9*s. ix.ApKiL5,i902.] NOTES AND QUERIES.
quoted, showing that Napoleon was a believer on his deathbed :
Bella, immortal, benefica
Fede ai trionfi avvezza,
Scrivi ancor questo, allegrati,
Ch6 piu superba altezza
Al disonpr del Golgota
Giammai non si chin6.
The ' History of Napoleon ' alluded to con- cludes with the prompt and graceful answer of the Government of England in 1840 to the request made by M. Thiers, Prime Minister of France, for the removal of the remains of Napoleon. JOHN PICKFORD, M.A.
Newbourne Rectory, Woodbridge.
Of course, the great emperor's illness ac- counted for the unusual torpor which marked the last period of his life. Had it not been for this Waterloo, perhaps, had been a dif- ferent tale. Wellington might have stood out to the last man, but Napoleon would have swept that last man from before his path. There is not a shadow of a doubt that this fatal ailment influenced the seem- ing eulkiness of Napoleon towards his warder Sir Hudson Lowe. Lord Rosebery's account is biassed from beginning to end. Sir Hudson did his best to ameliorate Napoleon's position at St. Helena, but his best was necessarily his worst in the eyes of his illustrious captive under these circumstances. Quite recently I called his lordship's attention to the damaging article of MR. READE (9 th S. viii. 190), but the only reply vouchsafed to me was that he had not seen the article in question, nor had he any reason to modify his opinions. Of such stuff is history made. A peck of preconception evidently equals a bushel of truth. J. P). McGovERN.
8t. Stephen's Rectory, C.-on-M., Manchester.
"RATHER" (9^ S. ix. 7, 137). MR. EL- WORTHY, in his interesting reply, speaks of "the broad a in the modern rather," and seems to imply that the local pronunciation with long a, as in pave, is due to the con- servatism of the dialect. Is this so? Dialects certainly are conservative, but they are also slovenly and incorrect. I have often thought that there is; a tendency to over-estimate the value of dialects in this respect. The change of rathe to rave in Somerset should warn us not to attach too much importance to local pronunciation as a guide to the older forms of words. If rayther was the old pronuncia- tion of rather, we might argue that father was originally feyther ; but was it ? How is it that enough is pronounced enijf in one county and enew in the next? With regard to rather it is worth noting that in Chamber-
layne's * Pharonnida ' (see Nares) rath is made to rime with bath. C. C. B.
The comments of MR. ELWORTHY and LOBUC ire very pleasing to the writer of this item. The "dialects" of England "are the great repository of old English," says the former ; while the latter emphasizes very properly the "steadfastness with which poorer folk adhere to ancient pronunciation, while the more educated classes make changes." " Poor folk still say rayther." Quite so. They say "a" is d, so "ra" is ra. Fifty years ago, in the North, " rathe " was rathe, as to sound. Possibly it is "correct " to say " rath " now. Some few years ago I heard one of our greatest actors say, " Hell itself doth garp contagion," &c. I prefer gape, but perhaps I am "behind the times.' Even if you cannot say rathe, rather, rathest, rathe and rather are closely connected, and ready is a near relation. Indeed, does not rathe mean soon ready, and does not " I would rather do so- and-so " mean "I would more readily do so- and-so? LOBUC says, "The higher ranks are accustomed to pronounce rather as rarifcr." The fact that by sticking in the r there he can give the sound that the " higher ranks " want is a proof that, if we must have the Italian a sound to please the "educated classes," it can be got by the not very costly addition of an r in most cases. There is very little difference between ar and the continental a if the second letter in ar is not "rolled."
The following remarks in the Spectator for 15 February by H. C. Tierney may be conveniently added to those of MR. ELWORTHY and LOBUC : "Many old English customs, and numbers of Anglo-Saxon words, <fec., which have died out in England itself, still survive in 'Little England beyond Wales'" (i.e., Pembrokeshire, &c.). W. H. B.
EARLIEST PRINTED INSTRUCTIONS TO SUN- DAY-SCHOOL TEACHERS (9 th S. ix. 69, 154).-In 1880 my friend the late Mr. John Taylor, of Northampton, compiled and issued a valuable pamphlet on * Robert Raikes and Northamp- tonshire Sunday Schools.' To it is added an appendix containing "A List of Publica- tions by Northamptonshire Authors, or issued from the Press in Northamptonshire, relating to Sunday Schools; Books printed by the Raikes Family at Northampton and Glouces- ter ; a Brief Account of the Originators of Sunday Schools ; Historical Notes ; Ac., &c. I cannot find any notice of the Instruc- tions" therein ; but it seems to me that their existence may appropriately be noted under this heading. JOHN T. PACK.