NOTES AND QUERIE S. [io s. xn. SEPT. 25, 1009.
' DIMES AND DOLLARS ' : EDWIN WATJGH'S LANCASHIRE RECITATIONS. I want to know where to obtain a poem entitled (I think)
- Dimes and Dollars.'
I also wish to obtain a book of recitations in the Lancashire dialect, containing some of Edwin Waugh's works. . SY. SMITH.
15, Roman Road, South Shields.
[' Dimes and Dollars ' is by H. Mills, and is in- cluded in Wilson's * Recitations and Dialogues,' an American publication. ]
CHARLES LAMB AND HIS PEPE.
(10 S. xii. 168.)
As it is improbable that Carlyle uses a term known within the Lamb circle only, it may be inferred that in speaking of Lamb's ' ' Pepe ' ' he designs to intimate his opinion that the man was essentially small. In the chapter of the ' Reminiscences ' devoted to Jane Welsh Carlyle he mentions having met the Lambs when visiting his friend Badams at Enfield, and depreciates Elia in these un- compromising terms :
" Insuperable proclivity to gin, in poor old Lamb. His talk contemptibly small, indicating wondrous ignorance and shallowness, even when it was serious and good-mannered, which it seldom was ; usually W-mannered (to a degree), screwed into frosty
A most slender fibre of actual worth there was in that poor Charles, abundantly recognisable to me as to others, in his better times and moods ; but he was Cockney to the marrow; and Cockneydom, shouting, ' Glorious, marvellous, unparalleled in Nature ! ' all his days, had quite bewildered his poor head, and churned nearly all the sense out of the poor man."
' ' Pepe, ' ' " peip, "or " peep " (Fr. pepier). literally denoting a weak, chirping voice, is a term that eminently fits such a meagre indi- viduality as that which is indicated in this merciless description. Apparently Carlyl found in Lamb, as Burns once said of him- self, one who ' ' cheeped like a bewilderec chicken," and was unable to make allow ances for the nervous manner of his singular interlocutor. He probably knew nothing o: the immortal products due to the ' ' fibre o actual worth," and was harassed and im patient with the ' ' pepe ' ' to which he hac to listen. This word is used by Gavin Douglas when translating the reply o Palinurus to ^Eneas (' yEneid,' vi. 347) :
The todir ansueris with a petuus peip. The original gives the translator no warran for his descriptive touch, which is one o
hose ' ' embroideries on the text ' ' that Prof, aintsbury, on his own showing, has failed to iscover in Douglas. It is quite likely, how- ver, that the voice of the pilot's shade
would be very different from that which in
)ther days used to resound on deck, and hus the phrase may be accorded literary
value. In the expressive imagery of Isaiah . 14 (A.V.) we find, " There was none that
moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or
peeped. ' ' For the closing word those respon- ible for the Revised Version have substi- uted ' ' chirped, ' ' presumably on the ground
that ' ' peep ' ' in this sense is archaic or iable to misinterpretation.
' ' Pepe ' ' would not be a misprint for pipe," but the phonetic rendering of the way in which either Lamb or one of his 'riends pronounced the word. This may bo illustrated by an extract from an article in a series of ' ' Chats on Churches in Kent, ' ' now appearing in the Rochester and Chatham News, dated 17 July of this year :
' About half a mile from Shorne church is a fine old building called ' Pipe's Place,' for many years the residence of the Maplesdens, members of a well-known Kentish family, with branches at Hors- monden, Maidstone, and Rochester. There are monuments in Shorne church to several members ranging from 1681 to 1717. It is just possible that this house was the residence, even if he did not build it, of a former vicar, William Pepyr, who died 31st January, 1468, as, according to his will, he did not reside at the vicarage, and from the will dated 1st July, 1495, of Thomas Page, one of the principal parishioners, we learn there was no vicarage, because he demised a tenement called Normans in Up Shorn for a dwelling-place for Thos. Elys, the then vicar, and after him to be continued from vicar to vicar, ' as long as the world shall endure.' This assumption is founded on philo- logical evidence. There was some uncertainty as to the spelling of the name ; some accounts made it Pepyr and some Pepys. His fine brass has dis- appeared, but a copy renders the final letter 'r,' and in the Patent Rolls 14 Edward IV. is an enrol- ment for the pardon of outlawry to John Rolfe, of Shorne, Kent, ' husbondman,' for not appearing to answer John Hasard, vicar of Northflete, and Wm, Pepyr, vicar of Shorne, touching a debt of 11. There was a Kentish family of this name seated at Boughton Aluph in 12 Henry VI. The name would be pronounced Peeper, as to-day the Scot- tish Highlanders pronounce the player of their national instrument, so that Pepyr's Place would be pronounced Peeper's Place, and in process of time the ' r ' would be slurred in pronunciation till it became eliminated in writing, and Pepyr's Place would get softened to Pepys Place. This is corroborated when we find that the name of the immortal gossiping diarist of Charles II.'s reign was so pronounced. Moreover, we get the sound from a scene in one of the old Miracle Plays, contemporaneous, in fact, with our Shorne