Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 5.djvu/499

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9. s. V.JUNE IB, 1900.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


487


On one occasion a boy of the Howard family died from the rough treatment he received in the struggle. P. W. G. M.

MERCHANT ADVENTURERS (8 th S. xii. 288). Reference may be made to

" A Treatise of Commerce Wherein are shewed the Commodities arising by a well ordered and ruled Trade, such as that of the Societie of Merchants Adventurers is proued to be : Written principally for the better information of those who doubt of the Necessarinesse of the said societie in the State of the Realme of England. By John Wheeler, Secretarie to the said Societie. Printed at London by John Harison. 1601."

Q. V.

THE MOUSE, ISAIAH LXVI. 17 (9 th S. v. 165, 446). One might almost think from a remark at the last reference that the science of Egyptology did not exist. We are told that it is "usually supposed that in Egyptian hieroglyphics the mouse was the symbol of destruction and slaughter." By whom is this " usually supposed " i I am not aware that any opinion whatever on this point is gener- ally held by those who have made no special study of the hieroglyphics ; nor would such an opinion be of the slightest value if it existed. For students of Egyptian, there can be no doubt that the figure of a mouse, in the extremely rare cases in which it occurs, means simply " mouse." F. W. READ.


NOTES ON BOOKS, &c.

Heraldry in Relation to Scottish History and Art- Being the Rhind Lectures on Archaeology. By Sir James Balfour Paul, F. S.A.Scot., Lora Lyon King of Arms. (Edinburgh, Douglas.) IN reprinting these lectures, delivered in 1898, the present Lyon King of Arms has sought less to supply a manual of heraldry, Scottish or other, than to show the manner in which Scottish history is illustrated through heraldry, and how far the artistic development of the country has been in- formed by it. A work which is orally delivered is necessarily to some extent popular in form. A previous familiarity with the science of blazon is, however, presupposed in the reader, and a success- ful effort is made to indicate the advantage of approaching heraldry from its artistic side, an aspect long neglected, and now beginning to obtain recognition. Of the six lectures of which the volume consists, the first is headed ' The Grammar of Heraldry ' ; the second, ' Heraldry as illustrating History'; the third. 'The Heraldic Executive in Scotland '; the fourth, * The Art of Heraldry'; the fifth, ' The Artistic Application of Heraldry ' ; and the sixth, 'Armorial Manuscripts, &c.' Heraldry reached Scotland through England, and is, neces- sarily, later in date. At the time, indeed, when, among the Lowland Scotch and throughout Europe, heraldry stood highest, it was practically unknown


in the Highlands, where an eagle's feather was the badge of chieftainship, and the sight of a mail-clad warrior was almost, if not quite, unknown. Con- sequently, the coats of the principal Highland clans are comparatively late in origin. The first Scottish king who bore arms was Alexander II. (1214-43), which places the introduction of heraldry well on to a generation later than in England. That the coats were frequently armes parlantes, containing fanciful or fantastic allusions to the name or character of their bearer, Lyon concedes. In the case of names such as Lyon, Lamb, Skene, and many others, the assumption on a shield of a cog- nizance was the simplest of things. In that of Armstrong an arm with a well-developed biceps was, naturally, assumed, as was a banner in the case of Bannerman, both being still carried. Lyon, indeed, holds that if it were possible to get at the true history of the arms of every family, it would be found that, in the majority of cases, they had their origin in symbolism of this sort. With the idea that the Heraldic Ordinaries represent sym- bolically " the establishment, defence, and exalta- tion of the knight's house by his Christian courage" Lyon is in disaccord, thinking it little likely that these "ever entered into the minds of the first possessors of ensigns armorial." While it is admitted that historic or legendary incident is sometimes embodied in an achievement, the statement that the arms were granted the progenitor of the family on account of the part he took in the occurrence commemorated is often demonstratively impossible. As to the story current concerning the coat of the Hays, sanctioned by the acceptance of Nisbet, the origin is shown to be impossible, seeing that at the date, 980, whereon the alleged incident is supposed to have taken place, armorial bearings were unknown, and could not have formed the subject of a royal gift. This instance, typical in many respects, might well, Lyon thinks, have been the invention of Hector Boece, who is branded "as an incorrigible old liar." Boece cannot, of course, be acquitted of childlike credulity, if of nothing worse. If he, indeed, invented this story concerning the Hays, it- may possibly have been for the gratification of his schoolfellow at Dundee and fellow-student in Paris, William Hay, who succeeded Boece in the principal- ship of King's College, Aberdeen. We are able to do no more than dip into a book which is full of delight to the herald and suggestion to the his- torian. To ourselves the most interesting lecture is the fourth, on ' The Art of Heraldry.' There is much that is significant and instructive in what is said concerning the conventional objects depicted by the heraldic artist of the fourteenth century. When he drew a lion, it was not from personal observa- tion. Such was probably not obtainable. Seeking to depict something that should strike awe into the heart of an opponent an idea still, as in all times, common with savage tribes he made "a thin, hungry animal, with long pointed claws, ana ferocity depicted on his countenance." Another object of the heraldic designer was originally to be simple, distinct, and impressive, and to supply a cognizance of the warrior recognizable at a dis- tance. Quarterings and other methods of filling up the shield were unknown. The cognizance was depicted distinctly in a conventionalized form on the shield, and formed also not seldom the crest of the helm. Lyon's book may, indeed, be studied with constant interest and advantage. It is well printed and admirably illustrated. We have