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NOTES AND QUERIES. [9* s. XL JAN. 24, 1903.

says it means "a death potion," similar to that Socrates drank. Rashi says "it is a drink that saps the man's powers away." Personally, I believe there were two goblets set before the man at the trial by ordeal, containing, one the mixture, reddish^ of hue, simulating wine, and the other wine. King David, in Psalm cxvi. 13, speaks of the "cup of salvation," by which name probably the other goblet was known to the populace. Trial by ordeal was not an unknown institu- tion to the early Hebrews, for proof of which vide Numbers vii. 31.

M. L. R. BRESLAR. [The R. V. has " cup of staggering " in Isaiah.]

RECORDS IN MATERNITY. Instances of abnormally large families, more or less le- gendary, have recently been cited in * N. & Q.' (9 th S. ix. 128, 213, 455 ; x. 11, 97, 336). The following is authentic. Isobel, sister of William, first Earl Fife, married, 16 April. 1706, Alexander Mackintosh of Blervie. Their issue were :

William, born 13 January, 1707. John, born 8 May, 1708. Jean, born 4 July, 1709. Helen, born 29 May, 1710. Alexander, born 19 June, 1711. Catherine, born 25 July, 1712. James, born 1 November, 1713. Mary, born 1 January, 1715. Elizabeth, born 9 January, 1716. Lachlan, born 16 February, 1717. Magdalen, born 22 March, 1718. Ludovick, born 27 April, 1719. Janet, born 22 July, 1720. Anne, born 8 October, 1721. Alexander (2). born 28 January, 1723. John (2), born 14 May, 1724. ' Isobel, born 28 September, 1725. Rachel, born 16 October, 1726. George, born 18 December, 1727. Charles, born 8 May, 1729. Christina, born 8 August, 1730. Mary (2), born 23 May, 1731.

Here we have within the space of twenty- four years twenty-two children born, none of these being twins.

It will be observed that on two occasions the interval between successive births falls short of eleven months and ten months respectively. I have, however, come upon a much more remarkable instance of rapid succession of births among my own ancestors.

Thomas Bisset M.A.St. And. ,1750; D.D., 1787 ; minister of Logierait, 1754-1800 mar- ried, as his second wife, Mary, daughter of Principal Thomas Tullideph, of the United College, St. Andrews. The issue of this marriage were eleven in number, not men- tioned in Hew Scott's 'Fasti Eccles. Scot.' Of these, Anna was born on 30 October, 1772

(and baptized 2 November) ; and Elizabeth was born on 29 May, 1773 (and baptized 31 May). Here the interval is only 211 days, yet both daughters grew to maturity. Can an authentic instance be cited of a' shorter period between successive births both children surviving 1 Next before Anna came Alison, baptized 6 December, 1771.

P. J. ANDERSON. University Library, Aberdeen.

SORTES IN PERSIA. A very curious instance of the divination by sortes is related in con- nexion with the famous poet Hafiz. Poets are proverbially heretics, and Hafiz was so little of an exception that the ministers of religion at Shiraz declined to say the prayers over his dead body. At last it was decided to write verses from his odes on separate pieces of paper, and to place them in a vase, from which one should be withdrawn by a child. The dispute was to be decided by the verse selected. That which came out was " Fear not to approach the corpse of Hafiz, for although sunk deep in sin, he will rise to heaven." (See Ouseley's ' Biographical Notices of Persian Poets,' London, 1846, p. 35.) WILLIAM E. A. AXON.



WE must request correspondents desiring infor- mation on family matters of only private interest to affix their names and addresses to their queries, in order that the answers may be addressed to them direct.

ROYAL MARRIAGE AT ST. GEORGE'S, HANOVER SQUARE. In the Pall Mall Gazette's account of Mr. Brodrick's wedding the following statement is made :

" A member of the royal house a century ago went through the marriage ceremony here, incognito, and found cause to repent it. Part of the humour of the affair was that Lord Thurlow, as judge-, had to con- demn a contract he had witnessed nimself in the capacity of Attorney-General."

I want to know to whom this refers, the date of the marriage, the name of the lady, what was the contract, the name and date of the case decided by Lord Thurlow, and whether it is reported. Lord Thurlow was Attorney- General from 1771 to 1778. I do not find that Lord Campbell, in his ' Lives of the Chancellors,' mentions this. Perhaps the writer of the paragraph will oblige.


WEDDERBURN FAMILY. Could any of your readers furnish me with particulars anent a volume I have at present in stock, entitled

  • A Genealogical Account of the Honorable