9*s.xi.jAx.i7,i903.] NOTES AND QUERIES.
ago in the silver mines at Laurium. A mine had been abandoned more than 2,000 years, and the seeds of some poppies were found beneath the slag, of a species which had dis- appeared for twenty centuries. The slag being removed, in a short time the entire space was covered with the most gorgeous show of poppies. This without fresh air or a single drop of water. See the Globe, 14 November, 1902.
J. HOLDEN MACMlCHAEL.
"FINIALS" AT KICK ENDS (9 th S. x. 507). The reference required is 'Stack-staves,' 8 th S. viii. 188. In 1672 Evelyn noticed in Kent "almost every tall tree to have a weathercock on the top bough, and some trees half-a-dozen. I learned that on a certain holiday the farmers feast their ser- vants, at which solemnity they set up these cocks as a kind of triumph" (quoted in Hone's 'Year-Book,' 375). In Worcestershire, on the late Queen's Diamond Jubilee, on some of our successes in South Africa, as well as on the late Coronation, flags were fixed at the top of many tall trees. There they remain until torn and worn by wind and weather. W. C. B.
A SEXTON'S TOMBSTONE (9 th S. x. 306, 373, 434, 517-. The epitaph which forms the subject of the last two references is given by Mr. William Andrews in his 'Curious Epitaphs,' p. 11. The two lines about which J. T. F. inquires, as there presented, are as follows :
Through Grandsire and Trebles with ease he could
range, Till death called a Bob, which brought round the
Two four-lined stanzas indifferent metres follow, but need not be noticed further.
THOMAS MILLER (9 th S. x. 508). Many articles have appeared in ' N. & Q.' respect- ing this man ; see 5 th S. vii. ; 8 th S. v. At E. 124 of the latter volume it is asserted that e was buried in Norwood Cemetery ; but another correspondent (whose communica- tion is given at p. 372) is more precise, for he gives "No. 2921, square 7," as the final resting-place of this unfortunate but gifted man. EVERARD HOME COLEMAN.
71, Brecknock Road.
OPTICIANS' SIGNS (9 th S. x. 503). At this reference MR. MAcMlCHABL remarks that John Dollond's invention of the achromatic telescope "excited the jealousy of philo- sophers at home and abroad, who pretended to doubt its reality, and then endeavoured to
find a previous inventor." These words would lead a reader to the conclusion that there was no previous inventor. It is, however, well known to astronomers that Mr. Chester Moor Hall, of Sutton, near Rochford, in Essex, con- structed achromatic telescopes at least as early as 1733, twenty-five years before Dol- lond took out his patent. Mr. Hall was a gentleman of independent means, and took no trouble to secure his priority or diffuse a knowledge of his invention. Newton had thought that, owing to the different re- frangibility of rays of light of different colour, it was impossible to produce a colour- less image in a refracting telescope ; hence his preference for the use of a reflecting telescope, and making two with glass mirrors himself. But it occurred to Hall that there must be some means of so combining lenses as to get rid of colour in the formation of the image, because nature effects this in the humours of the eye. Dollond's invention, though much later than Hall's, was probably quite independent, and his patent rights were allowed to stand good on the ground that he made the invention of benefit to the world at large. See Sir David Gill's article on the 'Telescope' in the ninth edition of the ' En- cyclopaedia Britannica ' ; also Miss Clerke's account of Hall in vol. xxiv. of the ' D.N.B.'
W. T. LYNN. Blackheath.
KNIFE SUPERSTITION (9 th S. x. 509). It is a pity that this should appear under the head- ing 'Knife,' for the superstition applies to whatever weapon made the wound, whether sword, dagger, knife, axe, scissors, or needle. Moreover ' N. & Q.' has more than once recorded the superstition ; see the Indexes under ' Powder of Sympathy ' and ' Weapon- salve' (alphabetically and under ' Folk-lore '). In addition, many references are given (under ' Sir Kenelm Digby ') at 7 th S. vii. 22.
W. C. B.
The greasing of the knife would be to keep it from rusting, the idea being that if it rusted the wound would fester in sympathy. One of my brothers was once accidentally stabbed through the arm by a hay-fork, and his old nurse, hearing of it, came for the fork, that she might take it home and keep it bright till the wound was healed. Similarly, if a perfectly sane dog bites you, there is still a danger that should the dog afterwards go mad you may do so too. This is the reason why people when bitten demand that the dog be killed.
" Curing by the weapon," as it was called, was a very common practice in olden times. I