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Of Anagrams And Echo Verses
by [?]

Lycophron has left some on record,–two on Ptolemaeus Philadelphus, King of Egypt, and his Queen Arsinoee. The king’s name was thus anagrammatised:–

Apo melitos, MADE OF HONEY:

and the queen’s,

Heras ion, JUNO’S VIOLET.

Learning, which revived under Francis the First in France, did not disdain to cultivate this small flower of wit. Daurat had such a felicity in making these trifles, that many illustrious persons sent their names to him to be anagrammatised. Le Laboureur, the historian, was extremely pleased with the anagram made on the mistress of Charles the Ninth of France. Her name was

Marie Touchet.

which is historically just.

In the assassin of Henry the Third,

Frere Jacques Clement,

they discovered


I preserve a few specimens of some of our own anagrams. The mildness of the government of Elizabeth, contrasted with her intrepidity against the Iberians, is thus picked out of her title; she is made the English ewe-lamb, and the lioness of Spain:–

Elizabetha Regina Angliae.

The unhappy history of Mary Queen of Scots, the deprivation of her kingdom, and her violent death, were expressed in this Latin anagram:–

Maria Steuarda Scotorum Regina:

and in

Maria Stevarta

Another fanciful one on our James the First, whose rightful claim to the British monarchy, as the descendant of the visionary Arthur, could only have satisfied genealogists of romance reading:–

Charles James Steuart.

Sylvester, the translator of Du Bartas, considered himself fortunate when he found in the name of his sovereign the strongest bond of affection to his service. In the dedication he rings loyal changes on the name of his liege, James Stuart in which he finds a just master!

The anagram on Monk, afterwards Duke of Albemarle, on the restoration of Charles the Second, included an important date in our history:–

Georgius Monke, Dux de Aumarle.
Ego regem reduxi An deg.Sa. MDCLVV.

A slight reversing of the letters in a name produced a happy compliment; as in Vernon was found Renoun; and the celebrated Sir Thomas Wiat bore his own designation in his name, a Wit.[2] Of the poet Waller the anagrammatist said,

His brows need not with Lawrel to be bound,
Since in his name with Lawrel he is crown’d.

Randle Holmes, who has written a very extraordinary volume on heraldry, was complimented by an expressive anagram:–

Lo, Men’s Herald!

These anagrams were often devoted to the personal attachments of love or friendship. A friend delighted to twine his name with the name of his friend. Crashawe, the poet, had a literary intimate of the name of Car, who was his posthumous editor; and, in prefixing some elegiac lines, discovers that his late friend Crashawe was Car; for so the anagram of Crashawe runs: He was Car. On this quaint discovery, he has indulged all the tenderness of his recollections:–

Was Car then Crashawe, or was Crashawe Car?
Since both within one name combined are.
Yes, Car’s Crashawe, he Car; ’tis Love alone
Which melts two hearts, of both composing one,
So Crashawe’s still the same, etc.

A happy anagram on a person’s name might have a moral effect on the feelings: as there is reason to believe, that certain celebrated names have had some influence on the personal character. When one Martha Nicholson was found out to be Soon calm in Heart, the anagram, in becoming familiar to her, might afford an opportune admonition. But, perhaps, the happiest of anagrams was produced on a singular person and occasion. Lady Eleanor Davies, the wife of the celebrated Sir John Davies, the poet, was a very extraordinary character. She was the Cassandra of her age; and several of her predictions warranted her to conceive she was a prophetess. As her prophecies in the troubled times of Charles I. were usually against the government, she was at length brought by them into the court of High Commission. The prophetess was not a little mad, and fancied the spirit of Daniel was in her, from an anagram she had formed of her name–