Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/236

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [us. XL MAR. 20, 1915.

the interior title-page ; but two notes of exclamation have been inserted in this line in two places, perhaps to call attention to the two cryptograms about to follow in the next two numbers. (The previous number 55 contained one dagger in- serted in like fashion. ) In the two follow- ing numbers the head -line consisted of a composition of signs asterisks, daggers, &c. { still in use) in lieu of the flower.

"Numb. 58" (sic) for 25 Sept. -2 Oct., 1648, commenced as follows :

c* ***** -i- .;.**-;-** L * * * * * T*f * T **

        • 4.* f* * * f* "I
      • I *l * * * 1 *J

" Numb. 59 " for 2-9 Oct., 1648, com- menced :

r * *"l* * * *!- * * *||* * * * L**J*** !***ll#***

r* -|* * II* * * * -|

L #J * *ll * * * *J

The next number of Mercurius Melan- cholicus was marked " Num. 58, 59, 60, 61, 62," but contains nothing else noticeable. The periodical then seems to have ceased until 1 Jan., 1649, when it recommenced with No. 1. Probably all three writers had been caught, and a new writer then took up the periodical. I do not think that any other cryptograms ever appeared in it. Can any one explain them ? They may have been messages from the printer to the writer. J. B. WILLIAMS.


A friend at Carlisle recently sent me a MS. volume of reminiscences, written in 1839 by a local solicitor. Referring to the incidents of his schooldays (1818-19), he writes :

" Yorkshire, I believe, is the place where schools are kept after the S queers fashion. Where it had been learned is more than I know, but in some respects, especially the starving department, had been well conned (? cond). The quality of our victuals was not to be complained of, but the quantity was something less than very short allowance. I have seen the greater part of a leg of mutton go out after serving twenty hungry lads, the master, and two of his sisters, who were not stinted, of course. Rice puddings or, rather, rice "baked in milk, in which even currants at mile- stone distances were not were standing dishes but of these we were not allowed a sufficiency. They used to be served after the old fashion before meat for an intelligible reason enough, for without their aid a solitary leg of mutton must have become a very skeleton.

" Indifferent, or insipid rather, as they were, we devoured our portions ravenously enough. I apprehend the rapid disappearance of two small dishes of this mess had put our feeder on his mettle, for one day he issued the following as a standing rule : ' Those boys who will have a .small piece first shall not be helped twice.' He

then went the round : ' Will you have a small or a large piece ? ' Small pieces were, it need not be told, the fashion, and that [sic] the two dishes subsequently became more than amply sufficient."

After referring to a slight illness, he continues :

" At this time the master was so ill of con- sumption that all the boys were sent home to their friends excepting myself. I had my liberty, and ranged about wherever I liked. Had I had enough to eat I should not have been so ill off, but a sufficiency was just as difficult of attainment as ever. I have a vivid recollection of picking out from among (the) pig's meat some baked potatoes which had been thrown amongst it. To do such a thing as this a lad must have been pretty well pinched. Our pocket-money was taken from us, and how applied, or rather misapplied, I forget ; not to its legitimate purpose, one may safely swear. My friends had given me certainly more than enough I had upwards of three pounds. I was ten years old, and eighteen- pence is all I had the spending of. We dared not ask for it. How ill off we were kept in this par- ticular may be known from the circumstance that we could not muster a penny to buy a sheet of paper which was for a boy to write a letter to his friends to let them know how ill-used we were. Some boys ran away. I wrote a few lines on a bit of paper torn from a book with a pencil, and sealed (it) with cobbler's wax, which I dispatched to an old servant whom [sic] I knew lived in London. By some strange fatality it reached its destination, but somehow or other the information never reached home in time to do any good. When, however, I was packed off, my appearance proved the truth of my complaints. The hunger and starvation I endured had (a) most serious effect on my growth. I was very small for my age, I grew none, and for some years after I con- tinued to be nothing but skin and bone."

The writer was, I infer, bom at White - haven, and the school described apparently existed at St. Bees.


SUMPTUARY LAW IN 1736. In bygone days a paternal Government prescribed what garments we might or might not wear while we were alive, and what material we might or might not be buried in after we were dead.

An instance of the former is afforded by the following paragraph, which I have copied from The London Daily Post and General Advertiser for the above year :

" On Tuesday last an Information upon Oath was made by Mr. Morris, Linnen Draper in Fetter Lane, before Col. De Veil in Leicester - Fields, against the Wife of Mr. Benjamin Field of Picca- dilly, Vintner, for having worn within the space of six days last past, an India Chintz Callicoe Gown ; which is prohibited by Act of Parliament ; whereupon she was summoned by Mr. De Veil to come and make her Defence against the Accusa- tion ; instead of which she confess'd the Fact, and was convicted, pursuant to the Statute in that Case made and provided; which makes the