NOTES AND QUERIES. [9' s. xt. APRIL is, 1903.
" KEEP YOUR HAIR ON " (9 th S. ix. 184, 335 ; x. 33, 156; xi. 92, 195) Perhaps it will interest some of your readers to learn that what your soldiers call "rag-fair," ours, in close analogy, style " die Lumpenparade.
"So MANY GODS," &c. (9 th S. xi. 187). -The lines beginning
So many gods, so many creeds, appeared in the Century Magazine, I think, about a couple of years ago over the signature of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. E. B.
THE CHRISTENING DOOR (9 th S. xi. 249). Possibly this is another name for the Devil's Door. "Occasionally in old churches," says Mr. Thiselton Dyer, " over against the font, and in the northern wall, there is an entrance named the 'Devil's Door.' This was thrown open at every baptism, for the escape, as it was commonly said, of the fiend, while at other times it was carefully shut" ('Church- lore Gleanings,' 1891, p. 116). G. F. R. B.
"MAIDEN" APPLIED TO A MARRIED WOMAN (9 th S. xi. 128). In connexion with this use of " maiden," it is interesting to compare the use of the German Frau as applied to an unmarried woman. In the M.H.G. period frouwe was a title of respect for woman, whether married or unmarried From a large number in the poems of Walther von der Vogelweide this one example will suffice: " Nemt, frouwe, disen kranz, als6 sprach ich z'einer wol getanen maget " (Bartsch's edition, p. 19); compare also such expressions as Frau Aebtissin, in use in modern German. Curiously enough Magd was sometimes employed to designate a man of chastity, as witness this quotation from ' Die Chroniken der deutschen Stadte voiii. 14 bis ins 16 Jahrhundert ' : " Und bleib er und sii reine maget unz an irer beider dot." See also the German version of Revelation xiv. 4, where Jungfrau is used in the same sense : " Diese sind es, die mit Weibern nicht befleckt sind, denn sie sind Jungfrauen " (virgins in the English version). CHARLES BUNDY WILSON.
The State University of Iowa, Iowa City.
NOTES ON BOOKS, &c.
Nova Solyma, the Ideal City; or, Jerusalem Re
gained. Attributed to John Milton. Translated
by the Rev. Walter Begley. 2 vols. (Murray.)
IF, aa we think must be conceded, the paternity
thrust upon this romance by Mr. Begley can be
maintained, we have here the greatest literary dis- covery of modern days. Next to the finding of a new play, the indubitable work of Shakespeare a supposition not wholly outside possibility if the story is true concerning the destruction of plays wrought by Warburton's cook that of a new work by Milton is the greatest boon to be antici- pated in English letters. Assuming this to have been accomplished, the value of the trouvaille is diminished by the fact that the work is in Latin, and is only accessible in a modern translation, which, however excellent and it is, indeed, very good cannot be regarded as the same thing as an English work from Milton's pen. There is, more- over, this disadvantage, that the translator must almost inevitably seek to employ Miltonic words and phrases, the exact value of which can only be estimated by comparison with the original. Had we at disposal ten times the space which in ' N. & Q.' can be assigned to book notices, it would be inadequate to convey an idea of Mr. Begley's argument by which the entire work is permeated. It is, indeed, impossible to give at anything like adequate length his proposition. Briefly stated this is as follows. In some few collegiate or academical libraries lurks a volume of considerable rarity, the full title of which is " Novse | Solymse | Libri Sex | Londini | Typis Joannis Legati | MDCXLVIII." This volunie, though it includes a table of errata, is without preface, introduction, or note, the only extra being a motto on the blank page facing the title :
Cujus opus, studio cur tantum quseris inaui?
Qui legis et frueris, feceris esse tuum. It seems virtually to have been still-born, and no notice whatever of its appearance is to be traced, a matter less remarkable than it appears at first blush, when it is taken into account how troublous were the times in which it saw the light. It is a romance of the same kind as the 'Utopia,' the 'Arcadia,' the 'New Atlantis,' and other works of the kind, blending with a story which has something in common with picaresque adventure theories of social, political, and theological government, and inculcating the most exemplary schemes of educa- tion and self-direction. In the course of the close study involved in translation Mr. Begley arrived at the conclusion that it is by Milton. The evidence for this is necessarily internal. Dates correspond, and by a fair process of exhaustion it is shown that Milton was the only Englishman of the day capable of producing it. Alone and unsupported such an argument is of slight value. A second task, executed with insight, industry, and judgment, is to show how far the views, phraseology, and sentiment of the whole coincide with what of Milton we already possess. This is the most arduous part of the task, and also the best executed. To us, though we held long aloof, the result seems con- vincing. Hundreds of points are brought up, some of them trivial and unconvincing, others of great importance. These the reader must study for him- self in a book which no English scholar can afford to neglect. To those who do not possess a close familiarity with Milton's works a matter in which we yield to few long labour may be involved in testing the evidence. We ourselves read the volumes from cover to cover with constantly aug- menting interest, and with something that in the end became almost passion. In our comments we shall advance a few corroborative observations of