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NOTES AND QUERIES. [9*" s. xi. MAY so, 1003.

burden of which ran: "II a travaille, il a travaille pour le Roi de Prusse." The source of the saying has yet to be discovered, but it is possible that something might be found in Argenson or Richelieu. FEANCIS KING.

" FOLKS" (9 th S. xi. 369). If almost universal custom can give legitimacy to a word, then folks is legitimate, though Johnson (quoted by Edwards in ' Words, Facts, and Phrases ') says, " This is properly a collective noun, and has no plural except by modern corruption." Johnson himself, however, as Edwards points out, wrote : " Folks want me to go to Italy." In Barham's * " Monstre " Balloon ' is the couplet :

Oh ! fie ! Mister Nokes, for shame, Mr. Nokes !

To be poking your fun at us plain -dealing folks ;

and quotations innumerable might be added to these. C. C. B.

The first English edition of Webster's 'Dictionary,' 1831, says of the word folk :

"Originally and properly it had no plural, being a collective noun ; but in modern use, in America, it has lost its singular number, and we hear it only in the plural. It is a colloquial word, not admissible into elegant style."

It proceeds to give the meanings of the plural folks thus :

" (1) People in general, or any part of them without distinction. What do folks say of the war ? Men love to talk about the affairs of other folks. (2) Certain people, discriminated from others ; as, old folks, and young folks. Children sometimes call their parents, the old folks. So we say, sick folks; poor folks; proud folks."


ARTHUR GRAHAM (9 th S. xi. 310). In an account of the execution of Col. Despard and his partisans which appeared in the European Magazine for March, 1803, Arthur Graham is thus described : " 53 years of age, born in London, a slater." I have in my possession a copy of

"The | Trial | of | Edward Marcus Despard, Esquire. | for | High Treason, | at the Session House, Newington, Surry, | On Monday the Seventh of February, 1803. | Taken in Short-hand by | Joseph Gurney and William Brodie Gurney. | London : | Sold by M. Gurney, Bookseller, Holborn- Hill. | 1803. | [Entered at Stationers' Hall.]

At the end of the book it is stated :

"The Trial of John Wood, Thomas Broughton, John Francis, Thomas Phillips, Thomas Newnham, Daniel Tyndall, John Doyle, James Sedgwick W ratten, William Lander, Arthur Graham, Samuel Smith, and John Macnamara, is in the Press, and will soon be published."

Possibly this book might contain particulars of use to MR. E ASTON. JOHN T. PAGE. West Haddon, Northamptonshire.

FOUNTAIN PENS (9 th S. xi. 390). The foun- tain pen is usually considered quite a modern invention. The following extract from the 'Journal du Voyage de Deux Jeunes Hol- landais a Paris en 1656-58,' p. 211, shows that something like it was known nearly 250 years ago:

"Nous fusmes vqir un homme qui a treuve" une merveilleuse invention pour escrire commodement. II fait des plumes d'argent oil il met de 1'encre qui ne seiche point, et sans en prendre on peut escrire de suite une demy main de papier ; si son secret a vogue, il se fera riche en peu de temps, car il n'y aura personne qui n en veuille avoir : nous luy en avons aussi commande quelques-unes. 11 les vend 10 francs, et 12 francs a ceux qu'il sgait avoir fort envie d'en avoir."

A. D. JONES. Oxford.

The late Mr. J. H. Fennell noted in No. 5 of his Antiquarian Chronicle, October, 1882, p. 71, that

"'Silver Pens, unrivalled for fine writing and drawing,' and 'Portable Fountain Pens to carry ink and write well,' made and sold by E. & T. Williams, No. 13, Strand, are advertised in the Morning Chronicle, June 11, 1788."

A correspondent of * N. & Q.' at 9 th S. ii. 22 quoted a use of the term "fountain pen" from Matthew Henry ; but it was not clear what exactly was meant thereby.



Popular Tales from the Norse. By Sir George Webbe Dasent, D.C.L. With a Memoir by Arthur Irwin Dasent. (Edinburgh, Douglas.) DASENT'S 'Popular Tales from the Norse' may claim to rank as a classic. One of the most capable, earnest, and scholarly disciples of the Grimms, Sir George contributed greatly to the knowledge of comparative mythology and folk-lore, and, besides doing much to popularize a branch of knowledge at that time confined to the specialist, gave us a book of stories which has been a perpetual delight to manhood and to youth. A new and handsome edition of his work now sees the light, with a memoir by his youngest son, Arthur Irwin Dasent, the historian (for as such he may virtually rank) of St. James's Square, and an occasional and highly esteemed contributor to our own columns. Besides introducing us to a pleasing and attractive per- sonality, the memoir in question gives us delightful pictures of a literary circle including, among others, John Sterling, Carlyle, John Stuart Mill, Thackeray, Matthew Arnold, and Laurence Oliphant. In addi- tion to these things, it takes us behind the scenes in the Times in the days of its literary supremacy, when Dasent was its assistant editor, and the entire conduct was in the hands of his brothers- in-law, Delane and Mowbray Morris. A very interesting portion of the memoir consists of a key to the characters in ' The Travels by Umbra ' of Sir