Notes and Queries, Number 15, February 9, 1850 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 52 pages of information about Notes and Queries, Number 15, February 9, 1850.
“Siquidem vidi pro Sabina assumi quandam herbam dodrantalem quae quibusdam in montibus plurima nascitur, folio tamaricis, licet nec odore nec sapore Sabinam Hanc saepius existimavi esse Selaginem referat. a Plinio lib. xxiv. c. 11. commemoratam.”

Samolus, or as some copies read Samosum, is said to be derived from two Celtic words, san, salutary, and mos, pig; denoting a property in the plant which answers to the description of Pliny, who says the Gauls considered the Samolus as a specific in all maladies of swine and cattle. {232}But there is not less difficulty in identifying this plant than in the former case.  Some have thought it the same as the little marsh plant, with small white flowers, which Linnaeus calls Samolus Valerandi, while others consider it to be the Anemone Pulsatilla.  I am ignorant of the salutary properties of these plants, and must leave it to be decided which of them has the greatest claims to be considered the Samolus of Pliny.


Is there any English translation of AElian’s Various History, or of the work ascribed to the same author on the Peculiarities of Animals?

East Winch.  Jan. 1850.

Selago and Samolus.—­The Selago (mentioned by “PWCCA,” No. 10. p. 157.), in Welsh Gras Duw (Gratia Dei), was held by the Druids as a charm against all misfortunes; they called it Dawn y Dovydd, the gift of the Lord.  They also ascribed great virtues to the Samolus, which was called Gwlydd, mild or tender.  All that can be known respecting the Selago and Samolus, may be seen in Borlase’s Antiquities of Cornwall.


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In the Anglo-Saxon Gloss, to AElfric’s Latin dialogue, higdifatu is not, I conceive, an error of the scribe, but a variation of dialect, and therefore, standing in no need of correction into hydigfatu ("NOTES and QUERIES,” No. 13.). Hig, hi and hy, are perfectly identical, and nothing is more usual in A.S. than the omission of the final g after i; consequently, hig=hy, di=dig, therefore higdi=hydig.  Mr. Singer’s reading of cassidilia for culidilia, I consider to be well-founded.

His conjecture, that sprote=Goth. sprauto, has something very specious about it, and yet I must reject it.  That useful and sagacious author, Dr. Kitchener, tells us, that there is only one thing to be done in a hurry (or sprauto); and even if he had not informed us what that one thing is, very few indeed would ever have imagined that it was fish-catching.  The word sprote was a puzzle to me, and I had often questioned myself as to its meaning, but never could get a satisfactory answer; nor was it until some time after the publication of the 2nd edition of my Analecta that it occurred to me that it might signify a wicker or sallow basket (such as is still in use for the capture of eels), from Lat. sporta, whence the German sportel.  My conjecture, of salice for the salu of the text, was based on the possibility that the apparatus might somehow or other be made of the salix.

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Notes and Queries, Number 15, February 9, 1850 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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