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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/165

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10 s. XIL AUG. 14, 1909.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


esq., of Edgeworth Town, Ireland." In the ' D.N.B.' his father's marriage with Honora is said to have taken place at Lichfield, 17 July, 1773. HORACE BLEACKLEY.

  • THE OERA LINDA BOOK ' (10 S. xii. 88).

I thought this book had been decently buried by this time. There is no credit to be gained by the revival of an attempt to deceive the literary world by a modern forgery. WALTER W. SKEAT.

PORTRAIT BY SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE (10 S. xii. 90). This is probably a portrait of General George Augustus Eliott, who defended Gibraltar during the great siege of 1779-83. He died in 1790, when Law- rence was only twenty-one ; but as the latter began to take portraits when twelve years old, he may well have painted that of the General. The " Mr. Elliot " of Jersey may have been General Eliott's son.


CHARLES II. 's MOCK MARRIAGE (10 S. xii. 90). Your correspondent will find the account of this discreditable incident in Evelyn's ' Diary.' J. WILLCOCK.


HAPPISBURGH OR HAISBOROUGH (10 S. xii. 86). The official spelling of this in ' The Admiralty List of Lights ' is now Haisboro. I, however, have a chart in which the i is omitted.


" VoLKSBTtCHER " (10 S. xii, 9, 58). Passing along Potsdamerstrasse some days ago, I saw about twenty numbers of the above series offered at a second-hand book- seller's at a very low figure about thirteen shillings. If any English scholar cares to have them, I will get them for him.

G. KRUEGER. Berlin.

"SAMNITIS" (10 S. xi. 187). As no one has answered DR. BRADLEY' s query con- cerning this word, I may make a suggestion. " Samnitis " looks like a caricature of a Greek word, but I need hardly say is not found in Dioscorides or any Greek writer or in Pliny. It looks as if the writer or printer had been led away by some fancied connexion with the " Samnites " of Roman history ; and the original form may have been more like " Sammitis." Then Greek words beginning with the letter psi often had the p omitted when brought into a Latin form, so that probably " Psammitis "

would be nearer to the original word. Now this is not a Greek word, of course ; but it has a colourable resemblance to psimmuthion or psimithion, the Greek name for what we call white lead or subcarbonate of lead,, ceruse, in Latin cerussa. This is well known. to be a very deadly poison which may cause fatal illness in the workers who prepare it,. unless proper precautions are taken, and must be what Spenser meant.

The word is further disguised by the termination -itis, which may have been suggested by the analogy of chalcitis, haematites, and other Greek names of minerals. Psimithion is found in Pliny ('Nat. Hist.,' xxxiv. 54 and elsewhere), and also in Dioscorides, Galen, Paulus ^Egineta r and other Greek writers. It is not clear where Spenser can have found the word. Holland's translation of Pliny was not published till later (1601). There was a miserable little book called ' The Secrets, and Wonders of the World out of Plinie,' published about 1565. I have searched one edition of this without finding the word ; but there are other editions.


Royal College of Physicians, Pall Mall East, S. W.

LYNCH LAW (10 S. xi. 445, 515 ; xii. 52). As M. evidently has not consulted the article and book on lynch law to which I referred him, I will make another attempt to show why his theory is untenable. There are two reasons.

1. In my previous reply I tried to show that, as originally understood, lynch law meant punishment illegally inflicted for crimes or offences (or alleged crimes or offences) against the community or members of the community. The punishment was of various kinds usually a whipping, but never death. In or before 1817 Judge Spencer Roane, who married a daughter of Patrick Henry, wrote some reminiscences of his father-in-law, which were printed in William Wirt's ' Life of P. Henry.* Among other things, Judge Roane said : " In the year 1792 there were many suits on the south side of James river for inflicting Lynch's law " (p. 372). Wirt, apparently under the impression that " Lynch's law "" needed some explanation, added this foot- note :

" Thirty -nine lashes, inflicted without trial or law, on mere suspicion of guilt, which could not be regularly proven. This lawless practice, which, sometimes by the order of a magistrate, some- tunes without, prevailed extensively in the upper counties on James river, took its name from the gentleman who first set the example of it."