Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 6.djvu/378

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NOTES AND QUERIES, [iss. vi. JUNK 19, 1920.

four hundred lines. The whole work, con- -sisting of thirty pages, contains only sixteen sentences."

" French prose affords a parallel to the long- drawn-out sentence by Hazlitt. In the seventh volume of the elder Dumas's ' Impressions de Voyage ' there is a sentence dealing with Ben- venuto Cellini which spreads over three pages, .and totals 108 line*. It contains 105 verbs, 122 -.proper names, 68 commas, and 60 semi-colons. This, according to M. Charles Nauroy, is the liongest sentence in the French language. Evi- dently neither Hazlitt nor Dumas would have . endorsed Mr. Frederic Harrison's advice to f literary aspirants. ' It is a good rule for a young -writer,* says Mr. Harrison, ' to avoid more than ^twenty or thirty words without a full stop, and not to put more than two commas in each sentence, -so that the clauses should not exceed three. ' There is no positive law. A fine writer can easily r place in a sentence a hundred words, and five or

six minor clauses with their proper commas and

colon*. Buskin was wont to toss oft two or three .hundred words and 28 commas without a pause.' "

Long-winded sentences are the pest of

too many books by practised as well as by

neo-writers. There may be no positive

Uaw against such an irritating custom, but

pthere should be an unwritten one. Weari-

ness and obscurity, involving reading and ^re-reading, are the aggravating resultants

to the reader, frequently ending in a ..deserved rejection of the book in sheer dis- gust. Even Victor Hugo, in his otherwise

admirable ' Notre-Dame de Paris,' is over-

given to prolix sentences here and there, though happily, not sufficiently obtrusive to

excite irritation. J. B. McGovERN.

St. Stephen's Rectory, C.-on-M., Manchester.

MAGPIE IN AUGURY. According to the

^Encyclopaedia Britannica,' llth edition,

vol. xvii. p. 393, superstition in Europe

" as to the appearance of the pie still survives

.even amoag many educated persons, and there

. are several versions of a rhyming adage as to the

various turns of luck which its presenting itself,

either alone or in company with others, is

supposed to betoken, though all agree that the sight of a single pie presages sorrow."

And from 1? S. v. 5 we learn of an Irish '-belief that it is unlucky to see one magpie, 'but lucky to see two. The Chinese differ 'from the Europeans in regarding the mag- . pie's calls auspicious, quite unconcerned -with the number of the bird, which, there- fore, they have named Hi-tsioh (Joyous Pie). In the second century B.C. Luh Kia (for whose life see US. ii. 145) opined the mag- -pie's babbles to foretell the arrival of a Vfoearor of happy news.(' Yuen-kien-lui-hari,' ."1703, torn, cdxxiii).


DOUBLE FLOWERS IN JAPAN. Allow me to add to the list given at 11 S. vii. 490 the following names culled from Iwasaki'a ' Honzo Dzufu,' 1828 :

" Liliitm elegans ; L. tigrinum ; Belamcanda punctate ; Hoiittuynia cordata ; Lychnis Senno ; Chelidonium japonicum ; Anemone altaica ; A. faccida ; Potentilla fragarioides ; Prunus Ar- meniaca, var. Ansu ; Cydonia japonica : var. pygmaea ; Hydrangea opuloides, var. pubcscena ; Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ; Aquilegia sibirica, var* flabcllata ; A. Buergeriana ; Wistaria floribunda ; Calystegia hedcracea ; Taraxacum platycarpum ; Rhododendron obtusum ; R. dilatatum.

At the above reference, col. 1, 1. 4 from bottom, for Pharbitis hederacea read Phar- bitis Nil. KUMAGUSU MINAKATA.

Tanabe, Kii, Japan.

SIGN PAINTING. (See ante, p. 2-26). A3 interest in this branch of painting has been aroused by Prince Albert's speech at the Ro3 r al Academy banquet, would it not be possible to get together the names of famous painters who for their own amusement turned their hands probably on wet days to such work '! David Cox's Oak for the hotel at Bettws-y-Coed is the best known as having been the subject of a protracted lawsuit. Of scarcely less interest was the signboard of the George Inn at \\argrave-on- Thames. One side was painted by Stacey Marks, and the other (I think) by George L. Leslie, both of whom became Royal .Acade- micians. There are probably many othera scattered over the country, though probably few that have not been "restored," i.e., destroyed. L. G. R.

ANCIENT DEEDS. Among a mass of deeds found recently in an outhouse here ia the Grant of Administration de bonis non, with the will annexed of Thomas Thomas of St. Magnus the Martyr, London, "tailor. The will is dated June 2, 1602. The date of death and of the Grant of Probate is not stated. The Grant of Administration is dated Xov. 25, 1644.

The Grant begins :

"Carplus Dei gratia Anglic Scotie Francie et Hibernie Bex fidei Defensor, &c., dilecto subdito nostro Willelmo Thomas. . . .salutem."

After the usual recitals it engages the Administrator to return an inventory in CuriamPrerogativinostri Cant, "and ends:

" Teste Nathan Brent militi Legum Doctore Curias nostrae Prerogative Cant. Magistro siye Custode apud London vicesimo quinto die mensis Xovembris anno regni nostri Vicesimo anaoque Domini 1644. Johannes Abbott, Begistrariu.s."