NOTES AND QUERIES. [9 th s. ix. MARCH 29, 1902.
THE KING OF TORELORE.- To modern taste the sojourn of Aucassin and Nicolete in, the castle of Torelore is a curious and uncouth episode in so lovely a tale. " The custom of the couvade," says Mr. Andrew Lang in a note to his charming translation, " was dimly known to the poet. The feigned lying- in of the father may have been either a recognition of paternity (as in the sham birth whereby Hera adopted Heracles), or may have been caused by the belief that the health of the father at the time of the child's birth affected that of the child." Aucassin roughly arouses the king from his "man-childbed," and, mounting his horse, puts the country's enemies to flight ; for, while her lord lay at home, the queen was fiercely engaged in fighting his foes, warring upon them with baked apples, mushrooms, eggs, and fresh cheeses :
Whoso splasheth most the ford
He is master called and lord.
Dr. Tylor says, " The country where Marco Polo met with the practice of the couvade in the thirteenth century appears to be the Chinese province of West Yunnan." Apollo- nius Rhodius, too, in ' The Tale of the Argo- nauts,' sings :
Round the headland of Zeus the All-begetter swept
they then ; And safely they sped by the land of the Tibarenian
men. When a woman in that land beareth a child to her
lord, on his bed Doth her husband cast him adown, and he groaneth
with close-swathed head As in anguish of travail, the while the woman with
tender care Doth nurse him and feed, and for him the child-
birth bath doth prepare.
Mr. Arthur S. Way's translation, 1901. A. R. BAYLEY.
THE CORN-LAW RIMER. The enclosed cutting from the Irish Times of 23 November seems worth notice in the pages of ' N. & Q.' :
" Curious reminiscences are evoked by the death at his residence in Hemel Hempstead, of the Rev- Edwin Elliott, a son of the once famous Ebenezer Elliott, the ' Corn-Law Rhymer,' whose verses even called forth the praises of Carlyle himself. His poems and writings are supposed by some to have had as great an influence in promoting Free Trade as the famine in Ireland, and seventy years ago were sung in chapels and meetings, and quoted from a thousand platforms. Although the ' Corn -Law Rhymer was himself a sturdy Nonconformist as his ancestors had been before him, his son who has now joined the majority, entered the Church of England and laboured for a long period as the
C ' '
Ebenezer Elliott had a family of thirteen children, two of whom were brought up as clergymen of the Established Church.
HERBERT B. CLAYTON.
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 maybe addressed to them direct.
CELTIC. In a notice of 'Poems,' by Mr. W. B. Yeats, which appeared in the Athenceum of the 8th inst., the reviewer objects to the use of "Celtic" as a handy definition for certain poetic qualities, and remarks :
" The author of ' The Epic of Hades,' for instance, is Celtic to the marrow, and yet he is devoid of the qualities which Arnold labelled ' Celtic,' while the author of 'Aylwin,' a romance saturated with 'Celtic' qualities, is an unadulterated East Anglian."
What I desire to know is, How many pedigrees of poets, or of men less gifted, can be safely termed "unadulterated" in such a cross-bred nation as that which inhabits Great Britain and Ireland ?
The hyrnn- writing Wesleys. Tennyson, and Miss Ingelow were all natives of Lincolnshire, but how much of their blood was really Mercian-Danish? Take another instance. Mr. comes of a family which has been settled in a county bordering on the German Ocean for many centuries. His name may be traced back in ancient documents as far as the reign of Edward I., if not further; yet to superficial observation he shows no indica- tion, either physically or mentally, of the Teutonic stock which he represents in the male line. His type must have been inherited from some family to which he has kinship through the very mixed blood of his female ancestors. Again, his wife, who was an East Anglian in direct male descent, came, like her husband, of all sorts and conditions of men, from kings and queens of foreign descent, and Norman barons downwards, in the female lines, arid it amuses her children that one of them has been considered like an Egyptian in facial type, another like an ancient Roman, a third a Frenchman, and a fourth a Jew. Yet another instance, also
drawn from an Eastern county. Mr. is
tall, fair, and blue-eyed. His wife, a native of the same shire, is small and dark, but with aquiline features, unlike those of the short pre-Celtic stock which she otherwise seems to represent. Of their children three are very fair and three dark, but it is noticeable that two of the latter do not inherit their mother's features. They resemble a dark second cousin on the fair father's side of the family. In the districts of England