Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 10.djvu/494

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[9 th S. X. DEC. 20, 1902.

' Hymnal Companion,' and the ' Church of England Hymnal,' " O God " has been sub- stituted for "Our God." W. S.

EPITAPH OP JAMES BOSSOM. The follow- ing is to be found on ,a gravestone in St. Paul's Churchyard at Halifax, Nova Scotia:

"Sacred to the memory of James, son of James and Catherine Bossom, who was wilfully murdered by Smith D. Clarke on 8 th August, 1839, in the 23 rd year of his age."

Clarke was convicted of the crime, but for reasons never disclosed was pardoned on con- dition of his leaving the country. Such an epitaph seems rare, if not unique.

M. N. G.

STOOL-BALL. This game, similar in many respects to cricket, was mostly played by women, and was common in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In 1592 the following presentment was made to the Archdeacon of Canterbury from the parish of St. Paul's in that city :

" We present one Bottolph Wappoll, a continual gamester and one of very lewd behaviour, who being on May day last at Stool-ball in time of divine service, one of our sidesmen came and admonished him to leave off playing and go to church, for the which he fell on him and beat him, that the blood ran about his ears." Vol. 1584-92, part ii. fol. 123.


Tankerton-on-Sea, Kent.

[See 3 rd S. xi. 457 ; xii. 73 ; 5 th S. i. 34, 179, 419 ; 6 th S. ii. 248, 417.]

CURFEW BELL AT BUCKINGHAM. The General Indexes of the first eight series of ' N. & Q.' contain no fewer than forty-three references to the origin of the curfew bell and to the places (principally in England) where it was recently, or is at the present time rung. As the town of Buckingham is not included, the following, from the Standard of 30 Sep- tember, may appear in these columns :

"The ringing of the curfew bell was yesterday begun at Buckingham, in accordance with ancient custom. The bell is rung at six in the morning and at eight at night, from 29 September till 25 March each year. At last Easter vestry the Rev. Philip P. Goldingham, the newly appointed Vicar, intro- duced the subject as to the wisdom or otherwise of continuing the custom, especially in the morning, and several new-comers to the borough urged its discontinuance on the ground that it was objectless, but the old residents strongly supported the old practice. Buckingham is one of the few towns in England where the Pancake Bell is rung at mid- day on Shrove Tuesday."

EVERARD HOME COLEMAN. 71, Brecknock Road.

WILLIAM BARNES. Some of your readers may not have seen, and may care to see,

William Barnes's clever tetraglot epigram, or epigram in four languages, for the compre- hension of the second line of which it is only needful to know, or to remember, that the Latin for " thief " is fur, a word consisting of three letters, and that consequently the Romans used euphemistically to call a thief "a man of three letters." Here are the lines :

Se 1' uom che deruba un tomo Trium literarum est homo, Celui qui de"robe trois tomes A man of letters must become.

We may presume that some friend of his had stolen, or forgotten to return, three volumes of the poet's books ; whereupon he observes, as above, that if the man who steals one volume may be called a man of three letters (a thief), he who steals three volumes is likely to become a man of letters indeed. PATRICK MAXWELL.


EPIGRAM ON THE 'SATURDAY REVIEW,' 1864. The following lines appeared in the Arrow, 13 September, 1864, and seem to deserve perpetuity. The Saturday had re- marked that " critics play much the same part now which the Saaducees did." It may be added that the Arrow itself ran or flew for ten numbers only. Yet it was not at all the proverbial "fool's bolt." Here is the epigram :

Our hebdomadal caustic, severe upon quackery, Was christened the Superfine, long since, by

Thackeray ;

Men considered its bitters too nauseous and tonic, So some called it Saturnine ; others, Sardonic ; But wait long enough, a good name 's to be had, you

see, For it writes itself down as the Saturday Sadducee !

RICHARD H. THORNTON. Portland, Oregon.

"BRAINY." This word, I think, is usually supposed to be a recent Americanism. I have just come across it in Leigh Hunt's ' Correspondence.' It occurs in a letter by Hunt himself, addressed to Robert Bell, and dated 19 July, 1845 (vol. ii. p. 104): "That was a good, hearty, brainy, valuable bit of existence you gave us the other night." The earliest quotation in the 'N.E.D.' is dated 1874. G. L. APPERSON.

FORSTER'S ERRORS IN HISTORY. In Fors- ter's ' Arrest of the Five Members,' which I often see quoted as an authority, the following extraordinary statements are made (p. 17) with regard to the condition of matters in Scotland at the end of the year 1641 : ' Montrose was now a Marquis, Argyle