Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 9.djvu/332

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326


NOTES AND QUERIES. [11 s. ix. APRIL 25,


killed. So there was no one to take the mai Miller was under a penalty of one thousand dollars fine every time it was not carried through to th next station in Winty Valley, 115 miles distance Every one he asked laughed at him, and sug gested he should go himself. At length he offered me 250 dollars to take it and bring th mail waiting at Winty back .... Finally I con sented to have one try .... Every one said should never come back .... Miller fixed me up good horse, and I started off, and in due course arrived at the station. This I found in ruins am still smouldering. The Indians had killed th postmaster, burnt him and his house, stolen al the stock, and cleared out .... I just took th trail back, and passing some cedars I saw an Indian and the flash of his rifle as he fired. The bullet took off a lock of my hair and passed clean through my hat. I had a marvellous escape to Salt Lake City after my horse was shot. The Pony Express was stopped after this, and I was the last man to make an effort to run it up in tha district."

M. N.

" THE SECRETARY AT WAR." At the western extremity of the elevated clifl . plateau known as the Fort, at Margate there stands an old iron, muzzle-loading Russian cannon, and upon the stone base is carved the following :

A trophy from

Sebastopol.

Presented to the borough of Margate By the Secretary at War.

A.T>. 1858. George Yeates Hunter, Mayor.

It would be of interest to ascertain the origin of the quaint form of words used to describe the Minister.

A Secretary of State for War was first appointed in 1794, the control of the land forces of the Crown having been previously exercised by a Secretary at W T ar, who was responsible to Parliament through the Home Secretary.

In 1801 the * Secretary of State for War was also given the business of the Colonies, of which he was relieved in 1854 by the appointment of a Secretary of State for that purpose.

At the date of the gift of the cannon to Margate, therefore, the title of " Secretary at War " would appear to have been already obsolete. J. LANDFEAR LUCAS.

Glendora, Hindhead, Suriey.

CHINESE PROVERB IN BURTON'S ' ANA- TOMY.' (See 10 S. xi. 168 ; xii. 277 ; 11 S. viii. 189.) From Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo's 'Narrative of Embassy to the Court of Timour, 1403-6,' trans Markham, 1859, p. 171, it appears that about the begin- ning of the fifteenth century there was current in Samarcand the proverb " The


Chinese have two eyes, the Franks one eye, but the Moors no eye."

Whether or not the originals of such a proverb, similar comparisons frequently occur in the Buddhist works of earlier dates, of which the following are but two examples :

" This world has three kinds of men, viz., eye- less, one-eyed, and two-eyed. The eyeless man never attends to the Law ; the one-eyed man does not fix his mind upon the Law, howbeit that he frequently attends thereto ; but the two-eyed man carefully hearkens unto the Law and 'de- means himself according to it." The^ Chinese translation of the ' Mahaparinirv/lna-sutra,' by Dharmarakcha, A.D. 416-23, torn. xxv.

" Every seeker in philosophical meditation should have the two particular eyes : one, the ordinary eye, with which to read letters ; another, the intellectual eye, with which to discriminate errors." Chi-kioh-shen-sze, * Tsung-king-luh,' c. A.D. 960, torn. xli.

KUMAGUSU MlNAKATA.

Tanabe, Kii, Japan.

LETHE : A CLASSICAL AND ANCIENT BLUNDER. If any one will turn to Smith's 4 Classical Dictionary,' he will find Lethe described as " a river in the lower world, from which the shades drank, and thus obtained forgetfulness of the past." Even in Liddell and Scott's * Greek Lexicon ' we see it is called " the river of oblivion in the lower world," named by the old writers

T/js ArjOrjs TTora/xos, while Casaubon and Strabo are invoked as authorities. And yet, as a matter of fact, Lethe was a plain", and not a river. This we can easily Drove from the Tenth Book of Plato's

Republic ' (towards the end, Jowett's trans-

ation) :

" And when they had all passed, they marched >n in a scorching heat to the plain of Forgetful- ness (Lethe), which was a barren waste destitute >f trees and verdure. And then towards evening hey encamped by the river of Unmindfulness Ameles), whose water no vessel can hold. Of this they were all obliged to drink a certain quantity, and those who were not saved by visdom drank more than was necessary, and ach one as he drank forgot all things." But if we read on we shall discover the xplanation of this consecrated and classical lunder, of which scholars are as guilty as he uncultured : " And we shall pass safely ver the river of Forgetfulness (Lethe), and ur soul will not be denied." When Plato peaks of the river he says " by the river meles," but when he speaks of this again at he close of the book he really writes " the iver of [the country of] Lethe." And the ame holds equally true of his first mention f the name. It was ' ' the plain of [the ountry of] Lethe." But obvious as this ppears in the original Greek, not one