Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/195

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11 8. XL MAR. 6, 1915.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


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(5) " and made my Hair stand as Bolt-upright, as the Quills of an angry Porcupine. " The London Spy. London,. . . .1099," part vii. p. 15.

(6) " Then having a second Summons to depart we quitted the Bar, and dispers'd some loose Coins to the Prisoners to drink our Healths, and likewise one to the Reverend Doctor : took leave of our Friend, and departed well satisfied with the Sight and Intrigues of Ludyale, which I shall conclude with a saying of Hamlet Prince of Dcrnnurk.

Then let the Stricken Deer go Weep,

The Hart Ungall'd go Play ? For some must Watch, while some do Sleep,

Thus runs the World away." "The Metamorphos'd Beau. London, .... 1700," p. 10.

G. THORN-DRURY.

A PARSEE INVESTITURE. On Saturday afternoon, January 30th, the Naojot cere- mony, or investiture with the sacred thread of the Parsees, took place in London for the first time ; it was conducted by Dr. M. N. Dhatta, High Priest of the Parsees of North- West India. The Daily Telegraph in its description of the ceremony on 1 Feb. states that across the door of the council chamber of Caxton Hall was suspended a festoon of carnations. On a dais was a tray on which were gold and silver vessels and a garland of flowers; a seat was provided for the priest, and a stool for the little girl, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rustam Desai, who was to receive the visible sign of their faith. Mrs. Desai led in her daughter, who was wrapped in a heavy shawl of creamy white, with knot-and-flower pattern- ing in bright Oriental hues. Dr. Dhatta, who almost immediately followed, had on a white turban, voluminous white robes, and a scarlet-and-gold shawl, worn somewhat like a stole. An attendant bore in a large silver brazier, on which were flaring chips of sandal - wood. Of these another large trayful, with small tongs and shovel for replenishing, was placed beside it, and candles in flower-decked holders were lit.

On the girl's head was the quaint, round black cap worked with silver worn by these tiny maidens ; and the child, facing those present, repeated after the priest her own promises.

"The sacred cord itself is of white wool, and it must contain seventy-two strands, representative of the seventy-two chapters of the Izashne, one of the most venerated of books. Thrice is it passed round the body, and is then firmly tied. All this was done in orthodox manner, with the time-honoured prayers, and after these had been recited the child put her hands together for a benediction. She was then placed again on the stool ; rice, chopped cocoanut, and almonds were


strewn upon her, and the floral garland was; placed round her neck. Flowers and cocoanut& were also formally presented to her, and thus she entered into her own community."

Dr. Dhatta in an address quoted fre- quently from the great sacred books of the East, but it was evident that he was also familiar with both the Old and the New Testaments. The principles that the thread symbolizes are "Good thoughts, good words,, good deeds." Therein, he said, is summed up all the philosophy of Zoroaster.

In commemoration of Dr. Dhatta 's visit to this country he was asked to accept a valuable shawl for ritual wear and a purse of gold. Sir Mancherjee Bhown- aggree, as President of the Parsee Asso- ciation in Europe, who made the pre- sentation, referred to the valuable services to learning rendered by Dr. Dhatta through his researches into Parsee law, much of which was embodied in his book on Zoroas- trian theology. A. N. Q.

" GROUND-HOG CASE. This familiar Ame- rican phrase, implying so vital an xirgency that fate itself must yield to it or all end, is, oddly, not in any dictionary, general or special, that I can find ; and its origin being certain of dispute some time, it seems well to anchor it now. It refers to a New Eng- land story at least a century old, and 1 rather think colonial. A boy has set a trap- in front of a woodchuck (ground-hog) hole,, and sits watching it anxiously. To him a passing stranger : " You don't expect to catch that woodchuck, do you, boy ? " The boy, wildly : " Ketch him ? I Ve got to ketch him, stranger ; the minister : s comin', and we 're out of meat ! " It i& always understood that the particular animal is caught. FORREST MORGAN.

Hartford, Conn.

" A HAIR DRAWN THROUGH MILK."

Some years ago I came across a Rabbinical citation in Heine's prose writings, the source of w r hich at that time was obscure to me. He referred to "a hair drawn through milk," which he, when a boy, had heard spoken of by" his Hebrew teacher. Quite recently I came across the saying in the Talmud. The doctors were discussing the divers forms of a man's last moments, the best of which they happily described as dying binneshikko^. " with a kiss " ; for then the soul is drawn away as glidingly and as sweetly as "a hair passes through milk."

M. L. B. BRESLAB. South Ilackney.