Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 5.djvu/352

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344


NOTES AND QUERIES. [9* s. v. APRIL 28, 1900.


wedding-supper, when the pigeons ought rather to be laid to his feet, ha ! ha ! ha ! " See also Mr. W. G. Black's 'Folk Medicine' (Folk-Lore Society, 1883), p. 163.

G. L. APPERSON.

MARK ON THE SPINE OF CHINESE CHILDREN (9 th S. v. 209). In A. R. Cartensen's 'Two Summers in Greenland ' it is mentioned that Greenlanders are born with a similar mark, which disappears after a time. I have not the book at hand to consult, but if my memory is accurate, the author says that the mark is also to be seen on Japanese babies.

G. W.

This deserves physiological research ; for instance, is it a surface survival of the caudal appendage recorded by the os coccygis ?

A. ii.

TERMS IN ANCIENT LEASE (9 th S. v. 268). I observe that the word algeus is inquired after. I offer, as a guess, that it is a Latinized form of F. auge, a trough, which some one, unacquainted with the laws of French phonetics, has tried to turn back into its original Latin form. The right form is alveus, originally alueus.

WALTER W. SKEAT.

Are the plumba pendencia about which J. F. W. inquires anything but weights ? I recently heard the weights used for raising a font cover called by the verger "the plumbs." These plumba may have been used to raise the covers of vats. D'Arnis ('Lexicon Manuale Mediae et Infimse Latinitatis') gives "Stan- num. Sedes et apotheca, ubi merces venum exponuritur," which well suits its meaning in the passage quoted by J. F. W. Algeus or algeum apparently = a measure, and it is, perhaps, related to algia=pertica.

YGREC.

May I suggest to J. F. W. the following as a translation 1

" Two leaden weights in the Brewhouse, and one can (cunam for canam) for salt, and one measure (algeum for algia, a certain measure of land ?) for the same ; two counters for the large shop or booth (stannum for stagnum), one folding table, one pair of trestles, one wooden bushel (measure), one half- bushel ; one measure (?) for food."

Algia seems to be only applied to land ; perhaps it may have a secondary meaning as applied to a measure of capacity.

J. G. WALL ACE- JAMES, M.B. Haddington, N.B.

OLD AND NEW STYLE OF CHRONOLOGY (9 th S. v. 268). The explanation of W. E. B.'s difficulty is practically this, that an Act of Parliament can do anything in this country.


By the alteration of the style in 1751 (made operative in 1752, the year of confusion) two things were arranged : that in future every year divisible by 100 without remainder should not be a leap-year unless it was also divisible by 400 ; and eleven days were omitted at a stroke from the calendar, and the count of days advanced by eleven from 2 September, 1752, so that the day after, whicn would have been 3 September, was reckoned as 14 September. Lord Mayor's Day was formerly 29 October, and by this alteration would have become 9 November, just as George III.'s birthday, which was on 24 May by the old style (the same day as the birthday of our present beloved sovereign by the new style), was kept throughout his long reign on 4 June, eleven days afterwards.

But sacred festivals were treated in a different way. It being thought necessary to keep them on the same nominal days as before the alteration of style, they were earlier instead of later in the year. Christmas Day, for instance, was still 25 December ; but the day in the Julian style which corre- sponded to that day in the Gregorian was 5 January in the following year from 1752 to 1799, 6 January from 1800 to 1899, and 7 Jan- uary, which is henceforth Old Christmas Day, for two hundred years, or until 2099, no change taking place in 2000, because a bissex- tile will be dropped that year according to either Julian or Gregorian reckoning. In the same way Old Michaelmas Day was 10 Oc- tober from 1752 to 1799, 11 October from 1800 to 1899, and is now 12 October, as rightly marked in Whitaker. Now Lord Mayor's Day partook of the nature of a sacred festival in its dating, because the installation by old usage was "on the morrow of the Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude," and therefore kept on 29 September, as that feast is on 28 Sep- tember. The change then was not (like that of the royal birthday) automatic, but was a subject of enactment, as is stated by NEMO in 'N. & Q.,' 7 th S. iv. 49. It would seem then to be a pure accident that the number of days by which it was changed was the same, but in the reverse direction from what it would have been in the other case. At any rate, 9 November will always be Lord Mayor s Day, unless, or until, another Act of Parlia- ment changes it. W. T. LYNN.

Blackheath.

PRICE PAID FOR CHINA (9 th S. v. 249). The story goes that, in exchange for twenty-two large pieces of Oriental porcelain, Frederick Augustus gave Frederick William of Prussia a "fine regiment." H. T. B. mentions two