9*8. XL APRIL 25, 1903. j NOTES AND QUERIES.
quite the same as the one referred to by the Editor. The differences are, however, merely verbal. EDWARD PEACOCK.
Wickentree House, Kirton-in-Lindsey.
"OVERSLAUGH" (9 th S. xi. 247). This word (sometimes spelt " overslagh ") has been long in use in the British army. The following quotation is from the ' Military Instructor,' by Thomas Simes, 1779, p. 57, where a form of " Roster to regulate the Duty of the Private Men " is given and explained : " those squares filled are overslaughs."
Capt. George Smith, in his ' Military Dic- tionary,' 1779, gives :
" Overslagh, as a military phrase, which is derived from the Dutch, will be better explained by the following table. For instance, suppose four bat- talions, each consisting of eight captains, are doing duty together, and that a captain s guard is daily mounted : if, in the buffs, the second captain is doing duty of deputy-adjutant-general ; and the 4th and 7th captains in the King's are acting, one as aid-de-camp, the other as brigade-major; the eommon duty of these three captains must be overslaghed, that is, slipped over, or equally divided among the other captains."
No. of Heads of each column.
Regiments. Captains. 123 45678
Royal ... 8 1 5 8 12 15 19 23 26
Queen's royal 8 2691316202427
Old-buffs ... 8 3 10 14 17 21 25 28
King's own ... 8 47 11 18 22 29
The word probably came into use in our army through British officers who had served in alliance with foreign troops in Flanders, about the middle of the eighteenth century. It is not in J. K.'s 'New English Dictionary,' fifth edition, 1748 ; nor in Watson's 'Military Dictionary,' 1758. W. S.
[Several other replies acknowledged.]
RETARDED GERMINATION OF SEEDS (9 th S. x. 287, 358; xi. 53, 155, 216). MR. MOULE'S story about the raspberry seeds found in the Dorset barrow is not the only evidence that runs counter to modern science. The follow- ing statement from an authoritative work as to the existence of vitality in seed -germs after a long period of dormancy is very re- markable :
" Occasionally meteorological phenomena show that even in the most arid soils are germs of plants, fruits, and flowers, which in some remote cycle, and under entirely different conditions of the globe, blushed and ripened there. Several years ago there fell in the desert intervening between Piura and Paita a series of heavy rains, a thing never before known within the memory of man. Within a few days after the rains were over, the desert, forty miles broad and of an indefinite length, was thickly covered with sprouting plants and grass, and shortly after was brilliant with flowers of kinds both known
and unknown. Gourds and water-melons sprung up in profusion and ripened, furnishing abundant food for the cattle of tne neighbouring valleys." E. G. Squier, ' Incidents of Travel and Exploration in the Land of the Incas,' 1877, p. 219.
WILLIAM C. COOKE. Vailima, Bishopstown, Cork.
The following interesting remarks, corro- borative of those contributed by ASTARTE and C. C. B. on this subject, are from Dr. Lindley's ' Theory and Practice of Horticul- ture,' 1855, pp. 103-4 :
" Not to speak of the doubtful instances of seeds taken from the pyramids having germinated, Melons have been known to grow at the age of forty years, Kidney beans at a hundred, Sensitive Plant at sixty, and Rye at forty. And there are now living in the garden of the Horticultural Society Raspberry plants raised from seeds sixteen hundred or seven- teen hundred years old. The seeds of Charlock buried in former ages spring up in railway cuttings ; where ancient forests are destroyed, plants appear which had never been seen before, but whose seeds have been buried in the ground ; when some land was recovered from the Baltic Sea, a Carer was found upon it, now unknown in that part of Europe. M. Fries of Upsala succeeded in growing a species of Hieracium from seeds which had been in his herbarium upwards of fifty years. Desmoulins has recorded an instance of the opening of ancient tombs, in which seeds were found, and on being planted they produced species of Scabiosa and Heliotropium. And many more such cases are on record, establishing conclusively that under favour- able conditions the vitality of seeds is preserved
for indefinite periods It seems as if seeds remain
dormant so long as the proportion of carbon peculiar to them is undiminished ; water is decomposed by their vital force ; and it is believed that its oxygen combining with the carbon forms carbonic acid, which is given off. The effect of access of water is therefore to rob seeds of their carbon ; and the effect of destroying their carbon is to deprive them of the principal means which they possess of pre- serving their vitality Be this as it may, it is in- contestable that as soon as seeds begin to germinate their vitality is exhausted and they perish, unless the seed is in a condition to continue its growth by obtaining sufficient food from surrounding media." -See also ed. 1840, p. 358.
J. HOLDEN MACMlCHAEL.
[We cannot insert anything more on this subject, which has been amply discussed earlier in 'N. & Q.']
HENSLOWE'S 'DIARY' (9 th S. xi. 169, 211). My attention has just been called to the above query. I have been for some time engaged on a new edition, in which the forgeries will be duly distinguished from the genuine entries. It will be published by Mr. A. H. Bullen, and the first part, containing the text, will I hope appear shortly.
W. W. GREG.
Park Lodge, Wimbledon Park.
PROVERBS RELATING TO LINCOLN (9 th S. xi. 229). The query published in 7 th S. vi. 108