Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 10.djvu/14

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NOTES AND QUERIES.


B. x. JULY 5, IMS.


the position of anything, even the smallest articles of daily use. I first noticed this in a prosecution in which a constable, of con- siderable and rotund proportions, when asked as to the position of the accused person in relation to a particular incident, replied, "She was just to the south side of me," or " my south side," I forget which. The phrase being new to me, I could not refrain from asking him which he called his i( south side." On another occasion, when playing cricket, I was much amused when, on a batsman asking a local umpire to give him "guard," he was told to move his bat "a little more to the west." And again, a bowler, on being asked on which side of the wicket he was

foing to bowl, replied, "On the east side." t is the same when a person is asked to fetch anything; as, for instance, "You will find it (or meet it) at the west side of the wardrobe standing on the east side of the room." The natives here never seem at a loss as to the points of the compass wherever they may be, the phrase " to the right " or "left" being seldom or never used in giving such directions. J. S. UDAL, F.S.A.

Antigua, W.I.

TOOK'S COURT. The history of the con- nexion of ' N. & Q.' with this place has been given at 8 th S. i. 268. A few more notes may be gathered here. According to the 'D.N.B.,' xlviii. 37a, there was a Ralph Took, of Took's Court, whose widow Elizabeth was living in 1663. (But the reference given is to Chester's ' Marriage Licences,' where no mention is made of Ralph or Took's Court, and the date assigned in ' D.N.B.' for her marriage is that of the licence.) Mr. Tuck, or Took, of Cur- sitors' Alley, a Chancery clerk, died in 1722 (7 th S. x. 446). Rowland Okeover, of Oke- over, co. Stafford, Esquire, by his will 7 De- cember, 1727, and codicil 14 February, 1728, appointed his grandson William Okeover, of Took's Court, Chancery Lane, Esquire, his executor. This William Okeover by his will, 1 March, 1745, appointed William Monk, of Clifford's Inn, gent., one of his executors (Orig. MS.). Henry Brougham, of Took's Court, was a coadjutor of Oldys in the 'Bio- graphia Britannica,' 1747-66 (3 rd S. i. 62).

W. C. B.

" AUTOCRAT " IN RUSSIAN. It may be worth noting that the word " autocrat," as an equivalent of the Greek avTo-Kparwp = self- ruler, never (or but very rarely) is rendered in Russian by the corresponding term "avto- krat," although its English derivatives " auto- cracy " and "autocratic " commonly occur in Russian as " avto-kratsia " and "avto-krati-


cesky." A learned Russian friend informs me that the proper and usual Russian word for an autocrat is " samo - derzhets " i.e., self- ruler. Probably this usage is due to the preference given to an indigenous word which especially presented the Russian emperor as an absolute or unrestricted ruler to the mind of the Russian people. H. KREBS. Oxford.

SCOTTISH LITERARY CHURCHMEN. (See ' An Industrious Litterateur,' 9 th S. ix. 366.) I need hardly say that I appreciate very highly the compliment paid by MR. GRIGOR at the above reference. It is so common to be ignored or misjudged rather than recognized and commended that an honest, encouraging salute is very welcome when, as thus, it is cordially given. I hope it may be seemly to make here a special response to MR. GRIGOR'S spontaneous and hearty appreciation of my articles in Saint Andrew. I embrace the opportunity to say that I am now preparing a volume on ' Scottish Literary Churchmen,' opening with a general survey, and treating individually the men of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. THOMAS BAYNE.


WE must request correspondents desiring infor- mation on family matters of only private interest to affix their names and addresses to their queries, in order that the answers may be addressed to them direct.

ORANGE BLOSSOMS. When did it become the fashion for English brides to wear or bear orange blossoms at the marriage ceremony 1 A parenthesis in 'Vanity Fair,' ch. xii., would seem to imply that they were but a recent introduction in 1848, when Thackeray wrote, "Had orange blossoms been invented then (those touching emblems of female purity

imported by us from France), Miss Maria

would have assumed the spotless wreath." When were orange blossoms imported from France 1 I should be glad of any references to them before this date. And, by the way, where did Thackeray get the explanation of the symbolism, which I observe has been adopted from him in several modern dic- tionaries? This appears not to be an im- ported explanation, but one of home produc- tion, perhaps merely a fancy of Thackeray's. According to Littre (s.v. Oranges), "married women wear a crown of orange buds and blossoms, whence orange blossom is taken as the symbol of matrimony." This is confirmed to me by a French scholar and writer whom I have consulted, and who says orange bios-