Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/472

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [11 s. XL JUNE 12,


I am sorry I cannot give the reference in Ruddiman's (1715) edition. The Amster- dam (undated) copy is the only one I have by me at present. It may be worth noting that Buchanan was on intimate terms with the family to which Nicholas Bacon's wife belonged. See poems addressed to Anthony Cooke and his " filias doctissimas," and to Lady Bu^ghley, " matronam virtute et eruditione praestantem." W. M.

The first three questions are answered in my edition of Macaulay's essay, but, as MR. WHEELER has evidently not seen it, I answer them here.

1 . The words quoted occur in the opening lines of Buchanan's ' Epitaphium Nicolai Baconis Procancellarii Anglise ' [ut supia], ' Opera Omnia ' (1715), ii. 106.

2. She was so described in a letter to Sturm, dated 14 Dec., 1550. The whole account is too long to quote ; these are the most important passages :

"Duas tamen Apgliae feminas preeterire non possum, nee a te, mi Sturmi, prseteritas esse velim, si aliquid cogitas de celebrandis amicis in Anglia, quo mihi nihil exoptabilius esse potest. Altera est Jana Graia, filia nobilis marchionis Dorcetensis.

Altera est Mildred a Cecilia, quse hand aliter

Greece intelligitet loquitur quam Anglice." Giles's

edition of ' The Whole Works of Roger Ascham '

(1865), i. 227.

I find that the reference in my edition is

incorrect.

3. Being 110 classical scholar, 1 consulted a distinguished Professor of Greek at one of our Universities. He thought that Macaulay probably had in mind no particular passage, but rather the whole tenor of certain orations that ' De Falsa Legatione,' for instance, which is directed to prove that ^Eschines, sent on an embassy to Philip, had accepted rich presents, in reality bribes to betray his country. DAVID SALMON.

Swansea.

1. Buchanan, ' Opera Omnia,' Lugd.

Bat., 1725, vol. i. p. 417 (' Epitaphium

Nicolai Baconis ').

3. Demosthenes, ' Oration on the State of the Chersonesus.'

4. Bacon's ' Works,' ed. Montagu, 1830, vol. xii. pp. 89-90, letter from Bod ley to Bacon, about ' Cogitata et Visa." " Cf. Bacon's ' Letters and Life,' ed. Spedding, iii. 365-6. A. R. E.

HOSE, 1560-1620 (11 S. xi. 340). MR. KELLY is likely to find much information about " trunks," &c., in the part of the ' Oxford English Dictionary ' due to appear 1 July. Q. V.


0n


The Samson-Saga and its Place in Comparative

Religion. By A. Smythe Palmer. (Pitman &

Sons, 5s. net.)

IT is probable that the growth of the belief that the Bible is a compilation has done more than anything else to>yards exterminating the con- troversies on the Bible and Natural Science. Dr. Palmer approaches the subject from the now familiar point of view that the Bible is "a collec- tion of many books, distinct in character and belonging to very diverse ages prehistoric sagas- and national chronicles ; poems and hymns ? treatises of various characters, gnomic and para- bolical ; others didactic, prophetic, and philo- sophical all gathered for convenience into one volume."

This attitude has created new problems. How are we to understand these stories ? How did the- myths embodied in them come into being, and what do they mean ? Prof. Jastrow has shown that the- story of the dispersion of mankind is based upon two folk-tales, one in regard to the building of a city, and the other in regard to the building of a tower ('The Tower of Babel' in The Independent^ 1905, Ivii. 822-6). In a similar way Dr. Palmer deals with the Samson-Saga. " The main object of the present essay," he says, " is to demonstrate that the story of Samson, as told in the Book of Judges,. is a naturalised form on Canaanitish soil, with local additions arid developments, of an ancient solar legend which passed current in Babylonia many centuries earlier that, in fact, Samson is the direct heir and representative among the Hebrews,. as Herakles was among the Greeks, of the famous- Sun hero Gilgamesh."

In this respect it is interesting to note that whilst Origen, Ambrose, Augustine, and some other of the early fathers treated the Samson legend allegorically take, for example, St. Augustine, who- compared Samson's arms, extended to grasp th& two pillars, to those of Christ extended on the cross, and pictured a parallel between Samson's- death, which he said was more fatal to his enemies than to himself, and that of Christ, whose death achieved more for humanity than His life in the- flesh ever could have purchased for it St. Jerome- spoke of the fabula of Samson.

Again, the incredulity with which the Samson story has been accepted is made plain in the follow- ing extract from Sir Thomas Browne's ' Religio Medici' (1642): "I confess there are in Scripture stories that do exceed the fables of poets, and to a captious reader sound like Gargantua or Bevis(of Southampton). Search all the legends of time past and the fabulous conceits of the present, and 'twill be hard to find one that deserves to carry the buckler unto Samson."

Dr. Palmer expresses in his preface the opinion- that " no one with a modicum of critical faculty can read the bizarre story of Samson without recog- nizing that it is unique in the Bible record. It stands out as a heterogeneous patch and a, decidedly coarse one in the sober, prosaic history to which it has been very imperfectly assimilated."

In short, it is a popular story imperfectly em- bodied iu the more speculative work, and Dr. Palmer's book, which is the result of many years' careful study, is a useful addition to the literature- of the subject. Every recorded event in the career