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in connexion with the examination of the records remembered that the manners in Shakspeare (80 far as in the India Office. As a rule the necessary his comedy depends on them) are so antiquated, that but searches are made by the officers of the depart. regard: her immortal bard, and the pious care with which

for the deep and universal admiration with

which England ment concerned; but inquirers are sometimes per- bis works have been explained and commented upon, the mitted, under due supervision, to examine the follies arising out of the fashions of his time would be records for themselves. In such cases they are entirely obsolete. We enjoy such characters as Don required to submit any copies or extracts made Armado, and even Malvolio, as we would do the pictures by them to the Registrar and Superintendent of of Vandyke in a gallery; not that they resemble in their

exterior anything we have ever seen or could have Records, whose sanction is necessary before they imagined, until the excellence of the painter presented can be made public. DANIEL HIPWELL. them before us, and made us own that they must have

been drawn from originals now forgotten. St. Toomas's Day CUSTOM: APPLES AND ST. “ The scenes of Molière, however, are painted from CLEMENT's Day (gth 8. iii. 29, 94).— I would beg subjects with wbich our

own times are acquainted; they to refer any one taking an interest in these matters have their resemblances in the present day. Some oldto a little work by Charles Henry Poole, entitled fashioned habits being allowed for, the personages of his The Customs, Superstitions, and Legends of the drama resemble the present generation as much as our County of Stafford.' I may jast add that St. grandmothers' portraits, but for hoop petticoats and Clement's Day is known best in Staffordshire as commodes, resemble their descendants of the present “ Bite-Apple Day."

J. BAGNALL.

generation.” Water Orton.

Before concluding, I should like to say that,

loving-I do not mean valuing-Molière, as I do, A MODERN FRENCH CRITIC ON SAAKSPEARE's more than any author except Sir Walter, I felt COMEDIES (8th S. iii. 81).-Sir Walter Scott's mis- considerably savage when I read M. Louis Veuilcellaneous prose works are so little known in com- lot's painful and offensive attack on him quoted by parison with his poems and romances that I dare M. L. NOTTELLE— with disapproval, I am glad to say many readers who are familiar enough with see-at gth S. iii. 70. To think of a Frenchman

Marmion,' 'Ivanhoe,' and their glorious sisters, throwing stones at the creator of Monsieur Jourhave never read Scott's excellent essay on Molière, dain, Argan, and Harpagon! Tennyson has, howfirst published in the Foreign Quarterly Review for over, bappily taught us how to deal with folle like 1828, and now included in vol. xvii. of Scott's M. Veuillot, “who scratch the very dead for 'Miscellaneous Works,' ed. 1870. As Sir Walter spite”:was a devoted lover of Shakespeare, whose works

The noblest answer unto such he appears to have had at his fingers' ends, no one

Is perfect stillness when they brawl.

JONATHAN BOUCHIER, can suspect him of wishing to depreciate Sbakespeare in favour of any other author, however PRATT (8th S. iii. 48).- Foss, in his 'Biographical illustrious ; and yet in comedy pure and simple, Dictionary of the Judges of England,' gives an apart from poetry, Scott is inclined to rank Molière account of Sir John Pratt (ultimately Lord Chief above even Shakespeare. After saying that “he Justice of the King's Bench), in which he says:felt it his duty to vindicate for him [Molière] the very highest place of any who has over distinguished chief justice's father was; but they record that his grand

“None of the biograpbers of the family state who the himself in his department of literature," he con. father, Richard Pratt, was ruined by the Civil Wars, tinues :

and obliged to sell his patrimonial estate at Carcwell 6. Our countrymen will perhaps ask if we have for. [sic, but qu. Carswell or Carewell ?) Priory, near Colgotten the inimitable comic powers of our own Shak. fumpton, in Devonshire, which had been long in pog. speare. The sense of humour displayed by that extra

session of his ancestors. The parents of John Pratt, ordinary man is perhaps as remarkable as his powers of bowever, had sufficient means to afford him a liberal searching the buman bosom for other and deeper pur education. He was sent to Oxford, and eventually beposes...... The Merry Wives of Windsor' is perhaps the

came a fellow of Wadham College." piece most resembling a regular comedy, yet the poetry

R. R. Dees. with wbich it abounds is of a tone which soars in many

Wallsend. respects beyond its sphere. In most of his other com. positions his comic humour is rather an ingredient of PENNY Post (3rd S. ii. 68; 76 S. xi. 25; 8th S the drama than the point to which it is emphatically and ii. 189, 258, 298).-An early reference is mentioned specially directed. The scenes of Falstaff are but intro- in the Life of Sir R. Hill,' ii. 29, and the 'Eoc. duced to relieve and garnish the historical chronicle which he desired to bring on the stage. In the character: Brit.,' xiz. 564, gives some account of the book. of Falconbridge and Hotspur their peculiar humour gilds In 1659, John Hill

, of York, published 'A Penny the stern features of high and lofty chivalry; in the Post: or, a Vindication of the Liberty and Birth• Tempest' the comic touches shine upon and soften right of every Englishman in Carrying Merchants' the extravagance of beautiful poetry and romantic and other Men's Letters, against any Restraint of fiction. These playa may be something higher and Farmers of such Employments.' So it looks as if the vices and follies of mankind, though containing in John Hill had preached and practised ponny postthem much that tends to that purpose. It must also be age nearly two centuries before Sir Rowland. The first Hill, moreover, described what he had actually

Miscellaneous. done, while the second Hill described in 1837 what, in his judgment, ought to be done. The

NOTES ON BOOKS, &c. carriers of the elder Hill, we are told, were trampled The Purgatory of Dante Alighieri (Purgatorio ::-cuvii.). down by Cromwell's soldiers ; the plan of Sir

An Experiment in Literal Verse Translation. By

Charles Lancelot Shadwell, M.A., B.C.L. With an Rowland Hill, he tells us, came very near þeing Introduction by Walter Pater, M.A. (Macmillan & spoilt by the dignitaries of the Treasury and the Co.) Post-Office

TAI8 new experiment io literal verse translation arose Is not there some difference between ponny Ode to Cromwell offered a promising equivalent for

out of the thought that Andrew Marvell's stanza in his post and penny postage ? Leaving out John Hills the stanza of the Divina Commedia. Eforts to reprocuriosity, ponny post used to mean what Americans duce the great mediæval poem in English verse bave so call local post or drop letters; that is, letters that repeatedly been made in the present century that they were delivered in or near the town where they have come to form one of the literary features of our were posted. Robert Murray started such a penny the stanza. Cary's verse is easy and free, like Popo's

era. What bas been wanting from all is the sentiment of post in London about 1681 ; from him it passed Homer, and makes no pretence of reproducing pootic to William Dockwra, and from Dockwra to the form ; Longfellow's is line for line, and almost as verbal Post-Office in 1683, the law officers ruling cor- as an interlinear gloss; both are typical in their several rectly tbat post-office business was a prerogative of kinda, but both neglect the stanza.

Those who, like Mr. Ichabod Wright and Dean the Crown. The penny post dealt exclusively in

Plumptre, have kept the stanza in view, have tried to London letters, posted in London for delivery in imitate Dante's own peculiar interlaced rhyme, the terza London. Up to 1801 the charge was a penny for rima. The effect is constrained, and ungenial to the every letter. The Post-Office Act of 1710, known English reader, who finds himself weighted with the as 9 Add, c. 11, mentions that part of the postal extra burden of attending to an intricate eystem of service "called the penny post, established and rhyme, without thereby deriving any help to appreciate

the recurrent movement of the strophe. The problem settled within the Cities of London and Westminster, was not how to imitate, but how to find an English and the Borough of Southwark and parts adjacent, equivalent for Dante's terzine ; and when Mr.

Shadwell and to be received and delivered within ten Eng. caught from Marvell's verse the impression that it was lish miles distant from the said General Letter meet for this service, he bad found the spring of a new Office in London.” This describes the penny post departure. The two best-known stanzas of Marvell are sufficiently. Its carriers, or postmen, had nothing among the gems of English poetry :to do with letters received from outside the penny

He nothing common did nor mean

Upon that memorable scene, post district. From 1801 to 1839 the rate on

But with his keener eye these London local letters was twopence. The

The axe's edge did try; twopenny postmen were one set; foreign letters Nor called the gods with vulgar spite were delivered by another set; mail letters from

To viodicate bis helpless rigbt, any part of the kingdom, except London, by a

But bowed bis comely head

Down as upon a bed. tbird set. Great reforms had been introduced when the first Penny Postage Act was signed It was not an obvious thought that a stanza of four lines (Aug. 17, 1839), and the penny post of Charles II. would match a three-line stanza. If we count syllables,

we find that the four English lines offer somewbat less was lost in the penny postage of Sir Rowland space than the three Italian lines, but then the balance Hill. Perhaps one reason why the Post-Office is redressed by the larger proportion of monosyllables did not take readily to Hill's proposal is because that are available in English as against Italian usage. he computed the cost of carrying mails from town The point which most challenges inquiry is the correto town very carefully, and overlooked the fact last line of the terzina. The two short lines form,

iudeed,

spondence between the short English couplet and the that the heaviest expense consists in delivering a an admirable cadence, and they set in relief the rise and letter in any place after it has been received by fall of the whole movement; but then, how far is it like railway or steamship. Delivering by postmen is the original? This question has been anticipated by more expensive than carrying by rail.

Mr. Shadwell, and he has answered it in the preface by

showing that these two members were adapted to correFree delivery is 80 costly that in the United sponding purposes of expression in the two systems of States only the larger towns have it. In a large versification. It is not, however, to be supposed that the part of Obicago it has not been established. On short couplet always contains the matter of Dante's the other hand, the postmaster of Boston, Mass., third line; the translation is not framed on lines so rigid; was allowed a penny for every letter he handled derives from making a unit of the stanza is this, that 80 early as 1639. The English penny post, then within the range of the stanza he enjoys freedom of meaning letters delivered by postmen for a penny- transposition. was abolished in London in 1839, in the United Mr. Pater's introduction adds a graceful ornament to Kingdom in 1840, in the United States in 1863. a beautiful book. He broaches a well-chosen topic, at The United Kingdom has had penny

postage since How is it that a subject which was treated with marked 1840, America since 1883. C. W. ERNST.

indifference in the eighteenth century sbould now stand Boston, Mass.

almost at the summit of literary ambition ? One of the

causes he finds in Dante's babits of close observation, quotations culled from a wider field of literature than is severely adjusted expression, and elaboration of detail. afforded by Les Ex-Libris Français. It shows the interest Dante's minuteness of touch approaches almost to minia- taken in the subject that the volume, which is bandsome, ture-painting

brightly written, and instructive, is already at a premium. 470 the age of Johnson abstraction, generalizationRemarkable Comets. By William Thynne Lynn, B.A., seemed to be of the essence of art and poetry, a principle which the taste of the nineteenth century has inverted TAIS valuable little treatise is mainly historical in its

F.R.A.S. (Stanford.) in favour of that circumstantial manner of which every scope, and is intended as a handy work

of reference to canto of the Divina Commedia' would afford illus- those comets which for any cause are considered

remarktration.”

We do not go with Mr. Pater in regretting that the able. It is thorough and excellent in all respects. translator has left off at the end of the twenty-seventh

We hear with much pleasure that our valued correcanto. On the contrary, we think that something is gained by calling attention to the limits of the Par spondent Mr. A. Vicars succeeds Sir Bernard Burke as

Ulster King at Arms. gatory' proper, as contradistinguished from the Earthly Paradise," which occupies the remaining six cantos, and of books

, pamphlets, maps, &c., relating to the City of

CANON W. SPARROW SIMPgon is engaged on a catalogue constitutes a distinct section of the poem.

In conclusion, what most strikes us is the degree of London that are to be found in the library of St. Paul's freedom which the movement attains under the double Cathedral. The volume will be published by Mr. Elliot restriction of versification and literal rendering. To Stock very shortly. exhibit this we will take a short series of stanzas from MR. KERSHAW writes :-"Most genealogists are aware • Purg.,' xv., one of those philosophic passages which are of the numerous early wills contained in the registers at generally considered less favourable to translation :- Lambeth Palace Library, beginning at the time of Arch. As rays from mirror's face reflected,

bislop Peckham in 1279. A MS. list, however, of the Or water, upward are directed,

intestati has also been lately prepared, which should make And in like measure dart

this series of greater value to literary inquirers. It Towards the other part,

seems, as yet, almost incredible that so few students

appear to be aware that the library bas been open daily Their course from line by plummet guided

for several years, Saturdays excepted, from 10 A.M. to In equal distances divided,

4 P.M."
Even as science shews
And all experience knows :

THE compilation of the Chaucer Society's ' Praise of

Chaucer' has been undertaken by Miss Jeanie B. Part-
So in that place I felt the stroko
Of light in front that on me broke :

ridge, of Alvechurch, Redditch. She asks the help of

readers of N. & Q. The volume is to contain all menWherefore I turned aside

tions of, and allusions to, Chaucer up to 1800, and the In haste my face to hide.

chief ones since. Every extract should be on a separate Elegies and Epitaphs. By Charles Box, (Gloucester, slip of paper, and contain a careful copy of the words Osborne.)

relating to Chaucer, with the stops, capitals, italics, &oum Mr. Box was for many years on the staff of the Field, of the original, and the date, title, page, and author's also editor of Cricket, and author of The English Game name. The volume will be published in or before 1900, of Cricket. He devoted much of his spare time to the quincentenary of Chaucer's death ; but next years making this collection

of Elegies and Epitaphs," which trial list of the extracts then collected will be issued, in contains a considerable number on celebrated persons, order to help in its completion. Mr. Box well remarks in his preface that " with the socalled enlightenment of the present day tombstone

Notices to Correspondents. literature has by no means kept pace." The author did not live to publish bis book. He died in July, 1891,

We must call special attention to the following notices: leaving instructions for his executors to see the work On all communications must be written the name and through the press, a task which they have well and address of the sender, not necessarily for publication, but faithfully performed.

as a guarantee of good faith.

We cannot undertake to answer queries privately. French Book-Plates : a Handbook for Ex-Libris Collec

To secure insertion of communications correspondents tors, By Walter Hamilton. (Bell & Sons.) Tue second work on book-plates issued by Messrs. Bell or reply be written on a separate slip of paper, with the

must observe the following rule. Let each note, query, & Sons appears in a limited edition, and contains about signature of the writer

and such address as he wishes to a hundred illustrations, of which nearly every one has appear. Correspondents who repeat queries are requested been selected with the purpose of showing either the to head the second communication "Duplicate." various modifications in French heraldry, the quaint conceits in French canting arms (armes parlantes), or

J. E.-" Poet of the Poor," Rev. George Crabbe. the exquisite fancy and lightness of touch displayed in

" Attic Bee," Sophocles. "Madman of the North," their pictorial designs. Heraldry in France is not the Charles XII. of Sweden. Manchester Poet," Charles fixed science it is in England, and Mr. Hamilton points Swain... " Mrs. Partington," a species of Mrs. Malaprop, by the Napoleonic régime, thus enabling collectors to fix Prussian Drill-sergeant,” Frederick William I. the dates of ex-libris. The long list given of French

NOTICE. artists and engravers is also likely to be of service in Editorial Communications should be addressed to " The identifying plates. There are chapters on ecclesias- Editor of Notes and Queries ".- Advertisements and tical plates, plates of famous men, and on book-plate Business Letters to “ The Publisher"-at the Office, mottoes, many of which contain curious conceits. The Bream's Buildings, Chancery Lane, E.C. author acknowledges his indebtedness to various French We beg leave to state that we decline to return comauthorities on ex-libris (whose works are now unobtain: munications which, for any reason, we do not print;

and able), but his pages are enlivened by anecdotes and to this rule we can make no exception.

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