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NOTES- AND QUERIES. [9 th s. ix. FEB. s, 1902,


save you." There is no need to dwell on the characteristics of the human representative of authority, which are sufficiently embodied in the word " beadledom."

Your correspondent's assertion that "beetle in the phrase "as deaf as a beetle" means the implement so named does not accord with the popular interpretation, which connects the word with the insect. It may be supported by citing the phrase "as deaf as a post"; but " as deaf as a beetle " may with equal likeli- hood be an offshoot of "as blind as a beetle," where identity with the coleopter need hardly be questioned. Popular ideas of animal life, as expressed in similar phrases, are not always correct. Compare " as deaf as an adder," " as blind as a bat," &c. F. ADAMS.

MORTARA: ARRO (9 th S. viii. 443). The following work, which may be of assistance to your correspondent, will be found in the library of the South Kensington Museum :

" Parmigiano (Francesco Mazzola, called) : Delia Vita e del Lavori di Francesco Mazzola detto II Parmigianino ; Memoria di Anton Enrico Mortara. 8vo, Casalmaggiore, 1846."

EVERARD HOME COLEMAN. 71, Brecknock Road.

SNOW-FEATHERS (9 th S. viii. 403, 494). The idea that snowflakes are the feathers of geese seems general in Europe. In Thorpe's

  • Northern Mythology,' vol. iii. p. 98, we read :

"The German traditions relating to Holda are current chiefly in Hesse and Thuringia. She is believed to influence the atmospheric phenomena. When the sun shines Holda is said to be combing her hair; when it snows, she is making her bed."

See _also Grimm's 'Teutonic Mythology,' vol. iii. p. 1088. A common German nursery rime begins :

The angels have made their beds on hi-h And down to the earth the feathers fly! ' And according to Kohler the children in Voigtland have a game in which they sing :

Ring, a ring of roses,

Who sits within ?

The old emperor.

What does he do ?

He strips feathers,

And bites quills :

which seems to imply that the Barbarossa of legend spends his enchanted hours in manu- facturing snowstorms. It is in Voigtland the sa In * W ^ personified as a g os e in

The white goose in February

Broods blessing for the whole year.

And the same conception is to be met with

elsewhere for, according to an article on

Kussian children in the Ural mountains, pub-


lished in St. Nicholas, November, 1891, the [ittle ones have a song beginning :

Daddy, daddy Winter,

Let your white geese fly ; Send the wind to drive them

All across the sky.

In Poitou when snow falls it is said that the Holy Virgin is plucking her geese and shaking the down (Leon Pineau, 'Le Folk- lore du Poitou,' p. 520, ed. 1892). G. W.

The following old rime is still popular in Sheffield, and sung by the children when snow begins to fall. There are various ver- sions of it, but this is the one I remember in my early days :

Snow, snow faster,

Old Sallv Baster,

She 's killing geese in Scotland

And sending feathers here.

CHARLES GREEN.

18, Shrewsbury Road, Sheffield.

RANULPH, EARL OF CHESTER (9 th S. viii. 404). Ormerod's ' History of Cheshire,' 1882, vol. i. p. 53, gives a charter of Handle the third, surnamed Blundevill, to his barons of Cheshire (in Latin, also an English transla- tion), made about the year 1218, granting them many privileges. The above liberties were confirmed by Prince Edward, son of Henry III., in 1265, which confirmation is given in Latin. The prince when king (1300) again confirmed it. It contains other deeds of grants by the Earls of Chester.

JOHN RADCLIFFE.

"TWO BLADES OF GRASS " (9 th S. ix. 47).

T. W. E. says that "the well-known observation

of the king in ' Gulliver's Travels ' was, in

fact, 'chaff' of the platitudes of our king's speeches." Surely the whole passage might be more accurately described as a biting criticism of politicians who placed personal and party interests above those of their country. W. H. HELM.

A SEVENTEENTH - CENTURY PLAGIARY : ' VINDEX ANGLICUS ' (9 th S. viii. 457). It seems doubtful whether many of the words vilipended by Vindex had, when he wrote, got into circulation. John Cockeram's 'English Dictionarie' of 1623 seems to be responsible for the bulk of them. The Oxford University Press have cut down Cockeram's bubulcitate ("to cry like a cowboy") to bulbitate. I notice that the ' Dictionary of National Biography ' states (vol. ix. 62) that Carew's ' Epistle ' " appeared in the second edition of Camden's 'Remains,' 1605."

Were there really two editions of 1605 ; and, if so, in what points do they differ?