Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 11.djvu/51

This page needs to be proofread.


9 th S. XI. Jxtf. 17, 1903.]


NOTES AND QUERIES.


43


liques of Father Prout,' collected by Blan- chard Jerrold, some passages from his letters to the Globe are given, with an interesting portrait. Sir Joseph Crowe, in his ' Re- miniscences of Thirty-five Years of my Life ' (John Murray), makes the following amusing reference to Prout's work on the Daily News : "He was our correspondent at Eome, yet, quaintly enough, almost always wrote his

Roman letter in Whitefriars What he

wrote was always short and pithy, full of subtle witticisms, not ' rari nantes in gurgite vasto,' but abundant, like plums in a pudding." Mr. T. H. S. Escott, Mr. R. E. Fran- cillon, Mrs. Lynn Linton, Tom Purnell (one of the last of the old Bohemian journalists), Mortimer Collins, Mr. Comyns Carr, Sir Douglas Straight, Mr. T. J. Hamerton, and Mr. Danson also figure in the list of con- tributors. A well-known feature of the paper consists of the "turnovers," commenced in 1877, the first of them, on 'Irish Life,' being contributed by Barry O'Brien.

The Globe very properly does not let us into the secrets as to the present editorship and staff ; but one is mentioned which is of interest to readers of 'N. & Q.' that of Joseph Knight.

The Globe has on two occasions brought out Sunday editions : the first on the 26th of April, 1868, to announce the fall of Magdala ; and again on that Sunday in December, 1871, when his present Majesty hung between life and death at Sandringham. Another instance of the enterprise of the paper was afforded on fc ' Explosion Day," January 24th, 1885. I re- member my old friend Mr. W ellsman informing me at the time that the sale of the Globe that day was 130,000. As regards the printing of the paper, electricity is now being substituted for steam, and it was the first daily in London to be set up by the linotype.

The benefit to the readers of the Globe of the repeal of the compulsory stamp, June 15th, 1855, is clearly shown by the reference I have made to the official stamp returns. While the number issued to the paper in 1854 stood at 850,000, in the year 1856 the stamps amounted to only 260,000, thus showing how largely the paper was sold to those not requiring it for transmission. It is a matter for sincere congratulation that a paper so ably conducted as the Globe should, after passing through so many vicissitudes, now be reaping its well-earned reward.

JOHN C. FRANCIS.

[Next week we hope to give an account of the founding of the Field.}


NOTES ON SKEAT'S 'CONCISE

DICTIONARY,' 1901. (See 9 th S. x. 83, 221, 356, 461.)

Quail (to lose heart, to be discouraged). At the last reference I suggested that "quail" in the moral sense might be found to be identical with the dialect word " quail " used in the material sense of curdling, coagulating. The word "quail" (to curdle), still in use in Leicestershire, is of French origin ; cp. O.F. quailler (modern cailler), the French equivalent of Lat. coagulare, to coagulate. The word occurs in Italian in the forms quagliare, cagliare. In Fanfani's ' Dictionary,' 1898, I find that cagliare is not only used of the curdling of milk, like the French word, but also metaphorically of mental conditions : " Cominciare ad aver paura, mancar d' animo, venir nieno, e anche tacere, acquetarsi." This is decisive evidence that the English "quail," in the sense of losing heart, is the same word as " quail " in the sense of curdling, the former sense being a metaphorical development from the latter. And so it need no longer be said with 'H.E.D.' that "quail" (to lose heart) is " of uncertain origin, without obvious source."

Tight. 'Concise' says "for *thight" and treats the word as a phonetic develop- ment of Icel. ]>ettr. This can hardly be maintained, although it is doubtless true that M.E. ]>i$t (Orkney dialect thight), our "tight," and Icel. Ipettr (water-tight) are forms from one original Germanic type ]>inxtoz (]>enxtoz\ later ]>i\toz (]>extoz). In the Scandinavian dialects we find many in- stances of double forms with e and i where a Germanic x nas been lost, e.g., Icel. vettr and dial, vltr ; Icel. ]>el, and O.Sw./^; Icel. \ettr and Sw. dial. litt. M.E. ]>i$t and our " tight" belong to the I forms (not to the e ones), as do Du. and G. dicht. It is quite possible that M.E. ]>i^t may be of English and not of Scandinavian origin, being due to an un- recorded O.E. ]>lht (]>eoht) ; cp. the form-history of light (not heavy). The modern form tight (with initial #) is probably due directly to some Scandinavian dialect form with t. An attempt has been made lately in Modern Language Notes to identify our word tight with Icel. titt (neut. of tiftr), but neither form nor meaning will permit such an equation. Icel. titt appears in the Windhill dialect with the pronunciation "tight," and in the sense of " soon," which is the proper Scandinavian sense of the word. On the other hand, our "tight" is pronounced tit (riming with elite) in Windhill, proving conclusively that a spirant like Gaelic ch has disappeared.