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some private source. Our supposition is, that the lines were written in Milton's copy of the first folio, which while reading he had conjecturally revised, and that the publishers had asked him for permission to print the lines and use his emendations. This leads me to point —

2nd. Milton was a fastidious and habitual corrector and annotator of the books he read. Of this, among other proofs, we may note his elaborate emendations of Euripides, many of which secured the approval of Porson.

3rd. The time of life at which Milton had arrived when the poem was written. He, a diligent student, was just at the age when such an exercise would be a " labour of love." Perhaps some other Shakspeare student and admirer of Milton may be able to clear up this matter further.

I may further add that the poem in the same folio signed I. M. S., if certainly the work of John Milton, Student, would strengthen my hypothesis; but I incline to consider these latter lines as the product of the author of Essayes of a Prentice in the Divine Art of Poesie, 1584; and if my guess were correct, it would add interest to Jonson's praise of—

"Those flights upon the banks of Thames,
That so did take Eliza and our J a M e S."

Samuel Neil.

Moffatt, N. B.


"But alack
You snatch some hence for little faults; that's lore
To have them Bin no more: you some permit
To second ills with ills, each elder worse.
And make them dread it, to the doer's thrift."

Cymbtline, Act V. Sc. 1. Posth.

Here the printer may have put in type trift, and then amended it, as he thought, by inserting h ; but without insisting on the particular steps by which the mistake arose, the word trist will, I think, approve itself to all as that used by Shakspeare, for while its unusual form gives a reason for the unlearned printer's mistake, it clears up the only real obscurity in the passage. I am not indeed aware of its occurrence elsewhere as a substantive, but it was used as an adjective, and the employment of a word as a part of speech other than that in which it was ordinarily used, was a licence commonly allowed in Elizabethan times. Moreover, trist would be the substantive form or root of an adjective twice used by Shakspeare. In the First Part of King Henry IV.—where, by the way, the printer mistook it for the commoner trustful—when Falstaff would reproach the prince for his mode of life, he speaks, not of the sorrowful, or sorrowing, or tearful, but of the tristful queen, and so refers to her habitual and settled melancholy, which is so great that the mere sight

■ of her son, on his rare return to the palace, moves her to tears. In like manner, Hamlet, speaking of the settled sadness of the earth at his mother's act, talks of, " The tristful visage that, as against the doom, is thought-sick."

So is the sense here, while it may be also noted as to so Latinate a word, that Shakspeare is rather fond of occasionally introducing a word which will recal the hearer's mind to the time and scene of the action. Posthumus is gazing on that which alone remains to him of Imogen, her handkerchief dyed in her blood, and he is full of remorse for her murder. In his self-accusings he extenuates her supposed fault, and his revenge seems to him a hideous unpardonable crime. Naturally desiring death, in his bitter despair he classes his own among the examples of a doctrine as to the governance of human affairs by the gods, which helps on his desire to leave life. "You," says he, "for though we evilly do the ill, you overrule it for the victim's good, you for slight faults take some hence, and Imogen among them, and this in love, that they should sin no more. Other some who do ill (and among them myself) you permit to live, and withdrawing your love from them, this is their punishment, that to every one an inexorable necessity arising from the first crime follows like an avenging fury, and compels them to add greater crime to greater crime continually, and while thus driven on they yet, before the commission of each crime, dread it, and after its commission suffer still more from the stings of remorse and from that overhanging dread which, while it fears them, goads them on, goads me on, to further ill to my lasting and abiding sorrow." Such I take to be his thoughts expressed more at length; and if it be asked how he Lad as yet added crime to crime, I answer that to his remorseful imagination tortured by love of her he had lost, his first crime was doubt, his second, lending himself as an accomplice to tempt her, and facilitate his own dishonour, and his third her death. I would add, too, that though his reasoning is greatly pagan, inasmuch as, though not doubting a future state, he neither here nor elsewhere shows the possession of any sure hope or fear, but would jump the after enquiry, vaguely trusting to the mercy of the gods; yet the doctrine that ill produces ill, and generally a greater ill, is a favourite one with Shakspeare, and is, for instance, one of the keys of the whole story of logo, Desdemona, and Othello.

But to return to our passage; the nominative to make is clearly "ye gods," and as clearly the " them" are the " some who are permitted to live; but grammarians have been puzzled as to the change from the plural "them to the singular doer of ill, and also of crimes to the singular "it," even though the crimes had been previously subdivide into " each elder worse." But the whole construction is most artfully subtle, and here, as Ben Jonson said, Shakspeare struck the second heat upon the Muses' anvil; turned the same and himself with it to write these living lines. The despair of Posthumus leads him to a general reflection, which shows a passing bitterness against providence, afterwards atoned for by " your blessed wills be done," but his remorse is so great that he cannot continue in generalities; but when he comes to "each elder worse," the image of himself and of his own act, and the bloody handkerchief, all start forth in full and conscious mental and bodily view, and he cries, " and makes them do it," their, my, last crime; and then pressing the handkerchief to his lips and hiding his face in his hands, aye to my sorrow — for ever. It is only such an outbreak that can redeem the scene from tameness, and Posthumus from the imputation of a sullenness and mere dogged resolution to die, which is foreign to his whole character. And it is only such an outbreak of passion, and the exhaustion consequent on it, that will allow of the despairing resignation of the subsequent lines.

"Each elder worse" has also been objected to, but most readers see and understand the fitness of the phrase, though they may find a difficulty in explaining it. To the bystander, each isolated act is indeed younger, the nearer it is to the present moment; but as in the history of human progress, the invention of the steam-engine is older than that of fire, so to Posthumus himself, who viewed bis deeds as existent as much in thought as in action, and both as parts of himself, each after crime was but the growth and maturing of the once tender plant, or the enveloping ivy from the little seed. Bbinslet Nicholson.


Both these words, though of considerable importance at the present day, are so totally misrepresented or misunderstood, that some elucidation of their meaning may be acceptable, as both stand in some degree of relationship to one another.

For Morganatic, the best, in fact the only solution, is found in the derivation of the word. When in the arid deserts of Arabia, the parched traveller is mocked by the optical illusions of running streams and green meadows, these the Italians call Fata Morgana, the delusions of the Fee Morgana. Something thus delusive is a Morganatic Marriage. For though it involves no immorality, and has always the full sanction of the church, it is, as regards the wife and children, an illusion and a make-believe: they do not enjoy the rights of the husband, if a sovereign prince, nor take his title ; and it is only amongst sovereign princes that the practice obtains. The children have only the rights of the mother, unless she is

ebenburtig, or, as is expressed in the closing net of the Treaty of Vienna, 1815, oVune naissance egale avec les princes souverains, or those in succession to become so.

It was, therefore, a prudent arrangement for princes who preferred the claims of natural affection to those of ambition, to form morganatic marriages, which should reconcile the duties of their station with their social wishes. In this manner, after the death of his first wife, the Princess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Frederic William III., father of the present and previous king of Prussia, was enabled to follow the dictates of his affection for the Countess of Liegnitz, who was received by all his family as a true wife, and still continues to enjoy their respect. In a similar manner, the last King of Denmark associated to himself and ennobled the Countess Danner; nor would, in our country, the union of the late Duke of Sussex with the Duchess of Inverness be dissimilar. The social position of all these families was affected in no disreputable manner by such a connection, but they could not attain the full rights of marriage, or the civil state of their husbands, because they were not ebenburtig or de naissance egale.

In the Golden Bull of the Empire, promulgated in the fourteenth century, legitimacy is expressly demanded as an imperative condition to any sovereignty; and it is of no consequence how long or how distant that stain may have blemished a family. Our ducal houses of Grafton and St. Albans have every right of their high rank, but in their royal quarterings the bar sinister is indelible.

This would entirely preclude their ebenburtigkeit with our own or any other reigning house; nor is this question without bearing on the present political discussion of the succession to the dukedoms of Schleswig and Holstcin. In lineal succession there is no doubt but that the elder Duke of Augustenburg has a prior claim, but his marriage with the Countess Danskiold-Samsoe, a family which has its origin in an illegitimate scion of a Danish king, is as much unebenbiirtig as the families of the ducal houses of Grafton or St. Albans; and her son, therefore, the present claimant, the younger Duke of Augustenberg, now at Kiel, is entirely precluded, being, like his mother, unebenbiirtig, and more especially whilst his father, who has been bought off by the Danish Crown, is still alive.

I may be here allowed to state that, when in a letter published in the Times on Feb. 29,1 confirmed this fact by an exact translation from Wegener's Actenmassige Zusammen'tellung (a documentary collection of acts in the history of Denmark), I was contradicted the following morning in a letter signed "Hamlet," ascribing to me an idea of the illegitimacy of the Countess Danskiold-Samsoe, which I am astonished neither the writer nor the editor did not perceive was entirely beside the issue I had raised. The ladies of the family of Danskiold-Samsoe, like those of our own ducal families abovenamed, are undoubtedly fully presentable both at the Danish and every other Court; but the question is, are they not unebenbiirtig t evinced by their not having the haul pas, and being refused the entrance by the grand portal of the palace. Hamlet may, like his namesake, be willing " to take the Ghost's word for a thousand pounds," but he must excuse me if I am not equally credulous, and decline to admit the mere ipse dixit of a sub umbra controversialist. William Bell, PhiL Dr. 4, Crescent Place, Barton Crescent.


I send you a few little bits of " folklore," picked

up at S , an out-of-the-way corner on the

Norfolk coast, to be added — should you think them worth the honour — to the collection already safely stowed away in " N. & Q." As the superstitions to be found in any particular district always take their tone to a great degree from the character of the scenery and people about, and can only be properly understood when considered in connection with them, I may as well begin by saying that the parish consists of two distinct villages

and populations—Upper and Lower S . The

former is a pretty, clean-looking, agricultural place, with a magnificent old church, and tiled cottages of blue shingle. It stands at the foot of rough heathy hills, with thick woods above, and the open sea below. Lower S is a mile and

a half off in a valley between what were once two high round sand hills, which the sea has broken half away, and changed into abrupt cliffs. It contains a church-chapel, till lately a boat-house; fair specimens of probably every filthy smell in the county; and for inhabitants a remarkably handsome set of fishermen, who marry, almost before they have done growing, girls of their own village (a wedding with an outsider is a very rare event), and rear rough and ready families in a state of chronic starvation. They are insolently independent, and in their own calling fearless

enough ; but in Lower S there is hardly a

man to be found who would at any price venture half a mile inland alone in the dark. The coast is dangerous, and drowning almost the commonest shape in which death visits the village. It would not, I believe, be hard to find women who have lost fathers and husbands, and sons and grandsons, perhaps, in the same way, one after another. And the old widows will sit and rock themselves backwards and forwards in their chairs, while their son's wives rush wildly on to the cliffs, and strain

their eyes out to sea, as the wind is getting up, when the boats are out. It is no wonder that when the minds of all are continually haunted with the one great fear, stories get about that, for such as can read them, there is many a warning of the coming of the dreaded storms.

A little way out to sea there is a spot, they say, just opposite a particular cliff, where the captain of some old ship was drowned, and there more than once fishermen have heard sounds like a human voice coming up from the water: whichever way they pull, the voice is in the other direction, till at last, on a sudden, it changes, and comes just beneath their boat like the last wild cry of a man sinking hopelessly. Then, if they are wise, they settle down to their oars, and row for life to shore; for life it is — for they are lucky if they reach home in time to escape the squall which is sure to follow.

On the boundary of the parish, at a gap in the cliffs, if the story an old man gravely told me be true, is a place where a hundred years ago twelve drowned sailors, who were washed up after a great gale, were thrown one on the top of another into a ditch without Christian burial, and covered with a heap of stones; and still, if anyone is bold enough to venture there by night in bad weather, he may distinctly hear on ill-omened sound, which my old friend illustrated by taking a handful of shingle, and dropping them slowly one by one on to a big stone.

I asked him whether he had ever heard it himself. "No," he said; but once, a long time ago, when he was a boy, he remembered coming along the road a quarter of a mile off, and he thought (but he could not be quite sure) that he saw a light there!

The old women are apt to feel uncomfortable if a cat should begin to play with their gowns or aprons, for that is a sign of a gale. But perhaps the most respectable of all the prcmonitors of storm is the huge dog "Shock" {Shock, not Shuck with us), who comes out of the sea, and runs along " Shock's Lane," and up on to some hills, after which his course is uncertain. His anatomy generally is somewhat anomalous, for he is "headless," but has "great saucer eyes." The poor fellow seems conscious of some deformity, for he has been met with a " white handkercher" tied over the place where his head should be.

The " shrieking woman" is another, and one of the worst. When she is heard, bad times are coming indeed. She had been silent for a long time till last Christmas, when she threw several good people in Upper S into great alarm with unusually hideous yellings. As, however, a large party of young people were coming home from a ball that night in the direction, and at the time that the ominous sounds were heard, "cheering the way" with choruses rather more hearty than melodious, it seems just possible that in this in■ stance there may have been some slight mistake; especially as the storm, which, according to precedent, should have followed the old hag's shrieks, did not come. Poor nervous wives as they sit anxiously at home mending the nets, hear their husband's voices talking or shouting above the wild noise of the wind, though their boats may be miles away at sea.

Only a very few years ago, the old clergyman, who for a great many years had been vicar of the parish, as he was walking home one Sunday evening after service at Lower S chapel, fell down

in the middle of the road, and was taken up dead. His congregation, who not an hour before had seen him apparently in his usual health, could not fail, in their own way, to be much impressed by the awful suddenness of the good old gentleman's death; and there was no lack of ready believers when, a little while afterwards, a boy driving a fish-cart came into the village in a state of wild alarm, declaring positively that he passed him sitting silent and motionless, leaning forward on his stick on the heap of stones beside the road where first they laid him.

Faith in the power of the Evil Eye, and the efficacy of the old plan of securing exemption from its hurtful influences by "blooding the witch," is still common in S , and I could quote instances of very recent occurrence.

The superstition that it is unlucky to interfere with swallows' nests is so universal, that I should not allude to it here except to add, that in Upper

S they explain it by saying that when the

birds gather, as they do in thousands, before they leave us for the year, and sit in long rows along the leads of the church, they are settling who is to die before they come again.

I heard a quaint prescription in S the other

day, earnestly recommended by an old woman to a young lady suffering from a weakness in one of her ankles — viz. some "grey dodmen" (hobby snails) off the church walls, prepared in a particular way (I think boiled in a brass pot), and smashed into a salve.

While on the subject I may mention a remedy for ague, which was told me last year by a farmer's wife not far from Aylesbury, which I do not remember having ever heard elsewhere. It was to take a black kettle, and draw a line on it with a piece of chalk, and put it on the fire. As the line becomes black like the rest of the kettle, the ague should disappear. "But lor. Sir!" as my good informant said at the end of her explanation, "I don't know as that do do any good." I have heard of the people in Pinner, near Harrow, curing the ague by getting up at twelve in the night, and going out in their night-gowns to cut a stick from a thorn bush. It does not sound comfortable in a clay country.

Anyone who has read anything of the witch trials, conducted by Matthew Hopkins in the seventeenth century, will remember that one very common charge on which many poor creatures were executed, was the possession of "imps," shaped usually like some of the lower animals, which were said to be in constant attendance upon them, and to urge them on to iniquities of all sorts. The belief appears generally to have died out at the "witch-finder-general's" death; but the following story, given as nearly as I can recollect in the words in which I received it direct from the clergyman to whom it was originally told, seems to show that remnants of that, as well as almost every other superstition, still linger among

us at S . Some years ago, Joe Smith, a

parishioner, who had once been very regular in his attendance at church, was asked how it was that of late he had never been there ?" It's no use ray coming, Sir," he said; " I'm in bad hands! I'm in bad hands 1 I had a filly, and she hanged herself, and my pigs take to foaming at the mouth!"

Some little time before, he had been to do some harvest work for an old woman occupying a small farm in the next parish. The wheat was nearly all. carried, and he and the old lady's son were waiting on the top of the rick for the next waggonload, when Joe happening to look towards his companion, who was lying down half asleep on his back with his arms spread out, and his eyes shut, saw a large toad crawling quietly along his chest towards his open mouth. He called out to him, and he jumped up and shook the beast off, and Joe stuck his fork into the poor thing, and "hulled him away." Before long the toad made his appearance again, and, this time with his "innards hanging out," made his way straight towards the same man. Feeling somewhat uncomfortable at this, the two took it into the wash-house, and threw it into the fire under the boiler; but the old lady rescued it, and, scolding them for their cruelty, "pitched it into the horsepond."

One might have supposed that this would have been enough for it; but, no! Soon they saw it again, torn with the fork, blackened with the fire and mud from the pond, coming straight up to them for the third time.

The explanation given was, that the seeming toad was in reality the "imp" of the old woman, who died shortly afterwards I believe; and that, knowing her death to be near, it was leaving her, and attaching itself to her son and heir.

Whether by his conduct Joe had incurred the displeasure of the "imp," or why it was, I cannot tell, but ever after that he had been an unlucky fellow, and the conviction that he was in "bad hands " had so completely taken possession of him, that he believed it quite useless to go to church like any ordinary Christian. T. D. P.

Htmss Bt The Duke Of Roxburgh. — Some time ago I fell in with a very nice copy of a book entitled, Hymns and Spiritual Songs on Several Subjects, to which is added the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, a Poem, 8vo, pp. 144. Edin., printed by H. Galbraith, and sold by W. Gray, and by John Hoy, at Gattonside, 1777. Lettered on the back "Hymns, &c, by the Duke of Roxburgh," the authority for which being, apparently, the original blue paper cover of the book, whereon is written, "Spiritual Hymns, by his Grace the Duke of Roxburgh," preserved in the volume.

The book has a preface, in which it is expressly stated that —

"the author is a man of low estate, and lives in a lonely village, where he labours for his own and family's bread, that he may not be chargeable to any man. Another branch of his employment, he says, is to water and feed a little flock of Christians, who have called him to take the oversight of them, at whose desire these Hymns have made their appearance."

There is certainly nothing here to warrant the ascription of these spiritual songs to the duke, or to entitle them to figure in the Cat. of Royal and Noble Authors. The book in its blue-paper-cover state, has passed through the hands of George Chalmers, who marks it No. 685 in his missing Bibliographia Scotica Poetica; and there is little doubt that Dr. Bliss is chargeable with the binding and lettering; yet neither of these book-men note the manifest absurdity, in the face of the

Ereface, of fathering the volume upon the duke. ly own opinion is that the real author is the John Hoy of the imprint. A person of this name and locality, called the younger, was the author of a posthumous volume of poems, printed in 1781, but he died early, and could not have been a man of the matured responsibilities of my subject, whom I shall designate the elder; nor is there the slightest allusion in the junior's book to the father, beyond the fact that he calls himself the son of a small farmer, which the author of the spiritual songs was. Finally, from the old man's description of himself, we may infer that he was the patriarch of the village of Gattonside, and a type of the old covenanting layman, so well drawn by Burns in his Cottar's Saturday Night. A. G.

Anonymous Contributions To "N. & Q."— Mr. Cobden, a gladiator daring the dangers of the nrena in defence of another's political integrity, has compelled the editor of The Times to lay aside the garb of" airy nothing," and to assume, like other folk, "a local habitation and a name." Though the struggle has been unseemly in the extreme, though the scheme proposed by that gentleman has been condemned by the fourth estate of the realm, and though it would, if carried out, inevitably destroy the freedom and beneficial influence of the English press, it may yet lead to some suggestions with regard to the anonymous

nature of many contributions to " N. & Q.," and other publications purely literary. A review, would be read with greater avidity if it were known that a Macaulay or a Jeffreys had penned it. In a similar manner the value of this work would, I submit, be increased a hundred fold if all subscribed their names to their communications. It is only after an experience of the usual justness of a writer's deductions that any weight can be attached to a Shim, a Hermentrude, or a F. C. II. Nor would the same attention be paid to the ideas or suggestions of a Professor De Morgan, a Lord Ltttelton, or a Halliwell, if the authorship of their articles remained a secret. Wynne E. Baxter.

Heralds' Visitations.—Permit me to remark in your columns, that it would be a very great convenience to genealogists and historical inquirers if some one would compile an index to the printed Heralds' Visitations and County Histories similar to Mr. Sims's valuable Index to the Heralds' Visitations in the British Museum.

A Genealogist.

Vishnu The Prototype Of The Mermaid. — The prototype of the fabulous mermaid exists in the Fish Incarnation of Vishnu, the second person of the Hindoo Triad. Vishnu therein is represented as a comely youth; his hair falling upon his shoulders in curling locks, holding in his right hand a chukram or wheel by a handle fastened to it. In his left he holds a conch shell having many well-defined convolutes. If the spokes are taken from the wheel, we have the circular looking-glass of the mermaid; and little fancy is required to change the convolutes of the shell in the left hand into the teeth of a comb. The upper part of the god is that of a man, the lower being that of a fish. This Incarnation of Vishnu is identical with the Chaldee fish god Anu, and in both the memory of Nu or Noah is preserved. Vishnu is sometimes represented floating in a shell or ark.

H. C.

Clarges. — Perhaps the enclosed letter of a staunch cavalier may interest the readers of "N. & Q." Who the writer is, that his autograph consists of his surname only, I cannot say. Burke's Extinct Baronetage giving a baronet only, of the name of Clarges, as flourishing during those unhappy times. The volume in which I met with it (Harl. MS. 6804), contains many papers of interest relating to the Great Rebellion. Amongst others, a list of such as were known to be well affected to the "Kinge's Majesty within the City of Gloucester."

"ffor M. Walker, Secretary of the Cunscll of warre, these: —

"Sr,—1 know you have so much imployment you can not thinke of every perticuler to ausweare all's expectation, and that diligence to put yon in minde much ad

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