9*8. IX. JAN. 4, 1902.] NOTES AND QUERIES.
"RATHER." A correspondentofthe.4 cademy discussing "rather," on 9 November last says the word is unique, implying that it stands alone in having a defective comparison. In this respect, however, it is hardly more remarkable than "good," "bad," "much," 'erst," and "less." The same writer goes on to say that "long ago" the positive of the word was " rath," and he cites Bishop Hall and May's translation of Virgil in support of his statement. This is to overlook " hraSe " altogether, which in the form " rathe " recurs in Chaucer and later poets. The word, says the writer in the A cademy, has no superlative, but, as he professes to treat the subject historically, he should have discovered that " rathest " (" radost "), though obsolete, had once a real and active existence. Finally, he says the positive degree has been out of use for many a day. But Tennyson is not a remote writer, and he has " men of rathe and riper years " in * In Memoriam,' while he uses the word ad verbially in the line
Till rathe she rose, half cheated in the thought. THOMAS BAYNE.
KOMNEY AND THE ROYAL ACADEMY. It is
curious to note, in.auctioneers' catalogues and elsewhere, how frequently George Romney is described as R.A. He never exhibited at the Royal Academy, and did not require the ad- ventitious aid of the Academy to give him " bold advertisement." In looking over some old newspapers the other day I came across an amusing blunder in the London Evening Post of 29 April-2 May, 1780, in which is the following sentence, apropos of the opening of the Royal Academy of that year : " The por- traits of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Dance, West, Gainsborough, and Romney gave great satis- faction." The writer clearly had not been to the Royal Academy. W. ROBERTS.
JEWS AND PATRIOTISM. Probably the fol- lowing extract from the Manchester Courier of 9 December, 1901, is worthy of a place in ' N. & Q.,' especially in view of the last column (9 th S. viii. 201) of the interesting notes entitled 'Bevis Marks Synagogue Bicentenary,' signed N. S. S. :
" A grand synagogue parade of Jewish troops was held in the Central Synagogue, Great Portland Street, W., this evening [i.e., 8 December]. The pulpit and other portions of the synagogue were draped with Union Jacks, and among others there were present the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, the Sheriffs, and the .Duke of Bedford. Fully 300 troops attended, the mingled uniforms of the Hebrew Lifeguardsmen, Scots Guards, Dragoons, Yeomen, Volunteers, &c., forming a brilliant and picturesque scene. The officiating clergy were the Chief Rabbi (who, with the Scroll of the Law in
his hand, read a solemn prayer for the King and Queen), the Rev. E. Spero, and the Rev. F. L. Cohen, Chaplain to the Jewish members of the Forces. Mr. Cohen mentioned that fully 2,000 Jews (including 80 officers) had fought in the war. Of these 40 had been mentioned in dispatches, while two Jewish nursing sisters (one of whom had gone through the siege of Lady smith and the other through the siege of Kimberley) had also received similar mention; 325 Jews had figured in the casualty list, nearly 100 of whom had been killed in action or had died' of disease. The rev. gentleman solemnly read out the names of the fallen, all the congregation rising in their places. The service was brought to a conclusion by the singing of the National Anthem."
"Patria est, ubicumque est bene" - Cic., 'Tusc. Disp.,' v. 37 (108).
ROBERT PIERPOINT. St. Austin's, Warrington.
BLACK BOTTLES FOE WINE. The Times of 14 December, 1901 (p. 14, col. 2), says :
" The familiar black bottle mainly used for wine was introduced into this country one hundred and fifty years ago by Lord Delaval, who brought over from Germany a number of Hanoverian bottle- blowers, and started some works adjacent to his mansion at Seaton Sluice, Northumberland, for the manufacture of black glass bottles, his main idea being to utilize some inferior qualities of coal which he had mined on his estate. At that time, it may be remarked in passing, the black colour of the bottles was the natural result of the materials used. Since then other materials have been adopted, and these by themselves would produce a glass which is transparent ; but wine drinkers are so accustomed to having their wine in dark bottles that the black cokmr has been kept to, and is now produced by artificial means."
" FADGE." An extended application of the meaning of this word, as furnished in the 'E.D.D.,' is worth recording. There one finds, sb. 1, that the meanings "a bundle, a burden ; a part of a horse's load," are given, among others ; and a S. Lan. illustration runs " a fadge of potatoes, a fadge of beef."
In the last fortnight of autumn, when the days were approaching their shortest, and the weather was tempestuous, I met, struggling through the darkness, which was unrelieved in consequence of a temporary extinction of the street lights, a postman, who said, "I could get on better if I weren't ham- pered with this fadge o' parcels." He explained that fifty years ago a fadge was, for example, two hundredweight of coals carried in a sack on a donkey's back, and so arranged that the load as borne sideways was equally distributed on each side of the animal. He intimated parenthetically that short weight was supplied by the coal dealers as a rule. The 'H.E.D.' gives the word also. ARTHUR MAYALL.