Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 5.djvu/509

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the registries of the Bishop of London and the Archdeacon of Middlesex.

J. V. KITTO. Rottingdean, Brighton.

ANCIENT TOWERS IN SARDINIA. When travelling in Sardinia we saw several towers, apparently of ancient date, to which the name of Nuraghi was given by the people. We inquired of priests and others regarding their origin, but could learn nothing, except that they were prehistoric and existed long before the present race entered the country. Perhaps one of your readers could tell us something of them. T. L.

[See ' Encyclopaedic Diet.']

ST. THOMAS'S DAY CUSTOM. It is cus- tomary in the Isle of Axholme, and, I believe, in the North generally, for old women and others to "go a-Thomasing" on St. Thomas's Day, that is, asking for small doles of money or goods. In this neighbourhood they usually ask for and receive a candle apiece from the tradesmen who deal in such things. The question arises, Why a candle? I suspect some religious significance in the choice of the article. C. C. B.


MOYSE HALL. I shall feel obliged to any Suffolk or other antiquary who will kindly give me the earliest recorded mention of Moses or Moyse Hall, Bury St. Edmunds.


THE HON. PETER GORDON OF GRENADA. In 1768, according to the Gentleman's Magazine, the Hon. Peter Gordon was killed in a duel at Grenada by a Mr. Proudfoot. Where can I get a description of the duel 1 Who was Peter Gordon? Was he a brother of Col. Henry Gordon, chief engineer in America, and an uncle of James Gordon, of Moore Place, Herts, who also died in 1768 1


118, Pall Mall.

AUTHORS OF QUOTATIONS WANTED. Who wrote the poem of which this is the first stanza ?

Let each man learn to know himself ; To gain that knowledge let him labour, Improve those failings in himself That he condemns so in his neighbour. How lightly we our faults do view And gently conscience try to smother ! But oh ! how harshly do we view The selfsame failings in another !


Bid Day stand still ;

Bid him drive back his car, and reimpart The period past, regive the given hour.

"INUNDAT E." (9 th S. v. 394.)

DR. MURRAY'S query, and particularly the P.S. attaching thereto, opens up a very wide subject. The first question one is inclined to ask oneself is Who sets the standard of pro- nunciation ? Is it the learned among us ; or is it the class called " Society " ; or are we to count heads and award it to the greatest number ? Some time back I sent a note to ' N. & Q.' pointing put that the first of the pronunciations assigned to 'Equerry ' by the ' H.E.D.' was not that used by our royalties and their equerries, who had etymology on their side. Following that I had some short private correspondence with DR. MURRAY on the pronunciation of words, which quite took my breath away, for I had never even heard some of the pronunciations he thought normal. That of itself may seem a matter of small im- portance, for I am no authority ; and yet, in a sense, it is of great importance. For it shows that the makers of our dictionaries, even the greatest of them, may be out of touch with a class which, presumably, ought not to be wholly ignored. DR. MURRAY'S query affords ample illustration of what I mean. I am not an old man, but equally I am not a very young one, and I have never heard "inun- date " pronounced inun'date. That may show that I have moved in a very narrow circle ; but my curiosity being aroused. I went to the nearest educated old person tnat I knew, a lady of eighty, and asked her if she had ever heard this word pronounced inuridate, and her reply was an emphatic " Never ! " Now I am far from saying that many others may not have heard or used this pronunciation ; but I do say that before a word is labelled as being of such and such a date, because some person or some class of persons has so used it, it ought to be considered how the standard of pronunciation is to be arrived at. For it looks as if the usages of society a term I use for want of a better were ignored, and a standard of pronunciation adopted which is not the standard of the highest and best in the land. The French have settled this matter in their own way, while the Germans, mainly owing to their phonetic spelling, have never had any difficulty. But we are always struggling with our pronunciations and spell- ings without any guiding hand, because we have not settled what our standard is to be.

The second question I put to myself is How does this alteration in pronunciation come about? Is it forced from above or