Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 9.djvu/89

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ii s. ix. JAN. si, mi.] NOTES AND QUERIES.

the unfortunate Jacobites in 1745. Another was about the smugglers from the South Coast, who used to come up and hide their smuggled goods in holes on the banks of the Effra. As a boy, too, he told me he had tended sheep on Rushlip Common, and had to tell the time for folding them by the sun. According to him, the only traffic along the road was then a few country carts and carriers' carts. The name Rushlip Common, I remember, attracted me as poetical, and I tried long after to localize it, but in vain, till I saw in the newspapers a few years ago a report of a lawsuit, when it was decided that the strip of land fronting the buildings on the eastern side of Brixton Road, from the church northward to the railway now crossing the road, could not be built on, since it was part of Rushlip Common.

Behind the eastern side of the road, and reaching to the Camberwell New Road, was in my time a large market garden called Hyatt's Fields. Myatt was very keen in his business and very successful. Hyatt's British Queen is still, I believe, one of the best strains of strawberries. I remember well how turbaned Hindoos used to hawk the roots of rhubarb, which people rasped to powder and mixed with water for medi- cinal purposes. Hy gardener friend told me that Hyatt had reflected on this, and come to the conclusion that he might get this business into his own hands, as he could sell the root cheaper than that brought from the East. So he procured some roots and planted them, but found that the medicinal property was entirely absent. He was one day ruminating on this, and had almost decided to pull up the plants, when he happened to put a young leafstalk into his mouth and began chewing it. He was much struck with its succulent juiciness, and he thought it might make when sugared an agreeable tart. He had a tart made accordingly, and liked it. He then took some bundles of the stalks to Covent Garden, but could not sell them. He, however, persevered, and gradually the stalks grew into favour. This must have been between 1820 and 1830.

This was, I was told, the origin of the now universal use of rhubarb. I had re- cently what seems an indirect confirmation of at least the statement of the period when rhubarb came into use from a lady, who told me she remembered that two aunts who were at boarding-school in Hackney at that period had told her that they had first tasted rhu- barb at school, and that it was then a great novelty. I myself remember having a " love

apple " from the West Indies given to me- to eat as a very rare fruit. Now, as the- tomato, its use is as universal as that of rhubarb.

In my young days there were only two- omnibus routes from Brixton to the City and to Charing Cross on which the omni- buses went at intervals of an hour, or more at midday. These omnibuses used to call for regular customers at their houses, and a special seat was reserved for each.

There was near one terrace on the west- side of the road a watchbox, where sat an old man with a lantern, who used to pro- menade in front of the terrace and proclaim the hours through the night.

Up to the time of the Great Exhibition- of 1851 London and the villages near had remained practically unchanged since the- Georgian era. The City and Southwark. abounded in houses of the Stuart period, and not a few much older, which were picturesque in the extreme. It was then that the wonder- ful development began which has changed everything, and, alas ! got rid of so much that was of historical interest, and made- huge towns where was then open country.


LINES IN A WORCESTER HS. The follow- ing lines are written in couplets about the marginal of the title-page of ' The Custo- marie of Lindridge,' the date of which is 1569. It has recently been inserted among the archives of Worcester Cathedral, its- class number being A. 15.

Indeede I do desyre some wealthe to have at will but not unleasse the same be gott w th faythful

delinge still.

For sure whosoe desyres by wickednesse to thrive Shall find y * justice from such goode will iustly him


Withe men ofte tymes in lewdest lyferde range And often scene that vertious men be poore. Yet would the goode theyre goodnesse never

chandge W th lewde estate although theyre welthe be more.

Is this the original composition of the scribe ? or is it known elsewhere ?


LUIGI DA PORTO. Quite recently a small volume of exceptional bibliographical in- terest has come into my possession; it is entitled ' Roma et Prosa di Hesser Luigi da Porto,' dated 1539. The book is com- posed of 38 leaves, 21 of which contain sonnets, and the rest the original story of Shakespeare's ' Romeo and Juliet,' under the