These questions may appear very trifling; but each man has his hobby, and mine is, not to suffer a quotation to pass without verification.
It is fortunate that I am not a despotic monarch, as I would certainly make it felony without benefit of clergy to quote a passage without giving a plain reference.
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Pope’s Translations of Horace.—In a pamphlet against Pope, entitled, A True Character of Mr. Pope and his Writings, by the author of The Critical History of England, written in May, 1716, and printed in that year, Pope is reproached with having just published a “libellous,” “impudent,” and “execrable” Imitation of Horace. Twenty years later such a reproach would be very intelligible; but can any one favour me with a reference to any Imitation of Horace, published by Pope prior to 1716, of which any such complaint could be made?
Etymology of “Havior."—Can any of your readers inform me what is the etymology of the word Havior, by which all park-keepers denote an emasculated male deer, affording good venison between the buck and doe season?
Never having seen the word written or printed, I am guided, in attempting to spell it, by the usual pronunciation.
Audley End, Feb. 2.
Arabic Numerals.—In the Archaeological Journal (vol. vi. p. 291.), it is stated that the earliest “example of the use of Arabic numerals in any work connected with building” is the date 1445, on the tower of Heathfield Church, Sussex, though “they were common in MSS. after 1320, and in astronomical Tracts as early as 1290.” As it is probable that not a few instances of the employment of the Arabic numeral characters of an earlier date than that at Heathfield are to be met with in different parts of the country, will you permit me to make use of your paper to inquire whether any such are known to any of your readers, and if they will be so obliging as to communicate their knowledge through the medium of your columns? As the subject is one of considerable interest, it would be desirable that any date belonging to the fifteenth or the early part of the sixteenth century should be made known, and registered in your valuable publication.
Permit me also to ask, in connection with this subject, for references to any works or treatises supplying information on the history of the Arabic numerals, their origin, and their introduction into Europe. I am already acquainted with Astle, On Writing, Wallis’s Algebra, Nouveau Traite de Diplomatique, the Huctiana, Pegge’s Life of Grostete, and the Philosophical Transactions; but I wish for additional, and, if possible, more recent information.