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"Thus having said, he wreaths his brow
It is probable that the bridegroom also wore a myrtle wreath in former times; a few little branches still adorn the button-hole of German bridegrooms. Country girls, especially in the North of Germany and in Scandinavia, prefer a wreath or crown of artificial myrtle, showily adorned, too, with gold and silver flowers, and often a foot or eighteen inches high. In the evening such a bridal wreath is abgetanzt" (danced off), the bridesmaids and other young girls dancing round the bride, whose eyes are blind-folded. A lively tune is played; then the dancers stop, and the bride places the wreath on the brow of one of the young girls, who, of course, will be married first! This pretty scene forms the chorus in Marschner's opera spoken of. The wreaths are afterwards dried and kept, often under glass and frame, as a cherished remembrance. At a silver wedding-after the couple has been married for twenty-five years-a silver myrtle wreath is substituted for the green wreath; at a golden wedding (fifty years), a gold myrtle wreath.
There is, I must own, a good deal of German sentimentality mixed up with these old German customs; but a German wedding would lose a great deal of its poetry if the myrtle wreath were ever to be replaced by a bonnet. The daughters and brides of German kings and princes generally wear the orange blossom, though not on or in a "coal scuttle or" dessert plate," but as a wreath. When the fashion of wearing orange blossoms was introduced, I do not know, probably first by a royal bride; perhaps by Henrietta Maria, the consort of Charles I. The orange tree or the lemon tree, which latter blossoms more freely, was probably introduced into England some three or four hundred years ago, and it is evident that the rare flowers or blossoms were used for princely or royal brides only. But when? Gerarde, the most chatty and lively of all herbalists, does not mention their being worn by a bride at all, or not even as a bridal emblem or attribute, though he speaks, in this respect, of the myrtle. Neither does Turner, Lyte's translation of Dodonaeus, or astrological Culpepper mention this fact. Myrtle is now and then mentioned as a bridal emblem, as for instance by Marlow in that charming "Milkmaid's Song," which Izaak Walton quotes at length in his delightful Angler: —
"And I will make thee beds of roses,
Moreover, it is probable that the orange and lemon trees were introduced from Spain into France, from France into England, and that the custom- not to say fashion-of wearing orange blossoms as a bride came originally from Spain. Tradition says, that Hercules brought the orange tree from Italy to Spain. My own information of why the orange blossom was first worn in Spain as a bridal emblem is rather legendary, but I will
venture to tell it here.
The first orange or lemon tree had been sent to. a king of Spain, an Alphonso probably, as a great rarity; and the king was so charmed with the fragrance of its silvery blossoms, and not less with its golden fruit, that he ordered it to be kept as a real regal treasure. A special gardener was kept for this tree, who was also forbidden to appropriate any of its blossoms, fruit, or cuttings to himself; and I should not wonder if his penalty would have been death itself, if he had disobeyed the royal command. In due time several young trees rejoiced the heart of the king, but also that of the gardener's son, a young fellow deeply in love with some dark-eyed Pepita or Lola. The only obstacle of this love was-as so often poverty; but theirs was a secret scheme to obtain the money necessary for the little cottage and garden where they would live like two turtledoves. It was thus to be obtained:-The orange trees of the king had become a regular courtgossip, and the French ambassador had tried all means (front-stairs and back-stairs) to obtain a young tree for his own most Christian majesty ; but in vain: King Alphonso was too jealous of his treasure to allow such a thing, and the old gardener cared too much for his own head. But there was another actor, or rather prompter, on the scene, who found the right way of obtaining a tree. This was Cupid, the dark-eyed Pepita's friend. By some means or other the young gardener obtained the tree for the French ambassador, who paid him handsomely for it; and when Pepita was united to the former, she also wore a branch of orange blossoms in her dark hair, half hidden, it is true, under the lace mantilla, but conspicuous enough by their silvery whiteness.
Now it came to pass that King Alphonso had spent a sleepless night-one of those sleepless nights of kings, the only true remedy of which was to rise early, and to go to an early devotion to some out-of-the-way church where no one knew the sleepless majesties. Thus King Alphonso, only attended by one faithful servant, wended his way to the very church where our loving couple were to be united, "for better for worse, ," that morning. His majesty was attracted -kings are mortals-by the beauty of the fair Pepita, when she left the church, but also, alas! saw the branch of orange blossoms in her raven hair. Then the hot Andalusian blood rushed violently
through his veins. How did they obtain the flowers? "On your knees! I am the king!" Of course the "murder was out" on your knees, and ask for pardon. The bright teardewed eyes of the fair bride did not ask in vain: the king's heart melted. But I do not know whether the tree smuggled away by the French ambassador was mentioned; probably it was forgotten in the hurry and fright, or the king's heart would not have melted so easily! It was merely the branch of silvery blossom, broken off the tree to adorn the bride.
And this is the cause, my legend tells, why brides wear a branch of orange blossoms in their
hair, in remembrance of that fair Spanish bride Here, as I fancy, the rhyme is to "fower yëer."
who won home and husband by it.
Tyler, it is pronounced as Wot, to rhyme with pot; and I should incline to think that the descent of this pronunciation of the popular diminutive marks the correct original pronunciation of the full name, as intended to be conveyed by Shakespeare, in the dialogue between Suffolk and Whitmore, here referred to.
If this communication is not already too lengthy, I would wish to add that we have illustrations of both words in Chaucer: 1. From "The Clerke's Tale," pars quarta :
"In this estat ther passed ben foure yere
Shakespeare does the same, thus: "In him a plenitude of subtle matter, Applied to cautels, all strange forms receives, Of burning blushes, or of weeping water." (From "A Lover's Complaint.") This pronunciation, I may remark, survives in Gatty, a Christian name, and also a patronymic; thus, as Walter makes Watty, so may Gaultier make Gatty, though the author of The Heir of Redclyffe says Gatty = Gertrude.
Still, both the above quotations may be mere poetical licenses; and as one or two swallows do not make a summer, so one or two selected passages do not fix a pronunciation; and it is to be noted that when we use the familiar abbreviation of Walter, made famous by the name of Wat
Clearly no l.
2. From "The Prioresse's Tale": "Yet spake this child, whan spreint was the holy water, And sang, O Alma redemptoris mater.' C. T. 1. 13570, 1. This last so nearly resembles Butler's and Shakespeare's rhymes, that I will express no opinion on it, further than to say that I think Chaucer Anglicised the Latin vowels, and did not pronounce them according to Continental usage.
MADGE HILTON, THE WITCH OF PLUMPTON
A venerable old gentleman, now in his eightyfourth year, lately told me the following stories, which were current at Plumpton in his youth, about Madge.
Madge lived alone, in a solitary house, and was regarded with extreme aversion and dread by all her neighbours.
Once she had bewitched a neighbour's cow; the owner, suspecting the cause of the malady, with kindly words inveigled Madge into his house, and seated her cosily in the "ingle neuk." On the place where she sat two forks had been previously laid crosswise, so that Madge, once seated, was powerless to rise. Then coals and wood were heaped on the fire, and the flames roared fiercely up the chimney, but Madge could not stir. The heat grew more and more intense till the unhappy witch was nearly roasted. She screamed piteously to be released, but her screams were vain till she had taken off the enchantment and the cow was cured.
On another occasion the squire of the place visited Madge and complained that he could find no hares. She promised that one should be forthcoming on condition that the squire agreed not to let slip after it a certain black hound. The squire promised. She told him then to take himself and his dogs to the field behind her house, and that there they should find what they wanted. The squire went, and soon a hare broke through the
hedge and made across the country. The hare gave a famous run, always keeping just in front of the dogs. As evening came on, she bent her course towards Plumpton. The fear of losing the hare altogether made the squire forget his promise; the black hound was loosed and gained fast upon the hare, which now ran quicker than ever, and only just saved its life by jumping through the witch's window. The dog, however, did get one bite, and it was noticed that, by a strange coincidence, Madge limped long after. 'Twas lucky for her she did not live in the days of the “dear dad and gossip."
At another time, one of her neighbours met Madge returning from market, preceded by a goose, which waddled slowly and gravely before her. The path was narrow, and as the goose did not get out of the way, the peasant gave it a kick. To his amazement he beheld a broken pitcher lying before him, milk spilt on every side, and the old woman bitterly bewailing her loss.
The ingenious plan Madge had adopted for carrying her pitcher of milk from market was, to change it pro tem. into a goose.
At last the time came when Madge began to be missed from her accustomed haunts. Several days had passed without anyone seeing her. Her door was finally broken in, and Madge was found crushed to death between a barrel and the wall. The verdict unanimously come to by the gossips was, that the devil had adopted this plan of claiming his own.
Plumpton had also its Faust in the person of a schoolmaster of the name of Rich, of whom I shall say something in a subsequent note.
D. J. K.
A JEWEL FROM THE ORDER OF THE GARTER.
On my visit to Germany, I saw a beautiful work of art, and as I am certain that it is of English workmanship, I think that my communication may not be uninteresting to some of the readers of "N. & Q." It is a fine hyacinth of pure colour, of the size of half-a-crown, but oval, weighing 68 carats. There is engraved on it, or rather cut (not sunk, but raised) St. George with the Dragon, and in large Latin letters the motto "Honi soit qui mal y pense." This jewel was shown at the meeting of the Association of Naturalists at Jena, 1836, and valued by Sir Alexander Humboldt at 20007. It is also the opinion of the Geh. Rath von Olfers, Director-General of the Royal Museum at Berlin, and the Geh. Rath Tölken, Director of the Department of Antiquities, that this stone was cut in England about sixty or seventy years after the creation of the Order of the Garter, and worn as a jewel of that order by some royal personage. If it be so, and if this stone is perhaps unique, as I was assured, is it not a pity that it
should be lost to this country, as the owner of it has offered it for sale to some continental museum ? DR. J. T. LOTH. Edinburgh.
INEDITED LETTER OF LORD NELSON.-I have
in my collection an unpublished letter of Lord Nelson, and believing every scrap of information connected with him to possess an interest and be worth preserving, I place the accompanying copy at your disposal. The letter was written shortly after Nelson joined the squadron which had preceded him to the Mediterranean under Rear-Admiral Bickerton, off Cape Sicié: —
Victory, off Toulon, Oct. 23, 1803.
66 My dear Sir, "I return you many thanks for your kind remembrance of me, and I feel very much obliged by your present of Scilly Ling,' which Mr. Chapman delivered on the arrival of the Childers. I am watching and praying with me, I have no fear we shall give a very good acfor the sailing of the enemy's fleet, and, with the ships count of them. I sincerely condon on your loss, but some of us are always called before the others, and we know not whose turn may be next. We none of us can escape the Grim Gentleman.-I beg you will give my remembrances to any of our joint friends at Plyo. I have not time to answer Capt. Spicer's kind letter.
"Believe me ever, my.dear Sir, Yours most faithfully, (Signed) "NELSON AND BRONTE." "Wm. Williams, Esq., George Street, Plyo Dock." HENRY F. HOLT. 6, King's Road, Clapham Park, S.W. OCCLEVE'S" POEMS."-No. 8 in Ritson's List (Bibl. Poet., p. 61), "The most profytable and holsummyste crafte that ys Oonlye lerne to dye"; "Nowe lerne for to dye i me purpose " (MSS. Har. 172), is only a small portion, considerably modernised, of the latter part of a long "Poem of the Art of Dying" in the Royal MS. 17 D vi. Nos. 9 and 10 in Ritson's List 9. A poem beginning "Behold my child yf thou lyste for to lere" (MSS. Har. 172). 10. Advice to a child: "Bechaunce my childe thou settyste thi delyte" (Ib.)—are two parts of Burgh's translation of Cato.
F. J. F. MISS EDGEWORTH'S COMEDIES.-The writer of
the article on Miss Edgeworth in the Edinburgh Review for October last (pp. 497-8) states that two comedies by her are printed in the collected edition of her works. In 1817 was published Comic Dramas in Three Acts, by Maria Edgeworth, with a preface by her father. This volume contained: 1. "Love and Law"; 2. "The Two Guardians and 3. "The Rose, Thistle, and Shamrock." The writer only mentions the first and third, but omits the second.
JAMES BLADON. THE FRENCH INVASION OF WALES.-In Sir Walter Scott's Life of Napoleon Bonaparte (vol. i. chap. xxviii.), I find the following statement:
"Bonaparte, in the meanwhile, made a complete survey of the coast of the British Channel, pausing at each remarkable point, and making those remarks and calculations which induced him to adopt at an after period the renewal of the project for a descent upon England. The result of his observations decided his opinion that in the present case the undertaking ought to be abandoned. The immense preparations, and violent threats of invasion, were carried into no more serious effect than the landing of about twelve or fourteen hundred Frenchmen, under a General Tate, at Fishguard in South Wales."
From these statements the only conclusion to be drawn is, that the invasion of Wales took place after October, 1797: whereas anyone acquainted with the details of that remarkable event must know that it occurred in February of that year. General Tate's expedition was, therefore, not a result of the hostile preparations referred to by Scott. J. EDGAR EVANS. "BODDICE." - Inquiries were made some time ago for the origin of this word. I find in Minsheu: "A pair of bodies* for a woman. No doubt a pair of stays. These, of course, are in two halves connected with laces, and give another example of quasi-duality. We hear of a pair of stays, but never of a pair of shirts, whether masculine or feminine. A. A.
"PROFANAZIONE LITTERARIA."-The number of the Florence Gazetta del Popolo for April 7, 1868, under the above heading, speaks of " un sacrilegio commesso contra la Gerusalemme Liberata." The author of this "sacrilege" is the Rev. Padre Meila, O.S.J., who has just brought out an edition of Tasso's immortal poem. It is printed at the "stamperia" of the "Immaculata " at Modena. The work is a splendid specimen of Italian printing, and the Gazette says that every praise is due to the reverend editor for his excellent comments and learned notes. The embellish
* Ben Jonson, in his Underwoods, Elegy LX., speaks of
"The whalebone man
ments, lithographic and photographic, are in the first style of art. But Padre Meila has not only in the text frequently substituted his own words and expressions in many places, and without the stanzas!! In canto iv. ten verses are omitted; in slightest intimation, but he has left out entire canto vii. one verse; in canto xiv. one verse; in in canto xix. three verses thirty-four stanzas in canto xv. six verses; in canto xvi. thirteen verses; the whole! As the elegance of Meila's edition may prove attractive to collectors and booksellers, it is right to put such on their guard, and to assure them that in a textual point of view the edition of the Jerusalem Delivered, printed 1868 at the Immaculata Press of Modena, and edited by Padre Meila, is of less value than the common coarse paper editions printed at Milan, Prato, and Florence, and sold at bookstalls for one franc. The size of Meila's edition is not given by the Gazette. JAMES HENRY DIXON.
RESULT.-Misconstruction is a worse error than-bad as these are-mispronunciation or misspelling. At the Mansion House Easter Monday's dinner, when the usual compliment had been paid to the sister services, Admiral Key, responding for the navy, observed that the criticisms of the press "had resulted in many much-desired reforms in that branch of the service." Not having assisted at the Lord Mayor's Paschalities, I cannot say whether such were the ipsissima verba of the gallant officer, or the litera scripta of The Times' reporter: but I venture to think that the phrase would have been more germane to the matter
had the reforms been described as resulting from the criticisms, than the criticisms in the reforms.
E. L. S.
first generally written Banges. The first pilgrim came over to Plymouth in 1623. His name was Edward, and he called his first son John. He was a merchant, and quite a prominent man.
On the same old document are a seal and signature of John Freeman. The arms are three garbs, 2 and 1. Crest, a garb and an antelope's head, couped at the shoulders, attired. No tinctures shown. The crest and all are very finely engraved.
On another document, dated 1683, are a signature and seal of John Dillingham, whose father Edward came from Bitteswell, Leicestershire, about 1635. The crest is a stag's head couped at the shoulders, attired.
Being a descendant of these families I am anxious to learn whether these crests and arms are genuine or bogus.
Boston, Mass. U. S.
Seeing that Beamish occupies an intermediate state, could any correspondent of "N. & Q." show, not only which is the more ancient surname, Beal or Beaumont, but a more intimate relationship between the two names than is indicated in the above quotation ? J. BEALE. Box FOUND NEAR HOLBEACH.-The Gentleman's Magazine for 1779, p. 71, contains an engraving of a brass box found near Holbeach, in Lincolnshire. Can any one inform me in whose hands the original now is? I am anxious to see it. I think it was probably a chrismatory, or coffer for containing the bottles of holy oil. Each parish church formerly possessed a casket of this kind. EDWARD PEACOCK.
Voltaire, an account of an incident, or rather situation, which according to my recollection is applauded as possessing singular dramatic interest. Whether it is given as occurring in an existing drama, or only suggested as eminently suited for dramatic purposes, my memory does not enable me to say. The story is as follows:
A dethronement and a usurpation. In the confusion of these events, a faithful courtier of the dethroned king (who is also slain) carries off the infant son of the slain monarch, and also the infant son (who happens to be of the same age) of the usurper. The searches of the latter to recover the children prove fruitless for many years-affection prompting the searches for his own child, while he desired to secure the destruction of the other as a probable rival pretender to the throne.
After the lapse of years the old courtier and the two boys (then grown up to be young men) are discovered, the boys having been kept in ignorance of their births. The mingled joy and fury of the usurping tyrant will be imagined,joy at the recovery of his son, and having his possible competitor in his power, and fury against the offending courtier, who is of course to be put to death. "Nay," said the courtier, "but you do not know which of the two boys is your son. I alone possess that secret; put me to death and you can never know."
Will you, or any of your readers, tell me where the above story is to be found; or rather, where the foundation is to be met with which rests in my memory in the above form? J. H. C.
ESSEX'S COLOURS for painting in enamel are exhibited in some of the cases of the Museum of Practical Geology. Their particular merit is that they have the same colours when first used as they have after vitrification. I am anxious to know where such colours may be purchased. The officials of the Museum cannot inform me, as Mr. Essex emigrated, and does not appear to have left any agent in this country for their sale.
F. M. S.
Bottesford Manor, Brigg.
FAITH, HOPE, AND CHARITY.
"MAKE A BRIDGE OF GOLD FOR A FLYING Naye, my Maysteres, I must even tell ye, that in this ENEMY."- What is the original source of this thinge ye doe showe that ye have neither faithe, hope, saying? F. nor charitie, as a christian manne sholde. Where is your faithe in ye power of Godde's worde, if that word may "DEAD AS A RAT." Can any reader give the not be preacht except by youre own mouthes and accordorigin of the sayings "Weak as a rat" and "Deading to youre own traditions? Of what worthe is your as a rat"? A rat, for its size, is anything but a hope of ye cominge of Godde's kingdome, if that hope may weak animal, and it is by no means obvious why be driven oute by feare of such vayn thinges as the weara rat should be associated with death. To what period can these sayings be traced? Have they any connection with the rat-hunting propensities of some of our greatest nobility in the days of Q. George III.? DRAMATIC SITUATION.-Many years ago (up-lish Divine. wards of forty) I read, and know not (certainly) where, but I think somewhere in the works of
inge of a surplice, a littel poffe of smoake, a bowinge of ye knee, or a stoopinge of ye heade? Where is youre charitie, if ye saye to ye naked, excepte ye doe weare coates of our clothe and brychys of our fashione, ye shall not be clothed? and to ye thirstye, excepte ye do drinke oute of our cuppes, ye shall in no wyse taste of ye water of life? Fye, fye, in this ye do err greatlye."-Old Eng
The above is from the title-page of A Plea for Liberty of Conscience, with the History of Mre.