Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 11.djvu/489

This page needs to be proofread.

9th S. XL JUNE 20, 1903.] NOTES AND QUERIES.



CONTENTS. -No. 286.

NOTES :-Book of Tobit and the Arabian Nights '-Trans- lation, 4S1 Walter Montagu, 482 Latin Diminutives. 484 Savonarola MSS. ' The Three Havens 'The Last of Don Pacifico, 485 Mrs. Samuel Pepys Words worth 'English Dialect Dictionary,' 48H Riming Epitaph "Conjugate" "Jeer" The 'Wireless' Newspaper Hotel Sign, 487.

QUERIES : -Monsieur Beaucaire ' The Corsicans,' 487 Carson Plaster Quotation Thackerav's Speeches Single Tooth Dean William Henry "Suff " and "Stuff," 488 Nightcaps Gibson of Glencrosh Charles I. and the Episcopate Glanius, 'Voyage to Bengala' Emett Genealogy' Passing By ' Klopstock's 'Stabat Mater' Deputy-Mayor, 489 Cardinals Byron Quotation Hamp- ton Court, 490.

REPLIES :-" Bletheramskite "Magic Ring, 490 " Hagio- scope" Newspaper Cuttings, 491 Poetry of Wither Johnson Byroniana, 492 Shakespeare's Seventy-sixth Sonnet ' ' Tongue-twisters " Crawford, 493 " Privi- legiatus" ' Celebrities and I 'Christmas Carols Seven Dials, 494 Kemeys and Chepstow Castle Dedication to the Queen of England " Wick"" Coals to Newcastle " Bell: Lindley: Perry, 495 "Uther" and "Arthur" Halley Carter, Antiquary " Travailler pour le Roi de Prusse" Dudley of Wiltshire Cape Gardafui Poems on Mischief Orme Blue and the Virgin 'Vicar of Wakefield,' 496 'Eikon Basilike' Motto Barnes The Living Dead. 497-Crakanthorp: " Vildeson "Races of Mankind" Hugely "Origin of the Turnbulls Music to Mrs. Hemans's Songs, 49S.

NOTES ON BOOKS: "Gentleman's Magazine Library" "Printers' Pie "Booksellers' Catalogues.

Notices to Correspondents.



THE allusion in the Book of Tobit to the legend of Ahikar and his ungrateful adopted son has been the subject of abundant com- ment. An excellent examination of the Ahikar literature appears in the 'Jewish Encyclopaedia ' from the pen of Rabbi L. Goodman. One version of the story appears in a recension of the 'Arabian Nights,' though not in that which Galland has made into a European classic ; but it will be found in Burton's version and in the cheap and handy edition issued by Reclam ('Tau- send und eine Nacht,' von Max Henning, Band xxii. S. 5). In addition to the history of Heikar the Wise, Henning gives another Oriental story in which there is a reminiscence of the Book of Tobit. This is the narrative of the Merchant's Daughter and the Prince of Irak (Band xxiv. S. 155). Like many of these Oriental tales it is a compound, and the several elements have no organic connexion. In the latter part the son of the Prince of Irak in the course of his wanderings comes to a realm in which the daughter of the sovereign has been several times married, but the bride-

groom in each case is slain in the night. The prince determines to try his fortune. He finds a magic sword hanging on the wall of the chamber, and watches until in the middle of the night the wall opens, and with terrible cries a basilisk makes its appearance and after a conflict is killed. The sultan is so hopeless of any other fate awaiting the prince than had befallen the other bride- grooms that he has everything ready for his interment, the linen, the spices, and the grave, as in the case of the father of Sarah. It would lead one too far afield to discuss the Jewish influences in the 'Arabian Nights,' but the subject deserves the consideration of students of comparative literature.

There have been many speculations as to the Book of Tobit. Lord Playfair once humorously called it a hygienic allegory (see his ' Subjects of Social Welfare '). Whilst commentators for the most part regard it as a "tendency" writing, there is no unanimity as to the purpose for which it was written. In addition to Dr. Rosenmann's 'Studien zum Buch Tobit '(Berlin, 1894), in which the second century B.C. is suggested as the date of its composition, there is Mr. Israel Abrahams's paper in the Jeivish Quarterly Review (vol. v. p. 348 ; see also vol . i. p. 288), in which he regards it as an imitation of Genesis. Dr. Kohut thinks Tobit dates from the time of Ardeshir L, but it is mentioned at an earlier date by Clemens Alexandrinus. Prof. Graetz thinks it belongs to the time of Hadrian. In this he is supported by Dr. Ad. Neubauer, whose volume on the subject is indispensable, " The Book of Tobit. A Chaldee Text from a Unique MS. in the Bodleian Library, with other Rabbinical Texts, English Translations, and the Itala. Edited by Ad. Neubauer, M. A. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1878." From the Chaldee and the Hebrew the dog is omitted. This would not suit the artists. The dog is an interesting figure in Rembrandt's famous etching, which I have before me as I write Bayle has a characteristically curious com- ment on Tobit, v. 11-12, in his article on Tiresias ( a). In spite of the general excel- lence of the index to the ' Dictionnaire ' this has escaped record.




MUCH good abuse is often vented on translators, and much uncalled-for contempt is frequently expressed in regard to the entire province of translation ; but I think that this is unjust and unreasonable. As Napoleon III. said in his 'Life of Csesar,'