Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 9.djvu/387

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s. ix. MAY 10, 1902.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


379


columns which bear one way or another on Church matters and practices, but he makes no attempt to co-ordinate them into any connected system, or make them illuminate one another. For the most part he does not try to discover the origin or mean- ing of the curious customs and quaint rites which he registers, but is content to purvey the material on which others may generalize or base deductions. But it is only just to say that the author does not pretend to be more than a diligent compiler. A little research into mediaeval sources would often have shown him the rise and rationale of many of the usages which, as it is, remain unexplained ; but by not extending his investigations, of set purpose, beyond the Reformation period he leaves those upper reaches of the stream outside his ken. This is a pity, as wider knowledge would have cleared up some of the present anomalies and obviated not a few mistakes. It is all very well to repeat for the hundredth time the hoary guess that the pro- verbial "nine tailors" which make a man are only a corrupt rendering of the "nine tellers" of the passing pell ; but what about the same phrase turn- ing up in Brittany, where there is no such con- venient assonance? The derivation of the North- Country word "arval" Mr. Vaux thinks "some- what doubtful." Why not have resolved his doubts by an easy reference to Dr. Murray's or Dr. Wright's monumental dictionaries? "Derivations," as so often in these popular works, have proved a snare to the author. Funus and "funeral" are not so obviously related as he assumes to the Latin /urm, a rope (p. 170). The "coom" of a bell is not "a sort of secretion of moss " (p. 398), but the black grease that accumulates round its bearings. " Gree- lith," meaning weepeth (p. 400), whether due to Mr. Vaux or the authority which he quotes, is a misprint for " greeteth."

Wrekin Sketches. By Emma Boore. (Stock.) THIS work, to which on its first appearance we drew attention (see 8 th 8. xii. 160), has received the honours, to which it is entitled, of a cheap edition. We are sorry to find that inaccuracy and defects in the earlier edition to which we drew attention remain uncorrected in the later.

PROF. BRADLEY sends to the Fortnightly a paper on ' The Rejection of Falstaff,' delivered in March last in Oxford. His views concerning the fat knight and his relations to Prince Hal are original and ingenious, if not always convincing. Falstaff, he holds, is not, in the full sense, either a liar or a coward. His lies are those of a humourist, and are not intended to be believed. By solemn statements he will make truth appear absurd, and he shares the amusement which his preposterous assertions beget. As regards the charge of cowardice, it is shown that he remains a person of consideraton, and that when he is in request " twelve captains hurry about London searching for him." Henry V. sinks in consideration in consequence of his treat- ment of Falstaff. In the Falstaff scenes Shake- speare overshot the mark. When, in order to elevate Henry, he sought to dethrone Falstaff', he failed. We cannot, even at the bidding of Shake- speare, change our attitude or our sympathies, and at the close "our hearts go with Falstaff to the Fleet, or, if necessary, to Arthur's bosom, or where- soever he is." Mr. Charles Bastide supplies an admirable estimate of M. Waldeck-Rouaseau. A comparison is suggested between the French states-


man and our own Halifax, and the former is declared to be the ablest trimmer that France has known since Gambetta." M. Waldeck-Rousseau is also dealt with in the remarkable article of Calcha* on 'The Revival of France.' Mr. W. S. Lilly has joined the ranks of those who see grave menace to the future of England. Under 'New Forms of Locomotion and their Results' the Hon. John Scott Montagu, a well-known authority, deals with the opposition experienced in England by those who drive motor-cars, and is of opinion that one hundred or one hundred and fifty miles an hour may easily in time be possible with the use of rails. His ideas take away the breath, but so doubtless did, eighty years ago, those of the advocates of railways. Two opening articles deal with the late Cecil Rhodes, and a third, on * A Cosmopolitan Oxford,' is also concerned with him. In the Nineteenth Century Mr. Havelock Ellis writes on ' The Genius of Spain.' He has much that is of extreme interest to say upon a great subject, and his observations and con- clusions repay study. Due importance is naturally attached to the fact that the persecutions of the Inquisition under Ferdinand and Isabella were responsible for the shaping of subsequent Spain ; but we fail to recognize the force of the asser- tion that the "new light" took its rise in Spain, and that to the suppression of this, thoroughly accomplished, it is due that when the trumpet- blast of Reformation sounded Spain was the only country in which it awoke no echoes. Jews were as much an object of suppression as Moors, and the extirpation of the two races was largely responsible for the decline of the country. There is originality in the plea for the cruelty of the Spaniard that the Spaniard can be as cruel to himself as he is to others, and is only indifferent to the pain of others because he is indifferent to his own. There are many conclusions of the writer on which we should like to dwell did space permit. Mr. Wilfrid Scawen Blunt analyzes the new rendering of Lady Gregory's translation of * The Life and Death of Cuchulairr just issued by Mr. Murray. He finds the translation excellent in almost every respect, but holds that when the great Irish epic has taken its place, as it is bound to do, with the sagas and romances of Norway, France, and Germany, it may be necessary to have a hardier translation in respect of sexual matters. Lady Gregory's work will in due course come under our own observation. Writing on 'Dante and the Fine Arts,' Mr. Alfred Higgins disputes Mr. Berenson's theory that the form of Dante's imagination was largely conditioned by his knowledge of contemporary works of painting. Two writers appear to oppose the views concerning hospital nurses lately put forth in the Nineteenth Century. Mr. Frederic Harrison deals with Newton Hall, until recently a home of English Positivists. Sir Wemyss Reid continues his survey of 'The Month.' The Pall Mall opens with a further section of "The Rebuilding of London,' by Mr. Hugh B. Phillpott, and furnishes many views of the new Piccadilly for the Coronation, including a sketch of Hyde Park Corner, which serves as a frontispiece. One can only hope that the improve- ments will be adequate, but recent experiences make us hesitate to accept such a conclusion. Miss Katherine Brereton, of Guy's Hospital, gives a very pleasing and encouraging account of ' Life in the Concentration Camps' of South Africa. Great progress in soothing racial hostilities and