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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 11.djvu/313

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a* s. XL APRIL is, iocs.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


A jest's prosperity lies in the ear

Of him that hears it ; never in the tongue

Of him that makes it.

' Love's Labour Lost,' V. ii. 871-3.

Let us try Jonson :

Lord B. But the ignorant valour,

That knows not why it undertakes, but doth it To escape the infamy merely

Lovel. Is worst of all :

That valour lies in the eyes o' the lookers-on, And is called valour with a witness.

1 The New Inn,' IV. iii.

C. CRAWFORD. (To be, continued.)

KEATS'S l ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE ' : THE ORIGINAL MS. From an exclusively literary point of view, no more interesting article appeared in any of the March periodicals than that by Mr. Sidney Colvin, 'A Morn- ing's Work in a Hampstead Garden,' in the Monthly Review. It appears that the draft autograph of Keats's famous ode has hitherto escaped examination by the poet's editors and annptators ; it was, at any rate, unknown, or, in Mr. Colvin's words, " escaped the dili- gence of Mr. Buxton Forman." The MS. was purchased a short time ago, at a sale at Sotheby's of the effects of the late Townley Green, by the Earl of Orewe, at whose request the autograph poem has been repro- duced, in the article in the magazine afore- mentioned, by Mr. Sidney Colvin. Interest centres in the "crowning stanza" of the ode by reason of the vital alterations made in three of its lines. In the fifth line "song " is substituted for " voice" ; in the last but one the word ' ' magic " takes the place of " the wide " ; and in the last line the poet erases, evidently in the process of writing, the word " keelless " the last two lines, when subjected to the poet's alterations, appearing as fol- lows :

Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in fairy lands forlorn.

One perceives at once, in the alteration in the first of these lines, Keats's exquisite sense of the music one might say the magic of words, while the matchless lines convey more vividly to the appreciative reader the image in the poet's mind. It will be observed in the two lines quoted that Keats's MS. has "fairy" not "faery," as appears, I believe, in nearly all reputable editions of the poet. In the " Golden Treasury ' Palgrave gives "faery," so does Mr. W. E. Henley in his ' English Lyrics,' and Mr. Quiller-Couch in ( The Oxford Book of English Verse.'


[It will amuse Mr. Buxton Forman and all those who really know Keats to find a point made o

the spelling of "fairy" or "faery." Keats had a soul entirely above spelling, and in copying his own poems would commonly, without apparently noticing it, spell the same word differently in each copy.]

GODS AND MEN. In the second volume of his ' Introduction to the Study of Language,' Prof. A. H. Sayce says that the apotheosis of Roman emperors, due to a variety of causes, rested primarily on the fact that each was supposed to represent the unity and omni- potence of the State. The Emperor Trajan, in Slavonic mythology, has become a god or demon by the side of the shadowy Perun. In that much-discussed fragment of early Russian tradition, the * Song of the Expedi- tion of Igor,' Troyan, the god of darkness, is opposed to Dazhbog, the god of light (the late poet A. 1ST. Maikov devoted four years' study to this poem and the myths embodied in it, and wrote an essay thereon). As Prof. Sayce remarks, "In bringing the gods down to earth in the likeness of men it was inevitable that the men should in turn be raised up to heaven in the likeness of gods." He instances the English General Nicholson, deified by the Indian Buujaras. It seems that some Russian fanatics deified the unfor- tunate Peter III., while others regarded Napoleon as his lieutenant for the purpose of establishing Divine justice on earth or proclaiming the Tsar's Messiahship.

In his erudite and interesting volume ' La Mythologie Slave,' a copy of which the author presented to me on a recent visit to Paris, Prof. Louis Leger deals with an error of the ancient chroniclers, He! mold and Saxo Grammaticus, over the Slav god Svantovit, which they supposed was a heathen develop- ment of St. Vitus (Guy), the youthful martyr whose cathedral crowns the Hradschin hill at Prague. M. Leger shows that, by a pious fraud, the monks of Corvey endeavoured to replace the pagan Svantovit by the cult of St. Vitus. Compare, though in a different direction, the transformation of Bohemian

Eopular veneration for the master John Hus, y Jesuit influence, into adoration of the hypothetical St. John Nepomuc.

Prof. Leger suggests a curious field of research in the following foot-note (p. 90) : "Je serais reconnaissant aux lecteurs de ce travail de vouloir bien me signaler avec textes a Fappui des exemples d'idoles ou de personnages pai'ens transformed en saints Chretiens correspon- dants. On cite volon tiers com me exemple de ce phenomene le temple de sainte Victoirea Pourrieres (Campi putridi), une sainte Aphrodise qui aurait remplace Venus, un saint Amadour qui aurait remplace Cupidon. II doit y en avoir d'autres." FRANCIS P. MARCHANT. Brixton Hill.