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It appears that in the year 1844, some human bones he does not agree with them, let him hold his tongue, were discovered on the ledges of a fissure in a quarry and not thrust his impertinence on the world. belonging to Mr. Weston, at different depths from 25 These Mural Paintings, I am quite willing to admit, to 40 feet; these fissures run parallel with each other are barbarous representations; but their preservation, throughout the Island from north-east to south-west, whether it be on the walls of our churches, or on the at stated distances varying from 45 to 60 feet, and the parchment vellums of our public libraries, when exquarry men say that they always know when they are amined and careful comparisons made amongst those of coming near to them from the form the upper layers of similar design, often leads to the explanation of some loose stone and rubble assume, losing their longitudinal ancient ceremony or superstition still extant-or perstratification, and having all the appearance of having haps the individual representation to that particular been dragged out of their position by a mighty rush of locality. But if all the Mediæval manuscripts in our water from above into the fissure : these fissures do not public libraries were destroyed, according to the spirit extend to the surface soil by 5 or 10 feet, and run down in which your Correspondent views “Mural Paintings" to the blue clay through the several strata of stone, &c. and “ Mediæval Art," it would be quite right; neverto the depth of from 80 to 100 feet, having many theless, he takes the trouble to depict some of these ledges or shelves in them, and generally covered with grotesque paintings in your “Current Notes," for which stalactical formations. On several of these ledges a I heartily thank him, and consider his deeds belie his number of bones of all kinds of animals were found, words. including those of the human species : these were pre- Mr. Willis.
AN ARCHÆOLOGIST. served and shewn by Captain Manning to the Professor on his next visit to the Castle; but the Doctor
MURAL PAINTING IN CHURCHES. having doubts as to the place where they were found, accompanied Captain Manning to the fissure, where a
Sir,-Your last number of Notes cannot pass current lad was let down, and brought up more of the bones in
in without a demur to the absurd remarks of your Correswww . w e c
o mendamos his presence; when pressed to give some explanation as por
pondent, “ An Architect." He has made so ignorant to the manner of their deposit, he said he could only
an onslaught on mediæval mural paintings, that it is suppose they must have got in longitudinally, but that
evident he neither knows or feels their importance as the question was full of difficulty, and from his manner
materials for the history of art in general. That he and silence on the subject it may be argued this fact
| does really know nothing about them, is evident from was evidently opposed to all his preconceived notions on
his calling them frescoes. Now they are but mural the subject.
paintings in distemper colours, as all are that are found Professor Buckland stated as his opinion, that the in England. He abuses his examples as disgusting mass of matter of which the Island of Portland is com- and barbarous, but that applies to his cuts rather than posed, on “ drying" cracked, and so formed these fis- | the originals; they are evidently loose copies, and do sures : but how is it that these cracks did not extend up not preserve the character of mediæval works. Among to the surface soil, where the evaporation must have
the series to which he refers is a figure, of which I been greatest, and where there appears no trace of
enclose a sketch, remarkable for dignity and propriety them? The general appearance which exists of the
of the of treatment, and very characteristic in its style. Has various strata (widely differing in substance) having
your correspondent ever looked into Ottley's “ History been deposited at remote periods from each other, tends
of Art in Italy," and seen how important are the early to render this theory doubtful.
frescoes there? Would he whitewash the Campo Santo? Several teeth, and a tusk of an Elephant, primi genus,
or spare Giotto, Cimabue, or Fra Angelico? If such is have recently been discovered in the dirt bed” of the the taste of an “ Architect," I am glad to subscribe Portland quarries.
[G. W. regrets, as this communication was received at August 16th.
the moment of making up for press, that time does not
permit his having the beautiful drawing, 80 full of true SIR,- I do not agree with An Architect in his ob- l'artistic feeling, which accompanied it, engraved, but he servations concerning “ Fresco paintings on the walls of will forward it to his Correspondent, “ AN ARCHITECT," Churches." (see “ Current Notes," No. XIX. page 57.) | and it will perhaps induce him to view mural paintings in I do not see where lies the cant, nor yet the quackery, a different light.] neither do I see what religion has got to do with it, nor can I find that there is any call for such declamation
HOOD ON ALBUMS. at the present period, unless it be to provoke an answer,
Acknowledgment to all that here may look, or to let the world know he is one of the “Righteous
Behold-it shows I'm honest to the letter, over much.” He confesses that he is no Archæologist;
I've wrote my name, dear Girl, within your book, then why should he presume to denounce what Arche
To prove I am eternally your DEBTOR.
T. Hood. ologists admire, and say it is all cant and quackery? if
THE WESTONS OF West HORSLEY.
July 30th, 1852. The Episcopal throne in the choir of Exeter Cathedral was erected by Bishop Booth, who is erroneously said in
SIR,- In answer to your Bengal correspondent's ensome histories of that City, as well as in Westcote's quiry (Current Notes for July), I have to tell him Devonshire, to have been buried in the church of St. that the above family have never borne any other coat Clement-Danes, London. His
than that first placed in his letter ; viz. “ sable—three leopards' heads erased, argent — crowned, or-langued gules"— with the same crest-("a wolf passant, argent -ducally gorged, or") — that he has placed over the second coat, which is that borne by a junior branch of the family, resident for a long period in the same county (Surrey), but which I believe to be now extinct.
The reason of the introduction of a chevron, or any other ordinary into a paternal coat, was in the days he alludes to, to distinguish the different members of a family in the field of battle, and he is well informed as to its being a very common thing, as coat armour at that period was not essentially hereditary, and was chiefly adopted with any device, at the caprice of the bearer. Ordinaries have subsequently been used as marks of cadency.
I am, Sir, yours obediently, Mr. Willis.
S. J. T.
ETYMON, &c. OF THE WORD MISTLETOE.
Vicarage, Southwick, near Oundle,
Aug. 4, 1852. SIR, I have the pleasure of sending you the result of my researches on the etymology and mystical meaning of this parasitical plant.
The Saxon is mis-tel-ta; the signification of which cannot be ascertained in that language.
By taking away the verbal part ta, we have the German, Danish and Swedish mis-tel, the mistletoe.
The Gaelic name for this plant forms a singular link and clue to its real meaning: it is uile-ice, the mistletoe, the all-heal, “lus sior uaine a tharuingeas a bhith o phlannt eile," an EVER-GREEN tree that draws its existence from another plant. It evidently refers us to the Saxon Se Hælend, the Healer, the Saviour of mankind.
The Saxon mis-tel-ta is a compound of three SanMUDX001
scrit words, viz. Mas, Vishnu, (the Messiah); tal, a pit,
(metaph. the womb); and tu, motion to or from : thereMONUMENTAL BRASS
fore mistelta, comprises the whole of the time from the
conception to the birth of our blessed Saviour; and exists in the Village Church of East Horsley in Surrey,
seems to have been subsequently applied to him during and affords a good specimen of the workmanship of the
his helpless infant state : of this, I think, I have a proof fifteenth century. În the inscriptions beneath it is re
in a painting of the holy family in my possession, where corded that he died on the 5th April, 1478.
| the top of Joseph's staff is encircled with, I believe, the DEVONENSIS.
loranthus europæus in blossom, the ceos of the Greeks, H. T. W.'s enquiry respecting the Westons of West and what seems to be explanatory of the wrong transHorsley in your last "Notes," reminds me of this cir-lation of ta into toe is, that Mary holds one of the cumstance.
| great toes of the infant gracefully between her forefinger and thumb. Another proof is, if I mistake not,
in Cuperi Harpocrates, where a peculiar amulet is des- friction, instantly ground for my approval. If Q. S. T. cribed in the words of Kircher, thus : “ Capsula est in is desirous of knowing more on the subject, I shall be forma cordis, et fructum foliumque Perseæ men- glad to inform him if he will write a line and give me tiens." I forbear to comment on the word cordis ; it is his direction. sufficient for my present purpose to notice, that under Mr. Willis.
T. R. Brown. the feet of the infant Horus or the Messiah, labia digito prementem, is a plant resembling the mistelta. In a note, I have somewhere seen, it is said that the
THE CROSS OR MONOGRAM OF CArist. mistletoe (or as I would rather spell it mistelto) was
The annexed sacred to Venus: but from reading the death of Baldur primitive cross, as discovered in
figure is the representation of the
the Catacombs, enthe good, in Mallet's Northern Antiquities by Black
graved or painted by the first Chriswell, p. 446, v. 6, it does not appear to be the case ; for
tians. The X. P. express Xelp Puotov Friga, the wife of Odin, thinks the plant too insignifi
(Keir Rustou), “The hand of the cant to be noticed, which would not probably have been
Deliverer or' Redeemer.” The the case had it been dedicated to her. Refer to the
Christ. But the same figure, through Edda Rythmica, Fiol-Svinns Mal, stanza 39, v. 6, and
a Latin and hieroglyphic reading, inyou will find that the Virgin Eir might have been more
dicates the human hand, as P“ pollex" properly selected, and probably answers to the promised
the thumb, X. the four digits or woman who should become the envied mother of the
fingers, and the palm Messiah: her name signifies salus, securitas, indul
denote the palm of the hand. This is an intellectual gentia, gratia, venia, pax ; all which titles are applicable to him who should be born of the pure virgin.
contrast to the blood red impression of the natural hand
of the ancient Mexicans, and to the more modern subThe Ivy and Mistelto being ever-greens denote everlasting life through faith in the promised Messiah ; and
| stitution of the wooden cross of crucifixion and death, its dependence on a tree for sustenance, &c. has its
and of human degradation, as the legal instrument of
executions, to which Christ nailed the law. This figure mystic meaning, and when found on the king of trees, the oak, would be considered as the most sacred of its
of the spiritual cross indicating the cross of redemption kind, and would typify the dependence upon, and the
and life through the intellect and hand of man.
When fishes are substituted for the palm branches it unsearchable bond existing between God, the Father
indicates - The hand of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ and the Word. Kissing under the mistelto has now lost its import;
the Sacrifice," as “ le-sous Christos; Thusia."-abbreits primary meaning is obvious: I believe the r e
viated “IC—thus." the branch, Ezekiel viii. 17, refers to the mistelto, the
HUMAN PROGRESS. viscum in Virgil, Æn. 6, v. 205; but the Hebrew signifies a branch not torn off, nor broken off, but cut The senses, the faculties, and the physical powers, as from the tree.
synonymous with hundreds, tens and units, progresThe Druids who also worshipped Isis (“ At Isidi tan- sively ascend through their respective valuations from quam virgini Druidæ statuam in intimis penetralibus 4 to 6 and to 8. Therefore in combination of the phycolocasse animadvertit Elias Schedius." Alph. Tibet. p. sical, moral and intellectual systems, they advance, pari 56.) seem to have had a knowledge of the recondite passu, from 444, the number of the Beast (biest meaning of this most sacred plant. Consult Sir Thomas strength), to 666, the number of Man, and to 888, Browne's Vulgar Errors, Hone's Every-day Book, and which latter numbers correspond with the letters “ leArmstrong's Gael. Dict. uile-ice.
sous" in the Greek alphabetic numeration, as also the I am, Sir, your's very truly,
numbers 444 with the letters pius. T. R. BROWN.
MYSTICAL MEANING OF THE HEBREW LETTER Taw. the Chinese into the Egyptian hieroglyphs, and into our
9th August, 1852. own language, and signifies perfection, God, and is an 1 SIR, -With reference to two articles which have emblem of God the Father. The Coptic T] God, is the appeared among your “Current Notes” for the last figure of the cross, on which his Son was crucified. month, p. 59 and p. 62, you will oblige me by expressing
Q. S. T. p. 60 of the same No. has given us an idea to your Correspondents, the Rev. T. R. Brown, and which leads to the occult meaning of the word cweorn, Mr. G. G. Rogers Rogers (the latter of whom, I think, viz. that it is associated with churn. A few days since I recognize as an old College friend), my sincere thanks I saw the operation of a quern in a grocer's shop. The for their communications. I can now perfectly comprereceiver resembled the upper part of an egg-cup, and hend the import of the gem which I picked up while the grinder a pestle, with which some coffee was, by travelling in the East, and which is evidently a work of
early Christian art. The I above the Taw AMERICAN IMAGERY AND ELOQUENCE.
(Abridged from the Lowell Courier.)
" and you know it. If one of Daniel Webster's big
F.W. W. Mr. Willis.
thoughts got into Ralph Waldo Emerson's head, it
would split it open like a pitcher with io in it! Now THE EBORACON OF THE ATHENÆUM.
get off the bench, for you can't say anything more in Regent's Park, July 31st, 1852. this shop against Old Dan.'” SIR,— The statement made so positively by the Athenaeum has, I perceive, attracted the notice of the York Herald, the editor of which confirms what must
AMERICAN GO-A-HEADISM. be known to every antiquary, that Mr. Wright was
New York, 109, Broadway, Post Office. quite correct, and that no book called Eboracon was
MR. WILLIS,You have admitted into your “Curever printed. I think it can be proved that the fact
rent Notes” for July, 1852 (p. 63), an insinuation was lately well known to the Athenaeum, and as the
respecting the “ American improvement of the English matter belongs to the “ curiosities of literature," I may
language,” which demands a reply. be allowed to give my reasons for believing that the
In the first place, Sir, I know you have received the writer must have forgotten the opinion he himself gave inclosed out
at gave inclosed cutting from the Boston Transcript, of 30th or sanctioned respecting Eburacum. When the Archæological Institute met at York, the book in question
June last :was publicly given to the body by Mr. Way, who was
“THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE.-An Englishman, pethen acting with Mr. Peter Cunningham as Secretary,
rusing an American newspaper, exclaimed inpatiently, on or at all events the latter gentleman was on the Com
noticing some of Webster's orthographical improvements,
- These people ought to be denied the use of the English mittee under the auspices of which the following was
language, if they cannot treat it better.'. English language?' printed (p. xvii. of Proceedings of the General Com
echoed a Yankee, without removing the cigar from between mittee at York):—“Albert Way, Esq. then rose, and
his teeth, guess you'er mistaken, hoss; it's the American having alluded to the excellent manner in which the
language. American ?' repeated the wondering Englishhistory of this city has been described in the days of the | man. Guess it's that,' said Jonathan, coolly, 'we've Romans, by the Rev. C. Wellbeloved she hardly meant | annexed it.'-Hartford Times." that Mr. W. lived in the time of the Romans !) and the regret which the Society must feel at his unavoidable
Now, if you have such historians as Lord Mahonabsence from their proceedings, presented a copy of the
and patronize him-do so by all means. work EBURACUM written by that gentleman as a
And if you like Dickens, and his style of language, donation to the library of the Institute." Now, Sir, no
keep it to yourselves. Sitting in a Church, he says, one acquainted with the literature of the present day in
reminds him of “a mild dose of opium." And with an England can be ignorant that Mr. Peter Cunningham
equally pious feeling, and correct taste, he is reminded is one of the main props of the Athenaeum and that the
that the ordinary mode of washing a petticoat in Italy, Athenaeum was the main prop of the Institute, there
France, Scotland, or Ireland, by beating with a wooden fore how could either the one or the other, or both,
mallet, is as if the poor washerwomen revenged themaffect not to know the above work? Eburacum was not
selves on dress in general for being connected with the privately printed as the reviewer states Eboracon was.
fall of mankind. Again, Dickens, whose pages smell I am Sir, yours obediently,
strongly of theatrical lamp and tramp, assimilates the Mr. Willis.
L. F. G.
Swiss guards of the Pope, to “theatrical supernume
raries, who never can get off the stage fast enough, Scarborough, August 2nd, 1852. and who may be generally observed to linger in the Sir_Will you satisfy me and a friend if there really enemy's camp after the open country, held by the oppobe such a book as Wellbeloved's Eboracon, as asserted site forces, has been split up the middle by a convulsion so positively by the Athenæum of July 17th. We doubt 1 of nature.” it, because that Journal in matters of antiquity has
1° Lord Mahon's style of writing the English language, made some most singular blunders, and yet this would however deficient his Lordship's knowledge or his readbe such a damning conviction of ignorance, pure and
ing may be, is certainly superior to this slang. His unadulterated, that we think there possibly may be
Lordship is a Gentleman, Mr. Dickens A SNOB. And such a book as the editor of the Athenæum so posi
her if you English have a snobbish taste, and like to have tively asserts. Can you get us a copy ?
a snobbish style, and patronize it, take it; but keep Mr. Willis.
GEORGE RIVERS. it from us by all means. We, on the other side of the Atlantic, want to have English “transformed," or called Norman. Again, I am told that the Gothic Arch rather restored “so as to be fit for publication in is formed by two Saxon arches intersecting each other, America."
or two semi-circles cutting through each other at an For “ Willis's Current Notes."
equal space from the base of each. This is all clear
enough. But when I see square, round and oval cutting LORD Mahon's History Of ENGLAND.
one against the other, how am I to understand the
matter, or what am I to say to the Architect who has Canterbury, 11th August, 1852. come down to alter our Church, who speaks of uniforSIR, -I understand that our American friends are mity of style and the mezzo-Gothic aberrations of very wrath with our historian for the manner in which he has descanted on American affairs in his History, and
THE SENIOR CHURCH WARDEN. have published a critical pamphlet thereupon. Can you tell me where it is to be obtained ? Mr. Willis.
WALKS AFTER WILD FLOWERS. [G. W. has not seen a copy, although several copies are Alas! for fame, Mr. Willis. Alas! for all the nice in private circulation, and it is Lord Mahon's intention books on Botany that I get from you. Alas! for your to publish a reply.]
Ornamental Flower Garden and Shrubbery, and for
your new Medical and Scientific Herbal. Think of my ARCHITECTURAL SLANG.
reading in your last “ Price Current of Literature," re9th August.
ceived this very morning, (28th July) “Richard's (R. D.)
| Walks after Wild Flowers, or the Botany of the BoheMR. WILLIS,- If your Correspondent “ An Archi- reens.” So having rather an extensive acquaintance tect," with whose sensible remarks in the last Number with Botanists and Botanical writers, I began to wonder to “Current Notes," I entirely agree respecting the who Mr. Richard could be, and at last I found that he removal of offensive paintings from the walls of must be an ex-Mayor of Cork, named Dowden, and Protestant churches, and you too have done good ser- who distinguished himself in the absence of the present vice to Christianity by exposing cant and hypocrisy, Mayor when the American Minister (the Hon. Abbot would inform me how we are to get rid of another piece Lawrence) visited “the beautiful City,” by an excellent of Archæological Slang, he would do a great favour to speech. many by whom I have been consulted in the matter, The Dowden family being rather numerous in Cork. namely, what makes the difference between the Saxon the Author of the Botany of the Bohereens, placed the and the Norman pieces of Architecture? And what is Christian name of his father Richard after his surname, it that people call Gothic ? and Tudor ? and so on. and so became the Richard Dowden Richard, celebrated
Let us take an example. I am told that the Saxon by Crowe, Maginn and others in Blackwood's Magazine arch is semi-circular.
about the years 1820 and 21. And I think in your “ Current Notes,” Mr. Willis, No. III. for March, 1851 p. 22, I recognize from the pen of Alderman Dowden, an Anecdote of “the Doctor."— The
“ Cicero Dowden, who spouts by the hour, Of all the tongue-waggers the pink and the flower, And Jennings the bold, who has challenged so long All the Nation for brisk soda water and song."
Blackwood's Magazine, August 1821, p. 102.
POPULAR RAYMES. SIR,-Your correspondent B. N. seems to be in error in commenting in last month's “Notes,” (p. 61.) on the motto of a Yorkshire token,
« Strike light
Weigh right." He says, “ the first line seems somewhat obscure, but I suppose it to be a technical phrase used by bakers in drawing their loaves." The word strike' is still in use in Wales, and probably in many parts of England, to denote a measure, of corn, for instance, it being a