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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/360

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296


NOTES AND QUERIES. -[io s. xn. OCT. 9,


plaint. At the fifteenth annual exhibition of the Surrey Bee-keepers' Association, now being held at the Crystal Palace, a new and improved bee vaccinator is shown. A small glass and metal receptacle is placed over a hole in the hive, and bees are attracted by a smear of honey. As soon as one has entered, it is trapped and the vaccinator removed to the affected part, which by gentle pressure from above, the bee is made to sting. Other vaccinators being ready by this time, the stinging treatment goes on continuously, even up to a hundred stings, according to the extent of the complaint. The method is being tested in a London hospital,"

(Mrs.) LUCY DA VIES. Winchmore Hill, Amersham.

I think this is more than a superstition. I believe I have derived much benefit from it.

Rheumatism is caused by uric acid in the system. From the bee-sting you get into your system formic acid, which is an anti- dote. I would not suggest that persons should apply bees, because there is a danger of erysipelas. I was stung as a bee-keeper.

W. D. W. R.

AUTHORS or QUOTATIONS WANTED (10 S. xii. 208, 255). Sowing the hempseed is one of the characteristic ceremonies described in Burns's ' Halloween.' The poet gives this note on the observance :

"Steal out, unperceived, and sow a handful of hemp seed, harrowing it with any thing you can con- veniently draw after you. Repeat now and then, ' Hemp seed, I saw thee ; hemp seed, I saw thee ; and him (or her) that is to be my true love, come after me and pou thee.' Look over your left shoulder, and you will see the appearance of the person invoked, in the attitude of pulling hemp. Some traditions say, 'Come after me and shaw thee,' that is, show thyself ; in which case it simply appears. Others omit the harrowing, and say, ' Come after me and harrow thee.' "

THOMAS BAYNE.

LINCOLNSHIBE NAMES (10 S. xii. 168, 235). I regret that a misprint in my query has misled MB. JAS. PLATT. The p of wdepat or wdepath should be /. My / is at times not unlike p, and having seen a proof when I was away from home, I did not detect the error. Thus MR. PLATT' s sug- gestion " Woodpath " cannot hold. Wde is doubtless Wood, but what sense has fat or fath ?

As regards 2, Swue and Suawe cannot be misprints, since I took them from the original MS., not from a printed transcript ; and the reading is certain, n and u being quite distinct in this MS.

I am much obliged to MR. PLATT for his answers to 3 and 4. H. I. B.


"A NAFEDAVE " (10 S. Xii. 170.)

One would have thought that the genesis- of " nale " in ' Piers Plowman ' and Chaucer, of " nuncle " in Shakespeare, and of " newt "" in modern English was sufficiently familiar. If the writer of the two extracts was the- same, he simply pulled himself together in the latter case. Country people at times use a common and a " fine " word in th& same sense in a short talk. H. P. L.

I cannot speak with any authority on the- case in point, but I have little doubt that " nafedave " is only a phonetic spelling of affidavit. In times not very remote, not only the illiterate, but also the learned, had positively no respect for spelling. In wills the name of the same person is spelt in several different ways in the course of a few lines. People frequently signed their names in more ways than one, and glaring instances- of the want of uniformity in spelling will be found in page after page of printed books. F. A. RUSSELL.

.4, Nelgarde Road, Catford, S.E.

ROWAN TREE WITCH DAY : ST. HELEN'S- DAY (10 S. xii. 209). Pennant (quoted by Folkard, ' Plant Lore,' p. 530) says that Scottish farmers carefully preserve their cattle against witchcraft by placing branches of honeysuckle and mountain ash (rowan) in the cowhouses on the 2nd of May. The- association of St. Helen with the rowan is new to me. C. C. B.

In Dyer's ' Popular Customs ' (p. 274) is a quotation from Atkinson's ' Cleveland Glos- sary,' which says : "At Cleveland, in Yorkshire, the 2nd of May, St. Helen' s- Day, is Rowan-tree Day, or Rowan-tree Witch-day." Then follows a description of the practices thereon. The transfer of St. Helen's Day from 18 August " seems," says Dyer, " to have originated in the fact that the Invention (or Discovery) of the Cross was due to St. Helen, who was thus- connected with the feast kept on May 3rd under that title.

In some places I think in the Isle of Man crosses are made of rowan to keep away witches. W. HENRY JEWITT.

38, North Road, Highgate.

REV. GEORGE MARKHAM (10 S. xii. 248). Perhaps ' A History of the Markham Family ' would afford the desired informa- tion. It is by the Rev. David Frederick Markham (8vo, London, 1854). See also- the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, Second Series, 17 Nov., 1859, pp. 10 to 18,