Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 5.djvu/253

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9* S.V. MARCH 31, 1900.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


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the manager leaned back in the box and shouted to the actor, ' Your stocking 's down !' Still the actor never attempted to pull up the offending article. When the curtain fell, Giovanelli rushed round be- hind the scenes in a towering rage. ' What do you mean by it?' he exclaimed in broken English. ' What do you mean by it, you blackguard ? I bring my City friends here to see my show, and you go about on the stage with your stocking down ! ' 'I beg your pardon, Mr. Giovanelli,' exclaimed the tragedian, ' but you mustn't blame me. The stage directions are: "Enter Hamlet with disordered hose." ' ' Oh, are they?' shouted Giovanelli, ' who's the author?' 'Shakespeare.' 'Very well, then,' roared Giovanelli ; ' I '11 see as he don't write no more plays for 'Ighbury Barn. He ain't no class ! ' "

RALPH THOMAS.

DATE OF THE BUILDING OF ROME. There is a well-known proverb that Rome was not built in a day. Probably this arose from the circumstance that according to ancient authors it was so built ; at any rate, the Varronian reckoning (followed by most sub- sequent writers) places its date on 21 April, in the third year of the sixth Olympiad. Clinton calls it the fourth year because the Olympic festivals were held in the summer ; so that Ol. vi. 4 began a few months after the traditional date of the building of the eternal city, and therefore in that year according to later Roman and our chronology. The Olympic festival is said to have been started, or at any rate revived, by the mythical king Iphitus of Elis about the year B.C. 828 ; but as the records of the victors could not be traced continuously before that of Corcebus in B.C. 776, the chronological Olympiads were always reckoned from the latter date. The traditional date of the building of Rome was, as stated above, six Olympiads wanting one, or twenty-three years after this, i.e., it corresponds to B.C. 753, the seventh Olympic festival being held in the summer of the folio wing year, correspond- ing to B.C. 752. Carrying on, the year B.C. 1, year of Rome 753, was 188 Olympiads after this, the hundred and ninety-fifth Olympic festival being due in the summer of the fol- lowing year, corresponding to A.D. 1.

Authentic Roman history may be said to commence with the war against Pyrrhus in the Varronian year of Rome 474, correspond- ing to B.C. 280, which was the first of the hundred and twenty-fifth Olympiad, Lsevinus and Coruncanius being consuls. A complete list of the Roman consuls from that time until the death of the Emperor Augustus in A.D. 1 4 will be found in Clinton's ' Fasti Hel- lenici,' vol. iii. p. 284.

The above comparisons can be fully checked by astronomical considerations, which are impossible to traverse, I will only adduce


two, one an eclipse of the sun, the other of the moon. Livy tells us (xxxvii. 4) that in the year when L. Cornelius Scipio and C. Lselius were consuls (year of Rome 564) there was an eclipse of the sun during the Apol- linarian games. Now we know by calculation that this occurred in B.C. 190. B.C. 1 was, of course, 189 years after this, and 189 added to 564 makes 753, which is the year of Rome (as fixed by Varro and usually adopted) corre- sponding to B.C. 1. Livy (xliv. 37) and Plu- tarch (in 'Vita) both tell us of an eclipse of the moon the night before the victory of JEmilius Paullus over Perseus, the last king of Macedon. This was in the year when ^Emilius was con- sul (the second time) with C. Licinius Crassus and was the year of Rome 586. Astronomers have found that a lunar eclipse, answering to the conditions, occurred in B.C. 168, or 167 years before B.C. 1. Again, if we add 167 to 586 we obtain 753 for the year of Rome corre- sponding to B.C. 1. W. T. LYNN. Blackheath.

LA BELLE SAUVAGE. All the book-world is familiar with the sign of the firm of Messrs. Cassell & Co., but probably few are aware of the clumsy form of it in 1721. On the title of a pamphlet of that date, "The Memoirs, Life, and Character of the Great Mr. Law and his Brother at Paris. Written by a Scots Gentleman," the imprint runs, "Printed for Sam. Briscoe at the Bell-Savage on Ludgate- hill, 1721." That there should: be no mistake in its meaning a printer's mark surmounts it, consisting of a large bell with two meek- looking savages as supporters.

E. J. WOKMAN.

ANTIQUE ESCUTCHEON EMBROIDERY. i have cut the following interesting paragraph from the Queen of 3 February :

" In England we are all familiar with the mourn- ful token of bereavement represented by the hatchment or funeral escutcheon of the lost one so conspicuously exhibited as a heavy lozenge in front of the house of the deceased. Probably, however, few of us have heard of a somewhat similar, though entirely contrasting outside show of heraldic badges, this time of the daintiest white work, befitting a joyful sign of birth. It consists of a square of lace bearing the family coat of arms within a frame of exquisite old Mechlin frilling, and lined entirely with white in the case of a girl, and partly pink and white for a boy. The delicate square is firmly stretched over a piece of wood, and then suspended at the street door during the daytime, to be removed at night, and go through the process of washing and goffering. Such, at least, was still the custom not so very long ago in Haarlem, where it was known under the name of ' birth cloth,' or Dutch Klopper. The origin of this charming conceit is attributed to a touching incident of the Spanish War. In 1573 the victorious Spaniards, having taken possession