10 s. xii. JULY 10, 1909.] NOTES AND QUERIES.
NOTES ON BOOKS, &a
County Folk-lore. Vol. V. Folk-lore concerning Lincolnshire. Collected by Mrs. Gutch and Mabel Peacock. (Published for the Folk-lore Society by D. Nutt.)
THE DEVIL looks over Lincoln, according to the old saying. The adherents of the Royal Archaeo- logical Institute, who are to do the same thing at the end of this month, may be recommended to peruse this most interesting volume, which is full of fascinating tradition and folk-lore con- cerning the county of Lincoln. The whole is excellently arranged by the skilful hand of Mr. N. W. Thomas, and has been collected with admirable zeal by Mrs. Gutch and Miss Mabel Peacock, daughter of our old contributor Mr. Edward Peacock. The last-mentioned scholar in his ' Glossary of Words used in the Wapentakes of Manley and Corringham,' in our own columns, and elsewhere has done much to elucidate and preserve the fast-fading relics of earlier days. Miss Peacock says in her Preface that " the only striking characteristic of Lincolnshire folk-lore is its lack of originality." This, however, is a feature which pleases us, since many of the stories and customs recall slightly different variants with which we are familiar in different parts of England. Thus we knew well a " wise man " who was accused of " overlooking " people, and was called by village folk " a witch."
Green's forsaken, and yellow's forsworn, But blue's the prettiest colour that's worn, is the Oxfordshire form we have heard of the couplet here quoted from Grantham. " Kex," " keck," or " kecksy," a general name for umbel- liferous plants, we know best in the second form. It is a word securely recorded in our language, for it occurs in Shakespeare, and also in the Dorset dialect of Mr. Thomas Hardy.
Three sections full of interest are those con- cerned with ' Animals,' ' Goblindom,' and ' Witch- craft. ' At Stamford the custom of informing bees of a death is prevalent, a rite concerning which our correspondents have written at different times, and which appears hi the literature of ancient Greece. Under ' Ep worth ' we learn of " Tom Boggle," the almost universal name for a ghost, which reminds us of " poor Tom " in ' King Lear.' The same great play has "Handy-dandy," a child's game recorded here. Among the ' Goblin Names ' might, perhaps, be included Tennyson's " boggle " which was like a " butter-bump." We have met with several educated persons who carry a potato in their pocket or a chestnut for rheu- matism, just as Lincolnshire folk do.
According to Mr. Peacock, " in making a bed you must be careful not to turn over the bed or mattress on Sunday, as is done at other tunes ; you will have bad luck all the week if you do." A Yorkshire informant tells us, however, that the Sunday turning means turning away love, and the Friday turning bad luck. From the same source we gather that to walk under a ladder is not unlucky if you wish hard. Bowing at the first sight of the new moon we have heard of often, but our folk-lore orders nine such curtseys.
Mr. Peacock is also the authority for a quaint set of sheep -shearing numerals beginning " Yan,
tan, tethera," which were employed at the begin- ning of the nineteenth century in several places in Lincolnshire.
We pause over the pages of the volume with delight, and with difficulty restrain ourselves from many comments on the lore which is peculiarly the province of ' N. & Q.'
Roman Life and Manners under the Early Empire. By Ludwig Friedlander. Authorized Translation by J. H. Freese and Leonard A. Magnus. Vol. II. (Routledge & Sons.) WE are glad to see the continuation of this version, which must be welcome to a large number of classical students. A third volume will complete the author's text, and we learn with great satis- faction that his excursuses and notes will be pub- lished in a fourth. The present instalment reads easily, and is very interesting on the subject of ' Roman Luxury.'
IN The Fortnightly Mr. J. L. Garvin's ' Imperial and Foreign Affairs : a Review of Events,' leads off, and is interesting throughout. Mr. Edward Clodd's article ' George Meredith : some Recollec- tions,' is genial and intimate, and probably the most interesting of the month to the literary reader. Mr. J. C. Bailey writes on ' Meredith's- Poetry.' Rowland Gray's ' Heavy Fathers " is clever, but not very convincing, dealing with two or three parents who have laid a heavy hand on their offspring. Mrs. Stopes has a learned article, which is well fortified with references, on ' Burbage's " Theatre," ' and her daughter Dr. Marie Stopes gives notes of ' An Expedition to the Southern Coal-Mines of Japan,' which are fresh and of decided interest. Mr. Edward Garnett in ' The Censorship of Public Opinion " prints a paper against Mr. Redford's office. There is something, we think, to be said on the other side, though we regard much of the censorship of plays in recent years as inconsistent. Mr. Maurice Hewlett begins ' Letters to Sanchia,' a narrative in his best and somewhat Meredithian manner.. The young charmeur represented reminds us, indeed, of a figure in Meredith's work supposed to be derived from R. L. Stevenson.
IN The Nineteenth Century politics figure largely : Mr. W. Frewen Lord has an exaggerated tirade on ' The Creed of Imperialism ' ; Sir Felix Schuster attacks the Death Duties in unconvincing style ; and Mr. Austin Harrison introduces once again an inspired underling in ' The Cult of Teddy Bear,' which seems to us rather foolish. Prof. Vamb^ry concludes his ' Personal Recollections of Abdul Hamid II. and his Court,' and shows what a. bundle of conflicting habits and ideas the Sultan was. Mr. Marcus B. Huish deals with the repre- sentation of * British Art at Venice ' in a British pavilion secured by the liberality of Sir David Salomons, and suggests that Venice ought to raise a monument to Ruskin. The article, though sensible, is spoilt by inflated language. Mr W. C. D. Whetham and his wife in ' The Extinction of the Upper Classes ' have an important subject the modern limitation of children ; but we fear that public warnings are useless in such matters. In the breeding of unhealthy children those who should know best what they are doing are often the worst offenders. ' Frere Jacques ' is one of Miss Rose Bradley's accomplished travel articles, giving a pretty picture of late spring in Corsica. Canon Vaughan writes well on ' The