NOTES AND QUERIES. [9* s. XL FBB. 21, IMS.
WORDSWORTH COMMENTARY. Where may one best seek for comment on the meaning of Wordsworth's separate poems? Some are distinctly hard to understand in fact, the early reviewers called them nonsense. The 1 Ode to Lycoris ' puzzles me particularly. JOHN HILL, B.A.
[Consult ' Wordsworthiana,' by Prof. Knight.]
" I WOULD THAT MY HEART WERE AS LIGHT,
BONNIE BIRD." My late wife, who was a Yorkshire woman, used to sing a song (play- ing the accompaniment herself) supposed to be addressed to a robin. It was something like this :
I would that my heart were as light, bonnie bird,
And my carol as joyous as thine.
In the accompaniment was a trill with the notes of the robin's song. My wife told me she was taught the song by her music master (named Aaronsohn) about the year 1843, but whether in Yorkshire, Doncaster, or London, I do not remember. I want to know where it may be obtained. Perhaps MR. EDWARD LATHAM could oblige.
JROBERT P. MORLEY. 19, Hanover Lane, Park Lane, Leeds.
QUOTATIONS. Under Moliere's bust in the French Academy are the words, "Kien ne manque a sa gloire ; il manquait a la ndtre." Can any one say from what work of Saurin the line is taken ; or the poem of De Caux in ^which occurs, " C'est un verre qui luit, Qu'un souffle peut detruire, et un souffle a pro- duit " ? Perhaps it will also be permitted me, in the same query, to call attention to the paradoxical (and, I believe, modern) proverb of the day, " As right as rain."
FOLK-LORE OR BOTANY. I have just come upon the following curious passage in Mr. Gomme's most useful " Gentleman's Magazine Library," 'English Topography,' part xii. p. 42. It appeared in the Gent. Mag. for
" The following wonderful story has appeared in print ; we vouch not for its authenticity. In Wokmg churchyard grows a kind of plant about the thickness of a bulrush, with a top like aspara- gus, shooting up nearly to the surface of the earth above which it never appears, and when the corpse
- 8 quite consumed the plant dies away. This ob-
lervation has been made in other churchyards when the soil is a light red sand."
Is this mere folk-lore, or is it a statement of a botanical fact ill understood ? ASTARTE.
'ENGLISH KINGS : AN ESTIMATE.'-! shall
ei obliged if any of your readers will tell
me if they know of a book with this title
1 may not have got it exactly, but I think it
is correct. It is many years perhaps nearly thirty since I have seen it. and I want, if possible, to refer to it again, as it is an ex- cellent character-sketch of our English sove- reigns. I thought it was by Prof. Dowden, but I cannot find it in any list of his works, and I daresay it is out of print, but with the author's name I should have access to it.
H. A. B.
[' Shakspeare's English Kings ' (1889), an essay in Pater's ' Appreciations,' is the only article of the sort that occurs to us.]
MR. JANES, OF ABERDEENSHIRE.
" We found here Mr. Janes, of Aberdeenshire, a naturalist. Janes said he had been at Dr. John- son's in London with Ferguson the astronomer. Johnson : ' It is strange that, in such distant places, I should meet with any one who knows me. I should have thought I might hide myself in Sky.' " Boswell's 'Tour to the Hebrides,' Sept. 2.
"Dr. Johnson remarked that, as Janes the
naturalist had said upon losing his pocket-book, it was rather an inconvenience than a loss." Ibid., Sept. 8.
" Armidel is well shaded by tall ash trees of
a species, Mr. Janes the naturalist informed me, uncommonly valuable." Johnson's ' Journey to the Western Isles,' 1775, p. 108.
Is anything known of this Mr. " Janes," which is certainly not an Aberdeenshire name ? Can it be a misprint, reproduced in all edi- tions, for " Innes " ? J. A. H. B.
[In another passage he is " Mr. Janes the formal- ist." Your conjecture seems plausible, and the reference might be to John Innes the anatomist.]
JOHN WILBYE, FL. 1598-1609. Can any subscriber tell me anything of John Wilbye, who had two editions or sets of his madrigals published, one in 1598 and one in 1609, and if anything is known of his family or descend- ants? F. J. A. S. [See life in * D.N.B.']
" SOCIETAS AURATA." Lorenz Staiber, writing to Henry VIII. from Nuremberg on 4 December, 1523, uses the following expres- sions :
"Non sum immemor...quibus honoribus Regia Maiestas tua humilem me Maiestatis tue servum affecerit : ut quern Regiis Manibus in tue M tls arcu Winndesore in auratam societatem accersiverit, adscripserit, et equitem Auratum designaverit."
I believe that " eques auratus " is a common term for a knight bachelor. Perhaps some antiquary will kindly inform me whether any special meaning is attached to the term "aurata societas," or whether it merely means the rank or order, in the wider sense, of knighthood. No special order, I believe, could have been conferred at this date by the King of England except the Order of the Garter and that of the Bath. The first is