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spread an area. The story of the fall of their Eastern empire is relatea in Danvers's * His- tory of the Portuguese in India,' for the author does not confine himself to that country, but tells us much about Macao, the Malay Peninsula, Ternate, Amboyna, and Tidore, as well as about Africa. Brazil, of course, was lost in comparatively recent times. The ' History of Spain and Portugal,' in the " Cabinet Cyclopaedia," is supposed, I believe, to be a work of considerable merit. T. P. ARMSTRONG.

Mr. R. S. White way's 'Rise of the Portu- gusse Power in India ' (Constable, 1899) may be of use. HIPPOCLIDES.

See upon the Portuguese military and mer- cantile supremacy over the world's seas the books of Hugues (professor at the University of Turin) and Ulisse Grifoni (Professor of Geography), passim in the Rivista Marittima of Rome. BARON ALBERT LUMBROSO.

Frascati, Italy.

" SKIRRET " (9 th S. ix. 108). This is more usually known as a garden-reel and line. It is an instrument which acts on a centre- pin, whence a line is drawn, chalked, and struck to mark out the ground for the founda- tion of the intended structure. It is from this use by builders that Freemasons draw certain moral deductions from the use of this tool. J. G. WALLACE- JAMES.


"Skirret" is the name of a plant of the parsnip character, which it resembles in flavour. It was formerly much used, but has now gone out of favour. Drayton (1563- 1631) says: "The Skirret, which some say in sallads stirrs the blood."

EVERARD HOME COLEMAN. 71, Brecknock Road.

EARL OP CROMARTIE (9 th S. ix. 107, 172). COL. PRIDE AUX, in correcting Miss Bagot's error, has fallen into one himself. Anne, Duchess of Sutherland (who was paternally a Hay, and only a Mackenzie through her grandmother), was not created Countess o1 Cromartie in 1849, the year of her marriage to the duke, but twelve years later, in 1861 COL. PRIDEAUX speaks of the "revival" o1 the earldom, and says it was " necessary ' (owing to the Act of Union) to make it a peerage of the United Kingdom. May I poin" out that it was never intended to be any thing else 1 ? It was a new creation, not a revival ; and the terms of the patent of 1861 specially disclaimed any intention of reviv ing the Scottish earldom and other honours

1701, of which the original remainder was to heirs male general. Those honours are still dormant, and have in no sense been revived " by the more recent creation.


" CE N'EST QUE LE PREMIER PAS QUI COUTE " 9 th S. ix. 165). I quoted this once to the telebrated Princesse de Sagan, and she eplied : " Tu as tort, mon cher, c'est le seul qu'on nous ne paye pas ! "


NOTES ON BOOKS, &c. Notes on Staffordshire, Place-Names. By W. H.

Duignan. (Frowde.)

TIME was and that not so long ago when we took up a new book about place-names with premonitory misgivings which were too often justified. Light- learted guesses founded upon the modern forms of the names, and backed up by setiological myths or stories invented to account for those forms, did duty for patient research. Even so critical a writer as the late Bishop Creighton walked unwarily into many of these pitfalls laid for him by his pre- decessors, as Mr. Duignan here shows (p. ix). The present writer is a representative of the new school which bases itself on philological canons and the historical method, and consequently gives us a book of value. He only makes his guess when facts fail him.

We are not always able to agree with Mr. Duig- nan's conclusions. Why should he throw over Freiford, the twelfth-century form, in favour of Friesforde, the sixteenth-century spelling, in order to explain Freeford? He takes Eccleshall.origin- ally Egleshale, to mean the hall of one JEcle or yEgel. It is surely simpler to understand it as the meadow (A.-S. healh) of the church (ecdtsid), that being the usual meaning of Eccles in place-names, as in Ecclesfield, Eccleshill, Eccleston. Showells, the name of a manor, may or may not be the same as ttheivelUs, scarecrows to keep deer within bounds, but it is a mistake to suppose that this meant things which "show" or "exhibit " (? themselves). That word is rather akin to the old German sciuhen, to scare or frighten (our rustics still " shoo " birds), and Gothic skohsl. The latter part of the hamlet name Small-rice is much more likely to be ris, underwood (A.-S. hrts), than "rise m the sense of elevation ; and it would take a good deal to persuade us that Silkmore ever meant a moor of silken softness. Mr. Stevenson's suggestion that it may be " Seolca's moor" is much more pro- bable. To say that "the evidence that Druids ever had any existence is very slight (p. 53) is scepticism pushed to extremes. Among Mr. Duig- nan's good things is an article on Watling Street, which is a complete disquisition on the subject ; but he puts the cart before the horse when he suggests that the name was applied first to the Milky Way and afterwards transferred to the great pilgrim road ; it is certain that the reverse was the order of procedure.