Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 11.djvu/386

This page needs to be proofread.


378


NOTES AND QUERIES. [9* s. XL MAY 9, IWB.


MR. C. SWYNNERTON to judge by, it would appear that "surizian" is an old French form, not of "surigien," but of suzerain, a title used in the French feudal system to denote the liege lord or sous-souverain (of which it is obviously an abbreviation), who was a vassal to the Crown, and who in turn exacted homage from the vassals who held lands under him. A " William le Chy valer " is described as a baker in the introduction to Kiley's ' Memorials ' (p. xxix), but a "chivaler" is no doubt in the connexion noted the old French form of "chevalier." Ducange gives "chivaler" as a horseman, and this seems to be the origin of the title of "chevalier," the next in France beneath that of baron. J. HOLDEN MACMICHAEL.

I suppose it is scarcely likely that the word "suzerain" is intended. And yet this would be quite compatible with the word " vostre." My dictionary says : " Suzerain, seigneur qui possedait un fief relevant im- mediatement du roi, et duquel d'autres fiefs relevaient directement."

EDWARD LATHAM.

61, Friends' Road, E. Croydon.

CHAUCERIAN QUOTATION (9 th S. xi. 309). The line in Chaucer which is referred to is 1. 1267 of the * Knightes Tale,' or 1. 2125 of Group A in the Six-Text edition, or 1. 2127 in Tyrwhitt's edition. It runs thus : " Ther nis no newe gyse, that is nas old," where new-e is dissyllabic. We find something very similar to this in Ecclesiastes i. 9: " The thing which hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done ; and there is no new thing under the sun." WALTER W. SKEAT.

LONGEVITY (9 th S. xi. 287). I think it would be well to reprint and index the following in ' N. & Q.' If the statements here made are authentic, of which there seems no room for doubt, Mrs. Neve was probably the oldest Englishwoman of whose age we have any trustworthy record :

" The death of Mrs. Margaret Anne Neve, of Guernsey, really deserves separate record. When she died last Saturday she was within forty-three days of her hundred and eleventh year, and was, if not the oldest of his Majesty's subjects, at least the oldest of those about whose age there is no doubt or question. She had been a known person, living in a recognisable position all her life, and could produce all kinds of official confirmation of her statements. That is the point of interest about her. The Americans say they can produce a man, one Noah Roby, who is nineteen years older, the Russians have quite a list to show of men who are a hundred and twenty and upwards, and there are negroes and negresses in the West Indian Islands assumed to be older still ; but in all these cases the


evidence is dubious or the witnesses likely to be credulous. About Mrs. Neve there is no question, or about her permanent good health and freedom from sickness or pain. A girl originally of perfect constitution, she was brought up and lived her life under conditions exceptionally favourable to longevity. The instance teaches little, for the com- bination of conditions is rarely met with ; but we wish the number of proved nonagenarians could be clearly ascertained. It would be found, we believe, that since the days of the Psalmist ten years have been added to the life of man, and this in almost all grades of society. Whether it is worth while to live those extra ten years and survive all of your own generation is another matter ; but the fact that you may is of importance to the physical history of man. Our own belief, founded on the evidence of suits of armour, is that there has been an equal increase in the average bulk of the great white race ; but that belief is much more difficult of final proof. Spectator, 11 April, p. 559.

K. P. D. E.

What proof is there that Mrs. Neve actually reached the age of 110? An entry in a parish register is not conclusive, for she may not be the person then born. All the evidence as to her " faculties " tends to show that she might have been thirty or forty years younger. Was any interest aroused when she became a centenarian ? One would expect to hear something about so old a lady at least annually after her hundredth year.

THOS. BLASHILL.

GODS AND MEN (9 th S. xi. 305). Perhaps one of the most striking and noteworthy examples of apotheosis or deification of men is that of Alexander the Great. His original likeness, as probably preserved to us in the precious ancient marble bust of the Louvre, which bears his name in an epigraph, has been so greatly altered and idealized by later Greek sculptors that he appears transformed not only into the mythical shape of the semi- god Herakles, but transfigured and raised to the images of Helios Apollo, and even of Jupiter Ammon. H. KREBS.

HOCK- : OCKER- (9 th S. xi. 208). The above are certainly not connected with A.-S. hoh, heel, which connotes length, not height, and is akin to Eng. hough, hock. The required cognate words are O.N. haugr, M.H.G. houc, Lith. kaukaras (hill), Eng. how, Sc. heuch ; root keuk, to bend, bow out. H. P. L.


NOTES ON BOOKS, &c. Six Dramas of Calderon. Freely translated by

Edward FitzGerald. Edited by H. Oelsner,

M.A., Ph.D. (Moring.)

BOTH welcome and judicious is the inclusion in a volume of the pretty and convenient series known