Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 11.djvu/365

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9 th S. XI. MAY 2, 1903.]



mined largely by the degree of culture attained by the nation which speaks it The Persians, though a healthier and more vigorous folk than those they conquered brought no new elements of culture, anc merely took over the pre-existing civilizatior of the empire which they supplanted. Bu Greek, the product of a civilization highei than that of Asia, overcame where Persian had accomplished nothing. Just so, at a later time, the Latin language made little impression upon the more highly culturec peoples of the East, but quite supplanted th< native tongues of the barbarians to the Wes. and North. At the Renaissance, Italian, as the language of the most civilized of con- temporary peoples, enjoyed the pre-eminence among the tongues of Europe ; when France became the arbiter of culture, French assumec the place formerly held by Italian.

H. J. B.

CASTLE RUSHEN, CASTLETOWN, ISLE OF MAN (9 th S. xi. 168, 237). I am now of opinion that by "the Lady Molineux (that shoulc be) " is meant the Earl of Derby's daughter Henrietta Maria, who was betrothed to Richard, second Viscount Molyneux, when mere child about 1636. This marriage was never consummated, and in 1652* Lord Molyneux married Lady Frances Seymour (see Gillow's 'Bibl. Diet.,' v. 64).


The " young virago " was Henriette Marie, born 17 November, 1630; married first Richard, Viscount Molyneux ; secondly, William Wentworth, second Earl Strafford, but died s.p., 27 December, 1685. Should W. J. B. desire to see a good account of her father, it may be found in Baines's ' History of Lancashire,' vol. iv. pp. 22-37 inclusive, edition 1836. J. H. K.

" THE MOTHER OF FREE PARLIAMENTS " (9 th S. xi. 289). I cannot answer the precise question, but John Bright used the phrase " England is the mother of Parliaments " in a speech at Birmingham, 18 January, 1865 (see my dictionary, now in the press as already mentioned). EDWARD LATHAM.

61, Friends' Road, E. Croydon.

MAIZE, ITS NATIVE COUNTRY (8 th S. iii 348; iv. 53; xi. 466; 9 th S. xi. 286). In comparing the national foods of the Old and New Worlds, Buckle wrote : " In Mexico and Peru one of the most important articles of food has always been maize, which, we have every reason to believe, was peculiar to the American continent"; and the half- century or so that has elapsed since the

Fenning of that sentence has not produced, believe, any evidence which invalidates the dictum. Indeed, in 1884 De Candolle, at the commencement of his careful examination of the testimony as to the origin of the cereal, is content to quote his own words written in 1855. " Maize is of American origin," he says, " and has only been introduced into the Old World since the discovery of the New." Opposed as it is to this definite ex cathedra pronouncement, Cobbett's opinion has, I fear, but little weight.

A few words as to the leading features of the evidence for an American origin may not be out of place. There is no Sanskrit or Hebrew name for maize, and it was unknown to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans (zea being a spelt). The earliest Chinese mention occurs in a work written more than half a century after Portuguese navigators had reached the Celestial shores, and some eighty years after the discovery of America. Any Old World description prior to the date of the voyage of Columbus is lacking, which, considering the food value of maize, is inexplicable if it were in cultiva- tion in this hemisphere. But the estimation in which the plant was held by the autoch- thonous Americans quickly drew the atten- tion of the Europeans to it, and frequent notices of the new cereal occur in the six- teenth century under various names, "maize" being acknowledged as a word of American extraction, and a synonym, "Indian corn," pointing to the West Indian source. Perhaps, too, if the truth were known, even its popular name, " ble de Turquie," is of considerable value in fixing the date of the introduction of maize to the Mediterranean, for early in the sixteenth century the Turks spread con- sternation throughout that inland sea as well as throughout continental Europe. The synchronous appearance of any strange natural product would be liable to cause a oopular misconception as to its origin, which might be fostered for commercial purposes. This, I apprehend, was what happened with respect to the farmyard " turkey " (an Ame- rican bird), though I am loth to attribute the massacre of these birds at Christmas solely 30 any unseemly desire to wreak symbolical vengeance on the possessors of Palestine. Be chat as it may, there seems no reasonable grounds for doubting the American origin of maize, the precise locality of its earliest culti- vation (possibly Colombia, De Candolle; probably Peru, Wallace) being of purely academic interest. J. DORMER.

In Hungary, which is far-famed for its maize forests, in which it is said a man on