Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 11.djvu/498

This page needs to be proofread.


490


NOTES AND QUERIES. [9 th s. XL JUNE 20, 1003.


CARDINALS. Richelieu was made a cardinal in 1622, Mazarin in 1641, Antonelli in 1847. To which grade cardinal bishop, cardinal priest, cardinal deacon did they belong, and what were their titles 1 Richelieu was in episcopal orders ; were Mazarin and Antonelli laymen? C. S. WARD.

[Antonelli was appointed cardinal deacon of Santa Agatha alia Suburra in 1847.]

QUOTATION FROM BYRON. In a printed pamphlet dated 1856 I find the following quotation :

Oliver thrust in between the pair. Byron. As I have so far been unable to find this line in any of Byron's poems, I should be grateful to any reader who could direct me to it.

W. B. H.

HAMPTON COURT. Under the carved coat of arms on the outside of the entrance gate to Hampton Court Palace the venerable motto " Dieu et mon droit " is rendered "Deoetmun drit," whilst on the inner side of the gate it runs "Deo et mun droit." Who is responsible for these vagaries in spelling ? FIDONC.


"BLETHER AM SKIT E."

(9 th S. x. 507 ; xi. 335.) BURNS has both " blethering " and " bleth'- rin." ^ Tarn o' Shanter's Kate, we learn, had occasionally spoken with uncommon frank- ness to her husband before the date of his immortal ride :

She tauld thee weel thou wast a skellum, A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum. The visitor to 'The Holy Fair' finds much irreverent confusion, for, while some are engaged with the furniture, " some are busy bleth'rin " i.e., indulging in noisy and vapid conversation. In the epitaph ' On a Noisy Polemic ' the poet uses a phrase which is still current in Scotland as a contemptuous description of a talkative bore :

Below thir stanes lie Jamie's banes,

Oh Death, it 's my opinion Thou ne'er took such a bleth'rin b - h

Into thy dark dominion.

For "blether" and " blethers," both sb. and vb., see 'Epistle to John Lapraik,' 'Tarn Samson's Elegy,' 'The Vision,' and 'The Author's Cry and Prayer.'

The nearest Scottish equivalent to "bletheramskite" is " bladderskate " in the song 'Maggie Lauder,' published in David Herd's 'Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs,' and attributed, on somewhat slender evidence,


to Francis Semple. After the wandering piper, chancing on the winsome Maggie by the way, had jauntily addressed her, she professed, woman-like, to resent the intrusion, and also, after the wayward manner of her sex, she at once gave him the information he desired :

Right scornfully she answered him, Begone, you hallanshaker,

Jog on your gate, you bladderskate,

My name is Maggie Lauder. Editors have discussed "bladderskate" very fully, and it is not certain that its exact formation and significance have yet been reached. Allan Cunningham, in his ' Scottish Songs,' uses the form "bletherskate," and Chambers, in his ' Scottish Songs,' 1829, while retaining Herd's text, adds the follow- ing note from Cromek :

"Bladderskate ought to be Bhther-skyte. ' Ye bletherin' loon,' ' Ye vile skyte,' are terms of familiar reproach still in use, and are innocently applied to those satiric rogues who have the art of mingling falsehood with truth with admirable art, annoying with it the sage remarks of the sober-minded and wise."

Jamieson in the ' Scottish Dictionary,' after defining the word as " an indistinct or in- discreet talker," says it is probably from " blether," and adds that " it might be derived from Su.-G. bladdra, to babble, and skata, a magpie, q. babble like a jackdaw, or from skat, a treasure, q. a storehouse of nonsense." All this being tentative, the lexicographer concludes by saying that, after all, the allusion in the term may be to "the drone of his bagpipe, ludicrously compared to a bladder filled with wind." But if " skite " or " skyte " may be assumed to be the correct termination of the word, why may it not be explained as "squirt," which is one of its acknowledged meanings ? " Bladderskate," or " blether- skyte," would then be a blether-squirt, or a spouter of nonsense. THOMAS BAYNE.

MAGIC RING (9 th S. xi. 109, 211). A golden head-ring of such miraculous power plays an important part in the 'Si-yu-ki,' written in the fifteenth century, and one of the four great romances of China. It narrates how the illustrious Buddhist pilgrim Hiuen- Tsiang (600-664 A.D., for whose life see ' Encyc. Brit.,' ninth ed.) accomplished his travel to India. In this long journey he meets with numberless demons and marauders, who repeatedly attempt to capture or kill him, but is every time saved from the danger through the cautions and efforts of his faithful attendants, a monkey, a hog, and a water-sprite. The monkey, Sun Wu-Kung, the ablest and bravest of all the three, is at