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266


NOTES AND QUERIES. [9* s. XL APRIL 4, 1903.


and was supplied, strikingly enough, by Si Robert Peel himself. Writing from the Irish Office on 14 April, 1818, to Gregory, th< Under-Secretary for Ireland, the then Chie Secretary said :

"We must not make the Peelers unpopular, b maintaining them against the declared and un equivocal sense of the county in which they act The assurance of the Grand Jury of the King' County quite warrants the Lord Lieutenant in removing the police from that county, but let then- pay for the past." C. S. Parker's 'Sir Robert Peel 1788-1827,' p. 263.

ALFRED F. BOBBINS.

COUNTY RIME. The following is in a MS book circa 1809 :

Cheshire for men, Berkshire for dogs, Bedfordshire for naked flesh, And Lincolnshire for bogs. Derbyshire for lead, Devonshire for tin, Wiltshire for hunting plains, And Middlesex for sin.

W. B. H.

" AT SIXES AND SEVENS." Under * Cinque I find in the 'H.E.D.' the phrase "to set at cinque and sice = to expose to great risk, to be reckless about," which explanation, it is true, has a sign of interrogation placed against it. But two references given there justify such explanation. The first, of 1535, reads : " Greit folie to set on synk and syss, The greit honour befoir the Bomanis wan." The other, of 1607, has: "Our countrymen ......for their carelessness of life, setting all at

cinque and sice." It is obvious that it has been taken from the game of dice ; perhaps a reckless player set a high stake on the combination "five and six," at the risk of losing everything if it did not turn up. One may then have said of him that he sets every- thing at five and six, so that disorder results. That things are at five and six, if this was the sense development, '"would be a later use. Finally, when the origin of the saying was lost sight of, a similar combina- tion of figures was substituted, which resulted in the^now prevalent form of "at sixes and sevens." All this is mere surmise ; but if only offered as such, it may not be worthless.

Q. KRUEGER. Berlin.

SHAKESPEARE'S SHYLOCK. Shakspere's Shy- lock is taken from a story in the ' Life of Pope Sixtus V.' (1521-90), Shakspere having changed the persons, by substituting the Jew (Sampson Ceneda), a usurer, for the Chris- tian, and the Christian (Paul Secchi, of Borne) for the Jew. The story is this. It was reported at Borne that Drake had taken and


plundered St. Domingo, in Hispaniola, and carried off an immense booty. This came in a private letter to Secchi. He sent for the Jew, who said, "I'll bet you a pound of my flesh it is a lie." Secchi said, "I'll lay you 1,000 crowns against a pound of your flesh it is true." Case referred to the Pope, and so on. The following appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1754, p. 221, which I have verified :

"There are doubtless lives of Sixtus V. in both Latin and Italian ; it would be interesting for some person acquainted with these languages to search and give us particulars of trial and verdict in English."

BICHARD HEMMING.

[The " pound of flesh " story occurs in the ' Cursor Mundi,' 11. 21,413-96.]

'THE POETRY OF GEORGE WITHER.' (See ante, p. 138.) In the notice of Mr. Bullen's edition of Wither at this reference there is no mention of the fact that Wither's ' Fidelia ' is reprinted in the second volume of Mr. Arber's 'An English Garner,' and his 'Faire- Virtue ' and ' Epigrams,' &c., in the fourth. I hold it the duty of every one who knows this admirable collection to take every oppor- tunity of calling attention to it. C. C. B.

BRITTANY AND ITS PEOPLE. That the ancient Armorica was called in mediaeval times Britannia Minor is well known. Sub- sequently it became the French province of Bretagne, and has been, during many centuries, a part of France under that name (in England the form Brittany is retained), and the expression reads oddly in the ' Dictionary of National Biography,' under ' Henry VII.' (vol. xxvi. p. 69), that when Edward IV. recovered the throne of England in 1471, Henry's ** uncle Jasper took him across the sea, meaning to convey him to France. The wind, however, compelled them to land in Brittany," as if that were not a part of France. The name, of course, arose ! rom colonies of Britons who settled in that district ; but at what time they took up /heir abode there in such numbers that great )art of the province spoke their language las been mucn disputed. The ordinary idea s that these consisted of Britons who sought efuge in Armorica during the Saxon con- [uest of their own country. But much is to De said (although it is rejected by Gibbon a-nd others) for the view taken by Daru in lis ' Histoire de Bretagne' (Paris, 1826), that if ter Maximus, chosen emperor by the revolted egions in Britain in A.D. 383, had taken into Gaul, with his other troops, a large native force, he latter, after his defeat by Theodosius, ernained under their chief Conan, who was