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284


NOTES AND QUERIES. [9 th s. ix. APRIL 12, 1902.


it, the Pan-cakes were naught, and the Mustar was good, and yet was not the knight forsworne.

Shakespeare emphasizes the oath " by min honour," and, to make the allusion all bu certain as referring to the two playwrights it need only be said that the knight from whom the clown learned the oath was th vainglorious Puntarvolo, who uses it i y. ii. ! CHAS. A. HERPICH.

18, Irving Place, New York City.


"MACERON": " MQCHERON." May I poin out that Mr. Edmund Gosse, in his ' Life anc Letters of John Donne' (published 1899 vol. i. p. 132) ; Mr. E. K. Chambers, in his edition of Donne's ' Poems ' (" Muses' Library,' vol. ii. pp. 240, 241) ; and also the late Dr A. B. Grosart, in his edition of the ' Poems ("The Fuller Worthies Library," vol. i. p.^69). commenting on the 'Epistle,' "Infinitat: Sacrum," &c., prefixed to 'The Progress oi the Soul,' all overlook the fact that the word which is spelt maceron in the 1635 edition is spelt mucheron in that of 1633, and remark that it means fop ? Mucheron, i.e., mushroom, is undoubtedly the correct reading, and maceron only a misprint.

In support of this view I would cite Burton's 'Anatomy of Melancholy,' part i sec. 1, mem. 2, subsec. 9, where, on the subject of metempsychosis, he writes : " Lucian's cock was first Euphorbus a captain :

Ille ego (nam raemini) Trojani tempore belli

Panthoides Euphorbus eram.

Ovid, 'Metam.,'xv. 161. A horse, a man, a sponge," c.

In this passage spongeis used as equivalent to fungus, with which it is cognate (vide Skeat's 'Etymological Dictionary'), and therefore meaning mucheron, as Donne has it, or, as we should now say, mushroom. The whole point of the argument from a Pytha- gorean point of view is lost if the word is to be taken as =fop. In subsec. 5 of the same part of the ' Anatomy ' Burton says : " The common division of the soul is into three principal faculties vegetal, sensitive, and rational, which make three distinct kinds of living creatures vegetal plants, sensible beasts, rational men."

In Donne's ' Epistle ' the order is the same, but reversed, viz., "an Emperour, in a Post- horse, and in a Mucheron " (i.e., mushroom), man, beast, vegetable, and to treat the word maceron as, in this connexion, meaning fop, i.e., as a human being, and not merely as a misprint, is a self-evident mistake, and I am somewhat surprised that it should not have been noticed before. C. S. HARRIS.


" SESAME." The ultimate origin of the name of this seed, which we have received through the Latin sesamum, from the Greek sesamon, has not been pointed out. At least it is not in Devic's supplement to Littre of ' Words of Oriental Origin,' nor in Skeat. Mahn- Webster gives an Arabic simsim. I believe it is of Assyrian origin, as in the cuneiform shamash-shammu, i.e., "sun-plant," is the word for sesame seed ; and if the first syllable be read according to its syllabic value, which is she (see L. W. King, ' Assyrian Language,' p. 89), we have she-shammu, which is still nearer to our " sesame." The plain of Mesopotamia was renowned for its marvellous produce of all kinds of grain (see Jastrow, ' Religion of Babylonia and Assyria,' p. 30). A. SMYTHK PALMER. S. Woodford.

'THE TRIAL OF THE SPIRITS.' Among the books attributed to Robert Hindmarsh in the 'D.NB.' article sub nomine is one bear- ing the title prefixed to this paragraph and published in 1825. The real author of the book, however, was the Rev. William Ettrick, of High Barns, near Sunderland, and instead of being as the name of its supposed author and its title - page, casually read, would indicate an " appreciation " of Emanuel Swedenborg, it is a bitter depreciation of that much discussed writer. The artfully concealed secret of the authorship was promptly exposed in the Intellectual Reposi- tory for July, 1825, and it was briefly dis- cussed by Robert Hindmarsh himself in his Rise and Progress of the New Church,' posthumously published in 1861 (pp. 430-1>. The Rev. William Ettrick published 'Two Apologetical Replies ' to his first Sweden- porgian critic, respectively in 1825 and 1826. ^Te was also the author of 'The Second Exodus,' 3 vols., published in 1810-14; 'The Season and Time,' in 1816 : 'Scripture Proofs of the Pre-Existence and Deity of Christ,' 819; and 'A Fragment of the History of John Bull,' in three parts, 1820-1; allof which, f contemporary gossip be trustworthy, the vorld of that day " willingly let die." The nnocent fancy or impudent fraud which

ives rise to the present paragraph forms also

he subject of an article appearing in the New Church Magazine for last month, where he matter is treated at greater length than s here desirable or possible.

CHARLES HIGHAM.

BLANCHE PARRYE. (See ante, p. 181.) i IB. W. E. HARLAND-OXLEY and others nterested in the above-named lady may be leased to know that the stained-glass window