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10 s. XIL NOV. 13, 1909.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


tenant of a " small holding," and find himsel constrained to struggle for a bare living from dawn to dewy. eve. Even so he was not likely to be at the plough till such a late hour, but he might have been hoeing turnips or diligently making hay while the last rays of the sun favoured his labours. Or, again he might have been at the stables, giving the horses their last fodder for the day, a service which is customarily rendered be- tween 8 and 9 in the evening. Then he would plod his weary way to the bosom of his own idomestic circle, satisfied that at last the long day was over. While these are possi- bilities, it has also to be borne in mind that Gray was a scholarly recluse, who was not likely to have definite knowledge of agri- cultural habits. A casual peasant jogging heavily down the road might very well suggest to him the toiler in the field.

It is difficult to realize that the ploughing day should anywhere close " about half- past two." All, of course, will depend upon the practice of the district in which the ploughman is engaged. But as ploughing is done as a rule when the day is not at the longest, th*e " afternoon yokin'," as it is called in Scotland, usually lasts from 2 P.M. till twilight. When the day admits of a full number of working hours, the forenoon labours proceed from 8 to 12, and those of the afternoon from 2 to 6, two hours after midday being allowed for dinner and rest. THOMAS BAYNE.

Observe that the ploughman is not said to be plodding homeward from ploughing. Ploughing does not go on throughout the whole year, and the ploughman takes his share of other farm work, but naturally keeps the name of his characteristic employ- ment. See a previous discussion at 7 S. ix. 468 ; x. 18, 117. W. C. B.

[Other correspondents thanked for replies.]

SIB HUMPHREY GILBERT'S LAST WORDS (10 S. xi. 447). The words attributed to Sir Humphrey Gilbert and the similar remark of Friar Elston have their parallel, if not their origin, in the saying recorded of the philosopher Anaxagoras that the distance to the world below is the same from every place. See Diogenes Laertius, ii. 3, 6 (11) :



The story is found still earlier in Latin :

"Preeclare Anaxagoras, qui cum Lampsaci more-

retur, quaerentibus amicis, velletne Ulazomenas in

patriam, si quid accidisset, auferri, ' Nihil necesse est,' inquit, ' undique enim ad inferos tantundem vise est.'" Cicero, ' Tusculan Disputations,' i. 43, 104.

Otto, ' Die Sprichworter und sprich- wortlichen Redensarten der Homer,' under " inferi," points out that the saying has also been attributed to Diogenes and to Aris- tippus.

John Davis in his commentary on the 'Tusculans' (p. 105, ed. 3, 1730) quotes (from Arrian) a remark of Epictetus to the same effect ; and from an epigram of Arce- silaus given by Diog. Laert., iv. 6, 4 (31), the line

'AAAa yap eis 'A^povra TOV ov (frarbv iaa

The thought may fairly be regarded as a commonplace. EDWARD BENSLY.

University College, Aberystwyth.

A melancholy pagan parallel to Friar Elston's noble words (as to which see Abbot Gasquet's ' Henry VIII. and the English Monasteries,' 1906 ed., p. 49) is to be found in the ' Palatine Anthology ' (x. 3). J. A. Symonds, M.D., the father of a more illus- trious son, has a fine version of this at p. 37 of Tomson's ' Selections from the Greek Anthology ' in " The Canterbury Poets " :

Straight is the way to Acheron,

Whether the spirit's race is run From Athens or from Meroe :

Weep riot, far off from home to die ;

The wind doth blow in every sky That wafts us to that doleful sea.

Major Robert Guthrie Macgregor also gives a poetical rendering in his ' Greek Antho- logy ' (vii. 69). JOHN B. WAINEWBIGHT.

In Sir T. More's ' Utopia ' there ^ is a similar expression put to the credit of Ralph Hythloday. Robinson's translation renders it "as follows : " The way to heaven out of all places is of like length and dis- tance." More himself, . it is related, used much the same words when visited by his wife in the Tower, the version "being :

Is not this house as nigh heaven as mine

own I



The querist says that as Sir Humphrey

ilbert, with all on board his ship, perished

off Newfoundland, his last words cannot be

mown. As I remember the story regarding

lim, it was to the effect that a companion

vessel parted from his, and that the last

view the surviving crew had of Sir Humphrey

was of him sitting upon the deck with a Bible

n his knee, and that the last words they