Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 9.djvu/67

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ii s. ix, JAN. 24, 1914. j NOTES AND QUERIES.


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LONDON, SATURDAY, JANUARY .?/,, 19U


CONTENTS. No. 213.

Zs'OTES : Robert Baron, Author of ' Mirza,' 61 A Justifi- cation of King John, C3 Statues and Memorials in the British Isles, 65 Sale of Pitt House-Irish Family Histories, 66 " Memmian naphtha-pits " in Tennyson, 07.

^QUERIES : " Bay " and " Tray " " Tree-ball," 67-' The Shepherdess of the Alps ' " Loveless as an Irishman " Old City Bate- Books Old Pewter, 68 'The Autobio- graphy of a Dissenting Minister ' Thomas Cocking Heraldry of Lichfield Cathedral Anno Domini Jan Weenix The Duchess of Gordon's Recruiting Kiss, 69 Cherubini and the Military Salute Trade Guilds as General Refuges Human Fat as a Medicine " Maggs " Biographical Information Wanted Wick ham, 70 The Guilds and their Critics Jamaica : Stevens and Read Families Shilleto Mr. Dwight of the Treasury Office, 71.

HEPLIES : The Wearing of Swords, 71 Greek Typo- graphy, 72 The Second Folio Shakespeare, 73 Jules Verne, 74 Parishes in Two or More Counties Words and Phrases in 'Lorna Doone,' 75 Jeffreys Family of Dorset The Wild Huntsman, 76 Ancient Views and Treatment of Insanity Personal Names in India and in Iran, 77 Christmas Eve Lost Portrait of George Washington Gods in Egypt Lists of Bishops and Deans in Cathedrals" SS," 78.

NOTES ON BOOKS :-The Oxford Dictionary 'The Edinburgh Review' 'The Antiquary.'

Notices to Correspondents.


ROBERT BARON, AUTHOR OF 'MIRZA, A TRAGEDIE.'

(See ante, pp. 1, 22, 43.)

BARON'S last work, ' Mirza,' is to be dated 1655, and shows a great increase of serious- ness in its still-young author. The title runs :

"Mirza. A Tragedie, Really acted in Persia, in the last Age. Illustrated with Historicall Anno- tations. The Author R. B., Esq. London, Printed for Humphrey Moseley and for T. Bring."

Several points are here worth notice.

The words " Really acted in Persia," though apparently misunderstood by Mr. Knight in the 'D.N.B.,' merely mean that the events of the play were historical and recent.

The author describes himself now, not as " Gent.," but as " Esq." One gathers that he is not a mere ne'er-do-well, but is in an established social position.


The book is not dated. From having a dedication " To his Maiestie," Mr. Knight concluded it was not later than 1648, and the date attached to it in the printed Cata- logue of the British Museum Library is 1647. It \vas clear to me that this was wrong, as the work contains verses by "Jo. Quarles; Fell, of Pet. House Camb.,'" who became Ramsey Fellow of Peterhouse in 1650, and full Fellow not till 1653, and on p. 108 ( = 180) refers to "our late King Charles." Was the book not issued, then, till 1660 ? One might have supposed so, but for a fact which has been noted by the British Museum authorities, and led them to alter the date of the play to 1655. The play, it seems, is included among the Com- monwealth Tracts collected by Thorn ason, and Thomason has given the date when he received the book 5 May, 1655. It was entered on the Stationers' Register on 16 Aug. of the same year. The entry, which has been obligingly sent me from Stationers' Hall, runs as follows :

16 th of August 1655.

Mr H. Mosely &

M r Tho. Bring.

Entred for their Copies under the hand of M r Norton Warden two bookes the one entituled A Tragedy with Annotacons by Robert Baron, Es(i r the other Entituled The history of philo- sophy & the Philosophers by Thomas Stanley Esq r '

The date of writing may have been rather earlier ; we cannot, however, accept Schel- ling's conjecture that the play was, perhaps, written by 1642 ; nor Fleay's dogmatic statement that it was " written, but not acted," at Cambridge. It is true that the subject is that of Deiiham's play ' The Sophy,' which was printed in 1642 (though Baron says he never saw ' The Sophy ' till he had completed three acts of his own tragedy). It is true also that he says he had the hint of the story from a manuscript of a letter of Sir Dodmore Cotton, sent about 1626 to a friend of his in Cambridge. Even if this implies, \vhich is not evident, that Baron saw the letter during his under- graduate year at Cambridge, it does not follow that he began the play at that time, and internal evidence is much against it. We know the boyish, affected, amorous style of Baron's early compositions. Here we have a grave subject, gravely treated, in acknowledged imitation of Jonson's ' Cati- line.' Baron speaks (p. 161) of "the matchless Johnson," and of "his Catiline (which miraculous Poem I propose as my pattern)." It is, therefore, less remarkable