hortatrix, &c. Marq. Wellesley, U.
Frere, B.

236. Parent of countless Crimes, Marq. Wellesley, U.
&c. Frere, B.

263. The Choice Geo. Ellis, B.

265. Duke and taxing Man Bar. Macdonald, C. ,B.

267. Epigram Frere, B.

301. Ode to Anarchy Lord Morpeth, B.

303. You have heard of Reubel Frere, B.

371. Bard of the borrow'd Lyre Canning, C.
Hammond, B.

380. Ode to Lord Moira Geo. Ellis, C., B.

422. Bit of an Ode to Mr. Fox Geo. Ellis, C.
Frere, B.

452. Anne and Septimius Geo. Ellis, C.

486. Foe to thy Country's Foes Geo. Ellis, B.

489. Lines under Bust of Ch. Fox Frere, B.

490. - - under Bust of certain
Orator Geo. Ellis, B.

525. Progress of Man Canning, C.
Gifford, W.
Frere, B.

558. Progress of Man Canning, C.
Hammond, B.

598. Vision Geo. Ellis, B.
Gifford, W.

627. Ode: Whither, O Bacchus! Canning, C.


21. Chevy Chace Bar. Macdonald, C., B.

98. Progress of Man Canning, }
Frere, } C.
Geo. Ellis, B.

134. Jacobin Nares, W.

168 Loves of the Triangles Frere, C.
Canning, B.

200. Loves of the Triangles Geo. Ellis, C., W.
Canning, B.

204. Loves of Triangles: So
with dark Dirge Canning, W.

205. "Romantic Ashboun." The road down Ashboun
Hill winds in front of Ashboun Hall,
then the residence of the Rev. - - Leigh, who
married a relation of Mr. Canning's, and to
whom Mr. Canning was a frequent visitor. E. H.

236. Brissot's Ghost Frere, B.

274. Loves of the Triangles Canning, } B., W., C.
Gifford, } C.
Frere, } C.

312. Consolatory Address Lord Morpeth, B.

315. Elegy Canning, } B., C.
Gifford, } C.
Frere, } C.

343. Ode to my Country Frere, }
B.B., } C.
Hammond, B.

388. Ode to Director Merlin Lord Morpeth, B.

420. The Lovers Frere, }
Gifford, } C.
G. Ellis, }
Canning, } B.

451. Frere, } B.
Gifford, }
Ellis, } C.
Canning, }

498. Affectionate Effusion Lord Morpeth, B.

532. Translation of a Letter Gifford,}
Ellis, }C.
Canning,} B.
Frere, }

602. Ballynahinch Canning, C.
Viri eruditi Canning, B.

623. New Morality Canning, }B.
Frere, }
Gifford, }C.
G. Ellis,}

From Mental Mists Frere, W.
Yet venial Vices, &c. Canning, W.

624. Bethink thee, Gifford, &c. These lines were
written by Mr. Canning some years before he
had any personal acquaintance with Mr. Gifford.

625. Awake! for shame! Canning, W.

628. Fond Hope! Frere, W.

629. Such is the liberal Justice Canning, W.

631. O Nurse of Crimes Frere, }
Canning, }W.
G. Ellis,}

632. See Louvet Canning, W.

633. But hold severer Virtue Frere, }

634. To thee proud Barras bows Frere, }
Ellis, }

635. Ere long perhaps Gifford,}
Ellis, }W.

Couriers and Stars Frere, }

637. Britain beware Canning, W.

Wright, the publisher of the _Anti-Jacobin_, lived at 169. Piccadilly, and

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