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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 11.djvu/412

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [9 th s. XL MAY 23, 1903.

half the picture. He is described in the catalogue as M.A. of Emmanuel College, Camb. S. ARNOTT.

Emmanuel College.

THE BIRD OF THE SOUFRI&RE. In the report of Drs. Tempest Anderson and J. S. Flett on the eruption of the Soufriere in St. Vincent in 1902 are extracts from accounts of earlier eruptions which afford gentle hints of folk- lore. Before the outburst of April, 1812, one contemporary writer, referring to the region about tne cone, recorded :

"This lonely and beautiful spot was rendered more enchanting by the singularly melodious notes of a bird, an inhabitant of these upper solitudes and altogether unknown to the other parts of the island ; hence principally called, or supposed to be, invisible ; though it certainly has been seen and is a species 01 merle." P. 463.

About the time of the disturbance in 1880 it was observed :

" The melodious notes of the mysteri9us and as popularly believed invisible Soufriere bird are no longer heard." P. 476.



Biographical history may be popular, but should first of all be accurate. The present age, however, is both inaccurate and super- ficial, and passes over without note blunders which would have shocked our ancestors, so long as the language in which they are couched is eloquent and the scenes they describe picturesquely rendered.

Mr. Alexander Innes Shand's ' Wellington and his Lieutenants' contains several ex- amples of this careless inaccuracy and self- contradiction. For instance :

On p. 26 (art. ' Lord Hill ') we are told that "Moore had been laid in a rough coffin, awaiting burial at daybreak " ; but on p. 309 (art. ' Lord Lynedoch ') that " he [Moore] was interred without a coffin," the latter state- ment being in consonance with Wolfe's " No useless coffin enclosed his breast."

On p. 230 (art. * Sir T. Picton ') Gronow is stated to have sketched Picton as " a stern- looking, strongly built man, about the middle height"; while by the present biographer, in a preceding passage (p. 181), he is declared to have stood over six feet high.

On p. 265 (art. ' Lord Beresford ') the writer says : " We are inclined to agree in all seriousness with the ironical suggestion of Napier that they [i.e., certain defensive pam- phlets] could not possibly have been written by the Marshal, since the veriest egoist could scarcely have indulged in such self-eulogy " ; while on p. 289 he writes again of these same pamphlets : " The fulsome self-eulogy in

which he [Beresford] indulged, either directly or by inspired deputy, is a humiliating reve- lation of his mortification and an avowal of the weakness of his cause."

On p. 381 (art. Marquis of Anglesey ') we read that the Marquis, then Lord Uxbridge, was struck by a bullet on the knee, that his leg was amputated, and (on p. 389) that he was familiarly called behind his back " Old Peg," on account of his wooden leg ; but on p. 417 (art. ' Lord Combermere ') we are in- formed that "Lord Uxbridge received the coveted command [of the cavalry in the Waterloo campaign], when he won some glory, and lost an arm"; and again, in the very next sentence, "Lord Uxbridge had lost an arm, and was invalided the very day after Waterloo." Be it remarked, inter alia, that a wooden leg, in the sense of a peg-leg, Lord Uxbridge never wore, but an elaborate artificial one, in close imitation of the real leg, whose invention and manufacture is boasted of to this day, ad vertisemen tally, by one of the leading artificial-limb makers in London. See also Blackwoods Magazine for a dialogue between the Marquis of Anglesey and his leg.

Hanover was, in the days of the Penin- sular War, apparently an island, or, at any rate, a sea-girt land, for we find (on p. 344) that the Earl of Hopetoun resigned his appointment at Portsmouth "to serve with Lord Cathcart in the descent on the coasts of Hanover."

At p. 424 (art. 'Lord Combermere') it is stated that when the great mine exploded for the final assault of Bhurtpore, " the troops had been prudently kept back in the third parallel, where they crouched in comparative safety " ; but in JBlackwood's Magazine for April, 1828, vol. xxiii. p. 455, in a very inter- esting article from an eye-witness, we find that 140 of our men were either killed or mutilated by the mine explosion, owing to the over- confidence and carelessness of the engineer in charge of the mine, who assured Lord Combermere twice over, in response to his repeated objection that the 14th Regiment was only a few yards removed from the mouth of the mine, and consequently in danger, that our men ran no risk.

Such is modern popular history !



WILLIAM RAINOLDS OR REYNOLDS, circa 1544-94. The mistake or misprint in the life of this Roman Catholic divine in the 'D.N.B.,' xlvii. 182, where it is stated that he was rector of " Lavenham, West Sussex,"