ii s. XL FEB. 6, 1915.] NOTES AND QUERIES.
custom was observed at the Protestant Temple at Beaucourt, near Belfort, on the occasion of the marriage of Mile. Marguerite Japy to M. Alphonse Steinheil. Madame Steinheil writes on p. 27 of the Popular Edition of ' My Memoirs ' as follows :
" On the day of my marriage, all the youths and maidens in the neighbourhood formed an aisle outside the church, and they held garlands of roses and ribbons, to which turtle-doves were lightly attached. As I proceeded, I broke the garlands, and the flowers dropped on my white dress and were scattered on the ground, and the severed ribbons allowed the doves to escape, one after another, over my head. On the threshold of the church, one of the young men. .. .stopped M. Steinheil and made him dash a glass to pieces which is supposed to show that he renounces the joys of bachelordom."
JOHN B. WAINEWRIGHT.
WE must request correspondents desiring in- formation on family matters of only private interest to affix their names and addresses to their queries, in order that answers may be sent to them direct.
" STARVATION." The earliest instance of this word known to me is in Lady Craven's Epilogue to 'The Sleep -Walker in 'The Annual Register ' for 1778 (' Characters,' <fcc., p. 204) :
Behold, our ministers ....
Who talk of peace, of taxes, and starvation. The reference is to the Bill of 1775 " For restraining Trade and Commerce with the New England Colonies," which was de- nounced by the Opposition as intended to combat the rebellion by creating a famine in which the innocent would suffer equally with the guilty. Great indignation was excited by the speech of Mr. Dundas, Solicitor-General for Scotland, who, accord- Ing to the report in Hansard (6 March), said that he " was afraid " that the famine referred to by preceding speakers " would not be produced by this Bill." In the corre- spondence between Walpole and Mason in 1781-2, Dundas is referred to by the nick- names " Starvation Dundas " and " Starva- tion." The editor, Mitford, explains this by saying that Dundas himself introduced the word into the language ; but although this seems intrinsically not unlikely, I find no confirmation of it in any of the early reports of the debate. Can any instance of the word be found earlier than 1778 ?
EIGHTEENTH - CENTURY POLITICAL BALLADS. I am preparing for the press a collection of political ballads issued during the administration of Sir Robert Walpole. If any reader has ballads of this period which he believes to be rare, I should be glad if he would communicate with me. Among others I desire the following : ' The Honest Voters ; or, Robin's Downfall ' (1727) ; ' The King's Speech Versified' (1728); 'Robin's Com- plaint' (1728); 'The Knight and the Cardinal' (1731); 'The Norfolk Miller Excised' (1733); 'Change Alley Excised' (1733) ; ' A New Crop of Blockheads ' (1733); ' The Knight and the Purse ' (1734) ; ' The Champion's Defeat ' (1739) ; < Ballad to the Sailors of Great Britain ' (1741) ; ' Argus, a Ballad.' M. PERCIVAL.
25, Charlbury Boad, Oxford.
THE ORDER OF MERIT. In chap. li. of
- Endymion,' published in 1880, St. Barbe,
speaking to Endymion, says :
" Now tell your master, Mr. Sidney Wilton, that if he wants to strengthen the institutions of this country, the government should establish an order of merit, and the press ought to be repre- sented in it." P. 225, Hughenden edition.
St. Barbe, besides being what is called a press man, was the writer of a book. " one of the most successful that have appeared for a long time. :. .selling forty thousand a month." See chap. Ixxvii. pp. 349-50.
The Order of Merit was instituted 23 June. 1902, and it included those " who may have rendered exceptionally meritorious service towards the advancement of Art, Litera- ture, or Science."
Was Disraeli the first to suggest an Order of Merit ? I need not refer to a ' Key to " En - dymion " ' which has appeared in ' N. & Q.,' as nothing turns on the question as to whether certain characters in the book were intended to represent the persons named in such Key. HARRY B. POLAND.
[The Key was printed originally at 6 S. ii. 484, and reprinted in the Beaconsfield Bibliography at 8 S. in. 482.]
' GUIDE TO IRISH FICTION.' (See ante, pp. 47, 68, 89.) I am engaged upon the second edition of my ' Guide to Irish Fiction,' the first edition of which appeared in 1910 (Longmans). I have a list of novels of Irish interest about which I have not yet been able to obtain any information. I should be grateful to any readers of ' N. & Q.' who would send me particulars of these books, or communicate with me direct, so that I might write to them personally and