11 S. XL FEB. 27, 1915.] NOTES AND QUERIES.
NAMES OF NOVELS WANTED (11 S. xi. 130). - The name of the second novel MR. W. A. B. COOLIDGE requires is ' Phantom Fortune,' by the late Miss Braddon in my opinion, one of the most striking of her seventy-two novels. The name of the peer is Lord Maulevrier, Governor of Madras, and the story opens about 1840. Lady Lesbia did not pine away, for we learn on the last page of the book that
- she was to spend the season under her brother's
roof to help to initiate young Lady Maulevrier [her brother's Italian wife] in the mysterious rites of London Society, and to warn her of those rocks and shoals which had wrecked her own fortunes." Perhaps I may take this opportunity of recording the fact that my dear old friend Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Maxwell (nee Braddon) was born on 4 Oct., 1837, and entered into rest 4 Feb., 1915. I had the sad privilege of attending her funeral at St. Matthias's Church, Richmond, last Monday (8 Feb.). I trust some one will prepare a list of her writings for ' N. & Q.' I had the greatest admiration for her gifts, and for her beautiful and industrious life, during which she wrote nothing unworthy, while she must have provided immense amusement and distrac- tion for millions of people (both in sickness and in health) in all parts of the world. WILLIAM BULL. House of Commons.
DE LA CROZE, HISTORIAN (11 S. xi. 130). Particulars of the above (1661-1739) are in the Biographical Dictionaries edited by Gorton, 2 vols., 1827, and Watkins, 1826, in each of which his pre -names are given as Mathurin Veyssure. W. B. H.
THE ORDER OF MERIT (US. xi. 107). Such an order was suggested in ' N. & Q.' as long ago as November, 1851. In June, 1873, Lord Stanhope moved a resolution in the House of Lords in support of its institu- tion. See 1 S. iv. 337 ; 11 S. ii. 144.
W. B. H.
" COLE " : " COOLE " (11 S. xi. 48, 92). I have received so much of interest from L. L. K.'s contributions in the past that the only way of treating his reply is by the legal " confession and avoidance." It is perfectly true that " neither glue nor size is used for whitewashing or starching "
My question related to what wa/3 done six and a quarter centuries ago. I can, in the first place, assure him that there is no doubt about the reading. Besides, no one would prepare wood for painting by lime- washing it. A cursory inspection of Du
Cange does not show a quotation in which dealbare connotes anything about lime. Why should there not have been a white size ? And " to starch " any garment meant to stiffen it, which in the fifteenth century was not necessarily done by means of (C 12 H 2 oOio) n . It seems very probable that that substance only got its name when it was discovered that it could be used to make things " stark." Q. V.
BENTON NICHOLSON (US. xi. 86, 132). The error of date in my note at the first reference has occasioned two interesting replies. The date of publication of the ' Autobiography of a Fast Man ' is 1863, not 1843. This will explain why I referred to it as a reissue with a substituted title- page, and also its omission from the ' D.N.B.' list of Nicholson's published works.
There is a portrait of Nicholson in No. 2 of Peeping Tom, a Journal of Town Life, circa 1859. ALECK ABRAHAMS.
MERCERS' CHAPEL, LONDON (11 S. xi. 28, 94). In the early eighties I remember paying a visit to the crypt beneath the Mercers' Chapel, and seeing a number of inscribed stones and tablets, &c., placed against the walls. Maitland (ii. 88) and Allen (iii. 393-7) give long lists of inter- ments. JOHN T. PAGE.
These registers are at Somerset House, in the custody of the Registrar-General of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, ac- cording to an official printed list of non- ^arochial registers. Further inquiry will, 10 doubt, show that the volume at the ollego of Arms is a transcript.
B. W. B.
EXTRAORDINARY BIRTHS (4 S. viii. 369 ; ix. 53, 127, 165, 204; 11 S. xi. 27). Is not the last contributor too easily satisfied as to the alleged septuplets at Hameln ? The inscription's one certain date is 1818, and it impresses me as exuding an odour of the folk-lore with which the soil of its origin reeks.
Multiple births are considered, with care and judgment unusual in such compilations, in Gould and Pyle's ' Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine,' Philadelphia, 1897, pp. 147 et seq. ; the conclusion reached is that sextuplets are extremely rare, and over that number almost none in modern records. The statistics briefed at p. 148 practically coincide in result with those at 4 S. ix. 204, and with more recent ones in the German Empire, wherein the twins average about