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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/408

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336


NOTES AND QUERIES. [io s. xn. OCT. 23, 1909.


as o in such words as " fool " or " tool," a more cautious penman, and yet a more prodigal, has set the name forth as " Doole- ing " ('Marquis of Ormond MSS.,' vol. i.). In another volume of the Hist. MSS. Com- mission may be observed the evident hand of an economist, by the form " Doleing " (1663) ; while in the same collection may be met a rearrangement of those letters as "Doeling" (1643). Meanwhile, more scholarly minds were exercised upon the problem of the true expression of the long o, with the result that " Doulingus " appears in Latin, and " Dowling " in English, as the recognized forms. But in " Browning " and " Downing " the ow has another value. The long o therefore may be said to have failed to declare itself unmistakably in the final form of my surname. I fear the vocable of Cowper or Cooper is in like case awaiting the deliverance that comes by perfect literal expression. J. N. DOWLING.

48, Gough Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham.

FIG TREES IN THE CITY (10 S. xi. 107, 178 ; xii. 293). The following additional notes appeared in The City Press last month, and may be worth recording, as completing the information on this subject. That in the issue for 18 September was as follows :

"Aldgate is scarcely an Arcady, but there is something arcadian in Aldgate sitting under its own fig tree. The tree (unfortunately there was no vine to keep it company), under which Aldgate-ians sat and meditated, long grew in front of the ward school in Jewry Street how long nobody knew. It was generally believed that the tree had a past quite a respectable one, of course. Indeed, it was somehow understood that it was one of the trees that adorned the grounds of the ancient abbey of Holy Trinity, which for many centuries held reli- gious sway in the Aldgate neighbourhood. The ward seminary was erected on a part of the site of the abbey and its gardens, and when the school was built the tree was evidently allowed to remain. Certainly it formed a beautiful adjunct to the building. The school, a picturesque old-world structure, has been demolished to provide space for an extension of the Sir John Cass Foundation, and the old fig tree has disappeared no one knows where. Its loss will be regretted by many. Luckily, how- ever, it has left a successor. Two or three years ago Mr. A. M. Sly, then one of the churchwardens or St. Katharine Cree, took a cutting from the tree and planted it in the churchyard of that parish, where it is in a flourishing state, though we fear the offspring can never become so interesting or so hallowed as its poor old parent."

The following letter to the editor appeared on 25 September :

Sm, We in the City were all interested in your detailed account of the old fig tree in Aldgate,' and its final end to make room for building. May I be allowed to draw the attention of your readers to a very fine specimen which is in full leaf and vigour


in the little-known churchyard of St. Margaret's, Lothbury, within touch of the Bank of England. Prebendary Ingram has cared for it, and made it an espalier. To frequenters of the Auction Mart it forms a pleasing background. There is also another in the garden of a City rectory, viz., St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, at 19, Finsbury Square ; and the late rector, the Rev. J. A. L. Airey (beloved by so many), was often solaced when gazing on its verdure.

I am, &c., THOS. FISHER.

Merstham.

ALAN STEWART.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, SHELLEY, KEATS, AND THE YEW (10 S. xii. 287). In Ovid's ' Metamorphoses,' Book III., relating the story of Narcissus and his death, we read (verse 506) : " His Naiad sisters lamented him, and laid their hair, cut off, over their brother " (Riley's translation, Bonn). A foot-note states that it was the custom among the ancients of females, when lament- ing the dead, not only to cut off their hair, but also to lay it on the body when extended upon the funeral pile.

With reference to the yew tree as a pre- cursor of death, Pliny, quoting Sextus, says that in Greece this tree is known as " smilax," and that in Arcadia it is possessed of so active a poison that those who sleep beneath it are sure to meet death.

NORMAN BOOTHROYD.

Arnold's reference to the yew is, as I. M. L says, natural enough, and needs no explana- tion ; nor is the explanation of the passage in Shelley very difficult, as it seems to me. Among the signs of grief common at funerals in classical countries was, according to Smith (' Diet. Greek and Roman Ant.,' i. 885), "tear- ing of hair." Solon disliked this, but Shelley, apparently, did not, but thought the strew- ing of hair on the pall of Time more appro- priate than the yew, the Christian symbol of immortality.

Does the passage in Endymion ' mean anything more than that the yew is a funereal plant, and was carried before the- corpse to the grave ? C. C. B.

To cut off the hair was an ancient sign of grief : " Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places " (Jeremiah vii. 29).

W. H. PINCHBECK.

SCOTT'S ' LOCHINVAR ' (10 S. xii. 268). Of course, all would depend on the bulk,, training, and agility of the man. We have Scott's word for the feat having been per- formed " so light," and we ought to accept it. I should imagine that the fair lady was not quite imponderable. ST. S WITHIN.