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NOTES AND QUERIES., Issue 7916, 25 May 1889, Supplement
NOTES AND QUERIES.
Art Critics. Disraeli said : •« The critics are those who have failed in literature and art." With the judges of literary work I have no concern ; but ia respect of those whose business it is to write public oriticisms on art I have to Bay that few of the gentlemen or ladies who praise or condemn modern painters and sculptors have practised art in any form, so the charge of their having failed in it falls to the ground. They are people of some literary entertainments, as is evident by their writing. But the mystery attending their wonderful knowledge of art in all its forms is one of those things—if I may use the words of an eminent peer, Lord Dundreary—" that no fellow can understand." When I bring to my memory the many instances of the diffidence of opinion on art, so often witnessed by myself in such men as Landseer, Turner, and others nearly as eminent, I cannot help being awe-struck by the laying down of the law by modern experts.—• W. P. Frith's Autobiography.' Between Hay and Grass ia a proverbial expression in America, equivalent to the English word '• hobble-de-hoy"—that is, a youth between boyhood and manhood. Biscuit.—This word is a componnd of the French words bin, twice, and cuit, baked. Originally the bread for use on shipboard, made in thin flat cikes, as now, was baked twice, in order to secure the requisite hardness and dryness.
Chop-sticks (Chinese, kwai-tsz'— nimble, or diligent lads), two smooth sticks about the thickness of a quill, of bamboo, wood, or ivory, which are used by the Chinese for conveying meat or vegetables, particularly rice, to the mouth. The chop-sticks are used in various manners, serving partially the purpose of a fork and spoon. The most curious mode of using the chop-sticks ia when a bowl of rico is brought close to the lips, the mouth held wide open, and the grain dexterously dashed into it with the chop-sticks, held one on each side of the forefinger, and plied with a rapid motion quite suggestive of the Chinese title. Chewing the Cud.—The cad is called quid in Surrey; hence perhaps a quid of tobacco.
Dun (hill) is a word common to the Celtic or ancient Teutonic languages, from which CDmes the French word dune and the final syllable dunum in Latin, as Augvsto dunum (Autun). The same word is found in Dunkirk (church of the hills). In Low German the word dune is still used for Bandy hills on the sea shore. In several English names the syllable dun, or its modifications dum and don, is used in a sense corresponding to hill or downs. Dout is do out, as " dout the candle." Many other phrases are similarly contracted, as don, for "do on"; doff, for "do off." To " doff your hat" is to take, or do it, off. Duelung.-The " detestable practice of duelling, introduced," as the Council of Trent says, "at the instigation of the devil," raged with the greatest violence in France, where it is calculated that 6,000 persons fell in duels during ten years of the reign of Henry IV. His celebrated minister, Sally, remonstrated against the practice; but the king connived at it, supposing that it tended to maintain a military spirit among his people. But in 1662 he issued a severe decree against it, and declared it to be punishable with death.
Early English Newspaper.—The • English Mercurie,' 1588, which for nearly a century past was believed to be the riist English newspaper—a paper for which mankind was said to be indebted to "the wisdom of Queen Elizabeth and the prudence of Burleigh"—was proved, in 1839, by Mr Thomas Watts, of the British Museum, to be an impudent forgery. One fact which he mentions is conclusive. The paper upon which it is printed bears the arms of the House of Hanover, and the initials "G.R." The ' Gentlemen's Magazine' for May, 1850, says: "It may be concluded with some certainty that for the ' earliest newspaper' we are indebted to the press of James Bettenham, of St. John's Lane."
Hue and Cby.—From the French hutr, to shout; orier, to cry aloud; Latin, huiesium et clamor, the old common law process of pursuing with horn and voice felons and such as have dangerously wounded another. It may be raised by constables, or private persons, or both. If a constable or police officer concur in the pursuit, he has the same powers, etc., as if acting under a Magistrate's warrant. All who join in a hue and cry, whether a constable be present or not, are justified in the apprehension of the person pursued, though it turn out that he is innocent; and where he takes refuge in a bouse, may break open a door if admittance is refused. But if a man wantonly or maliciously raise a hue and cry he is liable to fine and imprisonment, and to an action at the suit of the party injured.—Wharton. Nought, Nadght. —ln the Scriptures the word nought (spelled with the o) means nothing. In 2nd Kings, ii., 19 : " The water is naught " (spelled with the a) ; the meaning is bad. In Jeremiah xxiv., 2, the game original is translated naughty—- " naughty figs," that is bad figs. Naughty.—This word is from the AngloSaxon we aught, not anything; from this lt not worth anything." aa<2 £rom tba.t to worikkas or bad, are natural transitions. Be naught Was formerly a mild sort of execration, which has given place to be hanged, and even to stronger terms. Pseudonyms.— W. P. Frith, ILA., in his autobiography, says:—"l was carious to know the origin of the famous name nnder which this lady ('Ouida,' Mdlle. de la Ramee) writes, and it is interesting, I think, to find that it arises from a child's attempt to say ' Louisa,' just as the immortal ' Boz' (Dickens) was adopted from another infantine attempt to say ' Mpses.' My information with respect to 'Ouida' came from 'Ouida' herself, of whom I saw a good deal some years ago, before she left the fogs of England for the sunshine of Italy." Samuel Butler is not more known than Shakespeare or Spenser. D'lsraeli, in his ' Curiosities of Literature,' says:—"Longueville, the devoted friend of the poet, has unfortunately left no recollections of the departed genius whom he so intimately knew, and who bequeathed to Longueville the only legacy a neglected poet could leave—all bis manuscripts; and to his care, though not to his spirit, we are indebted for Butter's 'remains.' His friend attempted to bury him with the publio honors he deserved, among the tombs of his brother bardß in Westminster Abbey; but he was compelled to consign the bard to an obscure burial place in Paul's, Covent Garden. Many years after, when Alderman Barber raised an inscription to the memory of Butler in Westminster Abbey, others were desirous of placing one over the poet's humble gravestone. This probably excited some competition, and the following fine one, attributed to Dennis, has perhaps never been published. If it be Dennis's it must have been composed in one of his most lucid moments :
Near this place lies interred The body of Mr Samuel Butler, Author of Hudibras. Ho was a whole species of poets in one! Admirable in a Manner In whioh no one else has been tolerable— A Manner which began and ended in Him ; In which be knew no Guide, And has found no followers."
NOTES AND QUERIES., Issue 7916, 25 May 1889, Supplement
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