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NOTES AND QUERIES.

Accolade.—From the Latin, ad, to, and collum, the Deck. This word was used to denote the ancient ceremony of conferring knighthood, which was by the sovereign laying his arms round the young knight's neck and embracing him. The accolade is now represented by the monarch touching the shoulder of the kneeling recipient with a sword, and addressing, him by his Christian name, bidding him rise, as " Arise, Sir John." Barley grows wild on the mountains of Himalaya, where it is apparently indigenous. Bassoon.—The bassoon is a musical instrument, which was originally called a bass-horn.

Bribery.—The exposure and punishment of corrupt bribe-takers on a grand scale took place about the close of the seventeenth century. In 1695 Sir John Trevor, the Speaker of the House of Commons, was compelled to put the question himself that he should be expelled. A Bill for securing the right application to poor orphans of freemen of London of funds belonging to them could not be carried without purchasing the support of influential members and of the Speaker himself, at a bribe for the latter of 1,000 guineas ! Sir Thomas Cook, the Governor of the East India Company, paid L 167,000 in one year for bribes to members of the House of Commons, of which Sir Basil Forebrace took for his share L 40,000. Corruption was universal, therefore deemed venial.

Cocktail.—ln a note to Cooper's 'Spy* it is said that a buxom widow who kept a tavern at an unnamed Westchester town used to provide "bracers" for the young French officers that wonld make them feel as "light as a cock's tail." In time the compound which produced the effect received the name of " cocktail." Gretna Green Marriages.—Gretna is a Bmall village in the county of Dumfries, and but a short distance from the border between England and Scotland. A generation ago runaway marriages were usually performed at this place according to the Scottish law, which then required no residence and no notice. Gretna was selected because it was the nearest point of Scotland that could be reached. It is commonly believed that a blacksmith performed the ceremony, bnt this was not the case when the writer visited the place some thirty years ago in search of information. The house where the marriages took place was originally a mansion, within a small park, but had been converted into an inn. A large and lofty apartment was fitted upas a kind of chapel, in which the innkeeper performed the simple ceremony, entered the names in a register, and gave the parties a formal certificate. These marriages, since 1856, are not valid unless one of the contracting parties has resided in Scotland for twentyone days before the marriage. Military Terms. —Nearly all our military terms and designations are derived from the Normans. These designations are : Marshal, general, colonel, major, captain, adjutant, cornet, lieutenant, ensign, officer sergeant, corporal, and soldier. The military terms are: Siege, manoeuvre, trench, tactics, march, invasion, assault, escalade, encampment, column, battery, fortification, battalion, bombardment, reconnaisance, enfilade, escarpment, army, regiment, company, military, artillery, militia, cavalry, infantry, volunteer, grenadier, commissariat, etc., etc. Milk.—Dr Johnson was at fault in an example of the use of the word " milk " in the following passage : I (ear thy nature; It is too fall o' tbe milk of human kindness To catch the unwary—which he erroneously quotes as from "Shakespeare—King Lear." He has been followed implicitly by other dictionarymakers (vide Dr Todd, 1827). The passage really occurs in ' Macbeth,' act i., scene 5. National Debt.—The British National Debt dates from 1690. In 1697 it amounted to five millions sterling. By 1702 it had grown to fourteen millions. Twelve years later it was fifty-four millions. By 1763 it had mounted up to 139 millions, and by the end of the war with Napoleon it had reached the enormouß sum of 867 millions.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890720.2.36.18

Bibliographic details

NOTES AND QUERIES., Evening Star, Issue 7964, 20 July 1889, Supplement

Word Count
642

NOTES AND QUERIES. Evening Star, Issue 7964, 20 July 1889, Supplement

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