Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/242

This page needs to be proofread.

196 NOTES AND QUERIES. [HRXM*B.II,I M . the mill, and half the tithe of Chalcre. Hamo | de St. Clare gave Algareslawe (Abbotsbury), | in Barley (Herts). William de St. Clare gave ! Greenstead, near Colchester. William de Laumvalay gave the church of Hammerton, &c. " Walcra " is identified in the index as Walkern, Herts, so, if this is correct, Walchra is not Chalk. The identity or otherwise of the two Hamos is not settled by the above, as the gifts may not have been made at the same date, and a j different description used for possibly the same donor. R. S. B. BLUE BEARD (12 S. x. 68, 113). The main theme of the story of Blue Beard, that of a man who marries and murders a succession of young women, and is himself killed by his last intended victim, is found in the very popular and widespread ballad which is No. 4 of Child's great collection of ' English and Scottish Ballads,' under the title of * Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight.' Child collected variants of it from almost every European country, those of the Scandinavian countries being, as usual, much more complete than those from the Latin countries. A folk -tale on the same theme, rather more elaborate and approaching more nearly to the modern Blue Beard story, but still without the Oriental setting, is alluded to by Shakespeare in ' Much Ado About Nothing,' I. i. " Like the old tale, my lord, it is not so and it was not so, and indeed God forbid that it should be so." See the Irving edition of Shakespeare, vol. iv., p. 228, note with references. M. H. DODDS. ADAH ISAACS MENKEN (12 S. ix. 273, 313, 374, 477, 519; x. 32, 79, 97, 115, 133). The statements regarding this poetess in the Introduction to the 1888 reprint of her poems by an anonymous writer are not reliable. MR. FORREST MORGAN appears to state that his name was Edwin James, i He asserts that Adah Menken was born at " Chartrain (now Milneburg), near New Orleans." There is no such place. He also says her name was Adelaide McCord. This is demonstrably false. The Times obituary notice (Aug. 13, 1868) gives the name as Dolores Adios Fuertes, as does William Michael Rossetti in his ' American Poets,' i where, by the way, her works are highly praised. Swinburne, who knew her, also alludes to her as Dolores in a letter addressed to Thomas Purnell (Swinburne, ' Letters,' ! edited by E. Gosse). All authorities agree that she was born in or near to New Orleans, in or close to the year 1840. In Pitt and Clarke's * Directory for New Orleans ' for 1842 the name Fernando Fuentes occur* as a " segar seller " living at 96, Common Street. It is more likely that a very ordi- nary name like McCord would have been invented by a late writer anxious to show an unsuspecting firm of publishers that he possessed new and valuable information than that rare names like Dolores Fuentes. or Fuertes would have been given to her by contemporaries if she had no claim to them. The Times writer says that his remarks are- taken from a lecture given by Menken her- self. It is usual to prefer early and especially contemporary statements to late ones. As New Orleans was a small place in 1842, the mention of an unusual name there at a given date is more remarkable than its being found in the directory of a large city. The Paris Evenement, in an obituary notice of Adah Menken, said (Aug. 11, 1868) that Adah's mother married a Doctor Campbell after the death of her first husband, who gave Adah a good education. Pitt and Clarke's ' Directory ' shows that a Dr. Campbell resided in New Orleans in 1842. Hence this remark is probably true. It is of interest as refuting the statement in the Introduction that Adah Menken, after her father's death, was brought up on a Cuban plantation, became a dancer there and was known as " Queen of the Plaza." This last phrase is a most insulting one. It would mean " queen of the street " and imply that she was a prostitute. All who knew Menken speak of her as highly cultivated, so the Dr. Campbell statement is more reliable than the other. Among the persons who praise her in this respect are Clement Scott ('The Drama of Yesterday and To-day'), Justin McCarthy ( ' Portraits of the Sixties ' ) and T. A. Brown ('New York Stage'). Her poems show she had an intimate know- ledge of Hebrew forms of poetry. I dealt with this in a letter to The Athenaeum for June 13, 1919. Omitting unreliable sources of knowledge we next hear of her in J. G. Murdoch's ' Reminiscences.' Murdoch says she acted with him, that she was hard-working, ambitious, talented and a favourite with the public. I have found that there is no truth in the allegations that she married Heenan the pugilist, Barclay and other men. I am preparing a detailed memoir in which all these remarks are tested from