The novel opens at the Commem Ball at Oxford, an event that draws the brotherhood of Gerard Hernshaw
, a retired Civil Servant, Jenkin Riderhood, a teacher, and Duncan Cambon, a Civil Servant.
Still in 1863, we find an detached note on the etymology of "hernshaw
," as heron, using as illustration: "as: I know a hawk from a hernshaw
" (Journals, p.
Even if we suppose he might have arrived at this change independently (the verb 'stalk' is used of the Ghost's movement at i.1.53 and i.1.69 and it might have seemed more dignified than 'steal'), would he have thought of 'hernshaw
' for 'handsaw' at ii.2.375 without Hanmer's 1744 edition?