Is the recently published BUSCAPIE the work of Cervantes? We have now been favoured with two translations, one by Thomasina Ross, the other by a member of the University of Cambridge, under the title of The Squib, or Searchfoot; the latter I have read with some attention, but not having been able to procure the Spanish original, I should be glad to have the opinion of some competent Spanish scholar who has read it, as to its genuineness. My own impression is that it will prove an ingenious (perhaps innocent?) imposture. The story of its discovery in a collection of books sold by auction at Cadiz, and its publication there by Don Adolfo de Castro, in the first place, rather excites suspicion. My impression, however, is formed from the evident artificial structure of the whole. Still, not having seen the original, I confess myself an imperfect judge, and hope that this may meet the eye of one competent to decide.
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I have read the various notices in Nos. 3, 5, and 6. on the subject of these dishes. I have an electrotype copy from such a dish, the original of which is in Manchester. The device is like No. 4. of those of CLERICUS (No. 3. p. 44.); but two circles of inscription extend round the central device (the Grapes of Escol), in characters which are supposed to be Saracenic. The inner inscription is five times, the outer seven times, repeated in the round. I see by the Archaeological Journal, No. 23, for Sept. 1849 (pp.295-6.), that at the meeting of Archaeological Institute, on the 1st June last, Mr. Octavius Morgan, M.P., exhibited a collection of ancient salvers or chargers, supposed to be of latten; several ornamented with sacred devices and inscriptions, including some remarkable examples of the curious florid letter, forming legends, which have so long perplexed antiquaries in all parts of Europe. Mr. Morgan arranged the devices in four classes, the first being chargers or large dishes, supposed by him to have been fabricated at Nuremburg. The northern antiquary, Sjoeborg, who has written much on the subject, calls them baptismal or alms dishes. Their most common devices are, Adam and Eve (probably the No. 3. of CLERICUS), St. George, and the Grapes of Eschol (No. 4. of CLERICUS). On one of those exhibited was the Annunciation (No. 2. of CLERICUS). On these facts I wish to put the following queries:—
1. Are Sjoeborg’s works known to any of your readers?
2. In what language does he suppose the characters to be?
[While we are very happy to promote the inquiries of our correspondent, we think it right to apprise him that the opinions of the Swedish antiquary whom he has named, are received with great caution by the majority of his archaeological brethren.]
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