Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 9.djvu/103

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ii s. ix. JAN. si, loin NOTES AND QUERIES.


DOVER SEEN FROM CALAIS (11 S. ix. 29). In travelling from Dover south-westwards by train a few years ago, late on a brilliant summer's afternoon, when we reached Folkestone the cliffs of Calais, 26 miles away, were apparently only 3 or 4 miles distant, for the sun was low and the atmo- spheric conditions excellent.

Similarly, at 5 o'clock on a clear summer's morning, with a low sun shining from the east on to the cliffs of Dover, 21 miles off, there should be still less difficulty in seeing them from Calais than in the former case.

From the Babbicombe Cliff above Tor- quay, Portland Bill is sometimes visible. From this point I have sketched it 55 miles across the water as the crow flies.


Birklands, Birkclale, Lancashire.'

As any one can see across now on any clear day, I fail to see the point of the query as to the possibility of seeing across three centuries ago. H. K. H.

TRILBY (US. ix. 27). 'Trilby; or, The Sprite of Argyll,' is the title of a French short story by Charles Nodier, which was originally published during the Restoration period of Louis XVIII. It was afterwards adapted for the stage as a one-act play, with songs, by Eugene Scribe and other collabo- rators. It will be found in. the ' (Euvres Completes ' of the prolific dramatist. Scribe's adaptation was subsequently used for the libretti of three Italian operas and one Ger- man. It seems to be one of the very few plays of Scribe which escaped the hands of the English adapters. This was probably due to the extraordinary French versions of the Scotch names of the characters. Charles Nodier's story ' Trilby ' was long believed in France to be founded on a real Scottish legend, but it has in fact no existence in the folk-lore of Scotland. At the time of Sir Herbert Tree's production of the American version of George du Maurier's novel ' Trilby ' at the Haymarket Theatre, I was urgently requested to prepare an English version of the French ' Trilby ' for production by a provincial manager. He, however, shortly afterwards became bankrupt, and my ver- sion was never produced on the stage.

Trilby in the French story and play is the young son of a Scotch lord, \vho disguises himself as a sprite, and after frightening the villagers is discovered by his old tutor, and restored to the bosom of his family. The part in* the play was undertaken by an actress dressed in boy's clothes, and in the

operas by contraltos. When George du Maurier was an art-student in Paris, the name was generally given to black stray cats who came into family dwellings un- awares and stole food.

ANDREW DE TERNANT. 36, Somerleyton Road, Brixton, S.W.

Nodier brought out his story ' Trilby ; on, Le Lutin d'Argail,' in 1822. It is clear that the name of the Scottish sprite soon became well known in France, for in 1838 we have " De Beauvoir " (De Bully) describ- ing the little English groom " David Dick " as a " capricieux Trilby " (' Histoires Cava- lieres '). Later on Trilby is met with in ' Les Bibelots du Diable,' a fairy vaudeville, by Th. Cogniard and Clairville, first per- formed on 21 Aug., 1858, at the Theatre des Varietes in Paris. Here (Act I. sc. x.) Trilby speaks of himself as " un bon petit genie." M.

Trilby, as the name of a little dog, occurs in the letters of Eugenie de Guerin. Thus in that of 14 Feb., 1835 :

" Nos soirees se passent aussi fort doucement, a travailler, a lire, a caresser Trilby, notre petit mignon " ;

in that of 30 March, 1835 :

" Ce Criquet, si gentil, a-t-il dine sur votre main corame Trilby avec de la friture de eervelle ? C'etait pour s'adoucir la langue et vous lecher en- suite " ;

and in that of 31 Dec., 1841 :

" Si 1'air est trop froid, nous nous etablirons

sur les tisons, et nous jaserons dans la chaleur du foyer comme deux Trilby."

The name has such an English sound that it is rather surprising to find that Du Maurier in all probability made its acquaintance in France, and one would be glad to know more of its early history in that country. G. C. MOORE SMITH.


If your correspondent has access to the earlier volumes of ' N. & Q.,' he will find information in 8 S. ix. 84, 277, 459 ; x. 241.


COUNTY MAPS (US. ix. 5). To the list of counties of which catalogues of maps have been published may be added Dorset. In the Transactions of the Dorset Field Club and Antiquarian Society for 1903 (vol. xxiv.) is given an annotated list of maps of the county from 1575 to 1829. It was com- piled by Mr. A. Pope (now F.S.A.).


Wimborne Minster Vicarage.