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Notes and Queries Current Issue

Published: Sat, 14 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2017 02:46:36 GMT


L ucy M c D iarmid , Poets & The Peacock Dinner: The Literary History of a Meal .


McDiarmidLucy, Poets & The Peacock Dinner: The Literary History of a Meal. Pp. xviii + 212. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. £20.00 (ISBN 978 0 19 872278 6).

Books Received


Adam Ainsworth, Oliver Double, and Louise Peacock (eds), Popular Performance. Pp. x + 289 (Bloomsbury Methuen Drama). London and New York: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2017. £70.00 (ISBN 978 1 474 24734 4).

EXETER BOOK RIDDLES , II: The Significant but Often Misleading Opening Word


CONTINUED from vol. 262 (64/2), 213–17.11

Volaten and Volating: Two Ghost Words in the Middle English Dictionary


THE Middle English Dictionary lists the verb volaten and the gerund volating as independent entries. The verb is said to mean ‘[t]o be nauseated; also, feel nauseated by (food and drink, or what one has already consumed), feel loathing for’, the definition for the gerund being ‘[f]eeling nauseated (by food and drink)’. As concerns the origin of the verb, the dictionary suggests, with a question mark, that it may be Medieval Latin volatus, past participle of volare.11 The etymology put forth is presumably motivated by the possibility of nausea leading to vomiting (cf. the phrasal verb throw up). The five citations for volaten and the one for volating come from a single work, Faye Getz’s edition of a Middle English translation of Gilbertus Anglicus’ Compendium medicinae.22 Several copies of the translation survive in medieval manuscripts, the one edited by Getz being found in Wellcome Library MS 537, fols 48r–310v.33

Jordan and Sharpham: A Lost Play and an Annotated Playbook


SINCE the mid-nineteenth century, catalogues of early modern plays have recorded an otherwise unknown lost play, ‘The Florentine Ladies’, for which there survives a Prologue and Epilogue by the writer Thomas Jordan.11 This note will suggest that ‘The Florentine Ladies’ seems to have had some sort of connection to Edward Sharpham’s The Fleire.

The ‘Propheticall Tristike’ Sent to William Lilly on 14 January 1649


A little over two weeks before the execution of King Charles I, the parson of Little Wigborough in Essex wrote a letter to the astrologer and parliamentarian propagandist William Lilly, whose partisan expositions of prophecies had earned him renown and a wide readership during the English Civil War. This letter of 14 January 1649 survives, as several scholars have noted, in MS Ashmole 423 in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Its author, Robert Sterrell, designated himself Lilly’s ‘pupil’ and desired his correspondent, whom he had never met, to cast his horoscope in order to determine whether he might, like Lilly, ‘attaine vnto any Competent skill in Astrologie’.11 Scholars have discussed the foregoing details from Sterrell’s letter but have neglected another of its features: a reference to an enclosed book, with a ‘propheticall tristike’ inscribed on a flyleaf, offered to Lilly by way of advance payment for the requested horoscope.22 The tristich in question had been found by Sterrell, according to his own account, ‘in an old manuscript’. A copy is not preserved in the Ashmole volume with the letter. Until now, scholars have failed to note the presence of a text matching its description in another Bodleian manuscript: MS Rawlinson C.813.

Marvell and Spenser: ‘The Gallery’ and ‘The unfortunate Lover’


A previous note11 indicated that all major sections of Andrew Marvell’s ‘Upon Appleton House’ (UAH) contain probable proximate appropriations from Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (FQ). In the case of UAH, scholars had already identified some links between UAH and FQ, to which the note added others. To the best of my knowledge, however, with two partial exceptions noted below, no such use of Spenser by Marvell has been suggested for two other poems, ‘The Gallery’ (TG) and ‘The unfortunate Lover’ (TUL). The primary purpose of this note is to provide evidence that each of these poems draws to a considerable extent on Spenser’s works, particularly FQ, and to outline some implications of Marvell’s use of Spenser in both.22

Sir Aston Cokain’s Unknown Book


THE poet, playwright, and translator Sir Aston Cokain, baronet (1608–84; also spelt Cokayne, Cockayne, and Cokaine) was an important member of royalist coterie in the time of the English Civil Wars and the Interregnum. This circle of men of letters, associated especially with the London royalist publisher Humphrey Moseley, imprinted both their friendship and their pro-monarchical stance on several publications to which they contributed with prefaces and commendatory poems. The most significant project was the Beaumont and Fletcher folio (1647), for which Cokain wrote one of the thirty-four prefatory poems. Whilst he had been penning such poems since the 1630s, it was only in the 1650s that he began publishing his own work: translations, poems, and plays. Possibly his best known play is a comedy, Trappolin (1658), which was adapted by Nahum Tate and remained popular throughout the eighteenth century under the title A Duke and No Duke.11 Cokain was well acquainted with several prominent Stuart playwrights and poets, including Philip Massinger, John Fletcher, Richard Brome, and Michael Drayton, and owned manuscript copies of some of their unpublished plays; he claimed he had a copy of Fletcher’s tragicomedy The Mad Lover and planned to arrange its publication following the closure of theatres in 1642, before he became aware of Moseley’s folio project.22 Yet in spite of his significant literary and book collecting activity, it has been assumed that none of the works he once owned, either in print or manuscript, actually survived. However, a hitherto unidentified dramatic collection held in the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford, possibly bears traces not only of his ownership but also his annotations.

Lady Elizabeth Delaval (1648/9–1717): Toothworms and Intertextuality


The life-writing manuscript of Lady Elizabeth Delaval exists in a single, bound volume, into which she transcribed various notes originally composed between 1663 and 1672.11 As Margaret J. M. Ezell has explained, ‘this manuscript volume, both in its presentation and in its content, demonstrates the extent and sophistication of a young woman’s concept of literary self-presentation during the Commonwealth and Restoration’.22 This makes the text particularly interesting to literary historians: it contains a mixture of genres including autobiography, poetry, religious mediations, and prayers.

Shaftesbury’s Neoclassical Landscape


ART historians consider the third Earl of Shaftesbury a founder of English neoclassicism because he explicitly introduced ideas of classical and Renaissance art theory into his philosophical works. He was exceptional in his devotion to the ancients in a time when antiquity was rarely ‘freshly studied’, having long been ‘part of the furniture of the educated mind’.11 This note proposes that he applied a classical notion of painterly idealism in a novel way. Greek and Roman texts describe how a painter crafts an image of the ideal woman or goddess by combining the best points of living models, and the Renaissance zealously revived this principle. Art theorists presented it as a means of composing individual figures and then the full pictorial field as this concept emerged.22 I will propose that Shaftesbury transferred this notion of ideal composition from the figure to the landscape as he theorized a mental image of perfect concord. In The Moralists, the principle underpins his claim that a scenic view may be the starting point for an ideal image of society.

A Ghost Ballad by Matthew Prior


A single-sheet broadside in the Crawford collection, on loan to the National Library of Scotland, is entitled A Ballad on the Battle of the Two Dukes (Crawford 1196).11 It appears to be the only copy known. There is a manuscript note at the head of the text, above a woodcut illustration, in an eighteenth-century hand, which reads: ‘duke upon duke / An Excellent New Play House Ballad / made [?] by Mr Prior.22 Accordingly the library catalogue attributes the item to Matthew Prior, and adds the information, ‘[London: s.n. 1688?]’ The same facts are supplied by the entry in Wing, 2nd edn, B604BB; they are also copied in EEBO, ESTC (item R172574), and the English Broadside Ballad database (item EBBA 34706), the first and last of which reproduce the text of the poem. All these sources have mistaken the occasion of the ballad, and along with this its date and author.

The Welsh Sections in Defoe’s Tour : Some Unexplored References


DANIEL DEFOE had little or no firsthand knowledge of wilder Wales, the first (although not the last) major obstacle of this kind he encountered in writing his Tour thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain (1724–26). His coverage of the principality is squeezed into the last fifth of his sixth ‘letter’, found in Volume 2 of the Tour. In previous notes (N&Q, cclx (2015), 285–95; cclxi (2016), 594–602), I have supplied references for the earlier sections of this letter. Here the references concern the supposed journey beginning in Monmouthshire and ending at Flint near the Dee estuary. The text is that of Defoe’s Writings on Travel, Discovery and History, ed. John McVeagh, 8 vols (London, 2001–02), here cited as ‘Writings’. References explained by McVeagh or other previous editors are omitted.

Richardson and the Emblems on Clarissa’s Coffin


In his account of the coffin which Clarissa was preparing for her expected demise, in Letter 451 of Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa (1747–48), Belford describes two unusual pictorial symbols which Clarissa had adopted, ‘a crowned serpent, with its tail in its mouth, forming a ring, the symbol of eternity’, and ‘the head of a white lily snapped short off, and just falling from the stalk’ (Figure 1).11 The snake with its tail in its mouth was an ancient motif found in most cultures of Indo-European origin, even appearing as Jörmunjandr, or the Midgard Serpent, in Norse mythology, and was a familiar concept in the Roman Empire at least by the fourth century.22 The broken-stemmed lily may also seem a fairly traditional image, and is not infrequently found on English funeral monuments after 1765.33 Unlike the snake with its tail in its mouth image, however, the only recorded use of the broken-stemmed lily previous to Richardson seems to have been in a little-known Spanish publication of 1610, Emblemas Morales, by Sebastian de Covarrubias Orozco (1539–1613).44

Reader’s Query


WYNDHAM LEWIS (1882–1957): Unpublished and previously unseen letters, archival material, information, memorabilia, and photographs sought, apart from those available in published works and/or the main Lewis archives (Cornell, Buffalo, and Texas). Contact: Professor Paul Edwards (

Two Allusions in Samuel Johnson’s The False Alarm


IN ‘ “Defying Our Master”: The Appropriation of Milton in Johnson’s Political Tracts’, Bruce Redford demonstrates the use of allusions to Paradise Lost in all four of Samuel Johnson’s late political pamphlets to demonize opponents of George III’s ministers, directed primarily against John Wilkes and his party.11 For example, in the 1770 The False Alarm, Johnson writes: The great engine has recoiled upon them. They thought that ‘the terms they sent were terms of weight’, which would have ‘amazed all and stumbled many’; but the consternation is now over, and their foes ‘stand upright’, as before.22 As Yale editor Donald J. Greene notes, this passage draws upon Paradise Lost, VI, 621–627. Redford observes of it: ‘his [Wilke’s] “scoffing, ambiguous words” prove as unfounded and as futile as the maneuvers of the revolting angels. Mutatis mutandis, Wilkes and Company recapitulate the foolish bravado of their Satanic exemplars.’33 Elsewhere in The False Alarm we see two additional allusions, one missed and the other misattributed by Greene, which similarly exhibit Johnson’s careful use of intertextual allusion to subliminally adumbrate and bolster his political rhetoric.

A Source for the Image of the Loadstones in Dryden’s The Hind and the Panther


IN The Hind and the Panther (1687) Dryden has the following lines which are spoken by the Panther, representing the Church of England: ‘’Tis true,’ she said, ‘I think it somewhat strangeSo few should follow profitable change:For present joys are more to flesh and bloodThan a dull prospect of a distant good.’Twas well alluded by a son of mine(I hope to quote him is not to purloin)Two magnets, heaven and earth, allure to bliss,The larger loadstone that, the nearer this:The weak attraction of the greater fails,We nod awhile, but neighbourhood prevails:But when the greater proves the nearer too,I wonder more your converts come so slow.Methinks in those who firm with me remain,It shows a nobler principle than gain.’11 Dryden’s editors have not identified the source of the image of the two loadstones or magnets which the Panther says she has taken from the work of one of her sons, that is, from an Anglican writer.22 Here, however, is a passage which the Panther might have had in mind: Were not this Chief Good perfectly One, were there any other equal to it; man’s Soul would hang in æquilibrio, equally poised, equally desiring the enjoyment of both, but moving to neither; like a piece of Iron between two Loadstones of equal virtue. But when Religion enters into the Soul, it charms all its restless rage and violent appetite, by discovering to it the Universal Fountain-fulness of One Supreme Almighty Goodness. The quotation comes from John Smith’s Select Discourses (London, 1660), 415. It might be stretching the point a little for the Panther to describe Smith, one of the Cambridge Platonists, as her son, for when he took up his fellowship at Queens’ College, Cambridge, in 1644 he was one of a group of incomers who replaced fellows ejected as a result of the Earl of Manchester’s purge of those who refused to take the covenant, and he took up his post only after satisfying the Westminster Assembly of his fitness.33 But he would certainly have declared his allegiance to the Church of England when he matriculated at Emmanuel College in 1636; his funeral sermon was preached by Simon Patrick, the future Bishop of Ely; and his Select Discourses was assembled by the Anglican clergyman John Worthington. The collection was reprinted in 1676, so was current when Dryden was composing his poem. Smith had been a neighbour of the Drydens in Northamptonshire, being born in 1618 at Achurch, just a couple of miles from the Dryden family homes at Aldwincle and Titchmarsh. It may be fanciful to hear a private allusion to this connection in the phrase ‘neighbourhood prevails’, but there is a stronger link, for Dryden composed a Carmen Lapidarium on the death of John Smith in 1652 when he was an undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge.44 It is not unlikely that while exploring Anglican theological writings in his preparation for The Hind and the Panther55 Dryden may have taken up this posthumous collection of Smith’s writings, turned to this discourse ‘Of the Excellency and Nobleness of True Religion’ (which would actually have been an appropriate subtitle for Dryden’s poem), and noted this image of the two loadstones, which, like the Panther’s metaphor, occurs in the context of an argument about man being attracted by two powerful but incompatible forms of the good.

Politics, Satire, and Caroline Manuscript Drama: The Example of The Twice Chang’d Friar (Arbury Hall MS A414)


RECENT years have seen important work on political and topical satire in early Stuart England, with special attention being paid to manuscript culture and genres such as the verse libel, as scholars have come to recognize that the ‘public sphere’ included contemporaries’ ‘often rude efforts in manuscript as well as the more stately published items’.11 There has also been significant research on the importance of political drama and satire on the Caroline stage.22 However, despite the case made by scholars such as Andrew McRae for the pervasiveness of political satire in early Stuart culture, less attention has been paid to the politics of manuscript plays of this era.33The Twice Chang’d Friar (Arbury Hall MS A414)—a little known manuscript comedy (written c. 1627–30), soon to be published for the first time44—suggests that political satire was similarly important in the world of Caroline manuscript drama and that at least some amateur playwrights, followed the example of their professional peers, and used their plays to work ‘out their political ideas’.55

D ouglas G ray , Simple Forms: Essays on Medieval English Popular Literature .


GrayDouglas, Simple Forms: Essays on Medieval English Popular Literature. Pp. x + 267. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. £55.00 (ISBN 978 0 19 870609 0).

E mma S mith , Shakespeare’s First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book ; J ohn K errigan , Shakespeare’s Binding Language .


SmithEmma, Shakespeare’s First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book. Pp. xiv + 379. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. £19.99 (ISBN 978 0 19 875436 7).

R oger E. M oore , Jane Austen and the Reformation: Remembering the Sacred Landscape .


MooreRoger E., Jane Austen and the Reformation: Remembering the Sacred Landscape. Pp. x + 167. Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2016. £95.00, $149.95 and London, Routledge, 2017. £110.00 (ISBN 978–1–4724–3283–4).

J ames S eaton , Literary Criticism from Plato to Postmodernism: The Humanistic Alternative .


SeatonJames, Literary Criticism from Plato to Postmodernism: The Humanistic Alternative. Pp. x + 225. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. £67.00 (ISBN 978 1 107 02610 0) paperbound £19.99 (ISBN: 978 1 107 51493 5).

Two Mis-identifications of William Barlow


IN her book Charting an Empire: Geography at the English Universities 1580–1620,11 Lesley B. Cormack attempts to demonstrate how William Barlow, Canon of Winchester Cathedral and expert on navigation, came to be chosen as one of the Chaplains to Prince Henry Frederick, eldest son of King James I. Dr Cormack cites a passage from Thomas Birch’s Life of Henry, Prince of Wales (1760): Barlow first met Henry in 1605, when the Prince visited Oxford. On that occasion, Barlow disputed before Henry and James on the question ‘given out by the king himself, … that it is greater to defend than to enlarge the bounds of an empire’. (52) A careful examination of the page mentioned by Dr Cormack will reveal that, although the question was indeed disputed, one of the participants was not William Barlow, but William Ballow who was Senior Proctor of Christ Church College, Oxford. Clearly, Barlow the scientific prelate got his princely job by other means.

‘The thrid w ch doth my painefull life sustaine’: A New Poem by Kenelm Digby


IN 1877, Henry Bright published a collection of fifteen Poems from Sir Kenelm Digby’s Papers that had been passed from the family of the famous seventeenth-century courtier, philosopher, and pirate, Kenelm Digby, to his own.11 In addition to pieces by Ben Jonson, George Villiers, and perhaps Walter Raleigh, Digby composed five of the poems in the collection. While realizing that he held some remarkable material, Bright lamented in the introduction to his edition that ‘Some papers are missing from the packet. They were given away as autographs, and cannot be recovered’.22 I have recently discovered what is almost certainly one of these papers. Like the others in Bright’s collection, it is on two loose pieces of faded paper and is in Digby’s elegant, swooping hand, autographed ‘KD’. This poem has travelled from England to America, and is now housed at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC.33 It is an original, has not been hitherto printed, and, to my knowledge, there is no other copy. I include a transcription of the poem in its entirety here: [1r]The thrid wch doth my painefull life sustaine  is growne so feeble that I feare  it soone will breake, and death growes neere.For since that lukelesse hower wch did part  my wretched soule from her, I find  that griefe hath quite oregrowne my mind,  and strucke this doubt unto my hartthat I nere more those favors shall obtainewch once I had; nor see her face againe.Time flyes away, and howers runne so fast  that I have hardely space to weigh  my miserie; but as to daythe rose is blowne and sweetly spreds her leaves,  when the next sunne comes to his height  above our heads, it withers streight,  and litle signe behind it leavesof what it was; Just so do I make hastunto my end now that my joys are past.[2v]All places now alike disturbe my rest  and hidious seeme, because those eyes  I can not see on whom relyesmy earthly happinesse and all my joye.  My thoughtes, whither I sleepe or wake  are fixt on her; yet can I take  no comfort in this deepe annoye:Butt by my present state wth woe opprestI learne to know how much I once was blest.Alas! if by discourse I might give ease  unto those flames of strong desire  wch burne in me like raging fire,then my complaints and sighes might coole my hart:  But sure t’were better to refraine  all such expressions made in vaine  and stupide grow in feeling smart.Thin, must I suffir shippwracke in these seasof woe, for here, naught can my griefes appease.[2r]What shall I doe? those tresses of her haire,  wch might stirre enive in the sunne,  and eyes that ere the day were donewould cloude his beames and overshine his light,  are gone, and left me here alone  in miserie to make my mone  unto the starres; and in this nightof her sadde absince, sigh, weepe, and despaireof ever seeing woman halfe so faire.Goe litle paper, if thou dost arrive  unto that Paradise most sweetewhere shee abides, and that her gratious handeshee do stretch forth; beware, touch not, but stande  aloofe, then falling att her feetetill her, If ten dayes hence I be aliveI’le see her in my wonted forme; if dead,my Ghost shall evr’ie night waite by her bed.KD As is the case with most of those in Bright’s collection, the poem was evidently written soon after the death of his wife, Venetia Digby, in 1633. While there has now been a good deal written on Di[...]

Heydon’s Plagiarism of Culverwell’s Discourse, With its Deceptive Citations of Hobbes, et al.


WHEN Nathaniel Culverwell, Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, died in 1651 at the age of 31, he left behind eight sermons, as well as a course of lectures on the natural law delivered to students in the College in 1645–46. His friend William Dillingham, who had been appointed Fellow together with Culverwell in 1642, tested the market by publishing with the University printer one of those sermons, Spiritual opticks, in 1651. Its positive reception led him to publish the lectures and the sermons together in 1652 under the title An elegant and learned discourse of the light of nature with several other treatises.11

Abraham Ilive and All-Alive and Merry


NICHOLAS Seager states that ‘A. Merryman’,11 the proprietor for whom the London newspaper All-Alive and Merry was printed between 1739 and 1743,22 was ‘probably a pseudonym for Abraham Ilive’.33 This claim was also made by Keymer and Sabor in 2005.44

‘Look, My Lord, It Comes’: Ghostly Silences in the Boswell/Johnson Archive


IN the account of his and Johnson’s tour of Scotland, Boswell records the following exchange: Having taken the liberty, this evening, to remark to Dr. Johnson, that he very often sat quite silent for a long time, even when in company with only a single friend, which I myself had sometimes sadly experienced, he smiled and said, ‘It is true, sir. Tom Tyers, (for so he familiarly called our ingenious friend, who, since his death, has paid a biographical tribute to his memory,) Tom Tyers described me the best. He once said to me, “Sir, you are like a ghost: you never speak till you are spoken to”’.11 In a passage from Johnson’s ‘Life of Dryden’—a work in which many descriptions of this major precursor appear autobiographical—he sheds some light on the psychological motivation underlying the reticence Tyers noted: The modesty which made him so slow to advance, and so, easy to be repulsed, was certainly no suspicion of deficient merit, or unconsciousness of his own value: he appears to have known, in its whole extent, the dignity of his character, and to have set a very high value on his own powers and performances. He probably did not offer his conversation, because he expected it to be solicited; and he retired from a cold reception, not submissive but indignant, with such reverence of his own greatness as made him unwilling to expose it to neglect or violation.22 This reading suggests that the silence Johnson often maintained is an index not of humility, but of pride.33

Traces of Impact of the Work of the English Deist Thomas Morgan in Early America


The dissenter, medical scholar, and deist Thomas Morgan was born in 1671/2. He was educated at Bridgwater Academy in Somerset, was ordained as Presbyterian minister in Frome in Somerset in 1716, and served the church of Marlborough in Wiltshire during the years from 1716 until 1724. In that year he was dismissed for heresy. He studied medicine and gained a medical doctorate in Glasgow, tried to be a medical practitioner in Bristol, wrote two important medical works, and worked and, from 1735, lived in London. He died in 1743. His most important deist publication was in 1737–40; in three volumes he anonymously published Moral philosopher, in a dialogue between Philalethes, a Christian Deist, and Theophanes, a Christian Jew, in which he called himself a Christian deist. This work attacked the Jewish part of the revelation in the Bible.11

Origin of the Phrase “Indian Summer”


For more than two centuries, Americans have used the phrase ‘Indian Summer’ to describe a brief period of warm weather in the late autumn or winter, often accompanied by a hazy or smoky atmosphere, but the etymology of the phrase has long been disputed by English scholars.11 Apparently, it is a relatively recent addition to the English lexicon, having originated during the mid-eighteenth century somewhere in the northeastern British colonies of North America. The phrase has been found in only four pre-1800 sources, and all from this region.22 The earliest unambiguous example was penned in French in 1778, by the writer John Hector St John de Crèvecœur (1735–1813), near the modern village of Herkimer, New York, of which the first English translation appeared in 1787: Sometimes the rain is followed by an interval of calm and warmth which is called the Indian Summer (l’Eté Sauvage); its characteristics are a tranquil atmosphere and general smokiness. Up to this epoch the approaches of winter are doubtful; it arrives about the middle of November, although snows and brief freezes often occur long before that date. The second source is the journal of Philadelphia-born Josiah Harmar (1753–1813), who used the phrase on three separate occasions, on 21, 23, and 31 October 1790, respectively.33 At that time, Harmar was serving as General-in-Chief of the United States Army in present day Indiana. The third source, dated 13 October 1794, and first published in 1859, was written in the military journal of Major Ebenezer Denny (1761–1822) near Erie, Pennsylvania: ‘Pleasant weather. The Indian summer here. Frosty nights.’ The fourth was written in Connecticut in 1798 by Dr Mason F. Cogswell (1761–1830): ‘About the beginning of January the weather softened considerably, and continued mild for several days. Most people supposed the Indian Summer was approaching (a week or fortnight of warm weather, which generally takes place about the middle of January).’ Remarkably, not only was the phrase not used in print before 1794; Matthews was unable to locate any reference to the supposed weather phenomonon under any other name, before the late eighteenth century: Of increased warmth, of smokiness, of haze, three features which, as already remarked, are in the popular mind the distinguishing characteristics of the Indian summer, of these, there is not so much as a hint [in pre-1800 sources other than those quoted above]. I have dwelt at some length upon the writers of the period just before 1800, because it was at this very time that the term Indian summer came into use and the alleged phenomena of the Indian-summer season came to be noticed. The fact, therefore, that so many writers previous to 1800 neither employed the term nor recognized the season, is singular, significant, and noteworthy. After 1800, the phrase flourished, appearing in published works with increasing frequency and spreading ‘westward across the Mississippi valley; southward along the Atlantic coast, and northward into Canada’, where it appeared in print in 1821, and then in England by 1830.44 Although the earliest known reference (Crèvecœur) wrote that the Indian Summer occured in mid-November, the definition of the phrase became more and more vague as it expanded geographically, until eventually it was being applied to a[...]

W illiam B ellamy , Shakespeare’s Verbal Art .


BellamyWilliam, Shakespeare’s Verbal Art. Pp. x + 527. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015. £62.99 (ISBN 978 1 4438 8384 9).

The Spelling of Brunanburh


IN the continuing controversy over the location of Brunanburh, the site of the tenth-century ‘Great Battle’,11 the place-name itself constitutes a key piece of evidence; but it is evidence that has proved strangely difficult to pin down. In the last eighty years the authority of the spelling Brunanburh, from the earliest manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Corpus Christi College Cambridge ms 173 (ms A), has never been questioned.22 But an alternative spelling of Brunnanburh was current in the tenth century, within living memory of the battle; and the witnesses for that spelling are early enough, and numerous enough, to make it at least questionable that they can be explained purely by copyists’ mistakes. Are these differences in spelling all errors, or do they have a significance that we have missed?33 On the principle of leaving no stone unturned, the aim of this note is simply to re-examine the most obvious, yet most ignored, aspect of the controversy: the spelling of Brunanburh.

Bigamy and the Bible in Ælfric’s ‘Preface to Genesis’


AT the start of his preface to the Old English translation of Genesis, Ælfric expresses to Ealdorman Æþelweard his great fear that those able to read the book for themselves in their own language will conclude that they are free to act now as the patriarchs did then. Even his own teacher, a mass-priest, who told the young Ælfric of the disturbing example of Jacob’s polygamy, did not understand the enormous difference between the Old Law and the New: þa cwæð he be þam heahfædere Iacobe, þæt he hæfde feower wif: twa geswustra and heora twa þinena; ful soð he sæde, ac he nyste, ne ic þa git, hu micel todal ys betweohx þære ealdan æ and þære niwan.11 That the aim of the anecdote is to shock, rather than just to illustrate the difference between the two Laws, is clear enough from the fact that Ælfric could, had he so wished, have had his teacher quote the part of the Old Law which licensed bigamy, or have cited the less extreme example of Abraham’s bigamy with Hagar.22 In the beginning of this world, Ælfric continues, it was necessary for relatives to marry and have children together because there was no one else for them to marry and have children with. Jacob’s marriages, then, are an extreme example of behaviour which was pragmatically required for the chosen people to multiply and replenish the earth, although the Bible does not itself give this explanation for his bigamy. At this juncture in the argument, the difference between the Old Law and the New appears to be constituted merely of varying accommodations to different historical conditions, with the Christian now forbidden to follow the licence permitted by the Old Law.33 The preface, however, then moves on: to the problem of married priests, and then more openly to the spiritual meaning of Genesis (in particular to the encoding of the Trinity in the first chapter of the book) and the important role of the priesthood in mediating that symbolic sense to the laity. Ælfric’s teacher and Jacob’s multiple bigamy are apparently left behind and are not mentioned again. But we surely feel by the end that some questions remain unanswered. Why did his teacher specify that the wives were two sisters and their two maidservants? And what was so significant about this that caused Ælfric to repeat it thus? This is not a Biblical quotation where the words of the original might be respected for the sake of it. The abomination of Jacob lies squarely in his quadrigamy and the added material is surely ancillary to that, whatever the relations were between the various wives? And why does Ælfric not return to this example later, if it was so important to him as to be hard-wired in his memory from youth, and give us the symbolic meaning of these patriarchal scandals, so that the lay reader might understand what his own teacher seemingly did not, that that which shocks and appals at the literal level conceals sublime (but still, for sure, admonitory)44 truth? My purpose here is to try to answer these questions.

The Death of Strafford: An Unknown Poem and a Rival Attribution


IN the Rare Book Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill, two poems written on the death of Thomas Wentworth, the first Earl of Strafford (1593–1641) are inscribed upon the flyleaves of a 1617 print edition of Edmund Spenser’s works, the first of which is anonymous and previously unknown, and the second, a copy of a poem usually attributed to Sir John Denham, but in this copy with an alternate attribution. Although the first poem is nuanced by its complex assessment of Strafford’s power, undoing, and death, the second is relatively straightforward in its praise of him. The scribe’s decision to write these poems particularly in the Spenser collection may testify to the intricacy of the political scene at the outset of the Civil War.

Who Was Frances, the Wife of Meric Casaubon?


IN Notes & Queries, 7th Series (January 1891), a vicar wrote: Can H.W. give any information of Harrison family related to Casaubon, and probably holding lands in North Hants? As far as is known, H.W. was unable to respond with an answer, so 125 years too late, can this note provide a satisfactory solution?

Inspir’d Bards: An Unidentified Quotation in Pope’s Dunciad Variorum


THE Dunciad Varorium was published in 1729, partly in response to the ‘Keys’ purporting to unlock the satiric allusions of the initial version of Pope’s Dunciad (1728). Pope’s later version offered its own textual apparatus, ostensibly serving to elucidate his references for the general public. With additional material nominally written by Martinus Scriblerus (the penname of the Scriblerus Club, including Pope, Arbuthnot, Gay, St John, Parnell, and Swift), the Varorium is divided into text, remarks, and imitations, the latter giving precise references for individual allusions. Yet some of Scriblerus’ remarks have served less to clarify the original references than to itself ‘embody’ a kind of critical ‘darkness’ (III, 86),11 in a commentary as much about the meta-textual practice of criticism, as the text of the Dunciad itself. It is an unidentified reference in one of these remarks in the Dunciad Varorium that concerns the present note.

To ‘Impale a Glow-Worm’: A Source for Dunciad IV. 570–71 in the Transactions of the Royal Society


THE final version of Alexander Pope’s Dunciad ends with a kind of graduation ceremony, at which the goddess Dulness confers titles and degrees on her servants. She begins with the ‘more distinguish’d sort’ (IV. 567) Who study Shakespeare at the Inns of Court,Impale a Glow-worm, or Vertù profess,Shine in the dignity of F. R. S. (IV. 569–71)11 As Valerie Rumbold explains in her superb edition of the final four-book version of the Dunciad, Fellows of the Royal Society qualified ‘by a range of interests which are not even related to [the Society’s] scientific mission’.22 This is why Pope mentions their (implicitly shallow and showy) study of Shakespeare, and their ‘Vertù’, or connoisseurship. There is a question, however, as to why Pope decided to epitomize their genuinely scientific endeavours by, in particular, the impaling of glow-worms.33 Pope appears to have had a real-life instance in mind.

A Double Entendre in Laurence Sterne’s Sermon on The Prodigal Son


A surprising double entendre appears in Laurence Sterne’s sermon on The Prodigal Son (1766). The passage in question involves a pearl and a prostitute, and it arrives as one of many illustrations in the Prodigal’s catalogue of disasters: How shall the youth make his father comprehend, that he was cheated at Damascus by one of the best men in the world;—that he had lent part of his substance to a friend at Nineveh, who had fled off with it to the Ganges;—that a whore of Babylon had swallowed his best pearl, and anointed the whole city with his balm of Gilead;—that he had been sold by a man of honour for twenty shekels of silver, to a worker in graven images;——that the images he had purchased had profited him nothing;—that they could not be transported across the wilderness, and had been burnt with fire at Shusan;——that the apes and peacocks, which he had sent for from Tharsis, lay dead upon his hands; and that the mummies had not been dead long enough, which had been brought him out of Egypt:——that all had gone wrong since the day he forsook his father’s house.11 An impressive list, out of which the pearl stands as the most peculiar, I think. The other examples speak for themselves, comparatively, though what the Prodigal had in mind with the mummies we do not know. Nonetheless, the mummies are mummies, but what of the pearl? If literal, why would a prostitute swallow it? And if figurative, then to what does Sterne refer, and why?

A Newly Discovered Seventeenth-century Sonnet


On the final blank page of a 1607 book of Spanish plays, Las Comedias del Famoso Poeta Lope de Vega Carpio, in the library of Audley End House, near Cambridge, is a hand written sonnet. It is unsigned. This library contains books dating back to the sixteenth century, some of which belonged to the Neville family and their friends, in particular to Thomas Hoby11 (1530–66), Mary Sidney22 (1561–1621) and Henry Neville33 (1562–1615). Henry Neville could read Spanish: he negotiated with the Spanish when in France as ambassador 1599–1600 and was considered for the role of ambassador to Spain in 1604. He also had a documented interest in theatre. The book therefore may have been his. However, the sonnet is not by this Henry Neville as the handwriting is different from all samples of his hand. On viewing the sonnet, Katherine Duncan-Jones’ opinion was that it most likely dated from the late 1620s to the early 1640s. The poem does not appear in any first-line index44 and as far as it has been possible to ascertain it has not previously been studied nor its authorship identified. First a modernized transcription. At length into your fingers I am comeWherein so close restraint I am to die,That you to me my sighs and tears deny,The only easers of my martyrdom.Nor know I how my years rise to this sumUnless I be thus long preserv’d that IMay make your hate in my example tryHow deep a sword can cut on whom ’tis plum.My tears have been pour’d forth where they are keptBy the unevenness of the soil and droughtFrom yielding any fruit unto my fate.Let those suffice which I for you have wept.Take not revenge upon my weak youth,My death’s a nobler object of your hate.

Herbert’s ‘The Collar’ and St Paul’s Laurels


IN George Herbert’s famous lyric ‘The Collar,’ the speaker in his rebellious frame of mind laments, ‘Is the yeare onely lost to me? / Have I no bayes to crown it?’ (13–14).11 In her edition of Herbert’s poems, Helen Wilcox annotates this passage with the comment, ‘A mixture of frustrated biblical-style expectation (Psalms lxv 11: “Thou crownest the year with thy goodness”) and failed hopes of poetic triumph symbolised in the classical laurel wreath.’22 Such ‘mixture’ is indeed highly plausible in the light of the speaker’s personal frustration, which commences with him striking the ‘board’ of the communion table, and continues in his subsequent itemization of the secular pursuits and worldly rewards he has been missing; even if such pursuits are ironically frequently expressed in terms of the religious devotion and self-sacrifice—the Eucharistic ‘wine’ and ‘corn’ (10–11)—that he apparently wishes to turn his back on. Surprisingly, however, such an ideological ‘mixture’ of Judeo-Christian and classical may be inherent simply in the Pauline context of the allusion to the crowning bays, if Herbert was deliberately echoing Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians 9:24–25: ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.’33 Indeed, not only is Herbert’s The Temple as a whole symbolically a poetic response to 1 Corinthians—‘Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?’ (3:16)—but Wilcox notes an allusion to 1 Corinthians in the subsequent lines, ‘Not so, my heart: but there is fruit, / And thou hast hands’ (17–18). Challenging readers who might see this passage as simply a continuation of the single-minded voice of rebellion, Wilcox interestingly argues, ‘Clearly a second “voice” enters here, correcting the “heart” which has spoken so far’; she asserts, regarding the reference to ‘fruit’ and ‘hands’, that the ‘doubleness of reference continues into this second section of the poem. Here again the language implies both the fall (taking the fruit in one’s own hands) and the redemption (Christ the first-fruit, available to all who seek him; see 1 Corinthians xv 20).’44

News from Plymouth and The Changeling


WHEN the public performance of drama in England resumed following the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, two dramatists were granted the privilege and authority to put on plays: Thomas Killigrew and Sir William Davenant. One of the first plays to be staged by the Duke of York’s Company under Davenant at Lincoln’s Inn Fields was Thomas Middleton and William Rowley’s The Changeling, licensed some forty years previously and in revival appearing for the first time in twenty years, at least according to Samuel Pepys, who records of his visit on 28 February 1661 that ‘it takes exceedingly’.11 Pepys was wrong about the play’s absence from the stage, if John Downes’s claim that in 1659 it had been staged at the Phoenix with Thomas Sheppey as Antonio and Thomas Betterton in the role of Dr Flores is correct, but his judgement was prescient.22 It would appear that Middleton and Rowley’s Jacobean tragedy was popular for at least the rest of the decade, and probably beyond: that would help explain the figure of ‘the Changeling’ on the illustrated title-page of Francis Kirkman’s The Wits (1672). It was printed (for a second time) in 1668, the same year it was staged at court.33 Scholars have not delved into the matter beyond these bare facts, but Davenant’s association with the play was a long one, and must have been a factor in his decision to revive it in 1661.

Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel : ‘My mother’s mold’


John Dryden evidently did not think much of the emblem writers so popular in seventeenth-century England. ‘Rhime is certainly a constraint even to the best Poets, and those who make it with most ease; though perhaps I have as little reason to complain of that hardship as any Man, excepting Quarles, and Withers,’ he writes in his dedication of the Æneis.11 The two poets are, of course, Francis Quarles and George Wither,22 well known for their publication of emblem books. For all his disdain, though, he would not have been able to deny the prevalence of their publications: Francis Quarles’s Emblemes (1635), for instance, was reprinted at least fifty times, making it one of the most mass-produced books of the seventeenth century.33 The book was available in print even until Victorian times.44 Indeed, because of the ubiquity of Quarles’s emblem book and because of Dryden’s evident knowledge of—and perhaps acquaintance with—Quarles’s emblems, I propose that he borrows a metaphor from the book to include in his canonical poem, Absalom and Achitophel, with far-reaching implications.55

Of Hawks, Tabors, and Tabards


THE tabor—in the sense of a small drum that could be held in one hand or tied to the pommel of a saddle—was an essential aid when hawking for waterfowl in past ages. Its purpose was to disturb the quarry so that it would rise in flight and then be seized by a goshawk launched from the austringer’s fist, or by a falcon circling on high. The practice is described by the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II, in his compendious treatise on falconry,11De arte venandi cum avibus (completed c. 1250): The falconer may flush ducks and other waterfowl in various ways: by his mere approach; by means of a drum [per sonitum timpani]; or by the noise of a glove striking against the shoulder or neck of his horse. There are many who use only drumbeats. … The air is set in motion by beating the drum and when the waves of sound strike the water the surface reflects them upward. The noise, seeming to come from beneath the ducks, alarms and disperses them as they rise; and so astonished are they in their ascent that they cannot easily escape without one of their number being either caught outright by the falcon, wounded, or forced down.22 According to the fifteenth-century English treatise Prince Edward’s Book of Hawking, a young hawk was trained to associate the beating of a tabor [tabre] with the rising flight of its quarry, a process that necessitated the use of a tame duck, such as a mallard, and two assistants: … and when he [sc. a goshawk] is made unto [‘trained to fly at’] a malard, lete oon haue a tame malard vnder a banke of þe reuer preuely [‘covertly’] … , and when he [sc. an assistant with a drum] seith the hauke comyng lete hym bete þe tabre, and then with the betynge lete him that hath the malard kast her up, and then the hauke wol forsake the tabre, and seysyne [‘seize’] the malard.33 Another treatise from the same period considers it necessary to warn hawkers against excessive use of the tabor, advising that, ‘Taburynge … is cause sykerly / Of distruccion of muchell play’, and that one should therefore ‘Tabur then a lytell to make hem [sc. waterfowl] ryse’.44 It is unnecessary to describe the practice further; it is sufficiently well attested in a variety of medieval sources, including treatises on hawking, literary works, and manuscript miniatures and marginalia.55 What concerns us here is the lexical item tabor itself, and its treatment by both the MED and the OED.66

Sir John Burgh, 1582–1627


SIR JOHN BURGH (1582–1627) was the colonel-general and second-in-command of the duke of Buckingham’s forces that landed in 1627 on the Isle of Rhé in an attempt to take the Citadel of St Martin, which was held by troops of the French Royal Army. This was intended to be a prelude to relieving the Huguenot garrison within the fortifications of La Rochelle. It was here that Burgh met his end in the trenches after an unsuccessful attempt to compel the surrender of the citadel, which guarded the approaches to the harbour of La Rochelle.

The Rumoured Deaths of George Goring, the Elder and the Younger: Two Notes


AN odd coincidence has led to a misunderstanding about a short poem, first published in Wits Recreations (1640), entitled ‘On a beloved lye’. This epigram’s point is ironic delight in the fact that a rumoured death was proven untrue: I hate a lie, and yet a lye did runOf noble Goring’s death and Kensington,And for that they did not untimely dyeI love a lye because that was a ly,For had it been an accident of ruth’T had made me grow in hatred of the truth,Though lies be bad, yet give this lye it’s due,’Tis ten times better, then if ’t had been true.11 A number of manuscript copies survive as well, most with a more detailed title, as in Bodleian. MS Rawl. poet. 160: ‘Upon the death of Sir G. Goring and the earl of Kensington falsely rumored’.22 In her First-line index of English poetry, 1500-1800, in manuscripts of the Bodleian Library, Margaret Crum surmised that the rumoured death was of the younger George Goring (1608–57), whose injuries at the siege of Breda in 1637 were magnified into death in the news that reached England. This dating and identification are also reflected in the listings of all the manuscript copies of the poem included in the Folger Union First Line Index of English Verse.

English Letter by János Bánfihunyadi (aka Hans Hunniades)


IN the Macclesfield and Portsmouth Collection kept in the Manuscript Department of the Cambridge University Library a rare letter surfaced recently.11 It was written in English by a Hungarian goldsmith and alchemist, János Bánfihunyadi, also known as Hans Hunniades or Hans Hungar in England (his son, also called John, was born and educated in England, using his Christian name in its Anglicized form). The letter is written in a neat Italian style, in colloquial English with odd ( in the sixteenth century still unregulated) spelling, showing traces of the Hungarian-born alchemist’s knowledge of German. The text also contains what we could call today ‘grammatical errors’ such as dismissing the sign of the third person, for example, ‘take’ instead of ‘takes’.

Further Echoes of Vergil’s Aeneid in Felix’s Vita Sancti Guthlaci


THE Mercian hermit Guthlac of Crowland (d. 714) is the subject of an Anglo-Latin hagiography, the Vita sancti Guthlaci. This text was composed c. 730–40 by a certain Felix, about whom nothing is known save that which can be deduced from his work.11 It is clear that Felix was a good scholar; as Bertram Colgrave highlights in his 1956 edition of the Vita sancti Guthlaci, Felix’s text draws directly on sources including Gregory the Great, Aldhelm, Bede’s prose Vita Cuthberti, Jerome’s Vita Pauli, Evagrius’s translation of the Vita Antonii, Sulpicius Severus’s Vita Martini, the anonymous Vita Fursei, and numerous passages of Scripture.22 In addition, Colgrave notes: ‘like every other medieval writer, he [Felix] was familiar with Virgil, and frequent Virgilian echoes appear throughout the text.’33 The majority of these echoes are from the Aeneid, and Colgrave’s marginalia identify numerous points of correspondence.44 These are: Aeneid II.268 in Ch. XIX; Aeneid IV.151 in Ch. XXV; Aeneid II.268 in Ch. XXVI; Aeneid XII.592 in Ch. XXX; Aeneid I.301 and XI.210 in Ch. XXXIII; Aeneid II.303 and II.311 in Ch. XXXIV; Aeneid II.218, IV.705, and XII.592 in Ch. XXXVI; Aeneid V.217, IV.130, and I.371 in Ch. XLI; Aeneid I.371 in Ch. L; and Aeneid I.600 in Ch. LIII. Jane Roberts has detected an echo of Aeneid I.657–8 in Ch. XXIX.55 Two further correspondences may now be added to this list, while a third is highly probable.

A House Divided against Itself: Unstable Nobility in A Woman Killed With Kindness


PETER LASLETT said most social definition occurs ‘at the frontiers, so to speak, and in traditional society this meant at the crucial divide between the minority which ruled and the mass which did not rule.’11 Much of the impetus for Renaissance drama came from skirmishes at that frontier, and much has been written both about the role of class conflict in the drama and about the theatre itself as a locus of class intermingling.

A Note on the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Entry for George Berkeley (1626/7–1698)


ACCORDING to the latest edition of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, published in 2004, in the biography of George Berkeley (1626/7–98), first earl of Berkeley, it is affirmed that he was appointed governor of the Levant Company in 1680.11 The same biographical information is provided in the earlier version of the Dictionary, edited by Leslie Stephen in 1885.22 However, there are reports that show that Berkeley was probably elected governor of the Levant Company on 7 February 1673. This is, for instance, what Alfred C. Wood asserted in A History of the Levant Company33 and what George E. Cockayne stated in The Complete Peerage.44 In The Early History of the Levant Company Mortimer Epstein, for his part, recorded Berkeley’s appointment as governor in 1672.55 It is noticeable, though, that none of these publications make allusion to primary sources in order to corroborate the accuracy of this biographical information. Nevertheless, there is a couple of sources which were coeval with Berkeley and which could help to prove his governorship of the Levant Company to have begun before 1680. One of these sources is the English translation of Isaac Vossius’s A Treatise Concerning the Motion of the Seas and Winds, undertaken by Archibald Lovell and published in 1677. In the epistle dedicatory Lovell repays the patronage received from George Berkeley, whom he addresses as ‘The Right Honourable George Lord Berkeley, Lord of Berkeley, Mowbray, Seagrave, and Bruce, Custos Rotulorum of the Counties of Gloucester and Surrey, and Governour of the Levant Company.’66 The other source is Sermons Preach’d upon several Occasions before the King at White-Hall, composed in 1677 by John Wilkins, who, as Lovell, addressed the epistle dedicatory to ‘The Right Honourable George Lord Berkeley, … Governour of the Levant Company’.77 That the two books were published in 1677, and the former licensed by Roger L’Estrange on 22 November 1676,88 therefore confirm that Berkeley was already governor of the Levant Company by those years.

John Milton’s Poetic Translation of Clement of Rome in Sonnet 19


JOHN MILTON’s oft-analysed sonnet 19 has primarily been read autobiographically, exploring ways in which Milton uses Jesus’ parable of the talents to explore anxieties about fulfilling his poetic vocation with his degenerated vision around 1651.11 Most recently, Margaret Thickstun has re-situated the poem within the genre of devotional lyric, citing the contemporary feature of the intrusive voice.22 I argue that the intrusive, preventing voice of patience in Sonnet 19 belongs in a sense to the apostolic church father Clement of Rome. Milton borrows from and poetically translates a section of Clement’s letter to the Corinthians for the theological argument of his poem.

The Marriage Broker and The English Moor


THE Marriage Broker, or, The Pander by M.W, M.A., which was first published in 1662, has received little scholarly attention. What little there has been has tended to focus upon its sources: its modern editor William Baillie notes borrowings from texts including William Cartwright’s The Ordinary (1635), Jasper Mayne’s The City Match (1636) and Abraham Cowley’s The Guardian (1642). As for its date: The Marriage Broker’s initial performance has been difficult to place. Alfred Harbage, in his 1942 article, ‘A Choice Ternary: Belated Issues of Elizabethan Plays’, argues that the comedy was originally written about 1610, substantially revised during the decade just before the closing of the theatres, and revised again for the press after 1600.11 William Baillie, however, argues that ‘Harbage cited various passages of the text which seem to support his theory, but he misinterpreted several of them. A careful sifting of the evidence leaves no clear indication of an early Jacobean origin or of a Restoration rewriting of the play; analogies with a group of similar plays confirm the latest certain allusion in indicating a date of about 1637’.22

Byrhtferth’s Muses


BYRHTFERTH’s use of Boethius’s De consolatione philosophiae has already been demonstrated by Michael Lapidge, who finds a dozen borrowings from Boethius in Byrhtferth’s Historia regum, seven in the Vita S. Oswaldi, and one in the Vita S. Ecgwini.11 However, Lapidge and Peter Baker, co-editors of the most recent edition of Byrhtferth’s Enchiridion, have only found one borrowing from the De consolatione in that text, a computus text with frequent digressions on other topics from alphabets to numerology.22 Malcolm Godden argues that Byrhtferth and others used the De consolatione (and its glosses) not to teach but in pursuing their own, more advanced interests.33 Yet teaching and more learned play with allusions need not be mutually exclusive. Byrhtferth’s penchant for combining sources has obscured a second borrowing from the De consolatione in his Enchiridion: he adapts Boethius’s dismissal of the Muses.

The Taunton Fragment begihti


FOR a short and exegetically simple text, the Old English translation of the Homiliary of Angers preserved in the Taunton Fragment (Taunton, Somerset County Record Office, DD/SAS C/1193/77) exhibits a remarkable number of unconventional forms.11 Despite the availability of ten Latin witnesses fully or partially overlapping with the Old English translation, it is not always possible to determine what word the scribe or translator intended.22 Three major reasons for the uncertainty about some forms are the orthographic practices of the Taunton Fragment, the use of low-frequency lexis, and the discrepancies between the Old English translation and the identified Latin versions.33 One of the forms that has so far defied a definitive explanation is begihti (8.10). None of the three analyses that have been suggested for it—a garbled form of beh̅dig, behygdig ‘anxious’; a past participle of the verb behātan ‘to promise, vow, threaten’; and a corruption of beginde, an unattested present participle of the verb bīgan ‘to bend’—fully accounts for its orthography and meaning.44 The present note proposes an alternative interpretation that derives begihti from the verb be-hyhtan ‘to trust in, place one’s hope or faith in’. This derivation is based on the Old English / orthographic variation and the potential misreading of the Latin participle confessus (< confiteor ‘to confess’) as confisus (< confido ‘to trust’) either in the process of translation into Old English or in the process of the transmission of the Latin version of the homiliary.

Libel and Copyright in the Satire of Peter Pindar


AT a hearing at Chancery Court in 1802, Lord Chancellor Eldon dissolved injunctions against bookseller John Walker and his partners that had stayed their sale of thirteen titles of popular satirical verse by ‘Peter Pindar’ (the pseudonym of scurrilous poet John Wolcot) in volumes IV and V of their octavo Works of Peter Pindar.11 Those injunctions had initially been granted to Wolcot pending a review of a deed poll and memorandum signed by the parties in June 1794 by which Walker had purchased the copyrights to thirty-seven titles Wolcot had already published individually to date for an annuity of £250.22 At issue was whether the language of the deed poll also allowed Walker to include future titles in their Works, after they had been published individually, without licence or purchase.