Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 10.djvu/102

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [9 th s. x. AUG. 2, 1902.

Tewkesbury mustard " (why Tewkesbury ?). Cf. "blind as a beetle." Beetle and mallet are almost identical in meaning in some places quite so C. C. B.

Ep worth.

"MET": POINTS OF THE COMPASS (9 th S. x- 5). The peculiarity of bringing the points of the compass into use in describing the position of persons and things is not confined to the island of Antigua. The habit is quite common among the peasantry in the south and west of Ireland. Jf one were to ask a labourer in the fields the whereabouts of his master he would reply, "He is t east in the wood," or " west at the forge," as the case might be. This peculiarity extends to the position of things in one's house ; and I remember an occasion when a raw servant- maid, in bringing the dishes to the dinner- table, whispered to her mistress, "Where will I put the potatoes, ma'm east or west?" Prof. Keane (Stanford's ' Compendium,' ' Cen- tral and South America,' vol. ii.) says that the Irish brogue is in evidence in some of the Lesser Antilles. This legacy of the early Irish planters may explain the existence of the peculiarity among the blacks of Antigua.


Vailima, Bishopstown, Cork.

When I came from the north of England to live in Worcestershire, in 1879, I noticed that aged country people would say, " I met a drop of rain." W. C. B.

THE NATIONAL FLAG (9 th S. ix. 485; x. 31). I would suggest that the white ensign is generally used on churches because the ground of the flag is the cross of St. George, the patron saint of England, the old national flag before the Union. I hope A. O.'s sugges- tion to restrict everybodj 7 to the Union Jack will not be adopted. If for no other reason than the sake of a little variety in our decorations, let us have the use of the Union Jack and the red, white, and blue ensigns.


I have recently been to St. Kilda as the bearer of kindly messages from the King and Queen to the islanders, and of gifts of photo-

fraphs from Her Majesty Queen Alexandra, thought it would be a unique event in the history of " the lone island " if His Majesty would grant permission for me to present a Royal Standard for use on St. Kilda on State occasions, so I wrote to His Majesty on the subject, and received the following reply : Buckingham Palace, 5th June, 1902. Dear Sir, I have had the honour of submitting your letter of the 2nd inst. to the King, and I am

commanded to request you in reply to inform the inhabitants of St. Kilda, when you next visit that island, that he trusts they will have a successful season in their occupation of fulmar catching. His Majesty regrets that he is unable to grant you per- mission to present a Royal Standard, but you can give the minister a Union Jack.

Yours faithfully,


The Royal Standard may only be used when the King and Queen, or King or Queen, are in actual residence.


ORANGE BLOSSOMS (9 th S. x. 6). Most of the works on flower-lore to which I have access speak of the use of orange blossoms at weddings as of comparatively recent origin, and as due to the fact that the orange tree, bearing fruit and flowers together, is a symbol of fecundity. This is, I should imagine, the real reason of the custom. Folkard (' Plant- Lore ') says that in Crete the bride and bride- groom are sprinkled with orange-flower water, and that in Sardinia oranges are attached to the horns of the oxen which draw the nuptial carriage. There is no suggestion of any such reason as Thackeray supposes here. Dr. Brewer (' Diet, of Phrase and Fable ') says the Saracen brides carried orange blossoms at weddings, and suggests that our modern custom is a survival, or revival, of theirs. The second stanza of the song " She wore a wreath of roses " begins

A wreath of orange blossoms When next we met she wore.

I do not know the date of this ; but it must, I think, be older than ' Vanity Fair.'

C. C. B.

The charming old song which commences with the line "She wore a wreath of roses," and contains the words " with a wreath of orange blossoms upon her snowy brow," was in vogue in the early thirties, and would seem to imply that the decoration in ques- tion was then an established custom at weddings. Perhaps DR. MURRAY can ascer- tain the date of its composition.


[T. Haynes Bayly, the writer of the song, died in 1839.]

This subject has been repeatedly discussed in ' N. & Q.,' for which see l sfc S. viii., ix. ; 3 rd S. x., xi. ; 4 th S. i. ; 7 tn S. vii. A question arises out of the quotation given by DR. MURRAY from 'Vanity Fair' in 1848, but which is attributed in Annandale's ' Imperial Dictionary ' to the Rev. Frederick Farrar, D.D. Who was the author?

EVERARD HOME COLEMAN. [The quotation is Thackeray's as given.]