22 JULY 1905, Page 14

• Sathanas, y binde the, her shalt thou lay "

; and Mr. Bradley in the "Oxford English Dictionary" gives this and many other instances from old writers of the intran- sitive use of "lay," coinciding with or resembling that of "lie." He says, indeed, that now, except in nautical language, it is only dialectical or an illiterate substitute for "lie," but he adds : " In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it was not apparently regarded as a solecism." In illustration of this Mr. Bradley gives quotations from such writers as Bacon, Earle, Strype, Wood, Butler, and Fielding, not to mention others earlier than the centuries named, or those of later date who may be supposed to have misused the verb carelessly. Among careless misusers may perhaps be classed those cited by the late Professor Hodgson in his "Errors in the Use of English," among whom are Sir George Dasent, Henry Kingsley, Wilkie Collins, Lord Houghton, and (I grieve to say) the Spectator of September 13th, 1879, p. 1166. However this may be, it behoves you, Sir, surely, as one of the offenders, to be lenient in your judgment.—I am, Sir, &c., C. C. B. [Perhaps it will be wisest to stop the correspondence at this point. The quotations are getting uncomfortably near home.—ED. Spectator.]