NOTES AND QUERIES. [9 th s. xi. APRIL n, 1903.
His blessing and protection whenever we enter or leave our abodes ? M. D. DAVIS.
The object described is a M'zuzah ("door- post "), a thing analogous to phylacteries and fringes, and fastened to the doorposts in Jewish houses, on the right hand going in. The texts inscribed are Deut. vi. 4-9 and Deut. xi. 13-21, with the word "Shaddai" (Almighty God) on the outside. For a good account see 'The Home and Synagogue of the Modern Jew,' Religious Tract Society, n.d., pp. 10-14. There will doubtless be an exhaustive and scientific account in a future volume of the new ' Jewish Encyclopaedia.' The slip of parchment is now often enclosed in a glass tube. The tin cases have a little round window to enable the word " Shaddai " to be seen. By devout Jews it is kissed or touched in passing. J. T. F.
No doubt a Mezuzah. Readers of ' Children of the Ghetto ' will remember how one of these was the cause of Melchitzedek Pinchas's expulsion from the house of Gideon, M.P. :
" One of the servant girls said I wanted to kiss her lies and falsehoods ! I was kissing my finger after kissing the Mezuzah, and the stupid abomination thought I was kissing my hand to her. It sees itself that they don't kiss the Mezuzahs often in that house the impious crew ! "Chap. xv.
BENJ. WALKER. Gravelly Hill, Erdington.
WITNESSING BY SIGNS (9 th S. xi. 109, 175, 237). I am a superintendent registrar in Cornwall, and it is by no means uncommon for all the parties to a wedding to deny before me the power of writing and to make their cross. Inquiry often shows that either bride or bridegroom cannot write, and that the others feign ignorance to spare the ignorant one's feelings a little disturbing for statis- fcojf purposes, but showing real kindness.
Maitland, in his 'Dark Ages,' has much to say on people making a cross instead of signing and as to the wrong inferences generally drawn. YGREC.
I have recently examined a large collection of seventeenth-century deeds, and in looking at the sign-marks I noticed that many of them were attempts to represent the initials ot the names. It is known that on signing the marriage register a woman who can write will nevertheless make her mark when the husband cannot write. W. C B
CECIL RHODES'S ANCESTORS (9 th S. ix. 325 436, 517 i x. 294, 416). -At the second refer- ence we have two specimens of the well- known fable of the 1,000 cows. I should be
glad if readers would give me any further references to this or similar tales. I am unable to find any parallel amongst all the store of ancient superstitions, and yet there are indications of antiquity in the tale. Can there be any connexion between this tale and the period of tenure granted by the Eccle- siastical Commissioners viz , 999 years 1
F. M. H. K.
KEATS : "SLOTH" (9 th S. xi. 187. 232, 277). PROF. SKEAT finds it hard that the poet should talk of sloth without the word hound tacked to it, as if one should call a cart-horse cart. What, then, of mastiff, O.F. mestif (chien mestif), and grew (ie., greyhound)? In large districts of the North grew means greyhound. See Brogden's ' Provincial Words current in Lincolnshire ' (London, Hardwicke, 1866). Even in the words pointer, setter, retriever, spaniel, springer, and so on, there is the hardship that the word dog is rarely used, and is rarely necessary in the word spaniel (among those five latter words) more especially. W. H. B.
SUTTON VALENCE SCHOOL (9 th S. xi. 186). I have searched in vain in Archceologia, vol xxxix., for the time-table of this school to which MR. ARTHUR BURRELL refers, and I cannot find any reference to it in the index to vols. i.-l. of Archceologia. In Archceologia, vol. xxxiv. p. 37, there is an article upon the ' Rules of the Free School at Saffron Walden, in Essex, in the Reign of Henry VIII.,' com- municated by the late Thomas Wright (to whom MR. BURRELL refers). This article contains two important documents illus- trating the work done at schools in Tudor times, and possibly MR. BURRELL intended to inquire about one or other of these docu- ments. Neither really relates to Saffron Walden School, though Mr. Wright appa- rently supposed that both did. The first relates to Eton College, being signed by Richard Cox, who became head master of Eton circa 1528 (Cust's * Hist, of Eton Coll.,' pp. 53, 73) and was afterwards Bishop of Ely ('D.N.B.,'xii. 412). The second relates to Winchester College, being signed by the head master, John Twychener, and the usher, Thomas Browning. Twychener, whose name may be spelt in a great variety of ways, was head master (informator) at Winchester circa 1526-30 (Kirby s 'Winchester Scholars,' pp. 107, 114), and Browning was second master (hostiarius) for about four years before 1533, when he became a Fellow of the college (Kirby, pp. 8, 110; Boase's 'Register of Ox- ford University,' pp. 148, 309). The school at Saffron Walden was founded as a free school