9* 8. IX. JAN. 4, 1902.] NOTES AND QUERIES.
taneously exclaimed, with evident concern, " Crossed knives ! dear me, how very unlucky !' This belief is general throughout Devonshire.
HARRY HEMS. Fair Park, Exeter.
BARRAS (9 th S. viii. 202, 228, 267, 473). The definition of this word by MR. NEILSON agrees very well with the position of Barras Lane, Barras Heath, and Barr's Hill in this town. They are all without the ancient walls of the city, and were used as outposts against attacks upon the gates and walls. It cer- tainly seems to be a mutation of the word Barre. J. ASTLEY.
BIRTHPLACE OF LORD BEACONSFIFLD (9 th S. viii. 317, 426, 512). I thank MR. RALPH THOMAS for courteous mention of my article, but nevertheless cannot without another word let him throw cold water on my advocacy of a memorial to Isaac D'Israeli and Lord Beaconsfield on the house 22, Theobalds Road. I fancy MR. THOMAS visited it lately during a dreary day in November, and viewed it in its present uninhabited condition. All houses in such circumstances look miserable, and, indeed, the favour of the sun's brightening rays is always needed to render prepossess- ing the aspect of a London house, be it of dingy brick or grimy stucco. I have paid it another visit, even in the bleak December, and standing opposite, under the wall of Gray's Inn Gardens, have impartially viewed the block, which now consists of five houses, occupied chiefly as the offices of solicitors. Of these No. 22 only is vacant, and as the letting board is gone, I hope it is not to remain so. The four occupied houses look as cheerful and well cared for as a block of offices ever does, and even more cheerful than others, on account of the street being free of houses on the opposite side, and the aspect that of the verdant gardens. No. 22, with its pretty old doorway, only wants paint, varnish, clean window glass, and a bright new knocker and name - plate, to render its appearance as imposing as that of many houses which have received the decora- tion of the tablet, and even more so than some. I hope MR. THOMAS will go again, six months hence, and give it another chance.
It must have been but a few years old in 1802 when Isaac D'Israeli went to live in it, and the busy, noisy thoroughfare of to-day was at that time perhaps scarcely a thorough- fare. But changed as it is, it is not in the degraded condition of the purlieus of the now partially reformed Seven Dials and Drury Lane, and, if I remember rightly,
tablets are found in that neighbourhood where famous people once lived. For even when a street has suffered degradation, it is a relief to be reminded that it was not always as now, that it was not always mean and ugly ; and certainly by the erection of a tablet the memory of the famous one is not besmirched. Also the transformation of London, the transmigration of the upper class of its habitants from one area to another, is a part of its history interesting to observe.
I hardly think the object of the tablet is so much to impress the passing public as to give welcome information to those interested in the past, to preserve for these a fact in the life of the commemorated, and possibly to preserve the house itself. Were these memorials only to be erected in fashionable or respectable quarters the series would be indeed incomplete ; so I will hope that the London County Council who, as announced, are to continue the work happily until now conducted by the Society of Arts will soon place the tablet on 22, Theobalds Road, which will thereby be enhanced in value to its future tenant, a worthy Conservative lawyer cherishing the memory of Lord Beaconsfield in his birthplace.
W. L. RUTTON.
HARVEST BELL (9 th S. viii. 201, 308, 427). It is part of the sexton's duty here to ring the curfew bell in the church tower every night at eight o'clock. He also rings the same bell at twelve o'clock every day. This latter is known as the dinner bell. These bells have been so rung from time immemorial.
JOHN T. PAGE.
West Haddon, Northamptonshire.
MR. BRESLAR is surely mistaken in his version of the words painted on the Ripon post office (formerly, I believe, the town hall). If my memory serves they run thus : " If ye Lord keep not ye city, ye Wakeman waketh in vain."
A curfew bell is rung nightly during the winter at nine o'clock at Mytton, in York- shire, and I fancy also at Whalley, the neigh- bouring Lancashire village.
FRED. G. ACKERLEY. Seemannsheim, Libau, Russia.
The church of St. George-in-the-East has, since its consecration in 1729, regularly used a bell to call to labour at six o'clock each morning, and (presumably to discontinue work) at eight o'clock each evening. From childhood 1 have been familiar with the ' eight o'clock bell," as it is familiarly spoken of in the parish, although very early in my