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9'- S. IX. MARCH 22, 1902.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


227


pointed out (8 th S. xi. 465) that nine persons were then living who had held seats in that Parliament. Unless Mr. J. T. Leader be living (of which fact there appears some doubt), the late Earl Fitzwilliam was the last of the nine there enumerated, as indeed (with the like possible exception as to Mr. Leader) he was also the last of the first Victorian House of Commons.

W. D. PINK.

INITIAL FOR FORENAME IN SERIOUS VERSE- (See 9 th S. iv. 184 ) Is it not possible that Lydgate, in the passage given at the above reference, wrote Agellius ? Of. Teuffel's ' His- tory of Roman Literature,' re vised bySchwabe, Warr's translation, 365. "In the MSS. and throughout the Middle Ages A. Gellius, in consequence of a jumble of his pnenomen and gentile name, is frequently called Agellius." EDWARD BENSLY.

The University, Adelaide, South Australia.


WE must request correspondents desiring infor- mation on family matters of only private interest to affix their names and addresses to their queries, in order that the answers may be addressed to them direct.

JOHN LAUGHTON, one of the most eminent of English scholars in the closing years of the seventeenth, and the opening years of the^ighteenth, century, was Librarian of the University of Cambridge, 1686-1712, and Prebendary of Lichfield and of Worcester. Is any portrait known of him 1 R. S.

SCOTCH CHURCH IN LONDON. Can any one tell me the name and site of a Scotch church in London, of which Dr. Rutherford was minister? He died in 1820, being at that time minister of Muirkirk parish church, Ayrshire. W. M. J.-F.

" LIMBERHAM." This word, with allusion sometimes to Dryden's use of it as the name of the principal character of his play of 1678, and sometimes to its etymological meaning, occurs so frequently as an appellative in the literature of the eighteenth century that it seems to have a sufficient claim to a place in the English dictionary. I am surprised to find that it was not, as I had supposed, in- vented by Dryden. A " Master Limberham " is mentioned (though not brought on the stage) in Wycherley's ' Country Wife,' Act II. (p. 27 of the edition of 1675), three years before the performance of Dryden's comedy. If no earlier instance can be found it is possible that Wycherley invented the name,


and that Dryden took it from him. On the other hand, the word may already have been current before 1675 as a nickname for a person of the type of character depicted by Dryden. I should be glad to know whether the example in Wycherley is the earliest that is extant. HENRY BRADLEY.

Clarendon Press, Oxford.

JOHN KING, LANGUAGE MASTER, LONDON, 1722. I had recently in my hands the MS. of "A German or High Dutch Grammar, For English Gentlemen to learn the German Language, by John King, Language Master in London, 1722." It is dedicated to " the Right Honour ble John Lord Carteret, Baron of Hawnes, One of the Lords of His Majesty's most Hon blc Privy Council, and Principal Secretary of State." Can any one tell me anything about the author, John King, and whether this grammar ever appeared in print 1 It affords further corroboration of the phonetic value of the combination ea (cf. Pope's rime- tea : obey), and shows that aw had not yet reached its modern pronuncia- tion, the first letters of the German alphabet being spelt aio, lea, tsea, dea. F. J. C.

Frankfurt-a.-Main.

STAR-LORE. Can any correspondent of 'N. & Q.' inform me in what counties of Great Britain and Ireland it is supposed to be wrong to point at the heavenly bodies, and for what reason this action is forbidden ]

Miss Burne records a Shrewsbury belief that it is wicked to point at the moon (' Shropshire Folk-lore,' part ii. p. 258), and quotes Kelly's 'Indo-European Tradition,' p. 21, to show that in Germany it is held wicked to point at the stars, " because they are angels' eyes." (See also E. Gerard's ' Land beyond the Forest,' vol. i. p. 311 ; Birlinger's 1 Volksthiimliches aus Sch waben,' vol. i. p. 190 ; and Folk-lore, vol. i. p. 151.)

In ' The Poet at the Breakfast Table,' p. 5, 0. W. Holmes says :

"I remember that when I was a child the tra- dition was whispered round among us little folks that if we tried to count the stars we should drop down dead. Nevertheless, the stars have been counted and the astronomer has survived."

In Melanesia the stars are called "dead men's eyes" (R. H. Codrington, 'The Mela- nesians, p. 349), and in Tana, a volcanic island in the New Hebrides, Mr. Turner was told by an old man that the stars were the eyes of their forefathers looking down on the people (' Samoa,' pp. 319, 320), while in Samoa they are the spirits of the departed (ibid., 273). In South America a rather different theory seems to hold. Monsignor Lasagna says, in his account of the Coroados of Brazil, that