Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 11.djvu/398

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [9 th s. XL MAY IG, 1903.

Derniere Feuille de Rose.' It was a charming little story, full of the most exotic sentiment." P. 107.

I should be glad to know the name of this collection of tales. JOHN HEBB.

CAPE GARDAFUI. Can you tell me the origin and meaning of the name Gardafui, applied to a cape in Somaliland 1


"THE PILLARS OF THE LORD." Can any reader tell me whether special significance of any kind attaches to the seven letters of the Greek alphabet alpha, gamma, theta, iota, sigma, eta, omega 1 ? Christopher Smart, in his ' Song to David,' calls them " the pillars of the Lord," and one of his commentators calls them " the pillars of knowledge." Is this Smart's own idea, or is he merely quoting tradition? M. KNIPE.

JOHN KAY, OF BURY, LANCS, inventor of the fly-shuttle for looms and other mechanical appliances, is said to have resided in Paris for some time prior to his death, which is sup- posed to have occurred there 1767-70. I should be glad to have the date of his death, place of burial, or any other information regarding him while on the Continent. The records of the British Embassy in Paris would probably furnish some particulars.


The Crescent, Rochdale.

THE THREE DUKES, CHILDREN'S GAME. Where can I find the origin of this popular game ? It is well known, I think, in every county in England. In Oxfordshire it com- mences " Here come three dukes a-riding." It has been stated, I know not where, that it originated in the reign of Edward III., from the fact of three dukes or princes going to ask the hand of his daughter Jane, who after- wards died when on her way to marry Pedro the Cruel. Is there any confirmation of this to be found ; or is it a myth 1 S. J. A. F.

"Up TO DICK." As I practically hit the bullseye "to the nines" with that phrase, I cannot hope for similar good luck, or to be " up to Dick," with my latest find. I mean I do not anticipate but that this curious idiom has been thoroughly exploited in ( N. & Q.' Will some kind student give me its history K M. L. K. BRESLAR. [Consult 'H.E.D.']

FOUNTAIN PENS. The earliest reference to a fountain pen given in the 'JST.E.D.' is dated 1823, but the expression must be much older. Miss Burney, writing in 1789 ('Diary and Letters of Madame d'Arblay,'ed. 1854, vol. v. p. 39), states ; " And then I took a fountain

pen, and wrote my rough journal for copying to my dear Sorelle." Was Miss Burney's fountain pen anything like the article of our time ? EMERITUS.

[This question was asked 9 th S. x. 29, but without eliciting a reply.]

" SHICK-SHACK." This is what the children cry after people who omit to wear oak-leaf on 29 May in Gloucestershire. Why ?


[See 1 st S. xii. 100 ; 5 th S. iv. 129, 176 ; 6 th S. i. 474 ; ii. 16.]

THE KING'S WEIGH HOUSE. (9 th S. x. 427 ; xi. 13, 56, 209, 272.)

I VENTURED long ago to suggest that steel- yard was no true compound of steel and yard, a rod, but a corruption of the older form stiliard or stelleere (in Cotgrave, s.vv. crochet, levrault, and romaine], but I failed in my explanation of stelleere. PROF. SKEAT'S sug- gestion no doubt hits the nail on the head. He brings it into connexion with Sp. astil and Lat. hastile.

Following out this hint, we find the Latin hastella, a little shaft, dim. of hasta, a spear shaft, yielding O. Fr. astelle, a splint (L. Lat. astula), whence came an Early Eng. astel, a thin board or plank ('N.E.D.'). The 'Promp- torium Parvulorum ' (1440) has " astelle, a schyyd, astula." Hence also the O. Fr. words astelles, attelles, splints or sticks, attelier, a workshop (? orig. the place of planks or cut wood), all in Cotgrave ; also O. Fr. hastelier (Scheler), Mod. Fr. atelier. Compare O. Sp. hastil, astil, haft or handle of a spade, &c., hastilla, astilla, a stake, lath, splinter, in Minsheu, ' Sp. Diet.,' 1623. But the words of more immediate interest are O. Fr. astellier, a stall (Cotgrave ; 1 orig. a planking), O. Sp. astillero, a dock to build ships on (Minsheu). These seem to be the identical words (in a different acceptation) that we have in our stelleere, a little shaft, a rod, if it stands for 'astiliere, and in O. Eng. hastelere or hastlere, "that rostyth mete" ('Prompt. Parv.'), i.e., the broach, spit, or rod on which the meat was transfixed. In other words, the supposi- tion is that (h}astilier has become a stilier or a stilyer(d), or steel-yard. Similarly lanyard is found for laniard, Fr. laniere ; poneyard (Fuller) for poniard, billyard (Cotgrave) for billiard, lubbard for lubber, &c.


In connexion with PROF. SKEAT'S deriva- tion of steelyard from hasta, may I remind him of the Italian expression "Vendere