“Such is the tombs the Noble
Great Spenser’s learned reliques, such his grave:
Howe’er ill-treated in his life he were,
His sacred bones rest honourably here.”
How are these two epitaphs, with their differing dates, to be reconciled? Can he have been born in 1510, as the first one says “obiit immatura morte?” Now eighty-five is not very immature; and I believe he entered at Pembroke College, Cambridge, in 1569, at which time he would be fifty-nine, and that at a period when college education commenced at an earlier age than now. Vertue’s portrait, engraved 1727, takes as a motto the last two lines of the first epitaph—“Anglica te vivo,” &c.
Southwark, April 29 1850.
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Crenius wrote a dissertation De Furibus Librariis, and J. Conrad Schwarz another De Plagio Literario, in which some curious appropriations are pointed out; your pages have already contained some additional recent instances. The writers thus pillaged might exclaim, “Pereant iste qui post nos nostra dixerunt.” Two or three instances have occurred to me which, I think, have not been noticed. Goldsmith’s Madame Blaize is known to be a free version of La fameuse La Galisse. His well-known epigram,—
“Here lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed,”
is borrowed from the following by the Chevalier de Cailly (or d’Aceilly, as he writes himself) entitled,—
“La Mort du Sieur Etienne.
“Il est au bout de ses travaux,
Il a passe le Sieur Etienne;
En ce monde il eut tant des maux,
Qu’on ne croit pas qu’il revienne.”
Another well-know epigram,—
“I do not like thee, Doctor Fell,”
is merely a version of the 33d epigram of the first books of those by the witty Roger de Bussy, Comte de Rabutin:—
“Je ne vous aime pas, Hylas,
Je n’en saurois dire la cause,
Je sais seulement une chose;
C’est que je ne vous aime pas.”
Lastly, Prior’s epitaph on himself has its prototype in one long previously written by or for one John Carnegie:—
“Johnnie Carnegie lais heer,
Descendit of Adam and Eve,
Gif ony con gang hieher,
I’se willing gie him leve.”
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Easter Eggs (No. 25. p. 397.).—The custom recorded by Brande as being in use in the North of England in his time, still continues in Richmondshire.
A Cure for Warts is practised with the utmost faith in East Sussex. The nails are cut, the cuttings carefully wrapped in paper, and placed in the hollow of a pollard ash, concealed from the birds; when the paper decays, the warts disappear. For this I can vouch: in my own case the paper did decay, and the warts did all disappear, and, of course, the effect was produced by the cause. Does the practice exist elsewhere?