Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/505

This page needs to be proofread.


10 s. xii. NOV. 20,


NOTES AND, QUERIES.


417


Miss CRAWFORD, CANADIAN POET (10 S xii. 310, 353). I knew this writer well Daughter of an Irish medical man, she was brought to Canada in infancy. Many oj her poems passed through, my hands into The Toronto Globe. In Canada, as in Eng- land, the writing of poetry 2or a living is no1 to be recommended. She printed a book oj poems in 1884. It did not sell. She became desperately poor, and died in want soon afterward. A complete Collection of her poems was printed in 1905? by the Methodist Book-Room, Toronto. AVERN PARDOE.

Legislative Library, Toronto.

ROBINSON CRUSOE'S LITERARY DESCEND ANTS : ' THE ADVENTURES or CAPT. ROBERT BOYLE ' (10 S. xii. 7, 79). Who was the author of ' The Adventures of the Hon Capt. Robert Boyle : which is mentioned in Charles Lamb's essay on Christ's Hospital, and which was, I think, one of the many narratives suggested in the eighteenth century by Defoe's masterpiece ? " We had, n says Lamb,

"classics of our own, without being beholden to ' insolent Greece or haughty Rome,' that passed current amongst us,' Peter Wilkins,' ' The Adven- tures of the Hon. Capt. Robert Boyle,' 'The Fortunate Blue-Coat Boy,' and the like."

When I was a boy in Ireland, more years ago now than I care to remember, ' Capt. Robert Boyle ? was still read by boys as eagerly as ever it had been by Charles Lamb and his schoolfellows. The edition was a cheap one, in cloth binding, in which form it lingered long on stalls, or on the shelves of second-hand booksellers. I have seen no trace of it in any shape of late years. The story, if early impressions do not deceive me, was told with some spirit, and not with- out an ingredient of what would now be termed sensationalism.

MORGAN MCMAHON. Sydney, New South Wales.

FLYING MACHINES (10 S. xi. 145 ; xii. 170, 238, 272, 374). The following, from The Glasgow Evening Times of 9 November, may be worth putting on record in ' N. & Q.':

" While the public mind is so keenly directed to the development of flying machines, it may be well to recall a remarkable experiment in aerial flight which was made in the early years of the sixteenth century. One of the favourites of King James IV. was an Italian, noted for his wit and humour, and claiming to be an alchemist. As a mark of the royal favour he was made Abbot of Tungland. The Abbot promised so much and performed so little that it became obvious to the King and the Court, says Bishop Leslie in his ' History of Scotland,' that his main purpose was to ' milk purses.' Determined to regain favour, the Abbot gave out that on a


certain day-he would fly from Stirling Castle and reach France before the Ambassadors, then about to depart, would arrive in that country. The sequel is best told in the words of Leslie as translated (in 1596) into Scottish by Father James Dairy mple (Scottish Text Society's edition).

"'To be schort, the day cumis; to baith his schouders he couples his wings, that of dyvers foulis he had provydet, fra the hicht of the castel of Sterling as he wald tak Jornay, he makis him to flie up in the air ; bot or he was weil begun, his voyage was at an end, for this deceiver fel doun with sik a dade, that the bystanders wist not, quhither tha sulde mair meine (lament) his dolour or merveil of his dafrie (folly). Al rinis to visit him, tha ask the Abbot with his wings haw he did. He answers that his thich bane is brokne and he hopet never to gang agane ; al war lyk to cleive of lauchter, that quha lyk another Icarus wald now flie to hevin, rychtnow lyk another Simon Magus mycht nott sett his fute to the Erde. This notable Abbot seing himselfe in sik derisioun, to purge his crime, and mak al cleine, the wyte (blame) he lays on the wings, that tha war not utterlie egle fetheris bot sum cok and capourie fetheris, sais he, war amang thame, nocht convenient to that use.'

" It is not surprising that the Abbot of Tungland's adventure became 'a sport to lauch at in mirrines throuch al Scotland.' "

G.

Glasgow.

MRS. AND Miss VANNECK (10 S. xii. 188, 251, 318, 377). Since Gertrude, third daughter of Sir Joshua Vanneck, appears to have been an intimate friend of the Prince of Wales, it seems most probable that she was the lady referred to in the unpublished diary quoted by Mr. G. W. E. Russell on pp. 73-74 of * Collections and Recollections.* It is possible that the Mrs. and Miss Vanneck of this diary were one and the same person. The Oracle of Wednesday, 11 April, 1792, contains the following paragraph :

"Miss Vanneck no longer calls herself by the childish appellation of Miss, but Mrs., thus con- ferring on herself a title which might long since have been really held."

In the ' Castle Howard MSS., ? however, George Selwyn mentions a " Mrs. Vanheck, who has a most beautiful place at Roe- hampton n (12 Aug., 1790). This may have been the wife of Joshua Vanneck, afterwards third baronet, who, as F. DE H. L. points out, was the only Mrs. Vanneck (in this particular family) living in 1788.

HORACE BLEACKLEY,

CROMWELL AND THE 117TH PSALM (10 S- x. 268, 436). Carlyle in concluding his account of Cromwell's victory at Dunbar quotes Hodgson's statement that " the Lord General made a halt and sang the Hundred and Seventeenth Psalm, " j and then makes he comment : " Hundred and Seventeenth