Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

The negotiations in which I had the honour to figure as Commissioner broke down entirely; but I think the Langue will do me the justice to allow, from no fault of mine. I regretted the catastrophe then, as I do now. As to one cause of the failure, I will say a few words in reply to the observation of ANTIQUARIUS: that "the Roman Council was quite as willing as the English Chapter, that an amalgamation of the respective bodies should take place." ANTIQUARIUS is ignorant of the principal cause of such willingness. It was because the S. Council unhesitatingly received for truth the assertion, put forth with unblushing effrontery, passim, in the Synoptical Sketch, and other publications of the Langue endorsed by the Grand Priors, men of note and position, who presided at their chapters, reiterated in their "Declaratory Resolutions"-impressed upon me, their Commissioner, by repeated instructions from their Grand Secretary, as a powerful argument to urge in my dealings with the S. Council in their behalf, and solemnly averred in an address to the S. Council itself, from the Chapter of the Langue, dated from "St. John's Gate, Clerkenwell, 14th July, 1858;" and signed on the part of that Society by Dr. James Burnes, "Preceptor of Scotland," &c., &c., President; Sir Richard Broun, Bart., "Grand Secretary;" Thomas Troughear Williams, Knight of the Golden Spur, Count of the Lateran, Chancellor, Grand Cross of St. John of Jerusalem;" J. A. Wilson, Knight of the Legion of Honour, Knight of the Golden Spur, Grand Cross of St. John of Jerusalem, Commendator of Quenyngton, and Sub-prior of Clerkenwell": that the lapsed corporation of the 4th and 5th Philip and Mary had been solemnly revived, and that the English Langue had been legally constituted a corporate body by certain oaths, de fideli administratione, taken before Sir Thomas Denman, Lord Chief Justice of England, in open court, by Sir Robert Peat, as Grand Prior, &c. &c.!

66

66

I will here candidly confess, that my knowledge of the law regarding lapsed corporations was not sufficiently profound to detect the absurdity of this audacious statement; and it may easily be imagined that the information on the same subject, possessed by the German and Italian commanders composing the S. Council, was not superior to mine; so, for reasons that in no way concern the present discussion, they were for a while disposed to look favourably upon the proposal.* However, shortly after the negotiation commenced, the magisterial secretary was deputed to visit England to inquire into that and other pleas advanced by the Langue, as claims for recognition; and the unhappy result was, that

The difference in the question of an amalgamation with a legally constituted corporation, and with the Langue as they really were and continue to be, needs no comment.

immediately on the return of the secretary to Rome, the negotiation itself came to an abrupt termination.

I have had many opportunities afforded me of examining the records, preserved in the Chancellerie of the Order at Rome, that concern the appointment of the famous Commission of Paris; its rise, labours, decline, and final extinction, with other documentary evidence, fully bearing out the account given of it by your correspondents HISTORICUS and SCRUTATOR. It is a curious fact, not mentioned by any of your correspondents, but which alone would be sufficient to nullify all the acts of the soi-disant Capitular Commission to whom the Langue owes its existence, that there was not a single Knight of Justice, with one unfortunate exception, and but an insignificant number of Knights of Devotion and Grace, among those who declared themselves a permanent Commission, when the faculties were withdrawn, by which the original Commission was established. The majority of the insubordinates were subaltern officials-secretaries, registrars, an abbé or two, and the like. I need not observe that the Knights of Devotion are merely an honorary body, with no power whatever to form Commissions, or act in any way as regular members of the Order.

The solitary exception I have alluded to was the octogenarian commander, Dienne; who, by the influence of a near relative-one of the young refractory Knights of Devotion-was, in his dotage, induced to sanction with his honoured and respectable name many of their acts which his unimpaired reason would neyer have consented

to.

One of the most harmless of their doings, during their short though mischievous career, was this imaginary revival of the English Language. Not knowing at what precise point truth becomes libel, and exposes the teller thereof to the fangs of "old Father Antic, the law," I shall refrain from further description of the exploits of this exemplary body. J. J. W.

(To be concluded in our next.)

STRANGE DERIVATIONS: TREACLE.
(3rd S. iv. 135.)

"Les anciens ont autrefois donné le nom de Thériaque à plusieurs compositions après avoir bien éprouvé la vertu qu'elles pouvoient avoir contre les venins: jusque-là jointes ensemble, et mesmes ils l'ont donné à une seule, qu'ils ont donné le nom de Thériaque à quatre drogues car ils ont appellé l'ail la Thériaque des pauvres. Et de là il assert, que nous n'aurons pas beaucoup de peine à juger, que les vertus que la Thériaque a pour combattre et pour surmonter toute sorte de venins luy peuvent avoir acquis en partie ce nom-là. Quelques-uns s'attachans aux mots, ont tiré son nom de enpíov, qui signifie feram, c'est à dire, une beste farouche, pour denoter que la Thériaque est propre non seulement contre le venin de toute sorte d'animaux, mais aussi contre une infinitie de

maladies, lesquelles ils comparent à des bestes farouches. D'autres ont crû qu' Andromachus a voulu changer le nom de Mithrydat en celuy de Thériaque, à cause de vipères, auxquelles il a attribué le nom de enpíov, et lesquelles il a ajouté pour la base principale de cette composition. Cette pensée me semble la plus raisonable de toutes, puisque la Thériaque n'a commencé de prendre ce nom-là que lorsque la chair des vipères est entré dans sa composition." (Ch. ii. p. 9.) -Histoire Naturelle des Animaux, des Plantes, et des Mineraux, qui entrent dans la Composition de la Thériaque d'Andromachus, by Moyse Charas, l'un des Apoticaires de Monsigneur le Duc d'Orléans, frère unique du Roy. 12mo, pp. 310. Paris,

1668.

I do not know whether the book from which I have copied the above is scarce. I saw it on a stall a few days ago, and should have passed it over but for the "treacle question." It has a frontispiece representing a beaver, several snakes, and herbs which are used in the composition. A list of the ingredients, to the number of sixtyseven, is given in the fourth chapter. So far as I can judge, the medicine would be innocent and not very nasty, under the liberty allowed with the last "Vini generosi quantum satis."

Moyse Charas must have been very superior to his contemporary apothecaries. His style is clear and neat, and he puts the substance of each chapter at its head in very fair Latin sapphics,

thus:

"DU VIN, C. LXXIII. Si celebrato careas Falerno

Limpidum quæres, validumque vinum, Collibus nascens, silices et inter,

Solis ad ortum."

Moyse Charas has been an apothecary many years, and has assisted in making theriacum under the best masters at Marseilles, Lyons, and Montpellier. He is engaged in preparing a hundred pounds of it, which will soon be ready for sale; and he hopes that the physicians will not quit their own department, which they understand, to meddle with inferior branches which, for want of experience, they cannot. Perhaps there was in France at that time some such feeling between the two ranks of the medical profession as that to which we are indebted for The Dispensary.

If Charas made theriacum according to his book, he must have been a very honest man; as many of the ingredients were expensive, and their absence could not be detected by analysis. He seems to be trustworthy, and to describe clearly what he has seen. Having exceeded my usual bounds, I will mention only one thing more. I knew that the beavers had been inhabitants of the banks of the Rhone; but thought they had left, or been killed there, before the middle of the seventeenth century. Charas says they were often taken there; that he had a live one which he bought for three crowns of the peasant who caught it; and that no physician ought to be ignorant of the quality of animals so near and so

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

I forget the English words; but true it is we often overlook what is immediately at our feet.

I take this to be the case with our word treacle,

which, from its being affectedly carried into our Pharmacopeias as theriacum, your correspondent

thinks must be a Greek word. It is evident that

for sugar and its products, we can have no indigenous nomenclature till its arrival on our shores. Assucar, Muscovado, and Molasses, are all Spanish names, referring to the mode of expressing the juice of the sugar cane in a mill in Jamaica, before Oliver Cromwell took the island from the Spanish crown; and the significance of these words will have to be discovered in the Spanish language. Molasses is evidently derived from the Ibero-Latinised mola, the mill ; and lasso, or some similar word, indicating dropping. It is not treacle.

When we get the Muscovado sugar to Europe, to crystallise into loaf-sugar, we have two modes of procedure: the raw material, when boiled, is cast into conical forms placed on their apices, which have perforated holes at the bottom; from them exudes a liquor which, if not escaping, would prevent the perfect crystallization of the loaves, as we see them in the shops; the liquor is nearly white, and is called in the German sugar-houses, nachlauf. A still finer and paler sort is gotten, when in the final process lime or lime-water is ad ed. Both these runnings are used for the making of capillaire. But do we not perceive that both are obtained by trickling of the syrup from the cones; and as our physicians and grocers must have received the article from the sugar baker, who must have given it a name, is it likely that he would have recourse to a Greek nomenclature ? No! he would rather have said to an inquiry as to its name, "This is our trickle." It was a refinement, or misconception, that carried this fine old English word over into dictionaries as Treacle.

If we examine the English word syrup, or the German syrop, their designation of treacle, we shall find support to this view. Taking the first syllable sy or su as cognate with suc in succus; the second, rob, is identical with many West Indian words for the inspissated juice of vegetables: as citron-rob for concentrated lemon juice, in appearance exactly like treacle.

Oyster-shell Grottoes." Please to remember the grotto, it comes but once a year," was the annual apostrophe before these delicacies were brought to London fresh every day, sometimes twice in the twenty-four hours, by rail; and was confined to the 4th of August, the day when the

"close" season of the beds ended. It is now extended by our juvenile gamins to many days previous and subsequent to that date; so that instead of it occurring only once a year, it must be the wish of all that it never came at all. But to suppose that it had any connection with Santo Jacopo at Compostella, appears to me straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel. In the first place, in the Roman Calendar, the 4th of August is appropriated to the veneration of neither James the Greater of St. Iago, nor any other James; and shells were too general emblems of pilgrimage to be appropriated to any one shrine in particular.

The association between shell and grotto was sufficiently near for the common mind; and the day offered sufficient shells when the 4th of August was the period when the juicy esculent could be first enjoyed, after a long interval of reticence, to furnish any quantity of grottoes; and the vendors might encourage the construction as an easy method of getting quit of a plethora of what they would otherwise have some trouble in disposing of.

It would seem that formerly the grotto was really dressed out with some display, as I recollect the account of a very fine Teniers having been bought for the merest trifle, which had been used as a decoration, and sold by the boy unconscious of his treasure. WILLIAM BELL, Ph. D. 2, Burton Street, Euston Square.

ALBION AND HER WHITE ROSES.
(3rd S. iv. 104.)

In a late number a correspondent put a question as to the derivation of the word Albion, with reference to an alleged quotation from Pliny. I have just read a long, rambling, and unsatisfactory article on "Sacred Trees and Flowers," in the last number of the Quarterly Review, in which we find the following curious statement:

"The elder Pliny, in discussing the etymology of the word Albion, suggests that the land may have been so named from the white roses ('ob rosas albas') which

abounded in it.* Whatever we may think of the etymological skill displayed in the suggestion, the words call up a picture of the great Roman encyclopædist in earnest talk with some master of legions, newly returned from Britain-it may be with Vespasian himself-and plying him with eager questions about the woods of the remote province under whose branches his troops had so often rested. We look with almost a new pleasure on the roses of our own hedgerows, when regarding them as descended in a straight line from the 'rosas albas' of those far-off

summers."

However strange it may seem, Pliny says not either white rocks or white roses. His expression one word about the name being derived from

is,

"Albion ipsi nomen fuit cum Britanniæ vocarentur omnes." Now Pliny very generally gives his authorities, and, like other literary men, had recourse either to his own or other libraries; and it is to be hoped, had he troubled any Roman general with such ridiculous questions, he would have got kicked for his pains. It is really sad to see this sort of sensation writing getting into such a work as the Quarterly Review; and when a man of MR. DALTON's learning and position could be taken in, we may imagine the great mischief which such careless statements must cause. I hope you will not think me out of place in drawing from it a lesson or two for our future

guidance.

fied it. It is astonishing how many will be found 1. Always doubt a quotation till you have verieither wilfully or thoughtlessly falsified.

2. Be particular in giving such a reference as may be easily found. Assist, in fact, the "gentle reader" as much as possible, and he will return thanks for saving his time and trouble. the compliment with kindly feelings and double

With reference to these particular etymological inquiries, it would be too much to say "Never make them;" but let us get a lesson out of this the white cliffs of Dover, and that albus is the word Albion. Everybody knows that there are Latin for white. What can be plainer? But it unluckily happens that the name was given long before the Romans knew anything of the island, and before they had a ship on the sea. The name first appears in Aristotle; and the Greek word for white is not albus. But whether the name was given by the Greeks, the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, or anybody else, it is pretty generally acknowledged that the south-west, not the southeast corner of the island, was first known, and there the rocks are not chalk: so that the deriva

tion fails both subjectively and objectively, and a close examination of etymologies of proper names will show that this is almost always necessarily

* "Albion insula sic dicta ab albis rupibus quas mare alluit, vel ob rosas albas quibus abundat."- Hist. Nat.,

iv. 16.

+ Nat. Hist., iv. 16, Elzevir, 1635. In later editions, as Leipsic, 1830, it is chap. xxx. vol. i. p. 294. Albion was the chief of the Britannic Isles.

the case. It is useless to enter into any etymological inquiry, unless the language to which the word belongs is known; and to refer again to the word Albion, we neither know, nor is it all likely we ever shall know, what tongue it belongs to.

Another point may be mentioned. When a querist asks about the meaning or derivation of a word, the least he can do is to give the passage in which it is found, and any further explanation which he can afford. But in your pages it not unfrequently happens that your readers are asked "What does such a word mean ?" and no further information is given. And such questioners must not be surprised to find no notice taken of them. At the risk of trespassing still further upon your space, will you allow me to relate a story in point, which is to be found in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1786, vol. ii. p. 553.

A gentleman met with the word auca, and applied to a learned friend for an explanation, and the result was a letter beginning:

"Perhaps auca may be from the Gothic auktigard, hortus, kπos: a word probably derived from aukan, Sax. eacan, Island. auka," &c., &c.

After going fully into the matter, and adding a trifle of Hebrew, he comes to the conclusion that auca was a garden. This was on Sept. 14, 1774. Four days after, however, he found the word in Littleton's Barbarous Latin Dictionary, and that it meant goose. If this serves as a hint, perhaps even this long letter may be useful in saving the time of your numerous correspondents.

JANNOC.

AEROSTATION.

(3rd S. iv. 146.)

66

The passage, supposed to relate to a discovery of aërostation as early as 1607, is very short, and for the sake of clearness may be here repeated :Sept. 27, 1607. "The greatest newes of this countrie is of an ingenious fellow, that in Barkeshire sailed or went over a high steeple in a boat, all of his owne making; and, without other help then himself in her, conveyed her above twenty miles by land over hills and dales to the river, and so down to London."

Now in 1606 the celebrated Peirescius (Nicolas Uande Fabri de Peiresc) came with the French Ambassador to England, was graciously received by King James, and having gone to Oxford, and visited Camden, Sir Robert Cotton, Sir Henry Saville, and other literary men, went over to Holland. While there, he travelled to Sceveling for the purpose of seeing a sailing chariot lately made under the direction of the celebrated mathematician and mechanist Simon Stevinus. Peirescius was much struck with the invention, and, according to Gassendus (Vita Peireskii, lib. ii.),

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

"Ventivolum Tiphys deduxit in æquora navim:
Jupiter in stellas ætheriamque domum:
In terrestre solum virtus Stevinia: nam nec,
Tiphy, tuum fuerat, nec Jovis istud opus."

The success of the experiment in Holland at least as early as September 1606, was likely to produce imitators in England as early as September 1607; and "the ingenious fellow in Barkeshire" appears to have been one. He conveyed boat all of his owne making," "above twenty miles by land, over hills and dales,”—upon one of which hills he might well be over, or above, high steeple" in a dale- and so arriving at the river, might proceed to London by water in his boat, detached from its temporary wheels.

a

66

3

That it is possible for a wheeled carriage, driven by sails, to pass over uneven ground, was experimentally proved about the year 1820, when such a carriage travelled along the turnpike road from Great Chesterford to Newmarket, a distance of about fifteen miles, over some considerable hills, at the rate, it is said, of about thirteen miles an hour. The writer of this reply saw that sailing carriage in motion on Newmarket Heath. It was

remain,

cutter rigged, with a fore-and-aft mainsail and haste, we shall say no more at this time, but that we triangular fore-sail. It carried several persons; worked easily to windward, coming up to the wind and tacking as readily as a boat on the water; and its speed was then such as to keep a horse at a moderate canter in order to accompany it.

It would thus appear that the above passage has probably no reference to aërostation. If such a discovery had been made at the beginning of the seventeenth century, it never could have been lost. We should have found allusions to it in Bp. Wilkins' Discourse concerning the Possibility of a Passage to the World in the Moon, 1638, and in his Mathematical Magic, 1648. Yet, while that daring and most original thinker describes at length Stevinus's sailing chariot, and discusses several means by which flight might be effected mechanically, he makes no mention of a balloon, or any similar means of rising in the air. He does not appear to be acquainted even with the theoretical notion of his contemporary, the Jesuit Lana, who proposed to exhaust hollow balls of metal, and thus to render them specifically lighter than the atmosphere, forgetful that such balls would be crushed by the enormous pressure of the external air, unsupported by a fluid within. T. C.

EXECUTION OF CHARLES I.

(3rd S. iii. 213, 292.)

May I add another quotation on this subject, and ask your esteemed correspondent A. A., on the next occasion that he visits the library at Windsor Castle, to see if he can identify the window in the first four plates to which he refers, by the following statement in a letter, which, if now printed, should it be still somewhat unknown, may serve two purposes?

"The Scotsmen who sold their king, for a valuable consideration, to the English, appointed a Committee, consisting of the Earl of Lothian, Sir John Chaiselie, and Robert Blair, to repair to London, when the sad catastrophe approached to do everything which might conduce to the good of Scotland. These three Commissioners gave in a protestation against taking away the King's life; and the General Assembly of the Kirk gave in a Testimony to the same purpose. But the Independents were too slye and powerful for the Presbyterians: and the unfortunate king was ordered to be put to death by a public execution. The Scots Commissioners gave the following account of that abominable event to the Kirk in these terms:

"Right Revd and Honble,

"This day, about two of the Clock in the afternoon, his Majesty was brought out, at the window of the balcony of the Banqueting House of Whitehall, near which a stage was set up, and his head struck off with an axe; wherewith we hold it our duty to inform you: and so, being in

"Your most aff. friends to serve you, "Covent Garden, 30 Jany. 164.

6

"For the Rt. Revd, the Comrs

of the Kirk of Scotland met at Edinburgh.'

LOTHIAN. Jo. CHAISELIE. Ro. BLAIR.

"This Epistle, which is curious for its succinctness, its cautiousness, and its unfeelingness, has never, I believe, been printed."

The above forms the first part of a letter from George Chalmers to the Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph Banks, Bart., and is dated Whitehall, 20 April, 1813: it is preserved in the British Museum, Add. MS. 6306. The words in italics in the letter will draw attention to the point in question, the purport of this note.

Considering that this historical letter was an authority, and having lately tried to identify this window by the letter, I arrived at a singular result. I looked at all the prints in the Cole's Pennant Collection; not even the print therein after Hollar's drawing in the Pepysian Library at Cambridge, stated to be of the early part of the reign of Charles I., affords any clue to a solution, but it shows that the small projection on the north side was then in existence. The question is, which is the balcony? Could this projection be so called? Was the term given to those small projecting balustrades to the three middle windows of the first floor? But why "the window of the balcony," and not "the centre window," or the end window?" Wishing to explain to a friend the difficulty, I opened London and its Environs Described, and turning up the small plate showing the Banqueting-House, we were surprised to find that the window on each side of the centre window of the lower range is represented a blank one, that is, they are both filled in with stone-work! It is drawn by Samuel Wale (afterwards R.A.), and published 1761. This centre window might thus perhaps be called "the window of the balcony." Not having before noticed this peculiarity of the façade in the prints, I looked at the engravings in the King's Collection; the result is, that Spilbergh's fine and large print of 1683, like most other illustrations of this building, shows all windows; that a drawn plan of the first floor, made in 1796 by J. T. Groves, an Architect, and also Clerk of the Works for Whitehall under the Board of Works, shows two windows on each side of the centre window as blanks! and still further, that T. Malton's large perspective view, in 1781, shows the same two blank windows on each side! This print also gives the north projection, and its two small windows, one above the other, much smaller than those of the façade, and out of which the king could not have gone, as regards height. Does not all this

« AnteriorContinuar »