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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 11.djvu/32

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [9 th s. XL JAN. 10, 1903.

known trick Pan is induced to believe tha he has witnessed lead changed into gold. H falls into the trap thus laid for him, and take the alchemist to his house, where a range o buildings are devoted to the furnaces and t the residence of the alchemist and his wife Pan finds the precious material for the opera tions, which are to last forty-one days, an the adept lays stress upon the necessity o purity of life and thought in those who ar in the enterprise. Before the time is up i messenger arrives to tell the adept that hi mother is dead and that he must at once depart for his home. Pan is in despair, bu after consultation it is arranged that the furnaces shall be supervised by the wife o the adept, who is to remain behind with hei two servants and the man whose duty it is to see that the furnaces are always kept a the proper degree of heat. This arrangement suits Pan all the better that he has been carrying on a flirtation with the lady. After the departure of the adept, Pan, having causec the labourer to be made drunk, seduces the alchemist's wife. Whilst this guilty love- making is proceeding the alchemist returns, and professes to know, from the failure of the gold -making operation and the dis- appearance of the precious powder of trans- mutation, that something improper has happened. He threatens his wife, who there- upon makes a clean breast of it, and Pan is glad to escape from prosecution by the pay- ment of an enormous bribe to the alchemist. Still the passion for alchemical research continues, and in another adventure Pan, when far away from home, is despoiled of all the money and possessions he had with him, and is obliged to beg his way back to his estates. One day in a houseboat he sees the fair face of the alchemist's wife. The lady also recognizes Pan and sends for him. She then explains to him the deception which had been practised upon him, and in which she had borne an unwilling part. The Chinese courtesans, of whom she was one, are sold to that trade as children, and are so veritably slaves that it is difficult to attach moral blame to them. She was hired to entice Pan into love-making which might furnish a pre- text for the non-fulfilment of the alchemist's promise. No longer being under contract with the rogues, she was at liberty to explain to Pan the methods by which he had been robbed. More than this, she gave him suffi- cient money to carry him home a wiser man.*

  • Since this note was written I observe that

rot. K. K. Douglas has included a version of this Vonox m o 1 .? enter taining ' Chinese Stories ' (London, o21.

The story is not a pleasant one ; but Pan is no worse than Sir Epicure Mammon, and the alchemist's " wife " stands on a higher level than Doll Common.



"JEER." In a paper read by Prof. Skeat at the anniversary meeting of the Philo- logical Society last May we find a note on the etymology of " jeer." In the new ' Con- cise Dictionary,' 1901, a Dutch derivation was suggested doubtfully namely, from scheeren, to shear. But now another account of the word is proposed in this paper, which makes "jeer" identical with "cheer." Dr. Murray in ' H.E.D.' had noticed this identi- fication as " plausible and phonetically feasi- ble," but dismissed it with the remark that it " lies beyond existing evidence." In the article before us Prof. Skeat undertakes to supply the evidence. Let us examine this evidence. The professor brings forward two passages cited in Godefroy's ' O.F. Diet.,' in which O.F. chiere (countenance, visage, mien) appears in the form giere. They run as fol- qws : (1) "S'aucuns hons te fait d'amer[e] ?iere," i.e., If any man makes thee to be of 3itter cheer, or of a sorrowful countenance ; (2) " Mas faites bale [for " bele "1 giere, ioie, solas, et ris," i.e., But make good cheer, joy, solace, and laughter. These two passages show '}hat O.F. chiere (Eng. cheer) was pronounced n a certain French dialect giere ; but do they afford any evidence in support of the conten- tion that our English' word "jeer" (a scoff, -?ibe, taunt) is identical with the French giere chiere)] Prof. Skeat maintains that "to eer at a man " or " to jeer a man " meant iriginally " to make him ill cheer, to put him nit of countenance, to make him look as if

ast down." This may or may not be the

ormal effect of jeering I do not think that t is a necessary one ; but, however this may M3, "to jeer at a man" is quite distinct in meaning from "putting him out of coun- enance," quite as distinct as "boxing a boy's ars" is from "making him cry." I still hink, with Dr. Murray, that the identifica- ion of "jeer" with "cheer" lies beyond xisting evidence.


PENNSYLVANIAN DUTCH. Dr. Henry Leff- marin, of Philadelphia, has been good enough o send me a "cutting" relative to a dialect poken in Pennsylvania, which is an olla odrida of English and German (German redominating), and resembles in a marked egree the Jewish jargon, as much in regard o its structural formation as to its linguistic