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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 Bernard Quaritch to W. Aldis Wright


London, 15 Piccadilly, W. 1 February 1899 {1}

Dear Sir,

My experience does not extend to the contents of public libraries; but only to the books which have passed through public sales during the last forty years. I may therefore congratulate you on the possession of the finest copy I have ever seen of the first edition of the Genevan Bible.

I well remember the feeling of incredulity with which I listened some ten or twelve years ago to Mr Makellar’s {2} description of his copy as being a really fine one. When I saw it at his sale I was taken by surprise, and determined to have it at any price.

I thank you for the cheque—a receipt for which is enclosed;—and I am, dear Sir,

Faithfully yours
Bernard Quaritch

Professor W Aldis Wright


{1} The first three figures of the year are printed.

{2} William Makellar, a minister of the Free Church of Scotland, who died in 1896. His library was sold by Sotheby’s on 7 November 1898. See List of Catalogues of English Book Sales now in the British Museum (1915), p. 434.

Letters of William Frederick, 2nd Duke of Gloucester

With 'Memoranda of that Part of the Campaign 1794 comprized between the 22nd of May & the 25th July' and battle plans drawn by William Frederick of engagements between 17-30 Apr 1794.

Also a 'Memorandum concerning the Letters of W. F. Duke of Gloucester addressed to his father Wm Henry Duke of Gloucester during the Campaigns of 1794 & 1799', by his sister Princess Sophia Matilda, 28 Dec 1837. Sophia Matilda labelled and sealed the paper wrappers in which the files of letters were originally sent, and also the linen bag in which they were all contained.

The letters date from 1794, when Prince William was fighting in Flanders, 1799, during the campaign in Holland, and 1803-1804, when Prince William was on a tour in northern Europe, and are predominantly written by him to his father.

William Frederick (1776–1834), Prince, 2nd Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh

Diary of H. F. Wilson

Diary kept from 28 Jan. 1877 to 2 Nov. 1887, with entries for every day recording his own life, and noting events in the wider world as well. The diary starts while he was at Rugby and follows his progress through Trinity from Michaelmas 1878 as Bell Scholar, winner of the Chancellor's English medal, placing 6th Classic, and obtaining a fellowship in 1884. With photographs of family and friends, telegrams, letters, clippings, and dried flowers laid in to the volume, as well as notes of addresses and a clipped page of J. K. Stephen's signatures.

Wilson, Sir Henry Francis (1859-1937), knight, barrister and civil servant

Letter from Sir Cordell Firebrace to Goodchild Clark

West Audley Street, (London).—Sends accounts of Davie and Edwards for 1746 and 1747.




The first paper I saw when I opend the drawer was the inclosd Acc[oun]ts of Davie & Edwards for the years 1746 & 1747. & therefore take the earliest opportunity. to send ’em, & a Line to notifie their being come safe to hand will very much oblige

S[i]r | Y[ou]r Humble Serv[an]t
C. Firebrace

W Audley Street
Feb the 21st 1750

[Direction:] To | Mr Goodchild Clark† | Attorney at Law | in Ipswich | Suffolk [At the foot:] Free | C. Firebrace


Postmarked 21 February and ‘AC’. Dawson Turner has added at the foot in pencil, ‘M P for Ipswich’ in pencil alongside the signature. There are a few irregular spellings. Letters missing from words abbreviated by superscript letters have been supplied in square brackets.

† Sic.

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.

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