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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 the Prince of Wales to the Master of Trinity, W. H. Thompson

Marlborough House. Informs the Master that he intends for his eldest son [Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence] to attend Trinity, as he did himself. This letter will be given to the Master by J[ohn] N[eale] Dalton, Albert Victor's tutor, whom the Prince of Wales proposes should accompany him to Cambridge in October.

Edward VII (1841–1910), King of Great Britain and Ireland

William Whewell to Richard Jones

WW has been trying to find RJ all around the country: 'I had trusted to revive many old and acquire many new ideas: and more especially just now when I have cleared away the obstacles that stood between me and the speculations about wh. we used to talk I had anticipated much edifying discourse upon the past[,] the present and the future'. WW wanted to talk to RJ about 'the Review wh. Rose [Hugh James Rose] says is again labouring into existence' - WW does not think they 'have strength for it' yet.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Thanks her for her letter. Thinks that his illness was due to something he ate. Declares that he enjoyed his visit to [London], and sent an account of the visit to [ ]. Reports that Mr Wheatley [his godfather] was very kind to the. Declares that he would like to see Miss Green [his former governess] if his mother can induce her to stay until he [and his brother William] come home. Refers to his mother's advice about his chess playing and assures her that he has not played more that five games 'since the beginning of the quarter...' Asks her to buy something for [his friend] Harry James out of his money. Explains how they were 'got into the 2nd class in German', and in relation to the play declares that they do not have to translate it themselves. Sends his love to all at home, 'including Elizabeth [Cooper]'.

Notebook with loose draft verse, some letters, and proofs

Book contains: notes from the "Law Quarterly", 1885 [1v-4r]; verse play with characters including Godfrey of Bouillon [5v-17r]. It has also been used from back to front, turned 180 degrees, for: strophe, antistrophe and epode of a poem about Dionysus and the Tyrrhenian pirates [v of endpaper-88r]; poem about Tobit [85r-81r; 79r-77v; 1 loose f between 82 and 83].

Also 73 inserts (both single sheets and bifolia), mostly of handwritten drafts of poetry. These include:
page proofs of "Trojan Captives Grinding Corn In The Palace of Menelaus", which appeared in "Mallow and Aspohodel" as "Quern Songs" [28/1/11];
draft verse and sketch plan on headed notepaper from Hôtel & Pension Palumbo, Ravello [28/1/27]; draft verse using headed notepaper from Wallington [28/1/28, 28.1/35, 28/1/38, 28/1/42];
letter, 29 July 1898, from 'W. E.' [William Edward?], Macmillan & Co. Ltd, St. Martin's Street, London, W.C., to R. C. Trevelyan, Roundhurst, Haslemere, acknowledging receipt of Trevelyan's letter of the 19th, the proofs of his poems ["Mallow and Asphodel"], which will be sent to press today, and Trevelyan's second letter with corrections that will be attended to [28/1/31];
Latin text of "Sylvae. III. Ambra" by Agnolo [Ambrogini] Poliziano [or Politian]; this may not be in Trevelyan's hand, though the pencil translation on the back is. [28/1/44]
Page proof of "Prologue for Bacchus", with stamp 'R. & R. Clark. Printers', with annotations in pencil at bottom and on verso [28/1/45].
Letter, 4 Apr 1900, from G. E. Moore, Penmenner House, The Lizard, Cornwall, to R. C. Trevelyan. - Hopes that Bob will come some time next week; Crompton [Llewelyn Davies] will arrive on the 13th or 14th; gives corrected instructions for Bob's journey. Verso of letter, along with another bifolium, with draft verses, "Roses opening on the morn..." [28/1/55-57].

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