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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 9.djvu/92

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84


NOTES' AND QUERIES. [9 th B. ix. FEB. i, 1902.


Greenwich; time, on the afternoon of 16 Jan 1809, the very day of the battle, so tha "moonbeams" were quite out of the question In the [First Series of ' N. & Q.' (vol. v p. 274) is a letter from the clergyman, H. J Symons (then at Hereford), who officiatec at the interment, which did not take plac until the morning after the general's death when the principal part of the troops hac embarked. Perhaps it may be permissibli to mention that I feel a special interest, ir addition to that which all my countrymen feel, in the circumstances connected wit! Moore's retreat, victory, and death, arising from the fact that the first service in which my father was employed as an army surgeon was as one of those who attended to th< wounded brought back from Corunna.

W. T. LYNN. Blackheath. [For summary of early references see 9 th S. vii. 463.

" SITTING ON THE FENCE." We are familiar with this phrase in politics. MR. DELEVINGNE in 7 th S. i. 6 notes a classical illustration ol what he describes as the Transatlantic phrase "Sitting on both sides of the fence." As regards the simpler phrase, we may note a passage written to Newman by " a gifted and deeply earnest lady, who in a para- bolical account of that time [18431 has described both my conduct as she felt it and her own feelings upon it. In a singularly graphic, amusing vision of pilgrims, who were making their way across a bleak common in great discomfort, and who were ever warned against, yet C9ntinually nearing, ' the King's highway' on the right, she says, 'All my fears and disquiets were speedily renewed by seeing

the most daring of our leaders suddenly stop

short, and declare that he would go no further. He did not, however, take the leap at once, but quietly sat down on the top of the fence with his feet hanging towards the road, as if he meant to take his time about it, and let himself down easily.'" 'Apologia pro Vita Sua,' 1882 ed., pp. 218-9. When one remembers the very wide circula- tion of Newman's 'Apologia,' and the close attention with which it has been read, it is not difficult to think that the memory of this passage has unconsciously made the " Trans- atlantic phrase" more familiar to our lips than it might otherwise have become.

WILLIAM GEORGE BLACK. Kamoyle, Dowanhill Gardens, Glasgow.

. "GROAT."-An "Order in Council approv- ing i reclamation declaring certain silver G /m at - s ?!' Four Pences current in the Colonv of Trinidad and Tobago" ('Statutory Rules and Orders of 1901,' No. 985) is mentioned in the current ' Monthly List of Official Publica- tions Miss G. B. Rawlings ('Story of the British Coinage,' 1898, p. 209) states that "in


1888 the coinage of the silver groat or four- penny piece was resumed for " British Guiana.

It would be interesting to know whether the name groat is now used in either of the colonies named, or whether the proclamation archaizes merely fancifully. The ' H.E.D.' mentions the reissue of 1888, with the note, " The name was neither officially recognized nor commonly used."

May I invite MR. UDAL, as nearest to the spot, to investigate this point 1 Q. V.

AERONAUTICS. In view of the recent suc- cessful experiments in Paris of M. Santos Dumont with regard to aerial navigation, the following extract is interesting. It is taken from Thomas Wright's introduction to his 'Biographia Britannica Literaria' (Anglo- Saxon Period), p. 68, in which he refers to

"a learned and ingenious monk of Malmesbury, named Ailmer, who not many years afterwards made wings to fly, an extraordinary advance in the march of mechanical invention, if we reflect that little more than a century before Asser the historian thought the invention of lanterns a thing sufficiently wonderful to confer an honour upon his patron King Alfred. But Ailmer, in the pre- sent instance, allowed his zeal to get the better of his judgment. Instead of cautiously making his first experiment from a low wall, he took flight From the top of the church steeple, and, after guttering for a short time helplessly in the air, he

ell to the ground and broke his legs. Undismayed

3y this accident, the crippled monk found comfort and encouragement in the reflection that his inven- tion would certainly have succeeded had he not "orgotten to put a tail behind."

RICHARD LAWSON.

"YARD OF ALE." The following extract i-om the Tatler of 8 January (No. 28, p. 52) seems worth preservation in ' N. & Q.' :

"The extraordinary-looking glass which is illus- rated on this page belongs to Dr. Ernest Fincham, vho bought it four years ago at Shrewsbury. It s believed to be the only genuine specimen of a yard of ale ' glass to be found in the United King- lorn. A hundred years ago these glasses were com- mratively common, and were to be found in most mis suspended from the wall by a coloured ribbon." Underneath the illustration it is stated that he glass is 38 in. high and contains two pints >f ale. It would be interesting to know if he specimen referred to is entitled to the unique honour claimed for it. URLLAD. [See ante, p. 80, Record of the Upper Norwood Uhenseum ; also 6 th S. v., vi., vii., x., passim.]

THE COURT OF ST. JAMES'S. Under the rord 'Court,' 8, the 'H.E.D.' prints the hrase "accredited as ambassador to the "ourt of St. James's," but I look in vain for ny syllable to show what is meant by " the ^ourt of St. James's." Nothing appears under he words 'Accredited' or 'Court' or