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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/482

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396 NOTES AND QUERIES. [12 S.X.MAY 20, 1022. day on which it happened early in the fourth century, when the above Council was held. He therefore ordered 10 days to be struck out of the year 1582, thus restoring the vernal equinox to March 21. This in effect took into account the leap years in A.D. 300, 500, 600, 700, 900, 1000, 1100, 1300, 1400 and 1500. As, however, the years A.D. 100 and 200 had been leap years, he ought also, in order completely to rectify the Julian Calendar, to have allowed for them, and to have struck out 12 days instead of 10. The necessity of some arrangement for adjusting the calendar in future was met by Gregory ordering the omission of three leap years in every 400 years, but Omar Khayyam, the Persian astronomer -poet, as long ago as A.D. 1079 had proposed to effect the same object as follows: (1) intercalate a day every fourth year, but (2) intercalate during the thirty-third year instead of the thirty-second. Neither of these schemes is an exact adjustment, but a very long period will have to elapse before a further correc- tion is necessary. (See Article on Chrono- logy, ' Chambers' s Encyclopaedia,' vol. iii.) WM. SELF-WEEKS. Westwood. Clitheroe. EXHIBITIONS OF AUTOMATA IN LONDON (12 S. x. 269, 331). The record continues to be confined to life-size figures, and to omit the " mechanical motions " of Cox and others. I should like to add the late Mr. Maskelyne's figures " Psycho " and " Zoe." They are illustrated on the cover design of the l ' Guide " published during the seventies under the following title : Egyptian Hall, England's Home of Mystery. Maskelyne and Cooke, the Royal Illusionists and Anti -Spiritualists. A Guide to their Original and Unique Entertainment of Modern Miracles ! With a short Biographical Sketch of John Nevil Maskelyne, a Reference to some Celebrated Auto- mata, and an Epitome of the Slade Case. Reference to a royal performance at Sand- ringham follows, and the page concludes : The Entertainment is now in its Fifth Year at the Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, London. W. Morton, Manager. The matter describing the automata is provided on pp. 8-16, and contains some allusions of special interest, for example : Many of these androides are now in the possession of W. Snoxell, Esq., of No. 2, Charter- house Square, E.C., with a host of other curiosities which he has spent years in collecting. From an inspection of these automata it will be seen that the descriptions of them have been much exaggerated. " Psycho " was a card -playing Hindu figure ('mild-looking"), some 22in. high, seated, cross-legged, upon a box which rests upon a pedestal of clear glass. Appar- ently the motive-power was the perplexing secret which remained unsolved. " Zoe, daughter of the Sunny South," was a writing and drawing figure that could sketch por- traits of celebrities and write ; that had some mysterious motive-power, not clock- work, and to convince onlookers "there was no deception " would be carried down by Maskelyne and seated on the knee of any gentleman in the audience. Possibly these figures exist and are on exhibition somewhere. Also there may have been even later exhibitions of auto- mata. ALECK ABRAHAMS. Two FLEET STREET TAVERNS (12 S. x. 346). 1. The King's Head. I suggest that the late F. G. Hilton Price, in his paper ' Signs of Old Fleet Street ' (Archaeological Journal, December, 1895), is to be preferred as to the site of the King's Head. He there states that the tavern occupied the first and second floors of the old five -storey building situate at the south-west corner of Chancery Lane. The widening of this entrance to Chancery Lane (Craftsman, July 20, 1765, cited by J. Holbert Wilson, ' Pictorial Records of London,' Portfolio 17, No. 23) possibly suggested the south-east corner as the site of this inn, and it may have been so originally. 2. The Mitre Tavern. This Johnsonian identification is too definite to admit of confusion or modern re-use of celebrated place-names. The existing tavern was the Mitre Coffee-house, the tavern being lost in Messrs. Hoare's rebuilding of their old premises. Again, F. G. Hilton Price (ibid.) correctly identifies the exact site as between Nos. 38 and 39. " It was approached by a long passage called Cat and Fiddle Court or Alley." There were several taverns similary reached by court or alley, although identified as in Fleet Street. The adaptation of the premises to Macklin's " Poets' Gallery," and finally to Saunders's auction rooms, has been referred to in ' One Hundred Years of Book Auctions' (1908), pp. 15-16, Messrs. Hodgson's centenary volume. AJLECK ABRAHAMS. MOTHERING SUNDAY (12 S x. 249, 292, 334). Few things seem to me more interest- ing than the survival of pagan practices in | our so-called Christian civilization. The