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The blue-eyed celestial, Minerva the wise,

Ineffably smil'd on the spot ;

"My dear," says plum'd Pallas, "your last gift I prize,

But, excuse me, one thing is forgot.

" Licentiousness Freedom's destruction may bring, Unless prudence prepares its defence ;"

The Goddess of Sapience bid Iris take \ving, And on Britons bestow'd Common-Sense.

Four Cardinal Virtues she left in this isle,

As guardians to cherish the root ; The blossoms of Liberty gaily 'gan smile,

And Englishmen fed on the fruit.

Thus fed, and thus bred, by a bounty so rare,

Oh preserve it as pure as 'twas given ; We will while we've breath, nay we'll grasp it in

death. And return it untainted to Heaven.

W. B. H.

OBELISK AT ST. PETER'S, ROME (9 th S. viii. 405, 505; ix. 109). The account of the in- scriptions which has already been given may be supplemented by the following extract from Prof. Lanciani's 'The Ruins and Exca- vations of Ancient Rome ' (Macrnillan & Co., 1897), p. 552 :

" A whole cycle of legends was formed about the obelisk in the early dawii of the Renaissance. Giovanni Dondi delF Orologio (t 1389) asserts having seen engraved in the middle of the monolith the distich

ingenio, Buzeta, tuo bis quinque puellse

appositis manibus hanc erexere columnam. Another even more absurd inscription is given by Giambullari ap. Mercati 'Obelischi,' p. 139. A third appears in the early epigraphic manuals of Metello, Lilius the gouty, Ferrarino, &c.

orbe sub hoc parvo conditur orbis Herus.

si lapis est unus, die qua fuit arte levatus,

et si sunt plures, die ubi contigui."

It will be seen that these last two lines are a different version of the couplet quoted on p. 507 of the last volume. Prof. Lanciani and the late Prof. J.H. Middleton (' The Remains of Ancient Rome,' vol. ii. p. 59) draw attention to a very interesting fact in the history of this obelisk. Among all the obelisks in Rome this is the only one which has never been thrown down. EDWARD BENSLY.

The University, Adelaide, South Australia.

"YARD OF ALE" (9 th S. ix. 84). A yard-of- ale glass, somewhat like a post-horn in shape, was exhibited by Mr. Hillyar Chapman, Kilhendre, Ellesmere, at the Loan Exhibition of Shropshire Antiquities held at Shrews- bury, 10-21 May, 1898, and I presume it is still-in his possession. HERBERT SOUTHAM (Hon. Sec. to the Exhibition).


BULL-BAITING (9 th S. ix. 188). I am not aware of any statute ordering bulls to be baited as a condition precedent to their flesh

being exposed for sale; but there were numerous borough or town laws to that effect. In some towns the butcher who sold the flesh of a bull in the market without having produced the animal on the previous market day to be baited was liable to a penalty, the reason being that the flesh of a baited bull was universally considered more tender and nutritious than that of animals slaugh- tered without being first submitted to the process. The belief, while it does not excuse the brutality of the act, was probably founded on fact. Many still assert that the flesh of hunted hares, deer, and rabbits is preferable to that of tame or snared animals. In reply to G. T.'s further inquiry, the baiting was undoubtedly by dogs, and not by being fed in a stall. F. A. RUSSELL.

49, Holbeach Road, Catford, S.E.

" WAGUES " (9 th S. ix. 204). In this highly interesting article the proposed etymology is, unfortunately, impossible. It is a pity that Anglo-Saxon should be quoted without any regard to its pronunciation. The A.-S. ag becomes aw, and wagian is no exception, the M.E. form being waivien or wawen ; see wagien in Stratmann. But the spelling wagues was presumably adopted to show that the g is hara ; so the word must be Norse.

The Icel. vagar (prig, wagar) is a fern, plural, but it means " a kind of bier or handbarrow." The Norw. vaga is a fern, sb., meaning "a short sledge for the conveyance of timber," but is more common in the pi. form vage, in which, as Aasen remarks, the g remains hard. Consequently, ivagues originally meant the rush-cart itself, but the plural form was naturally embarrassing, and a new sense had to be found for the singular, the sense chosen being that of one of the stangs by which the rush-cart was propelled. At least, such seems to be the solution which alone will suit the facts.

The etymology is from the Icel. vaga, cog- nate with A.-S. wagian, and having the same sense. It makes all the difference to the phonology. CELER.

PINS IN DRINKING VESSELS (9 th S. iv. 287, 358, 484 ; ix. 10, 136). It is worthy of note that the phrase " to put in the pin," meaning to refrain from drinking, is evidently in allusion to the rows of pins or pegs designed to regulate the amount which each person was expected to drink from the "peg tank- ard." The original sense apparently having been lost sight of, it is now applied merely to any habit or course of conduct which it is desirable should be stopped, as "to put in the pin at the New Year " i.e., to turn over a