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Letter from Walter Worrall to R. B. McKerrow

Dictionary Room, Old Ashmolean, Broad Street, Oxford.—Thanks him for looking for citations of the word ‘spattania’. Refers to the use of u, v, j, and i in Philemon Holland’s translations, and to his forthcoming note on the word ‘backare’.



Dictionary Room | Old Ashmolean | Broad St | Oxford
Oct. 7. 1913

Dear McKerrow,

Many thanks for your second letter, dated 25 Sept., which I must really send you a line now to acknowledge.

The ‘Spartania’ in Textor’s Officina {1} may very well be the original & correct form of Greene’s ‘Spattania’. {2} But if no account of the plant so called is given, one can be certain of nothing. We are very much obliged to you for your search, although this time it has drawn blank.—Are any Italian books included in those you consult? After French & Latin, this is, I suppose, the next language likely to have afforded material to an Elizabethan.

As to Holland, the modern use of u, v, j & i is followed in his ‘Livy’, 1600. {3} I had a note to this effect, which I have just been verifying in the Bodleian. Whether it is followed through-out the volume consistently, I don’t pretend to say.—I have also an old note, which I have not verified, that in his ‘Camden’ 1610, {4} both the old & the modern practices are followed.

In the forthcoming number of the Mod. Lang. Review there are some observations of mine, called forth by a note on ‘Backare’ in the July number. {5}

Please accept my hearty thanks for the kind expressions of sympathy in your letter, & believe me

very sincerely yours
Walter Worrall


This letter was written on black-edged paper, in token of the death of the writer’s father, the artist Joseph Edward Worrall, who had died on 7 September. It was formerly inserted in an off-print of McKerrow’s article ‘Some Notes on the Letters i, j, u and v in Sixteenth Century Printing’, reprinted from The Library, 3rd series, i. 239–59 (July 1910) (Adv. c. 25. 80). At the foot of p. 21 of this offprint (corresponding to p. 251 in The Library) McKerrow has written the following note, derived from the present letter: ‘The modern usage is also found in Holland’s Livy 1600—also in Pliny—? in Camden 1610 (W. Worrall)’.

{1} Joannes Ravisius Textor (Jean Tixier de Ravisi), Officina partim historiis partim poeticis referta disciplinis (1520, etc.), a Latin commonplace book, frequently reprinted.

{2} Worrall had evidently consulted McKerrow in connection with the article on this word for the New English Dictionary; see vol. ix, part i (1919). The dictionary’s earliest citation of the word is from Greene’s Mamillia (Works, ed. Grosart, ii. 23). Its origin is obscure.

{3} Titus Livius, The Romane History … Also, the Breviaries of L. Florus, tr. Philemon Holland (1600) (STC 16613).

{4} William Camden, Britain, or, A Chorographicall Description of England, Scotland, and Ireland, tr. Philemon Holland (1610) (STC 4509).

{5} The note was submitted by Percy W. Long (Modern Language Review, vii. 373). Worrall’s response appeared in the October number (ibid., 544–5).

Letter from A. E. Housman to W. H. Semple

(With an envelope.)



Trinity College.
21 Oct. 1925

Dear Mr Semple,

Perhaps you would let me have the translations by Saturday the 31st.

Yours sincerely
A. E. Housman.

I. 5. 10: Transalpino—uisum
[I.] 11. 8: perge—desistant
[I. 11.] 10: par—geminatis
[I. 11.] 13: obiecta—cassauerimus
[I. 11.] 15: contionatoris mei
II. 2. 1: iam uer … porrigitur
[II. 2.] 2: concaua—compressus
[II. 2.] 3: nisi—uerere
[III. 3.] 7: tamquam—truncatum
[III.] 14. 2: non amplius—rideat
IV. 11. 3: hinc etiam—laudabilis
[IV.] 21. 2: ecce habes—existimabis
[IV.] 22. 3: itaque—opportunitas
V. 8. 2: nisi quod—appenso
[V.] 10. 4: quapropter—adhiberi
[V.] 13. 1: iam Clausetiam—insorduit
[V.] 15. 2: restat—mercedem
[V.] 19. 1: nutricis—impunitatem
[V.] 20. 4: praeterea—uenitur
[V. 20. 4]: namque erit—uideris
VI. 12. 6: illum dubia—complesti
VII. 1. 4: miraculo—naturam
[VII.] 12. 4: haec omnia—adiungi
[VII.] 14. 11: nostram quoque—exhorruit
*[VII.] 15. 1: sed et ille—possessio {1}
VIII[.] 6. 2: insuper—supergressus
[VIII. 6.] 8: quid multa—audiui
[VIII. 6.] 16: dein, quod—fortuitis
[VIII.] 8. 2: redde te patri—affectus
[VIII.] 9. 3: ago laboriosum—impetro
[VIII. 9.] 5: lines 48–51
[VIII.] 11. 9.
[VIII.] 12. 7: quid multa—epulones
[VIII.] 16. 3: si refutamur―simpliciter {2}
IX. 2. 1: iubetis―incipitur
[IX.] 9. 13: huic copulatum―philosophari
[IX. 9.] 14: curua ceruice―cute distenta
[IX.] 13. 1: crederem―fallere
[IX] 16. 3: de reliquo―munerabor
[IX. 16. 3]: lines 33–36.

[On the back of the letter are some pencil notes, presumably by Semple.]

[Direction on envelope:] W. H. Semple Esq. | St John’s College


The references in the postscript are to the letters of Sidonius Apollinaris, which are referred to by book, letter, and section. Elements of references repeated from the previous line are omitted in the MS, but they have been supplied above in square brackets. The colons in these references have also been supplied.

{1} The significance of the asterisk is unclear.

{2} Altered to ‘simplicitas’ in pencil.

Letter from R. W. Chapman to R. B. McKerrow

Wensleydale.—Submits some queries about imposition which have arisen in compiling a bibliography of Dodsley’s Collection.



In Wensleydale

My dear McKerrow

In working at a bibliography of Dodsley’s Collectionsof Poems by several Hands I have struck difficulties about imposition, and should be grateful for advice.

The original work in 3 vols. 1748 (reprinted 1748, 1751) is a duodecimo of the ordinary kind. It was imposed ‘for cutting’; a conclusion suggested to me by the fact that a whole forme (ex hypothesi) is wrongly paged, and confirmed by the watermarks, which fall on the seventh and eighth or on the eleventh and twelfth leaves (or on both pairs when there were 2 watermarks; 2 different papers were used). There are numerous cancels; and I was pleased to find my conclusions from examination of stubs etc. very prettily confirmed by the w.-marks.

The chain-lines are horizontal.

But my difficulty begins with Vols. IV (1755) and V–VI (1758). They are uniform with the earlier volumes, but are in eights. The chain-lines being (in V, VI) horizontal. I assumed that the books were 16o printed in half-sheets, so that each sheet yielded two copies of an 8-leaf quire. This would mean the use of a paper of an unusual size; but it may have occurred to Dodsley that he could economize by getting an extra four pages on to each forme.

But while reposing in this hypothesis I discovered that some of the chain-lines are vertical!

In Vol. IV they are all vertical (and of course this volume may be 8o).

In Vol. V 19 signatures, & 2 prelim. leaves, are horizontal; but A8 & C8 are vertical.

In Vol. VI 20 signatures + 2 prel. leaves are horizontal; but X8 vertical.

There are unfortunately no watermarks in these 3 volumes.

I do not know of any uncut copy. My copy of V is 6¾ x 4¼, and I suppose may have been nearly 7½ x 5 (7 x 4½ is a minimum). I cannot see what imposition would get this on to a sheet so nearly square that it could be put in either way indifferently.

Please don’t think of going to the Museum and hunting out these books. I trouble you with my difficulty only in the chance that it may be quite simple and that the solution may be already familiar.

I expect you are very busy with No I {1}—I wish it all success.

Yours sincerely
R. W. Chapman


Numbers in signatures and the 'o' in '16o' and '8o' are superscript in the original.

{1} The first number of the Review of English Studies.

† Sic.

Letter from George Airy

Swansea - GA will be 'extremely glad' to have Neale as a pupil. However, further to his correspondence with Myers, he does not know whether Mr Hare had or had not already engaged a tutor for Neale. Could WW answer some questions further to the fellowship examination - 'In the first place must I sit at all? In the next place supposing that I sit, by what time must I be at Cambridge?'"

William Whewell to Julius Charles Hare

Caernarvon - The day after WW left Cambridge he reached Jones [Richard Jones]. He spent the next week sightseeing: Portsmouth, Stonehenge and several cathedrals. On his travels he picked up four of his pupils and they all proceeded on to Snowdon where they were joined by the rest of his group: 'The Celts do not please me any better on a nearer view, they seem a very primitive and single headed but a very stupid race'. If the 'new tales of my Landlord' are published could JCH get Deighton [Cambridge book publishers] to send them hither. He would also like Monk's pamphlet [James H. Monk, A Vindication of the University of Cambridge, from the Reflections of Sir J. E. Smith, 1818] and the new number of the Edinburgh Review if it is out. WW received a letter from Monk offering him the Lectureship [Mathematics] which he thinks he will accept.

Letter from Albert Way

Way's 4 page letter accompanied by a further sheet with his handwriting and 8 sheets with notes and drawings of coats of arms.

Page proofs of Todhunter's Account of the Writings of William Whewell

Page proof of Todhunter's Rev. William Whewell, D.D., Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, An Account of his Writings with selections from his literary and scientific correspondence with corrections throughout. Lacks 3 gatherings of the second volume, pp. 369-416. Probably J. L. Hammond's copy. Accompanied by a printed appeal for Whewell's letters signed in print by J. L. Hammond.

Photocopy of a letter from A. E. Housman to G. C. A. Jackson, 17 Dec. 1926

(With a photocopy of an envelope.)



Trinity College | Cambridge
17 Dec. 1926

My dear Gerald,

I have got your letter of Oct. 11 and am glad to hear of your doings, but the earlier letter which you speak of did not find its way to me. I expect it was eaten by a lion, as you may have been by this time.

If I remember right, you were here in May just before I went off to Venice to see my gondolier. I found him better than I expected, as hot weather suits him, and he is still alive, but he’s just gone into hospital with hemorrhage. I stayed there only a few days, and then spent a week or so in Paris. In July and August I was at my old home and other haunts of childhood in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire. At Woodchester, once my grandfather’s parish, there is a Roman pavement, the finest in England, which is uncovered and shown from time to time, and this year was one of those occasions: I spent a week in the place, which I should have enjoyed more if I had not been dragged in to make explanatory speeches to the visitors, owing to the lack of persons in the village who could do it. Then I made a short motoring tour in Derbyshire, to see the most picturesque spots.

I heard from your mother not long ago, but I need not tell you any of her news. I am glad that Africa is geologically a good continent, and I hope its Christmas weather is not too hot.

Your affectionate godfather
A. E. Housman.

[Direction on envelope:] Gerald Jackson Esq. | R.C.B.C. Ltd. | N’Changa | Via N’Dola | N. Rhodesia | S. Africa


The envelope, which has been marked ‘Answered 24/3/27’, was postmarked at Cambridge at 10.45 p.m.(?) on 17 December. The postage stamp has been torn off.

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