Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/43

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11 8. XL JAN. 9, 1915.] NOTES AND QUERIES.

clear ; and it would be in vain to conjecture the origin of so idle and familiar an expres- sion."

I suspect that as " Corinthians," meaning " boon companions," " roysterers," is used in ' 1 Henry IV.,' II. iv., Shakespeare, remem- bering the closely connected names of the people of the New Testament, employed Ephesians in the same sense by way of varia- tion. Hence the description " of the old church." The Page really means "roy- sterers of the old sort." TOM JONES.

" SPRUCE " = " NATTY" (11 S. x. 489). The following are examples of the use of the word " spruce " in literature, in the way required :

" Now, my spruce companions, is all ready, and all things neat ? "Shakespeare, 'Taming of the Shrew,' IV. i. 116.

Against thou goest, curie not thy head and haire, Nor care whether thy band be foule or faire ; Be not in so neat and spruce array As if thou mean'st to make it holiday.

Beaumont, ' Remedie of Love.' A spruce young spark of a learned clerk.

Barham, ' Ingoldsby Legends,' i. 227.

" Salmacis would not be seen of Hermaphroditus, till she had spruced up herself first." Burton, ' Anatomy of Melancholy,' 335.

Beware of men who are too sprucely dressed : And look, you fly with speed a fop profess'd.

Congreve's 'Ovid Imitated.' Thou wilt not leave me in the middle street Tho' some more spruce companion thou dost meet.


" He is so spruce that he can never be genteel." ' Tatler.'


Shakespeare has various examples of this term. In ' Love's Labour 's Lost,' V. i. 14, Holof ernes says of Sir Nathaniel's " com- panion of the King's," "He is too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd, as it were, too peregrinate, as I may call it." In the same play, V. ii. 408, Berowne, in his elabo- rate protestation, pronounces inter alia against the use of " spruce affectation." Grumio, in ' The Taming of the Shrew,' IV. i. 116, addresses his associates as "my spruce companions." In * Comus,' 1. 985, Milton has " the spruce and jocund Spring." Once or twice in his songs Burns uses the word in the form " sprush." In one occurs " Cock up your beaver, and cock it fu' sprush " ; while in another, entitled ' The Tither Morn,' a damsel says of her lover : His bonnet he, a thought ajee, Cock'd sprush when first he clasp'd me. THOMAS BAYNE.

Spruce is quite a literary word, being used by Shakespeare. It probably meant at first " dressed in Prussian leather," which wa famous long before the Russian product.


ELKANAH SETTLE (11 S. x. 348, 395).

" No sufficient evidence has been found to deter- mine Settle's authorship or connexion with ' Thre- nodia Hymensea ' " (F. C. Brown, ' Elkanah Settle r. his Life and Works,' University of Chicago Press.. Chicago, Illinois, 1910, p. 131).

A foot-note reads :

  • " No reference to it except in the 4 Sales Cata-

logues ' (Sotheby), which attribute the work to Settle, and add, ' bought by Maggs for 7s., June 28, 1906.' Messrs. Maggs Brothers' records give no- additional information."


CLOCKS AND CLOCKMAKEBS (11 S. x. 130,. 310, 354, 458, 499). In response to ST. SWITHIN, the following information as to- " Act of Parliament " clocks is gathered from the works mentioned at the penultimate reference. The name given to these long- waisted, circular, or octagonal-dialed clocks arose from the tax imposed by Pitt in 1797 (37 Geo. III., c. 108, royal assent 19 July) of 5s. per annum upon clocks and watches. The Act provided :

"For and upon every Clock or Timekeeper, by whatever name the same shall be called, which shall be used for the purpose of a clock and placed in or upon any dwelling house, or any office or building thereunto belonging, or any other Building whatever, whether private or publick > belonging to any person or persons, or Company of Persons, or any Body Corporate, or Politick^ or Collegiate, or which shall be kept and used, by any Person or Persons in Great Britain, there- ehall be charged an Annual Duty of Five Shillings.

For and upon every Gold Watch there shall

be charged an Annual Duty of Ten Shillings. And for and upon every Silver or Metal Watch, or Silver or Metal Timekeeper used for the- purpose of a Watch. .. .there shall be charged an Annual Duty of Two Shillings and Sixpence."

The imposition of this tax created so much disturbance in the trade that it was found expedient to repeal the obnoxious Act, and within a year this was done (38 Geo. ILL, . 40, royal assent 10 May, 1798). Mean- while it had become the custom for keepers of inns and taverns to provide large clocks in

heir public rooms for the benefit of cus-

tomers who had disposed of their watches to- escape the duty, and these became known the title given above, continuing to be so called long after the repeal of the Act.

Cescinsky and Webster state that these clocks are very similar in form to each other, laving " circular or octagonal dials, without