Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/513

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" Egypt" between the strings of the bugle all in silver on a ground of black velvet. The East Yorkshire wear a badge on their tunic collars, the white rose in silver on a ground of black enamel ; and the Leicestershire have for the centre of their helmet-plates the Royal tiger and scroll in silver on a ground of black velvet.

G. YARROW BALDOCK, Major. South Hackney, N.E.

Oxford Literary and Historical Studies. -Vol. IV. Bibliography of Johnson. By W. P. Courtney. Revised and seen through the press by David Nichol Smith. (Oxford, Clarendon Press.)

To our readers a glance at the title and authorship of this volume will be a sufficient guarantee for its admirable quality. Against the violations of truth due " to negligence or supineness " in a writer Johnson expressly protested, and this latest monu- ment to his memory has all the exactitude that care and unremitting labour can bestow. Mr. Courtney did not, alas ! live to read the proofs of his book, but we are well assured that his manu- script was more precise and complete than the printed books of a good many authors. Like Col. Prideaux, another constant contributor to our colunfns, he was exact to a comma, and we have verified the details he gives, both of rare books and common books, not with the idea of finding slips, but for the pleasure of realizing his wonderful accuracy. All is as it should be ; the additions by Mr. Nichol Smith are useful, and the present reviewer has found his interest undiminished throughout the volume. Bibliography, so far as it concerns mere dates and tables, may be dull for the general reader. Here Mr. Courtney has given us liberal notes from his store of erudition which reveal the human side of Johnson. The volumes for which he wrote introductions, or supplied a line or two or some alteration, show us his friends ; and the replies which his works elicited his enemies. Besides numerous corrections, ranging from The Gentleman's Magazine in 1789 to a modern edition of 1906, we find an excellent list of perti- nent criticisms of various works. Thus Andrew Lang's discussion of the Cock Lane ghost is re- ferred to under Johnson's ' Account of the Detec- tion of the Imposture ' in 1762 ; and we get exact references to Cowper's Correspondence concerning the treatment of Milton in the ' Lives of the Poets.' A glance at this section will show the elaborate care with which the larger works of Johnson have been annotated. The gem of the book is, perhaps, the comment on the ' Dictionary,' which is full of good things.

Without further appreciation of a book which needs none for the judicious reader, we may add one or two notes which have occurred to us in our survey. The third item in the book, Johnson's proposal for an edition of the Poems of Politian, reminds us that Johnson used for up- wards of fifty years " a very old and curious edition of the works of Politian, which appeared to belong to Pembroke College, Oxford." So

Hawkins relates, to the disgust of Boswell. The late Mr. Makower's work, ' Richard Savage : a Mystery in Biography,' is so considerable that its character might have been stated. To the references concerning No. 17, Go ugh Square , where the ' Dictionary ' was composed, one might be added to indicate that the house is now thoroughly repaired and a Johnson Museum.

' The False Alarm ' was attacked by Wilkes, Birkbeck Hill says in The Gentleman's Magazine ; but here the ' Letter ' by Wilkes is noted as a separate production. The ' Deformities of Dr.. Samuel Johnson,' which he received with good humour, reached, we notice, a second edition. Here we miss the usual reference to Boswell's work conveniently added at the side. Under a new issue of ' The Lives of the Poets ' (1783), a note tells us that " the alterations and corrections in this issue were printed separately , and offered gratis to the purchasers of the former editions." Perhaps Jowett, a great Johnsonian, may have been induced by this to offer a later edition of his v translation of Plato's ' Republic ' on unusually generous terms to possessors of the earlier. John- son's * Prayers and Meditations ' are little known to- the reader to-day. Several editions are mentioned,, and the later ones have introductions or annota- tions. But that the book was issued long after Johnson's death for practical purposes we gather from a little pocket edition in our possession,, which contains the simple text without a word or note by an editor. This issue was published by T. Allman of Holborn Hill in 1845.

We heartily thank the Press of Johnson's University for this complete and trustworthy guide to the writings of a truly great man. Some reputations of the eighteenth century have faded ; Johnson's is secure, for he was a master of the art of life as well as of literature.

Busones : a Study and a Suggestion. By Arthur- Betts. (Published by the Author, Is. net.)

MR. BETTS'S solution of this old puz/le is from the point of view of sense a tempting one. After- duly rehearsing former conjectures, which connect the word with besoigne or with boujon, he asks us- to consider a connexion with the Icelandic bu, a house or estate, and bui, a neighbour in a legal sense, a neighbour acting as juror. He would have us suppose that the busones comitatus ("ad quorum nutum dependent vota aliorum," as Bracton says, four or six of whom the justiciarii were bidden to take and consult with) were so called by an unofficial nickname in districts- to which the Norse dialect had penetrated, from their being men of substantial estate, who could be considered responsible for and representative of the county.

Ingenious the theory certainly is, but Mr. Betts has nothing to show in the way of direct evidence even as to the use of the word bui much less as to its having been latinized in the form buso. Perhaps his happiest notion sug- gested by buze in Roquefort's glossary, explained as "habitation, lieu de residence" is that busones came through the Normans. Although we cannot pretend to a conviction that Mr. Betts is right, we found his pamphlet interesting and suggestive, and should learn with pleasure that he had traced some actual use of biii surviving in the Western districts where the Danes estab- lished themselves.