Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 10.djvu/54

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x. JULY w, MOB.

extract from Mr. Edwin W. Streeter's valu- able work on ' Gems ' will doubtless prove of special interest to students of mineralogy : " The Hiddenite is a comparatively little-known gem-stone, having been discovered only a few years ago in North Carolina, by Mr. W. E. Hidden, after whom it was named. In appearance it is some- thing like the emerald, both in its rough and cut states. It is of a brilliant green hue, verging towards yellow, and possesses a beauty of its own. It is a variety of the mineral called Spodumene. Composition : a silicate of aluminium and lithium ; specific gravity, 3 ; hardness, 7. Crystalline system, monoclinic. Form, prismatic crystals."

The " form " of the emerald is hexagonal and di-hexagonal prisms, variously modified.

J. BASIL BIRCH. 56, Vale Road, Finsbury Park, N.

YOUNG : THE ' NIGHT THOUGHTS ' AND NARCISSA. Recently I spent several days in the, to me, enjoyable perusal of ' N". & Q.,' a full set of which up to date, I rejoice to say, I possess. In the First Series, vols. iii., iv., and v., there are four communications on Dr. Young's pathetic recital of his stealing a grave for his daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Lee (Narcissa), in the Third Night of his cele- brated poem 'Night Thoughts.' All the correspondents seem to accept the poet's statement as undoubtedly and unquestion- ably true, thus inferentially establishing the heartless bigotry of the people among whom she died. Dr. Young lived in an age when any statement made against the " Papists " was readily swallowed, I am sorry to say, by the highest and lowest classes of the English people, and the poet was un- scrupulous enough to weave in this clever episode, regardless of the commandment, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." He was the pliant tool of Wharton before he took orders Wharton, whom Pope describes as "the scorn and wonder of his age." Yet we find the doctor toadying and abasing himself before this nobleman for the sake of an annuity. Ac- cording to Swift he was a pensioned writer at Court :

Where Young must torture his invention To flatter knaves, or lose his pension.

He took orders in 1728, and was appointed chaplain to George II., and Clerk of the Closet to her Royal Highness the Princess Dowager of Wales. He has been accused of endeavouring through some of the king's mistresses to obtain higher Church prefer- ment. Most of his biographers touch lightly on his unclerical weakness in these well- established facts. Now, as ' N. & Q.' will be a mine of reference for ages to come, and as its pages have given space and publicity to

a false charge against a community and nation, uncontradicted during all the years since its publication, I hope you will put it on record that 'Chambers's Book of Days,' vol. i. pp. 502 and 503, fully establishes the falsity of Dr. Young's "midnight pious sacrilege." EDWARD MCGRATH.

San Francisco.

COMIC SCOTCH. In a recent number of Punch a poetical contributor makes a " careful Caledonian " lament as follows on the pro- posal to put an extra penny on cheques : Ye banks and brains o' monied men,

How can my funds the Budget bear ? How can I sign my little cheques

Wi'out a bosom fu' o' care ? Ye '11 break me yet, ye little cheques, That aince I drew wi' sma' concern. Twa pence ! I couldna gi'e awa' Sae fell a sum wi'out return.

There is another stanza, but this will serve the immediate purpose. Manifestly the parody is based on Burns's 'Bonnie Doon,' and it would surely have been only fair, therefore, on the part of the writer to use words such as Burns would have ap- proved. It is possible that, if the occasion had arisen for it, the poet might have written " monied," for he has " gold and white monie " in the song ' To daunton Me,' but he does not employ the forms "aince" and "wi'out." As has recently been shown in these columns 1 "ance," for "anis," is one of his words ; but when he needs " without " he writes it, or he uses " withouten," as in ' Tam Samson's Elegy,' at. 7 :

Ye Maukins, cock your fud fu' braw, Withouten dread.

Etymplogically, as might easily be shown, this is a perfectly defensible form, but " wi'out " can be characterized only as a verbal prodigy. Scotsmen also say " two- pence," like other civilized beings, although with them, as with others, there may arise a necessity for using the expression " twa pennies." But it is just possible that the Punch humourist may be delineating in his Caledonian " a Gael wrestling with Lowland Scotch. In that case it might have been well for him to define his rhapsodist pre- cisely, and to keep him off the track of Burns.


" WEDGEWOOD." The meaning and history of this Lancashire dialect word have been treated as doubtful, but what appears to be the correct account has been given to me by an octogenarian who has lived all her days in the county or near its border. She said that wedgewood is just wedge-wood, and neither a personal name nor " wet-shod," as has been