452 NOTES AND QUERIES. [12 s. X.JUNE 10, 1922. " ST. FRAUNCES FIRE." Spenser, in the first book of the ' Faerie Queene ' (canto 4), enumerating the ills that rise from wrath, has the line : The shaking Palsey and St. Fraunces fire. St. Francis's fire is supposed to be ery- sipelas. What has St. Francis to do with erysipelas, and which St. Francis is it ? T. PERCY ARMSTRONG. Authors' Club, Whitehall, S.W. THE ADVENTURES OF A COIN. Can any reader of ' N. & Q.' furnish information con- cerning the beginnings of literature in which the adventures of a coin are related ? Sir Walter Raleigh, in ' The English Novel,' states that it is probably as old as fiction itself. The first work of the kind of which I possess any knowledge is Samuel Isarn's ' La Pistole Parlante, ou Les Metamorphoses d'un Louis d'Or ' (1660/1), dedicated to Mile, de Scudery. In more respects than one this sketch is extremely original. After being well known, it ceased to be mentioned ; 'so much so that Grimm, in his ' Correspondance,' loosely attributes it to Pellisson, a mistake corrected by Etienne de Jouy in one of the earliest issues of Le Spectateur Franqais (' L'Hermite de la Chaussee-d'Antin,' 1812). PAUL T. LAFLEUR. Me Gill University, Montreal. PEDIGREE OF CATHERINE PLAISTOW, DUBLIN. Can some reader give me any information on the pedigree of Catherine Plaistow (born 1730, Dublin ; died London, 1803 ; buried Chelsea Hospital burial- ground), who came over from Ireland with the celebrated Gunning family and was the third fashionable Grace of those days ? She married General Cyrus Trapaud at St. Werburgh's, Dublin, Dec. 21, 1751. She is described in Frances Gerard's book on ' Irish Beauties ' as the daughter of General Plaistow and of Dutch extraction. Who was her mother ? What was their coat of arms ? I do not think they were related to the Plaistows of The Lee, Bucks. Her sister, who died in 1810, was the wife of Vice-Admiral Henry Savage. Her brother, Lieut. -General Richard Plaistow of Dublin (will proved Feb. 18, 1791), married a French Huguenot, Mary Anne Victoria de Chabot, Marquise de Saint-Maurice in her own right (so I understand). Their only son, Francis Plaistow, barrister-at-law, Gray's Inn, married General Cyrus Trapaud' s niece, Maria Theresa, in 1800. At the death of their uncle and aunt they inherited the name and arms of Trapaud. These are ancestors of mine. From The Annual Register (1803, 2119b, June 2) : In Welbeck Street, Cavendish Square, aged 73, Mrs. Catherine Trapaud, relict of the late General Cyrus Trapaud, who died May 3, 1801, and aunt to the late Duke of Bridgewater [Lord Francis Egerton, who died early in 1803]. I have been unable to trace this relation- ship so far. I shall be very grateful for any further details of this pedigree. IANTHE A. M. T. GILLMAN. " No LESS " AND " No FEWER." May I ask the opinion of correspondents of ' N. & Q.' as to the use of " no less" with expressions denoting a number of individual persons or objects. It is to be found everywhere, in the writing even of critics and fastidious persons. " No less than five examples," "no less than three chapters," "no less than four engines " such phrases do not now seem to raise any question. But a punctilious sub-editor who presided over me in my .early days would never pass anything of the kind ; he would sternly request the writer's permission to turn " no less " into " no fewer " restricting " no less " to expressions of quantity. Is the distinction to be regarded as virtually obsolete ? And, if so, is this not rather to be regretted ? R. R. E. TUPPER'S POEMS ON " CHINESE " GORDON. Tupper, writing in 1884 to Dr. Birkbeck Hill, who refers to the fact in his ' Talks about Autographs' (1896, p. 134), speaks about various poems he had written on Gordon in The Globe, Morning Post, &c. What were the " &c.," and when did the poems appear in the papers mentioned ? J. M. BULLOCH. 7, Bedford Square. THE Boss OF BILLINGSGATE. One of the definitions of the meaning of the word " Boss " given in the ' N.E.D.' (after Bailey in 1731) is "a water conduit running out of a gore -bellied figure " : chiefly in the case of the " Boss of Billingsgate." The " Bosse of Byllingesgate " figures in the title of a book' published (c. 1520) by Wynkyn de Worde ; the " bosse of byllijngate waxythe . . . merye " in one of Furnivall's ' Ballads from MSS.' ; and Ho well (in 1657) tells us that " Bosse Alley [was] so called of a Bosse of Spring water." The-
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