Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/492

This page needs to be proofread.


404


NOTES AND QUERIES, [id s. xii. NOV. 20, im


that Walton in his ' Life ' of the orator ha " a holy " twice, " a hymne " as often, an " a happy " once. I cannot give the pages as they are not numbered ; but these instances are sufficient to prove that neither the dean nor his biographer followed the spelling of the Authorized Version.

In Shakespeare's ' Richard III.,' Act V sc. iv., the king exclaims on two severa occasions :

A horse ! a horse ! my kingdom for a horse ! I am indebted to the kindness of a friend for the following fact : with the omission o: the redundant e to kingdome in the last two folios, the line is identical in the five quartos (1597-1612) and the four folios (1623-85) John Marston in his play ' What you Will, Act II. sc. i., published in 1607, quotes the line as a " play scrappe," which shows how popular it must have been. How the play- goers of those times would have laughec if they had heard a Swift, or a Robertson or a Gibbon talk of "an horse " !

Camden in the second edition of his

  • Remaines ' (1614) is, so to speak, "betwixt

and between." He has on p. 118 "an high place," and on p. 120 "a high place " ; on p. 118 "a high hill " twice, and on p. 119 " an high hill " ; but generally he uses the aspirate properly. The same observa- tion holds good with regard to Bacon's ' Essayes,' 1625 (Cambridge University Press reprint, 1899). In Arber's reprint of Putten- ham's ' Arte of English Poesie,' 1589, the aspirate is correctly employed in the pro- portion of about 25 to 12, as I have cal- culated after a careful scrutiny. In the same editor's reprint of Thomas Watson's poems (1582-93) I find in nine instances only one which offends against the rule, and that is "an harpye " on p. 133. In the works of Spenser, printed with the original spelling, in the Globe edition, 1879, we have " a hollow cave " on p. 12, " upon a hill " on p. 612, and on p. 644 " a hard course " examples which, though taken at random, are enough to show what was the poet's general practice.

In conclusion, I could furnish much more evidence in support of Hume's condemnation of the misuse of the aspirate ; but I rely on the words of Ben Jonson, whose learning was recognized by Selden, and whose knowledge of English was unequalled by any of his contemporaries. In his ' English Grammar,' found among his papers after his death in 1637, and afterwards published, he says, when writing about h :

" Whether it be a letter or no, [h] hath been much examined by the ancients, and by some


of the Greek party too much condemned, and thrown out of the alphabet, as an aspirate merely, and in request only before vowels in the beginning of words. The Welsh retain it still after many consonants. But be it a letter, or spirit, we have great use of it in our tongue, both before and after vowels. And though I dare not say she is (as I have heard one call her) the queen -mother of consonants ; yet she is the life and quickening of c, g, p, s, t, w ; as also r when derived from the Greek aspirate p ; as cheat, ghost, alphabet, shape, that, what, rhapsody. . . .What her powers are before vowels and diphthongs will appear in hall, heal, hill, hot, how, hew, hoiday, &c. In some it is written, but sounded without power, as host, honest, humble ; where the vowel is heard without the aspiration, as ost, onest, umble." ' Ben Jon- son's Works,' one-vol. ed., 1860, pp. 774-5.

It is curious to observe that in two of these exceptions the aspirate is now heard, Uriah Heep having given the coup de grace to the old pronunciation of the third. But no character in fiction will ever induce the English people to talk of "an horse."

JOHN T. CUBBY.


QUEEN ELIZABETH'S DAY, 17 NOVEMBEB. (Continued from 10 S. x. 382.) Wood, ' Life and Times ' (Oxford Historical Society, ii. 468), has :

1679. " Nov. 17, the grand procession at London to burne the pope, which was no more then to wound the clergie of England through the pope's sides."

1680. "The solemn mock procession, or the trial and execution of the Pope, 17 Nov." Wood, ii. 500.

1680. On Queen Elizabeth's " birthday " the Pope, the Jesuits, and the priests were solemnly burnt in effigy, and there was talk of burning the Duke of York also (M. Haile,

Mary of Modena,' 1905, p. 100).

1681, Nov. " 17 of this month, the pope was olemnly burnt at London." Wood, ii. 559.

1711, Nov. 17. " This is queen Elizabeth's ilrthday. . . .the Whigs designed a mighty pro- ession by midnight .... to dress up the pope, Levil, cardinals, Sacheverell, &c., and to carry hem with torches about, and burn them .... But hey were seized last night by order from the ecretary," &c. Swift's ' Journal to Stella,' etter xxxv.

The bells of Newbury were rung every 7th of September (sic) to 1739, for Queen Elizabeth's accession ( * Untravelled Berk- hire,' by L. S., 1909, p. 36).

Pictures of her tomb were commonly laced in London churches (see 1 S. i. 185).

It is strange that so many writers should all 17 November her " birthday," which as 7 September.

The observance of her accession day radually died out, probably because after