Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 5.djvu/14

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [9* s. v. JAN. e, 1900.


word Prof. W. W. Skeat makes no allusion to the Iberian instrument. But Spanish gaiteros wear gaiters, and are waiters upon those who like gay music upon festive occa- sions, no less than those ale-knights who wind up their notes before English homes at Yuletide. PALAMEDES.

PARTRIDGE, THE ALMANAC-MAKER. In the accounts of John Partridge, the almanac- maker, and George Parker, the astrologer, given in the 'Dictionary of National Bio- graphy' (vol. xliii. pp. 428 and 234), their pamphlet warfare of 1697-9 is noted ; but there is no reference to a legal action of 1700 which ensued upon it. Record of the com- mencement of this is to be found in the Post Boyoi 7 May, 1700, in the following paragraph :

" This Week commences a Tryal at Guild-Hall, between Partridge, the Almanack - maker, and Parker, the Astrologer; the first is Plaintiff: He brings an Action of a 1000. against the other, for Printing in his Ephemeris this Year, That He 's a Rebel in his Principles ; An Enemy to Monarchy ; Ungrateful to his Friend ; A Scoundrel in his Con- versation ; A Malignant in his Writings ; A Lyer in his Almanack ; And a Fool of an Astrologer. Tho' they are great Men in the way of Predictions, they can t tell how the Cause will go. We hear the polite Gipsies, alias Judicial Fortune-tellers, lay great Wagers on both sides."

But there is no mention of the result of the trial in such immediately succeeding issues as I have been able to search.

ALFRED F. ROBBINS.

OMAR KHAYYAM. A place must be found for Sir William Ouseley in the list of the students of Omar Khayyam who preceded Edward FitzGerald. In some * Observations on some Extraordinary Anecdotes concern- ing Alexander; and on the Eastern Origin of Several Fictions popular in Different Lan- guages of Europe,' which was read before the Royal Society of Literature, 15 Nov., 1826, and is printed in the Transactions (vol. i. part ii. pp. 5-23), Ouseley very judiciously says :

" It is not, however, my opinion that every coin- cidence of this kind must be pronounced an imita- tion of some Eastern prototype ; the resemblance between parallel passages (of which different lan- guages furnish a multiplicity) must be, in several instances, regarded as merely accidental, notwith- standing a conformity both in sentiments and expressions."

He enforces this caution by the following example :

" I cannot for a moment suspect that the well- known epitaph on a celebrated vendor of earthen- ware at Chester was borrowed from a Persian tetrastich, composed in the twelfth century by Omar Khayam, who calls for wine that he may banish care, expecting to be onco more in his


favourite haunt a potter's workshop, under the form of some earthen vessel. Thus the epitaph above mentioned advises the weeping friends of Catharine Gray to abate their grief, since after a ' run of years,'

In some tall pitcher, or broad pan,

She in her shop may be again.

In a note Sir William refers to the "158 Kebaayat," mentioning particularly No. Ill, but also referring to 9, 66, 68, 79, 89, 103, 138, and 146. These precise references will serve to show that Sir William Ouseley had an intimate acquaintance with the verses of Omar. WILLIAM E. A. AXON.

Moss Side, Manchester.

" BYRE." To enable them to appreciate the humour of the subjoined cutting from the Aberdeen Evening JSxpress some readers may need to be informed, as the Poet Laureate evidently does, that in Scotland the "byre" is the cow-house :

"Alfred Austin, the Poet Laureate, has made several contributions to the literature of the war, ' To Arms ! ' being his latest effort to represent the position of the nation. In Scotland, however, Mr. Austin's verses will provoke smiles rather than admiration, for he has credited Scotland with a small share of Britain's glory. He tells us that

From English hamlet, Irish hill, Welsh hearths, and Scottish byres,

They throng to show that they are still

Sons worthy of their sires. The poetic licence is great, but it does not cover slander. Sons of sires that pass from Scottish byres are, Mr. Austin may be informed, found oftener in English cattle showyards than on foreign battle- fields, although in both cases the sons usually return covered with honours."

K. M. SPENCE.

ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH, BASSISHAW. As some one is certain sooner or later to in- quire for the date of the demolition of this ancient church, the following cutting from a local paper of Saturday, 9 Dec., 1899, might usefully be transferred to the pages of


'St. Michael's Church, Bassishaw, near the Guildhall, was put up for auction on Tuesday, the sale being conducted in the building itself. It is about to be demolished under the Union of Bene- fices Act, after a history that dates back to 1140. Four churches have stood upon the site, the present one, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, being the successor of the one destroyed by the Great Fire. The building has no claim to architectural beauty. There were few persons present at the unique auction on Tuesday, and the highest price gained was ISO/, for ' all the lead covering to the steeple, flats, and gutters.' The weather vane was bought for 2/. 15.S., and eight ornamental coloured glass lead lights brought 21. 5*. Other articles were sold at a ridiculously low figure. Two lots, corn- arising the whole of the brick and stone work of the church and tower, failed to find a purchaser. The whole amount of bids accepted just exceeded 200/."