Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 5.djvu/270

This page needs to be proofread.


262


NOTES AND QUERIES. iv s. v. APRIL 7, 1900.


Mr. Skene believed it was Gaelic, but their 1 arguments were drawn from loan-words, with which Pictish abounds.

The precise time at which Pictish was re- placed by Gaelic is difficult to determine. The change had not begun in the year 565, when St. Columba had to use an interpreter when preaching to the Northern Picts ; but it probably began in 844, when Kenneth mac Alpin became king of the Picts, and it may have taken two centuries. At the council of 1074 the clergy could only speak Gaelic, and hence we conclude that the process was then complete.

The last question is whether any traces of the Picts still remain. In his Rhind Lectures Dr. Rhys maintained that the dialect of Aber- deen is infected with Pictish phonology. There is little doubt that the clans of Pictavia, like those of Mackenzie, Fraser, Ross, and Mack- intosh, distinguished by dark curly hair and dolichocephalic heads, usually without lobes to the ears, and with the septum of the nose sloping upwards, are nearly purely Pictish ; while the Western clans, such as Macgregor, Campbell, and perhaps Mac- Donald and MacDougal, with light hair, yellow or reddish, and brachy cephalic heads, are of Scottish blood.

The Picts are doubtless of the same race as the long-barrow people who inhabited England in the Neolithic age prior to the arrival of the Celts, who were ultimately of Berber affinities. On pp. 71, 72, of 'The Origin of the Aryans ' I have pictured the two types of skull, Pictish and Celtic. Having an attendant from a Pictish clan, this has struck me forcibly, and induced me to send this note.

ISAAC TAYLOK.


BYRONIANA.

(Concluded from p. 207.)

9. 'English Bards and Scotch Reviewers.' The parallel between Byron and Waller as regards the "eagle" simile has been already noticed in 4 N. & Q.' (9 th S. iv. 11, 57, and pre- viously). Gait seems to speak of Byron's simile as " niched " from Waller ; arid Col ton, in his ' Lacon,' says, " evidently taken from Waller." But MR. YARDLEY in 'N. & Q.' has referred us to the common source, ^Esop's fable of ' The Eagle and the Arrow,' or some Greek poet who himself may have been in- debted to ^Esop ; and even Colton allows that Byron had as great a right to go to the foun- tain head as Waller. Perhaps a diligent search might find many instances of the use of this fable by other writers. Two may here be added.


One is by La Fontaine, ' Fables,' ii. G, ' L'Oiseau blesse d'une Fleche.' In this a more general turn is given to the thought, and the main point, that the feather was the bird's own, is obscured. The other is by Orinda (Mrs. Katherine Philips) in her poem ' On Controversies in Religion.' She writes : Religion, which true policy befriends, Designed by God to serve man's noblest ends, Is by that old Deceiver's subtle play Made the chief party in its own decay, And meets that eagle's destiny whose breast Felt the same shaft which his own feathers drest.

10. In the same satire, after his attack on Wordsworth, Byron deals a thrust at Cole- ridge in reference to his lines entitled ' To a Young Ass':

Yet none in lofty numbers can surpass The bard who spars to elegize an ass. So well the subject suits his noble mind, He brays, the laureate of the long-eared kind.

In Murray's 'Byron' (1837) this note is appended to the fourth line : ** Thus altered by Lord Byron in his last revision of the Satire. In all former editions the line read

A fellow-feeling makes us wondrous kind." But the annotator omits to add that the suppressed line was taken almost verbatim from Garrick, ' Prologue on Quitting the Stage in 1776.' Bartlett helps us to the source of the proverbial line, and gives the couplet

Their cause I plead plead it in heart and mind ;

A fellow-feeling makes one wondrous kind.

11. 'TheTwoFoscari':

That malady

Which calls up green and native fields to view From the rough deep, &c.

This description of the "calenture" is compared with one by Swift, in a note to the passage in Murray's 'Byron' (1837). Other descriptions of, or allusions to, it occur in Dryden, 'Conquest of Granada'; Cowper, 'The Sofa'; and Wordsworth, 'The Brothers.'

12. 'Don Juan,' canto xi. stanza 1 : When Bishop Berkeley said " there was no matter," And proved it 'twas no matter what he said.

This quip may possibly have suggested a jeu d* esprit which appeared, I think, in Punch more than thirty years ago :

What is matter ? Never mind ! What is mind ? No matter !

13. ' Eng. Bards and Scotch Reviewers' : Better to err with Pope than shine with Pye.

This is evidently modelled on Milton's line

Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven, the fourfold emphasis in its distribution being the same in both, although the dis-