Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 10.djvu/12

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NOTES AND QUERIES.


s. x. JULY 5, 1902.


have been under the municipal borough of Launce-

ston I first saw the light of day in 1817 in the

hamlet of St. Thomas, and heard the church bells of Launceston and St. Thomas, to remind them of the coronation of George IV. on 19 July, 1821, when the people of the hamlet and St. Mary Magdalene sat down together at a public dinner on the Middle Walk. I well remember the table at which my parents and three sisters sat. It was at Miss Rowe's, of High Street, the late Sir William Rowe's aunt. There was dancing and a f ugee in the even- ing. There was no public dinner or tea given at the coronation of William. IV., but the working classes were well supplied, each family receiving so many pounds of beef per head, and a fugee in the Broad Street in the evening; while there was a trades' procession at Queen Victoria's coronation." The word fugee, in the above account, was strange to me, and Mr. Robbins, upon my inquiring its meaning, explained that a, fugee was the firing in the air of guns and blunder- busses, there being in his early days no fire- works in the country except sky-rockets and squibs. I would suggest that it is a corrup- tion of feu dejoie, a phrase likely to be heard at Launceston, where, as Mr. Robbins him- self has shown (8 th S. v. 34), some French words had remained in common use because a number of prisoners of war had been de- tained there in the early part of the nine- teenth century. DUNHEVED.

GLEEK. The earliest quotation in ' H.E.D.' for gleek, an old game at cards, is dated 1533. It occurs earlier, in 1532, in Roy's ' Rede Me, and be not Wrothe,' ed. Arber, p. 117 : In carde-playinge he is a good greke And can skyll of post and glyeke.

In the Supplement to my larger ' Dictionary ' I refer to Warton, who quotes a poem by W. Forrest to the effect that Catharine of Arragon played at gleeke before her marriage in 1509. WALTER W. SKEAT.

" CIGAR." ' N.E.D.' justifies its title to be a new as well as an historical dictionary by its multitudinous dates. Few of its readers would know when the word, or thing, coffee first came into England but for its date of 1636. The word cigar, set down as first printed in an English book in 1735, is an instance, perhaps, more noteworthy. That the word was then believed to be new is implied in 'N.E.D.'s' first mention. "Seegars," says its first citation, " are Leaves of Tobacco rolled up in such Manner that they serve both for a Pipe and Tobacco itself through- out New Spain," &c.

This quotation I have also used to show that 'N.E.D.' surpasses all other works of its class in the quality no less than the number of its citations. They are from sources that must be new to almost all its readers. The


one above given is from a book which is not found in the catalogues of three out of the four largest libraries in and near Boston.

After all, cigar, as treated by 'N.E.D.,' needs an American supplement for several reasons. Thus Colman, as cited by ' N.E.D.,' implies that sagars (sic) were well known in 1787, while a letter of Mrs. Barbauld of the selfsame year (see 'N. & Q.,' 4 th S. iv. 30} points quite another way. Seeing a cigar smoked for the first time, she writes to her father, "We have beheld a wonder to-day. Did you ever see one ? "

Again, in examining a file of the New York Spectator, in the library of the Wisconsin State Historical Society, I discovered in the number for 12 August, 1801, an advertise- ment headed, "Spanish segars. Bement <k Gale." In 1796 Belknap writes, Canajohara [N.Y.], in his ' Journal,' " We, eleven in num- ber, very close stowed in the stage, four segars smoking most of the time." Again, on 25 August, 1792, he writes, ' A box of excellent Havana segars sent from Charleston [S.C.] to Boston."

Yet once more, in the ' Bye-Laws of the Town of Newburyport [Mass.] for regulating the Internal Police of the same,' "Voted and ordered 1785, That any person or persons who shall be found smoaking [sic] any pipe or segar in the streets, lanes, or alleys, or on the wharves of said Town, from and after the second Tuesday of October next, shall forfeit and pay the sum of two shillings for every such offence." The proof is strong that cigar both the name and thing was well known in Massachusetts earlier than in England, and so the word should have been noted in ' N.E.D.' as of United States provenance.

The truth is that Newburyport and other New England coast towns continually ex- ported codfish, their staple product, to the West Indies for enabling the Catholics to keep their fasts, beginning long before ' N.E.D.'s ' earliest authority was born. It cannot be that the thing cigar was not known in New England earlier than in Old. Further research may show that the word was also earlier, and did not come in from either Spain or France. JAMES D. BUTLER.

Madison, Wis.

[MR. BUTLER may be right as to the earlier American use, but in view of the English quotations in ' N.E.D.' is it proved?]

"SHEREGRIG": A MYSTERY SOLVED. This queer-looking word has long been a crux to readers of Peter Pindar. It puzzled even the editor of the ' Century Dictionary,' who quotes the verse in which it occurs, and