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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/29

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12 S. X.JAN. 7, 1922.] NOTES AND QUERIES. 19 articles on " wait," whether considered from the) historical point of view or from that of their structure and their illustrations, are admirable, i One small criticism we may make, because it j seems to indicate that the makers of the great j dictionary sometimes forget how monumental a j work they are achieving. Under " wait and see " we read : " Recently often used with allusion to | Mr. H. H. Asquith's repeated reply . . . to a j succession of questions in Parliament." In fifty | years' time this will appear but a futile account, j while the precise particulars will be tiresome to | find. A similar want of precision may be observed ; in the definition of " warm-blooded." Probably j few people realize that the first uses of " waft " have somewhat the meaning of " whiff " a taste j or flavour, th^n a scent carried in the air. Its nauti- | cal use for a flag or ensign goes back to the early j seventeenth century. As a verb " waft " covers two origins first, a back-formation from " wafter," i (cf. L.G. wachter) a convoy, and, secondly, waff, a ' form used in Scotland and Northern England for our " wave " or " waive." The two meanings have in use become considerably confused. The obsolete word " waghalter " (a " gallows-bird ") is thought to survive, in jocose use, in the sub- stantive " wag." It is curious how dignified this verb once was and how it has declined in modern ! speech. " Waggon " the Dutch wagen which has a thoroughly native English sound, is in fact a sixteenth century importation, coming from the wars and used first of military transport. As a , mining term it is used for a measure of weight I 24 cwt. " Waif " and " waive " come from the j Norman O.F. gaif, are probably of Scandinavian I origin, and appear first as legal terms. " Waive," ! however, covers also the root signifying to move or swing. The articles on " walk " may be noted for their great historical interest and for the abundance of idioms and phrases they contain. Most of these are familiar but the old " walks " of the Royal Exchange, a " walk " of snipes and even a " walk-clerk " (a modern term) may serve as examples of senses which will be new to many students. The origin of the word is O.E. wealcan, to roll or toss. Under " wall," we noticed that the dictionary does not commit itself to any explanation of the origin of the phrase "to go to the wall." " Waist," it seems, is to be connected with " wax," to grow, and the modern spelling was rare till Johnson fixed it in his dictionary. Another interesting Dutch word is " wainscot "- introduced in the fourteenth century of which the original sense is all but lost. Urquhart, in 1652, could still say that " a wedge of wainscot is fittest and most proper for cleaving of an oaken tree." Wainscot was a superior foreign oak brought from Russia, Germany or Holland. Its etymology remains obscure. The articles on " -ward " and " -wards," both as to derivation and as to development of use, are among the most valuable of the section, or, as offering fresh discussion on an important suffix, of the whole dictionary. We had marked a large number of other words, and details in the account of words, for mention, but can hardly, in a short review, cope with such an embarras de richesses. It should, however, be said that the derivations in this section are of quite special interest. The section contains 2,559 words and 14,787 quota- tions. English Organ-Cases. By Andrew Freeman. (London : G. A. Mate and Son.) THE subject of organ-cases has the rare distinction of being comparatively fresh. It sometimes happens that a neglected subject is brought into prominence by an incompetent enthusiast. Such a person stimulates rather than informs, functions as a door-keeper rather than a guide. This is by no means Mr. Freeman's case. He is equipped with solid and extensive information. He knows thoroughly well the organs and organ-cases throughout the length and breadth of England, the history of the making and use of these in- struments, and the principles by which the successful construction of a good organ in its place in a building is determined. His knowledge of English organ-cases is illuminated by his study of foreign examples as well as by an evident competence in architecture. His book is illustrated by a large number of excellent photographs, of which the great majority were taken by him- self, and he makes dexterous use of the illustra- tions in his text. The introduction of organs into England goes back to the end of the seventh century. At first rare, owing to their cost and also to the difficulty of finding a man to play them, organs had become tolerably common by the middle of the fifteenth century. At the Reformation and during the Great Rebellion many were destroyed by the zeal of iconoclasts a destruction greatly to be regretted because, in the old examples, the case was treated as an important addition to the adornment of the church, and had lavished on it the same skill, care and feeling for beauty as the medieval craftsman brought to the fashioning of sedilia or rood-screen. The musical development of the instrument was slow, and up to the end of the seventeenth cen- tury most English organs were of small size. For hundreds of years English organ-building was done by monks, a fact which will largely explain the traditions which grew up for the design and decoration of pipes and case. The custom of gilding is mentioned by St. Aldhelm. We have in England twelve organ-cases be- longing to the pre-Restoration period, of which the earliest is that at St. Stephen's, Old Radnor (c. 1500), and the latest an organ-case at Blair Atholl Castle (1650). Of these an exceedingly interesting example is that at St. Nicholas, Stanford-on-Avon, Northants, which is said to have come from Whitehall and is conjectured by our author to have contained that organ which Samuel Pepys heard played on a July Sunday the first time he remembered " to have heard the organs and singing-men in surplices." The most magnificent is at King's College, Cambridge a case built in 1605-6 by Chapman and Hartop for an organ of Thomas Dallam's ; and another, worth mentioning for its attractive- ness, is that at Hatfield, also probably for an organ by DalJam. From 1660 to 1790 English organ-building produced the most numerous and famous of the older works of the art. The Dallams, the Harrises and Father Smith designed cases which, if details may be objected to as alien from their purpose when erected in churches, were yet conceived upon plans of noble and graceful proportion, and carried out with great success.