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Cro well's Books 

Edited by C. 0. S. MAWSON 

"A necessary part of the reference equipment of every writer in 
English. " Boston Transcript. 

"A compilation of the edged tools of speech/' 

Chicago Record-Herald, 



" This is a book for parents who want to keep up with their chil- 
dren at school for would-be writers, and their number is legion 
for salesmen wishing to make a better impression for business 
executives and their secretaries even for college professors. 7 ' 

Practical Psychology. 



"Every reference library that makes any claim to completeness 
will need this work upon its shelves." Newark Evening News. 



"Deserves a place beside Roget's 'Thesaurus 3 and will, I predict, 
be equally indispensable " 

ERNEST E. LEISY, Southern Methodist University. 
"Authoritative and very practical/ 7 

GAEL A. NAETHEK, University of Southern California. 



11 A book for all who want a command of words that will enable 
them to talk well, and to write as they talk." Wilson Bulletin. 


432 Fourth Avenue, New York 

















This Handbook for Readers and Writers has been compiled with the needs 
of the general reader of present-day America constantly in mind. Other volumes 
of the sort (a number of which are mentioned among those below) are either 
lacking in recent material or have, for the most part, limited themselves to 
special fields, which they are able, therefore, to cover more thoroughly than a 
single volume of this scope may hope to do. Such claim ab this Handbook has 
to usefulness is, on the other hand, based largely on the fact that it makes 
available in a single volume a wide range of material. Intended primarily 
for the general reader who, through necessity or inclination, is apt to have room 
on his library shelves for only one such reference book, it is, as the title-page 
indicates, Cl a dictionary of famous characters and plots in legend, fiction, drama, 
opera and poetry, together with dates and principal works of important authors, 
literary and journalistic terms and familiar allusions." 

The Handbook owes much to previous compilations in the same field, 
particularly to A Dictionary of Phrase and Fable and The Reader's Handbook by 
Rev. E. Cobham Brewer (d. 1897), an English clergyman, who gave to the task 
of their editing long years of scholarly and painstaking research. Much of 
the material in the CrowelTs Handbook has been taken from these two huge 
volumes, each well over a thousand pages, the first of which (revised by Cassell 
since the World War) treats of mythology and popular allusion, the second of 
character and plot in literature. In each of these fields, but particularly the 
latter, the material has been subject to extremely detailed revision, much that 
was judged of interest to the British reader of thirty years ago has been omitted 
and a great deal added. Relative values shift with the passing of the years; 
in the revised edition of The Reader's Handbook which was on the press at Dr. 
Brewer's death, a bare mention was made of Adam Bede and a dozen times the 
space devoted to literary effusions long since forgotten by all except the student 
of literary curiosities. Most of the material relating to the Victorian period, 
therefore, as well as to more recent literature, has been newly prepared. Special 
attention has been given, not only to American literature and allusion, hardly 
touched in the British books, but to the fiction, drama and catch phrases of 
the present generation, for however much thumbing over the pages of old books 
of reference and criticism may prove the fallibility of the judgment of the hour, 
contemporary allusion has nevertheless a genuine value at any given moment. 

Of the many other books consulted from time to time in the compilation 
of this Handbook, especial acknowledgment is due to the following: The Book- 
man's Manual by Bessie Graham; A Dictionary of English Phrases by Albert M. 
Hyamson; The Reader's Digest of Books by Helen Rex Keller; A Short Handbook 
of Literary Terms by George G. Loane; Shakespearean Synopses and Opera 
Synopses by J. Walker McSpadden; The American Novel and The Contemporary 
American Novel by Carl Van Doren; Heroes and Heroines of Fiction; Classical, 
Medievalj Legendary and Heroes and Heroines of Fiction; Modern Prose and 

vi Preface 

Poetry by William S. Walsh; A Dictionary of the Noted Names of Fiction by 
William A. Wheeler; and the series of dictionaries of Thackeray, George Eliot, 
Hardy, etc., published by George Routledge and Sons. The older reference 
books, such as John Colin Dunlop's History of Prose Fiction, were also drawn 
upon for material, as were a number of mythological dictionaries, The Cambridge 
History of American Literature, The Cambridge History of English Literature, 
and many other volumes of literary history and criticism. 

Much effort has been expended to insure accuracy of statement as well 
as a wise, well-balanced choice of material and a contemporary emphasis. 
With such a wide range, it is perhaps too much to hope that some typographical 
inconsistencies and errors have not crept in; and the editor has at tunes experi- 
enced a keen fellow-feeling for Rev. Mr. Casaubon, whose "difficulty of making 
his Key to all Mythologies unimpeachable weighed like lead upon his mind." 
The spellings chosen for proper names are, for the most part, those in most 
general usage, but especial attention has been paid to cross-references in this 
connection, as well as for Christian names and surnames of fictitious characters, 
one or the other of which so often eludes the memory. Inasmuch as the vast 
majority of well-known characters are from English literature, the English novel 
or play has not been so labelled in parentheses except for recent works. Accents, 
for assistance in pronunciation, have been used freely wherever they seemed 
necessary or helpful, but otherwise omitted. It is hoped that these and other 
devices will play their part in making the Handbook of genuine practical use. 

July, 1925. 




Al means first-rate the very best. 
In Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign 
Shipping, the character of the ship's 
hull is designated by letters, and that of 
the anchors, cables ; and stores by figures 
Al means hull first-rate, and also anchors, 
cables, and stores. A2, hull first-rate, but 
fittings second-rate Vessels of an inferior 
character are classified under the letters 
jEj E and i. 

A.B., An. An able-bodied seaman, the 
lowest rank but one in the British Royal 

A B. degree. Bachelor of Arts, the 
degree conferred upon the completion of a 
four-year college course of more or less 
classical natuie It is the same as B.A. 
Cp Bachelor, Master. 

A.B.C. An abbreviation having a num- 
ber of meanings that can be decided only 
by the context. Thus, " So-and-so doesn't 
know his A B C " means that he is 
intensely ignorant, " he doesn't under- 
stand the A B C of engineering 3 \ means 
that he has not mastered its rudiments. 
So, an A B C Book, or Absey Book, is a 
primer which used to be used as a child's 
first lesson book and contained merely 
the alphabet and a few rudimentary- 
lessons often set in catechism iorm, as is 
evident from Shakespeare's lines. 

That is question now, 
And then comes answer like an Absey book ^ 

King John, i, 1 

A. B.C. Nations. Argentina, Brazil and 
Chile; or recently by extension of the 
term, all Latin America. 

A. D. See Anno Domini. 

A. E. The nom de plume of the Irish 
writer, George Russell (1867- ). 

A. E. F. The American Expeditionary 
Force which was sent overseas for service 
in the World War. 

A.E.I.O.U. The device adopted by 
Frederick V, archduke of Austria, on 
becoming the Emperor Frederick III in 
1440. They had been used by his prede- 
cessor, Albert II, and then stood for 

Albertua Electus Imperator Optmms Vivat 

The meaning that Frederick gave them 

Archidux Electus Imperator Optime Vivat 

Many other versions are known, in- 

Austrise Est Imperare Orbi Universe 
Alles Erdreich 1st Oesterreich Unterthan 
Austria's Empire Is Overall Universal 

To which wags added after the war of 

Austria's Emperor Is Ousted Utterly. 

Frederick the Great is said to have 
translated the motto thus: 

Austria Erit In Orbe Ultima (Austria will 'be lowest in 
the world) 

A la carte (Fr. by the card). A meal 
a la carte is chosen from a varied menu 
with a separate price for each item, in 
contrast to table d'hdte service which 
provides an entire meal at a fixed price. 

JL la mode (Fr in the manner). In 
general usage a la mode means " in the 
style "; with relation to food, as pie & la 
mode, it means topped with ice cream 

A.M. The academic degree, Master of 
Arts, the same as M A In America it is 
conferred upon the successful completion 
of one year of postgraduate work or its 
equivalent. When the Latin form is 
intended the A comes first, as Artium 
Magister but where the English form is 
meant the M precedes, as Master of Arts. 

The abbreviation " A.M." also stands, 
of course, for ante meridiem (Lat.), before 
noon, and anno mundi, in the year of the 
world x 4 

A poster'io'ri (Lat. from the latter). An 
a posteriori argument is proving the cause 
from the effect. Thus, if we see a watch 
we conclude there was a watchmaker. 
Robinson Crusoe inferred there was 
another human being on the desert island, 
because he saw a human footprint in the 
wet sand. It is thus the existence and 
character of Deity is inferred from His 
works. See A priori. 

A prio'ri (Lat. from an antecedent). An 
a priori argument is one in which a fact is 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 

deduced from something antecedent, as 
when we infer certain effects from given 
causes. All mathematical proofs are of 
the a priori kind, whereas judgments^ in 
the law courts are usually a posteriori 
(q v.*) ; we infer the animus from the act. 

A.U.C. Abbreviation of the Lat. Anno 
Urbis Conditce, " from the foundation of 
the city " (Rome). It is the starting point 
of the Roman system of dating events, 
and corresponds with B. C. 753. 

Aa'ron. In the Old Testament, brother 
of Moses (q.v.) with whom he was asso- 
ciated in the calling down of the Ten 
Plagues and the leading of the Children of 
Israel out of Egypt. As high priest Aaron 
was responsible for the making of the 
Golden Calf which the Israelites wor- 
shipped in the wilderness while Moses 
was receiving the Ten Commandments 
from Jehovah. 

Aaron's Beard. The popular name of 
many wild plants, including Great St. 
John's Wort (Rose of Sharon), the Ivy- 
leaved Toadflax, Meadowsweet, Saxifrage 
Sarmentosa, etc. 

Aaron's Rod. The name given (with 
reference to Num xvii. 8) to various 
flowering plants, including Golden Rod, 
Great Mullein, and others. 

Aaron's Serpent. Something so power- 
ful as to eliminate minor powers. The 
allusion is to Exod. vii 10-12. 

(2) A Moor, beloved by Tam/ora, 
queen of the Goths, in the tragedy of 
Titus Andron'icus, published amongst 
the plays of Shakespeare, 

Abaddon. The angel of the bottomless 
pit (Rev. ix. 11), from Heb. abad, he 
perished. Milton uses the name for the 
bottomless pit itself. ^ 

Ab'aris. A mythical Greek sage of the 
6th century B. G. t (surnamed ff the 
Hyperborean ") mentioned by Herodotus, 
Pindar, etc. Apollo gave him a magic 
arrow which rendered him invisible, 
cured diseases, gave oracles, and on which 
he could ride through the air. Abaris gave 
it to Pythag'oras, who, m return, taught 
him philosophy. Hence the dart of Abaris. 

Abbad'ona. One of the most interesting 
figures in Klopstock's epic poem, The 
Messiah (Ger. Der Messias, 1748-1773) 
(qv.), an angel who was drawn, into the 
rebellion of Satan half unwillingly. In 
hell he constantly bewailed his fall and 
reproved Satan for his pride and blas- 
phemy; and during the crucifixion he 
lingered about the cross with repentance, 
hope and fear. His ultimate fate we are 
not told, but his redemption is implied. 

Abb'assides. A dynasty of thirty-seven 
caliphs who reigned over the Moham- 
medan Empire from 750 to 1258. They 
were descended from Abbas, uncle of 
Mahomet. Haroun al Raschid (born 765, 
reigned 786-808), of the Arabian Nights, 
was one of their number. 

Abbe Constantin, 37. A novel by Lu- 
dovic Hal6vy (Fr. 1834-1908), in which 
the kindly old village priest who bears 
the title role plays something of the 
matchmaker. The hero is his godson, 
Lt. Jean Renaud, and the heroine one of 
the two American sisters who come to 
live in the castle of Longueval. 

Abbot, The. A novel by Sir Walter 
Scott (1820). The Abbot, Father Ambrose 
(q v.) plays a subordinate part. The hero 
is Roland Graeme, a foundling brought up 
by Lady Avenel as a sort of page. -He 
later became page to Mary Queen of 
Scots, who plays a prominent role in the 
novel. Eventually Roland Graeme is 
discovered to be the son of Julian Avenel, 
marries Catherine Seyton, the daughter 
of a lord, and is acclaimed heir to the 
barony of Avenel. 

Abbot of Misrule, See King of Misrule, 

Abbot of Unreason. See King of 

Abbotsford. The name given by Sir 
Walter Scott to Clarty Hole, on the south 
bank of the Tweed, after it became his 
residence in 1812. 

Abdaldar. A magician in Southey's 
Thalaba the Destroyer (q.v.). 

Abde'ra, Abderi'tan. Abdera, was a 
maritime city of Thrace whose inhabitants 
were proverbial in ancient times for their 

Abderi'tan laughter. Scoffing laughter, 
incessant laughter. So called because 
Abdera was the birthplace of Democritus, 
the laughing philosopher. Ab'derite. A 

Ab'diel (Arab, the servant of God). In 
Milton's Paradise Lost (v.^805, 896, etc.) 
the faithful seraph who withstood Satan 
when he urged the angels to revolt. 

Abdulla. A powerful Malay trader who 
appears in Conrad's Outcast of the Islands 
(q.v.) and in Almayer's Folly. 

Abel. In the Old Testament, the son of 
Adam and Eve, murdered by his brother 
Cain because his sacrifice was more 
acceptable to Jehovah than Cain's (Gen. 
IV). For his role in Mohammedan legend 
and in Byron's Gain t a Mystery (1821), 
see Cain. 

v Abel, Mr. The hero and narrator of 
W. H. Hudson's Green Mansions 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Abelard and Heloise. Two celebrated 
medieval lovers. Abelard (1079-1142) was 
a scholastic philosopher and probably the 
most famous teacher of the Middle Ages, 
his school being the immediate forerunner 
of the University of Pans. The lovers did 
not marry because of the effect of such 
a step upon Abelard's ecclesiastical 
advancement. Their story, told in their 
published letters, has appealed to readers 
of many centuries Pope has a poem 
called An Epistle from Eloisa to Abelard. 

Afoercrombie, Lascelles (1881- ). 
Contemporary English poet. 

Abhorson. In Shakespeare's Measure 
for Measure, an executioner. 

Ab'igaii. A lady's maid Abigail, wife 
of Nabal and afterwards of David, is a 
well-known Scripture heroine (1 Sam 
xxv. 3). Marlowe called the daughter of 
Barrabas, his Jew of Malta, by this name, 
and it was given by Beaumont and 
Fletcher to the " waiting gentlewoman " 
in The Scornful Lady Swift, Fielding, 
arid other novelists of the period employ 
it in their novels, and it was further 
popularized by the notoriety of Abigail 
Hill, better known as Mrs. Masham, the 
waiting-woman to Queen Anne. 

Able McLaughlins, The. A novel by 
Margaret Wilson (Am. 1923), the story 
of a family of hardy Scotch settlers in 
Iowa. Wully McLaughlin, the hero, 
returns from the Civil War to marry his 
beloved Chirstie. For a long time he hates 
the cousin who had taken advantage of 
her in his absence and for whose misdeed 
he manfully bears the blame in the eyes 
of that pious Scotch community, but 
when at last he finds his cousin, in a 
dying condition, he is able to forgive him. 
Perhaps the most interesting character 
of the novel is Wully 's big-hearted mother, 
the ablest of all the " Able McLaughlms." 
The book took first prize in a Harper 
contest and was awarded the Pulitzer 
prize as the best novel of the year. 

Abomina/tionof Desolation, The. Men- 
tioned in Dan. (chs. ix, xi, and xh), and in 
Matt. xxiv. 15, probably refers to some 
statue set up in the Temple by either 
the heathen or the Romans The phrase 
is used for anything very hateful or 

Abou Ben Adhem. A short poem by 
Leigh Hunt. Because Abou begged to be 
written as " one who loves his fellow- 
men " his angel visitor 

"... showed the names whom, love of God had blest 
And lo Ben Adhem's name led all the rest " 

Abou Hassan. Young merchant of 

Bagdad, hero of the tale called The Sleeper 
Awakened in the Arabian Nights' Enter* 
tainments. While Abou Hassan is asleep 
he is conveyed to the palace of Haroun al 
Raschid, and the attendants are ordered 
to do everything they can to make him 
fancy himself the Caliph. He subse- 
quently becomes the Caliph's favorite. 
Cp Sly, Christopher. 

Abra. A favorite concubine of Solomon. 
In his poem Solomon on the Vanity of the 
World (1718), Matthew Prior describes 
her devotion in the celebrated lines: 

Abra was ready ere I called her name, 
And though. I called another, Abra came 

Abracadabra. A cabalistic charm, said 
to be made up from the initials of the 
Hebrew words Ab (Father) , Ben (Son) 
and Ruach ACadsch (Holy Spirit) and 
formerly used as a powerful antidote 
against ague, flux, toothache, etc Hence 
a charm; also any meaningless jargon. 
The word was written on parchment, and 
suspended from the neck by a linen thread^ 
in the following form: 












Abraham. The founder of the Hebrew 
nation and its first patriarch. With his 
wife Sarai and his nephew Lot he migrated 
from Ur of Chaldees into the Land of 
Canaan, where he settled and prospered. 
To test his faith Jehovah commanded him 
to offer up his son Isaac as a burnt offering, 
but when he was about to draw the knife, 
a ram was provided instead The story 
of Abraham is told in Gen. xii-xni and in 
various Mohammedan legends, which 
relate that at the age of fifteen months 
Abraham was equal in size to a lad of 
fifteen, and was so wise that his father 
introduced him to the court of King 
Nimrod; that Abraham and his son 
" Ismail " rebuilt for the fourth time the 
Kaaba over the sacred stone at Mecca; 
and that Abraham destroyed the idols 
manufactured and worshipped by his 
father, Terah. See also Sarai, Hagar, 
Isaac, Sodom and Gomorrah. 

Abraham's Bosom. The repose of the 
happy in death (Luke xvi. 22). 

Abraham'ic Covenant. (1) The covenant 
made by God with Abraham, thao 
Messiah should spring from his seed. 
This promise was given to Abraham, 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 

because he left Ms country and father's 
house to live in a strange land, as God 
told him. (2) The rite of circumcision. 

To Sham Abraham. To pretend illness 
or distress, in order to get off work. See 

Abraham Lincoln. See Lincoln. 

Abraham Newland, An. A bank-note, 
so called from the name of the chief 
cashier at the Bank of England from 1782 
to 1807, without whose signature no Bank 
of England notes were genuine. 

Abram-Man, or Abraham Cove. A 
pretended maniac who, in Tudor and early 
Stuart times, wandered about the country 
as a begging impostor; a Tom o' Bedlam 
(q.v ) , hence the phrase, to sham Abraham, 
meaning to pretend illness or distress, in 
order to get off work. 

Inmates of Bedlam (q.v) who were 
not dangerously mad were kept in the 
" Abraham Ward/' and were allowed out 
from time to time m a distinctive dress, 
and were permitted to supplement their 
scanty rations by begging This gave an 
opportunity to impostors, and large 
numbers availed themselves of it. Says 
The Canting Academy (Richd. Head, 
1674), they 

*' used to array themselves witL. party-coloured ribbons, 
tape in their hats, a fox-tail hanging down, a long stick 
with streamers," and beg alms; but "for all their 
seernmg madness, they had wit enough to steal as they 
went along " 

There is a good picture of them in 
King Lear li. 3, and see also Beaumont 
and Fletcher's Beggar's Bush, ii. i. 

Come, princes of the ragged regiment 

And these, what name or title e'er they bear, 

Jarkman or Pafnco, Cranke or Clapper-dudgeon, 

Frater or Abram-man, I speak to all 

That stand in fair election for the title 

Of King of Beggars 

Abrax'as. A cabalistic word used by 
the Gnostics to denote the Supreme 
Being, the source of 365 emanations, the 
sum of the numbers represented by the 
Greek letters of the word totaling 365. 
It was frequently engraved on gems 
(hence known as abraxas stones) that 
were used as amulets or talismans. By 
some authorities the name is given as that 
of one of the horses of Aurora. 

Absalom. In the Old Testament (2 
Sam. xviii), the handsome but rebellious 
son of David who " stole the hearts of the 
men. of Israel " and plotted to become king 
m his father's stead. In the battle in 
which the issue was decided, Absalom, 
who rode on a mule, was caught by his 
head in an oak tree; and one of David's 
army, finding him so suspended, killed him 
in spite of the previous commands of the 
King. David's lament, " my son 

Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would 
God I had died for thee," has become a 
classic expression of paternal grief. 

Absalom and Achitophel. A famous 
political satire m verse published in 1681, 
the first part by Dryden and the second 
by Nahum Tate and revised by Dryden. 
The general scheme is to show the 
rebellious character of the Puritans, who 
insisted on the exclusion of the Duke of 
York from the succession, on account of 
his being a pronounced Catholic, and the 
determination of the King to resist this 
interference with his royal prerogative, 
even at the cost of a civil war. Of the 
principal characters, David stands for 
Charles II; Absalom for his natural son 
James, Duke of Monmouth (handsome 
and rebellious) ; Achitophel for Lord 
Shaftesbury, Zimri for the Duke of 
Buckingham, and Abdael for Monk. The 
accommodation of the biblical narrative 
to contemporary history is so skilfully 
made that the story of David seems to 
repeat itself. Of Absalom, Dryden says 
(Part i) . 

Whatever he did was done with so much oaso 
In him alone 'twas natural to please, 
His motions all accompanied -with grace, 
And paradise \va&> opened in his face 

Absent-minded Beggar. The title of 
one of Kipling's poems (1900), hence 
applied to an English private, a Tommy 
Atkins (q.v). 

Absentee, The. A novel by Maria 
Edgeworth (1812). The "Absentee," 
Lord Clonbrony allows his foolish wife to 
persuade him to leave his estate m Ireland 
and try to force a way into fashionable 
London society The outcome is unhappy 
for all concerned; Lord Clonbrquy takes to 
gambling, Lady Clonbrony is snubbed 
right and left and the Irish tenants are 
very much neglected. 

Absey book. See A. B.C. 

Ab'solon. A priggish parish clerk in 
The Miller's Tale in Chaucer's Canterbury 
Tales. His hair was curled, his shoes 
slashed, his hose red. He could let blood, 
cut hair, and shave, could dance, and 
play either on the ribible or the gittern. 
This gay spark paid his addresses to 
Mistress Alison, the young wife of John, 
a wealthy aged carpenter, but Alison 
herself loved a poor scholar named 
Nicholas, a lodger in the house. See 

Absolute, Sir Anthony Absolute. One 
of the most popular characters in all 
English comedy, a testy, but warm- 
hearted old gentleman m Sheridan's 
Rivals (1775), who imagines that he 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 

possesses a most angelic temper and when 
he quarrels with his son, the captain, 
fancies it is the son who is out of sorts, 
and not himself. 

Captain Absolute. The clever and gal- 
lant son of Sir Anthony, m love with 
Lydia Languish, the heiress, to whom he 
is known only as Ensign Beverley. Bob 
Acres, his neighbor, is his rival, and sends 
a challenge to the unknown ensign, but 
when he finds that Ensign Beverley is 
Captain Absolute, he declines to fight, 
and resigns all further claim to the lady's 

Afosyr'tus. In Greek mythology, the 
young brother of Medea (q v ) whose body 
she cut in pieces and scattered along her 
way to delay her father Metes in his 
pursuit of her when she escaped from 
Colchis with Jason. 

Abt Vogler. A dramatic monologue by 
Robert Browning m his volume Dramatis 
Persona? (1S64) The speaker is Abt 
Vogler, " after he has been extemporizing 
upon the musical instrument of Ms 

Abu'daJi. In the Tales of the Genii 
(1764) by H Ridley, a wealthy merchant 
of Bagdad, who goes m quest of the talis- 
man of Oroma'nes, which he is driven to 
seek by a little old hag, who haunts him 
every night and makes his life wretched. 
He finds at last that the talisman which is 
to free him of this hag (conscience) is to 
" fear God and keep His commandments }} 

Abydos, Bride of. See Bride of Abydos. 

Academy. The Greek school of philos- 
ophy founded by Plato, so called from a 
garden planted by Academus where Plato 
taught his followers 

The French Academy (Academie fran* 
$aise) was formally established in 1635 by 
Cardinal Richelieu, its principal function 

t To labor with all the care and diligence possible, to 
give exact rules to our language, to render it capable of 
treating the arts and sciences 

Its forty members, " the Forty Immor- 
tals," are supposed to be the most dis- 
tinguished living men of letters. 

The English Royal Academy of Arts 
was founded in 1768 by George III for the 
establishment of an art school and the 
holding of annual exhibitions of works 
by living artists The Royal Spanish 
Academy was founded at Madrid in 1713 
for purposes similar to those of the French 
Academy The American Academy of 
Arts and Letters was founded in 1904 with 
a like purpose. Its membership is limited 
to fifty. There is also a Royal Academy 

of Science at Beilin (founded 1700), at 
Stockholm (the Royal Swedish Academy, 
founded 1739), and at Copenhagen 
(founded 1742) The Imperial Academy 
of Sciences at Petrograd was established 
by Catherine I in 1725. 

Academy Figures Drawings in black 
and white chalk, on tinted paper, usually 
about half life-size and from the nude. 

An Academy headache A headache as a 
result of attending art exhibitions. The 
phrase was popularized in 1885 with 
reference to the Royal Academy Exhibit 

Aca'dia. The old name for Nova Scotia, 
so called by the French from the river 
Shubenacadie In 1621 Acadia was given 
to the Englishman, Sir William Alexander, 
and its name changed, and in 1755 the 
old French settlers were driven into exile 
by George II. Longfellow has made this 
the subject of a poem in hexameter verse, 
called Evan'gehne (ffv). 

Ace. In cards or dice, a single spot. 
During the World War an ace came to 
mean a daring aviator; m the French army 
any aviator who brought down five 
German planes within the French lines 
and was in consequence officially noted, 
was called an ace, and the term was 
informally adopted in other air forces 

Acel'dama, A battle-field, a place 
where much blood ha& been shed. So 
called from the field purchased by the 
priests with the blood-money thrown 
down by Judas, and appropriated ^as a 
cemetery for strangers (Matt, xxvii. 8; 
Acts i. 19) 

Aces'tes. In a trial of skill described in 
Virgil's dSneid, Acestes, the Sicilian, 
discharged Ms arrow with such force that 
it took fire from the friction of the air. 

Acha'tes. A fidus Achates. A faithful 
companion, a bosom friend. Achates in 
Virgil's dSne^d is the chosen companion 
of the hero in adventures of all kinds. 

Ac'heron. A Greek word meaning " the 
River of Sorrows"; the river of the 
infernal regions into which Phlegethon 
and Cocytus flow: also, the lower world 
(Hades) itself. See Styx. 

They pass the bitter waves of Acheron 
Where many souls sit wailing woefully 

Spenser. Faerie Queene, I. v, 33. 

Food for Acheron. A dead body. 

AcMEes. In Greek legend, the son of 
Peleus and Thetis, king of the Myr'midons 
and hero of the Iliad (q v.). He is repre- 
sented as being brave and relentless, but, 
at the opening of the poem, in conse- 
quence of a quarrel between him and 
Agamemnon, commander-ia-chief of the 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

allied Greeks, he refused to fight. The 
Trojans prevailed, and Achilles sent 
Patroc'lus to oppose them Patroc'lus 
fell, and Achilles, rushing into the battle, 
killed Hector (q.v ) . He himself, according 
to later poems, was slain at the Scaean 
gate, before Troy was taken, by an arrow 
in his heel. The tale is that his mother, 
Thetis, had dipped him in the river Styx 
to make him invulnerable. The water 
washed every part, except the heel by 
which his mother held him. It was on this 
vulnerable point the hero was slain; and 
the sinew of the heel is called, in conse- 
quence, tendo Achilhs } or the Achilles 

The heel of Achilles. The vulnerable or 
weak point in a man's character or in a 

Achilles' spear. See Pelian spear. 

Achilles of England. (1) John Talbot, 
first Earl of Shrewsbury (1373-1453); 
(2) the Duke of Wellington (1769-1852). 

Of Germany. Albert, elector of Bran- 
denburg (1414-1486). 

Of Lombardy. Brother of Sforza and 
Palamedes in Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered. 
This was not a complimentary title, but 
a proper name. 

Of Rome. Lucius Sicin'ius Dentatus, 
the Roman tribune; also called the Second 
Achilles. Put to death B. C 450. 

Of the West. Roland the Paladin. 

Acid Test. A test, or trial, that will 
finally decide the value, worth, or relia- 
bility of anything, just as the application 
of acid is a certain test of gold It is a 
phrase often used of measures to be taken 
during political, social, economic, or 
other crises. 

A'cis. In Greek mythology, a Sicilian 
shepherd, loved by the nymph Galate'a. 
The monster Polypheme, a Cyclops, was 
his rival, and crushed him under a huge 
rock. The blood of Acis was changed into 
a river of the same name at the foot of 
Mount Etna. 

Achit'ophel. In the Old Testament, 
David's traitorous counsellor, who de- 
serted to Absalom, (2 Sam. xv.) The 
Achitophel of Dryden's satire (see Absa- 
lom and Achitophel) was the Earl of 

Of these [the rebel the false Achitophel was first; 

A name to all succeeding ages curst, 

For close designs and crooked counsels fit; 

Sagacious, bold, and turbulent of wit, 

Restless, unfix' d in principles and place, 

In power unpleased, impatient in disgrace 

I 150 

Acras'ia. In Book II of Spenser's 
Faerie Queene (1590), Intemperance per- 
sonified. Spenser says she is an enchant^ 

ress living in the " Bower of Bliss," in 
" Wandering Island " She had the power 
of transforming her lovers into monstrous 
shapes, but Sir Guyon (Temperance), 
having caught her in a net and bound her, 
broke down her bower and burnt it to 

Acre. O. E. cecer, is akin to the Lat. 
ager and Ger acker (a field). God's Acre, 
a cemetery or churchyard. Longfellow 
calls this an " ancient Saxon phrase," but 
as a matter of fact it is a modern borrow- 
ing from Germany. 

Three acres and a cow. A small plot for 
gardening or farming; a phrase used by 
British radicals in the political campaign 
of 1885. 

Acres, Bob. In Sheridan's comedy The 
Rivals (1775) (qv}, a countiy gentleman, 
the rival of Ensign Beverley, alias Captain 
Absolute, for the hand and heart of Lydia 
Languish, the heiress. He tries to ape 
the man of fashion, gets himself up as a 
loud swell, and uses " sentimental oaths/ 7 
i e. oaths bearing on the subject. Thus 
if duels are spoken of he says, ods triggers 
and flints; if ladies, ods blushes and blooms. 
Bob Acres is a great blusterer, but when 
put to the push " his courage always oozed 
out of his fingers' ends." Hence a 
" regular Bob Acres " is a coward. 

Acrislus. In Greek mythology, the 
father of Dan'ae. An oracle declared that 
Danae would give birth to a son who 
would kill him, so Acrisius kept his 
daughter shut up in a brazen tower. Here 
she became the mother of Per'seus, by 
Jupiter in the form of a shower of gold. 
The King of Argos now ordered his daugh- 
ter and her infant to be put into a chest, 
and cast adrift on the sea, but they were 
rescued by Dictys, a fisherman. When 
grown to manhood, Perseus accidentally 
struck the foot of Acrisius with a quoit, 
and the blow caused his death. This tale 
is told by William Morris in The Earthly 
Paradise: April. 

Across lots. By a short cut. The threat 
of the Mormon leader, Brigham Young, 
" We'll send them [the Gentiles] across 
lots" gave the phrase a new and obvious 

Act of Faith. See Auto da Fe. 

Act of God. A term denoting " Danrnum 
fatale," such as loss by lightning, ship- 
wreck, fire, etc. ; loss arising from fatality, 
and not from one's own fault, theft, and 
so on. 

Action. In Grecian mythology a 
huntsman who, having surprised Diana 
bathing, was changed by her into a stag 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 

and torn to pieces by his own hounds. 
A stag being a horned animal, he became a 
representative of men whose wives are 

Ac'tian Games. The games celebrated 
at Actium in honor of Apollo. They were 
remstituted by Augustus to celebrate his 
naval victory over Antony, 31 B. (7., and 
were held every five years. 

Acts and Monuments. A history of 
Christian saints by John Fox, better 
known as " The Book of Martyrs," 
published in 1563. 

Acunha, Teresa <T. The Spanish maid 
of the Countess of Glenallan in Scott's 
novel, The Antiquary, of whom it is said, 
" If ever there was a fiend on earth in 
human form, that woman was ane." 

Ad libitum (Lat). To choice, pleasure, 
without restraint. 

Ad rem (Lat.). To the point in hand; 
to the purpose. 

Ad valo'rem (Lat.). According to the 
price charged. A commercial term used m 
imposing customs duties according to the 
value of the goods imported. ThuSj if 
teas pay duty ad valoremj the high priced 
tea will pay more duty per pound than 
the lower priced tea. 

A'dafo.. In Byron's Cain, a Mystery 
(qv.), the wife of Cain After Cain has 
been conducted by Lucifer through the 
realms of space, he is restored to the home 
of his wife and child, where all is gentle- 
ness and love Adah is also the name of 
Cain's wife in Rabbinical tradition. 

Adam. In Shakespeare's As You Like 
It, a faithful retainer in the family of Sir 
Rowland de Boys. At the age of four 
score, he voluntarily accompanied his 
young master Orlando into exile, and 
offered to give him his little savings. He 
has given birth to the phrase " a faithful 
Adam " with reference to a man-servant. 

Adam and Eve. In the Old Testament, 
the first man and woman The familiar 
story of their creation, sin and expulsion 
from the Garden of Eden is told in. the 
first chapters of Genesis and forms the 
basis for Milton's Paradise Lost. 

Mohammedan legends add to the Bible 
story the tradition that 

God sent Gabriel, Michael, and Israfel one after the 
other to fetch seven handfuls of earth from different 
depths and of different colors for the creation of Adam 
(thereby accounting for the varying colors of mankind) 
but they returned empty-handed because Earth fore- 
saw that the creature to be made from her would rebel 
against God and draw down his curse on her, whereupon 
Azrael was sent He executed the commission, and for 
that reason was appointed to separate the souls from 
the bodies and hence became the Angel ot Death The 
earth he had taken was carried into Arabia to a place 
between Mecca and Tayef, where it was kneaded by the 
angels, fashioned into human form by God, and left to 

dry for either forty days or forty years It Is also said 
that while the clay was being endowed with life and a 
soul, when the breath breathed by God into the nostrils 
had reached as far as the navel, the only half-living 
Adam tried to rise up and got an ugly fall for his pains. 
See also below under Adam's Peak 

Old as Adam. Generally used as a 
reproof for stating as news something 
well known. " That's as old as Adam," 
it was known as far back as the days of 

The old Adam. The offending Adam, 

Consideration, like an angel, came 

And whipped the offending Adam out of him 

Shakespeare Henry V, i, 1 

Adam, as the head of unredeemed man, 
stands for " original sin," or " man 
without regenerating grace." 

The second Adam The new Adam, 
etc. Jesus Christ is so called. 

Adam's ale. Water; because the first 
man had nothing else to drink. In 
Scotland sometimes called Adam's Wine. 

Adam's apple. The protuberance in 
the forepart of the throat, the anterior 
extremity of the thyroid cartilage of the 
larynx; so called from the superstition 
that a piece of the forbidden fruit stuck 
in Adam's throat. 

Adam j s Diary. A humorous book by 
Mark Twain; also Eve's Diary. 

Adam's needle. GeK. iii. 7, tells us 
that Adam and Eve " sewed fig leaves 
together"; needles were (presumably) 
not then obtainable, but certain plants 
furnish needle-like spines, and to some of 
these the name has been given. The chief 
is the Yucca, a native of Mexico and 
Central America. 

Adam's Peak. A mountain in Ceylon 
where, according to Mohammedan 
legend, Adam bewailed his expulsion from 
Paradise, standing on one foot for two 
hundred years to expiate his crime; Ga- 
briel then took him to Mount Arafath, 
where he found Eye. 

Adam's profession. Gardening or agri- 
culture is sometimes so called for 
obvious reasons. 

Adam Bede. A novel by George Eliot 
(1859). The young carpenter, Adam 
Bede, is in love with Hetty Sorrel, a 
pretty superficial little creature who lives 
with her uncle, Martin Poyser, and her 
aunt, the keen, pungent-tongued, amusing 
Mrs. Poyser, on a farm belonging tc 
Squire Donnithorne. Shortly before her 
prospective marriage with Adam, Hetty 
disappears and is found later under accu- 
sation of having murdered her child. She 
had been seduced by the handsome and 
impulsive Arthur Donnithorne, heir of 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

the old Squire, who had left her to j oin his 
regiment. Hetty is sullen under trial, 
even when sentenced to death, but later 
breaks down and confesses to the large- 
souled young Methodist preacher, Dinah 
Morns, a niece of Mrs. Poyser's who has 
been tireless in her efforts to be of some 
help. At the last minute the death 
sentence is changed to Me transportation 
through the intervention of the repentant 
Arthur Adam and Dinah, who have been 
thrown together closely by the turn of 
events, now discover their mutual love 
and are finally married. The character of 
Adam Bede was drawn from George 
Eliot's father, Robert Evans, who was, 
like Adam, a carpenter and a man of the 
highest integrity. 

Adam Bell. Hero of a ballad of that 
name included m Percy's Rehques (I. li 1), 
a wild, north-country outlaw, noted, 
like Robin Hood, for his skill in archery. 
His place of residence was Englewood 
Forest, near Carlisle, and his two com- 
rades were Clym of the Clough (Clement 
of the Cliff) and William of Cloudesly. 
William was married, but the other two 
were not. When William was captured 
at Carlisle and was led to execution, Adam 
and Clym rescued him, and all three went 
to London to crave pardon of the King, 
which, at the Queen's intercession, was 
granted them. They then showed the 
King specimens of their skill m archery, 
and the King was so well pleased that he 
made William a " gentleman of fe," and 
the two others yeomen of the bed-cham- 

Adam Blair, a Story of Scottish Life. 
A novel by J. G. Lockhart (1822), the 
story of a Scotch minister who fell from 
grace, but after a season of penitence was 
restored to his pastorate. 

Adam Moss. In Alien's Kentucky 
Cardinal (q.v.). 

Adamas'tor. The spirit of the stormy 
Cape (Good Hope), described by Camoens 
in the Lusiad as a hideous phantom that 
appears to Vasco da Gama and prophesies 
disaster to all seeking to make the voyage 
to India. 

Adamites. The name given to various 
heretical sects who supposed themselves 
to attain to primitive innocence by 
rejecting marriage and clothing. There 
was such a sect in North Africa in the 
2nd century; the Abelites were similar; 
the heresy reappeared in Savoy in the 
14th century, and spread over Bohemia 
and Moravia in the 15th and 16th. One 
Picard, of Bohemia, was leader in 1400, 

and styled himself "Adam, son of God," 
There are references to the sect in James 
Shirley's comedy Hyde Park (II. iv) (1632), 
and in The Guardian^o. 134 (1713). 

Adams, Alice. See Alice Adams. 

Adams, Franklin Pierce (F. P. A). 
(1881- ). American columnist, asso- 
ciated with the New York Evening Mail, 
the New York Tribune and finally the 
New York World. 

Adams, Henry, See Henry Adams. 

Adams, Parson. A leading character in 
Fielding's Joseph Andrews (1742), often 
taken as the type of the simple-minded, 
hard-working, and learned country curate 
who is totally ignorant of " the ways of 
the world." 

As he never had any intention to deceive, so he never 
suspected such a design in others He was generous, 
friendly, and brave tojan excess, but simplicity was hte 
characteristic, he did, no more than 3\lr Colley Gibber, 
apprehend any such passions as malice and envy to 
exist in mankind Joseph And) ews, ch i 

He was drawn from Fiel ding's friend, 
the Rev. William Young, who edited 
Ainsworth's Latin Dictionary (1752). 
Scott calls him " one of the richest 
productions of the muse of fiction." 

Addison, Joseph (1672-1719). English 
essayist, famous for Ms contributions to 
the Taller and Spectator. See those 
entries; also Roger de Coverley. Addison 
produced one play, entitled Cato. _ 

Ad'dison of the North. A sobriquet of 
Henry Mackenzie (1745-1831), author of 
the Man of Feeling. 

Addisonian Termination. The name 
given by Bishop Hurd to the construction 
which closes a sentence with a preposition, 
such as " which the prophet took a 
distinct view of." Named, of course, from 
Joseph Addison, who frequently employed 

Addled Parliament. See Parliaments. 

Ade, George (1866- ). American 
humorist, author of Artie, "Pink }} Marsh, 
Fables in Slang, etc. 

Adme'tus. In Greek mythology, a 
king of Thessaly, husband of Alccstis, 
who consented to die in his stead. (See 
Alcestis.') Apollo, being condemned by 
Jupiter to serve a mortal for twelve 
months for slaying a Cyclops, once 
entered the service of Admetus. James 
Russell Lowell (1819-1892) has a poem 
on the subject, called The Shepherd of 
King Admetus. 

Admirable. The Admirable. Abraham 
ben Meir ben Ezra, a celebrated Spanish 
Jew (about 1090-1168) was so called. He 
was noted as a mathematician, philologist, 
poet, astronomer, and commentator on the 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Bible. Browning has a poem entitled 
Rabbi ben Ezra (qv}. 

The Admirable Crichton. James Crich- 
ton (1560-1585?), Scottish traveller, 
scholar, and swordsman. So called by Sir 
Thomas UrquharL (See also next item 
for Barrie's play by this name.) 

Admirable Doctor. See under Doctor. 

Admirable Cricliton, The. A dramatic 
fantasy by J. M. Barrie (1902). The Earl 
of Loam, his family and one or two friends 
are wrecked on a desert island, where the 
butler, the " Admirable Crichton " proves 
himself a man of infinite resource and 
power, far superior to the rest of the 
party. He is obeyed and idolized and is 
about to marry Lady Mary, the once 
haughty daughter of the Earl, but the 
boom of a cannon announces the arrival 
of a ship and the old social order reasserts 
itself. Barrie took the name of his play 
but nothing else from the original 
Admirable Crichton (see above). 

Admiral. English admirals used to be 
of three classes, according to the color 
of their flag. Admiral of the Red used to 
hold the center in an engagement; Admi f , al 
of the White the van, Admiral of the Blue, 
the rear. The distinction was abolished in 
1864; now all admirals carry the white 
flag. It has, however, given rise to a 
number of humorous allusions. 

Admiral of the Blue. (1) A butcher who 
dresses in blue to conceal blood-stains; 
(2) A tapster from his blue apron. 

Admiral of the Red. A punning term 
applied to a wine-bibber whose face and 
nose are very red. 

Admiral of the Red, White and Blue. 
A beadle; hall-porter; etc. From their 
gorgeous uniforms. 

Admiral of the White. (1) A coward; 
(2) A fainting person. 

Adona'is. The poetical name given by 
Shelley to Keats in his elegy on the death 
of the latter (1821), probably in allusion 
to the mourning for Adonis. Adonais is 
considered one of the greatest elegies in 
the English language. 

Adonbeck al Hakim. A doctor in 
Scott's Talisman who is really Saladin 
in disguise 

Ado'nis. In Greek mythology, a beauti- 
ful youth, beloved by Venus and Proser'- 
pina, who quarrelled about the possession 
of him. Jupiter, to settle the dispute, 
decided that the boy should spend six 
months with Venus m the upper world, 
and six with Proserpina in the lower. 
Adonis was gored to death by a wild boar 
in a hunt. 

Shakespeare has a long poem called 
Venus and Adonis. Shelley calls his elegy 
on the poet Keats Adona'is, under the 
idea that the untimely death of Keats 
resembled that of Adonis The word 
Adonis is used, often ironically, for any 
beautiful young man In one famous 
instance Leigh Hunt was sent to prison 
for libelling George IV when Regent, and 
calling him " a corpulent Adonis of 50 " 

An Adonis' Garden. A -worthless toy; 
a very perishable good. The allusion is to 
the baskets or pots of earth used at the 
annual festival of Adonis, in which quick- 
growing plants were sown, tended for 
eight days, allowed to wither, and then 
thrown into the sea or river with images of 
the dead Adonis 

Adosinda. In Southey's epic poem 
Roderick, the Last of the Goths (1814), the 
daughter of the Gothic governor of Auria 
in Spain. After the slaughter of her 
parents, husband and child by the Moors, 
she vowed to live only for vengeance. 
She murdered the Moorish captain to 
whom she had been handed over, and 
in the great battle, when the Moors were 
overthrown, she it was who gave the word 
of attack, " Victory and Vengeance' " 

Adram'elech, One of the fallen angels. 
Milfcon makes him overthrown by TJ'riel 
and Raphael (Paradise Lost, vi. 365). 
Klopstock introduces Mm into The 
Messiah, and represents him as surpassing 
Satan in malice and guile, ambition and 
mischief. He is made to hate every one, 
even Satan, of whose rank he is jealous. 

Adraste'. The hero of Moliere's comedy 
Le Sicilien ou L Amour Peintre (1667), 
a French gentleman who enveigles a 
Greek slave named Isidore from her 
master Don Pedre. He is introduced as 
a portrait-painter, and thus imparts to 
Isidore his love. 

Adrastus. (1) A mythical Greek king of 
Argos, leader of the expedition of the 
" Seven Against Thebes." See under 

(2) In Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered (Bk. 
xx), an Indian prince who aided the King 
of Egypt against the Crusaders. He was 
slain by Rmaldo. 

Adrian, Dr. Adrian Van, Welche in 
Couperus' Small Souls (g.t>.) and its 

Adrian'a. In Shakespeare's Comedy of 
Errors (q.v.), a wealthy Ephesian lady, 
who marries Antiph'olus, twin-brother of 
Antipholus of Syracuse. 

Adria'no de Armado, Don. See under 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Adriatic, Marriage of the. See Bride 
of the Sea. 

Adullam. A cave in which David took 
refuge when he fled from King Saul; and 
thither resorted to him " every one that 
was in distress, and every one that was in 
debt, and every one that was discon- 
tented " (1 Sam xxii. 1, 2). Mr. John 
Bright called the seceders from the Eng- 
lish Liberals in 1866 Adull'amites, and 
said that Lowe and Horsman, like David 
in the cave of Adullam, gathered together 
all the discontented, and all that were 
politically distressed. 

Adulterous Bible. See Bible, Specially 

Advent (Lat. ad-ventus, the coming to). 
The four weeks immediately preceding 
Christmas, commemorating the first and 
second coining of Christ; the first to 
redeem, and the second to judge the 
world. The season begins on St. Andrew's 
Day (Nov 30th), or the Sunday nearest 
to it. 

Adventures. For novels beginning with 
this word, as The Adventures of Tom 
Sawyer, The Adventures of Sherlock 
Holmes, The Adventures of Philip, etc., 
see under Tom Sawyer, Sherlock Holmes, 
Philip and other proper names of heroes 
or heroines. 

Adversary, The. A name frequently- 
given in English literature to the Devil 
(froml Pet. v 8). 

JG'acus. In classic legend, King of 
(Eno'pia, a man of such integrity and 
piety that he was made at death one of 
the three judges of Hades. The other 
two were Minos and Rhadarnan'thus. 

JEge'on. (1) In classic legend, a huge 
monster with 100 arms and 50 heads, who 
with his brothers, Cottus and Gyges, con- 
quered the Titans by hurling at them 
300 rocks at once. Some authorities say 
he inhabited the JEgean Sea; others make 
him one of the gods who stormed Olympus. 
(2) A merchant of Syracuse in Shake- 
speare's Comedy of Errors. 

JEgeus. A fabulous king of Athens who 
gave the name to the ^Egean Sea. His 
son, Theseus, went to Crete to deliver 
Athens from the tribute exacted by Minos. 
Theseus said, if he succeeded he would 
hoist a white sail on his home-voyage, as 
a signal of his safety. This he neglected to 
do, and JEgeus, who watched the ship 
from a rock, thinking his son had perished, 
threw himself into the sea. Cp. jPm- 

J-E'gis. The shield of Jupiter made by 
Vulcan was so called, and symbolized 

divine protection. The shield of Minerva 
was called an azgis also. 

I throw my cegis over you. I give you 
my protection. 

JSgisthus. In Greek legend the 
seducer of Clytemnestra, wife of Agamem- 
non (q v.). 

jffigyptus. In classic myth the father 
of fifty sons who were married to the 
fifty daughters of his twin brother 
Danaus and all except one of whom were 
murdered by their brides on the wedding 
night. See Danaides. 

JEHa Lseiia. An insoluble riddle. From 
the title of a Latin inscription discovered 
at Bologna. 

JEmiFia. In Shakespeare's Comedy of 
Errors (q.v.) t wife of JEge'on the Syra- 
cusian merchant, and mother of the twins 
called Antiph/olus. 

JEne'as. The hero of Virgil's epic, 
the Mneid (qv), son of Anchises, king 
of Dardanus, and Aphrodite. According 
to Hczner he fought against the Greeks 
in the Trojan War and after the sack o 
Troy reigned in the Troad. Later legends 
tell how he carried his father Anchises 
on his shoulders from the flames of Troy, 
and after roaming about for many years, 
came to Italy, where he founded a colony 
which the Romans claim as their origin. 
The epithet applied to him is pius, 
meaning " dutiful." 

JSne'id. The epic poem of Virgil, in 
twelve books. When Troy was taken by 
the Greeks and set on fire, /Ene'as with 
his father, son and wife, took flight, with 
the intention of going to Italy, the original 
birthplace of the family. The wife was 
lost, and the old father died on the way; 
but after numerous perils by sea and land, 
JEneas and his son Asca'nius reached 
Italy. Here Latinus, the reigning king, 
received the exiles hospitably, and prom- 
ised his da.ughter Lavin'ia in marriage 
to 2Ene**s; but she had been already 
betrothed by her mother to Prince Turnus, 
son of Daunus, king of the Ru'tuli, and 
Turnus would not forego his claim. 
Latinus, in this dilemma, said the rivals 
must settle the dispute by an appeal to 
arms. Turnus was slain, JSneas married 
Lavinia, and ere long succeeded his 
father-in-law on the throne. 

Book I. The escape from Troy; JSneas 
and his son, driven by a tempest on the 
shores of Carthage, are hospitably enter- 
tained by Queen Dido. 

II. ^Eneas tells Dido the tale of the 
wooden horse, the burning of Troy and 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


his flight with his father, wife and son. 
The wife was lost and died. 

III. The narrative continued; he re- 
counts the perils he met with on his way, 
and the death of his father. 

IV. Dido falls m love with ^Eneas; but 
he steals away from Carthage, and Dido, 
on a funeral pyre, puts an end to her life. 

V. ^Eneas reaches Sicily, and witnesses 
there the annual games This book cor- 
responds to the Iliad xxiii. 

VI ^Eneas visits the infernal regions. 
This book corresponds to Odyssey xi. 

VII. Latmus, king of Italy, entertains 
^Eneas, and promises to him Lavin'ia (his 
daughter) in marriage; but Prince Turnus 
had been already betrothed to her by the 
mother, and raises an army to resist 

VIII. Preparations on both sides for a 
general war. 

IX. Turnus, during the absence of 
JEneas, fires the ships and assaults the 
camp. The episode of Nisus and Eury'- 
alus. (See Nisus ) 

X. The war between Turnus and 
JSneas. Episode of Mezentius and Lausus. 
(See Lausus.) 

XI. The battle continued. 

XII. Turnus challenges jEneas to single 
combat, and is killed. 

JS'olus. In classic mythology, god 
of the winds, which he kept imprisoned 
in a cave in the ^Bolian Islands, and let 
free as he wished or as the over-gods 

The breath of JEolus. Scandal. 

.ffion (Gr. aion). An age of the universe, 
an immeasurable length of time; hence 
the personification of an age, a god, any 
being that is eternal. Basilides reckons 
there have been 365 such -.Eons, or gods, 
but Valentinius restricts the number to 30. 

^Ss'chylus (B. C. 525-456). The father 
of the Greek tragic drama. Titles of 
seventy two of his plays are known, but 
only seven are now extant. They are the 
SuppLices, Persae, Septem, Prometheus, 
Agamemnon, Choephori and Eumenides, 
the last three comprising the trilogy 
known as the Orestcia. 

JSs'chylus of France. Prosper Jolyot 
de Cr&billon (1674-1762). 

JSscula'pius The Latin form of the 
Greek Asklepios, god of medicine and 
of healing. Now used for " a medical 
practitioner " The usual offering to him 
was a cock, hence the phrase " to sacrifice 
a cock to Jfeeulapius " to return thanks 
(or pay the doctor's bill) after recovery 
from an illness. 

JEsir. The collective name of ^the 
celestial gods of Scandinavia, who lived 
in Asgard (qv) We are told that there 
were twelve gods and twenty-six god- 
desses, but it would be hard to determine 
who they were, for, like Arthur's knights, 
the number seems variable. The follow- 
ing may be mentioned: (1) Odm, the 
chief; (2) Thor (his eldest son, god of 
thunder); (3) Tiu (another son, god of 
wisdom) ; (4) Balder (another son, Scandi- 
navian Apollo) , (5) Bragi (god of poetry) ; 
(6) Vidar (god of silence), (7) Hoder the 
blind (slayer of Balder), (8) Hermoder 
(Odin's son and messenger); (9) Hoenir 
(a minor god), (10) Odnir (husband of 
Freya, the Scandinavian Venus); (11) 
Loki (the god of mischief); (12) Vali 
(Odin's youngest son). 

Wives of the JEsir. Odin's wife was 
Frigga; Thor's wife was Sif (beauty); 
Balder's wife was Nanna (daring); 
Bragi's wife was Iduna; Loki's wife was 

The important deities mentioned above 
are more fully treated under their several 
names. See also Vanir. 

JS'son. In Greek mythology, the 
father of Jason. He was restored to 
youth by Medea, who infused into his 
veins the juice of certain herbs. 

JE'sop's Fables, written in Greek prose, 
are traditionally ascribed to Jsop, a 
deformed Phrygian slave of the 6th cen- 
tury B. C.; but many of them are far 
older, some haying been discovered on 
Egyptian papyri of 800 or 1000 years 

JEsop of Arabia. Lokman; and Nasser 
(5th century). 

dBsop of England. John Gay (1688- 

JBsop of France. Jean de la Fontaine 

Msop of Germany. Gotthold Ephraim 
Lessing (1729-1781). 

jffisop of India. Bidpai or Pilpai (3rd 
century B. C.). 

JStion. In Spenser's poem Colin 
Clout's Come Home Again, a " shepherd " 
thought by many critics to be meant for 

Afreet, Afrit. In Mohammedan mythol- 
ogy the most powerful but one (Marids) 
of the five classes of Jinn, or devils. ^ They 
are of gigantic stature, very malicious, 
and inspire great dread. Solomon, we are 
told, once tamed an Afreet, and made it 
submissive to his will. 

Africaine, L\ An opera by Meyerbeer 
(1865) (libretto by Scribe) dealing with 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

the adventures of the Portuguese explorer, 
Vasco da Gama. Don Pedro, Da Gama's 
rival for the hand of Inez, daughter of 
Admiral Diego, has Da Gama imprisoned 
and steals his maps, but Inez sets him 
free by a promise to marry Don Pedro. 
The latter now sets sail with Inez, 
fo 1 lowed by Da Gama The African queen 
Selika, a former captive of Da Gama's, 
is on Don Pedro's vessel and at her orders, 
her fellow-captive Neluska steers the 
fleet to his native island. Here Selika 
saves Da Gama, but turns the rest of the 
crew over to the bloodthirsty savages. 
When she sees that Da Gama still cares 
only for her rival, Inez, after a terrific 
struggle with herself she frees them both, 
then inhales the poisonous odor of the 
manzanilla tree. Her example is followed 
by the devoted Neluska. 

African Farm, The Story of an. See 
under Story. 

African Magician, The. In the Arabian 
Nights, the pretended uncle of Aladdin 
(q.v ) who sent the lad to fetch the 
" wonderful lamp " from an underground 
cavern. After sundry adventures Aladdin 
caused him to be poisoned in a draught of 

Aftermath. A novel by James Lane 
Allen (Am. 1896) which forms the second 
part of A Kentucky Cardinal (q.v.). 

Agamem'non. In Greek legend the 
King of Mycense, son of Atreus, and 
leader of the Greeks at the siege of Troy. 
Homer makes him ruler over all Argos. 
He was the brother of Menelaus, the 
theft of whose wife Helen by Paris brought 
on the Trojan War. Before the expedition 
against Troy could sail, Agamemnon's 
daughter Iphigema was sacrificed to 
Diana to appease that goddess for a 
sacred stag Agamemnon had lulled. At 
Troy, Agamemnon's quarrel with Achilles 
(q.v.) cost the Greeks many lives and 
delayed the end of the war. After the sack 
of Troy, Agamemnon returned home only 
to be murdered by his wife Clytemnestra, 
who was living as the paramour of 
^Egisthus. For the tragic vengeance which 
his son Orestes and his daughter Electra 
took for their father's death, see under 
those entries. Agamemnon is the principal 
figure in ^Eschylus' trilogy, the Agamem- 
non, Choephori and Eumenides, and is 
prominent in many plays on the fate of 
Iphigenia (q.v.). 

Aganip'pe. Fountain of the Muses, at 
the foot of Mount Hel'icon, in Bceo / tia. 

Agapi'da, Fray Antonio. The imaginary 
chronicler of The Conquest of Grana'da, 

written by Washington Irving (1829), 

Agast'ya. In Hindu mythology a 
dwarf who drank the sea dry. As he was 
walking one day with Vishnu, the insolent 
ocean asked the god who the pigmy was 
that strutted by his side. Vishnu replied 
it was the patriarch Agastya, who was 
going to restore earth to its true balance. 
Ocean, in contempt, spat its spray in the 
pigmy's face, and the sage, in revenge of 
this affront, drank the waters of the 
ocean, leaving the bed quite dry. 

Ag'atha. (1) The daughter of Cuno, and 
the betrothed of Max, in Weber's opera of 
Der Freischutz (q v.) 

(2) The titular heroine of a poem by 
George Eliot. 

Agatha, St. See under Saint. 

Agath/ocles. Tyiant of Sicily (B. C. 
361-289). He was the son of a potter, 
and raised himself from the ranks to 
become general of the army. There is a 
story that he always kept an earthen 
pot at hand in memory of his origin; 
hence Agath odes' pot signifies a poor 
relation. When he attacked the Car- 
thaginians, he " earned the war into 
Africa " and " burned his ships behind 
him " that his soldiers might feel' 
assured they must either conquer or die." 
Agathocles died of poison administered 
by his grandson. He is the he o of arr 
English tragedy by Richard Perrington, 
a French tragedy by Voltaire and af 
German novel by Caroline Pichler, all 
called by his name. 

Agave. In classic mythology daughter 
of Cadmus and mother of Pentheus whom 
she tore to pieces in a mad fury under the 
illusion that he was a wild beast. This 
episode forms a part of Euripides' drama) 
The Bacchae (q v.). 

Age. A word used of a long but more or 
less indefinite period of history, human 
and pre-human, distinguished by certaio\ 
real or mythical characteristics and 
usually named from these characteristics 
or from persons connected with them, 
as the Golden Age (q.v.), the Middle Ages, 
the Dark Ages (qq.v), the Age of the 
Antonines (from Antoninus Pius, 138, to 
Marcus Aurelius, 180), the Prehistoric 
Age, etc. Thus, Hallam calls the 9th 
century the Age of the Bishops, and the 
12th, the A ge of the Popes. 

Varro (Fragments , page 219, Scaliger's 
edition, 1623) recognizes three ages: 

Prom the beginning of mankind to the Deluge, a 
time wholly unknown 

From the Deluge to the First Olympiad, called tha 
mythical period 

From the First Olympiad to the present time, called 
the historic period. 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Shakespeare's passage on the seven ages 
of man (As You Like It, li. 7) is well 
known, and Titian symbolized the three 
ages of man thus: 

An infant in a cradle 

A shepherd playing a flute 

An old man meditating on two skulls. 

According to Lucre'tius also there are 
three ages, distinguished by the materials 
employed in implements (v. 1282), viz.: 

The age of stone, when celts or implements of stone 
were employed 

The age, of bronze, when implements were made of 
copper or brass 

The age of iron, when implements were made of iron, 
as at present 

Hesiod names five ages, viz. : 

The Golden or patriarchal, under the care of Saturn 
The Silver or voluptuous, under the care of Jupiter 
The Brazen or warlike, under the care of Neptune 
The Heroic or renaissant, under the care of Mars 
The Iron or present, under the care of Pluto 

Fichte names five ages also: 

The antediluvian, post-diluvian, Christian, satanic 
and millennial! 

Age of Innocence, The. A novel by 
Edith Wharton (Am. 1920) depicting the 
social life of the New York of fifty years 
previous. The hero, Newland Archer, 
marries an affectionate, pretty girl of the 
circumscribed social sphere of the elite 
to which he is born, and is loyal to her, 
but is torn by love for his vivid, warm- 
blooded, unconventional cousin, Ellen 
Olenska, and impatience at the petty 
conventions that make up his world. 
This novel was awarded the Pulitzer prize 
in 1921. The title is from a famous 
painting of a child by Sir Joshua Reynolds 

Age of Reason. A controversial treatise 
by the free thinker, Thomas Paine (1737- 
1809), on the subject of revealed religion. 

Aged or Aged P. In Dickens' novel 
Great Expectations, Wemmick's father is 
so called. He lived in " the castle at 
Wai worth " and m spite of his deafness 
took a great pride and interest in all his 
son's concerns. See Wemmick. 

Agib, King. The Third Calender of the 
Arabian Nights, See under Calender. 

Aglaia. (1) One of the three Graces of 
classic mythology. 

(2) In Dostoevski's novel The Idiot 
(q.v ), the fiancee of Prince Myshkin. 

Agnes. In Mohere's UEcole desFemmes, 
the girl on whom Arnolphe tries his pet 
experiment of education, so as to turn 
out for himself a " model wife." She was 
brought up m a country convent, where 
she was kept in entire ignorance of the 
difference of sex, conventional proprieties, 
the difference between the love of men 
and women and that of girls for girls, 
the masteries of marriage, and so on. 

When removed from the convent, she 
treated men like school-girls, played with 
them and kissed them. Being told by 
her guardian that married women have 
more freedom than maidens, she asked 
him to marry her. However, a young 
man named Horace fell in love with her 
and made her his wife, so Arnolphe, after 
all, profited nothing by his pains. 

An Agnes is therefore any naive and 
innocent young girl. The French have a 
proverb Elle fait V Agnes, that is, she 
pretends to be wholly unsophisticated and 

Agnes Wickfield. (In Dickens' David 
Copper field} See Wickfield, Agnes. 

Agni The Hindu god of fire and of 
sunlight and lightning. He is one of the 
more important deities described in the 

Agnostic (Gr. a, not, gignoskein, to 
know). A term coined by Professor 
Huxley in 1869 (with allusion to St. Paul's 
mention of an altar to 4i the Unknown 
God ") to indicate the mental attitude 
of those who withhold their assent to 
whatever is incapable of proof, such as an 
unseen world, a First Cause, etc. Agnostics 
neither dogmatically accept nor reject 
such matters, but simply say Agnosco 
I do not know they are not capable of 

Agony Column. A column in an 
English newspaper containing advertise- 
ments of missing relatives and friends, 
or other messages of confidential na- 

Agramant. In Carlovingian legend, a 
king of the Moors who invaded France. He 
was finally slain by Roland or Orlando 

Agrawain or Agraivain, Sir. In Arthur- 
ian romance, a knight of the Hound Table 
who aided his half-brother Modred to spy 
upon Launcelot. 

Agrica'ne. In Carlovingian legend the 
famous King of Tartary who besieges 
Angelica in the castle of Albracca and 
is slam in combat by Orlando. He 
brought into the field 2,200,000 men, 
according to the account in Boiardo's 
Orlando Innamorato 

Agrippa. In the New Testament, one 
of the rulers before whom Paul was tried. 
His comment " Almost thou persuadest 
me to become a Christian " is often 

Ague-cheek, Sir Andrew. In Shake- 
speare's Twelfth Night (q.v ), a silly old 
fop with " 3000 ducats a year/' very fond 
of the table, but with a shrewd under- 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

standing that " beef had done harm to 
his wit " Sir Andrew thinks himself " old 
in nothing but in understanding,' 7 and 
boasts that he can " cut a caper, dance 
the coranto, walk a jig, and take delight 
in masques/' like a young man. 

A'gur's Wish (Prov : xxx. 8). " Give me 
neither poverty nor riches." 

Ah Sin. Bret Harte's Heathen Chinee 
(q.v.) in the poem usually known by that 
name but first published as Plain Lan* 
guage from Truthful James (1870), In 
1880 Bret Harte and Mark Twain made 
this popular innocent-appearing coolie 
villain the central figure in a play called 
Ah Sin. 

Aliab. A king of Israel whose name has 
become a byword for wickedness. He is 
remembered especially for his hostility 
to the^prophet Elijah and his seizure of 
Naboth's vineyard at the instigation of 
his wife Jezebel (q.v.). His story is told 
in 1 Kings xvi-xxn. 

Aliab, Captain. The whaler who pursues 
Moby Dick (qv.) in Melville's romance 
of that name. 

Ahasuenis. (1) In the Old Testament, 
king of the Medes and Persians. His 
story is related in the book of Esther 
(q.v.). (2) In medieval legend, the name 
of the Wandering Jew (q.v.). 

Ah'med, Prince. A character in the 
Arabian Nights, noted for the tent given 
him by the fairy Pariban'ou, which 
would cover a whole army, but might be 
carried in one's pocket, and for the 
apple of Samarkand 7 , which would cure all 

Aholah and Aholibah (Ezek. xxiii). 
Personifications of prostitution. Used by 
the prophet to signify religious adultery 
or running after false faiths. These 
Hebrew names signify " she in whom are 
tents/' and have reference to the worship 
at the high places. Swinburne has a 
poem Ahdibah (Poems and Ballads, 1st 
Senes), in which occurs the verse: 

God called thy name Aholibah, 
His tabernacle being m thee, 

A witness through waste Asia" 
Thou wert a tent sown cunningly 
With gold and colours of the sea 

Aholiba'mah. In the Bible, the name 
of one of Esau's wives (Gen. xxxvi. 2) 
and of a " duke " that came of Esau 
(Gen. xxxvi 41), but m Byron's Heaven 
and Earth, daughter of Cain's son, loved 
by the seraph Samia'sa. She is a proud, 
ambitious, queen-like beauty, a female 
type of Cain. When the flood came, her 
angel-lover carried her off to " a brighter 
world than this." 

Ahriman or Ahrimanes. In the dual 
system of Zoroaster, the spiritual enemy 
of mankind, also called Angra Mainyu, 
and Druj (deceit). He has existed since 
the beginning of the world, and is in 
eternal conflict with Ahura Mazda or 
Ormuzd (q.v.). 

Aida. An opera by Verdi (libretto by 
Ghislanzoni from the French of Camille 
du Locle) generally considered his master- 
piece (1871). The scene is laid in Egypt 
in the time of the Pharaohs. The Egyp- 
tian general Rhadames is in love with 
Aida, a slave who is in reality the daughter 
of Amonasro, ruler of Ethiopia. She 
returns his passion, but he is also beloved 
by Amneris, daughter of the king of 
Egypt, whose hand is formally bestowed 
upon him by his sovereign. The exigen- 
cies of the war between Egypt and 
Ethiopia make King Amonasro a captive 
of the victorious Rhadames, but his true 
rank is not known. Urged by her father's 
fiery words, Aida endeavors to persuade 
Rhadames to flee with them and give his 
support to Ethiopia. Rhadames holds 
back but involuntarily betrays the place 
of attack planned for the morrow. 
Amneris and the chief priest interrupt 
the scene; Amonasro and Aida flee and 
Rhadames, who gives himself up, is con- 
demned to be buried alive for treason. 
While the remorseful Amneris prays in 
the temple above, Aida joins Mm and 
perishes with him in the crypt. 

Ai'denn. So Poe calls Eden. 

Tell this soul, with sorrow laden, 
If within the distant Aidenn, 
It shall clasp a sainted maiden, 
Whom the angels name Lenore 

Edgar Poe The Raven 

Aiglemont, Julie d'. Titular heroine of 
Balzac's novel, A Woman of Thirty (Fr. 
La Femme de T rente Ans). After marriage 
she resists one lover, who dies of pneu- 
monia contracted in the effort to save 
her from being compromised, but yields to 
another, the Marquis de Vandenesse. 
She devotes herself to * her daughter 
Moina, who does not return her affection 
and whose unkind taunts bring about her 

Aiglon, L'. A drama by Edmond 
Rostand (Fr. 1900) based on. the tragic 
career of the son and heir of Napoleon, 
whom Victor Hugo had called L'Aiglon 
(the eaglet) . The young hero knows little 
or nothing of his father's story for years. 
When he learns the truth he escapes from 
the Austrian court, but his attempt at 
conspiracy is doomed to utter failure 
and he dies in Vienna. 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Aiken, Conrad (1889- ). Contem- 
porary American poet His Jig of Forshn 
is a novel m verse, 

Aim'well, Viscount Thomas. An im- 
poverished gentleman who succeeds in 
redressing his fortunes by paying his 
addresses to Dorm'da, daughter of Lady 
Bountiful. He and Archer are the two 
beaux of The Beaux' Stratagem, a comedy 
by George Farquhar (1705). (See Beaux ' 

Ainsworth, William Harrison (1805- 
1882). English historical novelist, best 
remembered for his Jack Sheppard (q.v ) 
and The Tower of London. 

Aissa. In Conrad's Outcast of the 
Islands (q.v.) the daughter of the one-eyed 
native Babalatchi, loved by Willems. 

Ajax. (1) The Greater. The most 
famous hero of the Trojan War after 
Achilles; King of Saramis, a man of giant 
stature, daring, and self-confident, son 
of Tel'amon. When the armor of Hector 
was awarded to Ulysses instead of to 
himself, he turned mad from vexation 
and stabbed himself. His deeds are 
narrated by Homer and later poets. 
Sophocles has a tragedy called Ajax, in 
which " the madman " scourges a ram 
he mistakes for Ulysses. His encounter 
with a flock of sheep, which he fancied 
in his madness to be the sons of Atreus, 
has been mentioned at greater or less 
length by several Greek and Roman poets. 
This Ajax is intioduced by Shakespeare 
in his drama called Troilus and Cressida. 

(2) The Less. In Greek legend son of 
Oileus, king of Locris. The night Troy 
was taken, he offered violence to Cas- 
sandra, the prophetic daughter of Priam; 
in consequence of which his ship was 
driven on a rock, and he perished at sea. 

AL For Al Arafj Al Borak and similar 
entries of Mohammedan legend, see under 
Araf } Borak, etc. 

Al Raschid, Haroun. See Haroun cd 

Aladdin, One of the most celebrated 
characters in the Arabian Nights, the son 
of Mustafa a poor tailor, of China, 
" obstinate, disobedient, and mischiev- 
ous/' wholly abandoned " to indolence 
and licentiousness." ^ One day an African 
magician accosted him, pretending to be 
his uncle, and sent him to bring up the 
" wonderful lamp," at the same time 
giving him a " ring of safety." Aladdin 
secured the lamp, but would not hand it 
to the magician till he was out of the cave; 
whereupon the magician shut him upjn 
the cave, and departed for Africa. Aladdin, 

wringing his hands in despair, happened 
to rub the magic ring, when the genius 
of the ring appeared before him, and 
asked him his commands. Aladdin re- 
quested to be delivered from the cave, 
and he returned home. By means of this 
lamp, he obtained untold wealth, built 
a superb palace, and married Badroul'- 
boudour, the sultan's daughter. After a 
time, the African magician got possession 
of the lamp, and caused the palace, with 
all its contents, to be transported into 
Africa. Ultimately Aladdin poisoned the 
magician, regained the lamp, and had his 
palace restored to its original place in 

Aladdin's lamp. The source of wealth 
and good fortune. 

Aladdin's ring, given him by the 
African magician, was a " preservative 
against every evil." 

Aladdin's window. To finish Aladdin's 
window i.e. to attempt to complete 
something begun by a great genius, but 
left imperfect. The palace built by the 
genius of the lamp had twenty-four 
windows, all but one being set in frames 
of precious stones; the last was left for 
the sultan to finish; but after exhausting 
his treasures, the sultan was obliged to 
abandon the task as hopeless. 

Alan Breck Stewart. In Stevenson's 
David Balfour (q.v.). 

Alan-a-DaleorAlin-a-Dale. See Allan- 

Alaric Cottin or Cotin. A nickname 
which Voltaire gave Frederick the Great, 
from the Visigoth conqueror Alaric (c. 
376-410), and Charles Cotm (1604-1682), 
a French poet of small merit. 

Alas'nain, Prince Zeyn. A character in 
the Arabian Nights who possessed eight 
statues, each a single diamond on a gold 
pedestal, but had to go in search of a 
ninth, more valuable than them all. This 
ninth was a lady, the most beautiful and 
virtuous of women, " more precious than 
rubies," who became his wife. 

Alasnam's Mirror. When Alasnam was 
in search of his ninth statue, the king 
of the genii gave him a test-mirror, in 
which he was to look when he saw a 
beautiful girl. If the glass remained pure 
and unsullied, the damsel would be the 
same, but if not, the damsel would not 
be wholly pure in body and in mind. 
This mirror was called " the touchstone 
of virtue." 

Alas'tor. The evil genius of a house; 
a Nemesis, which haunts and torments & 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Alastor or The Spirit of Solitude. A 
poem in blank verse by Percy Bysshe 
Shelley (1815). The poet wanders over 
the world admiring the wonderful works 
which he cannot help seeing, but finds 
no solution to satisfy his inquisitive mind, 
and nothing in sympathy with himself. 

Alba'nia, Albany, Albion. A poetical 
name for Scotland, or North Scotland. 

Albany Regency. The name given to an 
American political group, with head- 
quarters at Albany, that exerted con- 
siderable influence about 1820-1850 

Ai'batross. The largest of web-footed 
birds, called by sailors the Cape Sheep, 
from its frequenting the Cape of Good 
Hope. Many fables are told of the 
albatross; it is said to sleep in the air, 
because its flight is a gliding without any 
apparent motion of its long wings, and 
sailors say that it is fatal to shoot one. 
Coleridge's Ancient Mariner is founded on 
this superstition. 

Alberich.. In Scandinavian legend the 
dwarf who guarded the treasure of the 
Nibelungs, owner of a magic ring. He 
plays a prominent part in both the Vol~ 
sung a Saga and the Nibelungenlied. In 
Wagner's music-drama of the Nibelungen 
Ring, Loki and Wotan steal the ring and 
treasure, and Alberich' s curse follows the 
ring wherever it goes. 

Albert. A character in Goethe's ro- 
mance The Sorrows of Werther, drawn 
from his friend Kestner. He is a young 
German farmer, who married Charlotte 
Buff (called " Lotte " in the novel), with 
whom Goethe was in love. Goethe 
represents himself as "Werther (q.vj. 

Albert of Geierstein, Count. In Scott's 
Anne of Geierstein (qv.). 

Albigen'ses. A common name for a 
number of anti-sacerdotal sects in south- 
ern Prance during the 13th century; so 
called from the Albigeois, inhabitants 
of the district which now is the depart- 
ment of the Tarn, the capital of which 
was Albi, Languedoc, where their persecu- 
tion began, under Innocent III in 

Albi'no (Lat albus, white). A term 
originally applied by the Portuguese to 
those negroes who were mottled with 
white spots; but now to those who, owing 
to the congenital absence of coloring 
pigment, are born with red eyes and white 
hair and skin. Albinos are found among 
white people as well as among negroes 
The term is also applied to beasts and 
plants, and even, occasionally, in a purely 
figurative way: thus, Oliver Wendell 

Holmes, in the Autocrat of the Breakfast 
' Table (ch vin), speaks of Kirke White as 
one of the " sweet Albino poets," whose 
" plaintive song " he admires, apparently 
implying some deficiency of virility, and 
possibly playing upon the name. 

AFbion. An ancient and poetical name 
for Great Britain thought to have been 
so called from the white (Lat. albus) cliffs 
that face Gaul, but possibly from the 
Celtic alp, ailp, a rock, cliff, mountain. 
It was Napoleon who called England 
Per fide Albion. 

Albrac'ca. In Boiardo's famous epic, 
Orlando Iwnamorato (qv], a castle of 
Cathay 7 (China), to which Angel'ica 
retires in grief when she finds her love for 
Rmaldo is not reciprocated. Here she is 
besieged by Ag'ricane, king of Tartary, 
who is resolved to win her, and here 
many of the adventurous paladins of 
Charlemagne's court follow her to join in 
the fray. 

Alcaic Verse or Alcaics. A Greek 
lyrical metre, so called from Alcwus, a 
lyric poet, who is said to have invented 
it. Alcaic measure is little more than a 
curiosity in English poetry, probably the 
best example is Tennyson's, 

O migh ] ty-mouthed | in | ventor of [ harmonics, 
O skilled I to sing I of I Time or E 1 ternity 
God-gift | ed or I gan-voice | of Kng I land, 
Milton, a [ name to re [ sound for [ agca 

Alceste'. The hero of Molicre's comedy 
Le Misanthrope (1666). Alceste is, in fact, 
as Macaulay has described him, a pure and 
noble mind soured by perfidy and dis- 
gusted with society. Courtesy seems to 
him the vice of fops, and the usages of 
civilized life no better than hypocrisy. 
Alceste is in love with C6hm6ne 1 a co- 
quette who produces caustic " portraits " 
of her friends behind their backs and 
embodies all the qualities of which he is 
most impatient He insists on retiring 
to an isolated life in the country far away 
from the evils of society, but C61imene 
refuses to marry him under any such 

Some critics regard Alceste as " a tragic 
figure at war with an evil world/' but 
the more usual opinion is that he is " one 
of the most lovable and ridiculous of 
Moliere's characters " 

Alcestis, Alceste, or Alcestes. In Greek 
legend daughter of Pe'has and wife of 
Admetus. On his wedding day Admctus 
neglected to offer sacrifice to Diana, but 
Apollo induced the Fates to spare his life, 
if he could find a voluntary substitute. 
His bride consented to die for him, but 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Hercules brought her back from the 
world of shadows. 

Euripides has a Greek tragedy on the 
subject (Alcestis); Gluck has an opera 
(Alceste), libretto by Calzabigi (1765); 
Phihppi Qumault produced a French 
tragedy entitled Alceste, in 1674; and 
Lagrange-Chancel m 1694 produced a 
French tragedy on the same subject. The 
story is told by William Morns In his 
Earthly Paradise (April) 

Al'chemist, The. The last of the three 
great comedies of Ben Jonson (1610). 
The other two are Vol'pone (1605), and 
The Silent Woman (1609). The object 
of The Alchemist is to ridicule the belief 
in the philosopher's stone and the elixir 
of life. The alchemist is Subtle, a mere 
quack, and Sir Epicure Mammon is the 
chief dupe, who supplies money, etc,, 
for the " transmutation of metal >J Abel 
Drugger, a tobacconist, and Dapper, a 
lawyer's clerk, are two other dupes. 
Captain Face, alias Jeremy, the house- 
servant of Lovewit, and Dol Common 
are his allies. The whole thing is blown 
up by the unexpected return of Lovewit. 

Alcibi'ades. A brilliant but traitorous 
Athenian general (B C. 450-404) Being 
banished by the senate, he marched 
against the city, and the senate, unable to 
offer resistance, opened the gates to him. 
This incident is introduced in Timon of 
Athens Alcibiades was a favorite pupil of 
Socrates and pupil and master are de- 
picted in Plato's dialogue Phacdo He is 
caricatured in Aristophanes' comedy The 
Clouds (q.v ) under the name Pheidippides. 

Alci'des. Hercules (q.v), son of Alcseus, 
hence any strong and valiant hero. But 
see Alcmene. 

Ald/na. In the Italian epics dealing 
with the adventures of Orlando ^ (q.v\ 
Carnal Pleasure personified. In Boiardo's 
Orlando Innamorato she is a fairy, who 
carries off Astolpho. In Ariosto's Orlando 
Funoso she reappears as a kind of Circe, 
whose garden is a scene of enchantment. 
Alcina enjoys her lovers for a season, and 
then converts them into trees, stones, 
wild beasts and so on, as her fancy 

Alcin/ous. In classic legend, ruler of 
the Phseacians and father of Nausicaa. 
The shipwrecked Odysseus was hospit- 
ably received and feasted in his palace 
and responded by unfolding the tale of 
his adventures on the way home from 

Alciphron. (1) Al'ciphron, or The 
Minute Philosopher. The title of a work 

by Bishop Berkeley. So called from the 
name of the chief speaker, a freethinker. 
The object of this work is to expose the 
weakness of infidelity. 

(2) Al'ciphron, " the epicurean." The 
hero of T. Moore's romance called The 

Alcme'na or Alcmene. In classic 
legend, wife of Amphitryon (g.v.*) and 
mother of Hercules by Jupiter. She is 
a leading character in the comedies of 
Plautus, Mohere and Dryden (all entitled 
Amphitryon) founded on the story of 
Jupiter's deceitful amour. 

Alcofri'bas. The pseudonym assumed 
by Rabelais m his Gargantua and Pantag'- 
ruel'. Alcofnbas Nasier is an anagram of 
" Frangois Rabelais/' 

Alcoran. The Koran (q.v). 

Alcy'one or Halcyone. See Halcyon. 

Aldegonde, Lord St. In Disraeli's 
political novel Lothair (q.v ), the son and 
heir of a duke, but " a republican of the 
deepest dye . . . opposed to all privileges 
and all orders of men except dukes, who 
were a necessity." He is witty and good- 
natured, but thoroughly bored with 

Alden, John. The young man loved 
by the Puritan maiden, Priscilla, in 
Longfellow's Courtship of Miles Standish 

ATdibo-ron'te-phos'co-phor'nio. A 
courtier in Henry Carey's burlesque, 
Chro'non-ho'ton-thol'ogos (1734). Sir Wal- 
ter Scott called his printer and personal 
friend James Ballantyne by this name. 

Aldine Editions. Editions of the Greek 
and Latin classics, published and 
printed under the superintendence of Aldo 
Manuz'io, his father-in-law Andrea of 
Asolo, and his son Paolo, from 1490 to 
1597 Most of them are in small octavo, 
and all are noted for their accuracy. The 
father invented the type called italics, 
once called A Idine, and first used m 
printing Virgil, 1501. 

Ardingar, Sir. The story of Sir Aldingar 
is told in Percy's Reliques. He is steward 
to a Queen Eleanor, wife of King Henry. 
He impeached her fidelity, and submitted 
to a combat to substantiate his charge; 
but an angel, in the shape of a child, 
established the Queen's innocence. The 
story is common to the ballad literature 
of most European countries. 

Aldrich, Thomas Bailey (1836-1907). 
American man of letters, best known for 
his Story of a Bad Boy (q.y.) and Marjorie 
Daw (q w.), but also for his poems. 

Aldrick. The Jesuit confessor of 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Charlotte, countess of Derby, in Scott's 
Pevenl of the Peak. 

Alecto. In classic myth, one of the 
three Furies (qv). 

Aleshine, Mrs. One of the elderly New 
England heroines of F. R. Stockton's 
burlesque, The Casting Away of Mrs. 
Leeks and Mrs. Aleshine (q v ). 

Alessandro. The American Indian hero 
of Helen Hunt Jackson's Ramona (q.v), 

Alessio. The lover of Liza, in Belli'ni's 
opera of La Sonnambula (q.v). 

Alex D'Urberville. In Hardy's Tess of 
the D'Urbervilles (q.v). 

Alexander. So Paris (q.v ), son of Priam, 
was called by the shepherds who brought 
him up. 

Alexander the Corrector. The self- 
assumed nickname of Alexander Cruden 
(1701-1770), compiler of the Concordance 
to the Bible. After being, on more than 
one occasion, confined in a lunatic asylum 
he became a reader for the Press, and 
later developed a mania for going about 
constantly with a sponge to wipe out the 
licentious, coarse, and profane chalk 
scrawls which met his eye. 

Alexander the Great, King of Mace- 
donia (B. C. 356, 336-323) ,_ and conqueror 
of the East. Many medieval romances 
were built about his career, notably the 
Romance of Alexander (Fr. Roman d 1 Alex- 
andre) by Lambert -li-Cort and the Lay 
of Alexander (Ger. Alexander Lied) by 
Lambrecht, both written in the 12th 
century. Alexander's life is the subject 
of a tragedy by Racine (1665), of Lyly's 
Alexander and Campaspe (1581) and 
Alexander the Great or The Rival Queens 
(see Statira) by Nathaniel Lee (1667). 
See also Diogenes. 

Alexander's Beard. A smooth chin, or 
very small beard Alexander had no 
perceptible beard, and hence is said to 
have had " an Amazonian chm." 

The Albanian Alexander. George Cas- 
triot (Scanderbeg or Iscander beg, 1404- 

The English Alexander. Henry V. 
(1388, 1413-1422). \ 

Alexander of the North. Charles XII. 
of Sweden (1682-1718). 

The Persian Alexander. Sandjar (1117- 

Alexander's Feast or The Power of 
Music. A Pindaric ode by Dryden (1694), 
in honor of St. Cecilia's Day.' St. Cecilia 
was a Roman lady who, it is said, suffered 
martyrdom in 230, and was regarded as 
the patroness of music. See under Saint. 

Alexandre, Jeanne. The school girl 

kidnapped by the kindly old scholar, 
Sylvestre Bonnard, in Anatole France's 
Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard (q.v). 

Alexandrian. Anything from the East 
was so called by the old chroniclers and 
romancers, because Alexandria was the 
depot from which Eastern stores reached 

Alexandrian Library. Founded by 
Ptolemy So'ter, in Alexandria, in Egypt. 
The tale is that it was burnt and partly 
consumed in 391; but when the city fell 
into the hands of the caliph Omar, in 642, 
the Arabs found books sufficient to 
" heat the baths of the city for six 
months." It is said that it contained 
700,000 volumes, and the reason given by 
the Mohammedan destroyer for the 
destruction of the library was that the 
books were unnecessary in any case, for 
all knowledge that was necessary to man 
was contained in the Koran, and that any 
knowledge contained in the library that 
was not in the Koran must be pernicious. 

Alexandrian School. An academy of 
learning founded about B. C, 310 by 
Ptolemy Soter, son of La'gus, and Demet- 
rius of Phaleron, especially famous for its 
grammarians and mathematicians. 

Alexan'drine. In prosody, an iambic 
or trochaic line of twelve syllables or 
six feet with, usually, a caesura (break) 
at the sixth syllable So called either 
from the 12th century French metrical 
romance, Alexander the Great (commenced 
by Lambert-li-Cort and continued by 
Alexandre de Bernay), or from the old 
Castilian verse chronicle, de 
Alexandra Magno, both of which are 
written in this meter. It is the standard 
line of French poetry, holding much the 
same place as the iambic pentameter line 
in English poetry. The final line of the 
Spenserian stanza is an Alexandrine. 

A needless Alexandrine ends the song, 
Which, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length 

Pope Essay on Criticism, 11, 356. 

Alexandrine Age. From about 323 to 
640 A. D., when Alexandria, in Egypt, 
was the center of science, philosophy, and 

Alexis, St. See under Saint. 

Alfa'dur or Alfa'dir (father of all). In 
Scandinavian mythology, one of the 
epithets of Odin (q.v ) . 

Aliarata. The Indian heroine of a once 
widely popular American song, The Blue 
Juniataby Mrs. M. D Sullivan, beginning; 

Wild roved an Indian girl, 
Bright AJfarata. 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Alflieizn. One of the heavenly man- 
sions in Scandinavian mythology. It is 
inhabited by Frey and the light elves 

Alfio. Husband of Lola in Mascagm's 
opera, Cavallena Rusticana (qv). 

Alfonso XI. In Donizetti's opera, La 
Favonta (qv), the monarch of Castile, 
whose " favorite " was Leonora de 

Alfred's Scholars. When Alfred the 
Great set about the restoration of letteis 
in England he founded a school and 
gathered around him learned men from 
all parts. These became known as 
"Alfred's scholars"; the chie among 
them are. Werfrith, Bishop of Worcester; 
Ethelstan and Werwulf, two Mercian 
priests, Plegmund (a Mercian), after- 
wards Archbishop of Canterbury; Asser, 
a Welshman, Gnmbald, a French scholar 
from St Orner, and John the Old Saxon. 

ATgarsife. In Chaucer's unfinished 
Squire's Tale, in the Canterbury Tales 
(1388), the son of Cambuscan, and brother 
of Cam'balo, who " won Theod'ora to 

This noble king, this Tartrc Cambuscan, 
Had two sones by Elfota his wife, 
Of which the eldest sone highte Algarsife, 
That other was yelopcd Camballo 
A cloghtcr had this worthy king alo, 
That youngest was, and highte Canace 

Alger Books. Horatio Alger, Jr. (Am 
1832-1899) was the author of the innu- 
merable Alger Books for boys, most of 
which are built around the formula of a 

Eoor but worthy hero who enters life as a 
ootblack or newsboy, surmounts impos- 
sible obstacles and achieves the heights of 

Algerine Captive, The. An early Ameri- 
can novel by Royall Tyler (1797) recount- 
ing the adventures of the hero, Updike 
Underbill, in his native New England 
backwoods, in Philadelphia where he 
meets Franklin, in London where he sees 
Tom Paine, and finally as a captive among 
the Algerines. The book is famed chiefly 
for its preface, which contained the first 
significant plea for native American 

Alham'bra. The citadel and palace 
built at Grana'da by the Moorish kings in 
the 13th century The word is the Arabic 
al"Jiamra } or at full length kal'-at al hamra 
(the red castle). Washington Irving 
called one of his best-known volumes of 
sketches and tales The Alhambra (1812) 
because it dealt with this famous palace 
and with legends of the Moors. 

A'li. Cousin and son-in-law of Ma- 
homet, the beauty of whose eyes is with 

the Persians proverbial, insomuch that 
the highest term they employ to express 
beauty is Ayn Hah (eyes of Ah) See 

All Baba or The Forty Thieves. One of 
the best-known stones in the Arabian 
Nights. The forty thieves lived in a vast 
cave, the door of which opened and shut 
at the words, " Open, Sesame! " " Shut, 
Sesame' J7 One day, Ah Baba, a wood- 
monger, accidentally discovered the secret, 
and made himself rich by carrying off gold 
from the stolen hoards. The captain 
tried several schemes to discover the 
thief, but was always outwitted by 
Morgia'na, the wood-cutter's female slave, 
who, with boiling oil, poured into the jars 
where they had hidden themselves, killed 
the whole band, and at length stabbed the 
captain himself with his own dagger. 

Alianora. In CabelPs Figures of Earth 
(q v ) the Unattainable Princess, who 
travels in the appearance of a swan. 
Manuel loves and is loved by her, but she 
marries the King of England. 

Alice. (1) The heroine of Bulwer 
Lytton's novel Ernest Maltravers (g.y.) 
and its sequel Alice or the Mysteries. 

(2) In Meyerbeer's opera Robert le 
Diable (q v ) the foster sister of Robert. 

(3) The heroine of Tennyson's poem 
The Miller's Daughter. 

See also below. 

Alee Adams. A novel by Booth 
Tarkmgton (Am. 1921). Alice Adams, the 
engaging young heroine, sees herself 
always in a romantic role; she sets her 
cap at the most eligible man in sight and 
almost deceives herself into believing that 
the fanciful explanations which she finds 
for the crudities of her hopelessly shabby 
middle-class family are true. For Alice's 
sake her mother finally nags her patient, 
plodding father into venturing into 
business for himself in competition with 
his old employer. When he loses every- 
thing, Alice bravely gives up her dreams 
and starts to business school. This novel 
was awarded the Pulitzer prize. 

AHce-for-Sliort. A novel by William 
De Morgan (1907) called by the author a 
" dichronism " because of the two periods 
of time brought suddenly together when 
old Mrs. Verrinder at the age of ninety 
awakes to the memory of her youth which 
had been lost to her completely by a blow 
on the head sixty years before. Alicia 
Kavenaugh, " Alice-for-Short," at first 
appears as the little ragamuffin child in the 
Verrinder household, but is later adopted 
into the cultured and well-to-do Heath 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

family and becomes the second wife of 
Charles Heath, the hero of the book. 

Alice in Wonderland. A whimsical story 
by Lewis Carroll (C L. Dodgson) (1865). 
A sequel, Alice through the Lookmg-Glass 
appeared in 1871 In the former Alice 
falls down a well into a strange country 
where she becomes a giantess or a pigmy 
by partaking of alternate bites of cake 
and has remarkable adventures with the 
White Queen, the Cheshire Cat, the 
Mad Hatter, Tweedledum and Tweedle- 
dee and other strange characters (See 
under those entries ) In the sequel Alice 
manages to slip through a mirror into 
another strange country. 

Alice of Old Vincennes. A popular 
historical novel by Maurice Thompson 
(Am. 1900) dealing with the life of the 
Northwest in Revolutionary times. The 
hero. Lieutenant Beverly, falls in love 
with Alice Roussillon, who has been 
brought up as a Creole daughter of the 
trader, Gaspard Roussillon, but who 
turns out to be of as aristocratic birth as 
Beverly. The book gives a picture of the 
exciting frontier life of the times. 

Alice-Sit-by-the-Fire. A comedy by 
J M. Barrie (1905) Amy, the romantic 
seventeen-year-old daughter of Colonel 
and Alice Gray, is certain that her pretty 
vivacious mother is involved in an affair 
with Stephen Rollo, a bachelor of their 
acquaintance She visits Rollo in his 
apartment to get back her mother's 
letters (" there are always letters/' thinks 
Amy, who has been overmuch to the 
theater) arriving a few moments before 
her father, and later her mother, drop 
in to call on Rollo. Amy, true to the 
theatrical tradition, drops her glove and 
hides in a cupboard, with all manner of 
farcical complications as the result. 
When every one's innocence has been 
proved, Alice whimsically decides that 
as a middle-aged woman with a grown-up 
daughter, she must henceforth " sit by 
the fire." 

AMce, Sweet. The charming but over- 
sensitive heroine of the familiar song 
beginning " Oh, don't you remember 
sweet Alice, Ben Bolt." 

She wept vnth delight when you gave her a smile 
And trembled with fear at your frown. 

Alice W- 

n. The old love conjured 
up by Lamb in his Dream Children, a 
Reverie as the mother of Ms imaginary 

Alifan'faron. Don Quixote in Cervantes' 
romance of that name, once attacked a 

flock of sheep, and declared them to be 
the army of the giant Alifanfaron 

AFiris. Sultan of Lower Buchar'ia and 
hero of Moore's Lalla Roolh (qv). 

Alison. In The Miller's Tale (qv), 
one of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, the 
young wife of John, a rich old miserly 
carpenter and in love with a poor scholar 
named Nicholas, lodging in her husband's 
house. She had a roguish eye, small 
eyebrows and was more " pleasant to look 
on than a flowering pear tree " For the 
tale see Nicholas. 

Alkahest or The House of Claes The 
English title of Balzac's novel, La 
Recherche de I'Absolu. See Claes. 

All for Love or A Sinner Well Saved. 
A poem in nine parts, in the form of a 
ballad, by Southey (1829) The kgend 
is this Eleemon, a freedman, was in love 
with Cyra, his master's daughter, and 
signed with his blood a bond to give body 
and soul to Satan, if Satan would give 
him Cyra for his wife. He married Cyra, 
and after the lapse of twelve years Satan 
came to Eleemon to redeem his bond. 
Cyra applied to St Basil, who appointed 
certain penance, and when Satan came 
and showed Basil the bond, the bishop 
ingeniously proved that the bond was 

All for Love or The World Well Lost. 
A tragedy by Dry den (1678) based on the 
story of Antony and Cleopatra. See 

All-Hallows' Day. All Saints' Day 
(Nov 1st), " hallows" being the Old 
English hahg, a holy (man), hence, a 
saint. The French call it Toussaint. 

All-Hallows' Eve. Many old folklore 
customs are connected with Halloween or 
All Hallows' Eve (Oct. 31st), such as 
bobbing for apples, cracking nuts, find- 
ing by various " tests " whether one's 
lover is true, etc Burns' Halloween gives 
a good picture of Scottish customs. There 
is a tradition in Scotland that those born 
on All Hallows' Eve have the gift of 
double sight, and commanding powers 
over spirits. Mary Avenel, on this suppo- 
sition, is made to see the White Lady, 
invisible to less gifted visions 

All Saints' Day, or All-Hallows. Be- 
tween 603 and 610 the Pope (Boniface 
IV) changed the heathen Pantheon into 
a Christian church, and dedicated it to 
the honor of all the martyrs. The festival 
of All Saints was first held on May 1st, 
but in the year 834 it was changed to 
November 1st. 

All Souls' Day, The 2nd of Novem- 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


ber, so called because Catholics on that 
day seek by prayer and almsgiving to 
alleviate the sufferings of souls .in pur- 
gatory It was instituted in the monastery 
of Cluny in 993. 

According to tradition, a pilgrim, re- 
turning from the Holy Land, was com- 
pelled by a storm to land on a rocky 
island, where he found a hermit, who 
told him that among the cliffs was an 
opening into the infernal regions through 
which huge flames ascended, and whe_re 
the groans of the tormented were dis- 
tinctly audible The pilgrim told Odilo, 
abbot of Cluny, of this; and the abbot 
appointed the day following, which was 
November 2nd, to be set apart for the 
benefit of souls in purgatory. 

All's Well that Ends Well. A comedy 
by Shakespeare (about 1598) . The plot is 
taken from Boccaccio's Decameron ix. 3. 
The heroine, Helena, only daughter of a 
famous physician, cures the king of an 
illness and in consequence is allowed to 
choose her own husband. She is married 
to Bertram, son of the Countess of 
Rousillon, but he hates her and leaves the 
country almost immediately, stating in a 
letter that he will never see her more 
till she can get the ring from off his finger. 
Helena goes on a pilgrimage, passes her- 
self off as a young girl of Florence with 
whom Bertram is in love and by subter- 
fuge gains the ring, so all ends well. 

All the Talents Ministry. See under 

All Sorts and Conditions of Men. A 
novel by Walter Besant (1882) notable as 
one of the first to deal with modern social 
reform. Angela Marsdcn Messenger, the 
wealthy young heroine, goes to live in the 
slums where she meets Harry Goslett, a 
laborer's son who has been brought up in 
the family of a cultured nobleman. 
Together they spin theories and build in 
brick and stone the " People's Palace," a 
settlement house launched on a large and 
idealistic scale. When doubts as to the 
efficacy of their project arise, the un- 
daunted heroine says " We can at least 
make them discontented, and discontent 
must come before reform." 

Alia, King. See Ella. 

Allah. The Arabic name of the Supreme 
Being, from al, the, illah, god. Allah il 
Allah, the Mohammedan war-cry, and 
also the first clause of the confession of 
faith, is a corruption of la illah ilia allah } 
meaning " there is no God but the God." 

The Garden of Allah, A popular novel 

by ^ Robert Hichens (1904), the title of 
which refers to the Sahara Desert. 

Alla/n-a-Dale, AUin-a-Dale or AJlen-a- 
Bale. A minstrel in the Robin Hood 
ballads, who appears also in Scott's 
Ivanhoe. He was assisted by Robin 
Hood in carrying off his bride when on the 
point of being married against her will 
to a rich old knight 

Allen, Barbara. See Barbara Allen. 

Alien, Mr. Benjamin. A young surgeon 
in Dickens' Pickwick Papers, the room- 
mate and friend of Bob Sawyer. 

Allen, Ethan. A hero of early Vermont. 
His story is told in Thompson's Green 
Mountain Boys (q.v). 

Allen, James Lane (1849-1925). Amer- 
ican novelist, author of A Kentucky 
Cardinal and its sequel, Aftermath, The 
Choir Invisible, etc. See those entries. 

Allen, Josiah. See Josiah Allen's Wife. 

Allen, Mrs. A character in Jane 
Austen's Northanger Abbey (#.#.). 

Allen, Ralph. A celebrated friend of 
Pope, and benefactor of Fielding. Fielding 
depicted him in Tom Jones as Allworthy 
(q v.) and Pope wrote of him: 

Let humble Allen, with, an awkward shame, 
Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame 

Alliteration. The rhetorical device of 
commencing adjacent accented syllables 
with the same letter or sound, as in 
Quince's ridicule of it in Midsummer 
Night's Dream (v. 1): 

With blade, with bloody blameful Made, 

He bravely broached his foiling Woody breast 

Alliteration was almost a sine qua non 
in Anglo-Saxon and early English poetry, 
and in modern poetry it is frequently 
used with great effect, as in Coleridge's: 

The fair breeze blew, the white /oam /lew. 
The /urrow followed /ree 

Ancient Manner. 

And Tennyson's: 

The moan of doves in immemorial elms, 
And murmuring of innumerable bees 

Princess, vn 

Many fantastic examples of excessive 
alliteration are extant, and a good example 
from a parody by Swinburne will be found 
under the heading Amphigouri. 

AUmers, Mr. and Mrs. The chief 
characters in Ibsen's drama, Little Eyolf 

AlTwortliy, Squire. In Fielding's Tom 
Janes (1750), a man of sturdy rectitude, 
modesty, and untiring philanthropy, with 
an utter disregard of money or fame 
Fielding's friend, Ralph Allen (q v.), was 
the academy figure of this character. 

Bridget Allworthy. In the same novel, 
the unmarried sister of Squire Allworthy. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

It develops that she was the mother of 
Tom Jones. 

AFma. In Spenser's Faene Queene, 
Queen of u Body Castle," beset by enemies 
for seven years. The besiegers are a rabble 
rout of evil desires, foul imaginations, and 
silly conceits Matthew Prior has a poem 
called Alma. 

Alma Ma'ter. A collegian so calls the 
university of which he is a member. 
The words are Latin for " fostering 
mother/ 7 and in ancient Home the title 
was given to several goddesses, especially 
Ceres and Cybele. 

AlmaMde. Heroine of Mile, de Scud- 
e>y ; s historical romance Almahide or 
the Captive Queen (1660-1663) and of 
Dry den's drama Almanzor and Almahide, 
or the Conquest of Granada (1672). Both 
works deal with the history of Granada. 

Almanack, Poor Richard's. See Poor 
Richard" } s Almanack. 

Almanzor and Almahide or The Con- 
quest of Granada. A tragedy by Dryden 
(1672), dealing with the history of 
Granada The bombastic warrior Alman- 
zor, who makes love to Queen Almahide 
and finally wins her after the death of her 
royal husband Boabdelin, was caricatured 
in the Drawcansir (q.v ) of Buckingham's 
burlesque, The Rehearsel, which was 
staged the same year, 

Almavivia, Count and Countess. Lead- 
ing characters in Beaumarchais' comedy 
The Barber of Seville, in The Marriage of 
Figaro and the operas based upon the 
two plays. See Figaro 

Almayer's Folly. A novel by Joseph 
Conrad (1895). Almayer, who appears 
as a young man in An Outcast of the 
Islands (q v.)> is now middle-aged and 
utterly discouraged with his wretched 
existence as the only white trader in the 
lonely jungle settlement of Sambir. He 
hopes through an expedition into the 
interior with the Malay, Dam Maroola, 
to find enough gold to escape with his 
half-caste daughter Nina, but Dain runs 
away with Nina instead, and all his hopes 

Airnerip. The peasant hero of Sardou's 
drama Gismonda (q.v) and of Fevrier's 
opera of the same name. 

Almesbury. It was in a sanctuary at 
Almesbury that Queen Guinevere, accord- 
ing to Malory, took refuge, after her 
adulterous passion for Launcelot was 
revealed to the king (Arthur). Here she 
died; but her body was buried at Glaston- 

Almighty Dollar. Washington Irving 

seems to have been the first to use this 
expression which has become a byword 
for American materialism 

The almighty dollar, that great object of universal 
devotion throughout our land 

W Irving Woljert's Roost, Creole Village (1837) 

B. E. Woolf was the author of a success- 
ful comedy called The Mighty Dollar (Am. 
1875), which helped to popularize the 

ATnaschar. In the Arabian Nights, 
the dreamer, the " barber's fifth brother/ 7 
He invested all his money in a basket of 
glassware, on which he was to gain so 
much, and then to invest again and again, 
till he grew so rich that he would marry 
the vizier's daughter and live in grandeur; 
but, being angry with his supposed wife, 
he gave a kick with his foot and smashed 
all the ware which had given birth to his 
dream of wealth. Hence an Alnaschar 
dream is counting one's chickens before 
they are hatched. 

Aloa'din. In Southey's Thalaba the 
Destroyer (q.v), a sorcerer, who made for 
himself a palace and garden in Arabia 
called " The Earthly Paradise." Thalaba 
slew him with a club, and the scene of 
enchantment disappeared. 

Alonzo the brave. The name of a 
famous ballad by M. G. Lewis (1775- 
1818). The fair Imogen' was betrothed 
to Alonzo, but, during his absence in the 
wars, became the bride of another. At the 
wedding feast Alonzo J s ghost sat beside 
the bride, and, after rebuking her for 
her infidelity, carried her off to the grave. 

Alonzo the brave was the name of the knight, 
The maid was the fair Imogen 

Alp. The leading character in Byron's 
Siege of Corinth. He is a renegade who 
forswore the Christian faith to become a 
commander in the Turkish army, and 
was shot during the siege. He loved the 
daughter of the governor of Corinth, but 
she died of a broken heart because he was 
a traitor and apostate. 

Alph. In Coleridge's poem Kubla 
Khan, the sacred river in Xanadu, which 
ran " through caverns measureless to 
man." It is probably a shortened form of 
Alpheus (q.v.). 

AFpha. " I am Alpha and Omega, the 
first and the last " (Rev. L 8). " Alpha " is 
the first, and " Omega " the last letter of 
the Greek alphabet. 

Alphe'us and Arethu'sa. The Greek 
legend is that a youthful hunter named 
Alpheus was in love with the nymph 
Arethusa; she fled from him to the island 
of Ortygia on the Sicilian coast and he 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


was turned into a river of Arcadia in the 
Peloponnesus Alpheus pursued her under 
the sea, and, rising in Ortygia, he and she 
became one in the fountain hereafter 
called Arethusa. The myth seems to be 
designed for the purpose of accounting 
for the fact that the course of the Alpheus 
is for some considerable distance under- 

Alquife. A famous enchanter, intro- 
duced into the old romances, especially 
those relating to Am'adis of Gaul. 

Alroy, David. A half-mythical Jewish 
medieval prince, local governor of his 
people under Moslem rule, with the title 
" Prince of the Captivity " He is the 
hero of Disraeli's prose romance The 
Wondrous Tale of Alroy, in which his 
overwhelming ambition leads him to 
temporary success as the liberator of his 
people but finally brings about his ruin. 

AJruna-wife. The Alrunes were the 
Lares or Penates of the ancient Germans. 
An Alruna-wife was the household goddess 
of a German family. 

Alsa'tia. ^The Whitefriars district of 
London, which from early times till the 
abolition of all privileges in 1697 was a 
sanctuary for debtors and law-breakers. 
It was bounded on the north and south 
by Fleet Street and the Thames, on the 
east and west by the Fleet River (now 
New Bridge Street) and the Temple; 
and was so called from the old Latin 
name of Alsace, which was for centuries 
a debatable frontier ground and a refuge 
of the disaffected. Scott, m his Fortunes 
of Nigel, described the life and state of 
this rookery, he borrowed largely from 
The Squire of Alsatia (1688), a comedy 
by Shadwell, who had been the first to use 
the name in literature. 

Altamont, Colonel Jack (also known 
as J. Amory and Johnny Armstrong). In 
Thackeray's Pendennis (1849), the dis- 
reputable father of Blanche Amory and 
first husband of Lady Clavering. Believ- 
ing that he had died in the convict colony 
to which he had been committed for 
forgery, his wife marries Sir Francis 
Clavering, but he reappears and lives on 
gambling and blackmail. He is finally 
exposed and forced to leave England, but 
first announces that he was a bigamist 
even before becoming her husband. 

Alter eg'o. (Lat. other I, other self)- 
One's double; one's intimate and thor- 
oughly trusted friend; one who has full 
powers to act for another. 

Althaea's Brand. A fatal contingency. 
Althsea's son, Meleager, was to live so 

long as a log of wood, then on the fire, 
remained unconsumed. With her care it 
lasted for many years, but being angry 
one day with Meleager, she pushed it 
into the midst of the fire; it was consumed 
in a few minutes and Meleager died in 
great agony at the same time. 

Althe'a. The divine Althe'a of Richard 
Lovelace was Lucy Sacheverell, also 
called by the poet, " Lucasta " 

When Love with unconfined wings 

Hovers within my gates, 
And my divine Althea brings 

To whisper at the grates 

Lovelace was thrown into prison by the 
Long Parliament for his petition in favor 
of the King; hence the grates referred to. 

Altisido'ra. In Cervantes' Don Quixote, 
one of the duchess' servants, who pre- 
tends to be in love with Don Quixote, 
and serenades him. The Don sings his 
response that he has no other love than 
what he gives to his Dulcin'ea, and while 
he is still singing he is assailed by a string 
of cats, let into the room by a rope. 

Al'ton Locke, Tailor and Poet. A novel 
by the Rev. Charles Kmgsley (1850). 
This novel won for the author the title of 
" The Chartist Clergyman " because of 
its picture of Alton Locke and his radical 
Chartist friends. It was one of the first 
English novels to present a study of 
industrial conditions. 

Altraria. The imaginary country from 
which Mr. Homos, the " Traveller from 
Altruria " in W. D. Howells' story of that 
title (1894) arrives, to make his embarrass- 
ing comments on American life as com- 
pared with the ideal conditions of his 
native land He is the guest of Mr. 
Twelvemough, a conservative novelist, at 
a summer resort hotel. 

Alvan, Dr. Sigisraund. The name under 
which George Meredith portrays Ferdi- 
nand Lassalle (d. 1864) in the novel The 
Tragic Comedians (qv.) oi which he is 
the hero* 

Alvaro, Don. (1) The lover of Leonora 
in Verdi's opera Forza del Destino (q.v) 
and the name of the drama by the Duke 
of Rivas on which the opera is based. 

(2) In Le Sage's Oil Bias, the husband 
of Mencia of Mosquera (q.v.). 

Alving, Oswald. The principal charac- 
ter in Ibsen's drama Ghosts (1881), a 
neurotic and dissipated young man who 
reaps the harvest sowed by his worthless 
father and dies a horrible death from 
inherited disease. 

Mrs. Alving. IE the same drama, 
Oswald's widowed mother. Embittered 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

by her experience, she is in revolt against 
a society where such conditions exist. 

Alzire. Titular heroine of a tragedy 
by Voltaire (1736), the scene of which is 
laid in Peru. Under the impression that 
her lover Zamore has been killed, she 
marries a German conqueror. 

Am'adis of GauL The hero of a prose 
romance of the same title, supposed to 
have been written by the Portuguese, 
Vasco de Lobeira (d 1403), with additions 
by the Spaniard Montalvo, and by many 
subsequent romancers, who added exploits 
and adventures of other knights and thus 
swelled the romance to fourteen books 
The romance was referred to as early as 
1350, it was first printed in 1508, became 
immensely popular, and exerted a wide 
influence on literature far into the 17th 

Amadis, called the " Lion-knight," from 
the device on his shield, and "Belten- 
ebros " (darkly beautiful), from his per- 
sonal appearance, was a love-child of 
Per'ion, king of Gaula (which is Wales), 
and Eliz'ena, princess of Brittany. He 
was cast away at birth and becomes 
known as the Child of the Sea, and after 
many adventures, including wars with 
the race of Giants, a war for the hand 
of his lady-love, Oriana, daughter of the 
king of Greece, the Ordeal of the For- 
bidden Chamber, etc , he and the heroine, 
Oriana, are wed. He is represented as a 
poet and musician, a linguist and a 
gallant, a knight-errant and a king, the 
very model of chivalry. 

Other names by which Am'adis was 
called were the Lovely Obscure, the Knight 
of the Green Sword, the Knight of the 
Dwarf, etc. 

Am'adis of Greece. A Spanish con- 
tinuation of the seventh book of Am'adis 
of Gaul (qv), supposed to be by Felicia'no 
de Silva., It tells the story of Lisuarte of 
Greece, j, grandson of Amadis. 

Amai'mon. One of the chief devils in 
medieval demonology, king of the eastern 
portion of hell. Asmodeus is his chief 
officer. He might be bound or restrained 
from doing hurt from the third hour till 
noon, and from the ninth hour till evening. 

Amalthea, (1) In Greek mythology, 
the nurse of Zeus. 

Amalthe'a's Horn. The cornucopia or 
"horn of plenty" (<?.#.). The infant 
Zeus was fed with goats 7 milk by Amal- 
thea, one of the daughters of Melisseus, 
king of Crete Zeus, in gratitude, broke 
off one of the goat's horns, and gave it to 
Amalthea, promising that the possessor 

should always have in abundance every- 
thing desired. 

When Amalthea's horn 

O'er hill and dale the rose-crowned Flora pours, 
And scatters corn and wine, and fruits and flo-wers 
Camoent, Lusiad Bk n 

(2) In Roman legend Amalthea is the 
name of the Sibyl who sold the Sibylline 
Books (qv) to Tarquin. 

Amanda. The victim of Peregrine 
Pickle's seduction, in Smollett's novel of 
Peregrine Pickle (1751) 

Am'arant. A cruel giant slain in the 
Holy Land by Guy of Warwick. See Guy 
and Amarant, in Percy's Rehques. 

Amaryllis. A rustic sweetheart The 
name is borrowed from a shepherdess in 
the pastorals of Theoc'ritus and Virgil. 
In Spenser's Colin Clout's Come Home 
Again, Amaryllis is intended for Alice 
Spenser, countess of Derby. 

Amasis, Ring of. Herodotus tells us 
(111 40) that Polycrates, tyrant of Samos, 
was so fortunate in everything that 
Amasis, king of Egypt, fearing such 
unprecedented luck boded ill, advised him 
to part with something which he highly 
prized. Polycrates accordingly threw into 
the sea a ring of great value A few days 
afterwards, a fish was presented to the 
tyrant, in which the ring was found. 
Amasis now renounced friendship with 
Polycrates, as a man doomed by the gods ; 
and not long afterwards, a satrap put 
the too fortunate despot to death by 

Owen Meredith (E. R. Bulwer Lytton) 
gave the title The Ring of Amasis to a 

modern romance. Count Edmond R 

unearths an amethyst ring together with 
a mummy of Prince Amasis and the 
unhappy record of his drowning in the 
presence of a jealous brother. The ring 
proves just as ill-fated to the modern 
possessor as to the old; Edmond and his 
brother Felix fall in love with the same 
girl and Felix drowns before his brother's 

Amaurote (Gr. the shadowy or un- 
known place). The chief city of Utopia 
(q.v ) in the political romance of that 
name by Sir Thomas More. Rabelais, in 
his Pantagruel, introduces Utopia and 
" the great city of the Amaurots " (Bk. II, 
ch. xxiii). 

Amazing Marriage, The. A novel by 
George Meredith (1895), dealing with the 
experiences of the noble-hearted but 
naive and rather unimaginative Cannthia 
Jane Kirby, who took young Lord 
Fleetwood at his word and married him, 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


although he made no attempt to see her 
from the time he proposed (on short 
acquaintance, chiefly out of pique at 
another woman) until he yielded to the 
insistence of her uncle and met her at the 
church. The abuse which the heroic 
Carmthia endured at the hands of Lord 
Fleetwood and the growth of his too- 
tardy admiration and love form the 
subject matter of the novel. 

Am'azon. A Greek word meaning 
without breast, or rather, " deprived of 
pap " According to Herodotus there 
was a race of female warriors, or Amazons, 
living in Scythia, and other Greek stories 
speak of a nation of women in Africa of a 
very warlike character. There were no 
men in the nation; and if a boy was born, 
it was either killed or sent to its father, 
who lived in some neighboring state The 
girls had their light breasts burnt off, 
that they might the better draw the bow. 
The term is now applied to any strong, 
brawny woman of masculine habits. 

Pinero has a modern play called The 
Amazons (Eng. 1893). 

Ambassadors, The. A novel by Ho try 
James (Am. 1902-1903). The cefl ral 
character, Lambert Strether, goes to 
Pans at the instigation of Mrs. Newsune, 
a wealthy widow whom ho plans to mairy, 
in order to persuade her son Chad to 
come home. Chad is very much engaged 
in an affair with a charming French 
woman, the Countess de Vionnet, and 
the novel deals chiefly with Strether's 
gradual conversion to the idea that life 
in Paris may hold more of real meaning 
for Chad than in Woollett, Mass. After 
the arrival of a second ambassador, 
Chad's New England sister, Strether 
decides to return to Woollett, but Chad 
remains in Paris. Henry James once 
pointed out Strether 's remark, " Live all 
you can; it's a mistake not to," as the 
essence of the novel. 

Amber Witch, The (Die Bernstein 
Hexc). A romance by J. W. Meinhold 
(Ger. 1843), interesting chiefly because 
it was for years considered as a genuine 
chronicle of events in Pomcrania in the 
early 17th century. The supposititious 
narrator is Herr Schweidler, the village 
pastor. The heroine, Mary Schweidler, 
discovers amber in the mountains and 
because of her unexplained wealth which 
she spends on the poor, is accused of 
being a witch. 

Ambersons. The family whose story 
forms the subject matter of Booth 

Tarkington's novel, The Magnificent 
Ambersons (qv). 

Ambitious Guest, The. One of the best 
known sketches in Hawthorne's Twice 
Told Tales, built around the incident of & 
mountain slide which buried a cottage 
at the foot of the mountain. 

Amboyne, Dr. In Reade's novel Put 
Yourself in his Place (1870), the physician 
whose wise and tolerant rule of life gives 
the title to the book. 

Ambree, Mary. An English heroine, 
immortalized by her valor at the siege of 
Ghent in 1584. See the ballad in Percy's 

When captains couragious, whom death cold not claunfce 
Did march to the siege of the citty of Gaunt, 
They mustred their souldiers by two and by three, 
And the formost m battle was Mary Ambree 

Her name is proverbial for a woman of 
heroic spirit. 

My daughter will bo valiant, 
And prove a very Mary Ambry i' the business 

Ben Jonson Tale of a Tub, i, 4- 

Ambrose. The tavern keeper whose 
name suggested the title for the celebrj? ted 
Nodes Ambrosiance, a series of imaginary 
conversations chiefly by Christopher 
North (John Wilson) published in Bluck- 
ivood's Magazine. The blue parloi of 
Ambrose's Hotel in Edinburgh w/is in 
reality a rendezvous for Wilson and his 
friends, although the Ambrosian Nights 
were largely imaginary. See Noctes 

Ambrose, Father. " The Abbot " (#..) 
in Scott's novel of that title. He is the 
abbot of Kennaquhair, in reality Edward 
Glendinning, brother of Sir 1 [albert 
Glendmning, the knight of Avencl, but he 
appears at Kinross disguised as a noble- 
man's retainer. 

Ambrose, St. See under Saint. 

Ambro'sia (Gr. a privative, brotos, 
mortal). The food of the gods, so called 
because it made them immortal. Any- 
thing delicious to the taste or fragrant in 
perfume is so called from the notion that 
whatever is used by the celestials must be 

. So fortunate 

Whom the Pierian sacred sisters love 
That . with the Gods, for former vertuea meede, 

On nectar and Ambrosia do feede 

Spenser Ruines of Time, 393. 

Arnbrosio. The hero of M. G. Lewis* 
once famous novel, The Monk (q v.). 

Ameer, Amir. See Rulers, Titles of. 

Amelia A model of conjugal affection, 
in Fielding's novel of that name (1751). 
It is said that the character is intended 
for his own wife. Amelia is tried to the 
utmost by the vagaries of her wilful, 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

profligate husband, Captain Booth, but 
remains both lovable and loving under 
the severest tests. 

Amelia Sedley. (In Thackeray's Van- 
ity Fair ) See Sedley, Amelia. 

Amen Corner, at the west end of 
Paternoster Row, London, is where the 
monks used to finish the Pater Nosier as 
they went in procession to St Paul's 
Cathedral on Corpus Christi Day. They 
began in Paternoster Row with the Lord's 
Prayer in Latin, which was continued to 
the end of the street, then said A men, at 
the corner or bottom of the Row; then 
turning down Ave Maria Lane, com- 
menced chanting the " Hail, Mary* " 
then crossing Ludgate, they entered Creed 
Lane chanting the Credo. 

Amen-Ba. See Ammon. 

America. The American national an- 
them by Samuel Francis Smith (1832). 
Cp Star-Spangled Banner. 

American. For The American Sappho 
and similar entries, see under Sappho, etc. 

American, The. A novel by Henry 
James (1877) which shows a " robust corn- 
patriot " of comparatively simple, gen- 
uine nature in contact with the subtleties 
of European civilization. Christopher 
Newman, " the American " who at the 
age of thirty-five has made his own for- 
tune, hopes to marry Claire de Cintre*, a 
widowed daughter of the De Bellegardes, 
but that aristocratic old French family 
finally succeeds in circumventing him. 
Newman then plans to take revenge by 
publishing proof which he has discovered 
that Claire's mother and brother were 
the virtual murderers of her father, the 
Marquis, but decides to give up the 
plan because revenge is " really not his 

American Flag, The. A well-known 
poem by J. R Drake (1795-1820) begin- 
ning " When Freedom from her mountain 

American Notes. A volume of travel 
sketches by Charles Dickens (1842). The 
book was well received in England, but 
gave great offence in America. 

American Plan. The system of paying 
a fixed price for room and regular meals 
at a hotel in contrast to the European 
Plan of paying for room only with meals 
optional at additional cost. 

American Scene, The. A volume of 
sketches by Henry James written after 
revisiting America (1907). 

American Scholar, The. An address by 
Ralph Waldo Emerson (delivered before 
the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Cambridge, 

1837) which has been called " the intel- 
lectual declaration of American inde- 

Amethyst Ring, The. A novel by 
Anatole France See under BergereL 

Amfortas. In medieval legend, keeper 
of the Holy Grail, the grandson of Titurel 
from whom he received his sacred charge. 
For his neglect he was wounded by the 
lance of Longinus and could be cured 
only by a guileless fool who should ask 
the cause of his pain. He is one of the 
leading characters in Wagner's opera 
Parsifal (q.v ), which tells of his cure. See 
also Fisherman, King. 

Am/giad and Assad. One of the stories 
of the Arabian Nights, a tale of two half- 
brothers who were forced to leave home 
and wandered about encountering many 
strange adventures. 

Amhara. The kingdom in which was 
located the famous Happy Valley (q v.) 
described in Samuel Johnson's Rasselas 

Amiel, Henri Frederic. A Swiss pro- 
fessor (1821-1881) whose Journal has 
become one of the classic autobiographies. 
It was translated by Mrs. Humphry Ward 

Amina. Heroine of Bellini's opera, La 
Somnambula (qv). 

Axn'ine. In the Arabian Nights, wife of 
Sidi Nouman, who ate her rice with a 
bodkin, and was in fact a ghoul. " She 
was so hard-hearted that she led about 
her three sisters like a leash of grey- 

Aminta. Heroine of Meredith's novel 
Lord Ormont and His Aminta (qv)~ 

Aminte. In Mohere's Precieuses Ridi- 
cules the name assumed by Cathos (q.v.). 

Amis. See Amys 

Ammidon, Gerrit. The hero of Her- 
gesheimer's Java Head (q.v). The other 
members of the Ammidon family are also 

Ammon, Amun or Amen-Ra. The 
supreme King of the Gods among the 
ancient Egyptians, usually figured as a 
man with two long plumes rising straight 
above his head, but sometimes with a 
ram's head, the ram being sacred to him. 
He was the patron of Thebes His oracle 
was at the oasis of Jupiter Ammon, and 
he was identified by the Greeks with Zeus. 
Ammon was originally the local deity of 
Thebes, but by the time his name was 
joined with that of Ra, the sun god, he 
reigned supreme above all other deities. 

Amneris. In Verdi's opera Aida (q.v.) 
the daughter of the king of Egypt. 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Amonasro. In Verdi's opera Aida (qv), 
the father of Aida. 

Am'oret, in Spenser's Faerie Queene, is 
the daughter of Chrysogone, sister of 
Belphoebe, wife of Scudamore, and was 
brought up by Venus in the courts of love. 
She is the type of female loveliness 
young, handsome, gay, witty, and good; 
soft as a rose, sweet as a violet, chaste as 
a lily, gentle as a dove, loving everybody 
and by all beloved; a living, breathing 
virgin, with a warm heart, and beaming 
eye, and passions strong, and all that man 
can wish and woman want. In her rela- 
tions with Timias (typifying Raleigh) she 
stands for Elizabeth Throgmorton. She 
falls a prey to Corflambo (sensual passion) 
but is rescued by Timias and Belphcebe. 

Amory, Blanche. In Thackeray's Pen- 
dennis (1849) the daughter of Lady 
Clavering and the disreputable Colonel 
Altamont alias J. Amory. She jilted 
Pendennis for the rich Harry Foker, who 
jilted her in turn. This self-centered 
young lady " had a sham enthusiasm, a 
sham hatred, a sham love, a sham taste, 
a sham grief, each of which flared and 
shone very vehemently for an instant but 
subsided and gave place to the next sham 

Amos. One of the Minor Prophets of 
the Old Testament. His pleas for social 
righteousness are to be found in the book 
of -Amos. 

Amos Barton, The Sad Fortunes of the 
Reverend. A story by George Eliot, one 
of her Scenes of Clerical Life (1857). Amos 
Barton is a desperately poor clergyman 
whose wife, Milly Barton, a capable and 
charming woman, devotes herself to him 
and his work. The Bartons unconsciously 
invite scandal by their hospitality to the 
Countess Czerlaski, who has quarreled 
with her brother. Their struggle with 
debt, hard work and misunderstanding 
proves too much for Milly and she dies 
at the birth of her seventh child. The 
original of Amos Barton is said to have 
been the Rev. Joxm Gwyther. 

The Rev Amoa Barton, whose sad fortunes I have 
undertaken to relate was . in no respect an. ideal 

or exceptional character, and perhaps I am doing a 
bold tlmng to bespeak your sympathy on behalf of a 
man who was so very far from remarkable a man 
whose virtues were not heroic and who had no unde- 
tected crime within his breast, who had not the slightest 
mystery hanging about him, but was palpably and 
unmistakably commonplace. Ch V 

Amour Medecin, L* (The Love Doctor). 
A comedy by Moliere (Fr. 1665). The 
heroine is Lucinde (q.v.). 

Amour propre (Fr.). One's self-love, 
vanity, or opinion of what is due to self. 

To wound one's amour propre, is to gall 
his good opinion of himself to wound 
his vanity. 

Ainphiaraus. In classic legend, the 
soothsayer of Argos who foretold calamity 
for the famous expedition of the " Seven 
against Thebes " but accompanied Adras- 
tus in spite of his misgivings. He was 
pursued by his enemies and, due to 
Jupiter's intervention, was swallowed up 
by the earth See under Thebes. 

AmphigourL A verse composition 
which, while sounding well, contains no 
sense or meaning A good example is 
Swinburne's well-known parody of his 
own style, Nephelidia, the opening lines 
of which are: 

From the depth of the dreamy decline of the dawn 

through a notable nimbus of nebulous moonshine 
Pallid and pink as the palm of the flag-flower that 

flickers with fear of the flies as they float, 
Are they looks of our lovers that lustrously lean from a 

marvel of mystic miraculous moonshine 
These that we feel in the blood of our blushes that 
thicken and threaten with throb 5 * through the 

Here there is everything that goes to 
the making of poetry except sense; 
and that is absolutely (and, of course, 
purposely) lacking. 

Amphi'on. The son of Zeus and 
Antiope who, according to Greek legend, 
built Thebes by the music of his lute, 
which was so melodious that the stones 
danced into walls and houses of their 
own accord, Tennyson has a poem called 
Amphion, a skit and rhyming yen d' esprit. 

Amphitrfte. In classic mythology, the 
goddess of the sea; wife of Poseidon, 
daughter of Nereus and Doris. (Gr. 
amphi-trio for tribo, rubbing or wearing 
away [the shore] on all sides) 

AmpWt'ryon. Le veritable Amphitryon 
est I' Amphitryon ou Von dine (Moli&re). 
That is, the person who provides the feast 
(whether master of the house or not) is 
the real host. The tale is that Jupiter 
assumed the likeness of Amphitryon 
for the purpose of visiting his wife, 
Alcmena (#.#.), and gave a banquet at his 
house; but Amphitryon came home, and 
claimed the honor of being the master of 
the house. As far as the servants and 
guests were concerned, the dispute was 
soon decided " he who gave the feast 
was to them the host." Alcmena was by- 
Jupiter the mother of Hercules. This 
legend is the subject of three famous 
comedies by Plautus, Moliere and Dryden, 
all entitled Amphitryon. 

Amri'ta or Amreeta (Sanskrit). In 
Hindu mythology, ^the elixir of immor- 
tality, the soma- juice, corresponding to 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

the ambrosia (q v.) of classical mythology. 

Amsden, Locke. The schoolmaster 
hero of D. P. Thompson's novel, Locke 
Amsden (q.v). 

Amun, See Ammon. 

Amyas Leigh. (In Kingsley's Westward 
Ho) See Leighj Amyas. 

Amyclse'an Silence. Amyclse was a 
Laconian town in the south of Sparta, 
ruled by the mythical Tyndareus. The 
inhabitants had so often been alarmed 
by false rumors of the approach of the 
Spartans that they made a decree for- 
bidding mention of the subject. When 
the Spartans actually came no one dared 
give warning, and the town was taken. 
Hence the proverb, more silent than 

Castor and Pollux were born at Amyclae 
and are hence sometimes referred to as 
the Amyclcean Brothers. 

A'mys and Amyrion. A French ro- 
mance of the 13th century telling the 
story of the friendship between two 
heroes of the Carlovingian wars, the 
Pyl'ades and Ores'tes of medieval story 
The story culminates in Amyhon's sacrifice 
of his children to save his friend. It is of 
Greek or Oriental origin, an English 
version is given in Weber's Metrical 
Romances and in ElhV Specimens. 

Anab'asis. The expedition of the 
younger Cyrus against his brother Arta- 
xerxes, and the retreat of his " ten thou- 
sand " Greeks, described by Xen'ophon 
the Greek historian. 

Anacharsis. Le voyage du Jeune Anach- 
arsis. A once celebrated historical romance 
by Barthelemy (1788). It is a description 
of Greece in the time of Pericles and Philip. 
The original Anacharsis the Scythian, a 
historical character of princely rank, 
left his native country to travel in pursuit 
of knowledge. He reached Athens, about 
jB. C. 594. Barthelemy's romance is not 
a translation of the Scythian's book, but 
an original work. 

Anac'reon. A Greek lyric poet, who 
wrote chiefly in praise of love and wine 
(about JB. C. 563-478). 

Anacreon of the Twelfth Century Walter 
Mapes. (about 1140-1210), also called 
" The Jovial Toper." His best-known 
piece is the famous drinking-song, Meum 
est propos'itum in taber r na mori, translated 
by Leigh Hunt. 

Anacreon Moore. Thomas Moore (1779- 
1852), who not only translated Anacreon 
into English, but also wrote original 
poems in the same style. 

Anacreon of Painters. Francesco Alba'- 

no, a famous painter of beautiful women 

Anacreon of the Guillotine. Bertrand 
Barere de Vieuzac (1755-1841), president 
of the National Convention; so called 
from, the flowery language and convivial 
jests used by him towards his miserable 

Anacreon of the Temple Guillaume 
Amfrye (1639-1720), abbe de Chaulieu; 
the " Tom Moore " of France. 

The French Anacreon. Pontus de 
Thiard, one of the Pleiad poets (1521- 
1605); also P. Laujon (1727-1811). 

The Persian Anacreon. Hafiz (d. about 

The Scotch Anacreon Alexander Scot, 
who flourished about 1550. 

The Sicilian Anacreon Giovanni Meli 

Anachronism (Gr. ana chronos, out of 
time). An event placed at a wrong date; 
as when Shakespeare, in Troilus and 
Cressida, makes Nestor quote Aristotle. 

Anagram (Gr. ana graphein, to write 
over again). A word or phrase formed 
by transposing and writing over again 
the letters of some other word or phrase. 
Among the many famous examples are: 

Dame Eleanor Davies (prophetess in the reign of 
Charles I ) = Never so mad a lady. 

Gustavus = Augustus 

Horatio Nelson = Honor est a Nilo 

Queen Victoria's Jubilee Year =7 require love in a 

Quid est Veritas (John xviii, 38) ? Vir est qui adest. 

Marie Touchet (mistress of Charles IX, of France) = 
Je charme tout (made by Henri IV) 

Voltaire is an anagram of Arouet l(fl)](eune} 

These are interchangeable words: 

Alcuinus and Calvimis, Amor and Homa, Eros and 
Hose, Evil and Live, and many more 

Anah. In Byron's Heaven and Earth, 
a tender-hearted, pious creature, grand- 
daughter of Cain, and sister of Aholiba'- 
mah. Japhet loved her, but she had set 
her heart on the seraph Aza'ziel, who 
carried her off to some other planet when 
the flood came. 

Anak. In the Old Testament, a giant 
of Palestine, whose descendants were 
terrible for their gigantic stature. The 
Hebrew spies said that they themselves 
were mere grasshoppers compared with 
the Anakim 

Ananias. A liar. Ananias and Sapphira, 
his wife, were struck dead for lying about 
the price of a piece of land which they 
had sold in order to give the proceeds to 
the early church (Acts V). 

Ananias Club. A hypothetical organi- 
zation to which Theodore Roosevelt, 
president of the United States 1901-1909, 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


made frequent reference. The allusion is 

Anapest. In prosody an anapest is a 
poetic foot consisting of two short syl- 
lables^ followed _by a lpng_one, as con- 
tfavene, acquiesce, importune. Anapestic 
verse is verse based on anapests The 
following is a good example of anapestic 
trimeter. _ ^ 

I am mqjnarch ^of alI|Ysurve'y, v ._ 
My right | there S none|to dispute; 

From the center all round to the sea, 
I am. lord of the f ov, I and the brute, 

Copper Alexander Selkirk 

Anasta'sius. The hero of a novel called 
Memoirs of Anastasius, by Thomas Hope 
(1819). It is the autobiography of a 
Greek, who, to escape the consequences of 
his crimes and villainies, becomes a rene- 
gade, and passes through a long series of 

Anathe'ma. A denunciation or curse. 
The word is Greek, and means " a thing 
devoted " originally, a thing devoted to 
any purpose, e g. to the gods, but later 
only a thing devoted to evil, hence, an 
accursed thing. It has allusion to the cus- 
tom of hanging in the temple of a patron 
god something devoted to him. Thus 
Gordius hung up his yoke and beam; the 
shipwrecked hung up their wet clothes; 
retired workmen hung up their tools, 
cured cripples their crutches, etc. 

Anatol. The best known drama of 
Arthur Schmtzler (Aus. 1893), a series of 
" seven vignettes connected only by the 
fact that they present seven different 
scenes out of the love adventures of the 
same idle worldling " 

Anatomy of Melancholy, The. A 
famous prose work by Robert Burton 
(1621) which treats of all phases of melan- 
choly with an abundance of illustrative 
material i'rom classic sources. 

Ancestors. A novel by Gertrude Ather- 
ton (Am. 1857-). The hero, John Elton 
Gynne, heir to one of the noble families of 
England, happens to have been born as 
his parents were passing through America. 
His brilliant career in the House of Com- 
mons is terminated by a death that forces 
him to take the family seat in .he House 
of Lords. Gynne's third cousin, Isabel 
Otis, an extremely independent young 
woman who owns a chicken ranch in 
California, persuades him to come to 
California, make use of his American 
citizenship and enter American political 
life. This he does, with every prospect of 
a great success and Isabel's hand into the 
bargain. The last portion of the^ novel is 
rf given over to a panoramic description of 

the San Francisco earthquake which has 
been greatly admired. 

Anchises. In classic legend, the father 
of Jneas by Venus, who had fallen in love 
with him on account of his beauty. When 
Troy fell, JEneas carried his aged father 
out of the burning city on his shoulders. 

Ancien Regime (Fr ) The old order of 
things, a phrase used during the French 
Revolution for the old Bourbon monarchy, 
or the system of government, with all its 
evils, which existed prior to that great 

Ancient Mariner, The. A poem by 
Coleridge (about 1796). It deals with the 
supernatural punishment and penance of a 
seaman who had shot an albatross, a bird 
of good omen, in the Arctic regions The 
story is told by the Ancient Mariner him- 
self who stops a wedding guest and holds 
him with his " skinny hand " and " glit- 
tering eye," and finally with the mystery 
and horror of his tale. Swinburne says: 
" For absolute melody and splendour, it 
were hardly rash to call it the first poem 
in the language." 

Ancient of Days. A scriptural title of 
the Deity (Dan vii 9). 

Anderson, Sherwood (1876- ). 
American novelist and short-story writer, 
author of Windy McPher son's Son (q,v) 9 
Winesburg, Ohio (q.v ), etc. 

Andre Chenier An opera by Umberto 
Giordano (first produced, 1896), dealing 
with the French Revolution The plot 
centers about the rivalry of Gerard, a 
revolutionist, and Andre CMnier, a poet, 
for the love of Madeleine, daughter of the 
Countess de Coigny. In the end Made- 
leine and Ch^mer go to the scaffold 
together. CMmer is a historical personage. 

Andre, Major John. The British officer 
to whom Benedict Arnold delivered the 
plans for the betrayal of West Point dur- 
ing the American Revolution. He was 
caught and executed as a spy in 1780. 
Andre" was the hero of several early 
American dramas of which the best was 
by Dunlap (1798); and over a century 
later, Clyde Fitch made him the hero of 
his play, Major Andre 

Andrea del Sarto. The title of *a poem 
by Robert Browning in which Andrea del 
Sarto, known as " the Faultless Painter " 
(1487-1531), tells of the consuming pas- 
sion for his beautiful, unscrupulous wife, 
Lucrezia, that weakened him and kept 
him from real attainment 

And'rea Ferra'ra. A sword, also called, 
from the same cause, an Andrew and a 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Ferrara. So called from a famous 16th 
century sword-maker of the name. 

Andreiev, Leonid (1871-1919). Russian 
dramatist and novelist. His best-known 
plays are He Who Gets Slapped and The 
Seven that Were Hanged. 

Andret. In medieval romance a dis- 
honorable knight who spied upon Tristram 
and Ysolde (or Isoude) and aroused King 
Mark's suspicions of their mutual passion. 
Andrew, St. See under Saint 
Andrews, Joseph. Hero of Fielding's 
novel Joseph Andrews (qv). 

Andrews, Pamela. Heroine of Richard- 
son's novel Pamela (qv). 

Androcles and the Lion. An oriental 
apologue on the benefits to be expected as 
a result of gratitude, told in JEsop, by 
Aulus Gelhus, in the Gesta Romanorum, 
etc., but of unknown antiquity. Androcles 
was a runaway slave who took refuge in a 
cavern. A lion entered, and instead of 
tearing him to pieces, lifted up his fore 
paw that Androcles might extract from it a 
thorn The slave, being subsequently 
captured, was doomed to fight with a lion 
in the Roman arena It so happened that 
the same lion was let out against him, 
and recognizing his benefactor, showed 
towards him every demonstration of love 
and gratitude. 

Androcles and the Lion is the title of a 
play by Bernard Shaw (Eng 1912), in 
which he treats the early Christian faith 
in satirical vein Androcles appears as a 
Christian eager for martyrdom, but the 
lion circumvents his desire. 

Androm'ache. In Greek legend, the 
heroic and devoted wife of Hector (q.v ) 
and mother of Astyanax. After Hector's 
death and the fall of Troy she was allotted 
to Neoptolemus cf Epirus, but eventually 
became the wife of Hector's brother 
Helenus. She is the subject of Euripides' 
tragedy Andromache (B. C. 420), of 
Racine's Andromaque (Fr. 1667) and of 
an English adaptation of the latter by 
Ambrose Phillips called The Distressed 
Mother (1712). 

Andromeda. In Greek mythology, 
daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia. 
Her mother boasted that the beauty of 
Andromeda surpassed that of the Nereids; 
so the Nereids induced Neptune to send a 
sea-monster on the country, and an 
oracle declared that Andromeda must be 
given up to it. She was accordingly 
chained to a rock, but was delivered by 
Perseus, who married her and, at the 
wedding, slew Phineus, to whom she had 
been previously promised, with all his 

companions. After death she was placed 
among the stars. Rev Charles Kingsley 
wrote a poem in English hexameters called 
Andromeda (1858). 

Andronicus, Titus. See Titus Androni- 

Andy Gump. See under Gump. 

Andy, Handy. See Handy Andy. 

Angel. In post-canonical and apoca- 
lyptic literature angels are grouped in 
varying orders, and the hierarchy thus 
constructed was adapted to Church uses 
by the early Christian Fathers. In his De 
Hierarchia Celesti the pseudo-Dionysms 
(early 5th century) gives the names of the 
nine orders; they are taken from the Old 
Testament, Eph. i 21, and Col. i. 16, and 
are as follows: 

(i) Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones, 
in the first circle. 

(11) Dominions, Virtues, and Powers, 
in the second circle. 

(m) Principalities, Archangels, and 
Angels, in the third circle. 

The seven holy angels are Michael, 
Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Chamuel, Jophiel, 
and Zadkiel. Michael and Gabriel are 
mentioned in the Bible, Haphael in the 
Apocrypha, and all in the apocryphal book 
of Enoch (viii. 2) 

Milton (Paradise Lost, Bk i. 392) gives 
a list of the fallen angels. 

Mohammedans say that angels were 
created from pure, bright gems; the genii, 
of fire; and man, of clay. 

Angel. An obsolete English coin, 
current from the time of Edward IV to 
that of Charles I, bearing the figure of the 
archangel Michael slaying the dragon. 
Its value varied from 6s. Sd. in 1465 (when 
first coined) to 10s under Edward VI. 
It was the coin presented to persons 
touched for the King's Evil (q.v). 

Angel of the Schools. St. Thomas 
Aquinas. See under Doctor. 

Angel Clare. In Hardy's Tess of the 
D' Urbervilles (q.v.). 

Angelic Doctor. See under Doctor. 

Angelica. (1) The fascinating heroine 
of the Italian epic poems dealing with the 
adventures of Orlando (q.v.) and other 
famous paladins of Charlemagne's Court. 
" The fairest of her sex/' daughter of 
Galaphron, king of Cathay, Angelica in 
Boiardo's Orlando Innamorato (1495) (q v.) 
is sent to Pans to sow discord among the 
Christians, and Orlando falls in love with 
her, forgetful of wife, sovereign, country, 
and glory. Angelica, on the other hand, 
disregards Orlando, but passionately loves 
Rmaldo, who positively dislikes her. 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


When Angelica and Rinaldo drink of 
certain fountains, the opposite effects 
are produced m their hearts, for then 
Rmaldo loves Angelica, while Angelica 
loses all love for Rmaldo. Hence Angelica's 
draught is something that completely 
changes affection. 

Anosto's Orlando Furioso (1516) con- 
tinues the adventures of Angelica. Char- 
lemagne sent her to the Duke of Bavaria, 
but she fled from the castle, and was 
seized and bound naked to a rock, exposed 
to sea-monsters Rogero delivered her, 
but she escaped from him by the aid of a 
magic ring. Ultimately she married 
Medoro, a young Moor, and returned to 
Cathay, where Medoro succeeded to the 
crown. As for Orlando, he was driven 
mad by jealousy and pride. See also 

(2) The heroine of Congreve's comedy 
Love for Love (1695), an heiress whom the 
debtor-hero Valentine Legend courts and 
finally marries. 

(3) The bad-tempered heroine of Thack- 
eray's Rose and the Ring (qv) an amusing 
story for children. 

Angelique. (1) In Moliere's comedy 
Le Malade Imaginaire, daughter of Argan 
the malade imaginaire. 'For the tale, see 

(2) In Moliere's George Dandin (q v ) 
the aristocratic wife of George Dandin, 
a French commoner She] has a liaison 
with a M. Clitandre, but always contrives 
to turn the tables on her husband. 

An'gelo. In Shakespeare's comedy of 
Measure for Measure, lord-deputy of 
Vienna in the absence of Vincentio, the 
duke. His betrothed lady is Maria'na. 
Lord Angelo conceived a base passion for 
Isabella, sister of Claudio; but his designs 
were foiled by the Duke, who compelled 
him to marry Mariana. 

Angela is also the name of a goldsmith in 
Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors. 

Angelas, The. A Roman Catholic 
devotion in honor of the Incarnation, 
consisting of three texts, each said as 
versicle and response and followed by 
the Ave Maria, and a prayer. So called 
from the first words, "Angelus Domini 7 ' 
(The angel of the Lord, etc.). 

The prayer is recited three times a day 
at 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m., at the sound 
of a bell called the Angelus. Millet has a 
well-known painting with this title. 

Angioli'na. In Byron's Marino Faliero 
(q.v.), the daughter of Loreda'no, and 
the young wife of Man 'no Faliero, the 
doge of Venice. 

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, The. The 
source-book for much of the early history 
of England, said to have been begun at 
the instigation of King Alfred The early 
material is compiled in a great measure 
from the Venerable Bede, who died in 901 
It ends with the accession of Henry II ' 
in 1154. 

Angurva'del. Fnthiofs sword, in- 
scribed with runic letters, which blazed 
in time of war, but gleamed with a dim 
light in time of peace. 

Ani'der for Anyder (without water) 
The chief river of Sir Thomas More's 
Utopia (Greek, ana udor ) 

Animals in Heaven According to 
Mohammedan legend the following ten 
animals have been allowed to enter 
paradise : 

(1) Jonah's whale, (2) Solomon's ant; 
(3) the ram caught by Abraham and 
sacrificed instead of Isaac; (4) the lapwing 
of Balkis, (5) the camel of the prophet 
Saleh; (6) Balaam's ass; (7) the ox of 
Moses, (8) the dog Kratim or Katmir of 
the Seven Sleepers, (9) Al Borak, Ma- 
homet's ass, and (10) Noah's dove. 

Animals in Art Some animals are 
appropriated to certain saints: as the calf 
or ox to St. Luke, the cock to St. Peter; 
the eagle to St John the Divine; the lion to 
St. Mark; the raven to St Benedict, etc. 

Animals sacred to special Deities. To 
Apollo, the wolf, the griffon, and the crow, 
to Bacchus, the dragon and the panther, 
to Diana, the stag; to -^Esculapius, the 
serpent; to Hercules, the deer; to Isis, the 
heifer; to Jupiter, the eagle; to Juno, the 
peacock and the lamb; to the Lares, the 
dog; to Mars, the horse and the vulture; to 
Mercury, the cock; to Minerva, the oul; 
to Neptune, the bull; to Tethys, the 
halcyon; to Venus, the dove, the swan, 
and the sparrow; to Vulcan, the lion, etc 

Animals in Symbolism. The lamb, the 
pelican, and the unicorn, are symbols of 

The dragon, serpent, and swine, symbo- 
lize Satan and his crew. 

The ant symbolizes frugality and pre- 
vision; ape, uncleanness, malice, lust, and 
cunning; ass, stupidity; bantam cock, 
pluckiness, pnggishness; bat, blindness; 
bear, ill-temper, uncouthness; bee, indus- 
try; beetle, blindness; bull, strength, 
straight-forwardness; bull-dog, pertinacity, 
butterfly, sportiveness, living in pleasure; 
camel, submission, cat, deceit, calf, 
lumpishness, cowardice; cicada, poetry; 
cock, vigilance, overbearing insolence; 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

crow, longevity; crocodile, hypocrisy, 
cuckoo, cuckoldom; dog, fidelity, dirty 
habits; dove, innocence, harmlessness , 
duck, deceit (French, canard, a hoax), 
eagle, majesty, inspiration, elephant, sa- 
gacity, ponderosity; fly, feebleness, insignifi- 
cance; fox, cunning, artifice, frog and toad, 
inspiration; goat, lasciviousness ; goose, 
conceit, folly; gull, gullibility, grasshopper, 
old age; hare, timidity; hawk, rapacity, 
penetration; hen, maternal care; hog, 
impurity, horse, speed, grace; jackdaw, 
vain assumption, empty conceit; jay, 
senseless chatter; kitten, playfulness; lamb, 
innocence, sacrifice; lark, cheerfulness; 
leopard, sin, lion, noble courage; lynx, 
suspicious vigilance; magpie, garrulity; 
mole, blindness, obtuseness, monkey, tricks; 
mule; obstinacy, nightingale, forlornness; 
ostrich, stupidity; ox, patience, strength, 
and pride, owl, wisdom, parrot, mocking 
verbosity; peacock, pride; pigeon, cowardice 
(pigeon-hvered) ; pig, obstinacy, dirtiness; 
puppy, empty-headed conceit; rabbit, fe- 
cundity; raven, ill luck; robin redbreast, 
confiding trust; serpent, wisdom; sheep, 
silliness, timidity, sparrow, lascimousness ; 
spider, wiliness, stag, cuckoldom; swallow, 
a sunshine friend; swan, grace, swine, 
filthiness, greed; tiger, ferocity, tortoise, 
chastity; turkey-cock, official insolence; 
turtle-dove, conjugal fidelity, vulture, 
rapine; wolf, cruelty, savage ferocity, and 
rapine; worm, cringing, etc. 

Ann, Mother. Ann Lee (1736-1784) the 
founder and " spiritual mother " of the 
Shakers (qv). 

Anna Christie. A drama by Eugene 
O'Neill (Am 1922). Anna Christie is the 
daughter of Chris Christopherson, a 
Swedish bosun who has come to regard all 
evil and misfortune as the work of " dat 
oF devil sea. 37 He had sent her away to be 
brought up in Minnesota, but in the play 
she turns up in port and falls in love both 
with the sea and with a brawny Irish 
seaman named Mat Burke. When she 
confesses to a shameful past in St. Paul, 
both her father and lover repudiate her 
In the end, however, she is forgiven by 
them both. Anna Christie was awarded 
the Pulitzer prize in 1922. 

Anna Kar^'nina. A novel by Tolstoi 
(Rus. 1873-1876). The heroine, Anna 
Kare'nina, is a young and beautiful 
woman of noble birth and sensitive, 
passionate nature. Her husband, Alexis 
Kare'nina, who is much older, she finds 
vain and tiresome. The novel deals with 
the mutual love of Anna and Count 
Vronski, an ardent, talented young 

officer; with her struggle and surrender 
and its desperate, tragic outcome. Anna 
at last commits suicide as the only way 
out of her despair 

Anna Matilda, An. An ultra-senti- 
mental girl. Mrs Hannah Cowley used 
this pen-name in her responses in the 
World to "Delia Crusca " See Delia 

Anna of the Five Towns. A novel by 
Arnold Bennett (1902), the first to deal 
with the Five Towns The heroine has 
an unhappy love affair and is dominated 
by a tyrannical father, but remains 
dutifully at home. 

Annabel Lee. A poem by Edgar Allan 
Poe (1849) commemorating the love and 
the death of Cl the beautiful Annabel Lee. 37 

I was a child and she was a chill 

In this kingdom, by the sea 
But we loved with a love that -was more than love 

I and my Annabel Lee, 
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven 

Coveted her and me 

Annapolis. The United States naval 
academy at Annapolis, Md , where all 
regular officers of the American navy are 

Anne Elliott. See Elliott, Anne 

Anne of Geierstein. A novel by Sir 
Walter Scott (1829), based on the con- 
quest of Charles the Bad, Duke of Bur- 
gundy by the Swiss in the 14th century. 
The titular heroine is the daughter of 
" the Black Monk," the provincial of the 
Secret Tribunal of Westphalia. Her 
English lover, Sir Arthur de Vere, travel- 
ing in disguise with a letter to the Duke 
of Burgundy, is brought before the Secret 
Tribunal, but is acquitted by her father, 
the Black Monk. 

Anne of Green Gables. A widely read 
book for girls by L. M. Montgomery. 
Anne's most amusing venture was to 
dye her red hair green. Her story is 
continued in Anne of Avonlea, in which 
she becomes the teacher of the local 

Anne, Sister. In the old fairy tale, 
the sister of Fat'ima, the seventh and 
last wife of Bluebeard (q.v.). Fatima, 
having disobeyed her lord by looking 
into the locked chamber, was allowed a 
short respite before execution. Sister 
Anne ascended the high tower of the 
castle, under the hope of seeing her 
brothers, who were expected to arrive 
every moment. Fatima, in her agony, 
kept asking " Sister Anne " if she could 
see them, and Bluebeard kept crying out 
for Fatima to use greater dispatch. As 
.the patience of both was well-nigh ex- 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


hausted, the brothers came, and Fatima 
was rescued from death. 

Anne Veronica. A novel by H. G. 
Wells (Eng 1909) dealing with the 
struggle for independence made by a girl 
of the middle class. 

Annie Kilburn. A novel by W. D. 
Howells (Am 1888). After eleven years 
in Italy, Annie Kilburn returns to New 
England open to modern ideas and 
desirous of doing good with her wealth. 
The hero of the book is Rev. Mr. Peck, 
a young clergyman afire with social 
service ideals and extremely impatient 
of the old-fashioned snobbish charity 
carried on by the local " Social Union " 

Annie Laurie was eldest of the three 
daughters of Sir Robert Laurie, of Max- 
well ton. William Douglas, of Fingland 
(Kirkcudbright), wrote the popular song, 
but Annie married, in 1709, James Fer- 
gusson, of Craigdarroch, and was the 
grandmother of Alexander Fergusson, 
the hero of Burns' song called The Whistle. 

Annie, Little Orphant. See Little 
Orphant Annie. 

Anno Domini (Lat.). In the Year of our 
Lord; i e. in the year since the Nativity: 
generally abbreviated to " A. D " It was 
Dionysius Exiguus who fixed the date of 
the Nativity; he lived in the early 6th 
century, and his computation is probably 
late by some three to six years. 

Annual Register, The. A summary of 
the chief historic events of the year, 
first published by John Dodsley in 1758. 
It is still issued annually in England. 

Anmincia'tion, The Day of the. The 
25th of March, also called Lady Day, on 
which the angel announced to the Virgin 
Mary that she would be the mother of 
the Messiah. 

Order of the Annunciation. An Italian 
order of military knights, founded as the 
Order of the Collar by Amadeus VI of 
Savoy in 1362, and dating under its 
present name from 1518. 

Annunzio, Gabriele d 1 (1864- ). 
Italian poet, dramatist and novelist. His 
best-known plays are La Gioconda, Fran- 
cesca da Rimini and La Fosca. See those 

Annus Mirab'ilis. The year of wonders, 
1666, memorable for the great fire of 
London and the English successes over 
the Dutch. Dryden wrote a poem with 
this title, in which he described both these 

Anselme. In Molire's L'Avare, an 
old man who wishes to marry the daughter 
of Harpagon (q.v.). 

Anselmo. Hero of an episode called 
Fatal Curiosity (q.v.) told in Cervantes' 
Don Quixote 

^ Ant se 'us. In Greek mythology, a 
gigantic wrestler (son of Earth and Sea, 
Ge and Poseidon), whose strength was 
invincible so long as he touched the 
earth; and when he was lifted from it, 
it was renewed by touching it again. 
It ^ was Hercules who succeeded in killing 
this charmed giant by lifting him up 
from the earth and squeezing him to 

Antelope State. Nebraska. See States. 

Anteros. In classic mythology, the 
brother of Eros, the avenger of unreturned 
love; or according to some authorities the 
opponent of Eros. 

Anthony, Captain Roderick. Hero of 
Conrad's novel, Chance (qv.). 

Anthony, John. Head of the Trenartha 
Tin Plate Works and the chief representa- 
tive of capital in Galsworthy's drama 
Strife (q.v.). His son Edgar Anthony also 
plays a prominent part. 

Anthony, St. See under Saint. 

Anti-pope. A pope chosen or nominated 
by temporal authority in opposition to 
one canonically elected by the cardinals; 
or one who usurps the popedorn: the term 
is particularly applied (by the opposite 
party) to those popes who resided at 
Avignon during the Great Schism of the 
West, 1309-1376. 

Antichrist. The many legends con- 
nected with Antichrist, or the Man of 
Sin, expected by some to precede the 
second coming of Christ, that were so 
popular in the Middle Ages are chiefly 
founded on 2 Thess. ii 1-12, and Rev xiiL 
In ancient times Antichrist was identified 
with Caligula, Nero, etc., and there is 
little doubt that in 2 Thess. ii. 7, St. Paul 
was referring to the Roman Empire. 
Mahomet was also called Antichrist, and 
the name has been given to many dis- 
turbers of the world's peace, even to 
Napoleon and to William II of Germany. 
The Mohammedans have a legend that 
Christ will slay the Antichrist at the 
gate of the church at Lydda, m Palestine. 

Anticlimax. An event or statement 
which instead of being more important 
than the series leading up to it, is of 
decidedly less importance, as, for instance, 
the judge's charge to the jury in a larceny 
case, " For forty centuries the thunders 
of Sinai have echoed through the world 
' Thou shalt not steal.' It is also a 
principle of the common law and a rule 
of equity." Anticlimax is frequently made 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

use of to good effect In humorous writing 
but is considered very weakening in 
serious work. 

Antigf'one. In classic legend, daughter 
of GEdipus by his mother Jocasta ; famed 
for her heroic attachment to her father 
and brothers. When CEdipus had blinded 
himself, and was obliged to quit Thebes, 
Antigone accompanied him, and remained 
with him till his death, after which she 
returned to Thebes. Creon, the king, 
had forbidden any one to bury Polym'ces, 
her brother, who had been slain by his 
elder brother in battle (see Seven Against 
Thebes under Thebes)-, but Antigone, in 
defiance of this prohibition, buried the 
dead body. Creon shut her up in a vault 
under ground, where, according to the 
usual version, she killed herself. Hseman, 
her lover, killed himself also by her side. 
She is the heroine of Sophocles 7 drama 
Antigone and of Euripides' Suppliants. 

The Modern Antigone. Marie Therese 
Charlotte, duchesse d'Angouleme, the 
sister of Louis XVII. 

Antig'onus. In Shakespeare's Winter's 
Tale, a Sicilian lord, commanded by 
King Leontes to take his infant daughter 
to a desert shore and leave her to perish. 
Antigonus was driven by a storm to the 
" coast of Bohemia," where he left the 
babe; but on his way back to the ship, he 
was torn to pieces by a bear. 

Antin'ous. A model of manly beauty. 
He was the page of Hadrian, the Roman 

Anti'ope. (1) In classic myth, Queen 
of Thebes and mother of Amphion (q.v.). 
See Theseus. 

(2) In Fenelon's Telemaque (q.v.), an 
accomplished maiden loved by Telemaque. 

Antiph'olus. In Shakespeare's Comedy 
of Errors (q.v ), the name of two brothers, 
twins, the sons of JSge'on, a merchant of 

Antiquary, The. A novel by Sir Walter 
Scott (1816), the story of the love and 
eventual marriage of William Lovel and 
the daughter of Sir Arthur War dour, in 
the period of George III. The chief 
interest of the novel, however, lies in the 
character of Jonathan Oldbuck (q.v), the 
laird of Monkbarns, known as " the 

Antithesis. A placing of things in 
^opposition to heighten their effect by 
(Contrast, as " I will talk of things heavenly 
<or things earthly; things moral or things 
evangelical , things sacred or things profane, 
things past or things to come, things 
foreign or things at home, things more 

essential or things circumstantial, provided 
that all be done to our profit (Bunyan's 
Pilgrim's Progress)." Cp. Balanced 

Antoinette de Langeais. See Langeais, 
Antoinette de. 

Antonia. Heroine of Willa Gather's 
novel My Antonia (q.v.}. 

Antonio. (1) The " Merchant of Venice " 
(q.v ) in Shakespeare's drama so called. 

(2) The usurping Duke of Milan, 
brother of Prospero, the rightful heir, in 
Shakespeare's Tempest (q v). 

(3) Father of Proteus and suitor of 
Julia in Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of 
Verona (q.v.). 

(4) An old fisherman in Cooper's 
novel, The Bravo. 

(5) The monk killed by Donatello in 
Hawthorne's Marble Faun (q.v ) 

Antony. Titular hero of a tragedy by 
Dumas (1831) This proud and sensitive 
misanthrope wins Adele away from her 
husband Colonel d'Hervey but with dis- 
astrous results. 

Antony, Mark (B. C 83-31) A Roman 
who came into power after the assassina- 
tion of Julius Caesar, through his success- 
ful efforts to defeat the conspirators 
responsible for Caesar's death. He is one 
of the chief characters of Shakespeare's 
Julius Ccesar (q.v) and hero of Shake- 
speare's Antony and Cleopatra (1608) and 
Dry den's All for Love or the World Well 
Lost (1678) 

The first-mentioned play portrays his 
skilfully organized opposition to the con- 
spirators, Brutus and Cassius, launched 
by the famous oration over Caesar's dead 
body and ending in victory at Philippi. 
The other plays deal with his love for 
Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, and consequent 
neglect of his duties as one of the trium- 
virate ruling the vast Roman empire. 
He is recalled to Rome and induced to 
marry Octavia, the sister of Octavius 
Csesar, but when he returns to Egypt 
he falls again under Cleopatra's spell, 
and Caesar proclaims war against him. 
Upon his defeat at the battle of Actium, 
he falls on his own sword and Cleopatra 
kills herself with the poisonous bite of 
an asp. For names of other dramas see 

Anu'bis. In Egyptian mythology, a 
deity similar to the Hermes of Greece, 
whose office it was to take the souls of th<? 
dead before the judge of the infernal 
regions. Anu'bis was the son of Osiris 
the judge, and is represented with a 
.human body and jackal's head. 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Anville, Evelina. Heroine of Fanny 
Burney's novel Evelina (qv). 

Anxious bench. On the anxious bench. 
In a state of great difficulty or depression. 
At Methodist and other religious revivals 
In America the anxious benches used 
to be set aside for those members of the 
congregation who had repented of their 
previous life and desired to be admitted 
to the Church. 

An'zac. A member of the Australian 
and New Zealand Army Corps in the 
World War, or used as an adjective, 
pertaining to that organization The word 
was formed from the initials of the corps 

Aouda. In Verne's romance, Around 
the World in Eighty Days (qv) the Hindu 
widow whom Fogg rescues from suttee. 

Apache. The name of a tribe of North 
American Indians, given to or adopted 
by the hooligans and roughs of Paris 
about the opening of the last century, 

Ape. To lead apes in Hell. Said of old 
maids from the monkish story that women 
married neither to God nor to man will 
be given to apes in the next world. 

To play the sedulous ape. See Sedulous. 

Apeman'tus. In the drama Timon of 
Athens, attributed to Shakespeare, a churl- 
ish Athenian philosopher, who snarled at 
men systematically, but showed his cyni- 
cism to be mere affectation when Tirnon 
attacked him with his own weapons. 

Aph'rodite (Gr. aphros, foam). The 
Greek Venus (q.v.); so called because she 
sprang from the foam of the sea. 

Aph f rodite's girdle. The cestus. Who- 
ever wore it immediately became the 
object of love. 

Apic'ius. An epicure in the time of 
Tiberius He wrote a book on the ways 
of provoking an appetite. Having spent 
a fortune in supplying the delicacies of the 
table, and having only ten million ses- 
terces (about $400,000) left, he hanged 
himself, not thinking it possible to exist 
on such a wretched pittance. Apicia, 
however, became a stock name for certain 
cakes and sauces, and his name is still 
proverbial in all matters of gastronomy. 

A'pis. In Egyptian mythology, the bull 
of Memphis, sacred to Osiris of whose 
soul it was supposed to be the image. 
The sacred bull had to have natural 
spots on the forehead forming a triangle, 
and a half-moon on the breast. It was 
not suffered to live more than twenty-five 
years, after which it was sacrificed and 
buried with great pomp Catnbyses, 
king of Persia (B. C, 529-522), and 

conqueror of Egypt, slew the sacred bull 
of Memphis with his own hands, and is 
said to have become mad in consequence. 

Apocalypse. The Revelation which con- 
stitutes the last book of the New Testa- 
ment; any revelation. 

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. 
See under Four. 

Apocayp'tic Number. The mystic 
number 666 (Rev. xiii. 18.) 

Apo'crypha (Gr apokrupto, hidden; 
hence, of unknown authorship.) Those 
books included m the Septuagint and 
Vulgate versions of the Old Testament, 
but which, at the Reformation, were 
excluded from the Sacred Canon by the 
Protestants, mainly on the grounds that 
they were not originally written in 
Hebrew and were not looked upon as 
genuine by the Jews. They are not 
printed in Protestant Bibles in ordinary 
circulation, but in the Authorized Version, 
as printed in 1611, they are given imme- 
diately after the Old Testament. The 
books are as follows: 

1 and 2 Esdras 



The rest of Esther 



Baruch, with the Epistle of Jeremiah 

The Song of the Three Children 

The Story of Susanna 

The Idol Bel and the Dragon 

1 and 2 Maccabees 

The New Testament also has a large 
number of apocryphal books more or less 
attached to it These consist of later 
gospels and epistles, apocalypses, etc., 
as well as such recently discovered frag- 
ments as the Logia (sayings of Jesus) of 
the Oxyrhynchus papyrus. The best 
known books of the New Testament 
apocrypha are: 

Protevangehum, or the Book of James 
Gospel of Nicodemus, or the Acts of Pilate 
The Ascents of James 
The Acts of Paul and Thecla 
Letters of Abgarus to Christ 

Epistles of Paul to the Laodiceans, and to the Alexan- 
drines, and the Third Epistle to the Corinthians 
The Teaching of the Apostles (Didache) 
The three Books of the Shepherd of Hennas 

Apollo. In Greek and Roman myth- 
ology, son of Zeus and Leto (Latona), one 
of the great gods of Olympus, typifying 
the sun m its light- and life-giving as well 
as in its destroying power; often identified 
with Helios, the sun-god. He was god of 
musiCj poetry and the healing art, the 
latter of which he bestowed on his son, 
^Esculapius. He is represented in art as 
the perfection of youthful manhood. 

The fire-robed god, 

Golden Apollo ,*,,* 

Shakespeare. Winter's Tale, iv, 4 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Apollo with the plectrum, strook 
The chords, and from beneath his hands a crash 

Of mighty sounds rushed forth, ^whose music shook 
The soul \\ith sweetness, and like an adept 
His sweeter voice a just accordance kept 

Shelley Homer's Hymn to Mercury, Ixxxv 

A perfect Apollo. A model of manly 
beauty, referring to the Apollo Belvidere 

A young Apollo, golden-haired, 

Stands dreaming on the verge of strife, 

Magnificently unprepared 
For the long littleness of life. 

Mrs Cornford Epigram on Rupert Brooke 

The Apollo of Portugal. Luis Camoens 
(c. 1524-1580), author of the Lusiad. 

Apollo Belvidere. An ancient marble 
statue, supposed to be a Roman-Greek 
copy of a bronze votive statue set up at 
Delphi in commemoration of the repulsion 
of an attack by the Gauls on the shrme of 
Apollo m B. C. 279 

ApoJTyon. The Greek name of Abaddon 
(q.v.), king of hell and angel of the bottom- 
less pit (Rev ix 11) His introduction 
by Bunyan into Pilgrim 3 's Progress has 
made his name familiar. 

Apologia pro V-ta Sua. A famous 
autobiographical treatise in which the 
English Cardinal John Henry Newman 
(1801-1890) defends his conversion from 
the Anglican to the Roman Catholic 

Aposiopesis. An abrupt breaking off in 
the middle of a sentence for effect, as, for 
example, " And if it bear fruit but if 
not, cut it down." The best-known 
instance in literature is probably VirgiPs 
Quos ego (q.v). 

Apostles. A name used with reference 
to the original twelve disciples of Jesus, 
sometimes with the addition of Matthias 
and Paul ; also used in a general sense for 
the missionaries of the early church 
whose deeds are related in The Acts of the 

The badges or symbols of the fourteen 

Andrew, a cross, because he was crucified on a cross 
shaped like the letter x 

Bartholomew, a knife, because he was flayed with a 

James the Greater, a scallop-shell, a pilgrim's staff, 
or a gourd "battle, because he is the patron saint of 

James the Less t a fuller's pole, because he was killed 
by a blow on the head with a pole, dealt him by Simeon 
the fuller 

John, a cup with a winged serpent flying out of it, in 
allusion to the tradition about Aristode'mos, priest of 
Diana, who challenged John to drink a cup of poison 
John made the sign of a cross on the cup, Satan like a 
dragon flew from it, and John then drank the cup, which 
was quite innocuous 

Judas Iscariot, a bag, because he had the bag and 
"bare what was put therein " (John xu 6) 

Jude, a club, because he was martyred with a club 

Matthew, a hatchet or halbert, because he was slain 
at Nad'abar with a halbert 

Matthias, a battle-axe, because he was first stoned, 
and then beheaded with a battle-axe. 

Paul, a sword, because his head was cut off with a 
s\vord The convent of La Lisla, in Spain, boasts of 
possessing the very instrument 

Peter, a bunch of keys, because Christ gave him the 
"keys of the kingdom of heaven " A cock, because he 
went out and wept bitterly when he heard the cock 
crow (Matt xxvi 75 ) 

Philip, a long staff surmounted with a cross, because 
he suffered death by being suspended by the neck to a 
tall pillar 

Simon, a saw, because he was sawn to death, accord- 
ing to tradition 

Thomas, a lance, because he was pierced through the 
body, at Mel'iapour, with a lance 

Apostles of 

Abyssinians, Bt Frumentius (4th century ) 

Alps, Felix Neff (1798-1829 ) 

Andalusia, Juan de Avila (1500-1569 ) 

Ardennes, St Hubert (656-727 ) 

Armenians, Gregory of Armenia, "The Illuminator " 
(256-331 ) 

Brazil, Jose* de Anchieta,, a Jesuit missionary (1533- 

English, St Augustine (Died 604 ) St George 

Ethiopia See Abyssinians 

Free Trade, Richard Cobden (1804-1865 ) 

French, St Denis (3rd century ) 

Frisians, St Willibrord (657-738 ) 

Cauls, St Irenseus (130-200), St Martin of Tours 

Gentiles, St Paul 

Germany, St Boniface (680-755 ) 

Highlanders, St Columba (521-597 ) 

Hungary, St Anastatius (954-1044 ) 

Indians (American], Bartolom6 de Las Casas (1474 
1566), John Eliot (1604-1690) 

In dies (East} , St Francis Xavier (1506-1552 ) 

Infidelity, Voltaire (1694-1778 ) 

IreZand, St Patrick (373-463 ) 

Iroquois, Francois Piquet (1708-1781) 

Liberty Henry Clay 

North, St Ansgar or Anscanus (801-864), Bernard 
Gilpm (1517-1583 ) 

Peak, The William Bagshaw (1628-1702 ) 

Peru, Alonzo dc Barcena (1528-1598) 

Picts, St Nmian (5th century ) 

Scottish Reformers, John Knox (1505-1572 ) 

Slavs, St Cyril (c 820-869 ) 

The Suord, Mahomet (570-632 ) 

Temperance, Father Mathew (1790-1856) 

Apostolic Fathers. Christian authors 
born in the 1st century, when the apostles 
lived. John is supposed to have died 
about 99 A. jD., and Polycarp, the last 
of the Apostolic Fathers, born about 69, 
was his disciple. The Five Apostolic 
Fathers most referred to are Clement of 
Rome, Barnabas, Hermas, Ignatius, and 

Apostrophe. A figure of speech in 
which something absent is addressed in 
the second person as if present; for 
example, " death, where is thy sting? " 
" Milton, thou shouldst be living at this 
hour," " But come, thou Goddess, fair, 
and free." 

Ap'pian Way. The oldest and best of 
all the Roman roads, leading from Rome 
to Brundisiura (Brindisi) by way of 
Cap'ua. This " queen of roads " was 
commenced by Appius Claudius, the 
decemvir, B. C 313. 

Appius Claudius. A Roman decemvir 
(ruled B. C. 451-449) whose passion for 
Virginia, a beautiful plebeian girl whom he 
managed by a mock trial to make his 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


slave, caused her father to kill her in the 
forum. For the use made of this famous 
legend in drama, see Virginia. 

Apple. Newton and the apple. The 
well-known story is that the great scien- 
tist Newton, seeing an apple fall, was led 
into the train of thought which resulted 
in his establishment of the law of gravita- 
tion (1685). 

When Newton saw an apple fall, he found, 
In that slight startle from his contemplation, 
A mode of proving that the earth turned round, 
In a most natural whirl called gravitation 

Byron Don Juan, x 1 

The Apple of Discord. A cause of 
dispute; something to contend about. 
At the marriage of Thetis and Pe'leus 
where all the gods and goddesses met 
together, Discord (Ens), who had not 
been invited, threw on the table a golden 
apple " for the most beautiful." Juno, 
Minerva, and Venus put in their separate 
claims; the point was referred to Paris 
(qv\ who gave judgment in favor of 
Venus. This brought upon him the 
vengeance of Juno and Minerva, to 
whose spite the fall of Troy is attributed 

The " apple " appears more than once 
in Greek story; see Atalanta's Race; 

Of course, the story of Eve and the 
apple will be familiar to every reader, 
but it is a mistake to suppose that the 
apple is mentioned in the Bible story. We 
have no further particulars than that it 
was " the fruit of that forbidden tree, 3 ' 
and the Mohammedans leave the matter 
equally vague, though their commenta- 
tors hazard the guess that it may have 
been an ear of wheat, or the fruit of the 
vine or the fig. The apple is a compara- 
tively late conjecture. 

For the story of William Tell and the 
apple, see Tell. 

Prince Ahmed's apple or the Apple of 
Samarkand. In the Arabian Nights story 
of Prince Ahmed, a cure for every disorder. 
The prince purchased it at Samarkand 

Apples of Istakhar' are " all sweetness 
on one side, and all bitterness on the 

Apples of Paradise } according to tradi- 
tion, had a bite on one side, to commem- 
orate the bite given by Eve. 

The apples of perpetual youth. In 
Scandinavian mythology, the golden 
apples of perpetual youth, in the keeping 
of Idhunn, daughter of the dwarf Svald 
and wife of Bragi. It is by tasting them 
that the gods preserve their youth. 

Apples of Pyban, says Sir John Mande- 
ville, fed the pigmies with their odor only. 

Apples of Sodom. Thevenot says 
" There are apple-trees on the sides of 
the Dead Sea which bear lovely fruit, 
but within are full of ashes." Josephus, 
Strabo, Tacitus, and others speak of these 
apples, and are probably referring to the 
gall-nuts produced by the insect Cynips 
insa'na. The phrase is used figuratively 
for anything disappointing. 

The apple of the eye The pupil, because 
it was anciently supposed to be a round 
solid ball like an apple. Figuratively 
applied to anything extremely dear or 
extremely sensitive. 

Apple-pie Order. Prim and precise 

The origin of this phrase is still doubt- 
ful. Some suggest cap-a-pie, like a knight 
in complete armor. Some tell us that 
apples made into a pie are quartered and 
methodically arranged when the cores 
have been taken out. Perhaps the sug- 
gestion of nap-pe-pli (Fr. nappes phees, 
folded linen, neat as folded linen) is nearer 
the mark. It has also been suggested 
that it may be a corruption of alpha, 
beta, meaning as orderly as the letters of 
the alphabet, and another guess is that 
it is connected with the old alphabet 
rhyme, " A was an apple pie," etc , the 
letters of the alphabet being there all 
" m apple-pie order." 

April Fool's Day. April 1st, when prac- 
tical jokes are m order. An April Fool is 
called in France un poisson d } Avnl, and 
in Scotland a gowk (cuckoo) . In Hindustan 
similar tricks are played at the Huli 
Festival (March 31st), so that it probably 
does not refer to the uncertainty of the 
weather, nor yet to the mockery trial of 
our Redeemer, the two most popular 
explanations. A better solution is this: 
As March 25th used to be New Year's Day, 
April 1st was its octave, when its festivities 
culminated and ended. 

It may be a reho of the Roman "Cereaha, " held at 
tho beginning of April The tale is that Proserpina 
was sporting m the Elysian meadows, and had just 
filled her lap with daffodils, when Pluto carried her 
off to the lower world Her mother, Ceres, heard the 
echo of her screams, and went in search of "the voice", 
but her search was a fool's errand. 

April Hopes. A novel by W. D. 
Howells (Am. 1888) narrating the youth- 
ful love affair of Alice Pasmer and a 
Harvard undergraduate named Dan 
Mavering. Alice's mother, the aristocratic 
Mrs, Pasmer, is only a few degrees more 
snobbish and insincere than the Harvard 
students, whose life furnishes the back- 
ground for much of the book. 

Aprile. In Browning's Paracelsus (q.v.) t 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

the Italian poet who exalts love as 
Paracelsus exalts knowledge 

Apron-strings. Tied to the apron-strings 
Under the influence of a wife, mother or 
other female relative 

Aqua. Aqua Re'gia (Lat royal water). 
A mixture of one part of nitric acid, with 
from two to four of hydrochloric acid; 
so called because it dissolves gold, the 
king of metals. 

Aqua Tofana. See Tofana. 

Agua Vitce (Lat. water of life). Brandy; 
any spirituous liquor, also, formerly, 
certain ardent spirits used by the al- 

Aqua'rius (Lat. the water-bearer). The 
eleventh of the twelve zodiacal constella- 
tions, representing the figure of a man 
with his left hand raised and with his 
right pouring from a ewer a stream of 
water. It is the eleventh division of the 
ecliptic, which the sun enters on January 
21st, and which does not now coincide 
with the constellation 

Aquilina. A courtesan who appears in 
several of the novels of Balzac's Comedie 
Humaine, notably The Wild Ass's Skin 
(Le Peau de Chagrin) . 

Ar'ab. Street Arabs. Children of the 
houseless poor, street children. So called 
because, like the Arabs, they are nomads 
or wanderers with no settled home 

Arabella. The first wife of Jude in 
Hardy's Jude the Obscure (q. ;.) 

Arabia. It was Ptolemy who was the 
author of the threefold division into 
Arabia Petrcea, " Stony Arabia "; Arabia 
Felix (Yemen), " Fertile Arabia," i.e. the 
south-west coast; and Arabia Deserta, 
" Desert Arabia." Arabia Deserta is the 
name of a famous book of travel by the 
explorer, C. M. Doughty. 

Arabian Nights Entertainments, The. 
A collection of ancient Oriental tales, 
first collected in its present form about 
1450, probably in Cairo. The first 
European translation was the French 
one by Antoine Galland (12 vols , 1704- 
1708), which is a free rendering of the 
oldest known MS. (1548). There are 
English translations founded on this by 
R. Heron (4 vols., 1792), W. Beloe (4 vols., 
1795), and others. In 1840 E. W Lane 
published an entirely new translation 
(3 yols.), made from, the latest Arabic 
edition (Cairo, 1835); John Payne's 
translation appeared in 4 vols , 1882-1884, 
and Sir Richard Burton's monumental 
version was issued to subscribers only, 
by the Kamashastra Society of Benares 
in 10 vols., 1885-1886, followed by 

6 vols. of Supplemental Nights in 1886- 
1888. The standard French translation 
is that by J. C. Mardrus, 16 vols , 1899- 
1904. For the stories of the Arabian 
Nights, see Ali Babi, Aladdin, etc. 

Robert Louis Stevenson called a volume 
of tales The New Arabian Nights. 

Arach'ne [A-rak'ny] A spider; meta- 
phorically, a weaver. Arachne 3 s labors. 
Spinning and weaving, Arachne was a 
Lydian maiden, who challenged Minerva 
to compete with her in needle tapestry, 
and Minerva metamorphosed her into a 
spider Hence arachmda, the scientific 
name for spiders, scorpions, and mites. 

No orifice for a point 
As subtle as Arachne's broken woof 
To enter 
Shakespeare Troilus and Cressida, v 2 (1602) 

Araf or Al A'raf (Arab, the partition, 
from 'am/a, to divide). A region, accord- 
ing to the Koran, between Paradise and 
Jahannam (hell), for those who are 
neither morally good nor bad, such as 
infants, lunatics, and idiots Others 
regard it as a kind of " limbo " (q.v.) where 
those whose good and evil deeds were 
about equally balanced can await their 
ultimate admission to heaven. Edgar 
Allan Poe has a poem entitled Al Aaraaj 
(Am. 1829). 

Arafat, Mount. A Mil southeast of 
Mecca where, according to Mohammedan 
tradition, Adam met Eve after a punitive 
separation of two hundred years. He 
was conducted to its summits by Gabriel. 

Aram, Eugene. Hero of Bulwer Lytton's 
novel, Eugene Aram (q.v.). 

Aramis. One of the famous trio in 
Dumas' Three Musketeers (q.v.) and a 
prominent character in its sequels, Twenty 
Years After and The Vicomte de Brage- 

Arbaces. The villainous high priest of 
Isis in Bulwer Lytton's historical novel, 
The Last Days of Pompeii (qv). 

Arblay, Madame d'. See Fanny Burney. 

Arbor Day. A day set apart in Canada 
and the United States for planting trees. 
It was first inaugurated about 1885 iv 

Arbuthnot, Mrs. The titular heroine 
of Oscar Wilde's Woman of No Importance 
(qv.). Her son Gerald is an important 

Arbuton, Miles. In W. D. Ho wells' 
novel, A Chance Acquaintance (1873), a 
handsome and traveled Boston aristocrat 
who meets and falls in love with the 
delightful Kitty Ellison on a steamboat. 
His self-centered snobbery and ultra- 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


conventional dislike of her democratic 
Western mannerisms bring their romance 
to an untimely end 

Arc, Joan of. See Joan of Arc. 

Ar'cades Ambo. Both fools alike; both 
" sweet innocents" , both alike eccentric. 
There is nothing in the character of 
Corydon and Thyrsis (Virgil's Eclogue, 
vii. 4) to justify this disparaging applica- 
tion of the phrase ; but as Arcadia was the 
least intellectual part of Greece, an 
Arcadian came to signify dunce, and 
hence Arcades ambo received its present 

Arcadia. A district of the Peloponnesus 
which, according to Virgil, was the home 
of pastoral simplicity and happiness. 
The Arcadians were, however, considered 
the least intellectual of all the Greeks; 
hence Arcadian came to have a derogatory 
meaning (see Arcades Ambo). 

The name Arcadia was taken by Sir 
Philip Sidney as the title of his famous 
pastoral romance (1590) and was soon 
generally adopted in English with much 
the old Virgilian significance. The famous 
painting Shepherds in Arcadia by Nicholas 
Poussin shows a group standing about a 
shepherd's tomb on which are the now- 
familiar words " Et in Arcadia ego (I, too, 
have dwelt in Arcadia)/' 

Archaism. The use of obsolete words 
or syntax for deliberate effect The poet 
Spenser, for example, chose to write his 
Faerie Queene m an archaic style. 

Archangel. In Christian legend, the 
title is usually given to Michael, the 
chief opponent of Satan and his angels 
and the champion of the Church of 
Christ on earth. In the medieval hier- 
archy (see Angel) the Archangels comprise 
the second order of the third division. 

According to the Koran, there are four 
archangels Ga'bnel, the angel of revela- 
tions, who writes down the divine decrees; 
Mi'chael, the champion, who fights the 
battles of faith; Az'rael, the^ angel of 
death; and Israfel, who is commissioned to 
sound the trumpet of the resurrection. 

Archbish'op of Grana'da. In Le Sage's 
Oil Bias (1715), a dignitary who told his 
secretary, Gil Bias, when he hired him, 
" Whenever thou shalt perceive my pen 
smack of old age and my genius flag 
don't fail to advertise me of it, for I don't 
trust to my own judgment, which may 
be seduced by self-love." After the old 
man had had a fit of apoplexy, Gil Bias 
ventured in the most delicate manner 
to hint that his last discourse had not 
altogether the energy of his former ones. 

To this the Archbishop replied, " You 
are yet too raw to make proper distinc- 
tions. Know, child, that I never composed 
a better homily than that which you 
disapprove. Go, tell my treasurer to 
give you 100 ducats. Adieu, Mr. Gil 
Bias; I wish you all manner of prosperity, 
with a little more taste." 

Archer, Francis. The friend of Aimwell, 
one of the two fortune-hunting " beaux " 
of George Farquhar's comedy, The Beaux' 
Stratagem (1707). 

Archer, Isabel. Heroine of Henry 
James' novel, The Portrait of a Lady 


Archer, Newland. Hero of Edith 
Wharton's Age of Innocence (q.v.). 

Archibald or Archie. An anti-aircraft 
gun. The term came into use at the front 
during the World War, applied first to the 
German mobile anti-aircraft gun, later to 
any similar gun 

Archie the Cockroach. A humorous 
creation of the New York columnist, 
Don Marquis. Archie, who has spent all 
his life in a newspaper office, can manage 
a typewriter, but the capital letters are 
too much for him. He is a ready writer 
on almost any subject. 

Archiloch'ian Bitterness. Ill-natured 
satire, so named from Archil'ochus, the 
Grecian satirist (B C. 714-676). 

Archima'go. The enchanter in Spenser's 
Faerie Queene (Bks. I and II), typifying 
hypocrisy and false religion. He assumes 
the guise of the Red Cross Knight, and 
deceives Una, but Sansloy sets upon him, 
and reveals his true character. When the 
Red Cross Knight is about to be married 
to Una, Archimago presents himself before 
the king of Eden, and tells him that the 
Knight is betrothed to Duessa. The 
falsehood being exposed, he is cast into 
a vile dungeon (Bk I). In Book II the 
arch-hypocrite is loosed again for a season, 
and employs Braggadocchio to attack the 
Red Cross Knight. 

Arcite. See Palamon and Arcite. 

Arden, Enoch. Hero of Tennyson's 
poem, Enoch Arden (<?.#.). 

Arden, Forest of. The scene of Shake- 
speare's As You Like It (q.v.). Some 
authorities identify it with a forest of 
that name in Warwickshire, England, 
others with the French forest of Ardennes, 
and still others hold that it is a purely 
imaginary place. The characters of the 
play are French, but references to Robin 
Hood, etc imply an English background. 

Ardennes, Wild Boar of. See Wild 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Areop'agus (Gr. the hill of Mars, or 
Ares). The seat of a famous tribunal in 
Athens, so called from the tradition that 
the first cause tried there was that of 
Mars or Ares, accused by Neptune of the 
death of his son Hahrrhoth'ms 

Ares. The god of war in Greek myth- 
ology, son of Zeus and Hera. In certain 
aspects he corresponds with the Roman 
Mars (q.v.). 

Arethu'sa. In classic myth, a nymph 
pursued by Alpheus, the river-god, and 
changed into a fountain. See Alpheus. 
This fable has been turned into poetry by 
Shelley (1820). 

Argun. The principal character of 
MoMre's Malade Imaginaire (1673) an 
invalid who cannot afford to be sick at 
the prices charged by his apothecary, but 
is sure he must be worse when he succeeds 
in reducing the bills. He hits upon the 
plan of marrying his daughter Angelique 
to a young doctor, but to this the lady ob- 
jects, having a lover of her own. Toinette, 
the resourceful servant, after imperson- 
ating a doctor herself, persuades him to 
feign death, and by this means he dis- 
closes the hypocrisy of his wife Behne 
and the loyal affection of Angelique. 
His brother now suggests that Argan 
himself should be his own doctor, and 
when the invalid replies he has not 
studied either diseases, drugs or Latin, the 
objection is overruled by investing the 
malade in a doctor's cap and robe. The 
piece concludes with the burlesque investi- 
ture ceremonial in macaronic Latin 

Argantes. In Tasso's epic poem Jerusa- 
lem Delivered (1575), one of the two 
bravest fighters in the infidel army. He 
was slain by Binaldo. 

Argimenes, King. The chief character 
in Dunsany's drama, King Argimenes 
and the Unknown Warrior (qv.). 

Ar'go (Gr. argos, swift). The galley of 
Jason that went in search of the Golden 
Fleece. Hence, a ship sailing on any 
specially adventurous voyage, and figura- 

Such an Argo, when freighted with such a fleece, will 
unquestionably be held in chase by many a pirate 

Brooke Fool of Quality | 

Ar'gonauts. The sailors of the ship 
Argo, who sailed from Greece to Colchis 
in quest of the Golden Fleece, which was 
hung on an oak and guarded by a sleepless 
dragon After many strange adventures 
the crew reached Colchis, and the King 
promised to give Jason the fleece if he 
would yoke to a plough the two fire- 
breathing bulls, and sow the dragons' 

teeth left by Cadmus in Thebes. Jason, 
by the help of Medea, a sorceress, ful- 
filled these conditions, became master of 
the fleece, and, with Medea who had 
fallen in love with him, secretly quitted 
Colchis. The return voyage was as full of 
adventures as the outward one, but 
ultimately the ship arrived at lolcus, 
and was dedicated to Neptune in Corinth. 
See also Jason 

Argus. Ar'gus-eyed. Jealously watch- 
ful. According to Grecian fable, the 
fabulous creature, Argus, had one hundred 
eyes, and Juno set him to watch lo, of 
whom she was jealous Mercury, how- 
ever, charmed Argus to sleep and slew 
him, whereupon Juno changed him into a 
peacock with the eyes in the tail 

Argus was also the name of Odysseus' 
dog who recognized his old master on his 
return home from his wanderings. 

Argyle, John, Duke of. A historical 
personage (1678-1743) introduced in 
Scott's Rob Roy and The Heart of 
Midlothian. In the latter he introduces 
Jeanie Deans to Queen Caroline. 

Ariad/ne. In Greek mythology, daugh- 
ter of Minos, king of Crete. She gave 
Theseus a clew of thread to guide him 
out of the Cretan labyrinth. Theseus 
married his deliverer, but when he 
arrived at Naxos forsook her, and she 
hanged herself. Other versions state 
that she became the wife of Bacchus. 

Ariane et Barbe Bleue. A drama by 
Maurice Maeterlinck (Bel 1899) dealing 
with the old tale of Bluebeard and his 
wives. (See Bluebeard) Ariane is a 
very modem sixth wife who proceeds 
with self-possessed determination to set 
her wretched predecessors free from the 
forbidden chamber (Maeterlinck has it 
they are still alive), and later rescues the 
hated Bluebeard from a village mob, but 
refuses to stay with him. Ariane et 
Barbe Bleue has been made into an opera 
with music by Paul Dukas (Fr. 1907). 

Arians. The followers of Arms, ^ a 
presbyter of the church of Alexandria, 
In the 4th century. He maintained (1) 
that the Father and Son are distinct 
beings; (2) that the Son, though divine, 
is not equal to the Father; (3) that the 
Son had a state of existence previous to 
His appearance on earth, but not from 
eternity; and (4) that the Messiah ^was 
not real man, but a divine being in a 
case of flesh. Their tenets varied from 
time to time and also among their 
different sections. The heresy was form- 
ally^ anathematized &t the Council of 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Nice (325), but the sect was not, and 
never has been, wholly extinguished. 

Ariel. The name of a spirit Used in 
cabalistic angelology, and in Heywood's 
Hier archie of the Blessed Angels (1635) 
for one of the seven angelic " princes " 
who rule the waters; by Milton for one 
of the rebel angels (Paradise Lost, vi. 371) , 
by Pope (Rape of the Lock) for a sylph, the 
guardian of Belinda; but especially by 
Shakespeare, in The Tempest, for " an 
ayrie spirit." He was enslaved to the 
witch Syc'orax, who overtasked him; 
and in punishment for not doing what was 
beyond his power, shut him up in a pine- 
rift for twelve years On the death of 
Sycorax, Ariel became the slave of 
Cal'iban, who tortured him most cruelly 
Pros'pero liberated him from the pine-rift, 
and the grateful fairy served him for 
sixteen years, after which he was set free. 
Shelley frequently referred to himself 
as Ariel and the name was adopted by his 
friends. Andre Maurois is the author of 
a life of Shelley, entitled Ariel. 

A 'lies. The Ram. The sign of the 
Zodiac in which the sun is from March 21st 
to April 20th, the first portion of the 
ecliptic, between and 30 longitude. 
Ariman'es. See Ahnman. 
Ar'ioch. In Paradise Lost (vi. 371) 
one of the fallen angels. The word means 
a fierce lion; Milton took it from Dan. li. 
14, where it is the name of a man. 

Ari'on. A Greek poet and musician 
who flourished about B. C 700, and who, 
according to legend, was cast into the sea 
by mariners, but carried to Tsenaros on 
the back of a dolphin. 

George Eliot has a poem called Arwn 
(1874). See also under Horse. 

Ariosto (1474-1533). One of the greatest 
of Italian poets. His masterpiece is the 
epic Orlando Funoso (Orlando Mad), a 
continuation of Boiardo's Orlando Innam- 
orato, relating the adventures of Charle- 
magne's paladins in their wars against 
the Saracens. See Orlando. 

Ariosto of the North. So Lord Byron 
calls Sir Walter Scott. 

Aristae 'us. In Greek mythology, pro- 
tector of vines and olives, huntsmen and 
herdsmen. He instructed man also in the 
management of bees, taught him by his 
mother Gyrene. 

Aristax'chus. Any critic. Aristarchus 
of Samothrace (fl. B. C 156) was the 
greatest critic of antiquity. His labors 
were chiefly directed to the Iliad and 
Odyssey of Homer. He divided them into 
twenty-four books each, marked every 

doubtful line with an obelus, and every 
one he considered especially beautiful 
with an asterisk. 

Ariste. In Moliere's L'Ecole des Man's, 
one of the two brothers who attempted 
to bring up two orphan wards as suitable 
wives for themselves Unlike his brother 
Sganarelle (q.v.), Ariste gave his ward 
Leonor a large amount of liberty 

Ariste'as. In Greek legend, a sort of 
" Wandering Jew" (gv.), a poet who 
continued to appear and disappear alter- 
nately for above 400 years, and who 
visited all the mythical nations of the 
earth. When not in the human form, he 
took the form of a stag. 

Aristi'des. An Athenian statesman and 
general (B C. 530-468), surnamed " The 
Just"; hence an impartial judge. 

The British Anstides. Andrew Marvell, 
the poet and satirist (1621-1678). 

The French Aristides. Frangois Paul 
Jules Gr6vy, president of the Third 

Aristippus. A Greek philosopher (fl. 
B. C. 375), pupil of Socrates, and founder 
of the Cyrenaic school of hedonists; hence 
any advocate of self-indulgence and 
luxury. See Hedonism. 

Aristophanes, (c. B. C. 450-380). The 
greatest of the Greek comic dramatists 
noted for his satires of contemporary 
Greek life. His best-known comedies are 
the Clouds, Birds and Frogs. 

The English or modern Aristophanes. 
Samuel Foote (1720-1777). 

The French Aristophanes. Holier e 

Aristotelian Unities. See Unities. 
Aristotle. (B. C. 384r-322 ) The great- 
est of the Greek philosophers, pupil of 
Plato. His chief works are the Ethics, 
^Esthetics, Politics and Metaphysics. 

Aristotle of China. Tehuhe, who died 
A. D. 1200, called the " Prince of Science." 
Aristotle of Christianity. Thomas 
Aquinas (1224-1274), scholastic theolo- 
gian and philosopher. 

Aristotle of the nineteenth century. Baron 

Cuvier, the great naturalist (1769-1832). 

Arjuna, One of the five Pandavas, a 

hero of the great Hindu epic, the Mahab- 

harata (qv). 

Ark, Henry. A prominent character in 
Cooper's sea story, The Red Rover (1S27). 
Arkel. The king of Allemonde, grand- 
father of Pell<as in Maeterlinck's drama, 
Pelleas and Melisande (q.v ). 

Airline. The heroine of Balfe ; s opera, 
The Bohemian Girl (qv). 
Arma'da. Originally Spanish for 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

" army/' the word is now used, from the 
Spanish Armada, for any fleet of large 
size or stiength Formeity spelt armado 

The Spanish Armada The fleet assem- 
bled by Philip II of Spam, m 1588, for 
the conquest of England. 

Armado, Don Adiiano de. A pompous 
military bully and braggart, in Shake- 
speare's Love's Labour's Lost. 

His humour is lofty, his discourse peremptory, his 

tongue filed, his eye ambitious, his gait majestical, an I 

his genera,! behaviour vain, ridiculous, and thrasonical 

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer 

than the staple of his argument ( \ct v, so 1 ) 

Armageddon. The name given in the 
Apocalypse (Rev xvi 16) to the site of the 
last great battle that is to be between 
the nations before the Day of Judgment, 
hence, any great battle or scene of 
slaughter. Theodore Roosevelt popular- 
ized the word in connection with his 
break from the Republicans to form a 
Progressive party in the presidential elec- 
tion of 1912 It was frequently used in 
reference to the Woild War. 

The poet of Armageddon John David- 
son, a Scotch poet (1857-1906), has been 
so called 

Armande. One of the " learned ladies " 
in Moliere's Femmes Savantes (q.v). 

Armed Neutrality. Action just short of 
war by a neutral power in time of war, 
jealous of its rights and anxious to safe- 
guard them. The first Armed Neutrality 
was formed under the lead of Russia in 
1780 and directed against England, at 
war with France, Spam, and the United 

Armgart. A poem by George Eliot 
(1871), telling the story of a brilliant 
young singer who refuses a desirable 
suitor because of her ambition, and later 
loses her voice. 

Armi'da. In Tasso's Jerusalem De- 
livered (1575), a beautiful sorceress, with 
whom Rinaldo fell in love, and wasted 
"his time in voluptuous pleasure. After 
his escape from her, Aranda followed him, 
but not being able to allure him back, 
set fire to her palace, rushed into the 
midst of a combat, and was slain. Both 
Gluck and Rossini have taken the story 
of Armida as the subject of an opera. 

Armida's Girdle. Armida had an en- 
chanted girdle, which, " in price and 
beauty," surpassed all her other orna- 
ments, even the cestus of Venus was less 
costly. It told her everything; " and 
when she would be loved, she wore the 

The garden of Armida. Gorgeous luxury. 

Armistice Day. November llth, cele- 

brated as the anniversary of the Armistice 
that brought the World War to an end, 
November 11, 1918. 

Arms and the Man. The opening 
phrase of Virgil's ^Eneid, " Arms and the 
man I sing (Arma vmimque cano)" , hence 
any military hero It has been popularized 
as the title of one of George Bernard 
Shaw's plays (Eng 1S9S), a drama laid 
in Bulgana satirizing the romantic atti- 
tude toward war. The libretto of the 
comic opera The Chocolate Soldier was 
unofficially based on Shaw's play. 

Armstrong, John. Hero of Scott's 
tale, The Laird's Jock (qv). 

Armstrong, Robert. Rhoda's lover in 
Meredith's Rhoda Fleming (qv). 

Army of Occupation. The name given 
to the army that " occupied " Germany 
after the Armistice in 1918 at the close of 
the World War until peace was concluded 
and conditions were somewhat stabilized. 

Arne. An idyllic romance by Bjorn- 
stj erne Bjornsoii (Nor 1858). 

Arnim, Mary Annette Beauchamp 
(Countess Russell) (1866- ). English 
novelist, author of Elizabeth and Her 
German Garden (qv). 

Ar'no. The river of Florence, the birth- 
place of both Dante and Boccaccio. 

Arnold. The titular hero of Byron's 
unfinished dramatic poem, The Deformed 
Transformed (q v ) . 

Arnold, Matthew^ 1822- 1888). English 
poet and critic His best-known poems 
are Sohrab and Rustum (qv), Thyrsis 
(q.v), Tristram and Iseult (g.w.), The 
Forsaken Merman (qv), etc. See also 
Philistine; Sweetness and Light. 

Ar'nolphe. In Moliere's comedy, UScole 
des FemmeSj a man of wealth, who has a 
crotchet about the proper training of 
girls to make good wives, and tries his 
scheme on Agnes, whom he adopts from 
a peasant's hut, and whom he intends in 
time to make his wife. See Agnes. 

Arnoux, Mme. Marie. The heroine of 
Flaubert's Sentimental Education (q.v.). 

Ar'ondight. The sword of Sir Launcelot 
of the Lake. 

Aroostook. The freighter on which the 
action of W D. Howells' novel, The Lady 
of the Aroostook (qv), takes place. 

Around the World in Eighty Bays. 
A romance by Jules Verne (Fr. 1873). 
The hero, Phileas Fogg, an Englishman, 
undertakes his hasty world tour as the 
result of a bet made at his London club. 
He and his French valet, Passepartout, 
set out that very night, and by super- 
human effort, particularly by this re- 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


sourceful Englishman's cool determina- 
tion in the face of every obstacle, succeed 
in making the circuit of the globe and 
turning up again at the Club ten minutes 
before the time agreed upon eighty days 
later. In spite of his \vager Fogg had 
delayed long enough to rescue a beautiful 
Hindu widow, Aouda, from suttee (and 
once, later, to save Passepartout from a 
Chinese mob); and at the close of the 
lomance he marries her 

Arp, BUI. The pseudonym of the 
Georgian humorist, Charles Henry Smith 
(Am 1826-1903). His letters, Bill Arp 
to Abe Linkhorn, published before the 
Civil War, were popular throughout the 
entire South. 

Arrow Maker, The. A drama of Ameri- 
can Indian life by Mary Austin (1911) 
dealing with the career of a desert 

Arrow of Gold, The. A novel by Joseph 
Com ad (Eng 1919), dealing with the 
Carhst revolution and the fascination 
that Dona Bita, a dice who uses men 
as pawns in a game of intrigue, exercises 
over the very young and ardently romantic 
Monsieur George 

'Any and 'Arriet. A good-natured but 
vulgar costcrmonger and his wife who 
appeared frequently in the pages of the 
English Punch. 'Airy was the creation 
of the Punch artist Edwin J. Milliken 
and made his debut in Punch's Almanac 
of 187-i in 'Any on 'otseback. 

Artaban. The name Henry Van Dyke 
gives to his imaginary " Other Wise 
Man " in his story of that title. See under 

Axtagnan, D' (Charles de Baatz, Seig- 
neur (TArtagnan). One of the famous 
guardsmen whose amazing adventures 
Dumas narrates in The Three Musketeers, 
Twenty Yeans After and The Vicomte de 
Bragelonnc. Bee Thice Musketeers, The. 

Ar'tamenes or Le Giand Cyrus A 
u long-winded romance," by Mile Scudcry 
(1607-1701) See Cyrus 

Artaxam'inous. In Rhodes' burlesque 
Bombast es Furwso (qv), king of Utopia 

Artegal, or Arthegal, Sir. The hero of 
Bk v of Spenser's Faerie Queene, lover 
of Bntomart, to whom he is made known 
by means of a magic mirror. He is 
emblematic of Justice, and in many of 
his deeds, such as the rescue of Irena 
(Ireland) from Grantorto, is typical of 
Arthur, Lord Grey of Wilton, who went 
to Ireland as Lord Lieutenant in 1580 
with Spenser as his secretary. See 

Artemis, The same as Diana (qv). 

Axtemus Ward. See Waid, Artemus. 

Artful Dodger. A young thief in 
Dickens' Oliver Twist, pupil of Fagin. 
His name was John Dawkms, and he 
became a most perfect adept in villainy, 
up to every sort of dodge. 

ArthegaL See Artegal 

Aithez, Daniel d'. An author who 
appears in several of the novels of Balzac's 
Comcdie Humaine as leader of the group 
or club known as the " Cenaele " , a man 
who displayed " the unity of excellent 
talent and excellent character " In 
later life he became a deputy on the right 
and the lover of Diane de Madfngneuse, 
the princess of Cadignan (qv). 

Arthur. The hero of a great cycle of 
medieval romance. (See below under 
Arthurian Romance for the development 
of this cycle Historically Arthur was a 
shadowy British chieftain of the 6th 
century, who fought many battles and 
is said to have been a king of the Sil'ures, 
a tribe of ancient Britons, to have been 
mortally wounded in the battle of 
Camlan (537), m Cornwall, during the 
revolt of his nephew, Modred (who was 
also slain) and to have been taken to 
Glastonbury, where he died. 

By the time the Arthurian legends 
were given permanent shape in Malory's 
Morte d' Arthur (c. 1470) the figure of 
Arthur as a legendary hero had become 
fairly distinct. He was the natural son 
of Uther and Igerna (wife of Goilois, 
duke of Cornwall), and was bi ought up 
by Sir Ector. By pulling out the famous 
sword Excal'ibur from a block of stone 
he proved his right to the throne of 
England. He subdued twelve rebellious 
pimccs, of whom Lot, king of Norway, 
was chief, and won twelve great battles 
against the Saxon invadeis. About his 
Round Table (q.v ) he gathered a group of 
knights whose deeds of daring and 
chivalry won his couit a high renown. 
Arthur himself became known far and 
wide as a mighty warrior and a just and 
generous ruler. His wife was Guinevere 
(qv), his most valiant knight Launcelpt 
(qv). In the earlier romances the ruin 
that finally overtook Arthur was due 
entirely to Guinevere and the traitorous 
Modred (qv), the story of Guinevere's 
guilty amour with Launcelot and its 
demoralizing effect on the court was 
added later. In distinct contrast to 
Malory and the older romancers, who say 
that Arthur's sons were born out of wed- 
lock (Modred being both son and nephew), 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Tennyson in his Idyls of the King makes 
Arthur a man of the highest moials, not 
only absolutely loyal to Guinevere but 
requnmg that all his knights " cleave to 
one maiden only." The treason that 
brought an end to Arthur's court was 
hatched while he was away on conquest 
After his return and defeat in the battle 
of Camlan, the mortally wounded King 
was borne away to the island of Avalon 
(qv) y where some accounts say that he 
was buried, others that he lived with his 
sister Morgan le Fay " till he shall come 
again full "twice as 'fair to rule over his 

people " 

# * * * 

The old romances of Arthur and his 
court were burlesqued by Mark Twain in 
his Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's 
Court (qv). 

An I hu! nan Romances The stories that 
center round the legendary King Arthur 
owe their inception in English literature 
to ihe Histona Regum Brittanice (c. 1143) 
of Geoffrey of Monmouth (d 1154), 
which diew partly from the work of 
Nenmus, a Breton monk of the 10th 
century partly according to the author 
from an ancient British ( ? or Breton) 
book (lost, if ever existing) lent him by 
Walter, Archdeacon of Oxford, and partly 
from sources which are untraced, but 
the originals of which are probably 
embedded in Welsh or Celtic legends, 
most of them being now non-extant. 
The original Arthur was a very shadowy 
warrior, Geoffrey of Monmouth, probably 
at the instigation of Hemy I and for the 
purpose of providing the new nation 
with a national hero, made many addi- 
tions; the story was taken up in France 
and further expanded; Wace, a French 
poet (who is the first to mention the 
Round Table qv), turned it into a 
metrical chronicle of some 14,000 lines 
(Brut d' Angle f err e, c 1155); Celtic and 
other legends, including those of the 
Grail (q v.) and Sir Tristram, were 
superadded, and in about 1205 Layamon, 
the Worcestershire priest, completed his 
Brut (about 30,000 lines), which included 
Wace's work and amplifications such as 
the story of the fairies at Arthur's birth, 
who, at his death, wafted him to Avalon, 
as well as Sir Gawain and Sir Bedivere. 
In France the legends were worked upon 
by Robert de Borron (fl 1215), who first 
attached the story of the Grail (qv) to 
the Arthurian Cycle and brought the 
legend of Merlin into prominence, and 
Chrestien de^Troyes (c. 1140-1190), who is 

responsible for the presence in the Cycle 
of the tale of Enid and Geraint, the 
tragic loves of Launcelot and Guinevere, 
the story of Perceval, and other additions, 
for many of which he was indebted to 
the Welsh Mabinogion (qv). Many other 
legends in the form of ballads, romances, 
and Welsh and Breton songs and lays 
were popular, and in the 15th century 
the whole corpus was collected, edited, 
and more or less worked into a state of 
homogeneity by Sir Thomas Malory 
(d 1471), his Le Morte d' Arthur being 
printed by Caxton in 1485. In the 19th 
century Tennyson drew upon the Arthu- 
rian material foi his Idyls of the King 
(qv). For the different heroes, sections, 
etc , of this great Cycle of Romance, 
see the various names throughout this 

The six following clauses may be con- 
sidered almost as axioms of the Artrru/rian 

(1) There was no braver or more noble king than 


(2) No fairer or more faithless wife than Gum'evere 

(3) No truer pair of lovers than Tristan and Isoult 
(or Tristram and Ysolde) 

(4) No knight more faithful than Sir Kaye 

(5) None so brave and amorous as Sir Laun'celot 

(6) None so virtuous as Sir Galahad 

Arthur or Arturo. In Bellini's opera 
/ Puritani (qv), Lord Arthur Talbot; 
in Donizetti's opera Lucia di Lammer- 
moor (qv), Arthur Bucklaw. 

Arthur Bonnicastle, A once widely- 
read novel by J. G Holland (Am. 1873), 
which gives a picture of life in a New Eng- 
land private school. 

Artie. An illiterate office boy who first 
appeared in George Ade's contributions 
to the Chicago Record and later as the 
titular hero of a book given over to his 
amusing experiences (1896). 

Arts. Degrees in Aits In the medieval 
ages the full course consisted of the three 
subjects which constituted the Tnv'ium, 
and the four subjects which constituted 
the Quadnv'ium 

The Trw'ium was grammar, logic, and 

The Quadriv'ium was music, arithmetic, 
geometry, and astronomy. 

All seven subjects constituted the 
Seven Arts. The Master of Arts was 
the person qualified to teach or be the 
master of students in arts; as the Doctor 
was the person qualified to teach theology, 
law, or medicine. In modern American 
universities, the degrees given in arts are 
the bachelor's B.A. or A B (qv) and the 
master's M.A or A.M. (qv) 

Ar'valan. In Southey's oriental epic, 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 

The Curse of Kehama, the wicked son of 
Keha'ma, slam by Ladur'lad for attempt- 
ing to dishonor his daughter Kail'yal 
After this, his spirit became the relentless 
persecutor of the holy maid, but finally 
holiness and chastity triumphed over sin 
and lust 

Arvir'agus. (1) In The Franklin's Tale, 
one of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1388) ; 
the husband of Dongen (qv) 

(2) In Shakespeare's Cymbeline (qv} 
Cymbehne's younger son, kidnapped 
with his brother Guiderius by Belanus 

A'ryans. The parent stock of what 
is called the Indo-European family of 
nations Their original home is quite 
unknown, authorities differing so widely 
as between a locality enclosed by the 
river Oxus and the Hmdu-kush moun- 
tains, and the shores of the Baltic or 
Central Europe. The Aryan family of 
languages include the Persian and Hindu, 
with all the European except Basque, 
Turkish, Hungarian, and Finnic. Some- 
times called the Indo-European, some- 
times the Indo-Germamc, and sometimes 
the Japhetic. 

Sanskrit, Zend, Latin, Greek, and Celtic are, of course, 

As a Man TMnks. A play by Augustus 
Thomas (Am. 1859- ). The plot 
concerns Frank Clayton's false suspicions 
of his wife's faithfulness, but the principal 
character is a Jewish physician, Dr 
Seelig, who by his insight and wise and 
kindly tolerance, is able to help the 
Claytons to a solution of their problems. 

As You Like It. A comedy by Shake- 
speare (1599 or 1600) Most of the action 
takes place in the Forest of Arden, where 
Rosalind's father, the rightful duke whom 
CehVs father Frederick has deposed, 
lives in contentment with his followers 
(see Jaques). When Rosalind is banished 
from Frederick's court she escapes to 
Arden in boy's clothing with Ceha, who 
adopts the disguise of a rural maiden 
There they are found by Orlando, a 
young wrestler with whom Rosalind had 
fallen in love at court. He talks inces- 
santly of his love for Rosalind to the 
youth, Ganymede, who is in reality 
Rosalind herself. Later Orlando's older 
brother, who had driven him away from 
home, appears, is reconciled to Orlando 
and falls in love with Ceha Eventually 
the Duke is restored to his dominions 
and a double wedding takes place 

Ascal'aphus. In Greek mythology, an 
inhabitant of the underworld who, when 
Pluto gave Proserpine permission to 

return to the upper world if she had eaten 
nothing, said that she had partaken of a 
pomegranate. In revenge Proserpine 
turned him into an owl by sprinkling 
him with the water of Phlegethon 

Ascanius. In classic legend, the son 
of jEneas He escaped from Troy as a 
child and accompanied his father to 
Italy Later he built the city of Alba 
Longa and ruled over the kingdom his 
father had secured. 

As'capart. A legendary giant conquered 
by Sir Bevis of Southampton He was 
thirty feet high, and the space between his 
eyes was twelve inches. This mighty 
giant, whose effigy may be seen on the 
city gates of Southampton, could carry 
under his arm, without feeling distressed, 
Sir Bevis with his wife and horse. 

Ascendant. In casting a horoscope 
the point of the ecliptic or degree of the 
zodiac which is just rising at the moment 
of birth is called the ascendant, and the 
easternmost star represents the house of 
life (see House), because it is in the act 
of ascending. This is a man's strongest 
star, and when his outlook is bright, we 
say his star is in the ascendant. 

The House of the Ascendant includes 
five degrees of the zodiac above the point 
just rising, and twentv-fiye below it. 
Usually, the point of birth is referred to. 

The Lord of the Ascendant is any planet 
within the " house of the Ascendant. " 
The house and lord of the Ascendant at 
birth were said by astrologers to exercise 
great influence on the future life of the 

Ascot Races. A very fashionable 
" meet," run early in June on Ascot 
Heath, Berkshire (six miles from Wind- 
sor). They were instituted early in the 
18th century. The best horses of all 
England compete, and at a somewhat 
more advanced age than at the great 
" classic races " (qv). 

Ase. In Ibsen's Peer Gynt (#w), the 
old mother of the wayward hero. 

As'gard (As, a god, gard or gardh an 
enclosure, garth, yard). The realm of 
the Msir or the Northern gods, the 
Olympus of Scandinavian mythology. 
It is said to be situated in the center 
of the universe, and accessible only by 
the rainbow-bridge (jE>i/ros) It contained 
many regions and mansions, such as 
Gladsheim and Valhalla. 

Ash Wednesday. The first Wednesday 
in Lent, so called from an ancient Roman 
Catholic custom of sprinkling on the 
heads of the priests and people assembled 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

the ashes of the palms that weie conse- 
crated on the Palm Sunday of the previous 
year which themselves had been conse- 
crated at the altar The custom, it is said, 
was introduced by Giegory the Great. 

Ashfourton, Mary. Heiome of Long- 
fellow's poetical romance Hyperion (q v ) 
The character was drawn from Fanny 
Ashburton, whom Longfellow met in 
Europe under similar circumstances and 
whom he afterward mamed 

Ashe, William. Hero of Mrs Hum- 
phry Ward's Marriage of William Ashe 

Ashford, Daisy. The child author of 
The Young Visitors, a narrative relating 
the adventures of Mr Salteena, hence a 
Daisy Ashford is an imaginative, pre- 
cocious child. She was supposed to be 
nine when she produced this masterpiece 
which caused something of a sensation 
when it was published much later m 
1919 with a preface by J. M Barrie. 

Ashton, Lucy, Titular heroine of 
Scott 7 s novel The Bnde of Lammermoor 
(<?.#) Her father, Sir William Ashton 
and other members of the family figure 
prominently in the novel. The same 
characters appear in Donizetti's opera 
Lucia di Lammermoor, founded on the 
novel, but the names vary slightly, the 
Ashton becoming Aston and the proper 
names being changed in some cases 

Asfr'torath or Ashtoroth. The goddess 
of fertility and reproduction among the 
Canaamtes and Phnonicians, called by the 
Babylonians Ishtir (Venus), and by the 
Greeks Astarte (q v ) She may possibly 
be the " queen of heaven " mentioned 
by Jeremiah (vn IS xhv. 17, 25). Solomon 
built her a temple mentioned in 2 Kings 
Formerly she was supposed to be a moon- 
goddess, hence Milton's reference in his 
Ode on the Nativity. 

Moone 1 Ashtaroth, 
Heaven's queen and mother both 

According to some authorities Ashtoreth 
is singular, Ashtoroth plural. Thus the 
latter form may be a general name for 
all Syrian goddesses 

Asia. (1) In classic mythology, one of 
the Oceanides, usually spoken of as wife 
of lapetus and mother of Prometheus. 
In his Prometheus Unbound, Shelley makes 
her play an important part as Prometheus' 

(2) According to the Koran the wife 
of that Pharaoh who brought up Moses 
Her husband tortured her for believing 
in Moses; but she was taken alive into 

paradise Mahomet numbers her among 
the four perfect women 

Asir. See JEsir. 

Asmode'us. (1) The " evil demon " 
who appears in the Apocryphal book 
of Tobit His business was " to plot 
against the newly wedded and . sever 
them utterly by many calamities " In 
Tobit Asmode'us falls in love with Sara, 
daughter of Rag'uel, and causes the death 
of seven husbands in succession, each 
on his bridal night. After her marriage 
to Tobias, he was driven into Egypt by 
a charm, made by Tobias of the heart 
and liver of a fish burnt on perfumed 
ashes, and being pursued was taken 
prisoner and bound 

In the Talmud Asmodeus is called 
" king of the devils " 

(2) A much better known Asmodeus 
is the engaging devil-companion of Don 
Cleofas in Le Sage's romance The Devil 
on Two Sticks (Fr. Le Diable Boiteux, 
1726) sometimes entitled Asmodeus in 
English translations. He is a " diable 
bon-homme," with a great deal more 
gaiety than malice; not the least like 
Mephistophelcs, yet with all his wit, 
acuteness, and playful malice, we never 
forget the fiend. 

Asmode'iis flight. Don Cle'ofas, catching 
hold of his companion's cloak, is perched 
on the steeple of St Salva'dor Here the 
fiend sti etches out his hand, and the roofs 
of all the houses open in a moment to 
show the Don what is going on privately 
in each respective dwelling. 

Aspa'sia. (1) A Milesian woman (fl 
B. C. 440), cclebiatcd for her beauty and 
talents, who lived at Athens as mistress 
of Pericles, and whose house became the 
center of literary and philosophical 
society; hence a fascinating and cultiucd 
courtesan. Landor has a series of ima- 
inary letters Pericles and Aspasia (1830) 

(2) Titular heroine of Beaumont and 
Fletcher's drama, The Maid's Tragedy 
(1610). She is betrothed to Amintor but 
the King, wishing to provide a husband 
for his mistress Evadne, commands 
Amintor to marry her instead. Aspasia 
is a pathetic figure, the very type of ill- 
fortune and wi etchedncss, but she beats 
her fate with patience even when she 
becomes a jest and byword Her tiagic 
death gives the drama its name. 

Asrael. See Azrael. 

Ass. See Golden Ass. 

The dark stripe running down the back 
of an ass, crossed by another at the 
shoulders, is, according to tradition, the 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


cioss that was communicated to the 
creature when our Lord rode on the 
back of an ass in His triumphant entry 
into Jerusalem 

Till the ass ascends the ladder i e. 
never. A rabbinical expression. The 
Romans had a similar one, Cum as'inus 
in teg'uhs ascen'dent (When the ass 
climbs to the tiles). 

That which thou knowest not perchance 
thine ass can tell thee. An allusion to 
Balaam's ass (qv) 

Ass, deaf to music. This tradition arose 
from the hideous noise made by " Sir 
Balaam ;; in braying. See Ass-eared. 

An ass in a lion's skin A coward who 
hectors, a fool that apes the wise man 
The allusion is to the fable of an ass that 
put on a lion's hide, but was betrayed 
when he began to bray. 

To make an ass of oneself. To do some- 
thing very foolish. To expose oneself to 

Ass's bridge. See Pons Asinorum. 

Wi angle for an ass's shadow. To 
contend about trifles The tale told by 
Demosthenes is, that a man hired an 
ass to take him to Megara, and at noon, 
the sun being very hot, the traveller dis- 
mounted, and sat himself down in the 
shadow of the ass. Just then the owner 
came up and claimed the right of sitting 
in this shady spot, saying that he let out 
the ass for hire but there was no bargain 
made about the ass's shadow, and the 
two men fell to blows. 

Feast of Asses. Sec Fools. 

Ass-eared. Midas had the ears of an 
ass. The talc says Apollo and Pan had a 
contest, and chose Midas to decide which 
was the better musician. Midas gave 
sentence in favor of Pan; and Apollo, 
in disgust, changed his ears into those of 
an ass, 

As'sad. In the story of Amgiad and 
Assad in the Arabian Nights, joint hero 
with his half-brother Amgiad of numerous 

Assas'sins. A sect of -supposedly 
Mohammedan Oriental fanatics of a 
military and religious character, founded 
in Persia in 1090 by Hassan ben Sabbah, 
better known as the Old Man of the Moun- 
tains (q.v ), a translation of Sheikh al 
Sabal } the title given to the supreme 
ruler of the order. This band was the 
terror of the world for two centuries. 
Their religion was a compound of Magian- 
ism, Judaism, Christianity, and Moham- 
medanism, and their name is derived 
from haschisch (bang), an intoxicating 

drink, with which they are said to have 
" doped " themselves before perpetrating 
their orgies of massacre They were 
finally put down by the Sultan Bibars, 
about 1272. 

Asshur. The chief god of the Assyrian 
pantheon, perhaps derived from the 
Babylonian god of heaven, Anu His 
symbol was the winged circle in which was 
frequently enclosed a draped male figure 
carrying three horns on the head and 
with one hand stretched forth, sometimes 
with a bow in the hand His wife was 
Belit (i e the Lady, par excellence), who 
has been identified with the Ishtar (see 
Ashtoreth) of Nineveh. 

Assize. The Last Assize. The Last 
Judgment; the Day of Doom. 

The Bloody Assizes. See under Bloody 

Assonance. An imperfect form of 
rhyme in which the last accented vowel 
sounds and succeeding vowels, if any, must 
be identical. Fate, take, glory, holy, make 
assonance, not rhyme 

Assumption, Feast of the. August 15th, 
so called in honor of the Virgin Mary, 
who (according to one legend) was taken 
to heaven that day (45 A D ) in her 
corporeal form, being at the time seventy- 
five years of age. Another legend has it 
that the Virgin was raised soon after her 
death, and assumed to glory by a special 
privilege before the general resurrection. 

Astarotte. A fiend in Pulci's epic, 
Morgante Maggiore (qv) t who conducts 
Binaldp from Egypt to Roncesvalles by 
magic in a few hours and swears eternal 
friendship at parting. Pulci uses him as 
a mouthpiece for many of his own views. 

Astar'te. The Greek name for Ashto- 
reth (qv) f sometimes thought to have 
been a rnoon-goddess. Byron gave the 
name to the lady beloved by Manfred in 
his drama, Manf? ed (q v ) . 

As'tolat. This town, mentioned in the 
Arthurian legends, is generally identified 
with Guildford, in Surrey. 

The Lily Maid of Astolat Elaine (q v ) 

Astol'pho. In medieval romance one of 
the twelve famous paladins of Charle- 
magne, an English duke who joined the 
Emperor in his struggle against the 
Saracens. He was a great boaster, but 
was generous, courteous, gay and singu- 
larly handsome In Anosto's epic poem, 
Orlando Funoso (q.v}, Astolpho was 
carried to Alcana's isle on the back of a 
whale, and when Alcina tired of him, she 
changed him into a myrtle tree, but 
Melissa disenchanted him. Astolpho 
descended into the infernal regions; and 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

also went to the moon, to cure Orlando 
of his madness by bringing back his lost 
wits in a phial. 

Astolpho's Book. The fairy Log'istilla 
gave Astolpho a book, which would direct 
him aright m all his j ourneymgs, and give 
him any other information he required 

Astolpho's Horn Also the gift of 
Logistilla. Whatever man or beast heard 
it, was seized with instant panic and 
became an easy captive 

As'ton, Enrico. So Ilemy Ashton (q v ) 
is called in Donizetti's opera of Lucia di 
Lammermoor (1835) 

As'toreth. See Ashtmoth. 

Astrasa. In classic mythology, goddess 
of justice, or, as sometimes represented, 
of innocence and purity, generally said 
to be the daughter of Themis and Jupiter. 
She was the last of the immortals to 
withdraw from the earth after the Golden 
Age Afterwards she became the con- 
stellation Virgo. 

The name Astrcea has been applied to 
Queen Elizabeth and to various other 
goddesses addressed by poets It was 
assumed by Aphra Behn (1640-1689), a 
woman dramatist of somewhat lax morals. 

Astral Body. In theosophical parlance, 
the phantasmal or spiritual appearance 
of the physical human form, that is 
existent both before and after the death 
of the material body, though during life 
it is not usually separated from it, also 
the " kamarupa " or body of desires, 
which retains a finite life in the astral 
world after bodily death. 

Astree. A French pastoral romance by 
Honore D'Urfe (1616), very celebrated 
for giving birth to the pastoral school, 
which had for a time an overwhelming 
power over literature, dress, and amuse- 
ments. The romance is laid in fourth- 
century France and deals with the adven- 
tures of the shepherdess Astre*e (in 
English translations Astrea) and Celadon, 
her shepherd lover. Celadon in despair 
at Astree 3 s jealousy, tries to commit 
suicide and is borne away to the court of 
the Princess Galatea, but after many 
vicissitudes, including a second attempt 
at suicide (in the Fountain of Truth, 
where, being faithful in love, he cannot 
drown), he is reconciled at last to his love. 

Astrology. See Houses, Astrological. 

As'trophel. Sir Philip Sidney (1554- 
1586) " Phil. Sid " being a contraction 
of Philos Sidus, and the Latin sidus being 
changed to the Greek astron, we get 
astron-philos (star-lover). The " star " 
that he loved was Penelope Devereux, 

whom he called Stella (star), and to whom 
he was betrothed. Spenser wrote a 
pastoral called Astrophel, to the memory 
of his friend and patron, who fell at the 
battle of Zutphen 

Astyanax. In classic mythology, the 
young son of Hector and Andromache. 
The Greeks threw him down from the 
walls of Troy after they captured the city. 

Astynome. Another name for the 
Chryseis (q.v ) of classic myth. 

Asur. See Asshur. 

Asura. In Hindu mythology, the 
opposers of the gods. 

Asvins. In Hindu mythology, twin 
gods of light, the youngest of the gods. 
More than fifty hymns of the Rig Veda 
are addressed to them 

Asynja. The goddesses of Asgard; the 
feminine counterpart of the JEsir. 

At'ala. A novel by Frangois Rene 
Chdteaubriand (1801). Like his novel 
called Rene", it was designed as an episode 
of his Genie du Chnstianisme. His wan- 
derings through the primeval woods of 
North America are described in both 
Atala and Rene. 

Atalanta. In Greek legend, a daughter 
of lasus (some authorities say Zeus) and 
Clymene She took part in the Calydoman 
hunt and, being very swift of foot, refused 
to marry unless the suitor should first 
defeat her in a race Milamon overcame 
her at last by dropping, one after another, 
during the race, three golden apples that 
had been given him for the purpose by 
Venus. Atalanta was not proof against 
the temptation to pick them up, and so 
lost the race and became a wife. In the 
Boeotian form of the legend Hippomenes 
takes the place of Milamon. William 
Morris made this legend the subject of 
one of the tales in his Earthly Paradise 
and Swinburne wrote a dramatic poem 
Atalanta in Calydon on the same theme. 

Atalantis. Secret Memoirs of Poisons of 
Quality in the court of 1688, by Mrs. 
de la Riviere Manley (1709). It is full of 
party scandal ; not unf requently new mint- 
ing old lies, hence an Atalantis is a narra- 
tive retailing scandal. 

Atar-Gull. Titular hero of a sea story 
by Eugene Sue, a powerful West Indian 
negro who poses as the most devoted of 
servants while in reality thoroughly 

Ate. In Greek mythology, the goddess 
of vengeance and mischief. She was 
driven out of heaven, and took refuge 
among the sons of men. In Spenser's 
Faerie Queene (IV. i, iv, ix, etc.), the name 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Is given to a lying and slanderous hag, 
the companion of Duessa 

Atella'nse, or AtelTan Farces. Licen- 
tious interludes in the Roman theaters, 
introduced from. Atella, in Campa'ma 
The characters of Macchus and Bucco 
are the forerunners of the modern Punch 
and Clown Also called Atellan Fables 

Athaliah. In the Old Testament 
(2 Kings XL), the daughter of Ahab and 
Jezebel, and wife of Joram, king of Judah 
She massacred all the remnant of the 
house of David, but Joash escaped, and 
six years afterwards was proclaimed king 
Athahah, attracted by the shouts, went 
to the temple, and was killed by the mob 
Racine's great tragedy Athalie (1691) is 
based on this story 

Athanael. Jn Massenet's opera, Thais, 
based on Anatole France's novel of the 
same name, the young monk who succeeds 
in converting Thais (qv). In the book 
his name is Paphnutius 

Atharlia, Queen. A leading character 
in Dunsany's drama, King Argimenes and 
the Unknown Warrior (qv). 

Athelstane. The " thane of Conings- 
burgh " m Scott's Ivanhoe. He was sur- 
named " The Unready " (i e. impolitic, 
unwise) . 

Athene. The goddess of wisdom and 
of the arts and sciences in Greek mythol- 
ogy: the counterpart of the Roman 
Minerva (qv). 

When she disputed with the sea-god 
Poseidon as to which of them should give 
name to Athens, the gods decided that it 
should be called by the name of that deity 
which bestowed on man the most useful 
boon. Athene created the olive tree, 
Poseidon created the horse. The vote was 
given in favor of the olive tree, and the 
city called Athens. 

Athene, according to legend, sprang 
full-armored from the head of Zeus. In 
the Iliad and Odyssey she is the constant 
friend and protector of Ulysses and inter- 
venes frequently on his behalf. 

Athe'nian Bee. Plato (B. C. 5th cen- 
tury), a native of Athens, was so called 
because his words flowed with the sweet- 
ness of honey. 

Ath'ens. German Athens. Saxe- Weimar 

Athens of Ireland. Belfast, Cork. 

Modern Athens. Edinburgh So called 
from its resemblance to the Acropolis 

Mohammedan Athens. Bagdad in the 
time of Haroun al Raschid. 

Athens of the New World. Boston, 
noted for its literary institutions. 

Athens of the North. Copenhagen 

A th ens of Switzerland Zuri ch 

Athens of the West. Cor'dova, in Spain, 
was so called in the Middle Ages. 

Athens, Maid of. See Maid of Athens. 

Atherton, Gertrude (1857- ) Amer- 
ican novelist, author of Ancestors (qv), 
The Conqueror (qv), Senator North, etc 

Athos. One of the famous friends and 
adventurers in Dumas 7 Three Musketeers 
(qv). He appears also in the sequels, 
Twenty Years After and The Vicornte de 
Bragelonne, and his son is the titular hero 
of the latter book 

Atkins. See Tommy Atkins. 

Atlantes. (1) In Anosto's Orlando 
Funoso (qv), a famous magician and sage 
who educated Rogero (qv) in all manly 
virtues His wily plans to lure his pupil 
back from the career of a Saracen wamor 
destined to become a Christian, furnish 
many of the incidents of the epic. 

(2) Allan' tes. Figures of men, used in 
architecture as pillars, so called from 
Atlas (qv). Female figures are called 
Caryatides (qv). 

Atlantis. A mythic island of great 
extent which was anciently supposed to 
have existed in the Atlantic Ocean. It is 
first mentioned by Plato (in the Timceus 
and Cntias), and Solon was told of it by an 
Egyptian priest, who said that it had 
been overwhelmed by an earthquake and 
sunk beneath the sea 9000 years before his 
time. Cp. Lemuria; Lyonesse. 

The New Atlantis. An allegorical ro- 
mance by Bacon (written between 1614 
and 1618) in which he describes an imag- 
inary island where was established a 
philosophical commonwealth bent on the 
cultivation of the natural sciences. See 
Utopia, City of the Sun 

Mrs. Manley, in 1709, published a 
scandalous chronicle under the slightly 
modified title The New Atalantis. See 

Atlas. In Greek mythology, one of the 
Titans condemned by Zeus for his share 
in the War of the Titans to uphold the 
heavens on his shoulders. He was 
stationed on the Atlas mountains in 
Africa, and the tale is merely a poetical 
way of saying that they prop up the 
heavens, because they are so lofty. 

We call a book of maps an " Atlas," 
because the figure of Atlas with the 
world on his back was employed by 
Merca'tor on the title-page of his collec- 
tion of maps in the 16th century. 

Atlas, Witch of. See Witch of Atlas. 

Atman, in Buddhist philosophy, is 
the noumenon of one's own self. Not 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

the Ego, but the ego divested of all that 
is objective, the " spark of heavenly 
flame " In the Upanibhads the Atman 
is legarded as the sole icahty 

Atossa. A name given by Pope to 
Sarah, the duchess of Marlborough The 
onginal Atossa was the daughter of 
Cyrus, wife of Darius and mother of 

But what are these to groat Atossa's rnmcP 

Pope Moral Essays, 11 

Atreus. In classic legend, son of Pelops 
and father of Agamemnon and Menelaus 
His brother Thyestes seduced his wife, 
and in revenge Atieus made his brother 
eat the cooked flesh of his own son 
Thyestes' vengeance was worked out in 
the next generation when his son Agistheus 
became the paramour of Clytemnestra and 
the co-murderer of Agamemnon (qv). 

At/ropos. In Greek mythology, that 
one of the three Fates (qv), whose office 
it was to cut the thread of life with a pair 
of scissors. 

Attains. A king of Pergamum (B. C. 
241-197), noted for his riches, hence, 
the wealth of Attalus 

Attic. The Attic Bee, Soph'ocles (B. C 
495-405), the tragic poet, a native of 
Athens, so called from the great sweetness 
of his compositions See also Athenian 

The Attic Bird The nightingale, so 
called either because Philomela (qv} was 
the daughter of the king of Athens, or 
because of the great abundance of nightin- 
gales in Attica. 

Where the Attic bird 

Trills her thick-warbled notes the summer long 
Milton Paradise Regained, iv 245 

The Attic Boy. Cephalus, beloved by 
Aurora or Morn; passionately fond of 

Till civil-suited Morn appear, 

Not tricked and frounced, as she was wont 

With the Attic boy to hunt, 

But kerchiefed in a comely cloud 

JMilton II Penseroso 

Attic Faith Inviolable faith, the very 
opposite of Punic faith (q if ) 

The Attic Muse Xenophon (B. C. 
444-356), the historian, a native of 
Athens; so called because the style of 
his composition is a model of elegance. 

Attic Salt. Elegant and delicate wit. 
Salt, both in Latin and Greek, was a 
common term for wit, or sparkling 
thought well expressed 

Attic j Attic "Story Humorously, the 
attic or attic story is the head; the body 
being compared to a house, the head is 
the highest story ; hence such expressions 

as rats in the attic, queer in the attic story. 

At'ticus. The moht elegant and finished 
scholar of the Romans, a bookseller 
(B C 109-32) 

The Chustum Attic us Reginald Heber 
(1783-182 6), bishop of Calcutta 

The English Athens Joseph Addison 
(1672-1719), so called by Pope (Prologue 
to Satires), in a keen but biting satue on 
the personal characteristics of the famous 

The Irish Atticus George Faulkner 
(1700-1775), bookseller, publisher, and 
fuend of Swift, so called by Loid Chester- 
field when Viceroy of Ireland 

At'tila. King of the Huns (cl 453) 
notorious for his imoads upon Europe 
and his acts of cruelty and vandalism. 
He is called " the Scouige of God " 
Pierre Corncille made him the heio of a 
tragedy AtUla (1667) In the Niebelun- 
genhed Attila appears as Etzcl (qv) } in 
the Volsunga Saga as Ath 

A'tys. The Phrygian counterpart of 
the Greek Adorns and Phoenician Tam- 
muz He was beloved by Cybele, the 
mother of the gods, but died in youth at 
a pine-tree, and violets sprang from his 
blood Catullus wrote a poem in Latin 
on the subject, which has been translated 
into English by Leigh Hunt (1784-1859). 

Au courant (Fr), "acquainted with' 7 
(literally, in the current [of events']) To 
keep one au courant of everything that 
passes, is to keep one familiar with, or 
informed of passing events 

Aufait (Fr). Skillful, thorough master 
of, as, He is quite an fait in those matteis, 
i e. quite master of them or conversant 
with them. 

Auburn. The name of Goldsmith's 
Deserted Village It is an imaginary 
English village but is probably drawn 
largely from Lissoy, in Kilkenny West, 
Ireland, where Goldsmith's father was 

Sweet Auburn, lowliest village of the plum 
Goldsmith The Dcwrtcd Village (1770) 

Aucassin and Nicolete. One of the best 
of the medieval romances (13th century). 
It deals with the love of Aucassin foi the 
Saracen captive Nicolete, who is in 
leality daughter of the king of Carthage. 
After overcoming numerous obstacles 
created by the bitter opposition of 
Aucassin's father, Count Ganm, and the 
unhappy accidents of fate, the lovers are 
finally united. (Also spelled Nicolette ) 

Audlmmla. In Scandinavian mythol- 
ogy, the cow created by Surtr to nourish 
Yrmr (qv). She supplied him with four 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


rivers of milk. Through her licking the 
salty stones Buri arose, his son, Boir, 
was the father of Odin 

Audiey. We will John Audley it A 
theatrical phrase meaning to abridge, or 
bring to a conclusion, a play in progress. 
It is said that in the 18th century a 
traveling showman named Shuter used 
to lengthen out his performance till a 
goodly number of newcomers were waiting 
for admission. An assistant would then 
call out, " Is John Audley here? " and 
the play was brought to an end as soon 
as possible, 

Aud'rey. In Shakespeare's As You 
Like It, an awkward country wench, who 
jilted William for Touchstone. 

Audrey. A popular historical novel by 
Mary Johnston (Am. 1902). The scene is 
laid in the Virginia of the early 18th 
century The heroine, Audrey, is an 
orphan who is rescued in a dangerous 
situation by Marmaduke Haword and 
becomes in a sense his protegee, but many 
circumstances combine to keep her from 
loving him, and when at last she does, 
she is killed almost immediately by a 
bullet meant for him The novel was 
later dramatized 

Audubon Society. An organization for 
the protection of birds, named after the 
noted naturalist, John James Audubon 

Auge'an Stables. The stables of 
Augeas, the mythological king of Elis, 
in Greece. In these stables he had kept 
3,000 oxen, and they had not been 
cleansed for thirty years. One of the 
labors of Hercules (q v ) was to cleanse 
them, and he did so by causing two rivers 
to run through them Hence the phrase, 
to cleanse the Augean stables, means to 
clear away an accumulated mass of cor- 

Augusta. The lady to whom Lord 
Byron, in 1816, addressed several stanzas 
and epistles. She was a relative, and 
married Colonel Leigh 

Augustan Age. The best literary period 
of a nation, so called from the Emperor 
Augustus whose period was the most 
fruitful and splendid time of Latin liter- 
ature Horace, Ovid, Propertius, Tibullus, 
Virgil, etc , flourished in his reign (B, C. 
27-14 A.D.). 

Augustan Age of English Literature. 

(1) The period of Pope, Addison, s Steele, 
Thomson, and the classical writers of 
the time of Queen Anne and George I; 

(2) The Elizabethan period. 

The Augustan Age of France That of 
Louis XIV (1610-1740) 

The Augustan Age of Germany. Nine- 
teenth century. 

The Augustan Age of Portugal From 
John the Great to John III (1385-1557). 

Augusti'na. The Maid of Saragossa 

Augustine, Saint. See under Saint. 

Auld. An epithet of the devil in 
Scotland. Pan, with his horns, crooked 
nose, goat's beard, pointed ears, and 

oat's feet, was transformed by the 
cotch into his Satanic majesty, and 
called Auld Horny. In Scotland and 
northern England Satan is also Auld 
Clootie, Auld Hangie, Auld Nick and 
Auld Ane. The use of Auld seems to 
imply that he can appear only as an old 

O thou, whatever title suit tbee, 
Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie 


Auld Lang Syne. In the olden time, 

in days gone by. Lang Syne is Scotch for 
" long since " The song called Auld Lang 
Syne, usually attributed to Robert Burns, 
is really a new version by him of a very 
much older song m Watson's Collection 
(1711) it is attributed to Francis Sempill 
(d 1682), but it is probably even earlier 
Burns says in a letter to Thomson, 4k It is 
the old song of the olden times, which has 
never been in print. ... I took it 
down from an old man's singing," and 
in another letter, " Light be the turf on 
the heaven- inspired poet who composed 
this glorious fragment " 

Auld Licht Idylls. A volume by J. M. 
Barrie (1SSS) sketching in happy vein 
the peculiarities of one of the strictest 
Scotch sects It was followed by An Auld 
Licht Manse (1893). 

Auld Reekie. Edinburgh old town so 
called because it generally appears to be 
capped by a cloud of '* reck " or smoke, 

Auld Robin Gray. A song written 
(1771) by Lady Anne Barnard (Anne 
Lindsay) to raise a little money for an old 
nurse. Auld Robin Gray is the kind old 
husband whom, the heroine has married 
instead of the sea-faring Jamie who came 
home too late. 

Aunt. For characters in fiction such as 
Aunt Nome, Aunt Polly, see under their 
respective names. 

Aunt Sally A game in which sticks 
or cudgels are thrown at a wooden head 
mounted on a pole, the object being to 
hit the nose of the figure, or break the 
pipe stuck in its mouth. The word aunt 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

was anciently applied to any old woman; 
thus, in Shakespeare, Puck speaks of 

The wisest aunt telling the saddest tale 

Midsummer fright's Dream, n 1 

Anrangzeb. One of the greatest of the 
Mogul emperors of India (1618-1707) 
He is the hero of Dry den 7 s tragedy 
Aurengzebe (1675). 

Amelia Darnel. (In Smollett's Sir 
Launcelot Greaves ) See Darnel, Aureha. 

Auro'ra. Early morning. According to 
Grecian mythology, the goddess Aurora, 
called by Homer " rosy-fingered/' sets 
out before the sun, and is the pioneer of 
his rising. 

Auro'ra Borea'lis. The electrical lights 
occasionally seen in the northern part 
of the sky; also called " Northern 
Lights," and " Merry Dancers " The 
similar phenomenon that occurs in the 
south and round the South Pole is known 
as the Aurora Australis, or Septentnonahs 

Aurora Leigh. A narrative poem by 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1856). The 
heroine, a talented girl who is left an 
orphan without financial resource, learns 
to support herself by her pen. She falls 
in love with and eventually marries her 
cousin, Romney Leigh, a man whose 
passion for social reform has involved 
him in strange and varied experiences 

Aurora Baby. (In Byron's Don Juan ) 
See Raby, Aurora. 

Austen, Jane (1775-1817). English 
novelist, famous as the author of Sense and 
Sensibility , Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield 
Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey and 
Persuasion. See those entries. 

Austrian lips. The thick underlip of 
the Hapsburg family, said to have first 
appeared with the Emperor, Maximilian I. 

Authorized Version, The. See Bible, 
the English. 

Auto da F6 (Port, an act of faith). A 
day set apart by the Inquisition for the 
examination of heretics, or for the carry- 
ing into execution of the sentences 
imposed by it. Those who persisted m 
their heresy were delivered to the secular 
arm and usually burnt. 

Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, The. 
A famous series of essays contributed by 
Oliver Wendell Holmes to the first twelve 
numbers of the Atlantic Monthly and 
published ia book form in 1858. It was 
followed by The Professor at the Breakfast 
Table (I860), The Poet at the Breakfast 
Table (1872) and Over the Teacups (1890). 
These witty and entertaining essays 
record imaginary conversations in a 
Boston boarding-house. 

Autol'yctzs. In Greek mythology, son 
of Mercury, and the craftiest of thieves. 
He stole the fiocks of his neighbors, and 
changed their marks, but Si'syphus out- 
witted him by marking his sheep under 
their feet. Shakespeare uses his name for 
the rascally peddler in The Winter's Tale. 

My father named me Autolycus, who being, as I am, 
littered (i e born) under Mercury, was likewise a 
snapper-up of unconsidered trifles 

Winter's Tale, iv 2 

Autom'edon. A coachman. He was, 
according to Homer, the companion and 
the charioteer of Achilles, but according 
to Virgil the brother-m-arms of Achilles' 
son, Pyrrhus. 

Av'alon. A Celtic word meaning " the 
island of apples/ 7 and in Celtic mythology 
applied to the Island of Blessed Souls, an 
earthly paradise set in the western seas. 
In the Arthurian legends it is the abode 
and, according to some versions, burial- 
place of Arthur, who was carried hither 
by Morgan le Fay. Its identification 
with Glastonbury (q v.") rests on etymo- 
logical confusion. Ogier le Dane and 
Oberon also held their courts at Avalon. 

Avare, L*. (The Miser.) A comedy by 
Moliere (Fr. 1667). For the plot see 

Av'atar' (Sans, avatar a, descent, hence, 
incarnation of a god). In Hindu mythol- 
ogy the advent to earth of a deity in a 
visible form The ten avata'ras of Vishnu, 
are by far the most celebrated. 1st advent 
(the Matsya), in the form of a fish; 2nd, 
(the Kurma), in that of a tortoise, 3rd 
(the Varaha), of a boar; 4th (the Nara- 
sinha), of a monster, half man and half 
lion; 5th (the Vamana), in the form of a 
dwarf, 6th (Parashurama), in human 
form, as Rama with the axe; 7th (Rama- 
chandra), again as Rama; 8th, as Krishna 
(q.v.) , 9th, as Buddha. These are all past. 
The 10th advent will occur at the end of 
four ages, and will be in the form of a 
white horse (Kalki) with wings, to destroy 
the earth. 

The word is used metaphorically to 
denote a manifestation or embodiment 
of some idea or phase. 

Avatar of Vishnuland. Rudyard Kipling 
has been so called. 

Ave. (Lat. hail). Ave atque vale! Hail 
and farewell; the words of Catullus at 
his brother's tomb. 

There beneath the Roman rum where the purple flowers 


Came that "Ave atque Vale" of the poet's hopeless woe, 
Tenderest of Roman poets, nineteen hundred years ago. 
Tennyson Prater, Ave Atque Vale 

Ave is the title of the first and Vale of 
the last volume of George Moore's auto- 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 

biographical trilogy Hail and Farewell 
(Eng. 1911-1913). 

Ave Mari'a (Lat. Hail, Mary'). The 
first two words of the angel's salutation 
to the Virgin Mary (Luke i. 28) In the 
Roman Catholic Church the phrase is 
applied to an invocation to the Virgin 
beginning with those words, and also to 
the smaller beads of a rosary, the larger 
ones being termed pater-nosters 

Avenel, Lady Alice. In Scott's novel, 
The Monastery, mother of the heroine, 
Mary of Avenel. 

Mary of Avenel. Heroine of The Mon- 
astery and a prominent character in its 
sequel, The Abbot. She marries Sir 
Halbert Glendinning. 

The White Lady of Avenel. A spirit 
mysteriously connected with the Avenel 
family, as the Irish banshee is with true 
Mile'sian families. She announces good 
or ill fortune, and manifests a general 
interest in the family to which she is 
attached, but to others she acts with con- 
siderable caprice. 

Ayer'nus. A lake in Campania noted 
for its sulphurous and mephitic vapors, 
which gave rise to the belief that it was 
the entrance to the infernal regions. 
Through it Odysseus and JEneas were 
said to have entered the lower world. 

Aves'ta. The Zoroastrian and Parsee 
Bible, dating in its present form from 
the last quarter of the 4th century, A. D., 
collected from the ancient writings, ser- 
mons, etc., of Zoroaster (fl before B. C. 
800), oral traditions, etc. It is only a 
fragment, and consists of (1) the Yasna, 
the chief liturgical portion, which includes 
Gathas, or hymns; (2) the Vispered, 
another liturgical work; (3) the Vendidad, 
which, like our Pentateuch, contains the 
laws, (4) the Yashts, dealing with stories 
of the different gods; together with 
prayers and other fragments. 

The books are sometimes called the 
Zend-Avesta from a misunderstanding of 
the term " A vesta-Zend," which means 
simply " text and commentary." 

Avignon Captivity, The. The period of 
the residence of the Popes at Avignon 
under the control of the French kings, 
A D. 1305-1377. 

Avon, Bard of. See under Bard. 

Awakening of Helena Richie, The. A 
novel by Margaret Deland (Am. 1906). 
Helena Richie is known to the town of 
Old Chester as a widow, but her husband 
is still alive, though separated from her, 
and Lloyd Pryor, who is believed to be 
her brother, is in reality her lover. At the 

suggestion of Dr. Lavendar (q v ) Helena 
adopts a boy called David, to whom she 
gradually becomes tremendously attached. 
By accident Sam King, a young man of 
sensitive, artistic temperament who has 
fallen in love with Helena, learns that 
Pryor is her lover and immediately kills 
himself Shocked by this turn of events, 
Helena, whose husband has died, now 
decides to marry Pryor, but he has become 
indifferent and refuses to make any 
change unless she gives up David She 
cannot let the boy go, so gives up Pryor 
instead and sets herself the task of 
becoming the sort of mother young David 
most needs 

Awkward Age, The. A novel by Henry 
James (1899) dealing with the effect of 
an innocent young girl upon a social set 
in London 

Awkward Squad. Military recruits not 
yet fitted to take their place in the ranks. 

A "squad" is a small body of soldiers under a 
sergeant, the word is a contraction of ' squadron " 
A squadron of cavalry is the unit of a regiment, as a 
rule four going to a regiment In the Navy a squadron 
is a section of a fleet 

Axe. He has an axe to grind. Some 
selfish motive in the background, some 
personal interest to answer. Franklin 
tells of a man who wanted to grind his 
axe, but had no one to turn the grindstone. 
Going to the yard where he saw young 
Franklin, he asked the boy to show him 
how the machine worked, and kept prais- 
ing him till his axe was ground, and then 
laughed at him for his pains. 

Axel Heyst. In Conrad's Victory (q.v}. 

Ayankeeados. Mexican sympathizers 
with the United States during the war 
between the two countries in 1846. 

Aylmer, Rose. See Rose Aylmer 

Ay'mer, Prior. A jovial Benedictine 
monk, prior of Jorvaulx Abbey in Scott's 

Aymon, The Four Sons of. A medieval 
French romance belonging to the Charle- 
magne cycle Aymon is a semi -mythical 
hero, and was father of Eeynaud (or 
Rmaldo, 0.V.), Guiscard, Alard, and 
Richard, all of whom were knighted by 
Charlemagne. The earliest version was 
probably compiled by Huon de Villeneuve 
from earlier chansons in the 13th century. 
The brothers, and their famous horse 
Bayard (q.v.), appear in many poems and 
romances, including Tasso's Jerusalem 
Delivered, Pulci's Morgante Maggwre, 
Boiardo's Orlando Innamorato, Anosto's 
Orlando Furioso, etc., and this romance 
formed the basis of a number of French 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Ayrshire Bard. See under Bard. 

Azaz'el. In Lev xvi we read that among 
other ceremonies the high priest, on the 
Day of Atonement, cast lots on two 
goats; one lot was for the Lord, and the 
other lot for Azaz'el; the goat on which 
the latter lot fell was the scapegoat (q v ) 
No satisfactory explanation of the word 
Azazel has been forthcoming, it may 
have referred to the scapegoat itself, or 
the place to which it was sent, or (which 
seems most likely) to an evil spirit inhab- 
iting the desert Milton uses the name 
for the standard-bearer of the rebel angels 
(Paradise Lost, i. 534) In Mohammedan 
legend, Azazel is a jmn of the desert. 
When God commanded the angels to 
worship Adam, Azazel replied, " Why 
should the son of fire fall down before a 

son of clay? " and God cast him out oi 
heaven His name was then changed to 
Ebhs (#.v), which means " despair." 

Az'o. In Byron's Parts ma (q v.), the 
husband of Pansi'na. 

Az'rael. In Mohammedan legend, the 
angel that watches over the dying, and 
takes the soul from the body, the angel 
of death He will be the last to die, but 
will do so at the second trump of the 

The Wings of Azrael The approach of 
death; the signs of death coming on the 

Azuce'na. An old gipsy who stole 
Man'rico, infant son of Garzia, the Conte 
di Luna's brother in Verdi's opera, II 
Trovatore (q.v.). 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 



B.A. degree. Same as A.B (q v ) 

B.C. In dates an abbreviation for 
" Before Christ/ 7 before the Christian 

Marked with B.C. When a soldier dis- 
graced himself by insubordination he was 
formerly marked with ' B C." (bad char- 
acter) before he was drummed out of the 

B. K. S. A humorous abbreviation of 
BarracKS, which formerly used to be 
given as an address by officers in mufti 
who did not wish to give their own address. 

B. L. T. The initials of Bert Leston 
Taylor (Am 1866-1921) with which he 
signed his popular humorous column in 
the Chicago Tribune. 

B.S. degree. Bachelor of science, the 
degree conferred upon the completion of a 
four years' college course or its equivalent, 
with major work in scientific studies 
Cp A. B. 

B., Mr. In Richardson's Pamela (q v.), 
a gentleman of station who attempts to 
seduce Pamela but ends by marrying her. 
He appears only as " Mr. B." in the series 
of letters which constitutes the novel. 
In Fielding's Joseph Andrews, which was 
started as a burlesque of Pamela, Mr. B. 
has a sister called Lady Booby, and some 
of the later editions of Pamela have 
attempted to avoid the implication by 
giving him the name Boothby. 

Baal, plu. Baalim. A general name for 
all the Syrian gods, as Ash'taroth is for 
the goddesses. Baal is a Semitic word 
meaning proprietor or possessor, primarily 
the title of a god as lord of a place (e g. 
Baal-peor, lord of Peor), or as possessor 
of some distinctive characteristic or attri- 
bute (e.g. Baal-zebub, or Beelzebub, q v.) 
The worship of the Baalim for they 
were legion was firmly established in 
Canaan at the time of the Israelites' 
incursion; the latter adopted many of the 
Canaanitish rites, and grafted them on to 
thsir own worship of Jehovah, Jehovah 
b dooming especially when worshiped 
at the " high places " merely the 
national Baal It was this form of worship 
that Hosea and other prophets denounced 
as heathenism. Hence a Baal is a false god. 

Baba, All. The hero of the tale AU Baba 
and the Forty Thieves (q.v.). 

Cassim Baba. Brother of All Baba, who 
entered the cave of the forty thieves, but 
forgot the pass-word, and stood crying, 
"Open, Wheat!" "Open, Barley! " to 

the door, which obeyed no sound but 
" Open, Sesame' " 

Mus'tapha Baba A cobbler who sewed 
together the four pieces into which 
Cassim's body had been cleft by the forty 

Babalatchi. A one-eyed native of 
Sambir, father of Aissa and chief adviser 
of Lakamba, the rajah, in Conrad's 
Outcast of the Islands (q v.). 

Babbie. The heroine of Barrie's Little 
Minister (q v.) 

Babbitt. A novel by Sinclair Lewis 
(Am 1922). Babbitt is a crude and self- 
important American business man in a 
city of some size, a man with little culture 
but with the American spirit of wanting 
to get on in the world. 

Babel. A perfect Babel A thorough 
confusion. A confused uproar, in which 
nothing can be heard but hubbub. The 
allusion is to the confusion of tongues at 
Babel (Gen. xi). According to the narra- 
tive the children of men attempted to 
build a tower that would reach to heaven, 
and Jehovah, to prevent its completion, 
" confounded their language " so that 
they could not understand one another. 
Hence a Tower of Babel is a visionary 

God comes down to see their city, 

and in derision sets 

Upon their tongues a various spirit, to raze 
Quite out their native language, and instead 
To sow a jangling noise of words unknown 
Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud 
Among the builders; each to other calls 
Not understood Thus was the building left 

Ridiculous, and the work Confusion named 

Milton Paradise Lost, xu 48-62. 

Babes in the Wood. Characters in an 
old English ballad and nursery tale. See 
Children. The phrase has been humor- 
ously applied to (1) simple trustful folks, 
never suspicious, and easily gulled; (2) 
insurrectionary hordes that infested the 
mountains of Wicklow and the woods of 
Enniscorthy towards the close of the 18th 
century; and (3) men in the stocks or in 
the pillory. 

Babes, Protecting 1 Deities of. According 
to Varro, Roman infants were looked 
after by Vag tanus, the god who caused 
them to utter their first cry; Fabulinus, 
who presided over their speech; Cuba, the 
goddess who protected them in their cots; 
and Domidu'ca, who brought young chil- 
dren safe home, and kept guard over 
them when out of their parents' sight 

Babie Bell, The Ballad of. A poem by 
T. B. Aldrich (Am. 1856). 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Baboon, Lewis. A character in Arbuth- 
not's political satire The History of John 
Bull (1712) meant to represent Louis XIV 
(Lewis Bourbon) and, in a larger sense, 
the French nation. 

Babylon. The Modern Babylon. So 
London is sometimes called, on account of 
its wealth, luxury, and dissipation. Cairo 
in Egypt was so called by the Crusaders. 
Rome was so called by the Puritans; and 
the name has often been given to New 
York The reference is to Rev. xvii. and 

The hanging gardens of Babylon. See 

The whore of Babylon. An epithet 
bestowed on the Roman Catholic Church 
by the early Puritans and some of their 
descendants The allusion is to Rev. 
xvn-xix In the book of the Revelation 
Babylon stands for the city of the Anti- 
christ (q.v.). 

Babylonian Captivity. The seventy 
years that the Jews were captives in 
Babylon They were made captives by 
Nebuchadnezzar, and released by Cyrus 
(B 536). 

Baca, The Valley of. An unidentified 
place mentioned in Ps. Ixxxiv. 6, meaning 
the Valley of Weeping, and so translated 
in the Revised Version. Baca trees were 
either mulberry trees or balsams. 

Bacbuc. A Chaldean or Assyrian word 
for an earthenware pitcher, cruse, or 
bottle, taken by Rabelais as the name of 
the Oracle of the Holy Bottle (and of its 
priestess), to which Pantagruel and his 
companions made a famous voyage. The 
question to be proposed was whether or 
not Panurge ought to marry. The Holy 
Bottle answered with a click like the noise 
made by a glass snapping. Bacbuc told 
Panurge the noise meant trine (drink), 
and that was the response, the most 
direct and positive ever given by the 
oracle. Panurge might interpret it as 
he liked, the obscurity would always save 
the oracle See Oracle. 

Bacchae, The. A tragedy by Euripides 
(c. B. C. 485-407), considered one of his 
greatest; a study of religious intoxication. 
Bacchus (qv) who has just returned 
from India to his native Thebes, finds 
King Pentheus determined to put an end 
to the wild rites of the Bacchantes, of 
whom his mother Agave is chief. Encour- 
aged by Bacchus, Pentheus goes out to 
the forests in search of the revelers, and 
the excited Agave kills him under the 
delusion that he is a wild beast 

Bacchanalia. The triennial festivals 

held at night in Rome in honor of 
Bacchus, called in Greece Dwnysia, 
Dionysus being the Greek equivalent 
of Bacchus. In Rome, and in later times 
in Greece, they were characterized by 
drunkenness, debauchery and licentious- 
ness of all kinds Hence bacchanalian, 
drunken. The terms are now applied to 
any drunken and convivial orgy on the 
grand scale Originally these celebrations 
were very different and are of greater 
importance than are any other ancient 
festivals on account of their connection 
with the origin and development of the 
drama; for in Attica at the Dionysia 
choragic literary contests were held, 
from which both tragedy and comedy 

Bacchanals, Bacchants, Bacchantes. 
Priests and priestesses, or male and female 
votaries, of Bacchus, hence, drunken 

Bacchus. In Roman mythology, the 
god of wine, the Dionysus of the Greeks, 
son of Zeus and Semele. He is represented 
in early art as a bearded man and com- 
pletely clad, but after the time of Praxi- 
teles as a beautiful youth with black eyes, 
golden locks, flowing with curls about his 
shoulders and filleted with ivy. In peace 
his robe was purple, in war he was covered 
with a panther's skin. His chariot was 
drawn by panthers. 

In the famous statue at the Borghese 
Palace he has a bunch of grapes in his 
hand and a panther at his feet Pliny 
tells us that, after his conquest of India, 
Bacchus entered Thebes in a chariot 
drawn by elephants, and, according to 
some accounts, he married Ariadne after 
Theseus had deserted her in Naxos. 
His return to Thebes is the subject of 
Eunpedes' drama The Bacchae (qv.). In 
the Lusiad (q v ) Camoens makes Bacchus 
the guardian power of Mohammedanism 
and the evil demon of Zeus. 

Bacchus sprang from the thigh of Zeus. 
The tale is that Sem/ele, at the suggestion 
of Juno, asked Zeus to appear before her 
in all his glory, but the foolish request 
proved her death. Zeus saved the child 
which was prematurely born by sewmg 
it up in his thigh till it came to maturity. 

What has that to do with Bacchus i e., 
what has that to do with the matter in 
hand? When Thespis introduced recita- 
tions in the vintage songs, the innovation 
was suffered to pass, so long as the subject 
of recitation bore on the exploits of 
Bacchus; but when, for variety sake, he 
wandered to other subjects, the Greeks 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


pulled him up with the exclamation, 
" What has that to do with Bacchus? " 
Cp Moutons. 

A priest, or son, of Bacchus. A toper. 

Bachelor. A man who has not been 
married. This is a word whose ultimate 
etymology is unknown, it is from O Fr. 
bachelor, which is from a late Latin word 
baccalans This last may be merely a 
translation of the French word, as it is 
only oi rare and very late occurrence, 
but it may be allied to baccalanuSj a late 
Latin adjective applied to farm laborers, 
the history of which is very doubtful. 

In the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales 
(1. SO), Chaucer uses the word in its old 
sense of a knight not old enough to display 
his own banner, and so following that of 

With him ther was his sone, a young Squyer 
A lovyore, and a lusty bacheler 

Bachelor of Arts. A student who has 
passed his examinations and has taken 
the first or lowest degree at a university, 
but is not yet of standing to be a master. 
See Aits] A.B. B S. 

Bachelors buttons. Several flowers are 
so called Red bachelor's buttons, ^the 
double red campion; yellow, the upright 
crowfoot; white, the white ranunculus, 
or white campion. 

The similitude these flowers have to the jagged 
cloath buttons anciently worne . gave occasion 
. to call them Bachelour's Buttons 

Gerard Herbal 

Or else from a custom still sometimes 
observed by rustics of carrying the flower 
in their pockets to know how they stand 
with their sweethearts. If the flower 
dies, it is a bad omen; but if it does not 
fade, they may hope for the best, hence, 
to wear bachelor's buttons, to remain a 

Bachelor's fare. Bread and cheese and 

Bachelor's porch. An old name for the 
north door of a church. Menservants 
and poor men used to sit on benches 
down the north aisle, and maidservants 
and poor women on the south side. After 
service the men formed one line and the 
women another, down which the clergy 
and gentry passed. 

A bachelor's wife. A hypothetical ideal 
or perfect wife. 

Bachelors* wives and maids' children be well taught. 

Heyuood Proierbs 

Bacheller, Irving (1859- ). Ameri- 
can novelist, author of Eben Holden, 
Darroll of the Blessed Isles, Keeping Up 

with Lizzie, A Man for the Ages, etc See 
those entries 

Bachelor of Salamanca, The. A novel 
by Le Sage (1736). The hero, Don 
Cherubim de la Honda, a bachelor of arts, 
is placed in a vast number of different- 
situations of life, and made to associate 
with all classes of society, that the author 
may sprinkle his satire and wit in every 

Back. To back. To support with 
money, influence, or encouragement as to 
back a friend 53 A commercial term 
meaning to endorse 

Back and edge. Entirely, heartily, tooth 
and nail, with might and mam The 
reference is to a wedge driven home to 
split wood. 

To back and fill. A mode of tacking, 
when the tide is with the vessel and the 
wind against it. Metaphorically, to be 

To back out. To draw back from an 
engagement, bargain, etc , because it does 
not seem so plausible as you once thought 

To break the back of a thing. To sur- 
mount the hardest part. 

His back is up. He is angry, he shows 
that he is annoyed. The allusion is to 
a cat, which sets its back up when 
attacked by a dog or other animal. 
To get one's back up. To be irritated. 
To have his back at the wall. To act 
on the defensive against odds. 

To turn one's back on another. To 
leave, forsake or neglect him 

Behind my back. When I was not 
present; when rny back was turned; 

Laid on one's back. Laid up with 
chronic ill-health; helpless. 

Thrown on his back. Completely 

worsted. A figure taken from wrestlers. 

Backhander. A blow on the face with 

the back of the hand; an unexpected 


Back number. A person whose ideas 
or methods are out of date. A journalistic 

Back seat. To take a back seat. To 
withdraw into a less prominent position. 
The phrase was popularized by Andrew 
Johnson, president of the United States 
in 1868. 

Backstair influence. Private or un- 
recognized influence. It was customary 
to build royal palaces with a staircase 
for state visitors, and another for those 
who sought the sovereign upon private 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Back to Methuselah. The title of a 
drama by George Bernard Shaw (Eng 
1921), which embraced all human history, 
hence the title It comprised three parts, 
each of which played for a full evening. 

Back-lane Parliament. See Parliaments. 

Back- slang. A species of slang which 
consists in pronouncing the word as 
though spelt backwards. Thus police 
becomes ecilop (hence the term slop for a 
policeman), parsnips, spinsrap, and so on. 
It was formerly much used by London 

Backbite, Sir Benjamin. In Sheridan's 
comedy, A School for Scandal, the 
nephew of Crabtree, very conceited and 
very censorious. His friends called him a 
great poet and wit, but he never pub- 
lished anything, because " 'twas very 
vulgar to print"; besides, as he said, his 
little productions circulated more " by 
giving copies in confidence to friends. " 

Bacon. To baste your bacon. To strike 
or scourge one. Bacon is the outside 
portion of the sides of pork, and may be 
considered generally as the part which 
would receive a blow. 

To save one's bacon. To save oneself 
from injury, to escape loss. The allusion 
may be to the care taken by our fore- 
fathers to save from the numerous dogs 
that frequented their houses the bacon 
which was laid up for winter. 

Bacon, Francis J156 1-1626). English 
philosopher and essayist. His best-known 
works, aside from the Essays, are his 
Advancement of Learning and his Novum 
Organum. Bacon was the first to use the 
inductive method of reasoning to any 
extent and is called " The Father of 
Experimental Philosophy. 17 See below. 

Bacon, Roger. An English monk of the 
13th century (1214-1292) noted for his 
scientific experiments which caused him 
to be regarded as a wizard in league with 
the devil He is a popular character in 
legend and is the central figure in Greene's 
comedy Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay 
(1594). Bacon is particularly famed for 
his Brazen Head (qv). 

Baconian. Baco'nian Philosophy. A 
system of philosophy based on principles 
laid down by the English philosopher 
Francis Bacon, Lord Ver'ulam (1561- 
1626) in the second book of his Novum 
Organum. It is also called inductive 

Baconian Theory. The theory that 
Lord Bacon wrote the plays attributed 
to Shakespeare. One who holds this 
theory is, known as a Baconian. 

Baconists. A name given to the liberals 
in Virginia and Maryland at the end of 
the 17th century, after Nathaniel Bacon 
(1642-1676), the Virginia rebel 

Bac'trian Sage. Zoroaster, or Zara- 
thusthra, the founder of the Perso- 
Iranian religion, who is supposed to have 
flourished in Bactna (the modern Balkh) 
before B. C 800 

Bad Lands, The. In America, the 
Mauvaises Terres of the early French 
settlers west of Missouri, extensive tracts 
of sterile, alkali hills in South Dakota, 
rocky, desolate, and almost destitute of 

Bade'bec. In Rabelais' Gargantua and 
Pantagruel, wife of Gargantua and mother 
of Pantagruel. She died in giving him 
birth, or rather in giving birth at the 
same time to 900 dromedaries laden with 
ham and smoked tongues, 7 camels laden 
with eels, and 25 wagons full of leeks, 
garlic, onions and shallots. 

Badger, Mr. Bayham. In Dickens' 
Bleak House, a medical practitioner, at 
Chelsea, under whom Richard Carstone 
pursues his studies. Mr Badger was a 
crisp-looking gentleman, with " surprised 
eyes"; very proud of being Mrs. Badger's 
" third/ 7 and always referring to her 
former two husbands, Captain Swosser 
and Professor Dingo. 

Badger State. Wisconsin. See States. 

BadJnguet. A nickname given to 
Napoleon III. It is said to be the name 
of the workman whose clothes he wore 
when he contrived to escape from the 
fortress of Ham, in 1846, 

Badou'ra. In the Arabian Nights, the 
daughter of Gaiour, king of China, the 
" most beautiful woman ever seen upon 
earth " She married Prince Camaral- 
xarnan with whom, by fairy influence, 
she fell in love and exchanged rings in a 

Badroul'botidour. In the Arabian 
Nights, the daughter of the sultan of 
China, a beautiful brunette. She became 
the wife of Aladdin (q t>.), but twice nearly 
caused his death; once by exchanging 
" the wonderful lamp " for a new copper 
one, and once by giving hospitality to 
the false Fatima. 

Bag. Bag and Baggage, as " Get away 
with you, bag and baggage/ 7 i.e. get 
away, and carry with you all your belong- 
ings. Originally a military phrase signify- 
ing the whole property and stores of an 
army and of the soldiers composing it. 
Baggage is a contemptuous term for a 
woman, either because soldiers send their 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


wives in the baggage wagons, or from the 
Italian bagascia (a harlot), French bagasse, 
Spanish bagazo, Persian, baga. In 1876 
Gladstone, speaking on the Eastern 
question, said, " Let the Turks now 
carry away their abuses in the only 
possible manner, namely, by carrying 
away themselves . One and all, bag 
and baggage, shall, I hope, clear out from 
the province they have desolated and 
profaned ' ; This was for a time known 
as the bag and baggage policy. 

A bag of bones Very emaciated; gener- 
ally " A mere bag of bones. " 

A bag of tncks or A whole bag of tncks. 
Numerous expedients In allusion to the 
fable of the Fox and the Cat The fox 
was commiserating the cat because she 
had only one shift in the case of danger, 
while he had a thousand tricks to evade it. 
Being set upon by a pack of hounds, the 
fox was soon caught, while puss ran up a 
tree and was quite secure. 

Bagarag, Shibli. In The Shaving of 
Shagpat (qv) by George Meredith, the 
young man who shaves Shagpat. 

Bagot, William. The hero of Du 
Manner's Trilby (qv), best known by his 
nickname of Little Billee. 

Bagstock, Major Joe. In Dickens' 
novel, Dombey and Son, an apoplectic 
retired military officer, living in Princess's 
Place, opposite to Miss Tox. The Major 
had a covert kindness for Miss Tox, and 
was jealous of Mr. Dombey. He speaks 
of himself as " Old Joe Bagstock," " Old 
Joey," " Old J ," " Old Josh," " Rough 
and tough Old Jo/ 5 " J. B./' " Old J. B ," 
and so on. He is given to over-eating, 
and to abusing his poor native servant. 

Bailey, Tom. Hero of T. B. Aldrich's 
Story of a Bad Boy (q v ) 

BaHifE's Daughter of Islington. An old 
' ballad of true love told in Percy's Reliques 
of English Poetry, ii. 8. A squire's son 
loved the bailiff's daughter, but she gave 
him no encouragement, and his friends 
sent him to London, " an apprentice for 
to binde " After the lapse of seven years, 
the bailiff's daughter, " in ragged attire/' 
set out to walk to London, " her true 
love to inquire." The young man on 
horseback met her, but knew her not. 
When he inquired after the baihfFs 
daughter of Islington, she at first reported 
her dead, but relented at his evident 
distress and revealed herself. 

Baillie, Gabriel. The nephew of Meg 
Mernhes in Scott's Guy Mannering. The 
gipsies knew him as Gabriel Faa and the 
people of Liddesdale as Tod Gabbie or 

Hunter Gabbie He deserted from the 
Shark in order to warn Liik Hatteraick, 
and later identified Yanbeest Brown as 
the Mannenng heir. 

Baily's beads. When the disc of the 
moon has (in an eclipse) reduced that 
of the sun to a thin crescent, the crescent 
assumes the appearance somewhat resem- 
bling a string of beads This was first 
described in detail by Francis Baily in 
1836, whence the name of the phenome- 
non, the cause of which is the sun shining 
through the depressions between the lunar 

Bairam. The name given to two great 
Mohammedan feasts. The Lesser begins 
on the new moon of the month Shawwal, 
at the termination of the fast of Ramadan, 
and lasts three days. The Greater is 
celebrated on the tenth day of the twelfth 
month (Dhul Hijja), lasts for four days, 
and forms the concluding ceremony of 
the pilgrimage to Mecca. It comes 
seventy days after the Lesser Bairam. 

Bajardo. See Bayard. 

Baker, The. Louis XVI was called 
" The Baker," the queen was called " the 
baker's wife " (or La Boulangere), and 
the dauphin the " shop boy", because 
they gave bread to the mob of starving 
men and women who came to Versailles 
on October 6, 1789. 

The return of the baker, his wife, and the shop-boy to 
Paris [after the king was brought from Versailles] had 
not had the expected elect Flour and bread were still 
scarce A Duinas The Counters de Charny, Ch, ix 

Baker, Ray Stannard (" David Gray- 
son' 3 ) (1870- ). American essayist, 
author of Adventures in Contentment, 
Adventures in Friendship, etc. 

Baker's Dozen. Thirteen for twelve. 
When a heavy penalty was inflicted for 
short weight, bakers used to give a 
surplus number of loaves, called the 
inbread, to avoid all risk of incurring the 
fine. The 13th was the " vantage loaf." 

Baksheesh. A Persian word for a 
gratuity, used throughout the Orient; 
also spelled bakshish, 

Balaam. In the Old Testament (Numb. 
xxii-xxih), a prophet whom Balak, king 
of Moab, had persuaded to prophesy 
against the Israelites. On the way to 
utter the curse, the ass upon which 
Balaam was riding stopped short in a 
narrow pass and could not be forced to go 
on. " And Jehovah opened the mouth of 
the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What 
have I done unto thee that thou hast 
smitten me these three times . , . Then 
Jehovah opened the eyes of Balaam and 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

he saw the angel of Jehovah standing in 
the way." Balaam and his ass were 
favorite characters in the early mystery 
plays on Biblical themes 

Balaam. Matter kept in type for 
filling up odd spaces in periodicals. 
Lockhart, m his Life of Scott (ch. Ixx) 
tells us: 

Balaam is the cant name for asmme paragraphs 
about monstrous productions of nature and the like, 
kept standing in type to be used \vhenever the real 
news of the day leaves an awkward space that must be 
filled up somehow 

Hence Balaam basket or box; the 
printer's slang term for the receptacle for 
such matter, and also for the place where 
stereotyped " fill-lips " are kept. 

Balaire, Le (Fr the gashed). Henri, 
second Duke of Guise (1550-1588). In 
the Battle of Dormans he received a 
sword-cut which left a frightful scar on 
his face. Henn j s son, Francois, third 
Duke of Guise, also earned the same 
title; and it was given by Scott (in 
Quentin Durward) to Ludovic Lesly, an 
old archer of the Scottish Guard 

Balan. The name of a strong and cour- 
ageous giant in many old romances. In 
Fierabras (<? v ) the " Sowdan of Babylon," 
father of Fierabras, ultimately conquered 
by Charlemagne In the Arthurian cycle, 
brother of Balm (qv). 

Balance, The. " Libra," an ancient 
zodiacal constellation between Scorpio and 
Virgo; also the 7th sign of the zodiac,_ 
which now contains the constellation 
Virgo, and which the sun enters a few 
days before the autumnal equinox. 

Balance of trade. The money- value 
difference between the exports and imports 
of a nation. 

Balance of power. Such an adjustment 
of power among sovereign States as results 
in no one nation having such a preponder- 
ance as could enable it to endanger the 
independence of the rest. The policy 
which this famous phrase summarizes has 
been the cause of many wars and diplo- 
matic alliances in the last hundred years 
of European history. 

Balanced sentence. A form of antithesis 
(q.v.} in which the clauses of a compound 
sentence are similarly formed, as " These 
he could neither reject with credit nor 
receive with comfort." 

Balaustion. An imaginary character of 
ancient Greece in Browning's Balaustion' s 
Adventure (1871) and Aristophanes' Apol- 
ogy } including a Transcript from Euripides, 
being the last Adventure of Balaustion 
(1875). Her loyalty to Athens, m spite of 
the mixed strain of Rhodian and Athenian 

blood in her veins, and her admiration for 
the great tragedian Euripides make her 
experiences a happy introduction to 
Browning's own transcripts from the 
Greek dramatists. Balaustion' ] s Adventure 
is for the most part a free version of 
Euripides' drama Alcestis. The second 
poem mentioned above presents Aristoph- 
anes as justifying his ridicule of Euripides 
and his art of comedy. 

Baldassaire Caivo. (In George Eliot's 
Romola.) See Calvo. 

Balder. Son of Odin and Frigga; the 
Scandinavian god of light, who dwelt at 
Breidhablik, one of the mansions of 
Asgard. He is the central figure of many 
myths, the chief being connected with his 
death. He is said to have been slain by 
his rival Hoder while fighting for posses- 
sion of the beautiful Nanna, Hoder having 
obtained Miming's sword, by which alone 
Balder could be wounded. Another legend 
tells that Fngga bound all things by oath 
not to harm him, but accidentally omitted 
the mistletoe. Loki learnt this, and armed 
his blind brother Hoder with a mistletoe 
twig, with which, after all else had 
been tried, Balder was slain. His death 
brought general consternation to the gods, 
and formed the prelude to their final 

Among modern poems written around 
the Balder legend are Matthew Arnold's 
Balder Dead, William Morns' Funeral of 
Balder in The Lovers of Gudrun, Robert 
Buchanan's Balder the Beautiful and 
Longfellow's Tegner's Drapa 

BaTderstone, Caleb. In Scott's Bride 
of Lammermoor, the loyal but tedious 
old butler of the master of Ravenswood, 
at Wolf's Crag Tower. Being told to pro- 
vide supper for the Laird of Bucklaw, he- 
pretended that there were fat capon and 
good store in plenty, but all he could pro- 
duce was " the hinder end of a mutton 
ham that had been three times on the 
table already, and the heel of a ewe-milk 
kebbuck [cheese]." His ingenuity in con- 
cealing the signs of poverty is only 
equaled by the faithfulness with which he 
serves the Ravenswoods in their mis- 
fortunes without hope of reward. Hence a 
Caleb Balderstone is a loyal servant who 
puts the be?* foot forward. 

Baldwin. (1) In the Charlemagne 
romances, nephew of Roland and the 
youngest and comeliest of Charlemagne's 

(2) Brother of Godfrey of Bouillon, 
whom he succeeded (1100) as king of 
Jerusalem. He figures jua Tasso's Jerusa* 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


lem Delivered as the restless and ambitious 
Duke of Bologna, leader of 1 ; 200 horse in 
the allied Christian _*rmy. He died in 
Egypt, 1118. 

BaJfe, Michael William (1808-1870). 
Irish composer. His chief opera is The 
Bohemian Girl (qv). 

Balfour, David. See Kidnapped; David 

Balfour Declaration. A statement issued 
by the British Government on Nov. 2, 
1917, declaring that they " view with 
favor the establishment in Palestine of a 
National Home for the Jewish people, and 
will use their best endeavors to facilitate 
the achievement of that object. 73 The 
declaration was so called from the English 
statesman, Sir Arthur James Balfour 
Cp. Zionism. 

Balfour, John, of Burley. In Scott's 
Old Mortality, a bold and violent leader 
of the Covenanters' army, who declared 
in speaking of his participation in the 
murder of an archbishop, that his conduct 
was " open to men and angels." He was 
disguised for a time as Quentm Mackell of 

Bali. See Baly. 

Balin. Brother to Balan in the Arthur- 
ian romances. They were devoted to each 
other, but they accidentally met in single 
combat and slew each other, neither know- 
ing until just before death who was Ins 
opponent. At their request they were 
buried in one grave by Merlin The story 
is told in Malory, Bk ii Tennyson gives 
a much altered version in the Idylls of the 

Balisar'da. In Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, 
a famous sword made in the garden of 
Orgagna by the sorceress Faleri'na. It 
would cut through even enchanted sub- 
stances, and was given to Roge'ro for the 
express purpose of " dealing Orlando's 

lie knew with Bahsarda's lightest blows, 
Noi helm, nor shield, nor cuirass could avail, 
Nor strongly tempered plate, nor twi&ted mail 

Bk xxui 

Balkis. The Mohammedan name for 
the Queen of Sheba, who visited Solomon. 

Ballads. Old narrative songs of popular 
origin, of which the refrain is a prominent 
feature. They are written in so-called 
ballad meter, i e., in alternating lines of 
iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter, 
as in the following: 

TKen, firstj Trie? kjssjad | herjwle^J p"ale cheek 

^n'djbyno^he'jvisse I J herUm ^ __ 
And s^he IJoe l\isse r lj her wanej wa"ne lips 
There was i na breath i wivliin 

Anonymous The Lass of Lochroyan* 

The best English ballads date from 
the 14th to the 16th centuries and are 
to be found in such anthologies as Percy's 
Reliques of Ancient Poetry, Child's English 
and Scottish Popular Ballads, etc. There 
are many modern literary ballads in the 
old form, among the best known of which 
are Campbell's Lord Ulliris Daughter, 
Scott's Rosabelle and Rossetti's Sister 

Ballads and Barrack-Rcozn Ballads, 
A volume of poems by Budyard Kipling 
(Eng. 1892), many of them in Cockney 
dialect. It contains Danny Deever, Fuzzy 
Wuzzy and The Road to Mandalay, among 

Baliambangjan, The Straits of. A 
sailor's joke for a place where he may 
lay any wonderful adventure. These 
straits, he will tell us, are so narrow that 
a ship cannot pass through without 
jamming the tails of the monkeys which 
haunt the trees on each side of the strait; 
or any other rigmarole which his fancy 
may conjure up at the moment. 

Ballengeigh, Gtddman. The name 
assumed by the Scotch James V when 
out in disguise on his adventures among 
the people. 

BaUplatz, The. The Foreign Office of 
the former Austro-Hungarian Govern- 
ment, from the name of the street in 
Vienna in which it was situated. 

Balls, The Three Golden. The well- 
known sign of the pawnbroker; origin- 
ally the cognizance of the great Lombard 
family of the Medici, the Lombards being 
the first recognized moneylenders in 
England. They are said to have repre- 
sented three gilded pills, in allusion to the 
Medias' old profession of medicine, but 
see Mugello. 

Balm (Fr. baume; a contraction of 
balsam}. Is there no balm in Gileadf (Jer. 
viii. 22). Is there no remedy, no con- 
solation? " Balm " in this passage is 
the Geneva Bible's translation of the 
Heb. son, which probably means mastic, 
the resin yielded by the mastic tree, 
Pistacia Lentiscus, which was formerly 
an ingredient used in many medicines. 
In Wyclifs Bible the word is translated 
" gumme," and in Coverdale's " tnacle." 
Balmawhapple. A stubborn Scotch 
laird in Scott's Waverley. 

Balmung. In the Nibelungenlied, the 
sword of Siegfried, forged by Volund, the 
smith of the Scandinavian gods. In a 
trial of merit, Volund cleft Amilias (a 
brother smith) to the waist; but so fine 
was the cut that Amilias was not even 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

conscious of it till he attempted to move, 
when he fell asunder into two pieces. 

Baku-Barb!. The land of projectors 
and inventors visited by Gulliver in 
Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726) 

Balthazar. (1) A merchant, in Shake 
speare's Comedy of Errors (2) A name 
assumed by Portia, in Shakespeare's 
Merchant of Venice. (3) Servant to 
Romeo, in Shakespeare's Romeo and 
Juliet. (4) Servant to Don Pedro, in 
Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing. 
(5) One of the three Magi (q v ) 

Balue, Cardinal A historical character 
of great influence in the court of Louis 
XI of France (1420-1491), introduced by 
Scott into his Quentin Durward. After 
his downfall he was imprisoned for eleven 
years in a cage he had himself devised. 

Balwhidder, Rev. Micah. In Gait's 
Annals of the Parish (1821), a Scotch 
Presbyterian pastor, filled with all the 
old-fashioned national prejudices, but 
sincere, kind-hearted, and pious. He has 
become one of the famous clergymen of 

The Rev Micah Balwhidder is a fine representation 
of the primitive Scottish pastor, diligent, blameless, 
loyal, and exemplary m his life, but without the fiery 
zeal and " kirk-nllmg eloquence" of the supporters of 
the Covenant 

R Chambers English Literature, 11 591 

Baly or Bali. One of the ancient and 
gigantic kings of India, who founded the 
city called by his name. He redressed 
wrongs, upheld justice, was generous and 
charitable, so that at death he became 
one of the judges of hell. One day a 
dwarf, named Vamen, asked the mighty 
monarch to allow him to measure three 
of his own paces for a hut to dwell in. 
Baly smiled, and bade him measure out 
what he required The first pace of the 
dwarf compassed the whole earth, the 
second the whole heavens, and the third 
the infernal regions. Baly at once per- 
ceived that the dwarf was Vishnu, and 
adored the present deity. Vishnu made 
the king " Governor of Pad'alon " or 
hell, and permitted him once a year to 
revisit the earth, on the first full moon of 

Balzac, Honore de (1799-1850). One 
of the greatest of French novelists. The 
general title for his novels is the Human 
Comedy or Com&die Humaine (q.v.). 
Among the most famous of the novels are 
The Chouans, The Wild Ass's Skin, The 
Country Doctor, Pere Goriot, Eugenie 
Grandet, Ccesar Birotteau, Cousin Pons, 
Cousin Betty. See those entries. Many 

of the characters appear in several of the 
novels of the Comedie Humaine. 

Bamberg Bible. See Bible, Specially 

Bambi'no, A picture or image of the 
infant Jesus, swaddled (It. bambi'no, a 
little boy) The most celebrated is that 
in the church of Sta. Maria in the Ara 
Coeli of Rome. 

Ban'agher. A town in Ireland, on the 
Shannon (King's County). It formerly 
sent two members to Parliament, and was 
a pocket borough. When a member of 
Parliament spoke of a rotten borough, 
he could devise no stronger expression 
than That beats Banagher, which passed 
into a household phrase. 

Bandbox, He looks as if he were just 
out of a. He is so neat and precise, so 
carefully got up in his dress and person, 
that he looks like some company dress, 
carefully kept in a bandbox 

Neat as a bandbox Neat as clothes 
folded and put by in a bandbox. 

The Bandbox Plot Rapm (History of 
England, iv, 297) tells us that a bandbox 
was sent to the lord-treasurer, in Queen 
Anne's reign, with three pistols charged 
and cocked, the triggers being tied to a 
pack-thread fastened to the lid When the 
lid was lifted, the pistols would go off and 
shoot the person who opened the lid. He 
adds that Dean Swift happened to be by 
at the time the box arrived, and seeing the 
pack-thread, cut it, thereby saving the 
Me of the lord-treasurer. 

Two ink-horn tops your Whigs did fill 

With gunpowder and lead, 
Which with two serpents made of quill, 

You in a bandbox laid, 
A tinder-box there was beside, 

Which had a trigger to it, 
To which the very string was ty'd 

That was designed to do it 

Plot upon Plot (about 1713) 

Bango'rian Controversy. A theological 
paper-war stirred up by a sermon preached 
March 31, 1717, before George I, by Dr. 
Hoadley, Bishop of Bangor, on the text, 
" My kingdom is not of this world," the 
argument being that Christ had not 
delegated His power or authority to either 
king or clergy. The sermon was printed 
by royal command; it led to such discord 
in Convocation that this body was pro- 
rogued, and from that time till 1852 was 
allowed to meet only as a matter of form 

Banks 7 Horse. A horse trained to do all 
manner of tricks, called Marocco, and 
belonging to one Banks about the end of 
the reign of Queen Elizabeth. One of his 
exploits is said to have been the ascent of 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


St Paul's steeple. He is frequently men- 
tioned in contemporary literature. 

Banner of the Prophet, The (i e 
Mahomet) What purports to be the 
actual standard of Mahomet is preserved 
m the Eyab mosque of Constantinople. 
It is called Sinjaqu } sh-shanf and is 12 
feet in length. It is made of four layers of 
silk, the topmost being green, embroidered 
with gold In times of peace the banner is 
guarded in the hall of the " noble vest- 1 
ment/ 7 as the dress worn by the Prophet is j 
styled. In the same hall are preserved the 
sacred teeth, the holy beard, the sacred 
stirrup, the saber, and the bow of 

Ban'quo. In Shakespeare's Macbeth, the 
thane of Lochaber and general in the 
king's army, slain by order of Macbeth 
because the witches had foretold that his 
descendants would reign over Scotland. 
His ghost afterwards appears to Macbeth 
at the banquet, though it is invisible to the 
others present Banquo's name is given 
in many old genealogies of the Scottish 
kings, but there is no reason for supposing 
he ever existed 

Banshee. The domestic spirit of certain 
Irish or Highland Scottish families, sup- 
posed to take an interest in its welfare, and 
to wail at the death of one of the family. 
The word is the Old Irish ben side, a 
woman of the elves or fairies. 

Bantam, Angelo Cyrus. In Dickens' 
Pickwick Papers, grand-master of the 
ceremonies at " Ba-ath," and a very 
mighty personage in the opinion of the 
elite of Bath. 

Banting. Reducing superfluous fat by 
dieting according to the method adopted 
by William Banting, a London cabinet- 
maker (1796-1878). His name gave rise to 
the verb, to bant. 

Bap. A contraction of Bap'homet, i.e., 
Maho-met. An imaginary idol or symbol 
which the Templars were accused of 
employing in their mysterious religious 
rites. It was a small human figure cut in 
stone, with two heads, one male and the 
other female, but all the rest of the figure 
was female. 

Baphomet. See Bap above. 

Bap'tes. Priests of the goddess Cotyt'to, 
the Thracian goddess of lewdness, whose 
midnight orgies were so obscene that they 
disgusted even the goddess herself. They 
received their name from the Greek verb 
bapto, to wash, because of the so-called 
ceremonies of purification connected with 
her rites. (Juvenal, ii, 91 ) 

Baptis'ta. In Shakespeare's Taming of 

the Shrew (q.v), a rich gentleman of 
Padua, father of Kathari/na " the shrew " 
and of Bianca. 

Bar. The whole body of lawyers; as 
bench means the whole body of judges. 

At the bar. As the prisoner at the bar, 
the prisoner in the dock before the judge. 

A bar sinister in an heraldic shield means 
one drawn the reverse way, that is, not 
from left to right, but from right to left. 
Popularly but erroneously supposed to 
indicate bastardy. 

To be catted to the bar. To be admitted 
to the practice of the law. 

Barabbas. In the New Testament, 
the robber who was released by popular 
demand in place of Jesus, according to 
the custom that one prisoner should be 
freed at the feast The hero of Marlowe's 
Jew of Malta is Barrabas (q v ) 

Barata'ria. In Cervantes' romance Don 
Quixote, the island-city over which Sancho 
Panza was appointed governor The table 
was presided over by Dr. Pedro Rezio 
de Ague'ro, who caused every dish set 
before the governor to be whisked away 
without being tasted, some because 
they heated the blood, and others because 
they chilled it, some for one evil effect, 
and some for another, so that Sancho 
was allowed to eat nothing. 

Barbara Allan. A ballad by Allan 
Ramsay (1724) inserted in Percy's Eel- 
iques. The tale is that Sir John Grehme 
was dying out of love for Barbara Allan. 
Barbara went to see him, and, drawing 
aside the curtain, said, " Young man, 
I think ye're dyanV She then left him, 
but had not gone above a mile or so when 
she heard the death-bell toll, which 
caused her to repent and say: 

O rmther, rmther, mak' my bed . . 
Since my love died for me to-day, 
Ise die for him to-morrow, 

Barbara Frietchie. A ballad by Whittier 
(Am. 1863), narrating how the ninety- 
year-old Barbara Frietchie hung out the 
Union flag in Fredencktown and with- 
stood the Confederate general, Stonewall 
Jackson, who was marching through 
with his soldiers: 

"Shoot, if you must, this old gray head, 
But spare your country's flag," she said. 

Clyde Fitch is the author of a drama 
entitled Barbara Frietchie (Am. 1899). 

Barbara, Major, See Major Barbara. 

Barbara, St. See under Saint. 

Barbarossa (Red-beard, similar to 
Rufus). The surname of Frederick I of 
Germany (1121-1190). It is said that 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

he never died, but is still sleeping in 
Kyffhauserberg in Thuringia. There he 
sits at a stone table with his six knights, 
waiting the " fulness of time/ 3 when he 
will come from his cave to rescue Germany 
from bondage, and give her the foremost 
place of all the world. His beard has 
already grown through the table-slab, 
but must wind itself thrice round the 
table before his second advent. Cp. 

Khaireddin Barbarossa, the famous 
corsair, became Bey of Algiers in 1518. 

Barber. Every barber knows that. 

Omnibus notum tonsoribus 

Horace 1 Satires, vii 3 

In ancient Rome, as in modern England, 
the barber's shop was a center for the 
dissemination of scandal, and the talk 
of the town. J 

Barber's pole. This pole, painted spi- 
rally with two stripes of red and white, 
and displayed outside barbers 7 shops 
as a sign, is a relic of the days when the 
callings of barber and surgeon were 
combined, it is symbolical of the winding 
of a bandage round the arm previous to 
blood-letting. The gilt knob at its end 
represents a brass basin, which is some- 
times actually suspended on the pole. 

Barber of Seville, The. The title of a 
comedy by Beaumarchais (Fr. 1775) and 
an opera by Rossini based on the comedy. 
The hero is the rascally Figaro (q.v.). 

Barber Poet. Jacques Jasmin (1798- 
1864), a Provencal poet, who was also 
known as " the last of the Troubadours/' 
was so called He was a barber. 

Barcarole. Properly, a song sung by 
Venetian boatmen, as they row their 
gondolas (It barcaruolo, a boatman). 

Baxchester Towers. A novel by Anthony 
Trollope, one of his Chronicles of Barset~ 
shire. See Barsetshire. 

Bard. The minstrel of the ancient 
Celtic peoples, the Gauls, British, Welsh, 
Irish, and Scots. The bards celebrated 
the deeds of gods and heroes, incited to 
battle, sang at royal and other festivities, 
and frequently acted as heralds. 

Bard of Avon. Shakespeare (1564- 
1616), who was born and buried at 

Bard of Ayrshire. Robert Burns (1759- 
1796), a native of Ayrshire. 

Bard of Hope. Thomas Campbell 
(1777-1844=), author of The Pleasures of 

Bard of the Imagination*. Mark Aken- 
side (1721-1770), author of Pleasures of 
the Imagination. , 

Bard of Memory. Samuel Rogers (1763- 
1855), author of The Pleasures of Memory. 

Bard of Olney. Cowper (1731-1800), 
who resided at Olney, in Bucks, for many 

The Bard of Prose. Boccaccio (1313- 
1375), author of the Decameron. 

The Bard of Rydal Mount William 
Wordsworth (1770-1850), so called be- 
cause Rydal Mount was his mountain 

Bard of Twickenham. Alexander Pope 
(1688-1744), who resided at Twickenham. 

Man'tuan Bard, Swan, etc. Virgil 
(B C. 70-19), a native of Mantua, in 
Italy. Besides his great Latin epic, he 
wrote pastorals and Georgics. 

Mulla's Bard. Spenser (1553-1599), 
author of the Faerie Queene The Mulla 
(Awbeg) is a tributary of the Blackwater, 
in Ireland, and flowed close by the spot 
where the poet's house stood. 

Peasant Bard. Robert Burns (1759- 

Theban Bard or Eagle. Pindar, born 
at Thebes (about B C. 520-435). Also 
called the Theban Lyre. 

Bardell, Mrs. In Dickens' Pickwick 
Papers, a landlady of " apartments for 
single gentlemen " in Goswell Street, 
Here Mr. Pickwick lodged for a time. 
She persuaded herself that he would make 
her a good second husband, and managed 
on one occasion to be seen in his arms by 
his three friends. Mrs. Bardell put herself 
in the hands of Messrs Dodson and Fogg, 
two unprincipled lawyers, who vamped up 
a case against Mr. Pickwick for " breach 
of promise/' and obtained a verdict 
against the defendant Subsequently 
Messrs. Dodson and Fogg arrested their 
own client, and lodged her in the Fleet. 

Bar'dolph. Corporal of Captain Sir 
John Falstaff in Shakespeare's 1 and 2 
Henry IV. and in The Merry Wives of 
Windsor. In Henry V. he is promoted to 
lieutenant. Bardolph is a low-bred, 
drunken swaggerer, wholly without prin- 
ciple, and always poor. His red, pimply 
nose is an everlasting joke with Sir John, 
who calls him " The Knight of the Burning 
Lamp " Elsewhere he tells the corporal 
he had saved him a " thousand marks in 
links and torches, walking with him in the 
night betwixt tavern and tavern " 

Bareacres, George, Earl of. A character 
in Thackeray's Vanity Fair with " not 
much pride and a large appetite." His 
wife, a great snob^in spite of her poverty, 
comes off badly in her encounters "with 
Becky Sharp. 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Barebones Parliament, See Parlia- 

Barefoot Boy, The. A poem by Whittier 
(Am. 1856), singing the joys of country 

Barker, Granvffle (1877- ). English 
dramatist. His best-known plays are The 
Madras House (q v.} and Prunella, the 
latter in collaboration with Laurence 

Barker, Lemuel. The principal char- 
acter in Howells' Minister's Charge (q.v ) . 

Bar'kis. In Dickens' novel, David 
Copper field, the carrier who courted Clara 
Peggotty by telling David Copperfield 
when he wrote home to say to his nurse, 
" Barkis is willmV Peggotty took the 
hint and became Mrs Barkis. 

Barlaam and Josaphat. An Eastern 
romance telling how Barlaam, an ascetic 
monk of the desert of Sinai, converted 
Josaphat, son of a Hindu king, to Christi- 
anity. Probably written in the first half 
of the 7th century, it is said by some 
authorities to have been put into its final 
form by St. John of Damascus, a Syrian 
monk of the 8th century. It became 
immensely popular in the Middle Ages 
It includes (among many other stories) the 
Story of the Three Caskets, which was 
used by Shakespeare in the Merchant of 
Venice. A poetical version of the romance 
was written by the minnesinger Rudolf 
von Ems (13th century). 

Barleycorn, Sir John. Malt-liquor 
personified In the old song of that title 
written down by Robert Burns, his 
neighbors vowed that Sir John should die, 
so they hired ruffians to " plough him with 
ploughs and bury him "; this they did, and 
afterwards " combed him with harrows 
and thrust clods on his head/' but did not 
kill him by these or by numerous other 
means which they attempted. Sir John 
bore no malice for this ill usage, but did 
his best to cheer the flagging spirits even 
of his worst persecutors. Hence the name 
is used for an innkeeper. 

Jack London has a volume called John 
Barleycorn (Am. 1913), an autobiography 
which ho describes as his " alcoholic 
memories " 

Barlow, Joel (1754-1812). American 
poet of the Revolutionary period, known 
for his Columbwd (qv). 

Barlow, Mr. The tutor in Day's Sand- 
ford and Merton (qv.), invariably ready 
with useful information and wholesome 
advice for his two pupils. 

Bar'mecide's Feast. An illusion: par- 
ticularly one containing a great disap- 

pointment. The reference is to the story 
of The Barber's Sixth Brother in the 
Arabian Nights. A prince of the great 
Barmecide family in Bagdad, wishing to 
have some sport, asked Schac'abac, a poor, 
starving wretch, to dinner, and set before 
him a series of empty plates. " How do 
you like your soup? " asked the merchant. 
" Excellently well," replied Schac'abac. 
" Did you ever see whiter bread? " 
" Never, honorable sir/' was the civil 
answer. Illusory wine was later offered 
him, but Schac'abae excused himself by 
pretending to be drunk already, and 
knocked the Barmecide down. The latter 
saw the humor of the situation, forgave 
Schac'abac, and provided him with food 
to his heart's content. 

To-morrow* the mysterious unknown guest 
Who cries aloud, "Remember Barmecide! 
And tremble to be happy with the rest ' ' 


Barnabas, Parson. In Fielding's Joseph 
Andrews a pompous clergyman of whose 
sermons " three bishops had said that 
they were the best that ever were written." 

Barnabas, St. See under Saint. 

Barnaby Rudge. A novel by Dickens 
(1841), dealing with the Gordon "riots. 
For the plot see Rudge. 

Bar'naby, Widow. The title and chief 
character of a novel by Mrs. Trollope 
(1839). The widow is a vulgar, preten- 
tious husband-hunter, wholly without 
principle She finds a husband in the 
sequel The Widow Married (1840), and 
The Barnaby s in America records unfavor- 
able impressions of American travel. 

Bar'nacle. A species of wild goose 
allied to the brent goose, also the popular 
name of the Cirripedes, especially those 
which are attached by a stalk to floating 
balks of timber, the bottoms of ships, etc. 
In medieval times it was thought that 
the two were different forms of the same 
animal (much as are the frog and the 
tadpole), and as late as 1636 Gerard 
speaks of " broken pieces of old ships on 
which is found certain spume or froth, 
which in time breedeth into shells, ^and 
the fish which is hatched therefrom is in 
shape and habit like a bird." 

The origin of this extraordinary belief is very obscure, 
but it is probably due to the accident of the identity of 
the name coupled with the presence in the shell-fish of 
the long feathery cirri which protrude from the shells 
and, when in the water, are very suggestive of plumage 
In England the name was first attached to the bird It 
is thought to be a diminutive of the M E bernake, 
a species of wild goose, though another suggestion (Max 
Muller) is that it is a corruption of ernes Hibermccn, Irish 
birds, or rather aves Hiberniculoe The name of the shell- 
fish, on the other hand, may be from a diminutive 
(pernaeula) of the Lat perna, a mussel or similar shell- 
fish, though no such diminutive has been traced With 
an identity of name it was, perhaps, natural to IOOJK for 
an identity of nature in the two creatures. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

The name Is given figuratively to close 
and constant companions, hangers on, 
or sycophants, also to placemen who 
stick to their offices but do little work, 
like the barnacles which stick to the 
bottoms of ships but impede their 

Dickens in his Little Dorrit gives the 
name to a "a very high family and a 
very large family" active in governmental 
circles, no less than nine of whom appear 
in the pages of the novel. In all of them, 
but particularly in Mr. Tite Barnacle, 
" a permanent official at the Circumlocu- 
tion Office" (qv), he satirizes govern- 
mental red tape. 

Barnardine. A prisoner introduced in 
the last scene of Measure for Measure, 
but only to be reproved by the Duke. 

Sirrah, thou art said to have a stubborn soul, 
That apprehends no further than this world, 
And squar'st thy life according 
Shakespeare' Measure for Measure, act v sc. 1 

Barn-burners. (1) Destroyers, who, like 
the Dutchman of story, would burn down 
their barns to rid themselves of the rats 

(2) A name given to the radical element 
of the Democratic Party in New York in 
the middle of the last century. 

Barney Google. A popular character of 
the American comic supplement, created 
by the cartoonist Billy de Beck. Barney 
himself is usually in debt, but his horse, 
Spark Plug, is always about to make a 
record in the races. 

Banihelm, Minna von. Titular heroine 
of Lessmg's drama, Minna von Barnhelm 

Barnwell, George. The chief character 
in The London Merchant, or the History of 
George Barnwell, a prose tragedy by 
George Lillo, produced in 1731. It is 
founded on a popular 17th century ballad 
which is given in Percy's Rehques. Barn- 
well was a London apprentice who was 
seduced by Sarah Millwood, a dis- 
appointed and repulsive woman of the 
town, to whom he gave 200 of his 
master's money. He next robbed and 
murdered his pious uncle, a rich grazier 
at Ludlow. Having spent the money, 
Sarah turned him out; each informed 
against the other, and both were hanged 
The popularity of the story is shown by 
James Smith's parody in the Rejected 
Addresses and Thackeray's caricature, 
George de Barnwell. In the latter, one of 
Thackeray's burlesque Novels by Eminent 
Hands, Barnwell murders his uncle out 
of the purest motives, in order to use his 
money for noble and altruistic purposes. 

Barons. The Last of the. See under 

Barrabas. The hero of Marlowe's 
tragedy, The Jew of Malta (q v.). 

Barrack-Room Ballads. A volume of 
poems by Ruclyard Kipling (Eng. 1892) 
See Tommy Atkins, Fuzzy Wuzzy, Gunga 

Barrage (Fr ). One of the words which, 
like Tank (qv) and a few others, acquired 
a new meaning during the Great War 
In pre-war days it meant only an artificial 
dam or " bar " built across a river to 
deepen the water on one side of it, as the 
great barrage on the Nile at Assouan; 
but during the war it was applied to the 
storm of projectiles from great guns that 
was made to fall like a curtain in front of 
advancing troops, raiding squadrons of 
aircraft, etc., or as a shield to offensive 
operations, etc. 

Barrel, Flora de. Heroine of Conrad's 
Chance (qv). Pier convict father is 
prominent in the novel. 

Barricade. To block up. The term 
rose m France in 1588, when Henri de 
Guise returned to Paris in defiance of the 
King's order The King sent for his 
Swiss Guards, and the Parisians toie up 
the pavement, threw chains across the 
streets, and piled up bairels filled with 
earth and stones, behind which they 
shot down the Swiss as they passed 
through the streets. The French for 
barrel is barnque, and to barricade is to 
stop up the streets with these barrels. 

The day of the Barricades 

(1) May 12, 1588, when the people 
forced Henri III to flee from Paris. 

(2) August 5, 1648, the beginning of 
the Fronde War. 

(3) July 27, 1830, the first day of le 
grand semain which drove Charles X from 
the throne 

(4) February 24, 1848, which drove 
Louis Philippe to abdicate and flee to 

(5) June 23, 1848, when Affre, arch- 
bishop of Paris, was shot in his attempt 
to quell the insurrection. 

(6) December 2, 1851, the day of the 
coup d } etatj when Louis Napoleon made 
his appeal to the people for re-election 
to the Presidency for ten years. 

Baxrie, Sir James M. (1860- ). 
English dramatist and novelist. Barrie is 
a Scotchman. His best-known plays are 
Quality Street, The Admirable Crichton, 
Peter Pan, Alice-Sit-by-the-Fire, What 
Every Woman Knows and A Kiss for 
Cinderella, his best-known novels and 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


stories The Little Minister, Sentimental 
Tommy, Auld Licht Idylls See those 
entries, also TJwums; Margaret Ogiluy. 

Barrier Treaty. A treaty fixing front- 
iers; especially that of November 15, 1715, 
signed by Austria, Great Britain, and the 
Netherlands, by which the Low Countries 
were guaranteed to the House of Austria, 
and the Dutch were to garrison certain 
fortresses The treaty was annulled at 
Fontamebleau in 1785. 

Barry Lyndon, Esq. (The Memoirs 
of, Written by Himself). A novel by 
Thackeray (1852). The Irish narrator, 
Redmond Barry, is an utter scoundrel 
and manages to involve himself in a 
steady succession of affairs, which he 
writes of as though he were invariably 
in the light, " the victim, of many cruel 
persecutions, conspnacies and slanders. " 
He courts and wins the widowed Countess 
Lyndon, spends her money and keeps her 
in his power, but goes from bad to worse 
and finally dies in Fleet Prison 

Barry, Redmond. See above under 
Barry Lyndon. 

Barsetshire, Chronicles of. A series of 
novels by Anthony Trollope, known also 
as the " Cathedral Stoiies " They com- 
prise The Warden (1855), Barchester 
Towers (1857), Doctor Thome (1858), 
Framley Parsonage (1861), The Small 
House at Allmgton (1864) and The Last 
Chronicle of Barset (1867). All these 
novels deal with the life of the cathedral 
town of Barchester and the same charac- 
ters reappear in most of them The 
author's comment on Barchester Towers is 
descriptive of the entire series: 

The story was thoroughly English There was a 
little fox-hunting and a little tuft-hunting, some 
Chribtian virtue and some Christian cant There was 
no heroism and no villainy There was much church 
but more lovo making And it was honest, downright 

The best-known characters of the 
Chronicles of Barsetshire are Bishop and 
Mrs. Proudie, Archdeacon Grantley, Rev. 
Septimus Harding, Rev. Mr. Crawley, the 
Thornes, Mr Slope, Lady Arabella 
Gresham and Signora Madeleine NeronL 
See under those entries. 

Bart, Lily. The heroine of Edith 
Wharton's House of Mirth (<?.#.). Unfit 
for anything but a life of luxury, she fails 
either to live on her scant means or to 
make a successful marriage. 

Bartholo. A doctor in the comedies of 
Le Manage de Figaro, and Le Barbier de 
S6ville, by Beaumarchais and in Rossini's 
opera, The Barber of Seville. See Figaro. 

Bartholomew, ^St, Pee under Saint, 

Massacre of St Bartholomew. The 
slaughter of the French Protestants in 
the reign of Charles IX, begun on St 
Bartholomew's Day, i e between the 
24th and 25th of August, 1572 It is said 
that 30,000 persons fell in this dreadful 

Bartholomew Fair. A fair held for 
centuries from its institution in 1133 at 
Smithfield, London, on St Bartholomew's 
Day. After the change of the calendar 
in 1752 it was held on September 3rd; in 
1840 it was removed to Islington, and was 
suppressed in 1855, the licentious revelry 
and noting that went on having entirely 
changed its character, which originally 
was that of a market for cloth and other 
goods. Ben Jonson wrote a comedy 
satirizing the Puritans under this name. 

A Bartholomew doll. A tawdry, over- 
dressed woman, like a flashy, bespangled 
doll offered for sale at Bartholomew Fair 

A Bartholomew pig. A very fat person. 
At Bartholomew Fair one of the chief 
attractions used to be a pig, roasted whole, 
and sold piping hot. 

Barf olist. One skilled in law or, specifi- 
cally, a student of Bartolus. Bartolus 
(1314-1357) was an eminent Italian law- 
yer who wrote extensive commentaries 
on the Corpus Juris Civilis, and did much 
to arouse and stimulate interest in the 
ancient Roman law. 

Barton, Amos. The hero of George 
Eliot's Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos 
Barton. His wife, Milly Barton, endures 
the buffets of fate with him until at last 
she dies. See Amos Barton. 

Barton, Mary. See Mary Barton. 

Barton, Sir Andrew. A Scotch sea-*- 
officer, who had obtained in 1511 letters 
of marque for himself and his two sons, 
to make reprisals upon the subjects of 
Portugal. He was the cause of much 
complaint from English merchant ships 
and was finally slam in an engagement 
with an English expedition sent against 
him. He is the hero of a ballad in two 
parts, called Sir Andrew Barton in Percy's 
Rehques, II. ii. 12. 

Bas Bleu. See Blue Stocking. 

Baseball Teams. Following is a list of 
the nicknames in common use for the 
baseball teams of the two Major Leagues 
of the United States. 

National League: 
Braves. Boston. 
Cardinals. St. Louis. 
Giants. New York. 
Phillies. Philadelphia. 
Pirates. Pittsburgh. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Reds. Cincinnati. 

Robins or Superbas. Brooklyn. 

Cubs. Chicago. 
American League. 

Athletics. Philadelphia. 

Browns. St. Louis. 

White Sox. Chicago. 

Indians. Cleveland. 

Nationals. See Senators. 

Red Sox. Boston. 

Senators or Nationals. Washington. 

Tigers. Detroit 
Yankees New York. 
Baslikirtseff, Marie. A talented young 
Russian girl whose Journal, published post- 
humously in 1885 was called by Gladstone 
" a book without a parallel/ 7 and is one 
of the best known of modern autobi- 

Basil. In Longfellow's Evangeline 
(1849), the blacksmith of Grand Pre, in 
Acadia (now Nova Scotia), and father of 
Gabriel, the betrothed of Evangeline 
When the colony was driven into exile 
in 1713 by George II, Basil settled in 
Louisiana, and greatly prospered, but 
his son led a wandering life, looking for 
Evangeline, and died in Pennsylvania of 
the plague. 

Ba'sile. A calumniating, niggardly bigot 
in Le Manage de Figaro, and again in Le 
Barbier de Seville, both by Beaumarchais. 
Basilisco. A cowardly, bragging knight 
in Kyd's tragedy, Solyman and Perseda 
(1588). Shakespeare (King John, i 1) 
makes the Bastard say to his mother, 
who asks him why he boasted of his ill- 
birth, "Knight, knight, good mother, 
Basilisco-hke " le. my boasting has 
made me a knight. In the earlier play 
Basilisco, speaking of his name, adds, 
" Knight, good fellow, knight, knight! 77 
and is answered, " Knave, good fellow, 
knave, knave' 7 ' 

Basilisk. The long of serpents (Gr. 
basileos, a king), a fabulous reptile, also 
called a cockatrice (q.v), and alleged to be 
hatched by a serpent from a cock's egg; 
supposed to have the power of " looking 
any one dead on whom it fixed its eyes." 

The Basili&ke , 

From powrefull eyes close vemm doth convay 
Into the lookers hart, and killeth farre away 

Spenser Faerie Queene, IV, viii 37. 

Also the name of a large brass cannon 
in use in Elizabethan times. 

Thou hast talk'd 

Of sallies and retires, of trenches, tents, 
Of palisadoes, frontiers, parapets, 
Of basilisks, of cannon 

Shakespeare 1 Henry IV, ii 3. 

Bass, Jethro. The chief character in 
Churchill's Coniston (q.v.) 

Bassa'nio. In Shakespeare's Merchant 
of Venice (q.v.), the lover of Portia, suc- 
cessful in his choice of the three caskets, 
which awarded her to him as wife. It 
was for Bassanio that his friend Antonio 
borrowed 3,000 ducats of the Jew Shy- 
lock on the strange condition that if he 
returned the loan within three months no 
interest should be required, but if not, 
the Jew might claim a pound of Antonio's 
flesh for forfeiture. 

Bastard of Orleans. Jean Dunois, a 
natural son of Louis, due d' Orleans, 
(brother of Charles VI), and one of the 
most brilliant soldiers France ever pro- 
duced (1403-1468). He is introduced 
into Shakespeare's 1 Henry VI and into 
most of the fiction and drama dealing 
with the story of Joan of Arc (qv) on 
whose behalf he fought. 

Ba'stille (0 Fr. bastir, now batir, to 
build). The famous state prison in Paris 
was commenced by Charles V as a royal 
chateau in 1370, and it was first used 
as a prison by Louis XI. It was seized 
and sacked by the mob in the French 
Revolution, July 14, 1789, and on the 
first anniversary its final demolition was 
commenced and the Place de la Bastille 
laid out on its site. A Bastille has come 
to mean a state prison for political 

Bata'via. A poetic name for Holland 
or the Netherlands. So called from the 
Bata'vians, a Celtic tribe, which dwelt 

Bates, Charley, generally called 
Master Bates. In Dickens 3 Oliver Twist 
one of Fagin's " pupils," training to be a 
pickpocket. He is always laughing up- 
roariously, and is almost equal in artifice 
and adroitness to " The Artful Dodger " 

Bates, Miss. One of Jane Austen's 
most famous characters, an old maid 
who appears in the pages of Emma. Miss 
Bates was such a great talker as to be a 
bore, but was nevertheless " a happy 
woman and a woman no one named 
without good-will . . . She loved every- 
body, was interested in everybody's 
happiness." Goldwin Smith's well-known 
comment on the character of Miss Bates 
was that " the hand which drew Miss 
Bates, though it could not have drawn 
Lady Macbeth, could have drawn Dame 
Quickly or the nurse in Romeo and Juliet." 

Bath. Knights of the Bath, This name 
is derived from the ceremony of bathing, 
which used to be practised at the inaugu- 
ration of a knight, as a symbol of purity. 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


The last knights created in this ancient 
form were at the coronation of Charles II 
in 1661. G.C.B. stands for Grand Cross 
of the Bath (the first class) , KC.B. Knight 
Commander of the Bath (the second class) ; 
C B. Companion of the Bath (the third 
class) . 

King of Bath. Beau Nash. See under 

Wife of Bath. See under Wife. 

Bath, Major. In Fielding's novel Amelia 
(1751), a poor but high-minded gentleman, 
who tries to conceal his poverty under a 
bold bearing and independent speech. 

Bath/sheba. In the Old Testament 
(2 Sam.) the beautiful wife of Uriah the 
Hittite, for whose sake David gave orders 
that Uriah should be sent into the most 
dangerous part of the battle, where he 
was slain. She became the mother of 
Solomon. (See also David.) In Absalom 
and Achitophel (q.v) Dryden means by 
Bathsheba, Louisa P. Keroual, the duchess 
of Portsmouth, a favorite court lady of 
Charles II. 

Bathos (Gr. bathos, depth). A ludicrous 
descent from grandiloquence to the com- 

The Taste of the Bathos is implanted by Nature 
itself in the soul of man 

Pope Art of Sinking, 11 (1727) 

A good example is the well-known 
couplet given by Pope: 

And them, Dalhousie, the great god of war, 
Lieutenant-general to the earl of Mar 

Art of Sinking, ix 

Another example given by Pope is this 
description of a war-horse: 

His eye-balls burn, ho wounds the smoking plain, 
And knots of scarlet ribbon deck his mane 

Battle. Battle above the Clouds. A name 
given to the Battle of Lookout Mountain, 
part of the Battle of Chattanooga fought 
during the Civil War on November 24, 

Battle of the Books. See below. 

Battle of the Frogs and Mice. See below. 

Battle of the Giants. The battle of 
Marignaii in 1515, when Francis I won a 
complete victory over 12,000 Swiss, 
allies of the Milanese. 

Battle of the Herrings. A sortie made 
during the Hundred Years War (February 
12, 1429) by the men of Orleans, during 
the siege of their city, to intercept a 
supply of food being brought by the 
English under Sir John Fastolf to the 
besiegers. The English repulsed the 
onset, using barrels of herrings, which 
were among the supplies, as a defence: 
hence the name. 

Battle of the Kegs. See below. 

Battle of the Moat. A battle between 
Mahomet and Abu Sofian (chief of the 
Koreishites) before Medi'na; so called 
because the Prophet had a moat dug 
before the city to keep off the invaders, 
and in it much of the fighting took place. 

Battle of the Nations. A name given 
to the great battle of Leipzig in the 
Napoleonic wars (October 16-19, 1813), 
when the French under Napoleon were 
defeated by the coalition armies, consist- 
ing of the Prussians, Russians, Austnans 
and Swedes. 

Battle of Spurs. A name given to the 
battles of Guiriegate (1513) and Courtrai 
(1302). The former, between Henry VIII 
and the Due de Longueville, was so called 
because the French used their spurs in 
flight more than their swords in fight; 
and the battle of Courtrai because the 
victorious Flemings gathered from the 
field more than 700 gilt spurs, worn by 
French nobles slain in the fight. 

Battle of the Standard, between the 
English and the Scots, at Cuton Moor, 
near Northallerton, in 1138 Here David 
I, fighting on behalf of Matilda, was 
defeated by King Stephen's army under 
Haoul, Bishop of Durham, and Thurstan, 
Archbishop of York. It received its name 
from a ship's mast erected on a wagon, 
and placed in the center of the English 
army, the mast displayed the standards 
of St. Peter of York, St. John of Beveiiey, 
and St. Wilfred of Bipon. On the top 
was a little casket containing the con- 
secrated host. 

Battle of the Three Emperors. The 
Battle of Austerlitz (December 2, 1805), 
when Napoleon inflicted a heavy defeat 
on the Russians and Austnans. The 
Emperors of the three Empires were all 
present in person. 

Battle Royal. A certain number of 
cocks, say sixteen, are pitted together; 
the eight victors are then pitted, then 
the four, and last of all the two, and the 
winner is victor of the battle royal. 
Metaphorically, the term is applied to 
chess, etc. 

Trial by battle. The submission of a 
legal suit to a combat between the 
litigants, under the notion that God would 
defend the right. 

Wager of battle. One of the forms of 
ordeal or appeal to the judgment of God. 
It consisted of a personal combat between 
the plaintiff and the defendant, in the 
presence of the court itself. 

Fifteen decisive Battles. The battles 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

given by Sir Edward Creasy in his book 
(1852) as having been " decisive/ 7 i e. 
as having effected some great and perma- 
nent political change, are. 

1 Marathon (Sept, 490 B <7), %\hcn Miltiades, 
with 10,000 Greeks, defeated 100,000 Persians under 
Datis and Artaphernes 

2 Syracuse (Sept , 413 B C), when the Athenians 
under Nicias and Demosthenes were defeated with a 
loss of 40,000 killed and wounded, and their entire fleet 

3 Arbe'la (Oct, 331 B C), \vhen Alexander the 
Great overthrew Darius Codomanus for the third time 

4 Metaurus (207 B C ) , when the consuls Livms and 
Nero cut to pieces Hasdrubal's army, sent to reinforce 

5 The Teutoberq Forest, where Armmius and the 
Gauls utterly overthrew the Romans under Varus, and 
thus established t'ie independence of Gaul (A D 9) 

6 Chalons (A D 451), when Aetius and Theodoric 
utterly defeated Attila, and saved Europe from devasta- 

7 Tours (Oct, 732 AD), when Charles Martel 
overthrew the Saracens under Abderahmen, and thus 
freed Europe from the Moslem voke 

8 Hastings (Oct , 1066), when William of Normandy 
slew Harold II, and obtained the crown of England 

9 Orleans in 1429, when Joan of Arc secured the 
independence of France 

10 The defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, which 
destroyed the hopes of Spam and the Pope respecting 

11. Blenheim (Aug , 1704,) when Marlborough. and 
Prince Eugene defeated Tallard, and thus pre- 
vented Louis XIV from, carrying out his schemes 

12 Pultowa (July, 1709), when Peter the Great 
utterly defeated Charles XII of Sweden, and thus 
established the Muscovite power 

13 Saratoga (Oct, 1777), when General Gates 
defeated the British under General Burgoyne, and thus 
secured for the United States the alliance of France 

14. Valmy (Sept, 1792), when the French Marshal 
Kellermann defeated the Duke of Brunswick, and thus 
established for a time the French republic 

15 Waterloo (June, 1815), when Napoleon was 
defeated by the Duke of Wellington, and Europe was 
restored to its normal condition, 

Battle Hymn of the Republic. A patri- 
otic hymn by Julia Ward Howe (Am. 

Battle of Life, The. A Christmas story 
by Charles Dickens (1846) concerning 
two sisters, Grace and Marion Jeddler, 
both of whom were in love with Alfred 
Heathfield, their father's ward. Marion 
left home, to sacrifice her interests to 
those of her sister. 

Battle of the Books. A satire, by Swift 
(written 1697, published 1704), on the 
literary squabble as to the comparative 
value of ancient and modern authors. 
In the battle the ancient books fight 
against the modern books in St. James' 
Library. Hence any controversy between 
literary men is so called. 

Battle of the Frogs and Mice, The. A 
mock-heroic Greek poem of early date, 
the Batra-chomyo-machia. War was 
caused by a frog's leaving his mouse friend 
to drown in the middle of a pond. When 
both sides were arrayed for battle, a band 
of gnats sounded the attack, and after a 
bloody battle the Frogs were defeated, 
but an army of land-crabs coining up saved 
the race from extermination, and the 

victorious Mice made their way home in 
terrible disorder The name of the Mouse- 
king was Troxartes, probably a pun on 
Tros, a Trojan, and the poem was in 
many ways a burlesque of the I had. 
There is a 14th century German skit on 
the same theme by G. Rollenhagen, a 

Battle of the Kegs, The. A humorous 
ballad heroic by Francis Hopkinson (1737- 
1791), published in 1778, and telling of the 
alarm felt by the British over certain 
machines, in the form of kegs charged 
with gunpowder, which were floated down 
the Delaware 

Battle of Wartburg. See Wartburg 

Battle, Sarah. A celebrated character 
in one of Lamb's Essays of Eha, who con- 
sidered whist the business of life and 
literature one of the relaxations When a 
young gentleman, of a literary turn, said 
he had no objection to unbending his 
mind for a little time by taking a hand 
with her, Sarah was indignant, and de- 
clared it worse than sacrilege to speak thus 
of her noble occupation. Whist " was her 
life business; her duty; the thing she came 
into the world to do, and she did it. She 
unbent her mind afterwards over a book." 

Batra-chomyo-machia, or The Battle 
of the Frogs and Mice. See above under 

Bau'cis and Phile'mon. See Philemon 
and Baucis. 

Ba'viad, The. A merciless satire by 
Gifford on the Delia Cruscan poetry (see 
Delia Cruscans), published 1794, and re- 
published the following year with a second 
part called The Mceviad. Bavius and 
Msevius were two minor poets pilloried 
by Virgil (Eclogue, iii. 9), and their names 
are still used for inferior versifiers. 

Baxter, William Sylvanus. The hero of 
Tarkington's Seventeen (q v ). 

Bay Psalm Book. A famous quaintly 
rhymed translation of tlie psalms used in 
early New England. It was the first com- 
plete volume in English printed in the 
New World (1640). 

Bay State. Massachusetts. See States. 

Ba'yard. A horse of incredible swift- 
ness, given by Charlemagne to the four 
sons of Ay'mon. See Aymon. If only one 
of the sons mounted, the horse was of the 
ordinary size; but if all four mounted, his 
body became elongated to the requisite 
length. He is introduced in Boiardo's 
Orlando Innamorato, Ariosto's Orlando 
Furioso, and elsewhere, and legend relates 
that he is still alive and can be heard 
neighing in the Ardennes on Midsummer 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Day. The name is used for any valuable 
or wonderful horse, and means a " high 
bay-colored horse " 

Bayard, The Chevalier de. Pierre du 
Terrail (1475-1524), a celebrated French 
knight and national hero, distinguished in 
the Italian campaigns of Charles VIII, 
Louis XII, and Frangois I. Of him it was 
said that he was le chevalier sans peur et 
sans reproche. 

The British Bayard Sir Philip Sidney. 
(1554-1584 ) 

The Polish Bayard Prince Joseph 
Poniatowski (1763-1814 ) 

Bayard of the Confederate Army. Robert 
E. Lee (1S67-1S70). 

Bayard of the East or of the Indian 
Army. Sir James Outram (1803-1863). 

Bayard of Nations Poland. 

Bayar'do. The famous steed of Rinaldo 
(qv), which once belonged to Am/adis of 
Gaul. See Horse. 

Bay ar do's Leap. Three stones, about 
thirty yards apait, near Sleaford. It is 
said that Rinaldo was riding on his 
favorite steed, when the demon of the 
place sprang behind him; but Bayardo in 
terror took three tremendous leaps and 
unhorsed the fiend. 

Bayes. A character in the Rehearsal, by 
the Duke of Buckingham (1671), designed 
to satirize Dryden. The name, of course, 
refers to the laureateship. 

Bayes's Troops. " Dead men may rise 
again, like Bayes's troops, or the savages 
in the Fantoci'ni." In the Rehearsal a 
battle is fought between foot-soldiers and 
great hobby-horses. At last Drawcansir 
kills all on both sides. Smith then asks 
how they are to go off, to which Bayes 
replies, " As they came on upon their 
legs }> ' } upon which they all jump up alive 

Bayeux Tapestry. A strip of linen 231 
feet long and 20 inches wide on which is 
represented in tapestry the mission of 
Harold to William, duke of Normandy 
(William the Conqueror), and all the 
incidents of his history from then till his 
death at Hastings m 1066. It is preserved 
at Bayeux, and is supposed to be the 
work of Matilda, wife of William the 
Conqueror A replica is shown at the 
Victoria and Albert Museum, South 

In the tapestry, the Saxons fight on foot with javelin 
an I battle-axe, and boar shields with the British 
characteristic of a boss in the center. The men were 

The Normans are on horseback, with long shields and 
pennoned lances The men are not only shaven, but 
most of them, have a complete tonsure on the back of the 
head, whence the spies said to Harold, ' There are more 
priests in the Norman army than men in Harold s 

Bayham, Frederick. In Thackeray's 
Newcornes, a high-spirited young news- 
paper man, a deal of a Bohemian, on the 
staff of the Pall Mall Gazette He calls 
himself F. B. and is so called by his friends. 
He appears also, in a minor way, in Philip, Charlotte. In Thackeray's 
Philip (q v) the pleasant and attractive 
girl whom Philip marries in spite of her 
family's opposition to the match. 

General Charles Baynes. Charlotte's 
father, a hero in the field but quite under 
the thumb of his wife 

Bayou State. Mississippi. See States. 

Bayreuth. Bayreuth Festival. The 
musical festival held annually at Bayreuth 
for the representation of Wagner's operas. 

Bayreuth Hush Intense silence, from 
the silence that precedes the opening of 
the festival. 

Bazarov. The chief character in Tur- 
genev's Fathers and Sons (qv). 

Beadle's Library or more exactly 
Beadle's Half-Dime Pocket Library. A 
series of dime-novel thrillers of the latter 
part of the 19th century. Deadwood 
Dick, Calamity Jane, Kit Carson and 
other similar adventurers appeared in the 
pages of Beadle's Library. 

Bear. In the phraseology of the Stock 
Exchange, a speculator for a fall. Thus, 
to operate for a bear, or to bear the market 
is to use every effort to depress prices, 
so as to buy cheap and make a profit on. 
the rise. Such a transaction is known as 
a bear account. 

The term is of some antiquity, and 
was current at least as early as the South 
Sea Bubble, in the 18th century. Its 
probable origin will be found in the 
proverb, " Selling the skin before you 
have caught the bear." 

A bull, on the other hand, is a specula- 
tive purchase for a rise; also a buyer who 
does this, the reverse of a bear. A bull 
account is a speculation made in the hope 
that the stock purchased will rise before 
the day of settlement. 

The Bear. Albert, margrave of Brand- 
enburg (1106-1170).^ He was so called 
from his heraldic device. 

The Bear, or Northern Bear. Russia. 

Bear Bible. See Bible, Specially Named. 

Bear State. Arkansas. See also under 

Bear Garden. This place is a perfect 
bear garden that is, full of confusion, 
noise, tumult, and quarrels. In Eliza- 
bethan and Stuart times the gardens 
where bears were kept and baited for 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

public amusement were famous for all 
sorts of riotous disorder. 

Bear-leader. A common expression in 
the 18th century denoting a traveling 
tutor who escorted a young nobleman, 
or youth of wealth and fashion, on the 
" Grand Tour." From the old custom 
of leading muzzled bears about the 
streets, and making them show off in order 
to attract notice and money. 

Bear' [said Dr Pangloss to hi& pupil] Under favor 
young gentleman, I am the bear-leader, being appointed 
your tutor. G Colman Heir-al-Law 

The Great Bear and Little Bear. These 
constellations were so named by the 
Greeks, and their word, arktos, a bear, 
is still kept in the names Arcturus (the 
bear-ward, ouros, guardian) and Arctic. 
The Sanskrit name for the Great Bear is 
from the verk rakh, to be bright, and it 
has been suggested that the Greeks named 
it arktos as a result of confusion between 
the two words. Cp. Charles' Wain; 
Northern Wagoner. 

The wmd-shaked surge, with, high and monstrous mane, 
Seems to cast water on the burning bear 
And quench the guards of th' ever-fixed pole 

Shakespeare Othello, 11 1 

The classical fable is that Callisto, a 
nymph of Diana, had two sons by Jupiter, 
which Juno changed into bears, and 
Jupiter converted into constellations. 

'Twas here we saw Calisto's star retire 
Beneath the waves, unawed by Juno's ire 

Camoens Lusiad, Bk v. 

The Three Bears. See Goldilocks. 

Beard the lion. See under Lion. 

Beast. A horrible animal; figuratively 
from the use of the word in Revelation 
(see below), any great and powerful evil. 
Judge Ben B. Lindsey called his autobi- 
ographical volume exposing Colorado 
politics The Beast. 

The mark of the beast. To set the mark 
of the beast on an object or pursuit (such, 
for instance, as dancing, theaters, gam- 
bling, etc.) is to denounce it, to run it 
down as unorthodox. The allusion is to 
Rev. xvi. 2 xix. 20. 

The number of the beast. 666, from 
Rev. xiii. 18 

Beati Possidentes. Blessed are those 
who have (for they shall receive) " Pos- 
session is nine points of the law " 

Beatitudes. The first few verses of 
Christ's Sermon on the Mount (Matt. v. 
3-12), beginning " Blessed are the poor 
in spirit " and continuing to name the 
virtues that make their possessors blessed. 

Beatrice. The heroine of Shakespeare's 
Much Ado about Nothing (q.v). 

Beatrice and Dante. Dante's Beatrice, 
celebrated by him in the Vita Nuova and 

the Divina Commedia, was born 1266 
and died in 1290, under twenty-four years 
old She was a native of Florence, of the 
Portinan family, and married Simone de' 
Bardi in 1287. Dante married Gemma 
Donati about two years after her death. 
Beatrice was Dante's constant inspiration 
and he makes her his guide through 
Paradise in the Divina Commedia. 

Beatrice Cenci. See Cenci. 

Beatrice, Sister. See Bister Beatrice. 

Beau. The French word, which means 
" fine," or " beautiful/' has, in England, 
often been prefixed to the name of a man 
of fashion or a fop as an epithet of dis- 
tinction. The following are well known: 

Beau Brummel. George Bryan Brum- 
mel (1778-1840). Clyde Fitch was ^ the 
author of a successful comedy entitled 
Beau Brummell (Am. 1890) which popu- 
larized the name in America. 

Le Beau D' Or say. Father of Count 
D'Orsay, and called by Byron Jeune 

Beau Feilding Robert Feilding (d. 
1712), called "Handsome Feilding" by 
Charles II. He died in Scotland Yard, 
London, after having been convicted of 
bigamously marrying the Duchess of 
Cleveland, a former mistress of Charles II. 
He figures as Orlando in Steele's Tatler 
(Nos. 50 and 51). 

Beau Hewitt The model for " Sir 
Fopling Flutter," hero of Ether edge's 
Man of Mode. 

Beau Nash. Richard Nash (1674- 
1761). Son of a Welsh gentleman, a 
notorious diner-out. He undertook the 
management of the bath-rooms at Bath, 
and conducted the public balls with a 
splendor and decorum never before 
witnessed, hence he was also known as 
the " King of Bath/' 

Beau Didapper, in Fielding's Joseph 
Andrews, and Beau Tibbs, noted for his 
finery, vanity, and poverty in Gold- 
smith's Citizen of the World, may also be 

Beau Id'eal. Properly, the ideal Beauti- 
ful, the abstract idea of beauty, ideal, in 
the French, being the adjective, and 
beau, the substantive, but in English the 
parts played by the words are usually 
transposed, and thus have come to mean 
the ideal type or model of anything in its 
most consummate perfection. 

Beau Monde. The fashionable world; 
people who make up the coterie of fashion. 

Beaucaire, Monsieur. See Monsieur 

Beauchamp's Career. A political novel 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


by George Meredith. The hero, ISTevil 
Beauchamp, influenced by the venerable 
Dr Shrapnel, a radical agitator, enters 
politics as a reform candidate. He is 
sincere and enthusiastic, but is diverted 
by love affairs. He first pays court to the 
charming French girl, Renee de Croisnel, 
later to Cecilia Hackett and finally 
marries Jennie Denham Soon afterward 
he is drowned. The novel was suggested 
by the career of Meredith's friend 
Admiral Maxse. 

Beaujeu, Mons. !e chevalier de. In 
Scott's Fortunes of Nigel, the keeper of a 
gambling-house to which Dalgarno took 
Nigel. He is described as " King of the 
Cardpack and Duke of the Dice-box." 

Beaumarchais. The nom de plume of 
Pierre Augustin Caron, author of The 
Barber of Seville (1775), and the name by 
which he is remembered today. 

Beaumont and Fletcher (Francis Beau- 
mont, 1584-1616, and John Fletcher, 
1579-1625). English dramatists of the 
Elizabethan era, joint authors of many 
plays The l?est known of their dramas 
are The Maid's Tragedy, Philaster or Love 
Lies a-Bleeding and the farcical Knight 
of the Burning Pestle. See those entries. 
Fletchsr is also known for his pastoral 
drama, The Faithful Shepherdess, written 
after Beaumont's death. 

Beautiful Joe. The story of a dog told 
in the form of an autobiography by 
Marshall Saunders. 

Beautiful Parricide. Beatrice Cenci 

Beauty and the Beast. The hero and 
heroine of the well-known fairy tale in 
which Beauty saved the life of her father 
by consenting to live with the Beast; and 
the Beast, being disenchanted by Beauty's 
love, became a handsome prince, and 
married her. 

A couple consisting of a beautiful 
woman and ugly escort or husband is 
often referred to as Beauty and the Beast. 

Beauty of Buttermere. Mary Robinson 
married m 1802 to John Hatfield, a heart- 
less impostor, and already a bigamist, 
who was executed for forgery at Carlisle 
in 1803 She was the subject of many 
dramas and stories. 

Here, too, were "forms and pressures of the time," 

Rough, bold, as Grecian comedy displayed 

When Art was young, dramas of living men, 

And recent things yet warm with life, .... 

I mean, distant Friend 1 a story drawn 

From our own ground, The Maid of Buttermere, 

And how, unfaithful to a virtuous wife 

Deserted and deceived, the Spoiler came 

And wooed the artless daughter of the hills, 

And wedded her, in cruel mockery 

Of love and marriage bonds 

Wordsworth; Prelude, vii. 288i 

Beauty Sleep. Sleep taken before 
midnight. Those who habitually go to 
bed, especially during youth, after mid- 
night, are usually pale and more or less 

Beaux Esprits (Fr.). Men of wit or 
genius (singular, Un bel esprit, a wit, a 

Beaux' Stratagem, The. A comedy by 
Farquhar (1707). Thomas Aimwell and 
his friend Archer, the two beaux, having 
run through all their money, set out 
fortune-hunting, and come to Lichfield 
as " master and man/ 3 Aimwell pretends 
to be very unwell, and as Lady BountifuPs 
hobby is tending the sick, she orders him 
to be removed to her mansion. Here he 
and Donnda, daughter of Lady Bountiful, 
fall in love with each other, and finally 
marry. Archer falls in love with Mrs 
Sullen, the wife of Lady Bountiful's son, 
Squire Sullen. 

Beaux Yeux (Fr). Beautiful eyes or 
attractive looks. " I will do it for your 
beaux yeux " (because you are so pretty, 
or because your eyes are so attractive) . 

The poor fellow is rnad for your beaux yeux, I believe. 
Thackeray Pendenms, ch 26. 

Beckford, William (1759-1844). English 
novelist, author of Vathek (q.v}. 

Beckmesser. The town clerk, a leading 
character in Wagner ; s opera, Die Meister- 
singer (g.v ) . 

Bede, Adam. See Adam Bede. 

Bedell's Bible. See Bible, Specially 

Bed'ivere, or Bedver. In the Arthurian 
romances, a knight of the Round Table, 
butler and staunch adherent of King 
Arthur. It was he who, at the request 
of the dying King, threw Excahbur into 
the Lake, and afterwards bore his body 
to the ladies in the barge which was to 
take him to Avalon. 

Bedlam. A lunatic asylum or mad- 
house; a contraction for Bethlehem, the 
name of a religious house in London, 
converted into a hospital for lunatics. 

St Mary of Bethlehem, was founded as a priory in 
1247 and in 1547 it was given to the mayor and corpora- 
tion of London, and incorporated as a royal foundation 
for lunatics. 

Bed f lamite. A madman, a fool, an 
inhabitant of a Bedlam See Abram-Man. 

Bedlam, Tom o'. See Tom. 

Bedott, Widow. The imaginary author 
of a series of humorous sketches by Mrs. 
F. M. Whitcher (Am. 1811-1852). So 
popular was this " egregiously wise and 
respectable and broadly humorous ma- 
tron " that two editions were called for 
after Mrs. Whitcher's death. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Bedouins. French (and hence English) 
form of an Arabic word meaning " a 
dweller m the desert," given indiscrimi- 
nately by Europeans to the nomadic 
tribes of Arabia and Syria, and applied in 
journalistic slang to gipsies, or the home- 
less poor of the streets. In this use it is 
merely a further extension of the term 
" street Arab/' which means the same 

Bed'reddin' Has'san. In the Arabian 
Nights, the son of Nour'eddm All, grand 
vizier of Basora After the death of his 
father he came into disfavor with the 
Sultan and was carried by the fairies to 
Damascus, where he lived for ten years 
as a pastry-cook. Search was made for 
him, and the search-party, halting outside 
the city of Damascus, sent for some 
cheese-cakes When the cheese-cakes 
arrived, the widow of Noureddin declared 
that they must have been made by her 
son, for no one else knew the secret of 
making them, and that she herself had 
taught it him. On hearing this, the vizier 
ordered Bedieddm to be seized "for 
making cheese-cakes without pepper," 
and the joke was carried on till the party 
arrived at Cairo, when the pastry-cook 
prince was reunited to his wife, the Queen 
of Beauty. 

Bed-rock. A miner's term for the hard 
basis rock which is reached when the 
mine is exhausted. "I'm come down to 
the bed-rock," i e. nay last dollar. 

Bee. The Athenian Bee or the Bee of 
Athens. (1) Plato (c. B C. 427-347) 
(2) Sophocles (B. C. 496-405). (3) Xeno- 
phon (B. C. 444-355). So called from the 
sweetness of their style. It is said that 
when Plato was in his cradle, a swarm of 
bees alighted on his mouth. 

The Attic Bee or Bee of Attica. Same 
as above. 

Spelling Bee, Husking Bee } etc. A social 
gathering for some voluntary competition. 
The expression is of American origin, and 
refers to the social and industrious 
character of the bee. 

Beelzebub. The name should be spelt 
Beelzebul (or, rather, Baalzebul, see Baal), 
and means "lord of the high house"; 
but, as this title was ambiguous and 
might have been taken as referring to 
Solomon's Temple, the late Jews changed 
it to Beelzebub, which has the meaning 
" lord of flies." Beelzebub was the par- 
ticular Baal worshipped originally in 
Ekron and afterwards far and wide in 
Palestine and the adjacent countries. 
To the Jews he came to be the chief repre- 

sentative of the false gods, and he took 
an important place in their hierarchy of 
demons He is referred to in Matt, xii 24, 
as " the prince of the devils," and hence 
Milton places him next in rank to Satan. 

One ne\t himself in power, and next m crime, 
Long after known in Palestine, and named 

Paradise Lost, i 79 

Beetle. One of the trio of schoolboys 
whose pranks are told in Kipling's Stalky 
and Co. Beetle is usually considered a 
portrait of Kipling himself 

Befa'na. The good fairy of Italian 
children, who is supposed to fill their 
stockings with toys when they go to bed 
on Twelfth Night. Some one enters the 
children's bedroom for the purpose, and 
the wakeful youngsters cry out, " Ecco la 
Befa'na" According to legend, Befana 
was too busy with house affairs to look 
after the Magi when they went to offer 
their gifts, and said she would wait to 
see them on their return; but they went 
another way, and Befana, every Twelfth 
Night, watches to see them. The name 
is a corruption of Epiphania. 

Beg, Callum. In Scott's Waverley, page 
to Fergus M'lvor, whom he serves with 
devotion and a reckless willingness to 
undertake anything, good or evil, in his 
behalf. He is usually known as Little 
Callum Beg. 

Beg the Question. See Question. 

Beggar on horseback. A social upstart. 

Set a beggar on horseback, and he } ll ride 
to the de'iL There is no one so proud and 
arrogant as a beggar who has suddenly 
grown rich. 

Beggar's Daughter. Bessee, the beggar* $ 
daughter of Bednall (Bethnal) Green, the 
heroine of an old ballad given in Percy's 
RehqueSj and introduced by Chettle and 
Day into their play The Blind Beggar of 
Bednal Green (1600). Sheridan Knowles 
also has a play on the story (1834). 
Bessee was very beautiful, and was 
courted by four suitors at once a ' 
knight, a gentleman of fortune, a London 
merchant, and the son of the innkeeper 
at Rpmf ord. She told them that they must 
obtain the consent of her father, the poor 
blind beggar of Bethnal Green. When 
they heard that, they all slunk off except 
the knight, who went to ask the beggar's 
leave to wed the " pretty Bessee." The 
beggar gave her 3,000 for her dower, 
and 100 to buy her wedding gown. At 
the wedding feast he explained to the 
guests that he was Henry, son and heir 
of Sir Simon de Montfort and had only 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


assumed the garb of a beggar to escape 
the vigilance of King Henry's spies be- 
cause of his participation in the battle 
of Evesham on the barons 7 side. 

Beggar's Opera, The. A famous bur- 
lesque by John Gay (1727), the chief 
characters of which are beggars and 
thieves. See Macheath; Peachum, Lockit. 

Beglerbeg. See Rulers, Titles of. 

Begum. See Rulers, Titles of. 

Behe'moth. The animal described 
under this name in Job xL 15 et seq , is, 
if an actual animal were intended, almost 
certainly the hippopotamus; but modern 
scholarship rather tends to the opinion 
that the reference is purely mythological. 

Bel. The name of two Assyrio-Baby- 
lonian gods; it is the same word as Baal 
(q.v.). The story of Bel and the Dragon, 
in which we are told how Daniel convinced 
the king that Bel was not an actual living 
deity but only an image, was formerly 
part of the Book of Daniel, but is now 
relegated to the Apocrypha. 

Bel Esprit (Fr.). Literally, fine mind, 
means, in English, a vivacious wit; one 
of quick and lively parts, ready at 
repartee (pi. beaux espnts). 

Belamour. Any one, man or woman, 
loved by one of the opposite sex, from 
Fr. bel amour, fair love. Also, some 
unidentified white flower: 

Her lips did smell like unto Gilly flowers, 
Her ruddy cheekes like unto Roses red; 
Her snowy browes like budded Bellamoures 

Spenser Amoretti, Ixiv 

Bela'rius. In Shakespeare's Cymbehne 
(q.v.), a nobleman and soldier in the army 
of Cym'beline, king of Britain He was 
banished, and stole away, out of revenge, 
the King's two infant sons, Guide'nus 
and Arvir'agus. 

Belch, Sir Toby. A reckless, roistering, 
jolly fellow; from the knight of that name 
in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. 

Bel'forcL A friend of Lovelace in 
Richardson's Clarissa Harlowe. These 
" friends " made a covenant to pardon 
every sort of liberty which they took with 
each other. 

Belfry, The. A novel by May Sinclair 
(Eng. 1916) published in England under 
the title Tasker Jevons, the name of its 
principal character. He is a crude little 
bounder, a Cockney with a touch, of 
temperament and perhaps even genius 
in his nature, but without the well-bred 
virtues that make life easy for other 
people. His marriage to a girl of charm 
and culture opens up many difficulties 
for both of them. The story is told ^ by 
Walter Furnival, the unsuccessful suitor 

and faithful friend of Viola, the heroine. 
Belial (Heb ). The worthless or lawless 
one, i e. the devil. 

What concord hath Christ with Behal ? 

2 Cor vi 15 

Milton, in his pandemonium, makes 
him a very high and distinguished prince 
of darkness. 

Belial came last than whom a spirit more lewd 
Fell not from heaven, or more gross to love 
Vice for itself 

Paradise Lost, bk i 490 

Sons of Belial. Lawless, worthless 
rebellious people. 

Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial 

1 Sam 11 12 

Belin'da. (1) The heroine of Pope's 
mock heroic poem, The Rape of the Lock 

(2) Title and heroine of a novel by 
Maria Edgeworth (1803). 

Beline. The wife of Argan (qv) in 
Moliere's comedy, Le Malade Imaginaire. 

Belisa'rius. Behsarius begging for an 
ob'olus. Belisa'rius (d 565), the greatest 
of Justinian's generals, being accused of 
conspiring against the life of the emperor, 
was deprived of all his property. The tale 
is that his eyes were put out, and that 
when living as a beggar in Constantinople 
he fastened a bag to his roadside hut, 
with the inscription, " Give an obolus to 
poor old Belisarms." This tradition is 
of no historic value. 

Be'lise. In Moliere's Femmes Savantes 
(q.v.)j sister of Philaminte, and, like her, 
a femme savante. She imagined that every 
one was in love with her. 

Bell. To bear the bell. To be first fiddle; 
to carry off the palm; to be the best. 
Before cups were presented to winners of 
horse-races, etc., a little gold or silver 
bell used to be given for the prize. 

Who is to bell the catf Who will risk his 
own life to save his neighbors? Any one 
who encounters great personal hazard 
for the sake of others undertakes to bell 
the cat The allusion is to the fable of 
the cunning old mouse, who suggested 
that they should hang a bell on the cat's 
neck to give notice to all mice of her 
approach. Archibald Douglas, Earl of 
Angus, was called Bell-ihe-Cat. James 
III made favorites of architects and 
masons; one mason, named Cochrane, 
he created Earl of Mar. The Scotch 
nobles held a council in the church of 
Lauder for the purpose of putting down 
these upstarts, and Lord Gray asked, 
" Who will bell the cat? " " That will 
I," said Douglas, and he fearlessly put 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

to deatli ; in the King's presence, the 
obnoxious minions. 

Bell, Acton, Ellis and Gurrer. The 
pseudonyms adopted by Anne, Emily 
and Charlotte Bronte respectively. Emily 
Bronte is best known for her novel 
Wuthenng Heights (q.v ) and Charlotte 
Bront6 for Jane Eyre (qv), Shirley and 
The Professor. 

Bell, Adam. See Adam Bell. 

Bell, Babie. See Babie Bell 

Bell, Bessie. See Bessie Bell. 

Bell, Laura or more accurately, Helen 
Laura. The heroine of Thackeray's 
Pendennis (q.v). As Mrs Arthur Peii- 
dennis she appears also in The Newcomes 
and Philip. 

Bell, Peter. See Peter Bell. 

Bella Wilf er. (In Dickens' Our Mutual 
Friend) See Wiljer, Bella. 

Bellario, Dr. In Shakespeare's Mer- 
chant of Venice, the lawyer whose letter 
Portia produces in the famous trial scene. 
He does not appear on the stage. 

BeMaston, Lady. In Fielding's Tom 
Jones, a profligate, from whom Tom Jones 
accepts support. 

Belle (Fr.). A beauty. The Belle of the 
room. The most beautiful lady in the 

La belle France. A common French 
phrase applied to France 

La Belle Sauvage. A name for Pocahon- 
tas (q.v.). 

Belle Dame sans Merci, La. A poem by 
John Keats (1819), the title and general 
theme of which are taken from an earlier 
poetic dialogue " between a gentleman 
and a gentlewoman, who finding no mercy 
at her hand dieth for sorrow " The earlier 

Eoem was once considered a translation 
y Chaucer from Alain Chartier. 
Bellefontaine, Benedict. In Longfellow's 
Evangeline, a wealthy farmer of Grand 
Pr6 (Nova Scotia) and father of Evan- 
geline. When the inhabitants of his 
village were driven into exile, Benedict 
died of a broken heart as he was about to 
embark, and was buried on the seashore. 
Bellegarde, De. The name of the 
old French family in Henry James 7 
novel The American (q.v.) who opposed 
Christopher Newman's efforts to marry 
their widowed daughter, Claire de Cintre. 
BeFlenden, Lady Margaret. In Scott's 
Old Mortality, an old lady, mistress of the 
Tower of Tillietudlem, and devoted to 
the house of Stuart. 

Miss Edith Bellenden. Heroine of the 
same book, granddaughter of Lady 
Margaret, betrothed to Lord Evendale, 

of the King's army, but in love with 
Morton, a leader of the Covenanters, 
and the hero of the novel. After the death 
of Lord Evendale, who is shot by Balfour, 
Edith marries Morton. 

Beller'ophon. The Joseph of Greek 
mythology; Antsea, the wife of Prcetus, 
being the " Potiphar's wife " who tempted 
him, and afterwards falsely accused him. 
Her husband, Proetus, sent Bellerophon 
with a letter to lobates, the king of 
Lycia, his wife's father, recounting the 
charge, and praying that the bearer might 
be put to death. lobates, unwilling to 
slay him himself, gave him many hazard- 
ous tasks (including the killing of the 
Chimsera q.v ), but as he was successful 
in all of them lobates made him his heir* 
Later Bellerophon is fabled to have 
attempted to fly to heaven on the winged 
horse Peg'asus, but Zeus sent a gadfly to 
sting the horse, and the rider was over- 

The phrase Letters of Bellerophon is 
sometimes applied to documents that 
are dangerous or prejudicial to the bearer. 
Cp. Uriah. 

Belles Lettres. Polite literature; poetry, 
and standard literary works which are 
not scientific or technical: the study or 
pursuit of such literature. The term 
which, of course, is French has given 
birth to the very ugly words bellelettrist 
and bellettristic. 

Bellicent. Daughter of Gorloise and 
Igerna, half-sister of King Arthur. Accord- 
ing to Tennyson, she was the wife of Lot, 
King of ^ Orkney, but in Le Morte d } Arthur 
Lot's wife is Margause 

Bellin. The ram in the tale of Reynard 
the Fox. His wife was Olewey. 

Bellini, Vincenzo (1802-1835). Com- 
poser of the operas La Sonnambula, 
Norma and I Puntani. See those entries. 

Bellisant. The mother of Valentine 
and Orson in the romance of that name, 
sister to King Pepin of France, wife of 
Alexander, emperor of Constantinople. 
Being accused of infidelity, she was 
banished by the Emperor. 

Belloc, Hilaire (1870- ). Con- 
temporary English novelist and poet. 

Bello'na. In Roman mythology, god- 
dess of war and wife of Mars. 

Bellona j s handmaids. Blood, fibre and 

Belloni, Sandra. See Sandra Belloni. 

Bellwether of the flock, A jocose and 
rather deprecatory term applied to the 
leader of a party. Of course the allusion 
is to the wether or sheep which leads the 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


flock with a bell fastened to its neck. 

Beloved. Beloved Disciple. John, to 
whom the Fourth Gospel is attributed 
(John xiii. 23, etc). 

Bdoved Physician. Supposedly Luke 
the evangelist (Col iv. 14). 

Beloved Vagabond, The. A novel by 
W. J. Locke (Eng 1906). The " Beloved 
Vagabond " is Paragot, a Bohemian philos- 
opher and violinist who, with the adopted 
stray, Anticot (who tells the story), and 
Blanquette, a homeless country girl whom 
he has befriended, wanders about Europe 
as a tramp musician. The trio come 
across Paragot's old love Joanna, now the 
Countess of Verneuil, and after the death 
of her husband the couple decide to 
revive their youthful engagement Paragot 
makes a noble attempt to renounce his 
Bohemian ways but finally gives up in 
despair, escapes to Pans and marries 

Bel'phegor. The Assyrian form of 
"Baal-Peor" (see Baal), the Moabitish 
god to whom the Israelites became 
attached in Shittim (Numb. xxv. 3). 

The name was given in a medieval 
Latin legend to a demon who was sent 
into the world from the infernal regions 
by his fellows to test the truth of certain 
rumors that had reached them concern- 
ing the happiness and otherwise of 
married life on earth. After a thorough 
trial, the details of which are told with 
great intimacy, he fled in horror and dis- 
may to the happy regions where female 
society and companionship was non- 
existent. Hence, the term is applied 
both to a misanthrope and to a nasty, 
licentious, obscene fellow. 

The story is found in Machiavelh's works and became 
very popular Its first appearance in English is in 
Barnabe Rich's Farewell to the Military Profession 
(1581) ( and it either forms the main source of, or 
furnishes incidents to, many plays including Grim, 
the Collier of Croydon (1600), Jonson's The Demi is an 
Ass (1616), and John Wilson's Belphegor, or the Marriage 
o/ the Devil (1691) 

Belphoebe. The huntress-goddess in 
Spenser's Faerie Queene, daughter of 
Chrysogone and sister of Amoret with 
whom she is contrasted. Belphccbe, who 
was brought up by Diana, as Amoret by 
Venus, typifies Queen Elizabeth as a 
model of chastity. She was of the Diana 
type; cold as an icicle, passionless, im- 
movable, and, like a moonbeam, light 
without warmth. 

Belsize, The Honorable Charles. In 
Thackeray's Newcomes (0-y.), a gay young 
nobleman known as Jack, who later 
became Lord Highgate. He eloped with 
Clara, the wife of Sir Barnes Newcome 

with whom he had been in love for years. 

Beivawney, Miss. In Dickens' Nicholas 
Nickleby, an actress of the Portsmouth 

Belvide'ra. The heroine of Otway's 
Venice Preserved (1682). Scott says, 
" More tears have been shed for the 
sorrows of Belvide'ra and Monim'ia than 
for those of Juliet and Desdemona " 

Ben Bolt. See Alice, Sweet 

Ben Hur, A Tale of the Christ. A 
historical novel by Lew Wallace (Am. 
1880). The hero, Judah Ben Hur, heir 
of a rich Jewish family, by accident is 
responsible for injury to the new Homan 
governor by a falling tile. His quondam 
friend Messala accuses him of treason 
and he is sent to the galleys. It is years 
before he escapes. In the course of the 
novel John the Baptist and Jesus are 
introduced and at its end Ben Hur 
becomes a Christian The most famous 
of the many adventuresome episodes of 
the book is the chariot race m which 
Ben Hur defeats his old friend and enemy 
Messala. Ben Hur was dramatized with 
great success. 

Ben trovato (Ital). Well found, well 
invented, a happy discovery or invention. 
The full phrase is se non e vero, e ben 
trovato, if it is not true it is well invented: 
said of a plausible story. 

Benassis, Dr. The hero of Balzac's 
Country Doctor (Le Medicin de Campagne) 
one of Balzac's most admirable charac- 
ters His kindly spirit and his indefatigable 
efforts on behalf of all the people of his 
little French town make him universally 
beloved. He lives alone with two servants, 
one of whom is the devoted Jacquotte, 
the cook. 

Bench. Originally the same word as 
Bank, it means, properly, a long wooden 
seat, hence the official seat of judges in 
Court, bishops in the House of Lords, 
aldermen in the council chamber, etc ; 
hence, by extension, judges, bishops, etc , 
collectively, the court or place where they 
administer justice or sit officially, the 
dignity of holding such an official status, 
etc. Hence Bench of bishops The whole 
body of prelates, who sit in the House of 

To be raised to the bench. To be made a 

To be raised to the Episcopal bench. To 
be made a bishop. 

Bench and Bar. Judges and barristers 

Bend. In heraldry, an ordinary formed 

by two parallel lines drawn across the 

shield from the dexter chief (i.e. the top 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

left-hand corner when looking at the 
shield) to the sinister base point (i e. the 
opposite corner). It is said to repiesent 
the sword-belt. 

Bend sinister. A bend running across 
the shield in the opposite direction, i e 
from right to left. It is an indication of 
bastardy (cp. Bar sinister), hence the 
phrase " he has a bend sinister," he was 
not born in lawful wedlock. 

Bendish. A novel by Maurice Hewlett 
(Eng 1913) based on the life of Byron 

Bendy, Old. One of the numerous 
euphemistic names of the devil, who is 
willing to bend to any one's inclination. 

Benedetto. In Fogazzaro's novel The 
Saint, the name assumed by Piero 
Mavioni (qv), "the Saint/ 3 when he 
enters upon a religious life. 

Benedicite. The2ndpers pi. imperative 
of the Latin verb, benedicere, meaning 
" bless you," or " may you be blessed." 
In the first given sense it is the opening 
word of many old graces (" Bless ye the 
Lord," etc); hence, a grace, or a blessing. 

The wandering pilgrim, or the begging friar answ ered 
his reverent greeting with a paternal bcnedicite 

Scott Quentin Durward, ch 11 

The second sense accounts for its use as 
an interjection or expression of astonish- 
ment, as in Chaucer's 

The god of love, A benedicite, 

How rnyghty and how great a lord is he' 

Knight's Tale, 927 

Benedick. A sworn bachelor caught 
in the snares of matrimony from Benedick 
the hero of Shakespeare's Much Ado about, 
Nothing (q.v ) 

Benedick and Benedict are used indis- 
criminately, but the distinction should be 

Benedict. A bachelor, not necessarily 
one pledged to celibacy, but simply a 
man of marriageable age, not married. 
St. Benedict was a most uncompromising 
stickler for celibacy. 

Benedictines. Monks who follow the 
rule of St. Benedict, viz. implicit obedi- 
ence, celibacy, abstaining from laughter, 
spare diet, poverty, the exercise of hos- 
pitality, observance of canonical hours, 
feasts, and fasts, and unremitting in- 
dustry. They are known as the " Black 
Monks " (the Dominicans being the 
Black Friars). The Order was founded 
by St. Benedict at Subiaco and Monte 
Cassino, Italy, about 530, and its members 
have from the earliest times been re- 
nowned for their learning. 

Benefit of Clergy. Originally, the 
privilege of exemption from trial by a 

secular court enjoyed by the clergy if 
arrested for felony. In time it compre- 
hended not only the ordained clergy, but 
all who, being able to wnte and read, 
were capable of entering into holy orders. 
It was finally abolished in the reign of 
George IV (1827). 

Kipling calls one of his best- known 
stories Without Benefit of the Clergy, 
meaning by the phrase, without the 
religious rites of matrimony. It deals 
with the love of an Englishman and a 
native Indian woman. 

Benengali, Cid Hamet. See Cid Harriet 

Benet, Stephen Vlrcent (1898- ). 
Contemporary American poet and novel- 

Benet, William Rose (1SS6- ). 
Contemporary American poet His best- 
known poem is probably The Falconer 
of God 

Bengo'di. A " land of Cockaigne " 
(q v ) mentioned in Boccaccio's Decameron 
(vui 3), where " they tie the vines with 
sausages, where you may buy a fat goose 
for a penny and have a gosling into the 
bargain; where there is also a mountain 
of grated Parmesan cheese, and people 
do nothing but make cheesecakes and 
macaroons. There is also a river which 
runs Malmsey wine of the very best 
quality ", etc , etc. 

Benham, William. The hero of Wells' 
Research Magnificent (qv). 

Benicia Boy. John C. Heenan, the 
American pugilist, who challenged and 
fought Tom Sayers for " the belt }) in 
1860; so called from Benicia in California, 
his birthplace. 

Benjamin. The pet, the youngest, in 
allusion to Benjamin, the youngest son 
of Jacob (Gen xxxv 18) When Jacob 
sent his sons down from Canaan to buy 
bread during the famine, he refused to let 
Benjamin go " lest pcradventure harm 
befall him." Jacob's son Joseph (q.v.) 
who was in charge over the granaries of 
Egypt, without revealing his identity, 
told his brothers that they must bring 
Benjamin with them if they returned 
for more corn. When they finally did so, 
Joseph feasted them and gave them grain, 
but sent word after them that his silver cup 
was missing, and when search was made, 
" the cup was found in Benjamin's sack " 
where it had been placed by Joseph's 
orders He then disclosed his identity. 

Benjamin's mess. The largest share. 
The allusion is to the banquet given by 
Joseph, viceroy of Egypt, to his brethren. 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


4f Benjamin's mess was five times so 
much as any of theirs " (Gen. xlin. 34). 

Beimet, Elizabeth. Heroine of Jane 
Austen'b Pride and Piejudice (qv) 

Mrs. Bennet. In the same novel, the 
type of a fussy, match-making mother. 
Jane Bennet, Lydia and Mr. Bennet are 
also prominent characters. 

Bennett, Arnold (1867- ) English 
novelist, best known as the author of 
Anna of the Five Towns and other " Five 
Towns " stories including The Old Wives' 
Tale and the Clay hanger tetralogy. See 
those entries; also Five Towns. 

Benshee. See Banshee. 

How oft has the Benshee cried' [How busy death 
has been of late \vith our notables ] 

T Moore Iiish Melodies, No n 

Benson, E. F. (1867- ) English 
novelist, best known as the author of 
Dodo (q.v). 

Bent Twig, The. A novel by Dorothy 
Canfield (Am. 1915). The scene is laid 
in a middle-western University town 
where the heroine, Sylvia Marshall, grows 
up to maturity. The novel deals with the 
problems of her youth. 

Benvo'lio. Nephew to Montague in 
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet; a testy, 
litigious gentleman, who would " quarrel 
with a man that had a hair more or a 
hair less in his beard than he had " 

Beowulf. The hero of the ancient 
Anglo-Saxon epic poem of the same name, 
of unknown date and authorship, but 
certainly written before the coming of the 
Saxons to England, and modified subse- 
quent to the introduction of Christianity. 

The scene is laid in Denmark or Sweden: 
the hall (Heorot) of King Hrothgar is 
raided nightly by Grendel (qv.), whom 
Beowulf mortally wounds after a fierce 
fight. Grendel's dam comes next night 
to avenge his death. Beowulf pursues 
her to her lair under the water and ulti- 
mately slays her with a magic sword 
Beowulf in time becomes king, and fifty 
years later meets his death in combat with 
a dragon, the guardian of an immense 
hoard, his faithful Wiglaf being his only 
follower at the end. 

The epic as we know it dates from the 
8th century, but it probably represents 
a gradual growth which existed in many 
successive versions. In any case, it is not 
only the oldest epic in English, but the 
oldest in the whole Teutonic group of 

Beppo. The contraction of Giuseppe, 
and therefore equal to our Joe. In 
Byron's poem of this name (1818), Beppo 

is husband of Laura, a Venetian lady. 
He was taken captive in Troy, turned 
Turk, joined a band of pirates, grew 
rich, and, after several years' absence, 
returned to his native land, where he 
discovered his wife at a carnival ball 
with her cavahero servente He made 
himself known to her, and they lived 
together again as man and wife. 

Berch'ta. A fairy (the ukite lady) of 
southern Germany, corresponding to 
Hulda (the gracious lady) of Northern 
Germany. After the introduction of 
Christianity, wl "n pagan deities were 
represented as demons, Berchta lost 
her former character, and became a bogy 
to frighten children. Cp. Bertha, Frau. 

Berenga'ria. Queen-consort of Richard 
Cceur de Lion, introduced in Scott's novel, 
The Talisman. Berengaria died 1230. 

Berenger, Eveline. Heroine of Scott's 
novel, The Betrothed (qv.). 

Berenice. The sister-wife of Ptolemy 
Euergetes, king of Egypt (B. C. 247-222). 
She vowed to sacrifice her hair to the gods 
if her husband returned home the van- 
quisher of Asia. She suspended her hair 
in the temple of Arsinoe at Zephyrium, 
but it was stolen the first night, and Conon 
of Samos told the king that the winds had 
wafted it to heaven, where it still forms 
the seven stars near the tail of Leo, 
called Coma Berenices. 

Beresford, J. D. (1873- ). English 
novelist, author of These Lynnekeis, The 
Early History of Jacob Stahl and its two 
sequels (see Stahl). 

Bergelmir. One of the frost-giants of 
Scandinavian mythology. When Ymir was 
slain by Odin and others, and the whole 
race of frost-giants was drowned in his 
blood, Bergelmir alone escaped, and he 
thereupon founded a second dynasty of 

Bergerac, Cyrano de. See Cyrano de 

Bergeret, Monsieur. The central figure 
in the four novels that comprise Anatole 
France's Histoire Contemporaine (Fr. 
1897-1900) The Elm Tree on the Mall 
(L'Orme du Mail), The Wicker-Work 
Woman (Le Mannequin d' Osier), The 
Amethyst Ring (L'Anneau d } Amethyste) 
and M. Bergeret a Paris. In the first 
volumes M Bergeret holds an official 
position in one of the provincial universi- 
ties f France; in the last two he is 
divorced from his wife and lives in Paris. 
The four novels deal very largely with 
the famous Dreyfus case (q.v.) and Ber- 
geret is said to be a vehicle for much of 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

France's own feelings and convictions on 
the subject. 

Berkeley, Old Woman of. See under 

Berlin Decree. A decree issued at 
Berlin by Napoleon I in November, 1806, 
forbidding any of the nations of Europe 
to trade with Great Britain, proclaiming 
her to be in a state of blockade, declaring 
all English property forfeit, and all 
Englishmen on French soil prisoners of 

Berling, G-osta. See Gosta Berhng. 

Berlioz, Hector (1803-1869). French 
composer. His best-known operas are 
Benvenuto Cellini and The Damnation of 

Bermoothes. The name of the island 
in the Tempest, feigned by Shakespeare 
to be enchanted and inhabited by witches 
and devils. 

From the still-vexed Bermoothes, there she's hid 
Shakespeare The Tempest, i 2 

Shakespeare almost certainly had the 
recently discovered Bermudas in his 
mind, but some sort of case has also been 
made out for the island of Lampedusa 
between Malta and the coast of Tunis. 

Bermudas. The Bermudas was an 
old slang name for a district of London 
thought to have been the narrow 
alleys in the neighborhood of Covent 
Garden, St. Martin's Lane, and the 
Strand which was an Alsatia (qv), 
where the residents had certain privileges 
against arrest. Hence, to live in the 
Bermudas, to skulk in some out-of-the- 
way place for cheapness or safety 

Bernard, St. See under Saint. 

Bernar'do. In Shakespeare's Hamlet, 
an officer in Denmark to whom the ghost 
of the murdered King appeared during 
the night- watch at the royal castle 

Bernar'do del Car'pio, A semi- mythical 
Spanish hero of the 9th century, and a 
favorite subject of the minstrels, and of 
Lope de Vega who wrote many plays 
around his exploits. He is credited with 
having defeated Roland (or Orlando) at 

Bernesque Poetry. Serio-comic poetry; 
so called from Francesco Berni (1498 
1535), of Tuscany, who greatly excelled 
in it Byron's Beppo is a good example 
of English bernesque. 

Bernhardi, Professor. See Professor 

Bernstein, Baroness. The name under 
which the Beatrix Esmond (q.v.) of Henry 
Esmond appears, as an old woman, in 
Thackeray's Virginians. \ 

Berry, Bessie (Mrs, Berry). Richard's 
good-hearted old nurse in Meredith's 
Richard Feverel (qv). 

Berser'ker. In Scandinavian myth- 
ology, a wild, ferocious, warlike being 
who was at times possessed of super- 
natural strength and fury. The origin 
of the name is doubtful, one account says 
that it was that of the grandson of the 
eight-handed Starka'der and the beautiful 
Alfhilde, who was called b&r-serce (bare 
of mail) because he went into battle 
unharnessed. Hence, any man with the 
fighting fever on him. 

Another disregards this altogether and 
holds that the name means simply " men 
who have assumed the form of bears." 
It is used in English both as an adjective 
denoting excessive fury and a noun 
denoting one possessed of such. 

Let no man awaken it, this same Berserker rage' 

Carlyle Chartism 

You say that I am berserker And . baresark I 
go to-morrow to the war 

Kingsl&y Hereward the Wake 

Bertha. Big Bertha, Busy Bertha, etc. 
A German gun with a very large bore, 
so called from Frau Berta (or Bertha) 
Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach of the 
huge Krupp steel and munition works 
in Germany. Cp. Frau Bertha, Berthe, 

Bertha, Frau. A German impersonation 
of the Epiphany, corresponding to the 
Italian Befana. Represented as a white 
lady, who steals softly into nurseries and 
rocks infants asleep in the absence of 
negligent nurses, she is, however, the 
terror of all naughty children. Her feet 
are very large, and she has an iron nose. 
See Befana. 

Bertha, Plummer. (In Dickens 7 Cricket 
on the Hearth ) Sec Plummer. 

Berthe au Grand Pied. (Bertha with 
the large foot ) Mother of Charlemagne, 
and great - granddaughter of Charles 
Martel, so called because she had a club- 
foot She is a prominent character in the 
medieval romances dealing with Charle- 
magne and his court, and is in particular 
the heroine of a 13th century romance by 
a minstrel named Aden6s which was 
immensely popular. 

Bertoldo. A famous clown of popular 
Italian legend. The talcs of his witty 
pranks were collected in a Life of Bertoldo 
( Vita di Bertoldo) by Giulio Cscsare Croce 
in the 16th century; and in the two 
centuries that followed, his exploits and 
those of his son Bertoldina and grandson 
Cacasenno, both of whom were supposed 
to have succeeded to his post of court 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


jester, formed the subject matter of many 
tales and poems. 

Imperturbable as Bertoldo, i e not to be 
taken by surprise, thrown off your guard, 
or disconcerted at anything. 

Bertram. (1) The hero of Shake- 
speare's AWs Well that Ends Well (qv}. 

I cannot reconcile rny heart to Bertram, a man noble 
without generosity, and young without truth, who 
marries Helena as a co\vard, and leaves her as a 
profligate Dr Johnson 

(2) In Meyerbeer's opera Robert le 
Diable (qv), the fiend father of Robert. 

Bertram, Edmund also Maria Bertram 
and Sir Thomas Bertram. Characters in 
Jane Austen's novel Mansfield Park (q v ) 

Bertram, Harry. Hero of Scott's 
Guy Mannering (q.v), alias Captain Yan- 
beest Brown, alias Dawson, alias Dudley, 
son of the laird, and heir to Ellangowan. 
Harry Bertram is in love with Julia 
Mannering, and the novel concludes with 
his taking possession of the old house at 
Ellangowan and marrying Julia. The 
character was suggested by James Annes- 
ley, Esq , rightful heir of the earldom 
of Anglesey, of which he was dispossessed 
by his uncle Richard. He died in 1743. 

Beside the Bonnie Briar Bush. A narra- 
tive of Scotch life by Ian Maclaren (1894), 
relating simple incidents in the little 
village of Drumtochty Among the 
principal village characters are Domsie, 
the schoolmaster, Rev Dr. Davidson and 
Dr. Weelum MacClure. 

Bess, Good Queen. Queen Elizabeth 
(1533, 1558-1603) 

Bess o' Bedlam. A female lunatic 
vagrant See Bedlam. 

Bess of Hardwick. Elizabeth Talbot, 
Countess of Shrewsbury (1518-1608), to 
whose charge, in 1569, Mary Queen of 
Scots was committed. The Countess 
treated the captive Queen with great 
harshness, being jealous of the earl her 
husband Bess of liardwick married four 
times: Robert Barlow (when she was 
only fourteen), Sir William Cavendish; 
Sir William St. LOG, Captain of Queen 
Elizabeth's Guard; and lastly, George 
sixth Earl of Shrewsbury. She built 
Hardwick Hall, and founded the wealth 
and dignity of the Cavendish family. 

Bessee of Bednall Green. See Beggar's 

Bessie Bell and Mary Gray. A ballad 
by Allan Ramsey, relating how two young 
ladies of Perth, to avoid the plague of 
166, retired to a rural retreat called the 
Burnbraes, near Lynedock, the residence 
of Mary Gray A young man, in love 
with both, carried them provisions, and 

they all died of the plague and were 
buried at Dornock Hough 

Bessus. In Beaumont and Fletcher's 
King and No King, a cowardly bragging 
captain, a sort of Bob'adil (q v ) His 
most famous expedient for evading an 
issue without loss of prestige was to regret 
that he could not fight a proposed duel 
for thirteen weeks because he had 212 
others ahead. 

Bestiaries or Bestials. Books very pop- 
ular in the llth, 12th, and 13th centuries, 
containing accounts of the supposed habits 
and peculiarities of animals, which, with 
the legendary lore connected with them, 
served as texts for devotional homilies. 
They were founded on the old Physwlogi, 
and those in English were, for the most 
part, translations of continental originals. 
The Bestiaires of Philippe de Thaon, 
Guillaume le Clerc, and Le Bestiaire 
d' Amour, by Richard de Fournival, were 
among the most popular. 

Bete Noire (Fr. black beast) The 
thorn in the side, the bitter" in the cup, 
the spoke in the wheel, the black sheep, 
the object of aversion A black sheep has 
always been considered an eyesore in a 
flock, and its wool is really less valuable. 
In times of superstition it was looked on as 
bearing the devil's mark. 

Beth Gelert, or " the Grave of the 
Greyhound." A ballad by the Hon. 
William Robert Spencer The tale is 
that one day Llewellyn returned from 
hunting, when his favorite hound, covered 
with gore, ran to meet him. The chieftain 
ran to see if anything had happened to 
his infant son, found the cradle over- 
turned, and all around was sprinkled 
with blood Thinking the hound had 
eaten the child, he stabbed it to the heart. 
Afterwards he found the babe quite safe, 
and a huge wolf under the bed, dead; 
Gelert had killed the wolf and saved the 
child The story is of very old origin 
and very widespread* with variations it is 
found in Sanskrit and in most ancient 

It is told of Tsar Piras of Russia and in the Gesta 
Romanorum, of Folliculus a knight, but instead of a 
wolf the dog is said to have killed a serpent The story 
occurs again in the Seven Wise Masters In the Sanskrit 
version the dog is called an ichneumon and the wolf a 
"black snake " In the Hitopadesa (iv 3) the dog is an 
otter, in the Arabic a weasel, in the Mongolian a pole- 
cat, in the Persian a cat, etc 

Bethesda, Pool of. A spring in Jerusa- 
lem which was supposed to possess healing 
powers " when the water is troubled/ 7 
Jesus here cured a sick man who had 
waited thirty-eight years, but had always 
been set aside by others. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Betrothed, The. A novel by Sir Walter 
Scott (1825), dealing with the times of 
Henry II of England The heroine, Lady 
Eveline Beranger, becomes engaged to 
Sir Hugo de Lacy out of gratitude for his 
service in rescuing her from a Welsh 
prince who besieged her father's castle 
But while Sir Hugo was oft on a Crusade 
in the Holy Land, she was again molested 
by the prince and this times rescued by 
Sir Hugo's nephew, Sir Damian de Lacy, 
with whom she fell in love. When Sir 
Hugo returned, he generously withdrew 
in favor of his nephew 

Bett, Miss Lulu. See Miss Lulu Belt. 

Bettina. The name taken by Elizabeth 
Brentano, Countess von Arnim (1785- 
1859), in her publication, Letters to a 
Child, in 1835. The letters purported 
to be her correspondence with Goethe 
(1807-1811), but they are largely spurious. 

Betty. A name of contempt given to a 
man who interferes with the duties of 
female servants, or occupies himself in 
female pursuits. Cp. Molly Also burglar's 
slang for a skeleton key (the servant of a 
picklock), and sometimes for a jemmy 

Betty, Cousin. (In Balzac's Cousin 
Betty} See Fischer, Lisbeth. 

Beulah. See Land of Beulah. A popular 
novel by Augusta Jane Evans Wilson 
(Am. 1859) was called Beulah from the 
name of its heroine. 

Bev'an, Mr. In Dickens' Martin 
Chuzzlewit, an American physician, who 
befriends Martin Chuzzlewit and Mark 
Tapley in many ways during their stay in 
the New World, 

Beverley, Cecilia. Heroine of Fanny 
Bumey's novel, Cecilia (qv.). 

Beverley, Ensign. The name assumed 
by Captain Absolute (qv) in Sheridan's 
School for Scandal. 

Beverley of Graustark. See Graustark. 

Bevis. (1) Marmion's horse in Scott's 
narrative poem. Marmion. (2) The faith- 
ful mastiff of Sir Harry Lee in Scott's 
novel Woodstock. See next entry. 

Bevis, Sir, of Hamtown or South- 
ampton. A very well known medieval 
chivalric romance, slightly connected with 
the Charlemagne cycle, which (in the 
English version given in Dray ton's Poly- 
albion) tells how the father of Bevis was 
slain by the mother, and how, on Bevis 
trying to avenge the murder, she sold him 
into slavery to Eastern merchants. After 
many adventures he converts and carries 
off Josian, daughter of the Soldan, returns 
to England, gets his revenge, and all 
ends happily. See Ascapart. 

Bey. See Rulers, Titles of. 

Beyond Life. A narrative, or more 
properly a series of essays by James 
Branch Cabell (Am. 1919). The supposed 
author is John Charteris (qv) who appears 
in other of the Cabell novels and is 
frequently CabelPs mouthpiece. 

Beyond the Hcrizcn. A drama by 
Eugene O'Neill ^ (Am. 1920). Robert 
Mayo, a romantic dreamer, has always 
wanted to seek adventure " beyond the 
horizon " but has given up his dreams to 
marry the girl he loves and stay on the 
New England farm. Instead his prosaic 
brother Andrew, who has also loved 
Ruth, the girl, is the one to go adventur- 
ing over seven seas and come home with 
strange tales. Robert's life is embittered 
by the fact that Ruth comes to despise 
him as a failure and to idealize Andrew, 
and finally disease takes away all hope. 
Beyond the Horizon was awarded the 
Pulitzer prize in 1920. 

Bezo'nian. A new recruit, applied 
originally in derision to young soldiers 
sent from Spain to Italy, who landed both 
ill-accoutred and in want of everything 
(Ital besogni, from bisogno, need, Fr. 
besmri). " Under which king, bezonian? 
Speak or die " (2 Henry I V. v. 3). Choose 
your leader or take the consequences. 

Great men oft die by vile bezomans 

Shakespeare 2 Henry FT, iv 1. 
Base and pilfering besogmos and marauders 

Scott Monastery, xvi 

Bhagavadgita, The. A very early Hindu 
poem of religious and philosophical import 
" sung by the holy one," that is by 
Krishna (q v.) . It is paraphrased in 
Edwin Arnold's Song Celestial. 

Bian'ca. (1) In Shakespeare's Taming 
of the Shrew (q.v.) the younger daughter of 
Baptista of Pad'ua, as gentle and meek 
as her sister Katherine was violent and 

(2) A courtesan in Shakespeare's Othello. 

Bianca among the Nightingales. 
A poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 
The Italian Bianca, forsaken by her 
English lover, pours out her grief and her 
hatred of the England in which she is 

Bianchi. The political faction in Tus- 
cany to which Dante belonged. It and 
the Neri (Whites and Blacks), both 
being branches of the Guelph family, 
engaged in a feud shortly before 1300 
which became very violent in Florence 
and the neighboring cities, and eventually 
the Bianchi joined the, the 
opponents of the Guelphs. In 1301 the 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Bianchi, including Dante, were exiled 
from Florence. 

Bianchon, Horace. A tolerant and 
charitable Pansian physician who appears 
in many of the novels of Balzac's Comedie 
Humame. He was a member of the 
Cenacle (q v ) 

Bibbs, Sheridan. In Tarkington's Tur- 
moil (q v \ 

Biberius Caldius Mero. The punning 
nickname of Tiberius Claudius Nero 
(the Roman Emperor, Tiberius, who 
reigned from 14 to 37 A. D). Biberius 
[Tiberius], drink-loving. Caldius Mero 
[Claudius Nero], by metathesis for cahdus 
mere, hot with wine. 

Bible, The English. The principal 
versions of the English Bible are: 

American Revised Version. A separate 
version published in 1901, the work of the 
American Committee on the Revised 
Version. It differs in a few particulars 
from the Revised Version (q.v. below). 

The Authorized Version. This, the 
version in general use in England, was 
made by a body of scholars working at 
the command of King James I (hence 
sometimes called " King James* Bible ") 
from 1604 to 1611, and was published in 
1611. The modern " Authorized Version " 
is however, by no means an exact reprint 
of that authorized by King James; a 
large number of typographical errors 
which occurred in. the first edition have 
been corrected, the orthography, punctua- 
tion, etc , has been modernized, and the 
use of italics, capital letters, etc , varied. 
The Bishops' Bible (q.v) was used as 
the basis of the text, but Tyndale's, 
Matthew's, Goverdale's, and the Geneva 
translations were also followed when they 
agreed better with the original. 

The Bishops 7 Bible. A version made 
at the instigation of Archbishop Parker 
(hence also called " Matthew Parker's 
Bible"), to which most of the Anglican 
bishops wore contributors It was a 
revision of the Great Bible (q*v), first 
appeared in 1568, and by 1602 had 
reached its eighteenth edition. It is this 
edition that forms the basis of our 
Authorized Version. See Treacle Bible 

Coverdale's Bible. The first complete 
English Bible to be printed, published in 
1535 as a translation out of Douche (i.e 
German) and Latin by Myles Coverdale. 
It consists of Tyndale's translation of 
the Pentateuch and New Testament, 
with translations from the Vulgate, a 
Latin version (1527-1528) by the Italian 

Catholic theologian, Sanctes Pegninus, 
Luther's German version (1534) and the 
Swiss- German version of Zwingh and 
Leo Juda (Zurich, 1527-1529). The first 
edition was printed at Antwerp, but the 
second (Southwark, 1537) was the first 
Bible printed in England Matthew's 
Bible (q v ) is largely based on Cover dale's. 
See Bug Bible below 

Cranmer s Bible. The name given to 
the Great I ible (q.v ) of 1540. It, and 
later issues, contained a prologue by 
Cranmer, and on the wood-cut title-page 
(by Holbein) Henry VIII is shown seated 
while Cranmer and Cromwell distribute 
copies to the people 

Cromwell's Bible. The Great Bible 
(qv.) of 1539 The title-page (see Cran- 
vier's Bible above) includes a portrait of 

The Douai Bible A translation of the 
Vulgate, made by English Catholic 
scholars in France for the use of English 
boys designed for the Catholic priesthood. 
The New Testament was published at 
Rheims in 1582, and the Old Testament 
at Douai in 1609, hence sometimes called 
the Rheims-Douai version. See Rosin 
Bible below; Douai 

The Geneva Bible. A revision of great 
importance in the history of the English 
Bible, undertaken by English exiles at 
Geneva during the Marian persecutions 
and first published in 1560. It was the 
work of William Whittingham, assisted by 
Anthony Gilby and Thomas Sampson. 
Whittingham had previously (1557) pub- 
lished a translation of the New Testament. 
The Genevan version was the first English 
Bible to be printed in roman type instead 
of black letter, the first in which the 
chapters are dn ided into verses (taken by 
Whittingham from Robert Stephen's 
Greek-Latin Testament of 1537), and the 
first in which italics are used for explana- 
tory and connective words and phrases 
(taken from Beza's New Testament of 
1556). It was immensely popular; from 
1560 to 1616 no year passed without a 
new edition, and at least two hundred are 
known. In every edition the word 
" breeches " occurs in Gen. iii. 7, hence the ' 
Geneva Bible is popularly known as the 
" Breeches Bible." See Goose Bible, Place- 
makers' Bible, below. 

The Great Bible. Coverdale's revision 
of his own Bible of 1535 (see Coverdale's 
Bible above), collated with Tyndale's and 
Matthew's, printed in Paris by Regnault, 
and published by Graf ton and Whit church 
in 1539. It is a large folio, and a splendid 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

specimen of typography. It is sometimes 
called " Cromwell's Bible/ 7 as it was 
undertaken at Ms direction, and it was 
made compulsory for all parish churches 
to purchase a copy. The Prayer Book 
version of the Psalms comes from the 
November, 1540, edition of the Great 
Bible See also Cranmer's Bible. 

King James' Bible The Authorized 
Version (q.v). 

Matthew Parker's Bible. The Bishops' 
Bible (qv). 

Matthew's Bible. A pronouncedly Prot- 
estait version published in 1537 as having 
bee a " truly and purely translated into 
English by Thomas Matthew," which was 
a pseudonym, adopted for purposes of 
safety, of John Rogers, an assistant of 
Tyndale. It was probably printed at 
Antwerp, and the text is made up of the 
Pentateuch from Tyndale's version to- 
gether with his hitherto unprinted transla- 
tion of Joshua to 2 Chronicles inclusive 
and his revised edition of the New Testa- 
ment, with Coverdale's version of the rest 
of the Old Testament and the Apocrypha. 
It was quickly superseded by the Great 
Bible (qv), but it is of importance as it 
formed the starting-point for the revisions 
which culminated in the Authorized 
Version See Bug Bible below. 

The Revised Version. A revision of the 
Authorized Version commenced under a 
resolution passed by both Houses of 
Convocation in 1870 by a body of twenty- 
five English scholars (assisted and advised 
by an American Committee), the New 
Testament published in 1881, the com- 
plete Bible in 1885, and the Apocrypha in 

Rheims-Douai Version. See Douai 
Bible above. 

Taverner' s Bible. An independent tr ans- 
lation by a Greek scholar, Richard 
Taverner, printed in 1539 (the same year 
as the first Great Bible) by T. Petit for 
T. Berthelet It had no influence on the 
Authorized Version, but is remarkable 
for its vigorous, idiomatic English, and 
for being the first English Bible to 
include a third Book of Maccabees in the 

Tyndale 1 s Bible. This consists of the 
New Testament (printed at Cologne, 
1525), the Pentateuch (Marburg, Hesse, 
1530 or 1531), Jonah, Old Testament 
lessons appointed to be read in place of 
the Epistles, and a MS. translation of the 
Old Testament to the end of Chronicles 
which was afterwards used in Matthew's 
Bible (q.v), His revisions of the New 

Testament were issued in 1534 and 1535. 
Tyndale's principal authority was Eras- 
mus 7 edition of the Greek Testament, 
but he also used Erasmus' Latin transla- 
tion of the same, the Vulgate, and Luther's 
German version. Tyndale's veision fixed 
the style and tone of the English Bible, 
and subsequent Protestant versions of the 
books on which he worked should with 
one or two minor exceptions be looked 
upon as revisions of his, and not as inde- 
pendent translations 

Wyclifs Bible The name given to two 
translations of the Vulgate, one completed 
in 13SO and the other a few years latei, in 
neither of which was Wychf concerned as 
a translator Nicholas of Hereford made 
the first version as far as Baruch ui. 20; 
who was responsible for the remainder is 
unknown. The second version has been 
ascribed to John Purvey, a follower of 
Wychf. The Bible of 1380 was the first 
complete version in English, as a whole 
it remained unprinted until 1850, when 
the monumental edition of the two ver- 
sions by Forshall and Madden appeared, 
but in 1810 an edition of the Now Testa- 
ment was published by H. II Baber, an 
assistant librarian at the British Mus- 

Bible, Specially named editions. The 
following Bibles are named cither from 
typographical errors or archaic words that 
they contain, or from some special cir- 
cumstance in connection with them: 

Adulterous Bible. The " Wicked Bible " 

Bamberg Bible. The " Thirty-Six Line 
Bible" (qv.) 

The Bear Bible. The Spanish Protes- 
tant version printed at Basle in 1569, so 
called because the woodcut device on the 
title-page is a bear. 

BedeWs Bible. A translation of the 
Authorized Version into Irish carried out 
under the direction of Bedell (d. 1042), 
Bishop of Kihnore and Ardagh. 

The Breeches Bible. The (Jonovan 
Bible (see above) was popularly HO called 
because in it Gen. lii. 7, was rendered, 
" The eyes of them bothe were opened 
. . . and they sowed figgc-trce leaves 
together, and made themselves breeches/' 
This reading occurs in every edition, of 
the Genevan Bible, but not in any other 
version, though it is given in the then un- 
printed Wyclif MS. (" ya sowiden ye levis 
of a^fige tre and madin brechis "), and 
also in the translation of the Pentateuch 
given in Caxton's edition of Voragino's 
Golden Legend (1483). 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


The Brothers' Bible. The " Kralitz 
Bible" (gt>.) 

The Bug Bible. Coverdale's Bible (q.v ) 
of 1535, is so called because Ps. xci. 5, 
is translated, " Thou shalt not nede to 
be afrayed for eny bugges by night." 
The same reading occurs in. Matthew's 
Bible (q v.) and its reprints, the Authorized 
and Revised Versions both read " terror " 

Complutensian Polyglot, The great edi- 
tion, in six folio volumes, containing the 
Hebrew and Greek texts, the Septuagint, 
the Vulgate, and the Chaldee paraphrase 
of the Pentateuch with a Latin translation, 
together with Greek and Hebrew gram- 
mars and a Hebrew Dictionary, prepared 
and piinted at the expense of Cardinal 
Ximenes, and published at Alcala (the 
ancient Complutum) near Madrid, 1513- 

The Discharge Bible An edition printed 
in 1806 containing discharge for charge in. 
1 Tim. v. 21: "I discharge thee before 
God, . . . that thou observe these things, 

The Ears to Ear Bible. An edition of 
1810, in which Matt, xiii 43, reads 
" Who hath ears to ear, let him hear." 

The Ferrara Bible. The first Spanish 
edition of the Old Testament, translated 
from the Hebrew in 1553 for the use of 
the Spanish Jews. A second edition was 
published in the same year for Christians. 

The Forty-two Line Bible. The " Ma~ 
zarin Bible " (g.u.). 

The Goose Bible. The editions of the 
Genevan Bible (q.v.) printed at Dort; the 
Dort press had a goose as its device. 

Gutenberg's Bible. The "Mazana Bible" 


The He Bible. In the "two earliest edi- 
tions of the Authorized Version (both 
1611) in the first (now known as " the 
lie Bible ") Ruth Hi. 15, reads: " and he 
went into the city "; the other (known as 
" the She Bible ") has the variant "she." 
" He " is the correct translation of the 
Hebrew, but nearly all modern editions 
with the exception of the Revised 
Version perpetuate the confusion and 
print "she" 

The Idle Bible. An edition of 1809 in 
which, "the idole shepherd" (Zech. xi. 
17) is printed l( the idle shepherd." In 
the Revised Version the translation is 
" the worthless shepherd." 

The Krahtz Bible. The Bible pub- 
lished by the United Brethren of Moravia 
(hence known also as the Brothers' Bible) 
at Kralitz, 1579-1593, 

The Leda Bible. The third edition 

(second folio) of the Bishops' Bible (qv.), 
published in 1572, and so called because 
the decoration to the initial at the Epistle 
to the Hebrews is a startling and incongru- 
ous woodcut of Jupiter visiting Leda in 
the guise of a swan. This, and several 
other decorations in the New Testament 
of this edition, were from an edition of 
Ovid ; s Metamorphoses, they created such 
a storm of protest that they were never 
afterwards used. 

The Leopohta Bible A Polish trans- 
lation of the Vulgate by John of Lemberg 
(anc Leopohs) published in 1561 at 

The Mazarin Bible The first printed 
Bible (an edition of the Vulgate) , and the 
first large book to be printed from movable 
metal type It contains no date, but was 
printed probably in 1455, and was cer- 
tainly on sale by the middle of 1456. It 
was printed at Mainz, probably by Fust 
and Schoeffer, but as it was for long 
credited to Gutenberg and it is not yet 
agreed that he was not responsible it 
is frequently called the Gutenberg Bible. 
By bibliographers it is usually known as 
the Forty-two Line Bible (it having 42 
lines to the page), to differentiate it from 
the Bamberg Bible of 36 lines. Its popu- 
lar name is due to the fact that the copy 
discovered in the Mazarin. Library, Paris, 
in 1760, was the first to be known and 

The Murderers' Bible. An edition of 
1801 in which the misprint murderers for 
murmurers makes Jude 16, read:^" These 
are murderers, complainers, walking after 
their own lusts, etc." 

The Old Cracow Bible. The " Leopolita 
Bible" (q.v.). 

The Ostrog Bible. The first complete 
Slavonic edition; printed at Ostrog, Vol- 
hynia, Russia, in 1581. 

Pfister's Bible. The " Thirty-six Line 
Bible" (q.v.). 

The Place^makers' Bible. The second 
edition of the Geneva Bible (fl.w.), 1562; 
so called from a printer's error in Matt. v. 
9, " Blessed are the placemakers [peace- 
makers], for they shall be called the chil- 
dren of God. 7 ' It has also been called the 
" Whig Bible/' 

The Printers' Bible. An edition of 
about 1702 which makes David patheti- 
cally complain that " printers [princes] 
have persecuted me without a cause " 
(Ps. cxix. 161). 

The Proof Bible (Probe- Bibel)^ The 
revised version of the first impression of 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Luther's German Bible. A final revised 
edition appeared in 1892 

Rebecca's Camels Bible An edition 
printed in 1823 in which Gen. xxiv. 61 
tells us that " Rebecca arose, and her 
camels/' instead of " her damsels " 

The Rosin Bible. The Douai Bible 
(q.v.), 1609, is sometimes so called, be- 
cause it has in Jer. viii. 22. " Is there noe 
rosin in Galaad " The Authorized Ver- 
sion translates the word by " balm, 7 ' but 
gives " rosin " in the margin as an alter- 
nat ve. Cp Treacle Bible below 

Sacy's Bible. A French translation, so 
called from Louis Isaac le Maistre de 
Sacy, director of Port Royal, 1650 T 1679. 
He was imprisoned for three years in the 
Bastille for his Jansemst opinions, and 
there translated, 1667, completing the 
Bible a few years later, after his release. 

Schelhorn's Bible. A name sometimes 
given to the "Thirty-Six Line Bible" 

The September Bible. Luther's German 
translation of the New Testament, pub- 
lished anonymously at Wittenberg in 
September, 1522. 

The She Bible. ^ See He Bible. 

The Standing Fishes Bible. An edition 
of 1806 in which Ezek xlvii 10, reads: 
" And it shall come to pass that the fishes 
(instead of fishers') shall stand upon it, 

The Thirty "Six Line Bible. A Latin 
Bible of 36 lines to the column, probably 
printed by A. Pfister at Bamberg in 1460. 
It is also known as the Bamberg, and 
Pfister's, Bible, and sometimes as Schel- 
horn's, as it was first described by the 
German bibliographer J. G. Schelhorn, in 

The To-remain Bible. In a Bible 
printed at Cambridge in 1805 Gal. iv. 
29, reads* " Persecuted him that was born 
after the spirit to remain, even so it is 
now." The words " to remain " were 
added in error by the compositor, the 
editor having answered a proofreader's 
query as to the comma after " spirit " 
with the penciled reply " to remain " in 
the margin The mistake was repeated 
in the first 8vo edition published by the 
Bible Society (1805), and again in their 
12mo edition dated 1819. 

The Treacle Bible. A popular name 
for the Bishops 3 Bible (q.v.), 1568, because 
in it Jer. viii. 22, reads: " Is there no 
tryacle in Gilead, is there no phisition 
there? " Cp. Rosin Bible above. In the 
same Bible " tryacle " is also given for 
" balm " in Jer xlvi. 11, and Ezek. xxvii. 

17. Coverdale's Bible (1535) also uses the 
word " triacle." 

The Unrighteous Bible An edition 
printed at Cambridge m 1653, containing 
the printer's error, " Know ye not that 
the unrighteous shall inherit [for " shall 
nofc inherit "1 the Kingdom of God? " 
(1 Cor. vi 9). The same edition gave 
Rom vi. 13, as " Neither yield ye your 
members as instruments of righteousness 
unto sin," in place of " unrighteousness." 
This is also sometimes known as the 
" Wicked Bible." 

The Wicked Bible So called because 
the word not is omitted in the seventh 
commandment, making it, " Thou shalt 
commit adultery." Printed at London by 
Barker and Lucas, 1632. The " Unright- 
eous Bible " (q.v ) is also somet.mes calJed 
by this name 

The Wife-hater Bible. An edition of 
1810 in which the word " life " in Luke 
xiv. 26, is printed " wife " 

Wuyck j s Bible. The Polish Bible au- 
thorized by the Roman Catholics and 
printed at Cracow in 1599* The transla- 
tion was made by the Jesuit, Jacob Wuyck. 

The Zurich Bible. A German vcision 
of 1530 composed of Luther's translation 
of the New Testament and portions of the 
Old, with the remainder and the Apocry- 
pha by other translators. 

Bib'lia Pau'perum (the poor man's 
Bible). A picture-book, widely used by 
the illiterate in the Middle Ages in place 
of the Bible. It was designed to illustrate 
the leading events in the salvation of man, 
and later MSS. as a rule had a Latin 
inscription to each picture. These Bibha 
were probably the earliest books to be 
printed, first from blocks and later with 
movable type. 

Bib'ulus. Colleague of Julius Cavsar, 
a mere cipher in office, whence his name 
has become proverbial for one in office 
who is a mere nonentity, 

Bickerstaff, Isaac. A pseudonym as- 
sumed by Dean Swift, in his violent 
burlesque paper-war with Partridge, the 
almanac-maker and astrologer (1709). 
This Isaac Bickerstaff, entering into 
competition with the astrologer in his 
own field, solemnly predicted his death 
at a particular moment and afterwards 
announced the details of the demise. 
Partridge insisted that he was still very 
much alive, but Bickerstaff continued to 
argue to the contrary, and the joke was 
taken up and played upon for months. 
So popular was it that Richard Steele, 
editor of The Tatler, entitled his periodical 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


" The lucubrations of Isaac Bicker-staff, 
Esq , astrologer" (1709-1711) and con- 
tinued to write for The Tatlcr under 
that pseudonym Later a real Isaac 
Bickerstaffe (1735-1785) won fame as a 

Bicorn. A mythical beast, fabled by 
the early French romancers to grow very 
fat and well-favored through living on 
good and enduring husbands. It was 
the antitype to Chichevache (q v ) 

Chichevachc (or lean cow) was said to live on good 
women , and a, world of sarcasm was conveyed in ahv ays 
representing Chichevache as very poor, all ribs, in 
fact her food being so scarce as to keep her in a 
wretched state of famine Bycorne, on the contrary, 
was a monster who lived on good men and he was 
always bursting with fatness, like a prize pig 
Sidney Lamer Shakespeare and his Forerunners, ch vi 

Biddy (i.e. Bridget). A generic name 
for an Irish servant-maid, as Mike is for 
an Irish laborer. These generic names 
are very common for example, Tom Tug, 
a waterman, Jack Pudding, a buffoon; 
Cousin Jonathan, a citizen of the United 
States; Cousin Michel, a German, John 
Bull, an Englishman; Moll and Betty, 
English female servants of the lower order; 
Colin Tompon, a Swiss, Nic Frog, a 
Dutchman; Mossoo, a Frenchman, John 
Chinaman, and many others. 

Bidpay or Bilpay. See Pilpay. 

Bifrost (Icol. bifa, tremble, rest, path). 
In Scandinavian mythology, the bridge 
between heaven and earth, Asgard and 
Midgard, the rainbow may be considered 
to be this bridge, and its various colors 
are the reflections of its precious stones. 

The keeper of the bridge is Heimdall 

Big Ben. The name given to the large 
bell in the Clock Tower (or St Stephen's 
Tower) at the Houses of Parliament. 
It weighs 13J^ tons, and is named after 
Sir Benjamin Hall, Chief Commissioner 
of Works in 1856, when it was cast. There 
are now Big Ben and Little Ben alarm 
clocks on the market. 

Big Bend State. Tennessee. See States. 

Big Endians. In Swift's Gulliver's 
Travels, a party in the empire of Lilliput, 
who made it a matter of conscience to 
break their eggs at the big end. They were 
looked on as heretics by the orthodox 
party, who broke theirs at the little end. 
The Big Endians typify the Catholics, and 
the Little Endians (q.v.) the Protestants. 

Big Stick, The. A phrase popularized 
by Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), presi- 
dent of the United States, denoting 
threats with some show of warlike attitude 
to back them up; pressure that may bo 
brought to bear upon recalcitrant indi- 

viduals, trusts, or nations who persist in 
wrong doing. 

Biglow Papers, The. A series of 
satires, chiefly in verse, written in the 
New England vernacular by James 
Russell Lowell (Am. 1846-1848, second 
series, 1867). The original series, pub- 
lished during the Mexican War, was 
extremely popular throughout the North, 
where the general feeling was that the 
southern states were supporting the war 
merely to gain more slave territory. 
Three typical Yankee characters, created 
by Lowell, express their views in the 
Biglow Papers Hosea Biglow, a 
shrewd and sensible New England farmer 
with a deal of wit of the homely variety 
and a genuine enthusiasm for the cause of 
freedom; Birdofredum Sawin, a good- 
for-nothing fellow villager who goes off 
to the war and becomes an unconvincing 
advocate of the Southern cause; and Rev. 
Homer Wilber, an earnest but somewhat 
pompous and over-scholarly country 
minister. The second series tells how 
Birdofredum Sawin married and settled 
in the South. 

Big-wig. A person in authority, a 
" nob." Of course, the term arises from 
the custom of judges, bishops, and so on, 
wearing large wigs. 

Bildad the Shuhite. In the Old Testa- 
ment, one of the three false comforters of 
Job (g.v). 

Bin, A. 

A true bill. Under the old judicial 
system before a case went to the criminal 
Assizes it was examined by the Grand 
Jury whose duty it was to decide whether 
or not there was sufficient evidence to 
justify a trial. If they decided that there 
was they were said " to find a true bill "; 
if, on the other hand, they decided there 
was not sufficient evidence they were said 
" to ignore the bill." Hence to find a 
true bill is a colloquial way of saying that 
after proper examination one can assert 
that such and such a thing is true. 

Bill of Attainder, A legislative Act, 
introduced and passed exactly like any 
other Bill, declaring a person or persons 
attainted It was originally used only 
against offenders who fled from ]ustice, 
but was soon perverted to the destruction 
of political opponents, etc. The last Bill 
of Attainder in England was that passed 
in 1697 for the attainting and execution 
of Sir John Fenwick for participation m 
the Assassination plot. 

Bill of exchange. An order transferring 
a named sum of money at a given date 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

from the debtor (" drawee ") to the 
creditor (" drawer ") The drawee having 
signed the bill becomes the " acceptor/' 
and the document is then negotiable m 
commercial circles just as is money itself 

Bill of fare. A list of the dishes pro- 
vided, or which may be ordered, at a 
restaurant, etc ; a menu. 

Bill of health. A document, duly signed 
by the proper authorities, to certify that 
when the ship set sail no infectious dis- 
order existed in the place. This is a clean 
bill of health, and the term is frequently 
used figuratively. 

A foul bill of health is a document to 
show that the place was suffering from 
some infection when the ship set sail. 
If a captain cannot show a clean bill, 
he is supposed to have a foul one 

Bill of lading. A document signed by 
the master of a ship in acknowledgment 
of goods laden in his vessel. In this 
document he binds himself to deliver the 
articles in good condition to the persons 
named in the bill, certain exceptions 
being duly provided for. These bills are 
generally in triplicate one for the 
sender, one for the receiver, and one for 
the master of the vessel. 

Bill of Pains and Penalties. A legisla- 
tive Act imposing punishment (less than 
capital) upon a person charged with 
treason or other high crimes. It is like a 
Bill of Attainder (q v.), differing from it in 
that the punishment is never capital and 
the children are not affected. 

Bill of quantities. An abstract of the 
probable cost of a building, etc. 

Bill of Rights. ^ The declaration de- 
livered to the Prince of Orange on his 
election to the British throne, and 
accepted by him, confirming the rights 
and privileges of the people. (February 
13, 1689 ) 

Bill of sale. When a person borrows 
money and delivers goods as security, he 
gives the lender a " bill of sale/' that is, 
permission to sell the goods if the money 
is not returned on a stated day. 

Bin Arp. See Arp. 

Billee, Little. A comic ballad by 
Thackeray, telling how three sailors of 
Bristol city went to sea, and, having eaten 
all their food, resolved to make a meal of 
Little Billee, but the lad eluded his fate. 

There was gorging Jack, and guzzling Jimmy, 
And the youngest he was little Billee 

Now, when they got as far 's th* equator, 
They'd nothing left but one split pea. 

To gorging Jack says guazhng Jimmy, 
"We've nothing left, us must eat we " 

Little Billie } or William Bagot, is the 

hero of Du Maurier's Trilby (qv.). The 
author borrowed the nickname from 
Thackeray's ballad 

Billings, Josh. The nom de plume of 
Henry Wheeler Shaw (1818-1885), an 
extremely popular American humorist. 
For many years he published an annual 
known as Josh Billings 1 Farmers 1 All- 

Billingsgate. The site of an old passage 
through that part of the city wall that 
protected London on the river side so 
called from the Billings, who were the 
royal race of the Vanm, an ancient tribe 
mentioned by Tacitus. Billingsgate has 
been the site of a fish-market for many 
centuries, and its porters, etc , were famous 
for their foul and abusive language at 
least three hundred years ago. 

Parnassus spoke the cant of Billingsgate 

Dry den Art of Poetry, c 1 

To talk Billingsgate. To slang , to use 
foul, abusive language; to scold in a 
vulgar, coarse style. 

Billy Barlow. A street droll, a mcrry- 
andrew, so called from a half-idiot of the 
name, who fancied himself sonic great 
personage. He was well known in the 
East of London in the early half of last 
century, and died in Whitechapel work- 
kouse. Some of his sayings were really 
witty, and some of his attitudes really 

Bi-metallism. The employment for 
coinage of two metals, silver and gold, 
which would be of fixed relative value. 
Gold is the only standard metal in 
England and some other countries; silver 
coins, like copper, arc meic tokens, but 
a gold sovereign is always of one fixed 
legal value.^ The object is to minimize 
the fluctuations in the value of money. 

Bimizii, A legendary island of the 
Bahama group where the Fountain of 
Youth (q.v.) conferred eternal youth on 
all who drank its waters Many journeys 
were made m search of it. There is an 
island called Bimmi or Bernini from this 

Binet Tests, Sec Simon Bind Tests. 

Bing'en, Bishop of. See under Hatto. 

Binnie, James. In Thackeray's New- 
comes , an amiable Scotch bachelor of the 
Indian Civil Service who lives for a time 
with Colonel Newcome in London. 

Biondello. In Shakespeare's Taming 
of the Shrew, one of the servants of 
Lucentio, the future husband of Biaixca. 

Birch, Harvey. The patriotic peddler 
hero of Cooper's novel The Spy (q.v,). 

Birchin Lane. I must send you to 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Birchin Lane, i.e. whip you. The play 
is on birch (a rod). 

A suit in Birchin Lane. Birchin Lane 
was once famous for all sorts of apparel; 
references to second-hand clothes in 
Birchin Lane are common enough in 
Elizabethan books. 

Passing through Birchm Lane amidst a camp-royal of 

hose and doublets, I took occasion to slip into a 

captain's suit a valiant buff doublet stuffed with 

points and a pair of velvet slops scored thick with lace 

Middleton Black Book (1604). 

Bird. This is the Middle English and 
Anglo-Saxon brid (occasionally byrde m 
M. E), which meant only the young of 
feathered flying animals, foul, foule, or 
fowel being the M.E. corresponding to the 
modern bird. 

An endearing name for girl. 

And by my word, your bonme bird 

In danger shall not tarry, 
So, though the waves are raging white, 

I'll row you o'er the ferry 

Campbell Lord Ulhn's Daughter 

This use of the word is probably con- 
nected with burd (qv), a poetic word for 
a lady which has long been obsolete, 
except in ballads. In modern slang " bird 77 
has not quite the same significance; here 
it is a rather contemptuous term for a 
young woman (perhaps connected with 
" flapper "), and conveys the suggestion 
that she is, to say the least, on the " fast " 

A bird in the hand is worth two in the 
bush. Possession is better than expec- 

A bird of passage. A person who shifts 
from place to place, a temporary visitant, 
"like a cuckoo, the swallows, starlings, etc. 

The bird of Juno. The peacock. 

The bird of Washington. The American 

The Arabian bird. The phoenix. 

Birds of Diorncdes. Swans. 

The Blue Bird. See under Blue. 

Birdofredum Sawin. In Lowell's 
Biglow Papers (qv). 

Birds, The. A famous comedy by 
Aristophanes (Gr. B. C. 414) in which 
" the birds " construct a cloud city (see 
Cloud Cuckoo Land) in midair and enter 
into friendly relations with the gods. 

Birds' Christmas Carol, The. A Christ- 
mas tale by Kate Douglas Wiggin (Am. 
1888). It tells the story of the gentle 
little invalid, Carol Bird, and how the 
uproarious Ruggles family threw aside 
the society manners painfully acquired 
for the occasion and thoroughly enjoyed 
their Christmas dinner at the Birds'. 
After a happy day, Carol listens to the 

Christmas chimes and then sleeps away 
her life. 

Birmingham Poet. John Freeth, who 
died at the age of seventy-eight in 1808. 
He was wit, poet, and publican, who not 
only wrote the words and tunes of songs, 
but jsang them also, and sang them well. 

Biron. In Shakespeare's Love's Labour's 
Lost (q.v), a merry mad-cap young lord, 
in attendance on Ferdinand, king of 
Navarre. Biron promises to spend three 
years with the King in study, during 
which time no woman is to approach his 
court; but no sooner has he signed the 
compact than he falls in love with Rosaline. 
He is described as follows in Act u. Sc. i: 

A merrier man, 

Within the limit of becoming mirth, 
I never spent an hour's talk withal 
His eye begets occasion for his wit 
For every object that the one doth catch, 
The other turns to a mirth-moving jest, 
Which his fair tongue (conceit's expositor) 
Delivers in such apt and gracious words, 
That aged ears play truant at his tales, 
And younger hearings are quite ravished 

Birotteau, Caesar. The hero of Balzac's 
novel, Ccesar Birotteau, (L'Histoire de la 
Grandeur et de la Decadence de C6sar 
Birotteau), a dealer in perfumes who is , 
allied with the militant royalists When ' 
he is admitted m^o the Legion of Honor, 
he gives a great ball in honor of the 
occasion. The necessary changes in his 
apartments, together with unfortunate 
speculations, ruin him completely. He 
now devotes himself to the task of paying 
off his creditors and succeeds within three 
years, but dies soon afterward. 

Birthday Suit. He was in his birthday 
suit Quite nude, as when born. 

Birthmark, The. An allegorical tale in 
Hawthorne's Mosses from an Old Manse, 
built around the theme that imperfection 
is necessary to anything mortal. 

Bishop. Bishop Barnaby. The May- 
bug, lady-bird, etc. 

Bishop of Chester. The wealth of the 
Bishopric of Chester in the 15th century 
was proverbial ; hence the satiric expres- 
sion As poor as the Bishop of Chester. 

Bishop of Hippo. St. Augustine (354r- 
430) is often so referred to. He held the 
See for many years. 

Bishop's Bible. See under Bible. 

Age of the Bishops. See Ages. 

Bishop Bkmgram's Apology. A dra- 
matic monologue by Browning in his 
Men and Women (1885). The speaker is 
Sylvester Blougram, a bishop who con- 
fesses to intellectual scepticism yet con- 
tinues to stand before the world as an 
exponent of doctrines he no longer holds, 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

He justifies his position to Gigadibs, a 
young poet. 

Bismarck of Asia. Li Hung Chang 
(1823-1901), the Chinese statesman; so 
called from Otto von Bismarck (1815- 
1898), the German statesman. 

Bitter Sweet. A long narrative poem 
by J. G. Holland (Am 1858), at one time 
widely read. Its characters are Israel, a 
good old New England farmer, and his 
numerous children and grandchildren, 
gathered together in the old homestead 
for Thanksgiving Day. 

Bixiozi, Jean-Jacques. A keen-witted 
cartoonist and humorist who appears in 
many of the novels of Balzac's Comedie 
Humaine. He was one of the lesser 
officials of the Civil Service, where he 
exercised his talent for caricature and 
practical jokes in unofficial moments. 

Bizet, Georges (1838-1875). French 
composer. His best-known opera is 
Carmen (q.v.). 

Bjornson, Bjornstjeme (1832-1910). 
Norwegian poet, novelist and dramatist. 
His best-known plays are Mary, Queen of 
Scots and The Gauntlet. 

Black. (See under Colors for its sym- 
bolisms, etc.) 

Black and blue. Bruised. 

In black and white. In plain writing, 
the paper being white and the ink black. 

To swear black is white. To persist in 
an obvious untruth. 

Blacks. (1) Mutes at funerals. (2) An 
Italian faction of the 14th century. See 

Black and Tans. Members of the 
irregular force enlisted in 1920 for service 
in Ireland as auxiliaries to the Royal Irish 
Constabulary. So called because their 
original uniform was the army khaki with 
the black leather accouterments of the 
E. I. C. 

Black art. The art practised by con- 
jurors, wizards, and others who professed 
to have dealings with the devil; so called 
from the idea that necromancy was 
connected with the Lat. niger, black. 

Black Assizes. July 6, 1577, when a 
putrid pestilence broke out at Oxford 
during the time of assize 

Black Books To be in my black books. 
In bad odor; in disgrace, out of favor. A 
black book is a book recording the names 
of those who are in disgrace or have 
merited punishment. Amherst, in his 
Terro3 Filius, or the Secret History of the 
Universities of Oxford (1726), speaks of 
the Proctor's black book, and tells us that 

no one can proceed to a degree whose 
name is found there. 

Black Code. Legislation regulating the 
treatment of negroes in the southern part 
of the United States before the emancipa- 
tion of the slaves. Properly, the Code Noir 
or Black Code, introduced by Bienville, 
the French governor of Louisiana, about 

Black Death. A plague which ravaged 
Europe in 1348-1351; a putrid typhus, in 
which the body rapidly turned black. 

Black diamonds. Coals. Coal i*nd 
diamonds are both forms of carbon. 

Black Douglas. William Douglas, lord 
of Nithsdale (d 1390). 

Black flag. The banner of a pirate ship, 
hence a symbol of defiance to the law 
The pirate flag was usually decorated with 
skull and cross-bones and known as the 
" Jolly Roger." The name Black Flags 
has been given to (1) Moslem soldiers, 
from the black banner of the Abbasides, 
(2) Chinese sea pirates who opposed the 
French in Tonquin. 

Black Friars. The Dominican monks; 
so called from their black cloaks. The 
district of this name in the City of 
London is the site of a large monastery of 
Dominicans who used to possess rights of 
sanctuary, etc. 

Black Friday. (1) May 11, 1866, the 
date of the failure of Over end and Gurney, 
the Glasgow bankers, which led to a 
financial panic. (2) Dec. 6, 3745, the 
day on which the news reached London 
that the Young Pretender had reached 
Derby. (3) In the United States Sept. 
24, 1869, and Sept. 18, 1873, days of 
financial panic in New York. (4) (rood 
Friday, on account of the black vestments 
worn in the Roman Catholic Clnirch. 

Black gown. A parson, collegian, or 
other learned man, in allusion to the 
uniform of the two former classes. 

Black Hand. A secret organisation, 
especially among Italians, with the object 
of blackmail or lawlessness. The uama 
comes from a former society in Spain with 
anarchistic aims. 

Black hole. The lock-up in military 
barracks. It was the official British terrr* 
until 1868. The allusion is to the so-called 
Black Hole of Calcutta, a dark, small, 
suffocating cell into which Suraja Dowlah 
thrust 146 British prisoners (1756), only 
twenty-three of whom survived. 

Black Jack. (1) A large leather bottle 
tarred on the outside. (2) A name for the 
pirate flag. (3) A nickname given to the 
American general, John Alexander Logan 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


(1826-1886), on account of his complexion 
and hair. 

Black Letter. The heavy Gothic type 
used generally by the early printers in 
England. Hence, black-letter dogs are 
literary antiquaries who pry into every 
corner to find out black-letter copies of 

Black Letter Day. An unlucky day; 
one to be recalled with regret. The 
Romans marked their unlucky days with 
a piece of black charcoal, and their lucky 
ones with white chalk. 

Black List A list of persons in disgrace, 
or who have incurred censure or punish- 
ment; a list of bankrupts for the private 
guidance of the mercantile community 

Black Looks. Looks of displeasure. 
To look black. To look displeased. The 
figure is from black clouds indicative of 
foul weather. 

Black Maria. The van which conveys 
prisoners from the police courts to jail. 
There is an unsupported tradition that 
the term originated in America. Maria 
Lee, a nogross of great size and strength, 
kept a sailors' boarding house in Boston, 
and when constables required help it was 
a common thing to send for " Black 
Maria," who soon collared the refractory 
men and led them to the lock-up. 

During the Great War Black Maria 
was one of the names given to large enemy 
shells that emitted dense smoke OD 

Black Man. The Evil One, 

Black Monday Easter Monday, April 
14, 1360, was so called. Edward III was 
with his army lying before Paris, and the 
day was so dark, with mist and hail, so 
bitterly cold and so windy, that many of 
his horses and men died. Monday after 
Easter holidays is called "Black Monday,' 7 
in allusion to this fatal day. 

It was not for nothing that my nose fell a-bleedmg on 
Black Monday last, at six o'clock i' the morning > 

Shakespeare Merchant of Venice, n 5 

February 27, 1865, was so called in 
Melbourne from a terrible sirocco from 
the N.N.W., which produced dreadful 
havoc between Sandhurst and Castlemain; 
the schoolboys give the name to the first 
Monday after the holidays are over, when 
lessons begin again. 

Black Prince. Edward, Prince of Wales 
(1330-1376), eldest son of Edward III. 
Froissart says he was " styled black by 
terror of his arms." The appellation is 
sometimes thought to refer to the color 
of his armor, but usually to his martial 

Black Republic. Hayti; a West Indian 
state formed for the most part of negroes. 

Black Republicans. Republican oppo- 
nents of slavery, during the period which 
preceded the American Civil War 

Black Rod The short title of an English 
Court official, who is styled fully " Gentle- 
man Usher of the Black Rod," so called 
from his staff of office a black wand 
surmounted by a golden lion. 

Black Saturday Aug. 4, 1621; so called 
in Scotland, because a violent storm 
occurred at the very moment the Parlia- 
ment was sitting to enforce episcopacy 
on the people. 

Black sheep. A disgrace to the family 
or community. Black sheep are looked 
on with dislike by some shepherds, and 
are not so valuable as white ones. Cp. 
Bete noire 

Black swan. A very rare thing. 

Black Thursday. Feb 6, 1851, is so 
called in the colony of Victoria, from a 
terrible bush fire which occurred on that 

Blackballed. Excluded from a club. 
In voting by ballot, those who accept the 
person proposed used to drop a white or 
red ball into the box, but those who 
would exclude the candidate a black one. 

Black Beauty, His Grooms and Com- 
panions. An imaginary autobiography of 
the horse, Black Beauty, by Anna Sewall 
(1877). Black Beauty is accustomed to 
gentle treatment, but when a drunken 
groom breaks his knees, he is sold and 
enters upon a life of misery with many 
vicissitudes. Eventually he comes into 
the hands of a considerate master and 
friend, an old coachman for a family of 

Black Dwarf, The. A novel by Sir 
Walter Scott (1816). The Black Dwarf 
(sec also Dwarf) is called Elshander the 
Recluse or Cannie Elshie, the Wise 
Wight of Mucklestane Moor, but is in 
reality Sir Edward Mauley (q v.). Em- 
bittered by his deformity and his own 
experience, he lives a solitary existence, 
but gives help to many who seek him out 
and finally declares his identity in order 
to prevent a forced marriage between Isa- 
bella Vere and Sir Frederick Langley. 
Isabella marries her true lover, Patrick 
Earnscliff. The character of the Black 
Dwarf is said to have been drawn from 
David Ritchie, whose cottage was on 
Manor Water in the county of Peebles. 

Black Tulip, The. A historical romance 
by Alexander Dumas (Fr. 1895), dealing 
with 17th century Dutch history, par- 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

ticularly the struggle between the patri- 
otic De Witt brothers and their enemies, 
who gained the support of William of 
Orange The novel treats also of the 
famous Haarlem tulip craze, hence the 

Black'acre, Widow. In Wycherly's 
comedy, The Plain Dealer (1677), a 
masculine, litigious, pettifogging, head- 
strong woman. She is considered the best 
of Wycherly's comic characters. 

Blackamoor. Washing the blackamoor 
white i e. t engaged upon a hopeless and 
useless task. The allusion is to one of 
^Esop's fables so entitled 

Blackmore, Richard D. (1825-1900). 
English novelist, author of Lorna Donne 


Blackstick, Fairy. The fairy of Thack- 
eray's Rose and the Ring (qv.). 

Blackstone. An English jurist (1723- 
1780), author of the famous Commentaries 
bearing his name which are fundamental 
in any study of English law. Hence 
Blackstone is synonymous with the law. 

Blackwood, Algernon (1869- ). Eng- 
lish novelist, author of The Promise of 
Avi, The Garden of Survival, etc. 

Blair, Adam. See Adam Blair. 

Blake, Goody. See Goody Blake. 
' Blake, William (1757-1827). English 
poet. His chief volumes are Songs of 
Innocence and Songs of Experience. 

Blanchard, Jenny and Emmy. The 
principal characters in Swinnerton's Noc- 
turne (q.v). 

Blanclie'fieur. The heroine of the Old 
French metrical romance, Floreet Blanche- 
fleur, which was used by Boccaccio as the 
basis of his prose romance, II Filocopo 
The old story tells of a young Christian 
prince who falls m love with the Saracen 
slavegni with whom he has been brought 
up. They are parted, but after many 
adventures he rescues her unharmed from 
the harem of the Emir of Babylon. It is 
a widespread story, and is substantially 
the same as that of Dor'igen and Aurehus 
by Chaucer, and that of Diano'ra and 
Ansaldo in the Decameron See Dongen. 

Blancove, Edward. The seducer of 
Dahlia Fleming in Meredith's novel, 
Ehoda Fleming (qv). 

Blane, Neil. The landlord of the 
Howf in Scott's Old Mortality, also the 
town piper 

Blank Check. A cheek duly signed, 

but without specifying any sum of money; 

the amount to be filled in by the payee. 

To give a blank check is, figuratively, to 

give carte blanche. 

Blank Verse. Rhymeless verse. In 
English prosody the term refers to the 
umhymed iambic pentameter first intro- 
duced by the Earl of Surrey in his version 
of the ./Eneid about 1540. Shakespeare 
and Milton wrote almost entirely m blank 

$ ial\,c*>t)carc j\ft'nhant of Venice 

Blanket. The wrong side of the blanket. 
An illegitimate child is said to come of the 
wrong side of the blanket. 

He gicw up to be a fine waulc fallow, like mony ane 
that comes o' the wrang side o* the blanket 

Stott The Antiquary, ch x\iv. 

A wet blanket A discouragement; a 
marplot or spoil-sport. A person is a wet 
blanket who discourages a proposed 
scheme. " A wet blanket influence " etc. 
A wet blanket is used to smother fire, or 
to prevent one escaping from a fire from 
being burnt. 

A blanket term. One that covers many 
separate measures. 

Blanketeers. The name given to a 
body of some 5,000 working men out of 
employment who assembled on St. Peter's 
Field, Manchester, March 10, 1817, and 
provided themselves with blankets in- 
tending to march to London, to lay before 
the Prince Regent a petition of grievances. 
Only six got as far as Ashbourne Bridge, 
when the expedition collapsed. 

In more recent times journalists have 
applied the name to similar bodies of 
unemployed, both in Great Britain and 
in America. 

Blarney. Soft, wheedling speeches to 
gam some end; flattery, or lying, with 
unblushing effrontery. Blarney is a vil- 
lage near Cork. Legend has it that Cor- 
mack Macarthy held its castle in 1602, 
and concluded an armistice with Carew, 
the Lord President, on condition of sur- 
rendering the fort to the English garrison. 
Day after day his lordship looked for the 
fulfillment of the terms, but received 
nothing but soft speeches, till In became 
the laughing-stock of Elizabeth's minis- 
ters, and the dupe of the Lord of Blarney. 

To kiss the Blarney Stone. In the wall 
of the castle at Blarney, about twenty feet 
from the top and difficult of access, is a 
triangular stone containing this inscrip- 
tion. " Cormac Mac Cart hy fortis me fieri 
fecit, A. D. 1446." Tradition says that to 
whomsoever can kiss this is given the 
power of being able to obtain all Ins de- 
sires by cajolery. As it is almost impossi- 
ble to reach, a substitute has been pro- 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


vided by the custodians of the castle, and 
it is said that this is m every way as 
efficacious as the original 

Bias, Gil. See Gil Bias. 

Blatant Beast. In Spenser's Faerie 
Queene " a dreadful fiend of gods and 
men, ydrad"; the type of calumny or 
slander. He was begotten of Cerberus 
and Chimsera, and had a hundred 
tongues and a sting, with his tongues he 
speaks things " most shameful, most un- 
righteous, must untrue", and with his 
sting " steeps them in poison " ^ Sir 
Artegal pursued him and Sir Calidore 
muzzled the monster, and drew him with 
a chain to Faerie Land The beast broke 
his chain and regained his liberty. The 
word " blatant " seems to have been 
coined by Spenser, and he never uses it 
except as an epithet for this monster, who 
is not mentioned till the twelfth canto of 
the fifth book. It is probably derived from 
the provincial word Mate, meaning to 
bellow or roar. 

Blath'ers and Duff. In Dickens' Oliver 
Twist, detectives who investigate the 
burglary in which Bill Sikes had a hand. 

Bleak House. A novel by Dickens 
(1852). The heroine is Esther Summerson 
(q v.) or rather Esther Hawdon, the ille- 
gitimate child of Lady Dedlock and 
Captain Hawdon. Esther, whom Lady 
Dedlock believes dead, is the ward of Mr. 
Jarndyco of the interminable case of 
Jarndyce and Jarndyce (qv) in Chancery 
Court, and lives with him at Bleak House. 
Lord Dedlock' s lawyer, Mr. Tulkmghorn, 
gets wind of Lady Dcdlock's secret past; 
and when Tulkmghorn is murdered, Lady 
Dedlock is suspected, disappears and is 
later found dead. 

Blefus'cu. In Swift's Gulliver's Travels, 
an island inhabited by pigmies. It was 
situated northeast of Lilhput, from which 
it was parted by a channel 800 yards 
wide. It is supposed to represent France 

Blenheim Steps. Going to Blenheim 
Steps meant going to be dissected, or 
unearthed from one's grave. There was 
an anatomical school, over which Sir 
Astley Cooper presided at Blenheim Steps, 
Bond Street. Here " resurrectionists " 
were sure to find a ready mart for their 
gruesome wares, for which they received 
sums of money varying from 3 to 10, 
and sometimes more. 

Blessed Damozel, The. A poem by 
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1850) giving 
expression to the longing of the " blessed 
damozel " in heaven for her lover OB earth. 

The blessed damozel loaned out 

From the gold bar of Heaven, 
Her eyes were deeper than the depth 

Of waters stilled at even, 
She had three lilies in her hand, 

And the stars in her hair were seven 

Bli'fil. A noted character in Fielding's 
Tom Jones. He pretends to be Tom 
Jones' friend, but is in reality a hypo- 
critical villain of the deepest dye. 

Blighter. Slightly contemptuous but 
good-natured slang for a man, a fellow; 
generally with the implication that he is 
a bit of a scamp or, at the moment, some- 
what obnoxious. 

Blighty. Soldiers' slang for the home- 
land It came into popular use during the 
Great War, but was well known to soldiers 
who had served in India long before. It is 
the Urdu Vilayati or Bilati, an adjective 
meaning provincial, removed at some 
distance; hence adopted by the military 
for England. 

Blimber, Dr. In Dickens' novel, Dom~ 
bey and Son, head of a school for the sons 
of gentlemen, at Brighton. 

Mrs. Blimber Wife of the doctor, not 
learned, but wishing to be thought so. 

Cornelia Blimber. The doctor's daugh- 
ter, a slim young lady, who kept her hair 
short and wore spectacles Miss Blimber 
" had no nonsense about her," but had 
grown " dry and sandy with working m 
the graves of dead languages." She 
married Mr. Feeder, B.A., Dr. Blimber's 

Blind. A blind alley A cul de sac, an 
alley with no outlet. It is blind because it 
has no " eye " or passage through it. 

Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green. See 
under Beggar. 

Blind bard or poet. Homer. 

Blind boy Cupid (q.v). 

Blind Department. In British Post 
Office parlance, that department where 
letters with insufficient, or illegible ad- 
dresses are examined. The clerk so 
employed is called " The Blind Man." 

Blind Harper. John Parry, who died 

Blind Harry. A Scotch minstrel of 
the 15th century. His epic of Sir William 
Wallace runs to 11,861 lines. 

Blind leaders of the blind. An allusion 
to the Pharisees (Matt. xv. 14). 

Blind old Man of Scio j s rocky Isle. 
Homer is so called by Byron in his Bnde 
of Abydos. 

Bhndman's holiday The hour of dusk, 
when it is too dark to work, and too soon 
to light candles. 

Bhndman's Buff. A very old and well- 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

known children's game. " Buff " here is 
short for " buffet/' and is an allusion 
to the three buffs or pats which the 
" blind man ;; gets when he has caught a 

Blithedale Romance, The. A novel by 
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1852) The action 
takes place in a socialistic community 
similar to Brook Farm (q v ) where Haw- 
thorne had spent some time. Two men, 
Miles Coverdale, who tells the story, and 
Hollmgsworth, an ardent social reformer, 
selfish and ruthless in his very philan- 
thropy, are in love with the delicate and 
pretty little seamstress Pnscilla Not 
only is Pnscilla utterly dominated by 
Hollmgsworth, but the more vivid Zeno- 
bia, a woman of full-blooded beauty and 
brilliant intellectual gifts, is also passion- 
ately in love with him Because of his 
love for Pnscilla she finally drowns her- 
self. The character of Zenobia has often 
been likened to that of Margaret Fuller 
whom Hawthorne knew at Brook Farm. 

Blondel de Nesle. A troubadour who 
appears in Scott's Talisman 

Blood. (1) Family descent. (2) A buck, 
an aristocratic rowdy. A term taken from 
blood horses. 

Blood thicker than water. Relationship 
has a claim which is generally acknowl- 

A Prince of the Blood. One of the Royal 

Bad blood. Anger, ill-feeling and con- 

Blue blood. See under Blue. 

Young blood Fresh members; as, 
" To bring young blood into the concern " 

In cold blood. Deliberately, not in the 
excitement of passion or of battle 

It makes one's blood boil. It provokes 
indignation and anger. 

It runs in the blood. It is inherited or 
exists in the family race. 

My own flesh and blood. My own 
children, brothers, sisters or other near 

The field of blood. Aceldama (q.v). 
See Acts \, 19. 

The Man of Blood. Charles I; so called 
by the Puritans on account of his armed 
opposition to them. 

Blood and iron policy. A relentless 
policy of war The phrase was popularized 
though not coined, by the German states- 
man, Otto von Bismarck, in a speech 
before the Budget Commission of the 
Prussian House of Delegates in 1862. 
Hence Bismarck is known as the Man of 
Blood and Iron. 

Blood and thunder. Melodrama; cheap 
sensationalism in fiction. 

Blood of the Grograms Taffety gen- 
tility; make-believe aristocratic blood. 
Grogram is a coarse silk taffety stiffened 
with gum (French, gros-grain). 

Blood money. Money paid to a person 
for giving such evidence as shall lead to 
the conviction of another, money paid to 
the next of km to induce him to forgo his 
" right " of seeking blood for blood, or 
(formerly) as compensation for the murder 
of his relative, money paid to a person 
for betraying another, as Judas was paid 
blood money for his betrayal of the 

Blood, Captain Thomas. A villainous 
historical character (1628-1680) who 
appears in Scott's Pevenl of the Peak. 
He was " a robber from his cradle, a 
murderer since he could hold a knife." 

Blood, Lydia. Heroine of W. D. 
Howells 7 Lady of the Aroostook (q v.). 

Bloods. The Five Bloods of Ireland. 
(1) The O'Neils of Ulster; (2) the 
O'Connors of Connaught; (3) the O'Briens 
of Thomond, (4) the 0~'Lachlans of Meath; 
and (5) the M'Murroughs of Lcinstcr. 
These are the five principal septs or 
families of Ireland, and all not belonging 
to one of these five septs were (even down 
to the reign of Elizabeth) accounted aliens 
or enemies, and could " neither sue nor be 


Bloody Hand. A term in old Forest 
Law denoting a man whose hand was 
bloody, and was therefore presumed to be 
the person guilty of killing the doer shot 
or otherwise slam. In hwakiiy, the 
" bloody hand " is the badge of a baronet, 
and the armorial device of Ulster. 

Bloody Mary. Quoon Mary of England, 
daughter of Henry VIII and elder half- 
sister of Queen .Elizabeth. Bo called on 
account of the sanguinary persecutions 
carried on against the Protestants in her 
short reign (1553-1558), 

Bloody Wedding. The massacre of 
St Bartholomew in 1572 is so called 
because it took place during the marriage' 
feast of Henri (afterwards Henri IV) and 
Marguerite (daughter of Catherine de 

Bloody Week. The week ending on 
Sunday, May 28, 1871, when Paris was 
set on fire by the Communists. 

Bloom'ers. A female costume consist- 
ing of a short skirt and loose troupers 
gathered closely round the ankles, so 
called from Mrs. Amelia Bloomer, of 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


New York, who tried In 1849 to introduce 
the fashion Nowadays " bloomers " is 
usually applied only to the trousers 
portion of the outfit 

Blot on the 'Scutcheon, A. A poetic 
drama by Robert Browning (1843). The 
chief character is Thorold, earl of 
Tresham, head of a noble family whose 
boast is that no blot has ever stained 
their 'scutcheon. Henry, earl of Mertoun, 
Thorold's neighbor, whose lands adjoin, 
asks permission to marry Thorold's young 
sister Mildred, and Thorold, unaware 
of the fact that Mertoun had seduced 
Mildred, consents. When he learns the 
truth, he is beside himself with fury and 
shame He kills Mertoun and poisons 
himself, and Mildred dies soon after. 

Blougram, Bishop Sylvester. See Bishop 
Blougram's Apology. 

Blowzelin'da. A country maiden in 
Gay's pastoral called The Shepherd's 

"Sweet is my toil when, Blovvzehnd is near, 
Of her bereft, 'tis winter all tho year 
Come, BlowEclmda, ease thy swain's desne, 
My summer's shadow and my winter's fire " 

Pastoral i 

Bludsoe, Jim. See Jim Bludsoe 

Bludyer, Mr. In Thackeray's Penden- 
niSj a cruel literary critic who " had a 
certain notoriety in his profession and 
reputation for savage humor. He smashed 
and trampled down the poor spring 
flowers with no more mercy than a bull 
would have on a parterre; and having 
cut up the volume to his heart's content, 
went and sold it at a bookstall and 
purchased a pint of brandy with the 

Blue or Azure is the symbol of divine 
eternity and human immortality. Conse- 
quently, it is a mortuary color hence 
its use in covering the coffins of young 
persons. When used for the garment of 
an angel, it signifies faith and fidelity. 
As the dress of the Virgin, it indicates 
modesty. In blazonry, it signifies chastity, 
loyalty, fidelity, and a spotless reputation, 
and seems frequently to represent silver; 
thus we have the Blue Boar of Richard 
III, the Blue Lion of the Earl of Mortimer, 
the Blue Swan of Henry IV, the Blue 
Dragon, etc. 

The Covenanters^ wore blue as their 
badge, in opposition to the scarlet of 
royalty They based their choice on 
Numb, xv 38,' " Speak unto the children 
of Israel, and bid them that they make 
them fringes in the borders of their 
garments . . . and that they put upon 
the fringe ... a ribband of blue." 

See Colors for its symbolisms. 

A blue or a staunch blue descriptive of 
political opinions, for the most part 
means a Tory, for in most counties the 
Conservative color is blue. A blue IB also 
a blue stocking (q v.) 

A dark blue. An Oxford man or Harrow 

A light blue. A Cambridge man or 
Eton boy 

An old blue. One who has taken part in 
any of the English University athletic 

True blue. This is a Spanish phrase. 
See Blue Blood. 

True as Coventry blue. The reference 
is to a blue cloth and blue thread made 
at Coventry, noted for its permanent dye. 

Presbyterian true blue. The allusion 
is to the blue apron which some of the 
Presbyterian preachers used to throw 
over their preaching-tub before they 
began to addiess the people. 

Blue Apion Statesman. A lay politician, 
a tradesman who interferes with the 
affairs of the nation The reference is to 
the blue apron once worn by almost all 

Blue Beans Bullets, because lead is 

Blue Blood. High or noble birth or 
descent, it is a Spanish phrase, and refers 
to the fact that the veins shown in the 
skin of the pure-blooded Spanish aristo- 
crat, whose race had suffered no Moorish 
or other admixture, were more blue than 
those of persons of mixed, and therefore 
inferior, ancestry. 

Blue Bottle. A beadsman, a policeman; 
so called from the color of his dress. 

Blue Beard. See below. 

Blue Bird. See below. 

Blue Bonnets, or Blue Caps The High- 
landers of Scotland, or the Scots generally 
So called from the blue woolen cap at 
one time in very general use in Scotland, 
and still far from uncommon. 

Blue Books. In England, parliamentary 
reports and official publications presented 
by the Crown to both Houses of Parlia- 
ment. Each volume is in folio, and is 
covered with a blue wrapper. 

In America a Blue Book is a list of 
persons or places of special prestige. 
The New York Blue Book is an exclusive 
social register, and the Automobile Blue 
Book a list of specially recommended 
hotels and restaurants for tourists. 

Blue Devils, or A fit of the Blues. A fit 
of spleen, low spirits. 

Blue Flag. He has hoisted the blue flag. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

He has turned publican or fishmonger, 
in allusion to the blue apron still worn to 
some extent by English tradesmen. 

Blue Gown (1) A harlot, from the blue 
gown worn in the English House of 
Correction. (2) A Scottish bedesman or 
beggar licensed by the King, so called 
from his blue cloak. 

Blue Hen's Chickens. The nickname 
for inhabitants of the State of Delaware. 
It is said that in the Revolutionary War a 
certain Captain Caldwell commanded, 
and brought to a high state of efficiency, 
a Delaware regiment. He used to say 
that no cock could be truly game whose 
mother was not a blue hen. Hence the 
Delaware regiment became known as 
" Blue Hen's Chickens/' and the name 
was transferred to the inhabitants of the 
State generally. 

Blue Laws. Puritanical laws from the 
extremely rigid codes passed at various 
times and places in the 17th and 18th 
centuries in America, especially those 
passed in 1732, at New Haven, Con- 
necticut. Their object was to stamp out 
" heresy/' enforce a strict observance of 
the Sunday, and regulate even kissing 
between husbands and wives Connecticut 
is sometimes called the Blue Law State. 

Blue Monday. The Monday before 
Lent, spent in dissipation; the dreary 
Monday spent at work after a week end 
devoted to pleasure 

Blue Moon. Once in a Hue moon. Very 
rarely indeed. 

Blue Murder. To shout blue murder. 
An expression indicative more of terror 
or alarm than of real danger. 

Blue noses. The Nova Scotians, sup- 
posedly from the name of a variety of 

'* 'Pray, sir,' said one of my fellow-passengers, 'can 
you tell me the reason why the Nova Scotians arc 
called " Blue-noses' ' ? ' 

44 'It is the name of a potato/ said I, 'winch they 
produce in the greatest perfection, and boast to be 
the best in the world The Americans have in conse- 
quence, given them the nickname of Blue Nates ' " 
Haliburton Sam Slick 

Blue Peter. A flag with a blue ground 
and white square in the center, hoisted 
as a signal that the ship is about to sail 
Peter is a corruption of the French partir 
(leave or notice of departure). Hence, 
to hoist the blue Peter. To leave. 

In whist, Blue Peter is a " call for 
trumps '[; that is, laying on your partner's 
card a higher one than is required. 

Blue Ribbon. The blue ribbon is the 
Garter, the badge of the highest and 
most coveted Order of Knighthood in the 

gift of the British Crown; hence the 
term is used to denote the highest honor 
attainable in any profession, walk of 
life, etc. The Blue Ribbon of the Turf. 
The Derby. 

Blue Ribbon Army. A total abstinence 
society founded in the early eighties of the 
last century by Richard Booth in the 
United States. The members were distin- 
guished by wearing a piece of narrow 
blue ribbon in the buttonhole of the coat. 
From this symbol the phrase Blue Ribbon 
Army came in time to be applied to the 
body of teetotalers generally, whether 
connected with the original society or not. 

Blue Stocking, or Bas Bleu. A female 
pedant, a woman of pretentious intel- 
lectual or literary interests The term 
Blue Stocking originated about 1750 in 
allusion to the frequenters of the salon 
of Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu in London 
The usual derivation goes back to 1400 
when a society of ladies and gentlemen 
was formed at Venice, distinguished by 
the color of their stockings and called 
della colza. In 1590 a similar movement 
was the rage among the lady savantes of 
Paris. Another theory has it that the 
term Blue Stocking was in allusion to 
Mr Benjamin Stillmgflcet, a prominent 
member of Mrs. Montagu's clique who 
always wore blue worsted stockings 
instead of the customary black silk. 

Blue talk. Indecent conversation. 

Blue-pencil. To edit or delete portions 
of a MS. From the blue pencil usually 
employed in the process. 

Blues and Grays. In the American Civil 
War, the Union and Confederate forces 
respectively, from the color of their 

Blue Bird, The. (L'Oiscau Bleu). A 
drama by Maurice Maeterlinck (Bel. 
1909), dealing with the search for the 
Blue Bird of Happiness undertaken at 
the behest of the old Fairy Borylune by 
the woodcutter's children, Tyltyl and 
Mytyl. With the aid of a green cap with 
a magic diamond that can be turned at 
will, Tyltyl and his little sister bring 
to life the personalities of the familiar 
things about them, such as Fire, Water, 
the Hours and the animals, Cat and Dog; 
visit the Land of Memory, the Palace of 
Night, the Garden of Happiness, and the 
Kingdom of the^Futurc, but return with- 
out the Blue Bird. Next morning they 
discover that their pet dove, which they 
are sending to a little sick friend, is blue, 
but when the child brings the bird back, 
it makes its escape. In The Betrothal 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Maeterlinck has provided a sequel to 
the play 

Bluebeard (La Barbe Bleue) A famous 
ogre, hero of one of the Contes of Charles 
Perrault (1697). The Chevalier Haoul 
is a merciless tyrant, with a blue beard. 
His young wife is entrusted with all the 
keys of the castle, with strict injunctions 
on pain of death not to open one special 
room During the absence of her lord 
the " forbidden fiuit JJ is too tempting* to 
be resisted, the door is opened, and the 
young wife finds the floor covered with 
the dead bodies of her husband's former 
wives She drops the key in her tenor, 
and can by no means obliterate from it 
the stain of blood. Bluebeard, on his 
return, commands her to prepare for 
death, but Sister Anne (qv) watches 
from the tower and at last, by the timely 
ai rival of her brotheis, her life is saved 
and Bluebeard put to death. 

The Bluebeard story has been widely 
adapted into English literature. Among 
the burlesques and plays on the subject 
are those by Geoige Colman, Jr. (1798), 
J R. Planch6 (1839), H. J. Byron (I860), 
F. C. Burnand (1883). Maeterlinck has 
made it the subject of his Ariane et Barbe 
Bleuc (q v] 

Bluebeard's Key. When the blood 
stain of this key was rubbed out on one 
side, it appealed on the opposite side; 
so prodigality being overcome will appear 
in the form of meanness; and friends, 
over-fond, will often become enemies. 

Bluff, Captain Noll. In Congi eve's Old 
Bachelor (1093), a swaggering bully and 
boaster, lie ways, " I think that fighting 
for fighting's sake is sufficient cause for 
fighting. Fighting, to me, is religion 
and the laws " 

BlnfE Hal or Bluff Harry. Henry VIII 
(1491, 1509-1547). 

Blumine. The " Hose Goddess," heroine 
of Carlyle's Sartor Resartus (q.v.) beloved 
by Teufelsdrockh, whom she makes 
" immoital by a kiss." She marries 
another and more eligible suitor and leaves 
him to despair. 

Blunderbore. A nursery-talc giant, 
brother of Cormoran, who put Jack the 
(Jiarxt Killer to bed and intended to kill 
him; but Jack thrust a billet of wood 
into the bccl, and crept under the bed- 
stead. Blunderbore came with his club 
and broke the billet to pieces, but was 
much amazed at seeing Jack next morning 
at breakfast-time. When his astonish- 
ment was abated, he asked Jack liow ho 
had slept. " Pretty well," said the 

Cornish hero, " but once or twice I 
fancied a mouse tickled me with its tail " 
This increased the giant's surprise. Hasty 
pudding being provided for breakfast, 
Jack stowed away such huge stores in a 
bag concealed within Ms dress that the 
giant could not keep pace with him Jack 
cut the bag open to relieve " the gorge," 
and the giant, to effect the same relief, 
cut his throat and thus killed himself. 

Blurb. Any highly inflated publicity, 
particularly that got out by publishers 
with reference to new books and printed 
on the book jacket and elsewhere. The 
term was invented by Gelett Burgess in 
his Burgess Unabridged (Am. 1914) and 
has become common usage. 

Bly, Nelly. A character in Grundy 
and Solomon's operetta, The Vicar of 
Bray (1882). Also the assumed name 
of a New York woman journalist who 
attracted note in 1S90 by touring the 
world to rival the feat accomplished by 
Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne's romance, 
Around the World in Eighty Days. 

Bo Peep. A heroine of nursery rhyme: 

Little Bo Peep has lost licr sheep 
And can't tell where to find them, 

Leave them alone and they'll come home, 
Bringing their tails behind them 

Bo Tree. The pipal tree, or Ficus 
rehgzosa, of India, allied to the banyan, 
and so called from Pah Bodhi, perfect 
knowledge, because it is under one of 
these trees that Gautama attained enlight- 
enment and so became the Buddha. 

Boadicea. In legendary British history, 
a queen contemporary with Nero who 
rebelled against Roman rule. 

Boanerges. A name given to James 
and John, the sons of Zeb'edee, because 
they wanted to call down " fire from 
heaven/' to consume the Samaritans for 
not " receiving " the Lord Jesus. It is 
said in the Bible to signify " sons of 
thunder," but " sons of tumult " would 
probably be nearer its meaning (Luke ix. 
54; see Mark hi. 17), 

Boar, The. Richard III. 

The wretched, bloody, and usurping boar 

That spoiled your summer fields and fruitful vines: 

This foul swine lies now 

Near to the town of Leicobtcr, as we learn 

Shakespeare Richard III, v 3 

The bristled Baptist boar. So Dryden 
denominates the Anabaptists in Ms Hind 
and Panther. 

The bustled Baptist boar, impure as he [the ape], 
Bui whitened with the foam of sanctity, 
With fat pollutions filled the sacred place, 
And mountains levelled in his furious race 

I>t i 43 

The Calydonian boar. In Greek legend, 
JSneus, king of Calydon, in Jiltolia, 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

having neglected to sacrifice to Artemis, 
was punished by the goddess sending a 
ferocious boar to ravage his lands. A band 
of heroes collected to hunt the boar, who 
was eventually slam by Meleager after he 
had been first wounded by Atalanta. 

The wild boar of the Ardennes Guil- 
laume, Comte de la Maick (died 1485), 
so called because he was fierce as the 
wild boar, which he delighted to hunt 
Introduced by Scott in Quentm Durward 

Boar's Head. The Old English custom 
of serving this as a Christmas dish is 
said to derive from Scandinavian mythol- 
ogy Freyr, the god of peace and plenty, 
used to ride on the boar Gulhnbursti, 
his festival was held at Yuletide (winter 
solstice), when a boar was sacrificed to 
his honor 

The head was carried into the banquet- 
ing hall, decked with bays and rosemary 
on a gold or silver dish, to a flourish of 
trumpets and the songs of the minstrels 
Many of these carols are still extant and 
the following is the first verse of that sung 
before Prince Henry at St. John's College, 
Oxford, at Christmas, 1607 

The Boar is dead, 
So, here is his head, 

What man could have done more 
Than his head off to strike, 
Meleager like 

And bring it as I do before? 

The Boar's Head Tavern Made inx" 
mortal by Shakespeare, this used to 
stand in Eastcheap, on the site of the 
present statue of William IV. The sign 
was the cognizance of the Gordons, the 
progenitor of which clan slew, in the 
forest of Huntley, a wild boar, the terror 
of all the Merse (1093). 

Boatswain. The name of Byron's fav- 
orite dog, buried in Newstead Abbey 
garden. According to Byron's inscription 
on the monument over his grave he " had 
all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.' 7 

To mark a friend's remains, those stones arise, 
I never knew but one, and here he lies 

Bob, Son of Battle. A novel by Alfred 
Ollivant (Am. 1898), the first novel of 
any note to have a dog for its hero 
Bob, Son of Battle, or cc Owd Bob," as 
he is sometimes called, is a " gray dog of 
Kenmuir," a faithful sheep-dog whose 
adventures, particularly those in which 
his rival " Red Wull" is concerned, are 
very realistically told. 

Bob'adil, Captain. A military braggart 
of the first water. Ho is a character in 
Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Humor 
(1598), an ignorant, clever, shallow bully, 
thoroughly cowardly, but thought by his 

dupes to be an amazing hero Master 
Stephen was greatly struck with his 
" dainty oaths," such as " By the foot of 
Pharaoh I" "Body of Csesar' " "As I 
am a gentleman and a soldiei ! " His 
device to save the expense of a standing 
army is inimitable for its conceit and 

"I would select 19 more to myself throughout tho 
land, gentlemen they should be, of a good spirit and 
able constitution I would choose thorn by an instinct, 
and I would teach them the special mica till 

they could play [fence] very near as v-ell a& myself 
This done, say the enemy A\ere 40,000 fetronp;, -we 20 
uould challenge 20 of the enemy, kill them 

challenge 20 more, kill them, 20 more, kill them too, 
every man his 10 a day, that's 10 score 200 a 

day, five days, a thousand, 40,000, 40 times 5, 200 
days, kill them all " Ben Jonson, Every Man %n His 
Humor, iv 7 

This name was probably suggested by 
Bobadilla, first governor of Cuba, who 
sent Columbus home in chains. 

Bobadil is the author's best invention, and is worthy 
to march in the same regiment with Bossus and Pistol, 
Parolles, and the Copper Captain B W Procter. 

"Bobadil, especially, is one of Ben's rn afterpieces 
He is the most colossal eoxvurd and biujsgiirt of the 
comic stage Atlantic Monthly, October, 1SG7. 

Bobby. An English policeman. This 
slang word is either derived from Sir 
Robert Peel, or became popular through 
his having in 1828 remodeled the London 
Metropolitan Police Force. 

Boccaccio, Giovanni (1313-1375). Ital- 
ian fiction writer, famous lor his Decam- 
eron (q.v). 

Boche or Bosclie. An insulting name 
for a German which came into tise during 
the "World War It may be derived from 
German bursch, a lad, or from burschcn, 
to shoot (with a rifle). Another derivation 
given is from Les Albochcs, a contemp- 
tuous nickname given by French printers 
to Germans in the same trade in the 
sixties of the last century, and itself 
derived from the colloquial' bochc coined 
in France about 1860 to dew gn a to a 
worthless person. 

Still another derivation is from the 
French cafooche, (i head/ 7 implying in the 
new word something of the meaning of 

Body-snatcher. One who snatches or 
purloins bodies, newly buried, to sell 
them to surgeons for dissection. The 
first instance on record was in 1777, 
when the body of Mrs. Jane Hainsbury 
was " resurrected " from tho burial 
ground near Gray's Inn Lane, The 
" resurrection men " (#.v.) were impris- 
oned for six months. 

By a play on the words, a bumbailiff 
was so called, because his duty was to 
snatch or capture the body of a delinquent. 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Bc3o'tian. A rude, unlettered person, 
&\ dull blockhead. The ancient Boeotians 
loved agricultural and pastoral pui suits, 
o the Athenians used to say they were 
dull and thick as their own atmosphere, 
yet Hesiod, Pindar, Cormna, Plutarch, 
Pelop'idas, and Epammondas, were all 

BcBo'tian ears. Ears unable to appre- 
ciate music or rhetoric 

Boeuf, Front de. See Front de Baenf. 

Boffin, Nicodemus. In Dickens 7 novel 
Our Mutual Friend, " the golden dust- 
man/ 7 foreman of old John Harmon, 
dustman and miser Being icsiduary 
legatee of John Harmon, dustman, he 
came m for 100,000 Afterwards, when 
John Harmon, the son, was discovered, 
Mr. Boffin surrendered the property to 
him, and lived with him. 

Mrs. Boffin Wife of Mr Boffin, and 
the daughter of a cat's-meat man After 
Mr Boffin came into his fortune she 
became " a high flyer at fashion," wore 
black velvet and sable, but retained her 
kindness of heart and love for her hus- 

Bogy, A hobgoblin; a person or object 
of terror; a bugbear The word appeared 
only in the early 19th century, and is 
probably connected with the Scottish 
bogle, and so with the obsolete bug. 

Colonel Bogy. A name given in golf 
to an imaginary player whose score for 
each hole is settled by the committee of 
the particular club and is supposed to 
be the lowest that a good average player 
could, do it in. Beating Bogy or the 
Colonel, is playing the hole in a fewer 
number of strokes. 

BohSme, La. An opera by Puccini 
(1896) based upon Murger's Vie de 
BoMme. The story deals with the love 
affair of Rudolph, a poet, and Mimi, a 
Paris flower girl; also with Rudolph's 
penniless Bohemian friends and the ups 
and downs of artist life in the Latin 
Quarter. Mimi is ill and finally dies. 

Bohe'mia. Any locality frequented by 
journalists, artiwts, actors, opera-singers 
and other similar characters. See next 

Bohe'mian. A slang term, applied to 
literary men and artists of loose and 
irregular habits, living by what they can 
pick up by their wits. Originally the 
name was applied to the gipsies, from the 
belief that before they appeared in 
western Europe they had been denizens 
of Bohemia, or because the first that 
arrived in France came by way of Bohemia 

(1427). When they presented themselves 
befoie the gates of Pans they were not 
allowed to enter the city, but were lodged 
at La Chapelle, St Denis. The French 
nickname for gipsies is cagoux (un- 

Bohemian Girl, The. A light opera by 
M W. Balfe (1843), libretto by Bunn. 
The plot centers about the kidnapping of 
Arhne, the little daughter of the Governor 
of Presburg, by Devilshoof and his gipsy 
band With the gipsies is Thaddeus, a 
Polish exile from justice, who falls in 
love with Arline. The Gipsy Queen is 
jealous and makes trouble, but after 
many difficulties Arline is restored to her 
father and marries Thaddeus, whose 
identity is finally revealed. 

Bohort, Sir. A knight of Arthur's 
Round Table, brother of Sir Lionel, and 
nephew of Launcelot of the Lake. Also 
called Sir Bors. 

Boiardo or Bojardo (1313-1375) Italian 
poet, famous for his epic, Oilando Innam- 
orato (q v} . 

Bois-Guilbert, Sir Brian de. In Scott's 
Ivanhoe, a preceptor of the Knights 
Templars. He offers insult to Rebecca, 
and she threatens to cast herself from the 
battlements if he touches her. When the 
castle is set on fire by the sibyl, Sir Brian 
carries off Rebecca from the flames. 
Later, the Grand-Master of the Knights 
Templars charges Rebecca with sorcery, 
and she demands a trial by combat. Sir 
Brian de Bois-Guilbert is appointed to 
sustain the charge against her, and 
Ivanhoe is her champion. Sir Brian is 
found dead in the lists, and Rebecca is 
declared innocent. 

Boldwood, William. A character in 
Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd 

Bolshevik or (less correctly) Bolshevist. 
Properly, a member of the Russian revolu- 
tionary party that seized power under 
Lenin in 1917, declared war on capitalism 
and the bourgeoisie in all lands, and aimed 
at the establishment of supreme rule by 
the proletariat. The Bolshevik govern- 
ment was so called because it professed to 
act in the name of the majority (bolshe is 
the comparative of the adjective bolshoi, 
big, large, and bolsheviki-'m^onty) . In 
America and England the name Bolshevist 
is applied to those who are, or who are 
suspected of being " super-anarchists " 
who wish to overthrow the whole basis of 

Bolton, Fanny. In Thackeray's Penden- 
nis, the pretty sentimental daughter of a 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

London porter, with whom Pen is madly 
m Jove for a short time. 

Boltrope. A seaman in Cooper's Pilot 
(q v ) Cooper was of the opinion that 
the character was better drawn than 
Long Tom Coffin (##.)> but both popular 
and critical opinion run counter to his 

Bombastes Furio'so. One who talks 
big or in an ultra-bombastic way. From 
the hero of a burlesque opera so called 
by William Barnes Rhodes, produced m 
1810 in parody of Orlando Funoso. Bom- 
bastes Funoso is the general of Artaxam'- 
inpus, king of Utopia. He is plighted to 
Distaffi'na, but Artaxaminous promises 
her " half-a-crown " if she will forsake the 
general for the King. When Bombastes 
sees himself flouted, he goes mad, and 
hangs his boots on a tree, with this label 
duly displayed: 

Who dares this pair of boots displace, 
Must meet Bombastes face to face 

The King, coming up, cuts down the 
boots, and Bombastes " kills him/' 
Fusbos, seeing the King fallen, " kills " 
the general; but at the close of the farce 
the dead men rise one by one, and join 
the dance, promising, if the audience likes, 
" to die again to-morrow." 

In Orlando Furioso (q y.), the hero, 
Orlando, went mad, and hung up his 
armor on a tree, with this distich attached 

Orlando's arms let none displace, 
But such who'll meet him face to face 

Bon Gaultier Ballads. Parodies of 
contemporary poetry by W. E. Aytoun 
and Sir Theodore Martin. They first 
appeared in Tail's, Eraser's, and Black- 
wood's Magazines in the 'forties, and were 
published in volume form in 1855. 

Bon gre* mal gr6 (Fr.). Willing or 
unwilling, willy nilly, nolens volens. Lit- 
erally, " good will bad will." 

Bon mot (Fr.). A good or witty saying; 
a pun; a clever repartee. 

Bon ton pTr.). Good manners or man- 
ners accredited by good society. 

Bon vivant (Fr.). A free liver, one who 
indulges in the " good things of the table." 
Bon viveur means much the same, but is 
rather stronger, suggesting one who makes 
a pursuit of other pleasures besides those 
of the table. 

Bona fide (Lat). Without subterfuge 
or deception; really and truly. Literally, 
in good faith. To produce one's bona fides 
is to produce one's credentials, to give 
proof that one is what he appears to be 
or can perform that which he says he can. 

Bonanza. A stroke of luck. After the 
Bonanza silver-mine in Nevada which 
was at first considered a failure but which 
suddenly produced immense wealth. 

Bonduca. One of the many forms of 
the name of the British Queen, which in 
Latin was frequently (and in English is 
now usually) written Boadicca, but which 
should properly be Bonduca. Fletcher 
wrote a fine tragedy with this name 
(1616), the principal characters being 
Caractacus and Bonduca. 

Bone. To have a bone to pick with one. 
To have an unpleasant matter to discuss 
and settle. Two dogs and one bone 
invariably forms an excellent basis for a 

To make no bones about the matter. 
To do it, say it, etc , without hesitation; 
to offer no opposition, present no difficulty 
or scruple. Dice are called " bones," 
and the Fr. flatter le de (to mince the 
matter) is the opposite of our expression. 
To make no bones of a thing is not to 
flatter, or " make much of," or humor the 
dice in order to show favor. Hence, 
without more bones. Without further 
scruple or objection. 

Bo'ney. A familiar contradiction of 
Bo'naparte used by the English in the 
early part of the 19th century by way of 
depreciation. Thus Thomas Moore speaks 
of " the infidel Bonoy " 

Bonhomme. A French peasant. See 
Jacques Bonhomme. 

Bon'iface, Patlier. In Scott's novel 
The Monastery, the successor of the 
Abbot Ingelram, as Superior of St. 
Mary's Convent. In its sequel The Abbot 
he has retired, still in search of the peace 
and quiet which, due to the pressure of 
contemporary events, he has failed to 
find in the cloister In this second novel 
he first appears under the name of Blink- 
hoodie in the character of gardener at 
Kinross, and afterwards as the old gar- 
dener at Dundrennan. 
Boniface, St. See under Saint. 
Bon'iface, "Will. A famous character 
in Farquhar's comedy The Beaux' Strata- 
gem (1707), landlord of the inn at Lieh- 
fiekl, in league with the highwaymen. 
This sleek, jolly publican is fond of the 
cant phrase, " as the saying is." Thus, 
"I'm old Will Boniface; pretty well 
known upon this road, as the saying is." 
He had lived at Lichfield " man and boy 
above eight and fifty years, and not con- 
sumed eight and fifty ounces of meat," 
for, said he, " I have fed purely upon ale. 
I have eat my ale, drank my ale, and I 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


always sleep upon my ale." Hence 
Boniface has become a common term for 
a publican or tavern keeper 

Bonnard, Sylvestre. Hero of The Crime 
of Sylvestre Bonnard (q v.) by Anatole 

Bonnet Rouge. The red cap of Liberty 
worn by the leaders of the French revo- 
lution. It is the emblem of Red Repub- 

Bonnicastle, Arthur. Hero of J. G 
Holland's Arthur Bonnicastle (qv). 

Bonnie Dundee. John Graham of 
Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee Born 
about 1649, he became a noted soldier in 
the Stuart cause, and was killed at the 
Battle of Kilhecrankie in 1689. 

Bonnie Lesley. A lyric by Robert 
Burns. The heroine of this song, in real 
life, was Miss Leslie Bailhe. 

O saw ye bonmcs Lesley 

As she g.ied o'er the border? 

She's gane like Alexander, 

To spread her conquests farther 

Bonnivard, Frangois de. A historical 
character (1495-1570) who appears in 
idealized form as the hero of Byron's 
Prisoner of Chilian See Chilian 

Bontemps, Roger. A fat, cheery, 
optimistic companion, the personification 
of " Never say die " The character is 
from a famous popular song by Beranger 
(Fr. 1814). The first stanza (translated 
by William Young) is as follows: 

To show our hypochondriacs 

la days the most forlorn 
A pattern set before their eyes 

Eager Bontemps was born 

To live obscurely at his will, 

To keep aloof from strife 
Hun ay for fat RoRcr Bontemps' 

Tlus is his rule of lite 

Bonze. The name given by Europeans 
to the Buddhist clergy of the Far East, 
particularly of Japan. In China the name 
is given to the priests of the Fohists. 

Boo'by, Lady. In Fielding's novel, 
Joseph Andrews (qv), a vulgar upstart 
who tries to seduce her footman, Joseph 
Andrews. Parson Adams reproves her 
for laughing m church. Lady Booby is 
a caricature of Richardson's Pamela. 

Book. The Book of Books. The Bible; 
also called simply " the Book," or " the 
good Book." 

The Book of Life, or of Fate In Bible 
language, a register of the names of those 
who are to inherit eternal life (Phil. iv. 3; 
Rev. xx 12). 

For Black, Blue } Red and Yellow Book, 
see under respective colors. 

Battle of the Books, See under Battle. 

Bell, book and candle. See under Bell. 

Book of Martyrs. A famous work by 
John Foxe published in Latin in 1554, 
also known as the History of the Acts and 
Monuments of the Church It contains 
the stones of the martyred saints. 

Book of Nonsense. A well-known 
volume of humorous verse by Edward 
Lear (1846) See Limerick 

Book of Snobs, The. A series of papers 
by Thackeray (1846-1847) portraying a 
variety of typical English snobs 

Bookworm. One always poring over 
books, so called in allusion to the maggot 
that eats holes in books, and lives both 
in and on its leaves. 

Bootes. Greek for "the ploughman"; 
the name of the constellation which con- 
tains the bright star, Arcturus (qv). See 
also Icanus. According to ancient mythol- 
ogy, Bootes invented the plough, to which 
he yoked two oxen, and at death, being 
taken to heaven with his plough and oxen, 
was made a constellation. Homer calls 
it " the wagoner," i e the wagoner of 
" Chailes' Wain," the Great Bear. 

Booth, Captain. In Fielding's novel 
Amelia (qv), the husband of Amelia. 
Said to be a drawing of the author's own 
character and experiences He has all the 
vices of Tom Jones, with an additional 
share of meanness. 

Amelia Booth Heroine of the novel. 

Booth, William. The organizer of the 

Salvation Army. He is the subject of 

a poem by Vachel Lindsay (Am. 1879- 

), called General William Booth Enters 


Boots at the Holly-tree Inn. A story by 
Charles Dickens (1855). The "boots" 
in his own picturesque language glibly 
tells the story of a boy, eight years old, 
eloping to Gretna Green with a girl of 

Bor. See Borr. 

Borachlo. In Shakespeare's Much Ado 
About Nothing, a follower of Don John 
of Aragon. He is a great villain, engaged 
to Margaret, the waiting-woman of Hero. 

Bor'ak or Al Borak (the lightning). 
The animal brought by Gabriel to carry 
Mahomet to the seventh heaven, and 
itself received into Paradise. It had the 
face of a man, but the cheeks of a horse; 
its eyes were like jacinths, but brilliant 
as the stars; it had the wings of an eagle, 
spoke with the voice of a man, and 
glittered all over with radiant light. 

Border, The. The frontier of England 
and Scotland, which, from the llth to the 
15th century, wab the field of constant 
forays, and a most fertile source of ill 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

blood between North and South Britain 
Border Eagle State. Mississippi. See 

Border Minstrel. Sir Walter Scott 
(1771-1832) because he sang of the border. 

Border States. See States. 

Border-thief School. A term applied by 
Thomas Cailylc, in his Sartor Resartus, 
to Walter Scott and others, who celebrated 
the achievements of free-booters, etc , 
like Rob Roy 

Bor'eas. In Greek mythology, the 
god of the north wind, and the north wind 
itself He was the son of Astrseus, a Titan, 
and Eos, the morning, and lived in a cave 
of Mount Hsomus, in Thrace. 

Borgia, Lucrezia. The notorious Italian 
poisoner of history, titular heroine of a 
drama by Victor Hugo and an opera by 
Donizetti See Lucrezia Borgia. 

Boris GodounofL An opera by Mouss- 
orgsky (1874) based on Pushkin's his- 
torical drama of the same title The 
action is laid in Russia and deals with the 
last years of Boris Godounoff (c. 1551 
1605), czar of Russia. lie was suspected 
of having murdered the Czarevitch 
Dimitri, son of Ivan the Terrible, m 
order to secure the throne. A pretender, 
a monk named Gregory who claimed to 
be Dimitri, headed an uprising against 
him and was acclaimed by the people. 
Boris, half insane, died in the midst of 
the excitement 

Borkman, John Gabriel. See John 
Gabriel Borkman 

Borr. In Scandinavian mythology, the 
son of Buri (see Audhumld) and father of 
Odin, Ville, Ve, and Hertha or Earth. 
The priests claimed descent from him 

Borrow, George (1803-1881). English 
prose writer, author of Romany Rye 
(q.v.), etc. 

Bosche. See Boche. 

Bosinney, Philip. An architect in 
Galsworthy's Forsyte Saga (#.#.). 

Boss (Dut. baas, head of the household), 
lience the great man, chief, overseer. 
The word has been widely applied in 
business and in the political field. In the 
latter case it generally has a derogatory 
meaning, implying the use of dubious 
methods of control Hence boss-rule and 
the verb to boss. See next entry. 

Boss, The. A drama of politics and 
business by Edward Sheldon (Am. 1886- 
) The heroine, Emily Griswold, 
accused of " playing round with the 
crook who's stolen, your father's business/' 
replies after her first encounter with 
Michael Regan of Regan and Co., Con- 

tractors, that she finds him tough but 
" just like a little boy." The drama deals 
with their married life and Regan's career 
as boss 

Boston Tea Party, The. The destruc- 
tion in Boston Harbor (Dec. 16th, 1773) 
of a number of chests of tea by disguised 
citizens as a protest against the British 
proposal to tax the American colonists. 

Bostonians, The. A novel by Henry 
James (Am. 1886), a study of the New 
England temperament and feminism as 
combined in the strong-minded but none 
too lovable heroine, Olive Chancellor. 

Bosweil, *Sames. The biographer (1740- 
1795) of Dr. Samuel Johnson His work is 
considered one of the greatest of all 
biographies Boswell's tirclessness in 
gathering intimate first-hand material 
during Dr. Johnson's lifetime and his 
unbounded admiration for Johnson are 
proverbial; hence, Boswcllian. 

Bothwel, Francis Stewart, Earl of. 
A historic character, known as the 
Bastard Earl (d. 1624). He appears in 
Scott's Fortunes of Nigel. 

Bothwell, James Hepburn, Earl of 
(c. 1536-1578). The husband of Mary 
Queen of Scots (qv). He is the hero of 
Swinburne's tragedy Bothwell (1874), one 
of a trilogy on the unhappy Queen. 

Bothwell, Sergeant, alias Francis Stew- 
art. An officer in the royal army in Scott's 
Old Mortality. 

Bottle,*Oracle of the Holy. See tinder 

Bottle-washer. Chief agent; the prin- 
cipal man employed by another; a facto- 
tum. The full phrase which usually is 
applied more or less sarcastically is 
" head cook and bottle-washer." 

Bottled Moonshine. Social and benev- 
olent schemes, such as Utopia, Coleridge's 
Pantisocracy, the dreams of Owen, Four- 
ier, St. Simon, and so on. 

Bottom, the Weaver. A character in 
Shakespeare's Midsummer Night* $ Dream, 
a man who fancies he can do everything, 
and do it better than any one else. Shake- 
speare has drawn him as profoundly 
ignorant, brawny, mock heroic, and with 
an overflow of self-conceit. When the 
play of Pyramus and Thubc is cast, 
Bottom, covets every part; the lion, 
Thisbe, Pyramus, all have charms for him. 
He is in one part of the drama represented 
with an ass' head, and Titania, queen of 
the fairies, under a spell, caresses him as 
an Ado'nis. 

Bottomless Pit, The. Hell is so called 
in the book of Revelation. The expression 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


had previously been used by Coverdale 
in his translation of Job xxxvi. 16. 

William Pitt was humorously called 
the bottomless Pitt, m allusion to his 
remarkable thinness. 

Bounds, Beating the. An old custom, 
still kept up in many English parishes, of 
going round the parish boundaries on Holy 
Thursday, or Ascension Day. The school- 
children, accompanied by the clergymen 
and parish officers, walked through their 
parish from end to end, the boys were 
switched with willow wands all along the 
lines of boundary, the idea being to teach 
them to know the bounds of their parish. 

Many practical jokes were played even during the 
first quarter of the nineteenth century, to make the 
boys remember the delimitations such as "pumping 
them," pouring water clandestinely on them from 
house windows, beating them \vith thin rods, etc 

Beating the bounds was called in 
Scotland Riding the marches (bounds), 
and in England the day is sometimes 
called gang-day. 

Bountiful, Lady. A famous character 
in Farquhai's comedy The Beaux' Strata- 
gem (1705), the widow of Sir Charles 
Bountiful. Her delight was curing the 

?arish sick and relieving the indigent 
t was said of her that she had cured more 
people m and about Lichfield within ten 
years than the doctors had killed m 
twenty " and that's a bold word/ 7 Hence 
a Lady Bountiful is a gracious dispenser 
of charity. 

Bourbon. The Bourbon Kings of 
France were Henry IV, Louis XIII, XIV, 
XV and XVI (1589-1793). This royal 
family, it was said, "learned nothing and 
forgot nothing ", hence a Bourbon is any 
one who fails to learn by experience. 
The name was given to the American 
Democratic party by its opponents. 

Bourgeoisie (Fr ) . The merchants, 
manufacturers, and master-tradesmen con- 
sidered as a class. In recent years, par- 
ticularly since the Russian Revolution, 
when this class was held to be chiefly 
responsible for the continuance pi privilege 
and. for all sorts of abuses during the old 
r6gime and the early part of the new, 
the word bourgeoisie has acquired a new 

Bourgh, Lady Catherine. A patronizing 
and overbearing " great lady " in Jane 
Austen's Pride and Prejudice. 

Bourke, Chevalier, An Irish character 
in Stevenson's Master of Ballantrae, 
devoted to the Master. 

Bourne, Reuben. The chief character 
in Hawthorne's Roger Malvin's Funeral 

Bouts-rimes (Fr. rhymed-endings). A 

Earlor game which, in the 18th century, 
ad a considerable vogue in literary 
circles as a test of skill. A list of words 
that rhyme with one another is drawn 
up; this is handed to the competitors, 
and they have to make a poem to the 
rhymes, each rhyme-word being kept in 
its place on the list. 

Bovary, Emma. Heroine of Flaubert's 
Madame Bovary (q.v ) . 

Bowdlerize. To expurgate a book. 
Thomas Bowdler, in 1818, gave to the 
world an edition of Shakespeare's works 
" in which nothing is added to the original 
text, but those words and expressions 
are omitted which cannot with propriety 
be read aloud in a family." This was 
in ten volumes. Bowdler subsequently 
treated Gibbon's Decline and Fall in the 
same way. Hence the words Bowdlerist, 
Bowdlerizer, Bowdlerism, Bowdlerization, 

Bow-wow Word. A word in imitation 
of the sound made, as hiss, cackle, mur- 
mur, cuckoo, etc Hence the bow-wow 
school, a term applied in ridicule to phil- 
ologists who sought to derive speech and 
language from the sounds made by 
animals. The terms were first used by 
Max Miiller. 

Bower of Bliss. A beautiful and 
enchanting place of temptation. (1) In 
Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, a garden 
belonging to the enchantress Armi'da. 
It abounded in everything that could 
contribute to earthly pleasure. Here 
Rmal'do spent some time with Armi'da 
(q.v.) but he ultimately broke from the 
enchantress and rejoined the war (2) In 
Spenser's Faerie Queene the residence of 
the witch Acras'ia, a beautiful and most 
fascinating woman. This lovely garden 
was situated on a floating island filled with 
everything which could conduce to enchant 
the senses, and " wrap the spirit in for- 

Bowery, The " tough " district of 
New York City; the slums. Bowery or 
bouwenj is the old Dutch word for farm; 
and Bowery Lane received its name 
because it led out to the farm of Peter 
Stuyvesant, one of the Dutch governors 
of colonial days. It was for a long time 
the height of fashion to live on Bowery 
Lane, but with the growth of the city 
the character of the district underwent a 
radical change. 

Bowling, Lt. Tom. The immortal type 
of a brave and hardy sailor; from the 
character of that name in Smollett's 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Roderick Random. He Is the uncle of 
Random, a man too frankly the product 
of the sea to be anything but ill at ease 
and careless of the niceties of life ashore 
In a famous sea-song Captain Thomas 
Dibdin is commemorated by his brother 
Charles Dibdin under the name of Tom 

Here a sheer hulk lies poor Tom Bowling, 
The darling of the crew 

Box and Cox. A farce by J. M. Morton 
(1847) the principal characters of which 
are Box and Cox. It has been called " the 
best farce for three characters in the 
English language" The third character 
is the thrifty landlady who rents the 
same rooms to Box and Cox (one of whom 
is employed by night, the other by day) 
in the vain hope that her two tenants will 
remain ignorant of each other's existence 
Hence a Box and Cox arrangement 

Boxers. A secret society in China which 
took a prominent part in the rising against 
foreigners in 1900 which was suppressed 
by joint European action. The Chinese 
name was Gee Ho Chuan, signifying 
" righteousness, harmony, and fists/ 7 and 
implying training as in athletics, for the 
purpose of developing righteousness and 

Boy and the Mantle. A ballad in 
Percy's Rehques. See Mantle of Fidelity 

Boy Bishop. St. Nicholas of Bari was 
called " the Boy Bishop " because from 
his cradle he manifested marvelous indi- 
cations of piety. The custom of choosing 
a boy from the cathedral choir, etc., on 
his day (December 6th), as a mock 
bishop, is very ancient. The boy possessed 
episcopal honor for three weeks, and the 
rest of the choir were his prebendaries. 
If he died during his time of office he was 
buried in pontifica'hbus. Probably the 
reference is to Jesus Christ sitting in the 
Temple among the doctors while Pic was 
a boy. The custom was abolished in the 
reign ot Henry VIII. 

Boycott. To boycott a person is to refuse 
to deal with him, to take any notice of 
him, or even to sell to him. The term 
arose in 1881, when Captain Boycott, 
an Irish landlord, was thus ostracized by 
the Irish agrarian insurgents. 

Boyle Controversy. A book-battle 
between Charles Boyle, fourth Earl of 
Orrery, and the famous Bentley, respect- 
ing the Epistles of Phal'aris, which were 
edited by Boyle in 1695. Swift's Battle of 
the Books (q.v.) was one result of the 

Boynton, Dr. A leading character in 

Ho wells' Undiscovered Country (q.v). His 
daughter Egeria is also prominent 

Boythom, Laurence. In Dickens' Bleak 
House, a robust gentleman with the 
voice of a Stentor, a fuend of Mr. Jarn- 
dyce Pie would utter the most ferocious 
sentiments, while at the same time he 
fondled a pet canary on his finger Once 
on a time he had been in love with Miss 
Barbary, Lady Dedlock's sister; but 
" the good old tunes all times when 
old are good were gone " The char- 
acter is supposed to have been drawn 
from Walter Savage Landor, the noted 

Boz. Charles Dickens (1812-1870). 
His Sketches by Boz (two series) appeared 
in 1836. " Boz, my signature in the 
Morning Chronicle" he tells us, " was 
the nickname of a pet child, a younger 
brother, whom I had dubbed Moses, in 
honor of the Vicar of Wake field, which, 
being pronounced Bozes } got shoitcncd 
into Boz." 

Bozzaris, Marco. See Marco Bozzaris. 

Bozzy. James Bos well, the biographer 
of Dr. Johnson (1740-1795) 

Brabangonne. The national anthem of 
Belgium, composed by Van Oampenhout 
in the revolution of 1830, and so named 
from Brabant, of which Brussels is the 
chief city. 

Braban'tio. In Shakespeare's Othello, 
a senator of Venice, father of Dcsdcmo'na. 
He thought the " insolence " of Othello in 
marrying his daughter unpardonable, and 
that Desdemona muwt have been drugged 
with love-potions so to demean henself. 

Brac'cio. In Browning's poetical drama, 
Luna 0?.v.), the eormmsBary of the repub- 
lic of Florence, employed in picking up 
every item of scandal he could find against 

Bracebridge Hall. A volume of sketches 
by Washington Irving (Am, 1822). Many 
of them deal with the comfortable country 
home and the family concerns of Squiio 
Bracpbridge, a delightfully typical old 
English gentleman whose whimw and 
customs give Irving opportunity for some 
of his most pertinent comments on 
English life. 

Bracy, Sir Maurice de. In Scott's 
Ivanhoe j a follower of Prince John. I Co 
sues the Lady Rowcn'a to become his 
bride, and threatens to kill both Ceclric 
and Ivanhoo if she refuses The interview 
is intercepted, and at the close of the 
novel Rowena marries Ivanhoe. 

Bradamant. In Carlpvingian legend, a 
celebrated female warrior, prominent ia 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


both Boiardo's Orlando Innamoratp and 
Ariosto's Orlando Funoso. She is the 
sister of Rmaldo and niece of Charlemagne 
and is known as the " Virgin Knight." 
She wears white armor and a white plume 
and possesses an irresistible spear which 
unhorses any knight at a touch. Although 
she is in love with Rogero the Moor, she 
refuses to marry him until he is baptized. 
Her marriage and Rogero's victory over 
Rodomont form the subject of the last 
book of Orlando Funoso. 

Bradstreet, Anne (1612-1672). Early 
American poet, known for her Tenth Muse 
Lately Sprung up in America (q.v). 

Bradwardine, Como Cosmyne, Baron 
of. One of Scott's most famous characters, 
described by him in Waverley as " the 
very model of the old Scottish cavalier, 
with all his excellencies and peculiarities " 
He is a scholar, full of pedantry and 
vanity, but very gallant and lovable 

Rose Bradwardine The Baron's daugh- 
ter, heroine of Waverley 

In Thackeray's Book of Snobs ii, the 
Baron of Bradwardine) described as " the 
most famous man in Haggisland." is 
meant for Sir Walter Scott. 

Braes of Yarrow. See Yarrow 

Brag, Jack. See Jack Brag. 

Bragelonne, The Vicomte de. See Twee 

Braggado'chio. A braggart, one who 
is valiant with his tongue but a great 
coward at heart The character is from 
Spenser's Faene Queene, and a type of the 
" Intemperance of the Tongue " After 
a time, like the jackdaw in borrowed 
plumes, Braggadochio is stripped of all 
his glories: his shield is claimed by Sir 
Mar'inell; his lady is proved by the 
golden girdle to be the false Florimel; his 
horse is claimed by Sir Guyon, Talus 
shaves off his beard and scourges his 
squire; and the pretender sneaks off 
amidst the j eers of every one. It is thought 
that the poet had the Duke d'Alengon, 
a suitor of Queen Elizabeth, in his eye 
when he drew this character. Others 
believe it was drawn from Philip II of 

Bra'gi. In Scandinavian mythology the 
son of Odin and Frigga, and the god of 
poetry, represented as an old man with a 
long white beard His wife was Iduna. 

Bragi's apples were an instant cure of 
weariness, decay of power, ill temper, and 
failing health; the supply was inexhaust- 
ible, for immediately one was eaten 
another took its place. 

Bragi's cup. To each new king before 

he ascended the high-seat of his fathers 
Bragi's cup was handed, and he had to 
make a pledge by it and drain it. 

Bragi } s story. A lengthy but interesting 

Brah'ma. In Hinduism, Brahma, prop- 
erly speaking, is the Absolute, or God 
conceived as entirely impersonal The 
theological abstraction was endowed with 
personality, and became the Creator of the 
universe, the first in the divine Triad, of 
which the other partners were Vishnu, 
the Maintamer, and Siva (or Shiva), the 
Destroyer. As such the Brahmins claim 
Brahma as the founder of their religious 

Brahmin. A worshiper of Brahma, a 
member of the highest caste in the system 
of Hinduism, and of the priestly order. 
See Caste. 

Bralimp Somaj (Sansk , the Society of 
Believers in the One God) A monotheistic 
sect of Brahmins, founded in 1818 in 
Calcutta by Ramohun Roy (1744-1833), 
a wealthy and well educated Brahmin 
who wished to purify his religion and 
found a National Church which should be 
free from idolatry and superstition. In 
1844 the Church was reorganized by 
Debendro Nath Tagore, and since that 
time its reforming zeal and influence has 
gained it many adherents. In recent years 
the Brahmo Somaj has become more and 
more political, and it is now looked upon 
as one of the chief factors in the move- 
ment for complete nationalization and 

Brain'worm. In Ben Jonson's comedy 
Every Man in His Humor (1598), the 
servant of Kno'well, a man of infinite 
shifts, and a regular Proteus in his meta- 
morphoses. He appears first as Brain- 
worrn; afterwards as Fitz-Sword; then as 
a reformed soldier whom Knowell takes 
into his service; then as Justice Clement's 
man; and lastly as valet to the courts of 
law, by which devices he plays upon, the 
same clique of some half-dozen men of 
average intelligence. 

Bramble, Matthew. The chief character 
of Smollett's Expedition of Humphrey 
Clinker, an " odd kind of humorist," 
" always on the fret," dyspeptic, and 
afflicted with the gout, but benevolent, 
generous, and kind-hearted. With his 
sister Tabitha and her maid he goes on 
a " family tour " which furnishes the 
chief interest of the book. 

Miss Tabitha Bramble In the same 
book, the old maiden sister of Matthew 
Bramble, of some forty-five years of age, 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

noted for her bad spelling She is starch, 
vain, prim, and ridiculous; soured in 
temper, prying and uncharitable. She 
contrives at last to marry Captain 
Lismaha'go, who is content to take her 
for the sake of her 4000 

Bra'mine and Bra'min. Mrs. Elizabeth 
Draper and the English novelist Laurence 
Sterne. Ten of Sterne's letters to Mrs. 
Draper are published, and called Letters 
to Eliza. The fact that Sterne was a 
clergyman and that Mrs. Draper had 
been born in India suggested the names. 
Bran. If not Bran, it is Bran's brother. 
If not the real " Simon Pure/' it is just 
as good A complimentary expression. 
Bran was Fmgal's dog, a mighty favorite. 
Branch, Anna Hempstead. Contem- 
porary American poet Her first volume 
was The Heart of the Road and Other 
Poems (1910). 

Brand. A drama by Henrik Ibsen 
(Nor. 1866). The hero is an idealistic 
peasant priest in violent revolt against 
the pettiness and evil of conventional 
society. Pie perishes at last in the ruins 
of his ice-church under an avalanche. 
The dramatist wrote of him " Brand is 
myself in my best moments " 
Brand, Etlian. See Ethan Brand. 
Brandan or Brendan, St. See under 

Brandon, Charles. The hero of Major's 
historical romance, When Knighthood Was 
in Flower (q.v). 

Brandt, Margaret. The heroine of 
Heade's historical novel, The Cloister and 
the Hearth (q.v.), the mother of Erasmus. 
Her father, Peter Brandt, is a prominent 

Branghtons. Vulgar, malicious, jealous 
people, from a family of that name in 
Fanny Burney's Evelina. They are 
cousins of the heroine, Evelina, and put 
her to endless embarrassment and shame 
by their vulgarity and their habit of 
making use of her friends for their own 
purposes, but she is too well bred to make 
them feel their own lack of breeding. 

Branwen. In Welsh ^ legend, the 
daughter of King Llyr of Britain and wife 
of Matholch, king of Ireland. 

Brass, Sampson. In Dickens' Old 
Curiosity Shop, a knavish, servile attorney, 
affecting great sympathy with his clients 
but in reality fleecing them without 

Sally Brass. Sampson's sister, and an 
exaggerated edition of her brother. 

Brassbound, Captain. Hero of Shaw's 
Captain Brassbound 3 s Conversion 

Brattle, Carry. A character in Trollope's 
Vicar of Bullhampton. In his preface the 
author says, " I have introduced in The 
Vicar of Bullhampton the character of a 
girl whom I will call for want of a truer 
word that shall not in its truth be offen- 
sive a castaway I have endeavored 
to endow her with qualities that may 
create sympathy, and I have brought her 
back at last from degradation at least to 

Braves, The. In American baseball 
parlance, a nickname for the Boston 
Nationals Cp. Baseball Teams. 

Bravo, The. A novel by James Fenimore 
Cooper (Am. 1831), dealing with the 
intrigues of 16th century Venice. The 
" bravo," Jacopo, revolts against his trade 
of spying and murdering and assists a 
pair of young lovers to escape their 
enemies, but pays for his act with his life. 

Bray, Vicar of. See under Vicar. 

Brazen Age. The age of war and 
violence. See also under Age. 

Brazen Head. The legend of the won- 
derful head of brass that could speak 
and was omniscient is common property 
to early romances, and is of Eastern 
origin. In Valentine and Orson, for 
instance, we hear of a gigantic head kept 
in the castle of the giant Fer'ragus (q v.), 
of Portugal. It told those who consulted 
it whatever they required to know, past, 
present, or to come; but the most famous 
in English legend is that fabled to have 
been made by the great Roger Bacon. 

It was said if Bacon heard it speak he 
would succeed in his projects; if not, he 
would fail. His familiar, Miles, was sot 
to watch, and while Bacon slept the Head 
spoke thrice: "Time is"; half an hour 
later it said, " Time was." In another 
half-hour it said, " Time's past," fell 
down, and was broken to atoms. Byron 
refers to this legend. 

Liko Fnar Bacon's brazen bond, I've spokon, 
"Time is," "Time was," "Time's past " 

Don Juan, i, 217 

References to Bacon's Brazen Head are 
frequent in literature; among them may 
be mentioned. 

Bacon trembled for Ins brazen head 

Pope: Dunciad, iii 104, 
Quoth ho, "My head's not made of brass, 
As Friar Bacon's noddle was " 

Butler, Xludibr&s, ii. 2. 

Bread-Winners, The. A novel by 
John Hay (Am, 1883) dealing with labor 
problems. The hero, Alfred Farnham, 
organizes a body of volunteer policemen 
to preserve order during a strike. The 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


novel, which was first published anony- 
mously aroused much discussion. 

Breakfast Table Series. See Autocrat 
of the Breakfast Table 

Breck, Alan. An adventurer in Steven- 
son's Kidnapped and David Balfour (qv), 
whose full name is Alan Breck Stewart 

Breeches, Bible, The. See Bible } Spe- 
cially named. 

Breen, Grace. The heroine of Howells' 
novel, Dr. Breen' s Profession (qv). 

Breitmann, Hans. A " Pennsylvania 
Dutchman" of picturesque speech and 
jovial habits, created by Charles Godfrey 
Leland. He first appeared in Hans 
Breitmann's Party in 1856, and in 1868 
his adventures were collected into book 
form in the Breitmann Ballads. He is 
typical of the German immigrants of 
1848 and thereabouts. 

Brenda Troil. (In Scott's Pirate ) See 
Troil, Brenda. 

Brendan, St. See Brandan under Saint. 

Brenn or BrenMn. See Rulers, Titles of. 

Brentford, The two kings of. In the 
Duke of Buckingham's farce called The 
Rehearsal (1671), the two kings of Brent- 
ford enter hand-in-hand, dance together, 
sing together, walk arm-in-arm, and to 
heighten the absurdity, the actors repre- 
sent them as smelling at the same nosegay 
(Act ii. 2). Some say this was a skit on 
Charles II and James (afterwards James 
II.) Others think the persons meant were 
Boabdelin and Abdalla, the two contend- 
ing kings of Granada in Dryden/s tragedy, 
The Conquest of Granada. 

Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, etc. Animal 
characters, heroes of the stories in Uncle 
Remus (q v.) by Joel Chandler Harris. 

Bretwalda. See Rulers, Titles of. 

Breugnon, Colas. Sec Colas Breugnon. 

Brevet Rank. Titular rank without 
the pay that usually goes with it. A 
brevet major has the title of major, but 
the pay of captain, or whatever his sub- 
stantive rank happens to be. (Fr. brevet, 
dim. of bref. a letter, a document.) 

Brewster, Margaret. The heroine of 
Whiltier's poem In the Old South Church, 
versifying an incident of July, 1677, when 
the Quaker, Margaret Brewster, came to 
church in Puritan Boston in sackcloth 
and ashes. She was whipped through 
the town by way of punishment. 

Brian de Bois Gtdlbert, Sir. (In Scott's 
Ivanhoe.) See Bois Guilbert. 

Briar'eus, or JSge'on. In Greek mythol- 
ogy a giant with fifty heads and a hundred 
hands. Homer says the gods called him 
Briar'eus, fyut men called him 

(Iliad , L 403). He was the offspring of 
Heaven and Earth and was of the race of 
the Titans, with whom he fought in the 
war against Zeus. 

Brice, Stephen. The hero of Churchill's 
Crisis (q.v ). 

Brick. A regular bnck. A jolly good 
fellow, perhaps because a brick is solid, 
four-square, plain, and reliable. 

To make bricks without straw To 
attempt to do something without having 
the necessary material supplied. The 
allusion is to the Israelites in Egypt, who 
were commanded by their taskmasters 
so to do (Ex. v 7). 

Brick, Jefferson. In Dickens' Martin 
CJiuzzlewitj a very weak, pale young man, 
the war correspondent of the New York 
Rowdy Journal, of which Colonel Diver 
was editor. 

Bride of Aby'dos, The. A poem by 
Byron (1813) The heroine is Zulei'ka, 
daughter of Giafjer, pasha of Abydos 
She is the trothplight bride of Selim; but 
Giaffer shoots the lover, and Zuleika dies 
of a broken heart. 

Bride of Lammermoor. A historical 
novel by Sir Walter Scott laid in the time 
of William III. The titular heroine is 
Lucy Ashton, daughter of Sir William 
Ashton, lord-keeper of Scotland. She is 
in love with Edgar, master of Ravens- 
wood. The lovers plight their troth at 
the " Mermaid's Fountain," but Lucy is 
compelled to marry Frank Hayston, laird 
of Bucklaw. In a fit of insanity, the 
bride attempts to murder the bridegroom, 
and dies in convulsions. Bucklaw recovers, 
and goes abroad Colonel Ashton appoints 
a hostile meeting with Edgar, but on his 
way to the place appointed young Kavens- 
wood is lost in the quicksands of Kelpies 
Flow, in accordance with an ancient 

In Donizetti's opera of Lucia di Lam- 
mermoor (q.v,) , Bucklaw dies of the wound 
inflicted by the bride, and Edgar, heart- 
broken, comes on the stage and kills 

Bride of the Sea. Venice; so called 
from the ancient ceremony of the wedding 
of the sea by the doge, who threw a ring 
into the Adriatic, saying, " We wed thee, 
sea, in token of perpetual domination ;> 
This took place each year on Ascension 
Day, and was enjoined upon the Venetians 
in 1177 by Pope Alexander III, who gave 
the doge a gold ring from his own finger 
in token of the victory achieved by the 
Venetian fleet at Istria over Frederick 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Barbarossa, in defence of the pope's 
quarrel. See Bucentaur. 

What, they lived once thus at Venice where the 

merchants were the kings, 
Where St Mark's is, where the Doges used to wed 

the sea with rings? 

Browning A Toccata of Galuppi's 

Brideau, Philippe. An unscrupulous 
villain who appears in several of the novels 
of Balzac's Comedie Humaine, notably 
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life (Les 
Splendours, et Miseres des Courtesanes) 
He was originally in the army, but was 
forced to find other means of livelihood 
after being involved in a military plot. 
He then became a ruthless plunderer, 
robbed his aunt, his brother and his 
mother, and even disowned the latter, in 
spite of her unfailing devotion, because he 
thought she stood in the way of his social 

Joseph Brideau Philippe's brother, a 
talented artist and one of the members of 
the club known as the C6nacle. 

Agatha Brideau. The affectionate, 
devoted mother of the scoundrel Philippe 
and his brother. 

Bridehead, Sue. The chief female 
character in Hardy's novel, Jude the 
Obscitre (qv.). 

Bridewell. A generic term for a house of 
correction, or prison, so called from the 
London Bridewell, Bridge Street, Black- 
friars, which was built as a hospital on the 
site of a former royal palace over a holy 
well of medical water, called St. Bride's 
(Bridget's) Well. 

Bridge of Sighs. Over this bridge, 
which connects the palace of the doge 
with the state prisons of Venice, prisoners 
were conveyed from the judgment hall to 
the place of execution. 

I stood m Venice on the Bridge of Sighs, 
A palace and a prison on each hand 

Byron. Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, iv 1 

Waterloo Bridge, in London, used, some 
years ago, when suicides were frequent 
there, to be called The Bridge of Sighs, and 
Hood gave the name to one of his most 
pathetic poems. 

Bridges, Robert (1844- ). English 
poet. He was appointed poet laureate in 

Bridget Allworthy. (In Fielding's Tom 
Jones ) See Allworthy. 

Bridlegoose, Judge. The anglicized 
form given to Taiel de Bridoison (or Juge 
Bndoie), a judge in Rabelais' Gargantua 
and Pantagruel, who decided the causes 
brought before him, not by weighing the 
merits of the case, but by the more simple 
process of throwing dice, Beaumarchais, 

in his Marriage of Figaro (1784;, has 
introduced this judge under the name of 
" Brid'pison." The person satirized by 
Rabelais is said to be Chancellor Poyet 
(1474-1548) who served as chancellor of 
France under Francis I. 

Bridoison. See Bridlegoose, Judge. 

Brienx, Eugene (1852- ). French 
dramatist. His best-known plays are The 
Red Robe (qv) and Damaged Goods. 

Brigard, Gilberte. The heroine of 
Frou-Frou (q.vJ), a drama by Meilhac and 

Briggs, Mr. An ardent but very poor 
amateur sportsman whose blundering 
adventures at hunting and fishing were 
depicted in the London Punch in serial 
form. Mr. Briggs was the invention of 
John Leech. 

Brimming Cup, The. A novel by 
Dorothy Canfield (Am. 1920), the story of 
how the heroine, Maurise, chose to resist 
the attractions of an ardent, sophisticated 
and wealthy lover from the great world 
outside and remain in her little Vermont 
village, faithful to her husband and 
children Rough Hewn (1922) relates the 
early life and love affair of Maurise and 
her husband Neale 

Blinker, Hans. See Hans Brinker. 

Briseis. The patronymic name of 
Hippodamia, daughter of Briscus. She 
was the cause of the quarrel in the Iliad 
between Agamemnon and Achilles, and 
when the former robbed Achilles of her, 
Achilles refused any longer to go to battle, 
and the Greeks lost ground daily 

Bristol Boy, The. Thomas Chatter- 
ton, the poet (1752-1770). 

"The marvellous boy, 
The sleepless soul that perished m his pride " 

Wordsworth. Resolution and Independence* 

Britannia. A personification of the 
British Empire. The first known repre- 
sentation of Britannia as a female figure 
sitting on a globe, leaning with one arm 
on a shield, and grasping a spear in the 
other hand, is on a Roman coin of 
Antoninus Pius, who died 161 A. D. The 
figure reappeared on the English copper 
coin in the reign of Charles II, 1665, and 
the model was Frances Stewart, after- 
wards created Duchess of Richmond. 
The engraver was Philip Roetier, 1665. 

The Kind's now mcdall, where, in little, there is Mrs. 
Stewart's face, and a pretty thm$ it is, that he 

should choose her face to represent Britannia by 

British Lion, The. The pugnacity of the 
British nation, as opposed to the John 
Bull, which symbolizes the substantiality, 
solidity, and obstinacy of the people, with 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


all their prejudices and national peculiari- 

To rouse the British lion is to flourish a 
red flag in the face of John Bull, to pio- 
voke him to resistance even to the point 
of war 

To twist the tail of the British lion used to 
be a favorite phrase in America for 
attempting to annoy the British people 
and government by abuse and vitupera- 

Britling, Mr. See Mr. Bntling Sees It 

Brit'omart. In Spenser's Faerie Queene, 
a female knight, daughter of King Ryence 
of Wales. She is the impersonation of 
chastity and purity; encounters the 
" savage, fierce bandit and mountaineer," 
without injury, and is assailed by " hag 
and unlaid ghost, goblin, and swart fairy 
of the mine,' 7 but " dashes their brute 
violence into sudden adoration and blank 
awe." She finally marries Artegal. 

She charmed at once and tamed the heart, 
Incomparable Bntomart Scott 

Spenser got the name, which means 
" sweet maiden/' from Britomartis, a 
Cretan nymph of Greek mythology, who 
was very fond of the chase. King Minos 
fell in love with her, and persisted in his 
advances for nine months. She finally 
threw herself into the sea. 

Broad Highway, The. A historical novel 
by Jeffrey Farnol (Am. 1911) concerning 
the England of the early 18th century. 
The hero, Peter Vibart, who is also the 
feigned author, is left a fortune on con- 
dition that he marries the unknown Lady 
Sophia Sefton. Instead he chooses to 
wander on the Broad Highway, where he 
protects, falls in love with and marries 
the charming Charmian Brown, who 
turns out to be Lady Sophia herself. 

Broadway. A term synonymous with 
the American theater, from Broadway, 
the street on or near which the theaters 
of New York City are to be found. In a 
more general sense it denotes the gay 
night life of the American metropolis 

Brobdingnag. In Swift's Gulliver' s 
Travels, the country of gigantic giants, 
to whom Gulliver was a pigmy " not half 
so big as a round little worm plucked 
from the lazy finger of a maid." Hence 
the adjective, Brobdingnagian, colossal, 

Brocken. Specter of the BrocJcen. An 
optical illusion, first observed on the 
Brocken (the highest peak of the Hartz 
range in Saxony), in which shadows of 
the spectators, greatly magnified, are 

projected on the mists about the summit 
of the mountain opposite. In one of 
De Qumcey's opium-dreams there is a 
powerful description of the Brocken 

Brom Bones. The nickname of Brom 
Van Brunt, Ichabod Crane's rival in 
Irvmg's Legend of Sleepy Hollow (qv). 
" He was always ready for either a fight 
or a frolic." 

Bromfield Corey. (In Howells' novels ) 
See Corey, Bromfield. 

Bromide and Sulphite. Words coined 
by Gelett Burgess in his widely read 
humorous essay, Are You a Bromide or 
The Sulphitic Theory (Am. 1906), which 
explained " the terms ' bromide ' and 
' sulphite ' as applied to psychological 
rather than chemical analysis." The 
Bromide, _ according to Burgess, " does 
his thinking by syndicate. He follows 
the main-traveled roads, he goes with the 
crowd. ^In a word, they all think and 
talk ^ alike one may predicate their 
opinion upon any given subject. They 
are, intellectually, all peas in the same 
conventional pod, unenlightened, prosaic, 
living by rule and rote. They have their 
hair cut every month and their minds 
keep regular office hours. . . . They wor- 
ship dogma. The Bromide conforms to 
everything sanctioned by the majority 
and may be depended upon to be trite, 
banal and arbitrary." A list of " well- 
known Brormdioms now in use " further 
identifies the Bromide The Sulphite, 
on the other hand, is unconventional, 
original, everything that the Bromide is 
not. According to Burgess, " Hamlet 
was a Sulphite, Polomus a Bromide, 
Becky Sharp sulphitic, Amelia Sedley 
bromidic," and " of all Bromides Adam 
was the progenitor, while Eve was a 
Sulphite from the first." 

Bronte", Charlotte (1816-1855). English 
novelist, author of Jane Eyre, Shirley, 
Villette. See those entries, also Bell. 

Bronte, Emily (1818-1848). English 
poet and novelist, sister of Charlotte 
Bronte*. She is the author of Wuthenng 
Heights (q.v), 

Brook Farm. A famous literary and 
economic community of a somewhat 
Utopian nature, more formally known as 
the Brook Farm Institute of Agriculture 
and Education, which was established in 
1841 at West Roxbury, nine miles from 
Boston. It was disbanded in 1846 Its 
founder was the Rev. George Bipley and 
among its interested visitors of note were 
Emerson, Alcott, Theodore Parker, Mar- 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

garet Fuller and other Transcendentalists. 
Hawthorne's Bhthedale Romance (qv) 
gives a picture of Brook Farm 

Brook Kerith, The. A historical novel 
by George Moore (Eng 1915), a presenta- 
tion of the life of Jesus. The author 
follows the customary account as far as 
the Crucifixion, but later, according to 
the novel, Joseph of Armiathea finds 
Jesus still alive. For thirty years after- 
ward he lives as a shepherd by the Brook 
Kerith He is utterly disillusioned con- 
cerning his early belief m himself, which 
he considers blasphemy, and when finally 
he meets Paul the Apostle and hears his 
version of the story, he is horrified and 
plans to go to Jerusalem to confess Paul, 
however, considers him mad, and he is 
forced to admit that his story would not 
be believed. 

The ravens fed Elijah by this brook of 
Palestine, called in the Biblical narrative 

Brook, Master. In Shakespeare's Merry 
Wives of Windsor (q.v ) , the name assumed 
by Ford when Sir John Falstaff makes 
love to his wife Sn John, not knowing 
him, confides to him every item of his 

Brooke, Dorothea. The heroine of 
George Eliot's Middlemarch (qv.). Her 
sister Celia and their uncle, Squire Brooke, 
with whom they live, are also prominent 

Brooke, Rupert (1887-1915). English 
poet His best-known poems are Gran- 
Chester, The Great Lover and his series of 
war sonnets entitled 1914. He died of 
sunstroke in service in the World War. 
St. John Ervine is said to have drawn 
the hero of his novel Changing Winds 
from Hupert Brooke. 

Brookfield, Jack. A professional gam- 
bler, one of the chief characters in the 
play, The Witching Hour (qv) by 
Augustus Thomas. 

Brooks of Sheffield. A name frequently 
used in place of that of an actual person, 
from an imaginary individual mentioned 
in David Copperfield to put little David 
off the scent that he was being referred to : 

"Quinmon," said Mr Murdstonc, "take care, if you 
please Somebody's sharp " 
"Who is?" asked the gentleman, laughing 
I looked up quickly, being curious to know 
Only Brooks of Sheffield, " said Mr. Murdstonc 

QT *rTi q * ulte f e j iere to ,, fijld , rt was only Brooks of 
Sheffield, for, at first, I really thought it was I. Ch 11 

Cp. Harris, Mrs. 

Brother Jonathan. When Washington 
was in want of ammunition, he called a 
council of officers, but no practical sug- 

gestion could be offered " We must 
consult Brother Jonathan/' said the 
general, meaning His Excellency Jonathan 
Trumbull, governor of the State of 
Connecticut This was done, and the 
difficulty was remedied " To consult 
Brother Jonathan " then became a set 
phrase, and Brother Jonathan became a 
cognomen of the United States 

Brothers' Bible. See Bible, Specially 

Brothers Karamazov, The. A novel 
by Dostoievski (Rus 1879-1880), a story 
of three brothers The oldest, Dmitri, 
quarrels violently with his father over 
money matters and ovci a woman, and 
when the father is found murdered, he is 
accused of the crime In reality the old 
man has been killed by Smcrdyukov, a 
fourth and illegitimate son who is a 
servant, subject to epilepsy. Ivan, the 
second son, discovers he has all uncon- 
sciously suggested the crime to Snier- 
dyakov by his cynical philosophy. 
Smcrdyokov commits suicide and Ivan 
tries in vain to save his brother Dmitri. 
There is a third brother, Alyoshi, a ftoutlo, 
lovable man, in strong contiast with his 

Browdie, John. In Dickens' Nicholas 
Nic/deby, a brawny, big-made Yorkshire 
corn-factor, bluff, honest, and kind- 
hearted. He befriends poor Snake, and 
is much attached to Nicholas Niekloby. 
John Browdie marries Matilda Price, a 
miller's daughter 

Brown, Alice (1857- ). American 
novelist and short story writer, author of 
Meadow Grass; Tales of New England 
Life, The Prisoner, etc., and of the prize 
play Children of the Earth (q ?>.). 

Brown, Buster. See Bmlcr Brown. 

Brown, Captain. A likable character 
in Mrs. Gaskell's Cranford (q.v.). 

Brown, Charles Brockden (1771-1810). 
One of the first American novelists, 
author of Wieland (q t.). 

Brown, Jones, and Robinson. The 
typification of middle-class Englishmen; 
from the adventures of throe Continental 
tourists of these names which were told 
and illustrated in Punch in the 1870's 
by a Richard Doyle. They hold up to 
ridicule the gaucheric, insular ideas, vul- 
garity, extravagance, conceit and snobbism 
that too often characterize the class. 

Brown, Sir Ralph. A leading character 
m George Sand's Indiana (q.v.). 

Brown Study. Absence of mind; appar- 
ent thought, but real vacuity. The cor- 
responding French expression explains it 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


sombre reverie. Sombre and brun both 
mean sad, melancholy, gloomy, dull. 

Browne, Sir Thomas (1605-1682) 
English prose writer, famous for his 
Urn Burial and Rehgio Medici. 

Brown, Tom. See Tom Brown. 

Brown, Vanbeest. In Scott's Guy 
Mann&ring, lieutenant of Dirk Hatteraick, 
the smuggler and mate of his vessel. 
Under this same name of Vanbeest Brown, 
the young Harry Bertram, the missing 
heir of Ellangowan, grows up believing 
that the " lieutenant ;J is his father. 

Brownie. The house spirit in Scottish 
superstition. At night he is supposed to 
busy himself in doing little jobs for the 
family over which he presides. Farms 
a,re his favorite abode. Brownies are 
brown or tawny spirits, in opposition to 
fairies, which are fair ones In America 
the adventures of the Brownies were 
popularized by & scries of Brownie Books 
by Palmer Cox. 

Browns, The. In American baseball 
parlance, a nickname for the St. Louis 
Americans. Cp Baseball Teams. 

To astonish the Browns To do or say 
something regardless of the annoyance 
it may cause or the shock it may give to 
Mrs. Gruncly. 

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett (1801- 
1861). English poet, best known for her 
Sonnets from the Portuguese. Casa Guidi 
Windows and Aurora Leigh (q.v.) are her 
longer poems of note. 

Browning, Robert (1812-1889). English 
poet. His most pretentious work is The 
Ring and the Book (qv). Among his 
dramas are Paracelsus, Stratford, Pippa 
Passes, A Blot on the 'Scutcheon. His 
best-known poems are dramatic mono- 
logues, such as Caliban upon Setcbos, 
Andrea del Sarta, Said, etc. Sec those 

Brownyng". One of the names given to 
the bear in Caxton's version of Reynard 
the Fox. Cp. Bruin. 

Bruce. The Scottish national hero, 
Robert Bruce, is a prominent character 
in Jane Porter's Scottish Chiefs (qv.)* 

Bruce and the Spider. See under Spider. 

Bruin. In Butler's Hudibras, one of 
the leaders arrayed against the hero. His 
prototype in real life was Talgol, a 
Newgate butcher who obtained a cap- 
taincy for valor at Naseby. He marched 
next Orsin (Joshua Gosling, landlord of 
the bear-gardens at South wark) 

Sir Bruin. The bear in the famous 
German beast-epic, Reynard the Fox. 
Cp. Brownyng. 

Bramaire. The month in the French 
Republican Calendar from October 23rd to 
November 21st It was named from brume 
fog (Lat bruma, winter) The celebrated 
18th Brumaire (November 9th, 1799) was 
the day on which the Directory was over- 
thrown and Napoleon established his 

Brum'magem. Worthless or very in- 
ferior metallic articles made in imitation 
of better ones. The word is a local form 
of the name Birmingham, which is the 
great mart and manufactory of gilt toys, 
cheap jewelry, imitation gems, and 

Bruznmel, Beau. See Beau Brummel. 

Brunhild. A heroine of Teutonic and 
Scandinavian legend. In the Nibelungen- 
hed (q v ) she was the Queen of Issland, 
who made a vow that none should win her 
who could not surpass her in three trials 
of skill and strength (1) hurling a spear, 
(2) throwing a stone; and (3) jumping. 
Gunther, king of Burgundy, undertook 
the three contests, and by the aid of 
Siegfried who was clad in his invisible 
cloak, succeeded in winning the martial 
Queen. After marriage Brunhild was so 
obstreperous that the King again applied 
to Siegfried, who succeeded in depriving 
her of her ring and girdle, after which she 
became a very submissive wife In the 
Volsunga Saga (qv\ the Scandinavian 
version of the Nibelungenlied, Brunhild 
is a Valkyrie who becomes a mortal, and 
Wagner follows this version in his Nibe- 
lungen Ring. Brunhild plays a leading 
role in Die Walkurie } Siegfried and Goiter- 
dammerung, three of the four operas of the 
Rmg. For the story, see Nibelungen 

Brut. A rhyming chronicle of British 
history beginning with the mythical 
Brut, or Brute (q.v ), and so named from 
him. Wace's Le Roman de Brut, or 
Brut d } Angleterre, written in French 
about 1150, is a rhythmical version of 
Geoffrey of Monmouth's History with 
additional legends. It is here that first 
mention is made of Arthur's Round 
Table. Wacc's work formed the basis of 
Layamon's Brut (early 13th century), a 
versified history of England from the fall 
of Troy to 689 A. D. Layamon's poem 
contains 32,250 lines. Wace's rather over 
14,000, See Arthur. 

Brute or Brutus. In the mythological 
history of England, the first king of the 
Britons, son of Sylvius (grandson of 
Ascamus and great-grandson of^ JCne'as). 
Having inadvertently killed his father, 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

he first took refuge in Greece and then in 
Britain. In remembrance of Troy, he 
called the capital of his kingdom Troy- 
novant (qv), now London His tale is 
told at length in the Chronicles of Geoffrey 
of Monmouth, in the first song of Dray- 
ton's Polyolbion, and in Spenser's Faerie 
Queene, 11. 

Brutus, Lucius Junius. In legend, the 
first consul of Rome, fabled to have held 
office about B. C 509. He condemned 
to death his own two sons for joining 
a conspiracy to restore to the throne the 
banished Tarqum. He was 

The public father who the private quelled, 
And on the dread tribunal sternly sat 

Thomson Winter 

This subject was dramatized by N. Lee 
(1679) and John H. Payne, under the title 
of Brutus, or The Fall of Tarqum (1820). 
Alfieri, in 1783, wrote an Italian tragedy 
on the same subject. In French we have 
the tragedies of Arnault (1792) and 
Ponsard (1843) both entitled Lucrece. 
See Lucretia. 

The Spanish Brutus. Alphonso Perez 
de Guzman (1258-1320). While he was 
governor, Castile was besieged by Don 
Juan, who had revolted from his brother, 
Sancho IV. Juan, who held in captivity 
one of the sons of Guzman, threatened to 
cut his throat unless Guzman surrendered 
the city Guzman replied, " Sooner than 
be a traitor, I would myself lend you a 
sword to slay him," and he threw a sword 
over the city wall. The son, we are told, 
was slain by the father's sword before his 

Brutus, Marcus (B. 0. 86-42). Cscsar's 
friend, who joined the conspirators to 
murder him because he made himself a 
dictator. This Brutus is the real hero of 
Shakespeare's tragedy of Julius Ccesar, 
and the poet endows him with every 
quality of a true patriot. He loved Caesar 
much, but he loved Rome more. 

Et tu, Brute. What! Does my own 
familiar friend lift up his heel against 
me? The reference is to the exclamation 
of Julius Csosar when he saw that his old 
friend was one of the conspirators against 

Bryant, William Cullen (1794-1878). 
American poet His most famous poems 
are Thanatopsis, To a Water Fowl, To a 
Fringed Gentian, etc. 

Brynhild. The Valkyrie awakened by 
Sigurd in the Scandinavian Volsunga Saga 
(q.v.). See Brunhild. 

Bubas'tis. Greek name of Bast, or 
Pasht, the Diana of Egyptian mythology. 

She was daughter of Isis and sister of 
Horus, and her sacred animal was the cat. 

Bubble, or Bubble Scheme. A project 
or scheme of no sterling worth and of very 
ephemeral duration as worthless and 
frail as a bubble. See Mississippi; South 

The Bubble Act An Act of George I, 
passed in 1719, its object being to punish 
the promoters of bubble schemes. It was 
repealed in 1825. 

Bucen'taur. A gaily ornamented ship 
or barge, from the name of the Venetian 
state-galley employed by the Doge when 
he went on Ascension Day to wed the 
Adriatic. The word is Gr. bous, ox, and 
centaur QS, centaur; and the original galley 
was probably ornamented with a man- 
headed ox. 

Buceph'alos (bull-headed). A horse. 
Strictly speaking, the favorite charger of 
Alexander the Great. By taming him 
Alexander fulfilled an oracle as to the 
succession to the throne of Maccdon. 

Buck. The dog hero of Jack London's 
Call of the Wild (q.v.), the offspring of a 
St. Bernard father and a Scotch shepherd 

Buck'et, Mr. In Dickens' Bleak 
House, a shrewd detective officer, who 
cleverly discovers that Hortense, the 
French maidservant of Lady Dedlock, 
was the murderer of Mr. Tulkinghorn, and 
not Lady Dedlock who was charged with 
the deed by Hortense. Swinburne, speak- 
ing of the detectives of fiction, calls 
Bucket " that matchless master of them 
all," and " the incomparable Mr. Bucket." 

Buck-eye State. Ohio. See States. 

Buckingham. Off with his head! so 
much for Buckingham f A famous line, 
often searched for in vain in Shakespeare's 
Richard III. It is not to be found there, 
but is in Act iv, Sc. iii, of Colley (Jibber's 
The Tragical History of Richard III, 
altered from Shakespeare (1700). 

Buckingham. George Villierx, first duke 
of Buckingham. The profligate favorite of 
James I, who called him " Steeme " from 
his beauty, a pet corruption of Stephen, 
whose face at martyrdom was " a the face 
of an angel." This was the duke who was 
assassinated by Fenton (1592-1028). lie 
is introduced by Walter Scott in The 
Fortunes of Nigel and by Dumas in. his 
Three Musketeers. 

George Villiers, second duke of Bucking- 
ham. Son of the preceding, and favorite 
of Charles II. He made the " whole body 
of vice his study." His name furnishes the 
third letter of the famous anagram 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


" Cabal." This was the Duke who wrote 
The Rehearsal He is introduced bv Walter 
Scott in Woodstock and Pevenl of the 
Peak, and by Dry den in his Absalom and 
Achitophel, where he is called Znnri (qv). 

Bucklaw,Tlie Laird of (Frank Hayston) . 
Lucy's suitor in Scott's Bride of Lammer- 
rnoor (qv.). 

Bucolic. A term referring to shepherds 
or herdsmen. Virgil's pastoral poems are 
called Bucolics. Cp. Idyll 

Buck-tail. A member of the American 
Democratic-Republican Party It origi- 
nally referred to Tammany (qv). 

Buddha (Sanskrit, " the Enlightened"). 
The title given to Prince Siddhar'tha or 
Gautama (q.v ), also called (from the name 
of his tribe, the Sakhyas) Saky'a muni, the 
founder of Buddhism, who lived in the 
6th century B. C. 

Buddhism. The system of religion 
inaugurated by the Buddha in India in 
the 6th century B. C. 

The four sublime verities of Buddhism 
are as follows: 

(1) Pain exists 

(2) The cause of pain is "birth, sin " The Buddhist 
supposes that man has passed through many previous 
existences, and all the heapcd-up sins accumulated in 
these previous states constitute man's "birth sin " 

(3) Pain is ended only by Nirva'na 

(4) The way that leads to Nirvana is right faith, 
right judgment, right language, right purpose, right 
practice, right obedience, right memory, and right 
meditation (eight in all) 

The abstract nature of the religion, 
together with the overgrowth of its 
monastic system and the superior vitality 
and energy of Biahminism, caused it to 
decline in India itself, but it spread rapidly 
in the surrounding countries and took so 
permanent a hold that it is computed that 
at the present time it has some 140,000,000 
adherents, of whom ten and three-fourths 
millions are in India, and the rest princi- 
pally in Ceylon, Tibet, China, and Japan 

Esoteric Buddhism. See Theosophy. 

Buffalo Bill. A scout and express rider; 
the name under which the daredevil 
exploits of Col William F. Cody attained 
dime-novel fame. 

Buffer State. A small, self-governing 
state separating two larger states, and 
thus tending to prevent hostilities between 
the two. The term seems to have origi- 
nated on the northwest frontiers of India 

Buford, Chad. The hero of The Little 
Shepherd of Kingdom Come (q.v.) by John 

Bug. An old word for goblin, sprite, 
bogy; probably from Welsh bwg, a ghost. 
The word is used in Covcrdale's Bible, 
which is hence known as the " Bug 
Bible" (see BMe, specially named), and 

survives in bogle, bogy, and in bugaboo, a 
monster or goblin, introduced into the 
tales of the old Italian romancers, and 
bugbear , a scarecrow, or sort of hobgoblin 
in the form of a bear. 

For all that here on earth we dreadfull hold, 
Be but as bugs to fearen babes withall 

Spen&er Faerie Queene, II, xii, 25 
Warwick was a bug that feared us all 

Shakespeare 3 Henry IV, v 3 
To the world no bugbear is so great 
As want of figure and a small estate 

Pope Satires, ni 67-68 
Making believe 

At desperate doings with a bauble-sword, 
And other bugaboo-and-baby-work 

Browning Ring and the Book, v. 949. 

A big bug. A person of importance 
especially in his own eyes; a swell; a pom- 
pous or conceited man. There is an old 
adjective bug, meaning pompous, proud. 

Bulba, Taras. See Taras Bulba. 

Bulbo, Prince. A character in Thack- 
eray's Rose and the Ring (q v.) 

Bulfinch, Thomas (1796-1867). Ameri- 
can scholar, author of The Age of Fable, 
The Age of Chivalry, Legends of Charle- 
magne, etc , based upon classic and medi- 
eval legends. 

Bull. A blunder, or inadvertent con- 
tradiction of terms, for which the Irish 
are proverbial. 

In astronomy, the English name of the 
northern constellation (Lat. Taurus) 
which contains Aldebaran and the Pleia- 
des, also the sign of the zodiac that the 
sun enters about April 22nd and leaves a 
month later. It is between Aries and 
Gemini, The time for ploughing, which 
in the East was performed by oxen or 

The Pope's bull. An edict or mandate 
issued by the Pope, so called from the 
heavy leaden seal (Lat. bulla) appended 
to the document. See Golden Bull. 

A bull in a china shop. A maladroit 
hand interfering with a delicate business; 
one who produces reckless destruction. 

To take the bull by the horns. To attack 
or encounter a threatened danger fear- 
lessly; to go forth boldly to meet a 

John Bull. See John Bull. 

Bullion State. Missouri. See States. 

Bulwer Lyttcn. (Edward George Earle 
Lytton Bulwer, afterwards Baron Lytton 
of Knebworth) (1803-1873) English 
novelist. His best-known novels are The 
Last Days of Pompeii, Eugene Aram, 
Rienzi, Ernest Maltravers, The Last of 
the Barons, Harold, Last of the Saxons, 
Kenelm Chillingly and The Caxtons. See 
those entries. His best-known drama is 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Bumlble. In Dickens' Oliver Twist, 
beadle of the workhouse where Oliver 
Twist was born and brought up A stout, 
consequential, hard-hearted, fussy official, 
with mighty ideas of his own importance 
This character has given to the language 
the word bumbledom, the officious arro- 
gance and bumptious conceit of a parish 
authority or petty dignitary After mar- 
riage with Mrs. Corney, the high and 
mighty beadle was sadly hen-pecked and 
reduced to a Jerry Sneak. 

Bumboat Woman, The. Heroine of one 
of the most popular of Sir William 
Gilbert's Bab Ballads. Her name was 
Poll Pineapple, and she sailed in seaman's 
clothes with Lieutenant Belaye' in the 
Hot Cross-Bun. Jack tars generally greet 
each other with " Messmate, hot what 
cheer? " but the greeting on the Hot 
Cross- Bun was always, " How do you 
do, my dear? " and never was any oath 
more naughty than "Dear me'" One 
day, Lieutenant Belaye came on board 
and said to his crew, " Here, messmates, 
is my wife, for I have just come from 
church." Whereupon they all fainted; 
and it was found that the crew consisted 
of young women only, who had dressed 
like sailors to follow the fate of the hand- 
some lieutenant. 

Bumppo, Natty. The central figure of 
Cooper's Leatherstocking series, better 
known as Leatherstocking (q.v). 

Bunch, Mother. A noted London ale- 
wife of the late Elizabethan period, on 
whose name have been fathered many 
jests and anecdotes, and who is mentioned 
more than once in Elizabethan drama, 

Now, now, mother Bunch, how dost thou? What, 
dost frowne, Queeno Gwymver, dost wrmckle? 

Dekker Saivromcustix, III. 1 

In 1604 was published Pasqml's Jests, 
mixed with Mother Bunches Merriments 
and in the " Epistle to the Merrie Reader" 
is given a humorous description of her: 

. She spent most of her time in telling of tales, and 
when, she laughed, she was heard from Aldgate to the 
Monuments at Westminster, and all South warko stood 
m amazement, the Lyons in the Tower, and the Bulls 
and Beares of Parish Garden roar'tl louder than the 
great roaring Mogge She dwelt in Cornhill, neere 

the Exchange, and sold strong Ale . . and lived an 
hundreth, seventy and five yeares, two dayes and a 
quarter, and halfo a minute 

Other books were named after her, 
such, for instance, as Mother Bunch's 
Closet newly Broke Open, " containing rare 
secrets of art and nature, tried and exper- 
ienced by learned philosophers, and 
recommended to all ingenious young men 
and maids, teaching them how to get 
good wives and husbands." 

Buncombe or Bunkum. Claptrap. The 
story is that a representative at Wash- 
ington being asked why he made such a 
flowery speech, so wholly uncalled for 
made answer, " I was not speaking to 
the House, but to Buncombe," the county 
in North Carolina which he represented 

Bungay, In Thackeray's PcndenniSj 
bookseller and publisher of the Pall Mall 
Gazette, edited by Captain Shannon. He 
publishes Arthur's novel. 

Bungay or Bongay, Friar. A famous 
necromancer of the 15th century, whose 
story is much overlaid with legend It is 
said that he " raised mists and vapors 
which befriended Edward IV at the 
battle of Barnct " In the old prose 
romance, The Famous History of Friar 
Baco7i, and in Greene's Honourable History 
of Friar Bacon and Fnai Bungaij (acted 
1591), he appears as the assistant to 
Roger Bacon (d. 1292) in his diabolical 
scientific experiments, and he is also in 
Bulwer Lytton's Last of the Barons. 

Bunner, H. C. (1855-1896). American 
writer, author of two seiics of Short Sixes 
and many othei short stories, etc. 

Buns'by, Captain John or Jack. In 

Dickens' Dombcy and Son, the owner of 
the Cautious Clara. Captain Cuttle con- 
sidered him " a philosopher, and quite 
an oracle." Captain Bunsby had one 
" stationary and one revolving eye," 
a very red face, and was extremely 
taciturn. The Captain was entrapped by 
Mrs. McStingcr, the termagant landlady 
of his friend, Captain Cuttle, into many- 
ing her. 

Bunthorne. The hero of Gilbert and 
Sullivan's comic opera, Patience, (</./>), 
the subtitle of which is BuntJiornc's Bride. 

Bunyan, John (1628-1088). Fnglish 
prose writer, famous for his Pilgrim's 
Progress (q.v.). 

Bunyan, Paul. A legendary hero of 
the lumber camps of the American North- 
west. Many tales are told of his fonts 
in a sort of chapbook called Paul Banyan 
Comes West. The dragging of his pick 
behind him cuts out the Grand Canyon of 
the Colorado. When he builds a hotel 
he has " the last seven stories put in 
hinges so's they could be swung back 
for to let the moon go by." Innumerable 
stories of the prowess of this remarkable 
Paul Bunyan have been invented by the 
lumbermen for their own amusement. 

Burbon. In Spenser's Faerie Queene 
(Bk. v) the lover of Fleurdelis (France), 
typifying Henry of Navarre, He is 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


assailed by a rabble rout, who batter 
his shield to pieces, and compel him to 
cast it aside The rabble lout is the 
Homan Catholic party that tried to 
throw him off; the shield he is compelled 
to abandon is Protestantism, his carrying 
off Fleurde'hs is his obtaining the kingdom 
by a coup after his renunciation of the 
Protestant cause. 

Burchell, Mr. The name assumed by 
Sir William Thornhill (qv)m Goldsmith^ 
Vicar of Wakefield Under this disguise he 
whimsically chose to go about relieving 
distress and uttering his famous " Fudge " 
at any egotistical or affected remarks. 

Burd Helen. See Helen, Burd. 

Burgess, Gelett (1866- ). Ameri- 
can humorist, author of Goops and Plow to 
Be Them, Are You a Bromide, etc. See 
Go op, Bromide. 

Burgundy, Charles the Bold, duke of. 
A historical personage introduced by 
Scott in his Quentin Durward and in 
Anne of Geier stein. The latter novel 
contains an account of the Duke's defeat 
at Nancy, and his death. 

Bu'ridan's Ass. A man of indecision; 
like one " on double business bound, who 
stands in pause where he should first begin 
and both neglects " Bundan is reputed 
by differing authorities to be either a 
Greek sophist or a French scholastic 
philosopher who died about 1360 He 
is credited with inventing the well-known 

If a hungry ass were placed exactly between two hay- 
stacks in evciy respect equal, it would starve to death, 
because there would be no motive why it should go to 
one rather than to the other 

Burke, Edmund (1729-1797). English 
statesman and author. His Philosophical 
Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the 
Sublime and Beautiful is his most ambi- 
tious work. 

Burke, Tom. See Tom Burke. 

Burleigh, Lord. (1) A parliamentary 
leader introduced in Scott's Legend of 
Montr ose, which deals with the times of 
Charles I. 

(2) William Cecil (Lord Burleigh). 
Lord treasurer to Queen Elizabeth, 
introduced by Scott in Kenilworth. 

(3) A character in Sheridan's comedy 
The Critic (1799). From him comes the 
expression a Lord Burleigh shake of the 
head, a great deal meant by a look or 
movement, though little or nothing is 
said. Puff, in his tragedy of The Spanish 
Armada (a burlesque " play within a 
play " produced in The Critic), introduces 
Lord Burleigh, " who has the affairs of 

the whole nation in his head, and has no 
time to talk", but his lordship comes on 
the stage and shakes his head, by which 
he means far more than words could utter. 
Puff says: 

Why, by that shake of the head he gave you to 
understand that even though they had more justice m 
their cause and wisdom in their measures, yet, if there 
was not a greater spirit sho\vn on the part of the people, 
the country would at last fall a sacrifice to the hostile 
ambition of the Spanish monarchy 

Sneer Did he mean all that by shaking his head? 

Puff Every word of it. 

(4) Tennyson has a ballad, The Lord 
of Burleigh In the guise of a painter, 
the noble-born hero woos and wins a 
country maiden who knows nothing of 
his wealth or title. When he takes her 
home to his estate, she pines away and 
dies. The historic original was Henry 
Cecil, later earl and marquis of Exeter, 
who took a country bride to live at 
Burleigh Hall, but the ballad presents a 
highly idealized version of their story. 
Burney, Fanny (Madame d'Arblay) 
(1752-1840). English authoress known for 
her diaries and letters and her two novels 
Evelina (q.v.) and Cecilia (qv). 

Burning Bush. A bush out of which 
the voice of God spoke to Moses, " and 
behold the bush burned with fire, and 
the bush was not consumed." 

Burns, Helen. A character in Charlotte 
Brontes novel, Jane Eyre (1847). 

Burns, Robert (1759-1796) The great- 
est of Scottish poets. His two poems of 
any length are Tarn o' Shanter (q.v ) and 
The Cotter's Saturday Night (qv). Among 
the best-known of his shorter lyrics are 
To a Mouse, To a Daisy, Ye Banks and 
Braes, My Luve Is Like a Red, Red Rose, 
John Anderson, My Jo, A Man's a Man 
for a 3 That, To Mary in Heaven. 

Burroughs, John (1837-1921). Ameri- 
can scientist and essayist on nature 

Burton, Robert (1577-1640). English 
prose writer, author of The Anatomy of 
Melancholy (q.v,). 

Bush, Ishmael. A rough, ferocious 
squatter in Cooper's novel The Prairie, 
whose story, with that of his family, 
comprises much of the action of the novel. 
Business. A.S. bisigness, from bisigian, 
to occupy, to worry, to fatigue. ^ In 
theatrical parlance " business " or " biz }} 
means by-play. Thus, Hamlet trifling 
with Ophelia's fan, Lord Dundreary's 
hop, and so on, arc the special " business " 
of the actor of the part. As a rule, the 
" business " is invented by the actor 
who creates the part, and it is handed 
down by tradition. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Business To-morrow. When the Spar- 
tans seized upon Thebes they placed 
Arc'hias over the garrison. Pelop'idas, 
with eleven others, banded together to 
put Archias to the sword. A letter con- 
taining full details of the plot was given 
to the Spartan polemarch at the ban- 
quet table; but Archias thrust the letter 
under his cushion, saying, " Business 
to-morrow " But long ere that sun arose 
he was numbered with the dead. 

Business as usual. An expression mean- 
ing that the everyday routine must be 
carried on as usual to preserve morale in a 
crisis. It was much in use during the 
World War. 

To mean business. To be determined 
to carry out one's project, to be in 

Bu'sirane. An enchanter bound by 
Brit'omart in Spenser's Faerie Queene 
(Bk m) He is the typification of un- 
restrained amorous passion 

Busi'ris. A mythical king of Egypt 
who, in order to avert a famine, used to 
sacrifice to the gods all strangers who 
set foot on his shores. Hercules was 
seized by him; and would have fallen a 
victim, but he broke his chain, and slew 
the inhospitable king. He is the titular 
hero of a blood-and-thunder tragedy by 
Edward Young (1718). 

Buskin. Tragedy. The Greek tragic 
actors used to wear a sandal some two or 
three inches thick, to elevate their 
stature To this sole was attached a very 
elegant buskin, and the whole was called 

Busqueue, Lord. In Rabelais' Gar- 
gantua and Pantagruel, plaintiff in the 
great Pantagruelian lawsuit known as 
" Lord Busqueue v. Lord Suekfist." Sec 

Bussy D'Ambois. A historical tragedy 
by George Chapman (1607).^ The hero 
wins for himself a position of influence at 
the French court of Henry III, but his 
downfall is brought about by his enemies 
through their exposure of his clandestine 
love affair with the Countess Tarnyra. 

Buster Brown. A young imp of the 
American comic supplement, the inven- 
tion of R. F. Outcault. He was very 
popular as the titular hero of a comedy, 
and Buster Brown suits, dresses and 
collars, so named from his mode of dress, 
were for a time in great demand. 

Butler, Samuel (1612-1680). English 
poet, famous for his satirical poem, 
Hudibras (q.v"). 

Butler, Samuel (1835-1902). English 

man of letters, best known for his novel, 
The Way of All Flesh (q.v), his philo- 
sophical romance Erewhon (q v.) and his 

Buttercup, Little. In Gilbert and 
Sullivan's comic opera, // M S Pinafore 
(1877), a " bumboat woman " She inter- 
changed the babies who afterwaids became 
Ralph Rackstraw and the Captain of the 

Butterfly. See Madame Butterfly. 

Butterworthy Elias Baptist. The hero of 
George Eliot's poem A Minor Prophet] 
an American " vegetarian seer " 

Buz'fuz, Serjeant. In Dickens' Pick- 
wick Papers, the pleader retained by 
Dodson and Fogg for the plaintiff in the 
celebrated case of " Bardell v. Pickwick." 
Serjeant Buzfuz was an able orator, who 
proved that Mr Pickwick's note about 
" chops and tomato sauce" was a declara- 
tion of love, and that his reminder "not 
to forget the warming-pan " was only 
a flimsy cover to express the ardor of his 

Buzzards. The inhabitants of Georgia, 
so called from the wild turkeys in that 

Bycorne. See Bicorn. 

Bynner, Witter (1881- ). American 
poet, best known for his Grenstone Poems, 
The Beloved Stranger and A Canticle to 

Byron, George Noel Gordon (Lord 
Byron) (1788-1824) English poet, famous 
for his English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, 
Cfiilde Harold, Don Juan, Cain, a Mystery, 
Manfred, The Pnsoner of C/nllon, The 
Corsair and its sequel Lara, etc. See 
those entries. His gloomy and romantic 
temperament has given rise to the term 

The French Byron. Alfred de Musset 

The Oregon Byron. Joaquin Miller. 

The Polish Byron. Adam Mickiewicz 

The Russian Byron. Alexander Ser- 
geivitch Pushkin (1799-1837). 

Byron, Harriet. In Richardson's fiir 
Charles Grandison, a beautiful and accom- 
plished woman of high rank, devotedly 
attached to Sir Charles Grandison, whom 
ultimately she marries. 

Byzan'tine. Byzantine art (from 
Byzantium, the ancient name of Con- 
stantinople). That symbolical system 
which was developed by the early Greek 
or Byzantine artists out of the Christian 
symbolism. Its chief features are the 
circle, dome, and round arch; and its 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


chief symbols the lily, cross, vesica, and 
nimbus. St Sophia, at Constantinople, 
and St. Mark, at Venice, are excellent 
examples of Byzantine architecture and 
decoration, and the Roman Catholic 
Cathedral at Westminster is a develop- 
ment of the same. 

Byzantine Empire. The Eastern or 
Greek Empire, which lasted from the 
separation of the Eastern and Western 
Empires on the death of Theodosms in 
395 A. D , till the capture of Constan- 
tinople by the Turks in 1453. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Ca' canny. A Scots expression meaning 
" go easily,' 3 " don't exert yourself " It is 
used in trade union slang, and the method 
of " ca' canny " is adopted by workmen for 
the purpose of bringing pressure on the 
employers when, in the woikmen's opin- 
ion, a strike would be hardly justifiable, 
expedient, or possible. Ca' is Scots caw, to 
drive or impel. 

Ca Ira (it will go). The name, and re- 
frain, of a popular patriotic song in 
France which became the Carillon Na- 
tional of the French Revolution (1790). 
It went to the tune of the Carillon 
National, which Marie Antoinette was for 
ever strumming on her harpsichord 

" Qa Ira." The rallying cry was bor- 
rowed from Benjamin Franklin of America, 
who used to say, in reference to the 
American revolution, "Ah* ah? $a ira, Qa 
ira f )} ('twill be sure to do). 

The refrain of the French revolutionary 
version was: 

Ah' ga ira, ca ira, ca ira, 
Les anstociates & la lanterne 

Caaba or Al Caaba. See Kaaba. 

Cabbages aad Kings. A volume of 
short stories by Henry (Am. 1862-1910). 
The title is taken from Lewis Carroll's 
ballad on the walrus in Alice Through the 

The time has come, the walrus said, 
To talk of many things, 
Of ships arid shoos and scaling wax 
Of cabbages and kings 

Cabal'. A junto (qv) or council of 
intriguers. One of the Ministries of 
Charles II was called a " cabal" (1670), 
because the initial letters of its members 
formed the word. Clifford, Ashley, Buck- 
ingham, Arlington, and Lauclcrdale. This 
accident may have popularized the worct, 
but it was in use in England many years 
before this, and is the Hebrew qabbalah. 
See Cabbala. 

Those ministers were emphatically called the Cabal, 
and they soon made the appellation so infamous that it 
has never since . boon used except as a term of 
reproach Macaulay Englwid, I, 11 

Conway Cabal. A faction organized by 
Gen. Thomas Coaway, of the American 
Revolutionary army, to supersede Wash- 
ington and make Gen. Gates commander- 
m-chief. This was in 1777-1778. 

Cabala, Cabalist. See Cabbala. 

Cabbala. The oral traditions of the 
Jews, said to have been delivered by 
Moses to the rabbis and from them handed 
down through the centuries from father to 

son by word of mouth. In medieval times 
the term included the occult philosophy of 
the rabbis, and the cabbala and its guard- 
ians, the cabbahsts, were feared as posses- 
sing secrets of magical power The word 
is the Heb qabbalah, accepted tradition 

Cabell, James Branch. (1879- ). 
American novelist. His best-known books 
are The Cords of Vanity, Domnei or The 
Soul of Mehcent, The Cream of the Jest, 
Jurgenj Figures of Earth, Beyond Life. 
See those entries, also Poictesme. 

Cable, G. W. (1844-1925). American 
novelist and short-story writer, author of 
Old Creole Days, The Grandissimes, Dr. 
Sevier, etc., all stones of New Orleans. 
See those entries. 

Cacique, See Rulers, Titles of. 

Cac'odse'mon. An evil spirit (Gr. 
kakos daimori). Astrologers give this name 
to the Twelfth House of Heaven, from 
which only evil prognostics proceed. 

Hie thcc to hell for shamc and leave the woild, 
Thou cacodemon 

ShaLevpcarr Richard III, i 3 

Ca'cus. In classical mythology, a 
famous robber, represented as three- 
headed, and vomiting flames lie lived in 
Italy, and was strangled by Hercules. 

Cade. Jack Cade legislation. Pressure 
from without. The allusion is to the 
insurrection of Jack Cade, an Irishman, 
who headed about 20,000 armed men, 
chiefly of Kent, " to procure redress of 
grievances " (1450). One of the most 
successful dramas of the American stage 
of a century ago was Conrad's Jack 
Cade (Am. 1832). 

Cade'nus. A name for Dean Swift. 
The word is simply de-ca-nus (" a dean ") 
with the first two syllables transposed 
(ca-de-nus). "Vanessa" is Mis^ Esther 
Vanhomrigh, a young lady who fell in love 
with Swift, and proposed marriage. The 
Dean's reply is given in a poem entitled 
Cadenus and Vanessa (i.e., Van-Esther). 

Ca'di. Arabic for a town magistrate or 
inferior judge. 

Cadignan, Diane de. The Duchess of 
Manfrigneuse, afterwards Princess of 
Cadignan, one of Balzac's most heartless, 
brilliant and accomplished women, the 
mistress in turn of many of the men who 
appear in the novels of his ComSdie 
Humaine. Her great achievement is per- 
haps her affair with the high-minded 
Daniel d'Arthez (q.v.) who was the best 
friend of her dead lover. Diane considered 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


herself the friend of the Marquise d'Espard 
and her rival in social leadership She is 
the heroine of The Secrets of a Princess 
(Les Secrets de la Pnncesse de Cadignan, 

Cadmus. In Greek mythology, the son 
of Agenor, king of Phoenicia, and Tele- 
phassa; founder of Thebes (Boootia) and 
the introducer of the alphabet into Greece. 
The name is Semitic for " the man of the. 
East." Legend says that, having slain the 
dragon which guarded the fountain of 
Dirce, in Boeotia, he sowed its teeth, and 
a number of armed men sprang up sur- 
rounding Cadmus with intent to kill him. 
By the counsel of Minerva, he threw a 
precious stone among the men, who, 
striving for it, killed one another. 

Cadmean letters. The Greek alphabet. 

Cadmean victory. A very costly victory. 

Cadu/ceus. A white wand carried by 
Roman heralds when they went to treat 
for peace; the wand placed in the hands 
of Mercury, the herald of the gods, of 
which poets feign that he could therewith 
give sleep to whomsoever he chose, 
wherefore Milton styles it " his opiate 
rod " in Paradise Lost, xi, 133 It is 
generally pictured with two serpents 
twined about it (a symbol thought to 
have originated in Egypt), and with 
reference to the serpents of ^Esculapius 
it was adopted as the badge of the Royal 
Army Medical Corps. 

So with Ins dread caducous Hermes led 
From the dark regions of the imprisoned dead, 
Or drove in silent shoals the lingering train 
To Night's dull shore and Pluto's dreary reign, 
Darwin Loves of the Plants, 11 291 

Cad'wal. In Shakespeare's Cymbeline 
(g.w.)j Arvir'agus, son of Cym/belme, was 
so called while he lived in the woods with 

Cadwallader, Rev. Mr. and Mrs. The 
rector and his wife in George Eliot's 
Middlemarch. The rector was kindly 
disposed toward every one, but his wife 
had a sharp tongue on occasion. 

Cadwallon. In Scott's novel, The 
Betrothed, the favorite bard of Prince 
(Jwenwyn. He entered the service of 
Hir Hugo de Lacy, disguised, under the 
assumed name of Renault Vidal. 

Csedmon. Cowherd of Whitby, the 
greatest poet of the Anglo-Saxons. He 
lived in the latter half of the 7th century, 
and, according to Bede, he was an igno- 
rant man and knew nothing of poetry 
until one night, when sleeping in the byre, 
he was miraculously commanded by an 
angel to sing the Creation and the begin- 
ning of created things. In Ms metrical 

paraphrase of Genesis we find the germ 
of Milton's Paradise Lost. 

Ca'erle'on, on the Usk, in Wales. The 
habitual residence of King Arthur, where 
he lived in splendid state, surrounded 
by hundreds of knights, twelve of whom 
he selected as Knights of the Round 

Csesar, Caius Julius. Roman general 
and administrator (B C. 100-44) He 
made himself master of the Roman world 
by defeating Pompey and ruled supreme 
until he was assassinated by a group of 
conspirators headed by Brutus and 
Cassius. Csesar appears in many his- 
torical dramas, notably in Shakespeare's 
Julius Ccesar (c. 1601) and G. B. Shaw's 
Ccesar and Cleopatra (1898). In Julius 
Ccesar (q.v), although he plays the title 
role, Csesar is in reality a subordinate 
figure and something of a weakling and 
braggart, and the characterization has 
often been criticized as untrue to history. 
Shaw, who is quoted as saying that 
Shakespeare's character is " the reductio 
ad absurdum of the real Julius Caesar/ 7 
wrote his Ccesar and Cleopatra as " a simple 
return to nature and history." Caesar's 
own account of his Gallic Wars^ is still 
regarded as a Latin classic His tradi- 
tional energy and versatility are thus 
described in Longfellow's Courtship of 
Miles jStandish. 

Somewhere I've read, but where I forget, he could 

Seven letters at once, at the same time writing his 


Better be first, he said, in a little Iberian village 
Than be second in Rome, and I think he was right 

\\hen he said it 
Twice was he married before he was twenty, and 

many times after, 
Battles five hundred he fought, and a thousand cities 

he conquered, 
But was finally stabbed by his friend the orator Brutus 

Ccssar's famous despatch, " Veni, vidi, 
vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)/' 
written to the senate to announce his 
overthrow of Pharnaccs, king of Pontus 

Ccesar's wife must be above suspicion. 
The name of Pompe'ia having been 
mixed up with an accusation against 
P. Clodius, Csesar divorced her, not 
because he believed her guilty, but 
because the wife of Caesar must not even 
be suspected of crime. 

Aut Ccesar aut nullus (Lat., Either 
Csesar or no one), everything or nothing; 
all or not at all. 

The City of the Ccesars. See City. 

Caesar Birotteau. (In Balzac's novels.) 
See Birotteau. 

Caesura. In English prosody a rhythmic 
break or pause which occurs naturally 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

about the middle of a line of any length, 
but may be varied with different effects. 
It is usually a sense pause. The classical 
caesura was the division of a foot between 
two words. 

Caf. SeeKaf. 

Cagots. A sort of gipsy race living in 
the Middle Ages in Gas'cony and Bearne, 
supposed to be descendants of the Visi- 
goths, and shunned as something loath- 
some. In modern French, a hypocrite or 
an ultra-devout person is called a cagot. 

Caiaphas. In the New Testament, a 
high priest, before whom Jesus was 
brought for trial. 

Cain. In the Old Testament, the son 
of Adam and Eve and murderer of his 
brother Abel. After the murder, which 
was committed out of jealousy because 
Abel's sacrifice was more acceptable to 
Jehovah than Cain's, Jehovah cursed Cain 
and made him " a fugitive and a wan- 
derer in the earth." Cain and Abel are 
called in the Koran " Kabil and Habil." 

The Mohammedan tradition is this. 
Cam was born with a twin sister who was 
named Aclima, and Abel with a twin 
sister named Jumella. Adam wished 
Cam to marry Abel's twin sister, and 
Abel to marry Cain's. Cain would not 
consent to this arrangement, and Adam 
proposed to refer the question to God by 
means of a sacrifice. God rejected Cain's 
sacrifice to signify his disapproval of his 
marriage with Achma, his twin sister, 
and Cain slew his brother in a fit of 

Byron's dramatic poem Cain, a Mystery 
(1821) is based largely on the Biblical 
narrative. Cain's wife he calls Adah, and 
Abel's wife he calls Zillah. Coleridge wrote 
a prose poem called The Wanderings of 
Cam (1798). 

The brand of Cain. The stigma of an 
outlaw from society (Gen. iv. 15). 

The curse of Cain. Continual wandering. 

Cain-colored Beard. Yellowish, or 
sandy red, symbolic of treason. In the 
ancient tapestries Cam and Judas are 
represented with yellow beards; but it 
is well to note that in the extract below 
the word, in some editions, is printed 
" cane-colored " 

He hath but a little wee face, with a little yellow 
beard, a Cain-coloured beard. Shakespeare Merry 
of Windsor, i 4 

Cain'ites. An heretical sect of the 2nd 
century. They renounced the New 
Testament m favor of The Gospel of Judas, 
which justified the false disciple and 
the crucifixion of Jesus, and they main- 

tained that heaven and earth were created 
by the evil principle, and that Cain with 
his descendants were the persecuted 

Cai'us. (1) In Shakespeare's King 
Lear, the assumed name of the Earl of 
Kent when he attended on King Lear, 
after Goneril and Re'gan refused to 
entertain their aged father with his suite. 

(2) Dr. Cai'us. In Shakespeare's Merry 
Wives of Windsor, a French physician, 
whose servants are Rugby and Mrs. 

Cake. To take the cake. To carry off 
the prize. The allusion is to the cake-walk 
of the Southern negroes of the United 
States, but cakes were prizes for com- 
petitions even in ancient times. 

You cannot eat your cake and have it too. 
You cannot spend your money and yet 
keep it. You cannot serve God and 

My cake is dough. My proj*cct has 

Cakes and ale. Luxuries. 

The Land of Cakes. Scotland, from its 
oatmeal cakes. 

Calainos. The most ancient of Spanish 
ballads. Calainos the Moor asked a 
damsel to wife, she consented, on con- 
dition that he should bring her the heads 
of the three paladins of Charlemagne 
Rmaldo, Roland, and Olivier. Calainos 
went to Paris and challenged the paladins. 
Fust Sir Baldwin, the youngest knight, 
accepted the challenge and was over- 
thrown; then his uncle, Roland, went 
against the Moor and smote him. 

Calamity Jane. One who is always 
predicting misfortune, one who puts the 
worst possible interpretation on any turn 
of events. The allusion is to Deddwood 
Dick on Deck, or Calamity Jane the 
Heroine of Whoop Up, a popular dime- 
novel by Edward J. Wheeler. 

Calandri'no. A typical simpleton fre- 
quently introduced in Boccaccio's Decam- 
eron, expressly made to be befooled and 
played upon. Macaulay said that his 
" misfortunes have made all Europe merry 
for four centuries." 

Calchas. In Greek mythology, a cele- 
brated soothsayer among the Greeks at 

Calderon de la Barca, Pierre (1600- 
1681). The most important of the early 
Spanish dramatists 

Caleb. In the Old Testament, one of 
the twelve spies who were sent by the 
Israelites to investigate the land of 
Canaan, He and Joshua (q.v.) were the 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


only ones who reported favorably, hence 
they were the only ones of their generation 
permitted to enter the Promised Land. 

Caleb. In Dryden's satire of Absalom 
and Achitophel, is meant for Lord Grey 
of Wark (Northumberland), one of the 
adherents of the Duke of Monmouth. 

And, therefore, in the name of dulness, be 
The well-hung Balaam [Earl of Huntingdon] and old 
Caleb free Lines 512-13 

Caleb Williams. A novel by William 
Godwin (1794). The central character is 
Falkland, an aristocrat yho valued his 
good name above everything else. Under 
great provocation, he was goaded on to 
commit murder, but was honorably 
acquitted, and another person was exe- 
cuted for the crime. Caleb Williams, a 
lad in Falkland's service, accidentally 
became acquainted wilh these secret 
facts and was made to swear a solemn 
oath of secrecy. Finally unable to live in 
the house under the suspicious eyes of 
Falkland, he ran. away. Falkland tracked 
him from place to place, like a blood- 
hound, and at length arrested him for 
robbery The true statement now came 
out, and Falkland died of shame and a 
broken spirit. This talc has been drama- 
tized by G. Caiman, under the title of 
The Iron Chest, Falkland is called Sir 
Edward Mortimer and Caleb Williams is 
called Wilford. 

Caledo'nia. Scotland; the ancient 
Roman name, now used only in poetry 
and in a few special connections, such as 
the Caledonian Railway, the Caledonian 
Canalj etc. 


The Julian Calendar. See Julian. 

The Gregorian Calendar. A modifica- 
tion of the Julian, introduced in 1582 
by Pope Gregory XIII, and adopted m 
Great Britain m 1752. This is called " the 
New Style." See Gregorian Year. 

The Mohammedan Calendar, used in 
Mohammedan countries, dates from July, 
16th, 622, the day of the Hegira (qv.). 
It consists of 12 lunar months of 29 days 
12 hours, 44 minutes each; consequently 
the Mohammedan year consists of only 
354 or 355 days. A cycle is 30 years. 

The French Revolutionary Calendar, 
adopted on October 5th, 1793, retro- 
spectively as from September 22nd, 1792, 
and in force m France till January 1st, 
1806, consisted of 12 months of 30 days 
each, with 5 intercalary days, called 
Sansculottides at the end. It was devised 
by Gilbert Romme (1750-1795), the names 

of the months having been given by the 
poet, Fabre d'Eglantine (1755-17940. 

The Newgate Calendar. See Newgate 

Calender. The Persian galandar, a 
member of a begging order of dervishes, 
founded in the 13th century by Qalandar 
Yusuf al-Andalusi, a native of Spain, 
with the obligation on its members of 
perpetual wandering This feature has 
made the calenders prominent in Eastern 
romance; the story of the Three Calenders 
in the Arabian Nights is well known 
They were three royal princes, disguised 
as begging dervishes, each of whom had 
lost his right eye 

Tale of the First Calender No names 
are given This calender was the son of 
a king, and nephew of another king. 
While on a visit to his uncle, his father 
died, and the vizier usurped the throne. 
When the prince returned, he was seized, 
and the usurper pulled out his right eye. 
The uncle died, and the usurping vizier 
made himself master of this kingdom also. 
So the hapless young prince assumed the 
garb of a calender, wandered to Bagdad, 
and being received into the house of 
ft the three sisters/ 7 told his tale in the 
hearing of the Caliph Haroun al Raschid. 

Tale of the Second Calender. No names 
given. This calender, like the first, was 
the son of a king. On his way to India he 
was attacked by robbers, and though he 
contrived to escape, he lost all his effects. 
In his flight he came to a large city, where 
he encountered a tailor, who gave him 
food and lodging. In order to earn a 
living, he turned woodman for the nonce, 
and accidentally discovered an under- 
ground palace, in which lived a beautiful 
lady, confined there by an evil genius. 
With a view of liberating her, he kicked 
down the talisman, the genius killed the 
lady and turned the prince into an ape. 
As an ape he was taken on board ship, 
and transported to a large commercial 
city, where his penmanship recommended 
him to the sultan, who made him his 
vizier. The sultan's daughter undertook 
to disenchant him and restore him to his 
proper form; but to accomplish this she 
had to fight with the malignant genius. 
She succeeded in killing the genius, and 
restoring the enchanted prince; but 
received such severe injuries in the 
struggle that she died, and a spark of 
fire which flew into the right eye of the 
prince, destroyed it. The sultan was so 
heart-broken at the death of his _ only 
child, that he insisted on the prince's 
quitting the kingdom without delay. So 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

he assumed the garb of a calender, and 
being received into the hospitable house 
of " the three sisters," told his tale in the 
hearing of the Caliph Haroun al Raschid. 

Tale of the Third Calender This calen- 
der, King Agib, was wrecked on the load- 
stone mountain, which drew all the nails 
and iron bolts from his ship, but he over- 
threw the bronze statue on the mountain- 
top, the cause of the mischief. Agib now 
visited ten young men, each of whom had 
lost his right eye, and was carried by a 
roc to the palace of forty princesses, with 
whom he tarried a year. The princesses 
were then obliged to leave for forty days, 
but entrusted him with the keys of the 
palace, with free permission to enter every 
room but one On the fortieth day cur- 
iosity finally induced him to open this 
room, where he saw a horse, which he 
mounted, and was carried through the 
air to Bagdad The horse then deposited 
him, and knocked out his right eye with 
a whisk of its tale, as it had done the ten 
young men whom he had previously met. 

CaFends. The first day of the Roman 
month. Yarro says the term originated 
in the practice of calling together or 
assembling the people on the first day 
of the month, when the pontifex informed 
them of the time of the new moon, the 
day of the nones, with the festivals and 
sacred days to be observed. The custom 
continued till A. U. C. 450, when the 
fasti or calendar was posted in public 

Greek Calends. Never; because there 
are no Greek Calends. 

Calf. To Jail the fatted calf. To welcome 
with the best of everything The phrase 
is taken from the parable of the prodigal 
son (Luke xv. 30). 

The Golden Calf. We all worship the 
golden calf, i.e. money. The reference is 
to the golden calf made by Aaron when 
Moses was absent on Mount Sinai. 
(Exod. xxxn ) 

Calf-love. Youthful fancy as opposed 
to lasting attachment. 

Calf-skin. Fools and jesters used to 
wear a calf-skin coat buttoned down the 
back; hence, a fool. 

Caliban. Rude, uncouth, unknown; 
as a Caliban style, a Caliban language. 
The allusion is to Shakespeare's Caliban 
in The Tempest (q.v.) t the deformed, half- 
human son of a devil and a witch, slave 
to Prospero. Browning's poem Caliban 
upon Setebos or Natural Theology in the 
, Island is an attempt to express for such 
a creature as Caliban his crude philosophy 

of God and the universe Percy Mackaye 
has a poetic drama called Caliban (Am. 
1916), showing the regeneration of Caliban 
thi ough love for Miranda 

Callburn. Same as Excahbar (qv), 
the famous sword of King Arthur 

Calico Cat. See Gingham Dog and 
Calico Cat. 

Cal'idore, Sir. In Spensei's Faerie 
Queene (Bk vi) the type of courtesy, and 
the lover of " fair Pastorella " He is 
described as the most courteous of all 
knights, and is entitled the " all-beloved." 
It is said that he typifies Sir Philip 
Sidney. His adventure is against the 
Blatant Beast, whom he muzzles, chains, 
and drags to Faerie Land. Cahdore is 
also the name of a poetical fragment by 
Keats (1796-1821) 

California widow. See under Widow. 

Calis'ta. The heroine of Rowe's tragedy 
The Fair Penitent (1703), the fierce and 
haughty daughter of Sciol'to, a proud 
Genoese nobleman. She yielded to the 
seduction of Lotha'rio, but promised to 
marry Al'tamont, a young lord who loved 
her dearly On the wedding clay a letter 
was picked up winch proved her guilt, 
and she was subsequently seen by Alta- 
mont conversing with Lothario. A duel 
ensued, in which Lothario fell. In a stioct- 
row Sciolto received his death-wound, 
and Calista stabbed herself. 

Calisto. See Calhsto. 

Call of the Wild, The. A novel by Jack 
London (Am. 1903), usually considered 
his best. The dog hero, Buck, is stolen 
from his comfortable home and pressed 
into service as a sledge dog in the Klondike. 
At first he is abused by both men and 
dogs, but he learns to fight ruthlessly 
and finally finds in John Thornton a 
master whom ho can respect and love. 
When Thornton is murdered, he breaks 
away to the wilds and becomes the leader 
of a pack of wolves. 

Calliope (Or. beautiful voice). Chief 
of the nine Muses (q.v,} ; the muwo of epic 
or heroic poetry, and of poetic inspiration 
and eloquence. Her emblems arc a stylus 
and wax tablets. 

Callir'rhoe. The lady-love of Cho/roaa, 
in Char'iton's Greek romance, entitled 
the Loves of Chccrects and Callirrhoc, prob- 
ably written in the 6th century A. 1). 

Callista, a Sketch of the Third Century. 
A historical romance by Cardinal Newman 
(1855). The Greek heroine, Callista, is 
loved by the Christian Agellius, becomes 
converted and suffers martyrdom, 
Callis'to and Areas. Callisto was an 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Arcadian nymph metamorphosed Into ! 
a she-bear by Jupiter. Her son Areas ' 
having met her in the chase, would have 
killed her, but Jupiter converted him into 
a he-bear, and placed them both in the 
heavens, where they are recognized as 
the Great and Little Bear. 

Callum Beg, Little. See Beg, Callum. 

Calpe. Gibraltar, one of the Pillars of 
Hercules, the other, the opposite promon- 
tory in Africa (mod Jebel Musa, or 
Apes 7 Hill), being anciently called Abyla. 
According to one account, these two were 
originally one mountain, which Hercules 
tore asunder; but some say he piled up 
each mountain separately, and poured 
the sea between them. 

Heaves up huge Abyla on Afric's sand, 
Crowns with high Calpe Europe's salient strand, 
Crests with opposing towers the splendid scene, 
And pours from, urns immense the sea between 

Darwin Economy of Vegetation 

CaTumet. This name for the tobacco- 
pipe of the North American Indians, 
used as a symbol of peace and amity, is 
the Norman form of Fr. chalumeau (from 
Lat. calamus, a reed), and was given by 
the French-Canadians to certain plants 
used by the natives as pipe-stems, and 
hence to the pipe itself. 

The calumet, or " pipe of peace/' is 
about two and a half feet long, the bowl 
is made of highly polished red marble, 
and the stem of a reed, which is decorated 
with eagles 7 quills, women's hair, and 
so on. 

To present the calumet to a stranger 
is a mark of hospitality and goodwill; to 
refuse the offer is an act of hostile defiance. 

Cal'vary. The Latin translation of the 
Gr golgotha (q.v.) } which is a translitera- 
tion of the Hebrew word for " a skull" 
The name given to the place of Jesus' 
crucifixion; hence a place of martyrdom. 
Legend has it that the skull of Adam was 
preserved here, but the name is probably 
due to some real or fancied resemblance 
in the configuration of the ground to the 
shape of a skull. 

Calvo, Baldassarre. In George Eliot's 
Romola (q.v.), the wealthy scholar who 
brought up Tito Melema as a son. 

Calydonian Boar, Tlie. In Greek legend, 
GEneus, king of Calydon, in JEtolia, 
having neglected to sacrifice to Artemis, 
was punished by the goddess' sending a 
ferocious boar to ravage his lands. A band 
of heroes collected to hunt the boar, who 
was eventually slain by Meleager after he 
had been first wounded by Atalanta. 
A dispute over the boar's head led to a 

war between the Curetes and the Caly- 

Calyp'so. In classical mythology, the 
queen of the island Ogyg'ia on which 
Ulysses was wrecked. She kept him there 
tor seven years, and promised him per- 
petual youth and immortality if he would 
remain with her for ever Ogygia is 
generally identified with Gozo, near Malta. 
In Telemaque (qv), a prose epic by 
Fenelon, Calyp'so is said to be meant for 
Mme de Montespan 

Cam and Isis. The universities of 
Cambridge and Oxford; so called from 
the rivers on which they stand. 

May you, my Cam and Isis, preach it long, 
"The right divine of kings to govern wrong " 

Pope Dunciad. iv 187. 

Cama. See Kama. 

Cama'cho. In Cervantes' Don Quixote, 
the " richest of men," who makes grand 
preparations for his wedding with Qmte'- 
na, "fairest of women"; but as the 
bridal party are on their way, Basil'ius 
cheats him of his bride Hence Camacho's 
wedding has become a byword for vast 
but futile expenditures of time or money. 

CamaraTzaman, Prince. In the Arabian 
Nights, the lover of Badoura (qv.). 

Camari'na. Ne moveas Camannam 
(Don't meddle with Camarina). Cama- 
rina, a lake in Sicily, was a source of 
malaria to the inhabitants, who, when 
they consulted Apollo about draining it, 
received the reply, " Do not disturb it." 
Nevertheless, they drained it, and ere 
long the enemy marched over the bed of 
the lake and plundered the city. The 
proverb is applied to those who remove 
one evil, but thus give place to a greater 
leave well alone. The application is 
very extensive, as: Don't kill the small 
birds, or you will be devoured by insects, 
one pest may be a safeguard against a 
greater one. 

A similar Latin phrase is Anagyrin 

When the laird of Ellangowan drove tbe gipsies from 
the neighbourhood, though they had been allowed to 
remain there undisturbed hitherto, Dominie Sampson 
warned him of the danger by quoting the proverb "Ne 
moveas Camannam " Scott Guy Manner-ing, ch vii 

Cam'balo's Ring. Cambalo was the 
second son of Cambuscan in Chaucer's 
unfinished Squire's Tale. He is intro- 
duced, as Carnbel (g.v), in Spenser's 
Faerie Queens (Bk. iv). The ring, which 
was given him by his sister Can 'ace (q.v.), 
had the virtue of healing wounds. 

Well mote ye wonder, how that noble knight, 

After he had so often wounded boon, 
Could "stand on foot now to renew the fight . . * 
AU was through virtue of the ring he wore; 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

The which, not only did not from him let 
One drop of blood to fall, but did restore 

His weakened powers, and dulled spirits whet 
Spenser Faerie Queene, IV m 23-24 

Cambalu. The chief city of Cathay, 
described in the Voyages of Marco Polo 
(q v ), It is identified with Peking. 

Cambel. The name given by Spenser 
in his sequel to Chaucer's Squire's Tale 
(Faerie Queene, Bk iv) to Cam'balo, 
brother of Can'ace (q.v.). He challenged 
every suitor to his sister's hand, and over- 
threw all except Tn'amond, who married 

Camber. In British legend, the second 
son of Brute (qv). Wales fell to his por- 
tion; which is one way of accounting for 
its ancient name of Cambria 

Cam'bria. The ancient name of Wales, 
the land of the Cimbn or Cymry. 

Cam/buscan. In Chaucer's unfinished 
Squire's Tale, the King of Sarra, in 
Tartary, model of all royal virtues His 
wife was El'feta, his two sons, Algarsife 
(q.v) and Cam'balo, and his daughter, 
Can'ace (q ?;.) On her birthday (October 
15th) the King of Arabia and India sent 
Cambuscan a " steed of brass, which, 
between sunrise and sunset, would carry 
its rider to any spot on the earth." All 
that was required was to whisper the 
name of the place m the horse's ear, 
mount upon his back, and turn a pin set 
in his ear When the rider had arrived 
at the place required, he had ^ to turn 
another pm, and the horse instantly 
descended, and, with another screw of the 
pin, vanished till it was again required. 
Milton refers to the story in II Penseroso. 

Camby'ses. King of Persia (B. C. 529- 
522). In drama he appears as a pompous, 
ranting character in Preston's tragedy, 
Cambyses, King of Persia (1569) ; and his 
name has become proverbial for bombastic 
language, because of FalstafFs speech 
(1 Henry IV ii. 4). " Give me a cup of 
sack, to make mine eyes look red; for I 
must speak in passion, and I will do it in 
King Cambyses' vein." 

Camel. To break the camel's back. To 
pile on one thing after another till at last 
the limit is reached and a catastrophe or 
break-down caused. The proverb is, " It 
is the last straw that breaks the camel's 

The Camel Driver of Mecca. Mahomet. 

Cam/elot. In British fable, the legend- 
ary spot where King Arthur held his 
court. It has been tentatively located at 
various places in Somerset, near Win- 
chester, in Whales, and even in Scotland. 

Camilla. (I) In Koman legend a virgin 

queen of the Volscians. Virgil (Mneid, 
vn 809) says she was so swift that she 
could run over a field of corn without 
bending a single blade, or make her way 
over the sea without even wetting her feet. 
She aided Turn us against ./Eneas. 

(2) One of the principal characters of 
The Fatal Curiosity (qv), an episode in 
Cervantes' Don Quixote. 

Caznilie. (1) The name under which 
the French Dame aux Camelias (The 
Lady of the Camelias), a novel and later 
a drama by Alexander Dumas Jils, was 
produced on the American stage. The 
play was enormously successful, both in 
France (1852) and in its various American 
adaptations which appeared in 1853, 
1857 and 1874. Its heroine is a beautiful 
courtesan who gives up the one man she 
has come to love genuinely because she 
does not want to rum his life, and goes 
back to her old round of frivolity. The 
character was drawn from the French 
courtesan, Madeleine du Plcssis In the 
French novel and drama she is known as 
Marguerite Gauthicr, in the American 
versions as Camillc and m Verdi's opera, 
La Traviata, founded on the story, she 
becomes Violetta Valery. 

(2) In Corneille's historical tragedy, 
Les PI or aces, the name of the daughter 
of Horatius (q.v ), heroine of the drama. 

Camillo. In Shakespeare's Winter's 
Tale (qv?), a lord in the Sicilian court, 
and a very good man. Being commanded 
by King Leontes to poison Polixcncs, 
instead of doing so he gave him warning, 
and fled with him to Bohemia. 

Camisards. In French history, the 
Protestant insurgents of the Oevenncs, 
who resisted the violence of the dragon- 
nades, after the revocation of the edict 
of Nantes (1685), and so called from the 
white shirts (carmsards) worn by the 
peasants. Their leader was Cavalier, 
afterwards governor of Jersey 

Camlan, Battle of. In Arthurian legend 
the battle which put an end to the Knights 
of the Round Table, and at which Artuur 
received his death wound from the hand 
of his nephew Modred, who was also 
slain. It took place about 537 A. D. } 
but its site (traditionally placed m 
Cornwall) is as conjectural as that of 
Camelot (q.v.) 

Camoens, Luis de (1524-1579) The 
most famous of Portuguese poets. Ilis 
masterpiece is the epic poem The Lusiad 

Camorra. A lawless, secret society of 

Naples, Italy, organized early in the 19th 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


century. It claimed the right of settling 
disputes, etc , and was so named from 
the blouse (Ital camorrd) worn by its 
members, the Camornsts. The term is 
used for any secret society with lawless or 
revolutionary aims. 

Camouflage. Disguise. The term was 
introduced during the World War in 
connection with military disguise and 
was popularized by application to blinds 
and disguises of every sort 

Campaigner, The old. Mrs Mackenzie 
mother of Rosa, in Thackeray's novel, 
The Newcomes (1855). 

Campaspe. A beautiful woman, the 
favorite concubine of Alexander the 
Great. Apelles, it is said, modeled his 
Venus Anadyomene from her. According 
to Pliny, Alexander gave her up to 
Apelles, who had fallen in love with her 
while painting her likeness. 

John Lyly produced, in 1583, a drama, 
Alexander and Campaspe, in which is the 
well-known lyric - 

Cupid and my Campaspe played 
At cards for kisses Cupid paid 

Campbells are coming, The. A famous 
song composed in 1715, when the Earl of 
Mar raised the standard for the Stuarts 
against George I. John Campbell was 
commander-in-chief of his Majesty's 
forces and the rebellion was quashed. 

Campbell, Viola, One of the chief 
characters m The Witching Hour (q.v.) 
by Augustus Thomas. 

Campeador. The Cid (q.v.). 

Canaan. The Biblical " Promised 
Land ", hence any land of promise. 

Conquest of Canaan. See under Con- 

Canaan, Gilbert (1884- ). English 
novelist, author of the trilogy Round the 
Corner, Old Mole, Young Earnest, etc. 

Can'ace. In Chaucer's Squire's Tale, 
a paragon of women, daughter of Cam- 
buscan (q v.), to whom the King of Arabia 
and India sent as a present a mirror and 
a ring. The mirror would tell the lady 
if any man on whom she set her heart 
would prove true or false, and the ring 
(which was to be worn on her thumb) 
would enable her to understand the 
language of birds and to converse with 
them. It would also give the wearer 
perfect knowledge of the medicinal prop- 
erties of all roots. Chaucer never finished 
the tale. 

Spenser, however, continued it in the 
Faerie Queene (Bk. iv), and here Can'ace 
was courted by a crowd of suitors, but 
her brother Cambel (see Cambalo) insisted 

that any one who pretended to her hand 
must encounter him in single combat 
and overthrow him. She ultimately 
married Tn'amond, son of the fairy 

Canal Boy. James A. Garfield (1831- 
1881), president of the United States, so 
called from his early occupation on a 
canal boat. 

Canary-bird. A jail-bird At one time 
certain desperate convicts were dressed in 
yellow; and jail was the cage of these 
" canaries/ 7 

Cancer. One of the twelve signs of the 
zodiac (the Crab). It appears when the 
sun has reached its highest northern 
limit, and begins to go backward towards 
the south, but, like a crab, the return is 
sideways (June 21st to July 23rd). 

According to fable, Juno sent Cancer 
against Hercules when he combated the 
Hydra of Lerne It bit the hero's foot, 
but Hercules killed the creature, and Juno 
took it up to heaven 

Candaules. King of Lydia about 
B. C. 710 to 668. Legend relates that he 
exposed the charms of his wife to Gy'ges 
(q.v), whereupon the queen compelled 
him to assassinate her husband, after 
which she married the murderer, who 
became king, and reigned twenty-eight 

Candida. A drama by Bernard Shaw 
(Eng. 1897) The heroine, Candida, is 
the wife ol the Rev. James Morell, but 
is loved by Eugene Marchbanks, a 
sensitive and visionary young poet who 
thinks Morell nothing but a a moralist 
and windbag. 77 According to agreement 
between the two men, Candida is to make 
her choice, and when she demands that 
they bid for her, Morell offers his strength, 
Eugene his weakness. She chooses Morell, 
not, however, because of his strength but 
because of his need for her love. 

Candide. The hero of Voltaire's philo- 
sophical novel, Candide, ou I'Optimisme 
(1759), written to satirize the optimistic 
creed that " All is for the best in this 
best of all possible worlds." Candide's 
tutor, the philosophic Dr. Panglpss, is 
the embodiment of this theory, maintain- 
ing it through thick and thin, in spite 
of the most blatant evidences to the 
contrary. Misadventures begin when the 
young Candide is kicked out of the castle of 
Thunder-ten-tronckh for making love to 
the Baron's daughter, Cunagonde, and 
thereafter he and Pangloss and Cuna- 
gonde, sometimes together, more often 
apart, in various far quarters of the 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

earth, endure a long succession of ^ the 
most unfair and appalling calamities 
conceivable Eventually they settle down 
together on a little farm, Candide marries 
Cunagonde, now alas grown ugly, and tells 
himself often, " II faut cultiver noire 
jardin (we must cultivate our garden) " 

Candle. He is not fit to hold the candle 
to him. He is very inferior. The allusion 
is to link-boys who held candles m 
theaters and other places of night amuse- 

The game is not worth the candle. The 
effort is not worth making; the result 
will not pay for the trouble, even the 
cost of the candle that lights the players. 

To burn the candle at both ends. To 
overdo in expenditure of either time or 

To vow a candle to the devil. To pro- 
pitiate the devil by a bribe, as some 
seek to propitiate the saints in glory by 
a votive candle. 

Bell, book and candle See Bell. 

Candle-holder. An abettor. The refer- 
ence is to the practice of holding a candle 
in the Catholic Church for the reader, 
and in ordinary life to light a workman 
when he requires more light 

Candlemas Day. February 2nd, the 
feast of the Purification of the Virgin 
Mary, when Christ was presented by her 
in the Temple, one of the quarter days in 
Scotland. In Roman Catholic churches 
all the candles which will be needed in 
the church during the year are consecrated 
on this day; they symbolize Jesus Christ, 
called " the light of the world/' and " a 
light to lighten the Gentiles/' The 
Romans had a custom of burning candles 
to scare away evil spiiits. 

If Candlemas Day be dry and fair, 
The half o' winter's come and mair; 
If Candlemas Day be wet and foul, 
The half o' winter was gane at Youl. 

Scotch Proverb 

The badger peeps out of his hole on Candlemas Day, 
and, if he finds snow, walks abroad, but if he SCHSS the 
sun shining he draws back into his hole German Proverb. 

Cp Ground-hog Day. 

Candour, Mrs. In Sheridan's School for 
Scandal, the beau-ideal of female back- 

The name of "Mrs Candour" has become one 
of those formidable by-words which have more power 
m putting folly and ill-nature out of countenance 
than whole volumes of the wisest remonstrance and 
reasoning T Moore 

Canfield, Dorothy (Mrs. Fisher) (1879- 
). American novelist, author of The 
Squvrrd Cage, The Bent Twig, The 
Brimming Gup, etc. 

Can'idia. A Neapolitan, beloved by the 

poet Horace. When she deserted him, 
he held her up to contempt in certain of 
his Epodes as an old sorceress who could 
by a rhomb unsphere the moon. Hence 
any witch. 

Canio. The showman in Leoncavallo's 
opera, / Pagliacci (qv) 

Cannse. The place where Han'nibal 
defeated the Romans under Varro and 
L. ^Emil'ms Paulus with great slaughter 
in B. C. 216. Any fatal battle that is the 
turning point of a great general's pros- 
perity may be called his Cannae. Thus 
Moscow was the Cannae of Napoleon. 

Cannon, George. In Arnold Bennett's 
Clayhanger (qv), the bigamist to whom 
Hilda Lessways believed she was married. 

Canon. From Lat. and Gr. canon, a 
carpenter's rule, a rule, hence a standard 
(as "the canons of criticism"), a model, 
an ordinance, as in Shakespeare's 

Or that the Everlasting; had, not fixed 
His canon 'gainst self-aliiughter 

Hamlet, i. 2. 

The canon. Canon law (qv). Also, 
the body of the books in the Bible which 
are accepted by the Christian Church 
generally as genuine and inspired; the 
whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation, 
excluding the Apocrypha Called also 
the sacred canon and the Canonical Books. 

Gan'on law. A collection of eccle- 
siastical laws which serve as the rule of 
church government. The professors or 
students of canon law are known as 

Canon Yeoman's Tale, The. One of 
Chaucer's Canterbury Talcs (1388), known 
in the old spelling as The Ohanouns 
Yemannes Talc, that is, a yoman'a tale 
about a chanoun or canon, (A " ycman " 
is a bailiff.) This is a tale in ridicule of 
alchemy. A chanoun humbugged a priest 
by pretending to convert rubbish into 
gold. With a film of wax he concealed in a 
stick a small lot of thin gold. The priest 
stirred the boiling water with the stick, 
and the thin pieces of gold, as the wax 
melted, dropped into the pot. The priest 
gave the chanoun a large sum for the 
recipe; and the crafty alchemist was 
never seen by him afterwards. 

Canossa. Canossa, in the duchy of 
Modena, is where, in January, 1077, the 
Emperor, Henry IV, went to humble 
himself before Pope Gregory VII (Hilde- 
brand). Hence, To go to Canossa, to eat 
humble pie; to submit oneself to a 
superior after having refused to do so. 

Canterbury Tales, The. The great work 
of the poet Chaucer (1388) consisting of 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


twenty-four tales told by a company of | 
pilgrims going to visit the shrine of 
St. Thomas a Becket at Canterbury. 
The party first assembled at the Tabard, 
an inn in Southwark, and there agreed to 
tell one tale each both going and returning, 
and the person who told the best tale 
was to be treated by the rest to a supper 
at the Tabard on the homeward journey. 
The party consisted of twenty-nine 
pilgrims, so that the whole budget of 
tales should have been fifty-eight, but 
only twenty-three and the fragment of 
another (Sir Thopas) were told In the 
Prologue Chaucer aptly and wittily 
describes each of his fellow pilgrims. 
As individual characters the most cele- 
brated of these are probably the Clerk, 
Knight, Man of Law, Parson, Prioress, 
Squire and Wife of Bath. See under 
those entries. 

The tales are as follows: 

Canon Yeoman's Tale (Chanouns Yem- 
annes Tale). The transmutation of metals 
See under Canon. 

Clerk's Tale (Clerkes Tale). Patient 
Grisilda. See Grisilda. 

Cook's Tale (Cokes Tale) Gamelyn 


Franklin's Tale (Frankeleyns Tale). 
Dorigen and Arviragus See Dorigen. 

Friar's Tale (Freres Tale) A. compact 
with the devil. See under Friar. 

Host's Tale Melibeus (qv.). 

Knight's Tale (Knightes Tale). Palernon 
and Arcitc See Palemon. 

Man of Law's Tale (Mannes Tale of 
Lawe). King Ella and Cunstance. See 

Manciple's Tale (Maunciples Tale) The 
tell-tale crow turned black. See under 

Merchant's Tale (Marchantes Tale). 
January and May. See January. 

Miller's Tale (Miller es Tale). Nicholas 
and Alison. See Nicholas 

Monk's Tale (Monkes Tale) The mut- 
ability of fortune. See under Monk. 

Nun's Priest's Tale (Nonne Prestes 
Tale), Chanticleer and the Fox. See 

Pardoner's Tale (Pardoner es Tale) The 
devil and the proctor. See under Pardoner. 

Parson's Tale (Persones Tale) A kind 
of Pilgrim's Progress. See under Parson. 

Physician's Tale (Phisiciens Tale). 
Virginia (qv.). 

Prioress' Tale (Prioresses Tale). The 
singing boy. See under Prioress. 

Reeve's Tale (Reves Tale). Simon and 

the Miller of Trompington. See under 

Second Nun's Tale (Seconde Nonnes 
Tale). St Cecily. See under Second 

Shipman's Tale (Shipmannes Tale). 
The merchant and the monk, See under 

Squire's Tale (Sqwjeres Tale). Cam- 
buscan (q.v). 

Sumpnor's Tale (Somnours Tale). The 
begging friar See under Sumpnor. 

Thopas, Sir. Told by Chaucer, but cut 
short by Mine Host See Thopas 

Wife of Bath's Tale (Wyf of Bathes 
Tale) What a woman likes best See 
under Wife. 

The Canterbury Pilgrims A drama by 
Percy Mackaye (Am 1909), based on 
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and later 
produced as an opera with music by 
De Koven The plot centers about a 
rivalry between the shy, gentle Prioress 
(q v ) and the Wife of Bath (q v ) over the 
attentions of Chaucer, the poet. The 
Wife of Bath makes a bet that she will 
get a certain bracelet from the Prioress, 
and Chaucer is to become her much- 
desired sixth husband if she does She 
wins by trickery, but King Richard rules 
that she must marry the Miller instead. 

Cant'well, Dr. In BickerstafFs comedy 
The Hypocrite (1768), the English repre- 
sentative of Mohere's " TartufTe." He 
makes religious cant the instrument of 
gain, luxurious living and sensual indul- 
gence. His dishonorable conduct towards 
Lady Lambert and her daughter gets 
thoroughly exposed, and at last he is 
arrested as a swindler The Hypocrite 
was adapted from Gibber's Nonjuror 
(1717) which was in turn founded very 
largely on Moli&re's Tartuffe (qv.). 

Dr Cant well . . the meek and saintly hypocrite 


Canty, Tom. The beggar boy who 
changes places with. Prince Edward in 
Mark Twain's Prince and the Pauper 

Canucks. The name given in the United 
States to Canadians generally, but in 
Canada itself to Canadians of French 
descent. The origin is uncertain, but it 
lias been suggested that it is a corrup- 
tion of Connaught, a name originally 
applied by the French Canadians to Irish 


Cap and bells. The insignia of a pro- 
fessional fool or jester. 

Cap and feather days. The time of 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Cap and gown. The full academical 
costume of a university student or 

Cap of Liberty. The sign of freedom. 
When a slave was manumitted by the 
Romans, a small Phrygian cap, usually 
of red felt, called pil'eus, was placed 
on his head, he was termed liberti'nus 
(a freedman) , and his name was registered 
in the city tribes When Saturni'nus, 
in B C. 100, possessed himself of the 
Capitol, he hoisted a similar cap on the 
top of his spear, to indicate that all slaves 
who joined his standard should be free; 
Ma'nus employed the same symbol 
against Sulla, and when Caesar was mur- 
dered, the conspirators marched forth 
in a body, with a cap elevated on a spear, 
in token of liberty. 

In the French Revolution the cap of 
liberty (bonnet rouge) was adopted by the 
revolutionists as an emblem of their 
freedom from royal authority. 

Cap of Maintenance. A cap of dignity 
anciently belonging to the rank of duke; 
the fur cap of the Lord Mayor of London, 
worn on days of state, a cap carried before 
the British sovereigns at their coronation. 

A feather in one's cap. An achievement 
to be proud of; something creditable. 

I must put on my considering cap. I 
must think about the matter before I give 
a final answer. The allusion is to the 
official cap of a judge, formerly donned 
when passing any sentence, but now 
only when passing sentence of death. 

// the cap fits, wear it If the remark 
applies to you, apply it yourself. 

Setting her cap at him. Trying to catch 
him for a sweetheart or a husband. In 
the days when ladies habitually wore 
caps they would naturally put on the most 
becoming, to attract the attention and 
admiration of the favored gentleman. 

Cap'aneus. In Greek mythology, one 
of the seven heroes who marched against 
Thebes. He was struck dead by a thunder- 
bolt for declaring that not Jupiter himself 
should prevent his scaling the city walls. 
Evadne, his wife, threw herself into the 
flames while his body was burning. 

Capatez de Cargadores. See Nostromo. 

Capitulations. Special agreements un- 
der which Westerners in certain non-Chris- 
tian countries are exempted from local 
jurisdiction and held subject instead to 
their own consuls. 

Caponsac'chi, Giuseppe. In Browning's 
Ring and the Book (q t; ) , the young priest 
under whose protection Pompilia fled 
from her husband to Rome. 

Cap'ricom. Called by Thomson, in his 
Winter, " the centaur archer " Anciently, 
the winter solstice occurred on the entry 
of the sun into Capricorn, i e. the Goat 
but the stars, having advanced a whole 
sign to the east, the winter solstice now 
falls at the sun's entrance into Sagit- 
taims (the centaur archer), so that the 
poet is strictly right, though we commonly 
retain the ancient classical manner of 
speaking Capricorn is the tenth, or, 
strictly speaking, the eleventh, sign of 
the zodiac (December 21st- January 20th). 
According to classic mythology, Capricorn 
was Pan, who, from fear of, the great 
Typhon, changed himself into a goat, 
and was made by Jupiter one of the signs 
of the zodiac. 

Captain. (For captains in fiction and 
drama, see under their respective names, 
also below for titles beginning with 
Captain ) 

The Great Captain (el gran capita' no}. 
Gonzalvo di Cor'dova (1453-1515) 

Manuel Comne'nus of Treb'izond (1120, 

Captain Cauf's Tail. The commander- 
m-chief of the mummers of Plough 

Captain Copperthorne's Crew. All mas- 
ters and no men. 

Captain Podd. A showman So called 
from " Captain " Podd, a famous puppet- 
showman in the time of Ben Jonwon. 

Captain Rock. A fictitious name as- 
sumed by the loader of certain Irish 
insurgents in 1822, etc. All notices, 
summonses, and so on, were signed by 
this name. 

Captain Stiff. To come Captain Stiff 
over one. To treat one with cold formality. 

Captain Brassbound's Conversion. A 
comedy by George Bernard Hhaw (JOug. 
1900). Captain BraKsbound is a pirate, out 
for revenge at any cost and feeling quite 
justified until the heroine, Lady Cicely 
Waynefleet, disaims and " converts " him 
by a unique method in keeping with her 
own charmingly sympathetic personality. 

Captain Fracasse (Le Capitaine Fra- 
casse). A novel by Theophilc Gautioi 
(Fr. 1863), presenting a picture of Bohe- 
mian life in the France of Louis XIII. 
The young and poverty-stricken Baron de 
Sicognac entertains a group of vagabond 
players, falls in love with Isabella, one 
of their number, and for a time joins 
them as Captain Fracasse, a member of 
the troop. 

Captain, My Captain, (X A short and 
very well-known poem by Walt Whitman 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


(Am. 1865) on the death of Abraham 
Lincoln. The first stanza reads: 

O Captain' my Captain' our fearful trip is done, 

The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought 

is won, 

The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, 
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and 


But oh heart! heart' heart! 
O the bleeding drops of red, 
Where on the deck my Captain lies, 
Fallen cold and dead 

Captains Courageous. A story by 
Rudyard Kiplmg (Eng. 1897). The boy 
hero is an American millionaire's son, 
Harvey Cheyne This spoiled youngster 
falls overboard, is picked up by a fishing 
dory and against his will is hired by 
Disko Troop, the skipper, at ten dollars 
a month. By the time the fishing season 
is over, he has a different and much more 
healthy attitude toward life 

Cap'ua. Capua corrupted Hannibal. 
Luxury and self-indulgence will ruin any 
one Hannibal was everywhere victorious 
over the Romans till he took up his winter 
quarteis at Capua, the most luxurious city 
of Italy. When he left Capua, his star 
began to wane, and, ere long, Carthage 
was in ruins and himself an exile 

Cap'ulet. A noble house in Verp'na, the 
rival of that of Montague, Juliet is of 
the former, and Romeo of the latter. 
Lady Capulet is the beau-ideal of a 
proud Italian matron of the 15th century 
(Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet). The 
expression so familiar, " the tomb of 
all the Capuiets," is from Burke; he uses 
it in his Reflections on the Revolution in 
France (vol. iii. p. 349), and again in his 
Letter to Matthew Smith, where he says: 

I would rather sleep in the southern corner of a 
country churchyard than in th,e tomb of the Capulets. 

Gap'ut Mor'tuum (Lat. dead head) . An 
alchemist's term, used to designate the 
residuum left after exhaustive distillation 
or sublimation, hence, anything from 
which all that rendered it valuable has 
been taken away. Thus, a learned 
scholar paralyzed is a mere caput mortuum 
of his former self. The French Directory, 
towards its close, was a mere caput 
mortuum of a governing body. 

Car'abas. He is a Marquis of Carabas. 
An ultra-conservative nobleman, of un- 
bounded pretensions and vanity, who 
would restore the slavish foolery of the 
reign of Louis XIV; one with Fortunatus 7 
purse, which was never empty. The 
character is taken from Perrault's tale 
of Puss in Boots, where he is Puss's master; 
but it is B6ranger's song (1816) which 
has given the word its present meaning. 

Pretres que nous vengeons 
Levez la dime et partageons; 
Et toi, peuple animal, 
Porte encor le b4t feodal . . , 

Chapeau has' Chapeau bas! 

Gloire au marquis de Carabas' 

Beranger, 1816. 

The Marquis of Carabas in Disraeli's 
Vivian Grey (q v.) is said to be intended 
for the Marquis of Clanricarde. 

Carac'tacus or Caradoc, In legendary- 
history, a king of the Silures in Britain 
who withstood the Roman arms for nine 
years, but was finally betrayed by Car- 
thismandu, queen of the Brigantes, and 
led captive to Rome A. D. 51. He is a 
prominent figuie in the Welsh Triads 
and in Drayton's Polyolbion. 

Carad'oc. A knight of theJRound Table, 
noted for being the husband of the only 
lady in the queen's train who could wear 
" the mantle of matrimonial fidelity." 
He appears as Craddocke in the old 
ballad The Boy and the Mantle given in 
Percy's Rehques. See Mantle of Fidelity. 

Also, in history, the British chief whom 
the Romans called Caractacus (q.v.) (fl. 
about A. D 50). 

Carbona'ri (singular, carlonaro). This 
name, assumed by a secret political 
society in Italy (organized 1808-1814), 
means charcoal burners. Their place of 
muster they called a "hut", its inside 
" the place for selling charcoal "; and the 
outside, the " forest " Their political 
opponents they called " wolves " Their 
object was to convert the kingdom of 
Naples into a republic. 

Cardinal. The Lat. cardo means a 
hinge; its adjective, cardinaks (from 
which we get " cardinal "), meant origin- 
ally " pertaining to a hinge," hence " that 
on which something turns or depends," 
hence " the principal, the chief." Hence, 
in Christian Rome a " cardinal church " 
(ecclesia cardinahs) was a principal or 
parish church as distinguished from an 
oratory attached to such, and the chief 
priest (presbyter cardinalis) was the 
" cardinal," the body (or " College ") of 
cardinals forming the Council of the 
Pope, and electing the Pope from their 
own number. This did not become a 
stabilized regulation till after the third 
Lateran Council (1173), since when the 
College of Cardinals has consisted of six 
cardinal bishops, fifty cardinal priests, 
and fourteen cardinal deacons. 

The cardinals' " Red hat" was made 
part of the official vestments by Innocent 
IV (1245) " in token of their being ready 
to lay down their life for the gospel." 

Cardinal Humors. An obsolete medical 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

term for the four principal " humors " 
of the body, viz. blood, phlegm, yellow 
bile, and black bile. 

Cardinal Numbers. The natural, primi- 
tive numbers, which answer the question 
" how many 9 " such as 1, 2, 3, etc 1st, 
2nd, 3rd, etc., are ordinal numbers. 

Cardinal Points of the Compass. Due 
north, west, east, and south. So called 
because they are the points on which the 
intermediate ones, such as N E , N.W , 
N.N.E , etc , hinge or hang. (Lat. cardo, 
a hinge ) 

The poles, being the points upon which 
the earth turns, were called in Latin 
cardines (cardo, a hinge, see Cardinal 
above), and the cardinal points are those 
which lie in the direction of the poles and 
of the sunrise and sunset Thus, also, the 
winds that blow due East, West, North, 
and South are known as the Cardinal 
Winds. It is probably from the fact that 
the cardinal points are four in number 
that the cardinal humors, virtues, etc , 
are also four. 

Cardinal Signs (of the zodiac). The 
two equinoctial and the two solstitial 
signs, Aries and Libra, Cancer and 

Cardinal Virtues. Justice, prudence, 
temperance, and fortitude, on which all 
other virtues hang or depend. A term 
of the Schoolmen, to distinguish the 
" natural " virtues from the " theological " 
virtues (faith, hope, and charity). 

Cardinal Winds. See Cardinal Points 

Cardinals. In American baseball par- 
lance, the nickname of the St. Louis 
Nationals. Cp. Baseball Teams 

Carew, Thomas (1595-1645). English 
lyric poet of the " Metaphysical School " 

Carey, Blair. The heroine of Page's 
novel, Red Rock (q.v). 

Carey, Mother. See Mother Carey's 

Cargadpres, Capatez de. A powerful 
Italian, nicknamed " Nostromo " (g.v.) in 
Conrad's novel of that title. 

Car'gill, The Rev. Josiah. In Scott's 
St. Ronan's Well, minister of St. Ronan's 
Well, tutor of the Hon. Augustus Bidmore 
and the suitor of Miss Augusta Bidmore, 
his pupil's sister. 

Carinthia Jane Kirby. In Meredith's 
Amazing Marriage (q.v ) . 

Car'ker, James. In Dickens 7 Dombey 
and Son, manager in the house of Mr 
Dombey, merchant. Carker was a man 
of forty of a florid complexion, with very 

glistening white teeth, which showed 
conspicuously when he spoke His smile 
was like " the snarl of a cat " He was the 
Alas'tor of the house of Dombey, for he 
not only brought the firm to bankruptcy, 
but he seduced Alice Mai wood (cousin of 
Edith, Dombey's second wife) and also 
induced Edith to elope with him Edith 
left him at Dijon, and Carker, returning 
to England, was run over by a railway 
tram and killed 

John Carker The elder brother, a 
junior clerk in the same firm He twice 
robbed it and was forgiven. 

Harriet Carker. A gentle, beautiful 
young woman, who married Mi. Morfin, 
one of the employe's in the house of Mr. 
Dombey, merchant When her elder 
brother John fell into disgrace by robbing 
his employer, Harriet left the house of 
her brother James to live with and cheer 
her disgraced brother John. 

Carlisle, Lady. In Browning's historical 
tragedy, Strajford, a character introduced 
to supply a love clement. She is not a 
historical personage. 

Carlyle, Thomas (1795-1881) English 
piose wiiter, author of Sartor Resartus 
(gv). Heroes and Hero Worship, The 
French Revolution, etc. 

Carlos, Don. See Don Carlos. 

Carlovingian romance. See Charle- 
magne, Roland. 

Carmen. An opera by Bizet (1875) 
based on Memne'c's novel of the same 
name. Carmen, a gypsy coquette, piqued 
at the indifference of the young Spanish 
officer Don Jos6, succeeds in winning his 
interest, and a moment later, when she 
has stabbed another girl in the, cigar 
factory where she is employed, he allows 
her to escape her bonds. She now per- 
suades him to desert and cast in his lot 
with the gipsies His love grows stronger 
as hers cools; she soon has eyes only for 
Escamillo, the famous toreador. Jos6 
allows himself to be led home to the 
bedside of his dying mother by Michacla, 
a peasant girl who loves him, but returns 
to find Carmen entering the arena for the 
bull fight. She refuses to return to him, 
and he stabs her. 

Carmen, Bliss (1-861- ). Canadian 
poet, best known for his Mongs from 
Vagabondia, in the writing of whlen ho 
collaborated with Kichard Ilovey (Am, 

Car'milhan. A legendary phantom ship 
of the Baltic. The captain of this ship 
swore he would double the Cape, whether 
God willed it or not. For this impious 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


vow he was doomed to abide for ever and 
ever captain in the same vessel, which 
always appears near the Cape, but never 
doubles it The kobold of the phantom 
ship, named Klabot'erman, helps sailors 
at their work, but beats those who are 
idle. When a vessel is doomed, the 
kobold appears smoking a short pipe, 
dressed in yellow, and wearing a night-cap. 
Cp Flying Dutchman 

Carol Bird. The child heroine of Kate 
Douglas Wiggm's Birds' Christmas Carol 

Carol Kennicott. In Main Street (q.v ) 
by Sinclair Lewis. 

Caroline. Queen-consort of George II, 
introduced by Walter Scott in The Heart 
of Midlothian. Jcame Deans has an 
interview with her in the gardens at 
Richmond, and Her Majesty promises to 
intercede with the King for Erne Deans' 

Caroline Gann. (In Thackeray's Shabby 
Genteel Story and The Adventures of 
Philip ) See Gann, Caroline. 

Carpet. The magic carpet. The carpet 
which, to all appearances, is worthless, but 
which, if any one sat thereon, would 
transport him instantaneously to the 
place he wished to go, is one of the stock 
properties of Eastern wonder-tales and 
romance It is sometimes termed Prince 
Housam's carpet, because of the popu- 
larity of the Story of Prince Ahmed ia The 
Arabian Nights, where it supplies one of 
the principal incidents; but the chief 
magic carpet is that of King Solomon, 
which, according to the Mohammedan 
legend related in the Koran, was of green 
silk His throne was placed on it when he 
traveled, and it was large enough for all 
his forces to stand upon, the men and 
women on his right hand, and the spirits 
on his left. When all were arranged in 
order, Solomon told the wind where he 
wished to go, and the carpet, with all its 
contents, rose in the air and alighted at 
the place indicated. In order to screen 
the party from the sun, the birds of the 
air with outspread wings formed a 
canopy over the whole party. 

To be on the carpet, or to be carpeted. 
To be reprimanded, 

To bring a question on the carpet; ^ to 
bring it up for consideration . a translation 
of Fr. sur le tapis (on the tablecloth) i.e. 
before the House, under consideration. 

Carpet-bagger. The name given in the 
United States to the Northern political 
adventurers, who sought a career in 
the southern states after the Civil War 

of 1865 Their only " property qualifica- 
tion " was in the personal baggage they 
brought with them, and they were looked 
upon with great suspicion. 

Carpet-knight. One dubbed at Court 
by favor, not having won his spurs by 
military service in the field. Perhaps 
because mayors, lawyers, and civilians 
generally are knighted as they kneel 
on a carpet before their sovereign in 
contradistinction to those knighthoods 
that used to be conferred on the actual 
field of battle; but more probably with 
allusion to the preference shown by non- 
martial knights for the carpeted drawing- 
room over the tented field. 

Car'pio, Bernardo del. See Bernardo 
del Carpw. 

Carrie, Sister. See Sister Carrie. 

Carroll, Lewis. The pseudonym under 
which Rev. C. E. Dodgson (1833-1898), 
wrote Alice in Wonderland, Alice through 
the Looking-glass, etc (qv). 

Carson, Kit. A famous trapper and 
guide of the American West (1809-1868). 
In his poem Kit Carson's Ride, Joaquin 
Miller tells how the scout and his bride 
and his friend Revels rode desperately 
before a prairie fire on his wedding day 
and finally came to safety. Kit Carson 
attained additional fame through the 
dime novels of the Beadle Library in such 
thrillers as Kit Carson, King of the Guides. 

Capstone, Richard. In Dickens 7 Bleak 
House, cousin of Ada Clare, both being 
wards in chancery, interested in the great 
suit of " Jarndyce v. Jarndyce." Richard 
Carstone is a " handsome youth, about 
nineteen, of ingenuous face, and with & 
most engaging laugh." He marries his 
cousin Ada, and lives in hope that the 
suit will soon terminate and make him 

Caxtaph'ilus. One of the names of the 
" Wandering Jew " (qv.). The story of 
Cartaphilus is taken from the Book of 
the Chronicles of the Abbey of St. Albans, 
which contains the earliest account of the 
Wandering Jew, A. D. 1228. 

Carte blanche (Fr.) . A paper with only 
the signature written on it, so that the 
person to whom it is given may write his 
terms knowing that they will be accepted. 
Literally, a blank paper. It was originally 
a military phrase, referring to capitulation 
at discretion; but it is now used entirely 
in a figurative sense, conferring absolute 
freedom of action on one to whom it is 

Carter, Colonel George Fairfax. See 
Colonel Carter of Carter sville. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Carter, Nick. The pseudonym under 
which Fiederick Van Rensselaer Dey 
(Am. 1861-1922) produced his popular 
dime novels The first appeared in 1890 
with the title Nick Carter, Detective by 
"a Celebrated Author"; but the series 
was continued as The Nick Carter Weekly 
by Nick Carter It is said that Dey wrote 
no less than 1076 stories or about forty 
million words in the person of the 
adventurous Nick. 

Carte'sian Philosophy. The philosoph- 
ical system of Rene Descartes (1596- 
1650), a founder of modern philosophy. 
The basis of his system is cog'ito ergo sum. 
See Cogito 

Carthage. Delenda est Carthago Lat. 
" Carthage must be destroyed " The 
words with which Cato the Elder con- 
cluded every speech in the Senate whon 
Carthage was such a menace to the power 
of Rome. They are now proverbial, and 
mean, " That which stands in the way 
of our greatness must be removed at all 

Carthaginian faith. Treachery. 

Carthage of the North Lubeck was so 
called when head of the Hanseatic League. 

Car'ton, Sydney. The hero of Dickens' 
Tale of Two Cities, a dissipated young man 
whose temperament was in distinct 
contrast to that of Charles Darnay, whom 
he personally resembled. Sydney Carton 
loved Lucie Manettc, but, knowing of 
her attachment to Darnay, never at- 
tempted to win her. Her friendship, 
however, called out his good qualities, 
and he died on the guillotine instead of 

Carvel, Richard. See Richard Carvel. 

Carvel, Virginia. The heroine of 
Chm chill's Crisis (qv). 

Caryatids. Figures of women in Greek 
costume, used in architecture to support 
entablatures. Ca'ryas, in Laconia, sided 
with the Persians at Thermop'yloo; in 
consequence of which the victorious 
Greeks destroyed the city, slew the men, 
and made the women slaves. Praxit'eles, 
to perpetuate the disgrace, employed 
figures of these women, instead of 
columns. Cp. Atlantcs. 

Casa Guidi Windows. A long poem 
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1851), 
written on behalf of the national aspira- 
tions of the Florentines 

Casabianca. A well-known poem by 
Felicia Hcmans (1794-1835) celebrating 
the heroic death of Giacoma Jocante 
Casabianca, the little son of a French 

naval captain The boy was set by his 
father on watch. The ship caught fire, 
and his father was burnt to death As 
the flames spread, the boy called to his 
father, but stood by his post until the 
ship blew up. 

Casamassima, Princess. See Princess 

Casaubon, Rev. Mr. In George Eliot's 
Middlemarch (q v ) the elderly scholar 
whom Dorothea Brooke marries. 

" His experience ^ as of that pitiable kind it 

was that proud, nui r ( w sensitiveness which has not 
mass enough to spaic t< r tianbfoimation into sympathy, 
and quivers thread-like in small currents of self- 
preoccupation or at best of an egoistic fccrupuloisity 
The difficulty of making his Key to all Mythologies 
unimpeachable weighed like lead upon his imnd 
even his religious faith wavered with his wavering 
trust in his o%\n authorship, and the consolations 
of the Chn&tian hope in immortality seemed to lean 
on the immortality of the still unwritten Key to all 
Mythologies " ch x\i\ 

Casca. In Shakespeare's Julius Ccesar, 
a blunt, violent conspirator, in the faction 
of Brutus When Caesar was slain, Antony 
said, " See what a rent the envious Casca 
made' " 

Casket Letters, The. Letters supposed 
to have been written between Mary 
Queen of Scots and Bothwcll, at least one 
of which was held to prove the complicity 
of the Queen in the murder of her hiwband, 
Darnley They were kept in a casket 
which fell into the hands of the Earl of 
Morton (1567); they were examined and 
used as evidence (though denounced 
as forgeries by the Queen who was 
never allowed to see them), and they 
disappeared after the execution of the 
Regent, the Earl of Gowno (1584), in 
whose custody they had last been. They 
have never been recovered, and their 
authenticity is still a matter of dispute. 

Cass, Godfrey and Dunstan, Two 
brothers who plav an important part in 
George Eliot's Silas Marncr (q r.)- 

Cassan'dra. A prophetess. In Greek 
legend the daughter of Priam and I Icon Da, 
gifted with the power of prophecy; but 
Apollo, whose advances she hud refused, 
brought it to paws that no one believed 
her predictions, although they were 
invariably correct. She appears in Shake- 
speare's Troilus and Crcssida. 

Cassib'elan. Uncle to Cymhelino, men- 
tioned in Shakespeare's play of that name. 
He is the historical Cassivellaxmus, a 
British prince who ruled over the Catrivel- 
launi (in Herts, Bucks, and Berks), about 
B C. SO, and was conquered by Csesar. 

When Julius C^sar was m this Britain. 

And eonquer'd it, Cassibelan, thine uncle, , , for him 

And his succession granted Rome a tribute, 

Yearly throe thousand pounds, which by theo lately 

Is left untender'd. Cymbdine, m. 1. 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Shakespeare drew his particulars from 
Holmshed, where it is Guiderms, not 
Cymbehne, who refuses to pay the tribute. 

Cassim Baba. See under Baba. 

Cas'sio, Michael. In Shakespeare's 
Othello (qv), a Florentine, lieutenant in 
the Venetian army under the command 
of Othello He engaged in a street-brawl, 
for which he was suspended by Othello, 
but Desdemona pleaded for his restora- 
tion, lago made capital of this interces- 
sion to rouse the jealousy of the Moor. 

*'Cassio" is brave, benevolent, and honest, ruined 
only by his want of stubbornness to resist an insidious 
invitation Dr Johnson 

Cassiopeia. In Greek mythology, the 
wife of Ce'pheus, king of Ethiopia, and 
mother of Andromeda (qv). In conse- 
quence of her boasting of the beauty of 
her daughter, she was sent to the heavens 
as the constellation Cassiopeia, the chief 
stars of which form the outline of a lady 
seated in a chair and holding up both arms 
in supplication. 

That starred Ethiop queen that strove 

To set her beauty's prai&e above 

The sea-nymphs and their powers offended 

.Mi/to/t II Penseroso 

Cassius. In Shakespeare's Julius Ccesar 
(q.v.)j the instigator of the conspiracy 
against Julius Caisar, and friend of 

Brutus The last of all the Romans, fare thee well! 
It is impossible that ever Rome 
Should breed thy fellow Friends, I owe more tears 
To this dead man than you shall see me pay. 
I shall find time, Cassius, I shall find time 

Act v Sc 3 

Cas*taly. A fountain of Parnassus 
sacred to the Muses Its waters had the 
power of inspiring with the gift of poetry 
those who drank of them. 

Caste (Port, casta, race). One of the 
hereditary classes of society in India; 
hence any hereditary or exclusive class, 
or the class system generally. The four 
great Hindu castes are Brahmins (the 
priestly order), Shatn'ya, or Kshatnya 
(soldiers and rulers), Vavsy'a (husband- 
men and merchants), Sudra (agricultural 
laborers and mechanics). The first issued 
from the mouth of Brahma, the second 
from, his arms, the third from his thighs, 
and the fourth from his feet Below these 
come the Out castes to whom the Vedas 
are sealed, and who are held cursed in 
this world and without hope. 

To lose caste. To lose position in society. 
To get degraded from one caste to an 
inferior one. 

Castle Dangerous. A novel by Scott 
(1831). "Castle Dangerous" or "the 
Perilous Castle of Douglas " was so called 

because it was taken from the English 
three times between 1306 and 1307. In 
the novel Black Douglas (qv) promises 
to release his prisoner, Lady Augusta, 
if the castle is surrendered to him. Sir 
John de Walton consents, gives up the 
castle and marries the lady. 

Castle of Indolence. In Thomson's 
poem of this name (1748) it is situated 
in the land of Drowsiness, where every 
sense is steeped in enervating delights. 
The owner was an enchanter, who de- 
prived all who entered his domains of 
their energy and free will. 

Castle of Otranto. A famous novel of 
the mystery and terror school, by Horace 
Walpole (1764). After his son Conrad, 
who had been on the point of marrying 
Isabella, daughter of the Marquis of 
Vicenza, is found dead by mysterious 
means in the castle court, Manfred, 
prince of Otranto, decides to marry 
Isabella himself. His grandfather's por- 
trait descends from the wall for an inter- 
view with Manfred, and meantime 
Isabella escapes, aided by the peasant 
Theodore. One supernatural horror now 
follows another, until finally the castle 
falls and the statue of an ancestor, 
towering out of the ruins, cries " Behold 
in Theodore the true heir of Alphonse }} 

Castle Perilous. See Perilous Castle. 

Castle Eackrent. An Irish story by 
Maria Edgeworth (1799), illustrating the 
evils of absenteeism. The old steward, 
Thady Quirk, tells of the various masters 
he has served under in the old castle 
Sir Patrick, Sir Murtagh, Sir Kit and Sir 
Condy and of the decline of the family 

Castles in the Air. Visionary projects, 
day-dreams, splendid imaginings which 
have no real existence. In fairy tales we 
often have these castles built at a word, 
and vanishing as soon, like that built for 
Aladdin by the Genius of the Lamp. 
These air-castles are called by the French 
Chateaux d' Espagne or Chateaux en Asie. 

Castlewood, Lady. In Thackeray's 
Henry Esmond (q v.), Rachel Esmond, 
the wife of Francis Esmond (Lord Castle- 
wood), and later of Henry Esmond. 

Castor and Pollux. In Roman myth- 
ology, the twin sons of Jupiter and Leda. 
Jupiter is said to have visited Leda in 
the form of a swan She produced two 
eggs, from one of which sprang Castor 
and Clytemnestra, and from the other 
Pollux and Helen. Castor and Pollux, 
also known as the Dioscuri, had many 
adventures, were worshiped as gods, 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

and were finally placed among the con- 

Their name used to be given by sailors 
to the St. Elmo's Fire (q v.) or Corposant. 
If only one flame showed itself, the 
Romans called it Helen, and said that it 
portended that the worst of the storm 
was yet to come; but two or more lumin- 
ous flames they called Castor and Pollux, 
and said that they boded the termination 
of the storm. 

Castruccio Castracino's Sword. See 
under Sword. 

Casuals of the Sea. A novel by William 
McFee (Am. 1916), dealing with the 
Goodrich family, chiefly Minnie Goodrich, 
the hard, selfish daughter who becomes a 
courtesan because she can achieve her 
own ambitions best in that fashion, and 
her brother Hannibal, a blundering 
dreamer, whose sense of achievement, 
such as it is, comes from leaving the 
tobacconist's counter for the more rigorous 
life of a trimmer on a steamship. 

Casus belli (Lat). A ground for war; 
an occurrence warranting international 

Cat. Called a "familiar/' from the 
medieval superstition that Satan's favorite 
form was a black cat. Hence witches 
were said to have a cat as their familiar. 

In ancient Rome the cat was a symbol 
of liberty. The goddess of Liberty was 
represented as holding a cup in one hand, 
a broken scepter in the other, and with 
a cat lying at her feet. No animal is so 
great an enemy to all constraint as a cat. 

In Egypt the cat was sacred to Isis, or 
the moon. It was held in great veneration, 
and was worshipped with great ceremony 
as a symbol of the moon, not only because 
it is more active after sunset, but from 
the dilation and contraction of its pupil, 
symbolical of waxing and waning. The 
goddess Bast (Bubastis), representative 
of the life-giving solar heat, was portrayed 
as having the head of a cat, probably 
because that animal likes to bask in the 
sun. Diodo'rus tells us that whoever 
killed a cat, even by accident, was by the 
Egyptians punished by death, and accord- 
ing to Egyptian tradition, Diana assumed 
the form of a cat, and thus excited the 
fury of the giants. 

To grin like a Cheshire cat An old 
simile, popularized by Lewis Carroll 

44 Please would you tell me," said Alice a little 
timidly, , . . "why your cat grins like that?" "It's a 
Cheshire cat, " said the Duchess, "and that's why " 
Alice in Wond&rland (1865) 

The phrase is applied to persons who 

show their teeth and gums when they 

To let the cat out of the bag To disclose 
a secret. It was formerly a trick among 
country folk to substitute a cat for a 
sucking-pig, and bring it in a bag to 

To live a cat and dog life. To be always 
snarling and quarreling, as a cat and dog, 
whose aversion to each other is intense. 

To play cat and mouse with one is "to 
have him on a string"; while he is in 
your power to pretend constantly to let 
him go, but not actually to do so. 

To be made a cat's paw of, i e. the tool 
of another, the medium of doing another's 
dirty work. The allusion is to the fable 
of the monkey who wanted to get' sorite 
roasted chestnuts from the fire, and used 
the paw of his friend, the cat, for the 

To bell the cat. See Bell 

To fight hkz Kilkenny cats. To fight 
till both sides have lost their all; to fight 
with the utmost determination and 
pertinacity. The story is that during the 
Irish rebellion of 1798 Kilkenny was 
garrisoned by a troop of Hessian soldiers, 
who amused themselves by tying two 
cats together by their tails and throwing 
them across a clothes-line to fight. The 
authorities resolved to put a stop to the 
" sport," but, on the officer on duty 
approaching, one of the troopers cut 
the two tails with a sword, and the cats 
made off. When the officer inquired the 
meaning of the bleeding tails, he was told 
that two cats had been fighting and had 
devoured each other all but the tails. 

Waitin' Jor the cat to die. Waiting for a 
rope swing to come to a gradual standstill. 
James Whitcomb Eiloy (Am. 1853-1910) 
has a poem so entitled. 

Cat-o'-nine-tails. A "vtliip with nine 
lashes, used for punishing offenders, 
briefly called a cat; probably so called 
because it can be said to " scratch 9) the 
back as a cat might. 

Catacomb. A subterranean gallery for 
the burial of the dead, especially those 
at Rome. The origin of the name is 
unknown, but it does not appear to have 
been used till about the f>th century of 
our era (though the catacombs them- 
selves were in existence, and used for 
burial, long before), and then only in. 
connection with one cemetery, that of 
St. Sebastian, on the Appian Way. 

Catai'an. A native of Cathay or China; 
hence, a thief, liar, or scoundrel, because 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


the Chinese had the reputation of being 

I will not believe such a Catalan, though the priest 
of the town commended him for a true man 

Shakespeare Merry Wives, 11. 1 

Cataiina Hubsciier. In Sardou's Ma- 
dame Sans Gene (qv). 

Catcli. First catch your hare. It is gener- 
ally believed that "Mrs. Glasse," in the 
Art of Cookery, gave this direction; but 
the exact words are, " Take your hare 
when it is cased, and make a pudding, . . 
etc." To " case }) means to take off the 
skin, as in All's Well ni. 6, " Well make 
you some sport with the fox ere we case 
him." " First catch your hare," however, 
is a very old phrase, and in the 13th 
century Bracton (Bk. iv. tit. i. ch. xxi. 
sec, 4) has these words: 

Vulganter dicitur, quod primo oportet cervurn 
capere, et postea, cum captus fuent, ilium exconare 
(it is vulgarly said that you must first catch your deer, 
and then, when it is caught, skin it) 

" Mrs. Glasse " was the pen-name of 
Dr. John Hill (1716-1775), who published 
The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy 
in 1747 as By a Lady; the pseudonym was 
added later. 

To catch a crab. In rowing, to be struck 
with the handle of one's oar, to fall back- 
wards. This occurs when the rower leaves 
his oar too long in the water before 
repeating the stroke. 

To catch a tartar. Said of the biter bit. 
Grose says an Irish soldier in the Imperial 
service, in a battle against the Turks, 
shouted to his comrade that he had caught 
a Tartar. " Bring him along, then," said 
his mate. " But he won't come/' cried 
Paddy. " Then come along yourself," 
said his comrade. " Arrah! " replied 
Paddy, " I wish I could, but he won't let 

We are like the man who boasted of having caught a 
Tartar when the fact was that the Tartar had caught 
him Cautions for the Times. 

Cateiina Sorti In George Eliot's Mr. 
Gilfil's Love Story (q.v.). 

Catharick, Anne. "The Woman in 
White " (q.v.) in. Wilkie Collins' novel of 
that title. 

Cathay'. Marco Polo's name for a 
country hi eastern Asia, roughly identical 
with northern China; from Ki-tah, the 
name of the ruling race in those parts in 
the 10th century. 

Gather, Willa Sibert (1876- ). Amer- 
ican novelist, author of My Antonia, The 
Song of the Larkj One of Ours, etc. See 
those entries. 

Catherine. A story by Thackeray, 
written as a satire on the then popular ro- 

mances idealizing criminals The heroine, 
Catherine Hall (after her marriage, 
Catherine Hayes), is an unscrupulous 
murderess and is portrayed in anything 
but ideal terms. 

Catherine Moreland. In Jane Austen's 
Northanger Abbey (q.v.). 

Catherine of Kiissia. The heroine of 
Shaw's historical drama Great Catherine 
(Eng. 1913) which presents a picture of 
the 18th century Russian court. 

Catherine, St. See under Saint. 

Catherine wheel, Catherine tresses, etc 
See under Saint. 

Catholic. Catholic League A confed- 
eracy of Catholics formed in 1614 to 
counterbalance the Evangelic League 
(qv) of Bohemia. The two Leagues kept 
Germany in perpetual disturbance, and 
ultimately led to the Thirty Years' War 

Catholic Majesty (Catholica Magestad). 
The special title of the Kings of Spain. 
It was first given to King Recared (590) 
in the third Council of Toledo, for his 
zeal in rooting out the " Arian heresy " 
But it was not until 1500 when Alexander 
YI gave the title to Ferdinand V, king of 
Aragon and Castile, that it became 
annexed to the Spanish crown. 

Cathos. One of the two titular heroines 
of Mohere's comedy, Les Precieuses 
Ridicules (q.v.). 

Cat'iline. A Roman patrician, who 
headed a conspiracy to overthrow the 
government, and obtain for himself and 
his followers all places of power and trust. 
The conspiracy was discovered by Cicero, 
who exposed it in his four eloquent 
orations In Catihnum which have become 
classics of oratory. Catiline escaped and 
put himself at the head of his army, but 
fell in battle (B. C. 62). Voltaire, in his 
Rome Sauvtie (1752) has introduced the 
conspiracy and death of Catiline. 

Cato. (1) A man of simple life, severe 
morals, blunt speech, but undoubted 
patriotism, like the Roman censor of that 
name (fi. C. 234-149). 

(2) Grandson of Cato the censor, the 
titular hero of a tragedy by Addison 
(1713). "Disgusted with Csesar, Cato 
retired to U'tica where he set up a small 
republic; but Csesar resolved to reduce 
U'tica as he had done the rest of Africa; 
and Cato, finding resistance hopeless, 
fell on his own sword. 

Caudine Forks* A narrow pass in 
the mountains near Capua, now called 
the Valley of Arpaia. It was here that 
the Roman army, under the consuls 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

T. Veturius Calvi'nus and Sp. Pos- 
tu'nuus, fell into the hands of the Sam- 
nites (B C 321), and were made to pass 
under the yoke Hence, an ignominious 

Caudle Lecture. A curtain lecture 
The term is derived from a senes of 
papers by Douglas Jeirold, which were 
published in Punch (1846) These papers 
represent Job Caudle as a patient sufferer 
of the lectures ol his nagging wife, 
Margaret, after they had gone to bed and 
the curtains were drawn. If he replied, 
she pronounced him insufferably mde, 
and if he did not, he was insufferably 

Cauld-Iad, The, of Hilton Hall. A 
house-spirit, who moved about the furni- 
ture during the night. Being resolved to 
banish him, the inmates left for ^him a 
green cloak and hood, before the kitchen- 
fire, which so delighted him that he never 
troubled the house any more, but some- 
times he might be heard singing 

Here's a cloak, and here's a hood, 
The cauld-lad o Hilton will clo no more good 

, Cauline or Cawline, Sir. The hero of 
' one of the ballads in Percy's Rehqucs. 
He lived in the palace of the king of 
Ireland, and " used to serve the wine " 
He fell in love with Christabelle, the 
King's daughter, who secretly ^ plighted 
her troth to him, but the King discovered 
the lovers in a bower, and banished Sir 
Cauhne. He, however, returned just in 
time to slay a " Soldain " who was seeking 
her hand, but died of the wounds received 
in the combat; and the fair Christabelle 
died of grief, having " burst her gentle 
hearte m twayne." 

Cavalleria Rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) 
An opera by Mascagni (1890) based on 
the story by Giovanni Verga. The charac- 
ters are all simple village folk. Tunddu's 
old love, Lola, has married Alfio, a carrier, 
but Turiddu, after dallying with the 
affections of the too-willing Santuzza, 
returns to Lola. Santuzza arouses Alfio's 
suspicions, a duel is fought and Turiddu is 

Cavallini, Madame. The heroine of 
Edward Sheldon's drama, Romance (q.y.) 

Cavaradossi, Mario. Tosca's artist 
lover in Puccini's opera, La Tosca (q.v ). 

Cave of Adullam. See Adullam. 

Cav'eat. (Lat , let him beware) A 
notice directing the recipient to refrain 
from some act pending the decision of 
the Court. Hence, 

To enter a caveat. To give legal notice 
that the opponent is not to proceed with 

the suit in hand until the party giving the 
notice has been heard, to give a warning 
or admonition 

Cav'eat emptor Lat a let the purchaser 
beware " , i e the buyer must keep his 
eyes open, for the bargain he agrees to is 

Caviare. The roe of the sturgeon, 
pickled, salted, and prepared for use 
as a relish Caviaie is an acqunccl taste; 
hence, Shakespeare's caviare to the general 
(Hamlet, ii 2), above the taste or com- 
piehension of ordinary people 

Caxfcon, William (1422-1491). The 
first English printer. 

Caxtons, The. A novel by Bulwer 
Lytton (1849) which with its sequels 
My Novel (1853) and What Will He Do 
with It (1858), narrates the history of an 
upper middle-class English family. The 
story is supposed to be wntten by 
Pisistratus Caxton. His father, Austin 
Caxton, is an impractical philosopher and 
scholar, lost in vague dreams and plans 
for his proposed masterpiece on " The 
History of Human Error " The launching 
of this magnum opus is finally made 
possible by the money winch Pisistratus 
bi ings back from Australia. Other of the 
Caxtons are the gay, irresponsible Uncle 
Jack, who is an mvctciate and not too 
lucky promoter; the fine old soldier, 
Captain Roland, also an uncle of Pisis- 
tratus, and Roland's son Herbert, a wild 
young man with gipsy blood in his veins, 
\vlio dies a heroic death in India. 

Cazique. See Rulers, Titles of. 

Ceca to Mecca, From. From one end 
of the world to the other; from pillar to 
post Ceca and Mecca arc two places 
visited by Mohammedan pilgrims. Cp. 
Dan to Bcerslielxi; and Land's Mnd to 
John o' Groat's. 

Cecilia or Memoirs of an Heiress. A 
novel by Fanny Burricy (1782). The 
heroine, Cecilia Bevcrley, is an heiress of 
somewhat inferior birth, who must, to 
keep her fortune, marry a husband who 
will adopt her name. The hero, Mortimer 
Delville, loves her, but numerous obstacles 
keep them apart for a long time, particu- 
larly the schemes and prejudices of people 
who wish to make use of her for their own 

Cecilia, St. See under Saint. 

Cecily, St. The heroine of the Second 
Nun's Tale (q.v.) in Chaucer's Canterbury 

Ce'dric. In Scott's Ivanhoe, a thane of 
Rotherwood surnamed " the Saxon." He 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


is the father of the hero, and the guardian 
of Rowena, the heroine. 

Cel'adon. A general name for a lover. 
In D'Urfe's Astree (qv} } the shepherd 
lover of Astree; in Thomson's Seasons 
the shepherd lover of Amelia 

Celestial. Celes'tial City. Heaven is 
so called by John Bunyan, in his Pilgrim's 
Progress (1678). Peking, in China, is so 
called also 

Celestial Empire. China; a translation 
of the Chinese Tien Chao, literally 
" heavenly dynasty ," alluding to the 
belief that the old Emperors were in 
direct descent from the gods. Hence, 
the Chinese themselves are sometimes 
spoken of as Celestials 

Celia. (1) Rosalind's cousin in Shake- 
speare's As You Like It (qv}. She 
marries Oliver de Boys. 

(2) A poetic name for any lady-love, as, 
" Would you know my Ceha's charms? " 

Celimene. In Moliere's Misanthrope, 
a coquette courted by Alceste the " mis- 
anthrope", hence any flagrant coquette. 
For the plot see Alceste. 

Cellini, Benvenuto. An artist, a worker 
in gold and silver, of the Italian Renais- 
sance whose life, written between 1558 
and 1562 and published in 1730, is one of 
the best known of autobiographies. It 
gives an intimate and lively account of 
the life of the times. 

Cenacle, The. A club or group of men 
of letters and affairs prominent in many 
of the novels of Balzac's Comedie Humaine 
The leader was Daniel d'Arthez and 
among the most active members were 
Henri de Marsay, Horace Bianchon and 
Joseph Brideau. 

Cenci, Beatrice. A historical character 
(1577-1599) known as the "Beautiful 
Parricide " from a famous portrait in the 
Barbcrim Palace at Rome attributed to 
Guido Reni. She was the daughter of 
Francesco Cenci, a dissipated and passion- 
ate Roman nobleman, and, with her 
brothers, plotted the death of her father 
because of his unmitigated cruelty to his 
wife and children. She was executed in 
1599, and at the trial her counsel, with 
the view of still further gaining popular 
sympathy for his client, accused the 
father, probably without foundation, _ of 
having attempted to commit incest with 
her. Her story has been a favorite theme 
in poetry and art; Shelley's tragedy The 
Cenci (1819) is particularly noteworthy. 

Centaurs. In classic mythology, a set 
of beings who were half horse and half man. 
They fought with the Lapithso at the 

marriage feast of Pirithous, were expelled 
from their country, and took refuge on 
Mount Pindus Chiron was the most 
famous of the Centaurs. 

Centennial State. Colorado See States. 

Cento (Lat. a patchwork) Poetry made 
up of lines borrowed from established 
authors. It was an art freely practised 
in the decadent period of Greece and 
Rome, and Ausonius, who has a nuptial 
idyll composed from verses selected 
from Virgil, composed rules governing 
their manufacture Among well-known 
examples are the Homer ocen tones, the 
Cento Virgihanus by Proba Falconia (4th 
century), and the hymns made by 
Metellus out of the Odes of Horace. Of 
modern centos the following portion ol a 
Shakespearean cento that appeared in 
English, November, 1919, may serve as 
an example: 

Let fame that all hunt after in their lives 
Among the buzzing pleased multitude 
For present comfort and for future good, 
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive 
With all the fierce endeavour of your wit 
To woo a maid in \vay of marriage, 
As it is common for the younger sort, 
The lunatic, the lover, and the poet: 
Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind. 
I see a man's life is a tedious one, 
For it appears, by manifest proceeding, 
There's nothing serious in mortality 
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, 
And one man in his time plays many parts, 
As an unperfect actor on the stage 

Center Party. In politics, the party 
occupying a place between two extremes: 
the left center is the more radical wing, 
and the right center the more conservative. 
In the French Revolution the Center 
of the Legislative Assembly included the 
friends of order. 

In the Fenian rebellion, 1866, the chief 
movers were called Head Centers, and 
their subordinates Centers. 

Geph'alus and Procris. Made familiar 
to us by an allusion in the Midsummer 
Night's Dream. In classic legend, Ceph- 
alus was husband of Procris, who, out 
of jealousy, deserted him. He went m 
search of her, and rested awhile under a 
tree. Procris, knowing of his where- 
abouts, crept through some bushes to 
ascertain if a rival was with him; and he, 
hearing the noise and thinking it to 
be made by some wild beast, hurled his 
javelin into the bushes and slew her. 
When the unhappy man discovered what 
he had done, he slew himself in anguish 
of spirit with the same javelin. 

Pyramus- Not Shafalus to Proems was so true. 
Thisbe As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you 

Shakespeare Midsummer Night's Dream, v 1. 

The unerring dart of Procris. ^ Diana 
gave Procris a dart which never missed its 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

aim, and after being discharged returned 
back to the shooter 

Ce'pola. Devices of Cepola. Quips of 
law are so called from Bartholomew 
Cepola whose law-quirks, teaching how 
to elude the most express law, and to 
perpetuate lawsuits ad vnfini'tum, have 
been frequently reprinted once in Svo, 
in black letter, by John Petit, m 1503 

Cer'berus. A grim, watchful keeper, 
house-porter, guardian, etc. Cerberus, 
according to Roman mythology, is the 
three-headed dog that keeps the entrance 
of the infernal regions Hercules dragged 
the monster to earth, and then let him go 
again. Orpheus lulled Cerberus to sleep 
with his lyre; and the Sibyl who conducted 
^Eneas through the Inferno, also threw 
the dog into a profound sleep with a 
cake seasoned with poppies and honey. 

To give a sop to Cer'berus. To give a 
bribe, to quiet a troublesome customer. 
When persons died, the Greeks and 
Romans used to put a cake in their hands 
as a sop to Cerberus, to allow them to 
pass without molestation. 

Ce'res. The Roman name of Mother 
Earth, the protectress of agriculture ^and 
of all the fruits of the earth; later identified 
with the Greek Demeter (q v.) . She is 
the personification of the fruits of the 
harvest. See Proserpine. 

Cervantes, Miguel de (1547-1616). 
Spanish novelist, famous for Ms Don 
Quixote (q.v.). 

Cesar Birotteau. (In Balzac's novels 
See Birotteau. 

Ces'tus. The girdle of Venus, made 
by her husband Vulcan; but when she 
wantoned with Mars it fell off, and was 
left on the " Acida'lian mount " It was 
of magical power to move to ardent love. 
By a poetical fiction all women of irresist- 
ible attraction are supposed to be wearers 
of Aphrodite's girdle, or the cestus. It is 
introduced by Spenser in the Faerie 
Queene as the girdle of Florimel (q v.) ; 
it gave to those who could wear it " the 
virtue of chaste love and wifehood true," 
but if any woman not chaste and faithful 
put it on, it " loosed or tore asunder." 

Chad Buford. In The Little Shepherd of 
Kingdom Come (q.v.). 

Chad'band, The Rev. Mr, In Dickens' 
Bleak House, a famous type of a canting 
hypocrite " in the ministry.' 7 He calls 
himself " a vessel," is much admired by 
his dupes, and pretends to despise the 
" carnal world," but nevertheless loves 
dearly its " good things," and is most 

Cham (kam) The sovereign prince 
of Tartary, now written " khan " 

"Fetch, you a han off the great Cham's beard " 
ShaLespeare JMuch Ado About Nothing, n 1 

The Great Cham of Literature. Dr. 
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) 

Chara'pion of England. A person whose 
office it is to ride up Westminster Hall 
on a Coronation Day, and challenge 
any one who disputes the right of succes- 
sion The office was established by 
William the Conqueror, and was given 
to Marmion and his male descendants, 
with the manor of "broad Scrivelsby" 
De Ludlow received the office and manor 
through the female line; and at the 
Coronation of Richard II Sir John 
Dymoke succeeded through the female 
line also. Since then the office has con- 
tinued in the Dymoke family, but the 
actual riding and challenge has been 
discontinued since the coronation of 
Queen Victoria. 

Chan, Marse. See Morse Chan. 

Chance. A novel by Joseph Conrad 
(1914) In the home of his sister, Mrs. 
Fyne, Captain Roderick Anthony, master 
of the Feindcde, meets and falls in love 
with Flora de Barral, the daughter of a 
once wealthy man now serving a prison 
sentence for his frauds Flora is poor and 
utterly wretched and imagines that 
Anthony is marrying her out of pity; he, 
on his part, begins to fear that she has 
accepted him merely from the necessity 
of providing for herself and her father, 
who emerges from prison and is taken 
on board the Ferndale by the newly 
married pair. The hatred which the old 
man conceives for his daughter's husband 
serves to intensify the misunderstanding 
which the isolation of life on shipboard 
makes all the more painful. Finally De 
Barral's attempt to poison Anthony, dis- 
covered and thwarted by mere " chance " 
clears the situation. Most of the story is 
told by Marlow (q.v.) . 

Chance Acquaintance, A. A novel by 
W: D. Howells (Am. 1873), dealing with 
the short-lived steamboat romance of 
Miles Arbuton and Kitty Ellison. See 
Arbuton y Miles. 

Chancellor of England. The Lord 
Chancellor, or the Lord High Chancellor. 
The highest judicial functionary of the 
nation, who ranks above all peers, except 
princes of the blood and the Archbishop 
of Canterbury. He is " Keeper of the 
Great Seal," is called " Keeper of His 
(or Her) Majesty's Conscience," and 
presides on the Woolsack in the House of 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Lords, and in the Chancery Division of 
the Supreme Court. 

Chancellor, Olive. A Now England 
feminist, the leading character in Henry 
James 7 novel The Bostonians (qv.). 

Chan'cery. The highest division of the 
High Court of Justice in the English 
judicial system, comprising a court of 
common law and a court of equity. 

To get a man's head into chancery is to 
get it under your arm, where you can 
pummel it as long as you like, and he 
cannot get it free without great difficulty. 
The allusion is to the long and exhausting 
nature of a Chancery suit II a man once 
gets his head there, the lawyers punish 
him to their hearts' content 

In Chancery is the title of a novel by 
Galsworthy, one of the Forsyte Saga 

Chanouns Yemannes Tale. See Canon 
Yeoman's Tale. 

Chanson. Chanson de geste, A French 
song in the heroic vein, llth to 15th 
centuries. Chanson de Roland. See 

Chanticleer (Fr. chanter dair, to sing 
clairment, i.e distinctly). Acock. Chanti- 
cleer plays a prominent role in the 
medieval beast-epic Reynard the Fox 
(q v.) and is the hero of Chaucer's Nun's 
Priest's (Nonne Prestes) Tale } one of the 
Canterbury Tales (1388). The latter tells 
of how one day, Dan Russell, the fox, 
came into the poultry-yard, and told 
Master Chanticleer he could not resist 
the pleasure of hearing him sing, for his 
voice was so divinely ravishing. The 
cock, pleased with this flattery, shut his 
eyes, and began to crow most lustily; 
whereupon Dan Russell seized him by 
the throat, and ran off with him. When 
they got to the wood, the cock said to 
the fox, " I would recommend you to 
eat me at once, for I think I can hear 
your pursuers " " I am going to do so/' 
said the fox; but when he opened his 
mouth to reply, off flew the cock into a 
tree, and while the fox was deliberating 
how he might regain his prey, up came 
the farmer and his men with scythes, 
flails, and pitchforks, with which they 
despatched the fox without mercy. 

Chantedeer (Chantecler) . A drama by 
Rostand (Fr. 1910). The hero, the lord 
of the barnyard, believes that his Cock-a- 
doodle-doo brings the Dawn.^ When the 
owls and the cat, his enemies, stir up 
trouble for him with the hens, he wins 
back supremacy by defending them 
from a hawk. He later goes off into the 

woods with a hen-pheasant, and one day, 
in her jealousy of the Dawn, she covers 
his eyes and he learns that Dawn can 
come without him. Although this is a 
severe shock, he recovers and returns to 
the barnyard, confident that his crowing 
will be of some comfort on gray mornings, 

Chapman, George (1559-1634). English 
dramatist of the Elizabethan era. His 
best-known play is probably Bussy d f Am* 
bois (q.v)y but he is much more cele- 
brated as a translator of Homer. Keats 
has a famous sonnet entitled On First 
Looking into Chapman's Homer. 

Charge d'Alfaires. The proxy of an 
ambassador, or the diplomatic agent where 
none higher has been appointed. 

Charge of the Light Brigade. A poem 
by Tennyson, based on the fatal " death 
charge of the 600 " at Balaclava in the 
Crimea, Sept. 20th, 1854. 

"When can their glory fade? 
O the -wild charge they made! 

All the world wonder'd 
Honor the charge they made 
Honor the Light Brigade 
Noble six nundied'" 

Charicle'ia. The lady-love of Theag'- 
enes in the exquisite erotic Greek romance 
called The Loves of Theagenes and 
Charicle'ia by Heliodoros, Bishop of 
Tricca, in Thessaly, in the 4th century. 

Charity Royall. In Edith Wharton's 
Summer (q.v.). 

Charlemagne. Charles the Great, King 
of the Franks and Emperor of the West 
(742-814). Historically Charlemagne is a 
very distinct figure of whose deeds and 
characteristics there is a definite record; 
but there grew up during the Middle Ages 
tales of a quite different and mythical 
Charlemagne, the center of a cycle of 
romances concerned with wars against the 
Saracens. The principal source of the 
early Carlovingian legends is a chronicle 
which was long falsely attributed to 
Archbishop Turpin (qv), a contemporary 
of Charlemagne, and which relates the 
heroic deeds of Charlemagne's famous 
Twelve Paladins. For the most important 
of these legends, see under Paladins and 
separate entries for individual names. The 
Carlovingian legends form the subject 
matter of the famous French Chanson de 
Roland and of the Italian epic poems 
Orlando Innamorato and Orlando Furioso t 
by Boiardo and Ariosto respectively, as 
well as of a host of lesser romances. 

Charles Emmanuel. Son of Victor 
Amade'us, king of Sardinia. Robert 
Browning has a poem called King Victor 
and King Charles. Sea under Victor. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Charles' Wain. An old popular name 
for the Great Bear. The constellation 
forms the roug>h outline of a wheelbarrow 
or rustic wagon, and the " Charles " 
stands for " Charlemagne," probably 
owing to the similarity of the names 
Arcturus and Arturus (Lat. for Arthur), 
and the confusion in the popular mind 
between the legendary cycles of romance 
connected with King Arthur and Charle- 
magne respectively. 

Charley, plu. Charleys. An old watch- 
man or " night guardian," before the 
reorganization of the English police force 
in 1829 (see Bobby) So called from 
Charles I, who extended and improved 
the English police system 

Charlotte. (1) A character in Goethe's 
novel, Werther (q.v) (2) In Dickens' 
Oliver Twist, a dishonest, rough servant 
girl, who ill-treats Oliver Twist, and robs 
her master, Sowberry 

Charlotte Baynes. (In Thackeray's 
Adventures of Philip ) See Baynes, Char- 

Charlotte Temple. An early American 
novel by Susannah Haswcll Rowson 
(published in England, 1790, America, 
1794) which has run through more than a 
hundred editions and is still occasionally 
read. The heroine was lured from her 
English home and deserted in New York 
by a British officer named Montr6sor 
She was a real person, probably Charlotte 
Stanley, but her tomb in Trinity Church- 
yard, New York, bears the name Charlotte 

Char'mian. In Shakespeare's Antony 
and Cleopatra and Dryden's All for Love, a 
kind-hearted, simple-minded attendant on 
Cleopat'ra. After the Queen's death, she 
applied one of the asps to her own arm; 
and when the Roman soldiers entered the 
room, fell down dead. Rider Haggard in 
his romance Cleopatra represents her as in 
love with Harmaclus (q.v). 

Charon. In classic myth, the ferryman 
of the Styx (q.v). Charon's Toll. A com, 
about equal to a penny, placed in the 
mouth or hand of the dead by the ancient 
Greeks to pay Charon for ferrying the 
spirit across the river Styx to the Elysian 

Charteris, John. In the contemporary 
novels of James Branch Cabcll, a novelist, 
the supposed author of the series of essays 
entitled Beyond Life (Am. 1919). Charteris 
is prominent in Cords of Vanity in which 
he is depicted as the hero of almost as 
many illicit amatory episodes as his 

young friend Robert Townsend, the hero 
of the novel 

Chartism. The political system of the 
English Chartists, who, in 1838, demanded 
the People's Charter^ consisting of five 
principles universal suffrage, annual par- 
liaments, stipendiary members, vote by 
ballot, and electoral districts. They dis- 
appeared as a party about 1849. 

The Chartist Clergyman Charles Kings- 
ley (1819-1875) because of his novel, 
Alton Locke (q.v) 

Charudatta. The hero of the old 
Sanscrit drama known as The Little Clay 
Cart (qv). 

Charyb'dis. A whirlpool on the coast 
of Sicily. Scylla (q v.) and Chary bdis are 
employed to signify two equal dangers. 
Thus Horace says an author tiymg to 
avoid Scylla, drifts into Charybdis, i.e. 
seeking to avoid one fault, falls into 

The Homeric account says that Charyb- 
dis dwelt under an immense fig tree on 
the rock, and that thrice every day he 
swallowed the waters of the sea and 
thrice threw them up again; but later 
legends have it that he stole the oxen of 
Hercules, was killed by lightning, and 
changed into the gull. 

Chastelard. In Swinburne's tragedy of 
that name (1865), a gentleman of Dau- 
phmy, who fell in love with Mary, Queen 
of Scots He is discovered in the Queen's 
bedroom. Chastelard was a historical 
personage who atoned for his sin on the 
scaffold. Swinburne's drama shows Mary 
Beaton, one of the Queen's ladies, in love 
with him, but to little avail. The tragedy 
is the fiist of a trilogy. (See Mary Queen 
of Scots.) 

Chatterton, Thomas (1752-1770). Eng- 
lish poet. He committed suicide at the 
age of eighteen because of poverty. 

Chaucer, Geoffrey (1340-HOO). Great- 
est literary figure of his age and one of the 
chief English poets. His masterpiece is 
The Canterbury Tales (q.v.), his next 
greatest work, Troilus and Cressida (q.v,). 
The Chaucer of France. Clement Marot 

The Chaucer of Painting. Albert Durer 
of Nuremberg (1471-1528). "The prince 
of artists." 

Chautauqua. An institution which 
offers a popular program of lectures, 
entertainments, etc. The original or 
mother Chautauqua is a summer resort 
on Lake Chautauqua, N. Y., but the 
name has been popularized by traveling 
Chautauquas which go from place to 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


place presenting a week's program, 
usually m a big tent. 

Ctiauve Souris. The entertainment 
offered by a group of Russian comedians, 
under the direction of Nikita BaliefT, 
a sort of vaudeville. The group took their 
name from the Russian word for " bat," 
in French, Chauve Souris. " The Bat " 
was a Moscow institution before the 
World War; after the war it was reorgan- 
ized in Paris and later came to New York. 

Chauvinism. Blind and pugnacious 
patriotism of an exaggerated kind, un- 
reasoning jingoism. Nicholas Chauvin, 
a soldier of the French Republic and 
Empire, was madly devoted to Napoleon 
and his cause. He was introduced as a 
type of exaggerated bellicose patriotism 
into a number of plays (Scribe's Le Soldat 
Labor eur, Cogniard's La Cocarde Tn- 
colure, 1831, Bayard and Dumanoir's 
Les Aides de Camps. Charet's Consent 
Chauvin, are some of them), and his 
name was quickly adopted on both sides 
of the Channel. 

Cheeryble Brothers, The. In Dickens' 
novel Nicholas Nicldeby, brother Ned 
and brother Charles, the incarnations of 
all that is warm-hearted, generous and 
kind. They were once homeless boys 
running about the streets barefooted; 
and, when they grew to be wealthy 
London, merchants, were ever ready to 
stretch forth a helping hand to those 
struggling against the buffets of fortune. 

Cheese, Rev. Cream. In The Potiphar 
Papers, a series of satires on New York 
life by G. W. Curtis (Am. 1856), a high 
church Episcopalian minister. He gives 
Mrs. Potiphar solemn advice on the 
proper color for her prayer-book cover 
and other important religious matters. 
He was very popular in the dramatized 

Chekhov, Anton (1869-1904). Russian 
dramatist and fiction writer, famous for 
his short stories and his drama, The 
Cherry Orchard (g.v). 

Cheny Fair. A sort of passing show 
that will not last. Gower says of this 
world, " Alle is but a cherye-fayre/ 7 a 
phrase frequently met with. The phrase 
comes from the Cherry Fairs, held in 
"Worcestershire and elsewhere. They may 
have been held in cherry orchards, but 
another explanation is that they were 
" cheery " fairs i.e. gay or merry- 
making occasions 

Cherry Orchard, The. A play by Anton 
Chekhov (Rus. 1904). The estate of 
Madame Ranievskaia is about to be sold 

for debt. She and her brother and 
daughter turn a deaf and horrified ear to 
the plan of Lopaehin, a rich neighbor of 
serf ancestry, who suggests that they cut 
down the orchard and turn it into subur- 
ban lots They talk excitedly and at 
length but do nothing, and when the sale 
comes, Lopachin buys the estate and 
carries out the plan himself. Bernard 
Shaw presented an adaptation of this 
play in his Heartbreak House. 

Cherubim, Don. The titular hero of 
Le Sage's Bachelor of Salamanca (qv). 

Chery and Fair-star. One of the best 
known of Countess d'Aulnoy's Fairy 
Tales (Yi. 1682). ^ Prince Chery (Chen) 
and his cousin Princess Fair-star are set 
adrift in infancy, but after numerous 
adventures find their way back to their 
own kingdom The tale is remembered 
chiefly for the three magic gifts which 
Chery secured for Fair-star. (1) the 
dancing water, which had the gift of 
imparting beauty; (2) the singing apple, 
which had the gift of imparting wit, and 
(3) the green bird, which could reveal all 
secrets. By this bird the story of their 
birth was made known, and Fair-star 
married Chery. 

Chester Mysteries or Plays. One of the 
important cycles of English Mystery 
Plays (q.v), so called because they were 
acted at Chester 

Ches'ter, Sir John. In Dickens' Bar- 
naby Rudge, a plausible, foppish villain, 
the sworn enemy of Geoffrey Haredale, 
by whom he is killed in a duel as a result 
of his effort to put an end to the match 
between Emma Haredale and his son 

Chesterfield, Lord (1694-1773). The 
author of a famous series of Letters to 
his son, chiefly regarding the manner in 
which a gentleman should conduct him- 
self in all the affairs of life. Hence, 
Chester fieldian. 

Chesterton, Gilbert K. (1874- ). 
Contemporary English essayist, poet and 
novelist, noted for his paradoxical style. 

Chestnut. A stale joke. The term is 
said to have been popularized in America 
by a Boston actor named Warren, who, 
on a certain apposite occasion, quoted 
from The Broken Sword, a forgotten melo- 
drama by William Dimond, which was 
first produced in 1816 at Covent Garden. 
Captain Xavier, a principal character, 
is for ever repeating the same yarns, with 
variations. He was telling about one of 
his exploits connected with a cork tree, 
when Pablo corrects Mm, " A chestnut- 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

tree, you mean, captain." " Bah' (replied 
the captain) I say a cork-tree 3 ' "A 
chestnut-tree/ 3 insists Pablo " I must 
know better than you (said the captain); 
it was a cork-tree, I say " " A chestnut 
(persisted Pablo). I have heard you tell 
the joke twenty-seven times and it was 
always a chestnut before." 

Chettam, Sir James In George Eliot's 
Middlemarch, the lover who wins Dorothea 
Brooke's sister Celia 

Chevalier. The Chevalier de St. George 
or simply The Chevalier. James Stuart 
(1688-1766), the Old Pretender, 

The Young Chevalier. Charles Edward 
Stuart (1720-1788), the Young Pretender. 

Le Chevalier sans Peur et sans Reproche. 
The French hero, Bayard (qv). He lived 

Chevalier de Maison Rouge, Le. (The 
Knight of the Red House). A romance by 
Alexandre Dumas. The titular hero 
attempts to rescue Marie Antoinette from 
the Tower, but succeeds only in unwit- 
tingly preventing her rescue by others 
and is killed by his rival conspirators 
The novel has a basis in the career of 
A D. J. Gonze de Rougeville, but presents 
a highly idealized version of his story. 

Cheyne, Harvey. The boy hero of 
Kipling's Captains Courageous (q #.). 

Chib'ia'bos. The musician in Long- 
fellow's Hiawatha; the harmony of nature 
personified. He teaches the birds to 
sing and the brooks to warble as they 
flow. " All the man} 7 " sounds of nature 
borrow sweetness from his singing }} 

Chichikov, The rascally hero of Gogol's 
Dead Souls (qv). 

Chich'ivache. A fabulous animal that 
lived only on good women, and was hence 
all skin and bone, because its food was so 
extremely scarce; the antitype to Bicorn 
(qv t ). Chaucer introduced the word into 
English from French; but in doing so he 
changed chichifache (thin or ugly face) 
into chichivache (lean or meager-looking 
cow), and hence the animal was pictured 
as a Jkind of bovine monstrosity 

O noble wyvos, ful of heigh prudcn'ce, 
Let noon humilitie your tonnes nayle 

Ne lat no clerk have cause or dihgon'co 
To write of you a story of such morvaylo 

As of Gnsoldos, pacicnt and kynde, 

Lest Ghiehivache you swolwe in hit entrailo 
Ghaucer Envoy to the CZer/c's Tale. 

Chicken, The Game. In Dickens 7 Dom- 
"bey and Son, a low fellow, to be heard of 
at the bar of the Black Badger. Mr. Toots 
selects this man as his instructor in 
fencing, bettine;, and self-defence. The 
Chicken has short hair, a low forehead, 
a broken nose, and " a considerable tract 

of bare and sterile country behind each 
ear' 7 

CMck'weed, Coiikey, i.e. Nosey. In 
Dickens' Oliver Twist, the famous charac- 
ter who robbed himself He was a 
licensed victualler on the point of failing, 
and gave out that he had been robbed of 
327 guineas " by a tall man with a black 
patch over his eye " He was much pitied, 
and numerous subscriptions were made 
on his behalf. A detective was sent to 
examine into the " robbery/' and Chick- 
weed would cry out, " There he is! " and 
run after the " hypothetical thief " for a 
considerable distance, and then lose 
sight of him, but he was caught at the 
trick at last. 

Childe. In Childe Harold, Childe 
Roland, Childe Tristram, etc , " Childe " 
is a title of honor, like the Spanish 
" infante " and " infanta." In the times 
of chivalry, noble youths who were 
candidates for knighthood were, during 
their time of probation, called infans, 
valets, damoyscls, bachehers, and childe. 

CMlde Harold. Byron's poem of this 
title depicts a man sated of the world, 
who roams from place to place to flee 
from himself. The " childe " is, in fact, 
Lord Byron himself, who was only twenty- 
one when he began, and twenty-eight 
when he finished the poem. In canto i 
(1809), he visited Portugal and Spain; 
in canto ii (1810), Turkey in Europe; 
in canto ni (1816), Belgium and Switzer- 
land; and in canto iv (1817), Venice, 
Rome, and Florence. 

Childe or Gil Morrice. The hero of an 
old Scottish ballad, a natural son of an 
carl and the wife of Lord Barnard, and 
brought up " in the gude grcne wode." 
Lord Barnard, thinking the Childe to be 
Ins wife's lover, slew him with a broad- 
sword, and setting his head on a spear 
gave it to " the meanest man in a 7 his 
train " to carry to the lady. When she 
saw it she said to the baron, " Wi' that 
same spear, pierce my heart, and put 
me out o' pain "; but the baron replied, 
" Enouoh of blood by rne's bin spilt, sair, 
sair I rew the deid," adding 

I'll ay lament for Chi Monce, 

As (p.n he were mine am, 
I'll neir forget the dreiry day 

On which the youth was slam. 

Percy's Relig,u&s, sor iii. 1. 

Percy says this pathetic tale suggested 
to Home the plot of his tragedy, Douglas. 

CMlde Roland (sometimes spelled Row* 
land). Youngest brother of the ''fair 
burd Helen " in the old Scottish ballad. 
Guided by Merlin, he undertook to bring 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


back his sister from Elf-land, whither the 
fairies had carried her, and succeeded m 
his perilous exploit. 

Childe Roland to the dark tower came, 
His word was still "Fie, foh, and fum, 
I smell the blood of a Britishman " 

Shakespeare King Lear, ni 4. 

Browning's poem, Childe Roland to the 
Dark Tower Came, is not connected in 
any way (except by the first line) with 
the old ballad. 

Childe Waters. The hero of a ballad 
in Percy's Rehques He is cruel to his 
love, the fair Ellen who accompanies him 
on his travels as his foot-page, but finally 
relents and marries her. 

Children in the Wood. A ballad in 
Percy's Reliques III. 11. 18. The story is, 
shortly, as follows: The master of Way- 
land Hall, Norfolk, left a little son and 
daughter to the care of his wife's brother; 
both were to have money, but if the 
children died first the uncle was to inherit. 
After twelve months the uncle hired two 
ruffians to murder the babes, one of the 
ruffians relented and killed his fellow, 
leaving the children in a wood, they died 
during the night, and " Robin Red- 
breast " covered them over with leaves. 
All things went ill with the wicked uncle; 
his sons died, his barns were fired, his 
cattle died, and he himself perished in 
gaol. After seven years the ruffian was 
taken up for highway robbery, and 
confessed the whole affair. An old melo- 
drama by Robert Farrington (1599) also 
embodied the tale. 

Children of the Earth. A drama of New 
England life by Alice Brown (Am. 1915) 
which was awarded the prize of $10,000 
offered by Winthrop Ames, director of the 
Little Theater of New York, for the best 
American play by an American author 

Children of the Soil. A novel by H. 
Sienkiewicz (Pol. 1894). The hero is Pan 
Stanislas Polanyetski, and the heroine, 
whom he finally marries, Maryina Plant- 
ski. The book gives a vivid and compre- 
hensive picture of Polish life. 

Chillingly, Kenelm. See Kenelm Chil- 

ChOlingworth, Roger. In Hawthorne's 
Scarlet Letter (q.v.) the name assumed by 
Hester Prynne's physician husband in 
order to work his c'rucl revenge on Arthur 
Dimmesdale, the clergyman who was the 
father of Hesters child. 

Chillon'. Prisoner of CMllon. Frangois 
de Bonnivard (d. about 1570), a Genevan 
prelate and politician. In his poem of 
that title, Byron makes him one of six 

brothers, all of whom suffered for their 
opinions The father and two sons died 
on the battlefield; one was burnt at the 
stake; three were incarcerated in the 
dungeon of Chillon, on the edge of the 
Lake of Gene'va of these, two died, 
and Francois, who had been imprisoned 
for " republican principles " by the Duke- 
Bishop of Savoy, was set at liberty by 
" the Bearnais " Although Bonnivard 
was an actual prisoner at Chillon, the rest 
of the tale and the idealized character of 
the man seem to have been Byron's own 

Chiltem Hurcreds. There are three 
viz. Stoke, Desborough, and Burnham, 
Bucks. At one time the Chilterns, be- 
tween Bedford and Hertford, etc , were 
much frequented by robbers, so a steward 
was appointed by the Crown to put them 
down. The necessity has long since 
ceased, but the office remains; and, since 
1740, when a Member of Parliament 
wishes to vacate his seat, one way of 
doing so is by applying for the stewardship 
of the Chiltern Hundreds; for no member 
of Parliament may resign his seat, but 
if he accepts an office of profit under the 
Crown he is obliged t , be re-elected if he 
wishes to remain a member The Steward- 
ship of the Manor of Northstead (Yorks) 
is used in the same way. The gift of both 
is in the hands of the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, it was refused to a member 
for Reading in 1842. 

The Stewardships of Old Sarum (Sus- 
sex), East Hendred (Berks), Poynings 
(Sussex), Hempholwic (Yorks), were for- 
merly used for the same purpose, as were 
(till 1838) the Escheator&hips of Munster 
and Ulster. 

Chimsera (Gr. chimaira, a she-goat). 
A fabulous monster of Greek mythology, 
described by Homer as a monster with 
a goat's body, a lion's head, and a dragon's 
tail. It was born in Lycia, and was slain 
by Bellerophon. Hence the term is used 
in English for an illusory fancy, a wild, 
incongruous scheme. 

Chimes, The. A Christmas story by 
Dickens (1844). It is about &ome bells 
which rang the old year out and the new 
year in. Trotty Veck, a little old London 
ticket-porter and messenger hears the 
Christmas chimes, and receives from them 
both comfort and encouragement. 

Chinaman, John. See John Chinaman. 

Chinatown. That section of an Ameri- 
can city, particularly of San Francisco or 
New York, inhabited by Chinese. In 
both of the above-mentioned cities, China- 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

town was formerly notorious for vice, 
opium and gambling dens and the like 
and many horrible tales of conditions 
are still told Chinatown is now a com- 
mercially exploited show place, but is still 
the scene of long feuds between the 
different tongs or secret associations and 
of occasional murders as a result. 

Chinee, The Heathen. See Heathen 

Chinese Gordon. General Gordon 
(killed at Khartoum in 1885), who m 1863 
was placed in command of the Ever- 
Victorious Army (q v.) and in the follow- 
ing year succeeded, after thirty-three 
engagements, in putting down the Taeping 
rebellion, which had broken out in 1851. 

Chingachgook. The Indian chief, friend 
of Leatherstocking (q.v) in four of the 
novels of Cooper's Leatherstocking series: 
The Deerslayer, The Pathfinder, The Last 
of the Mohicans and The Pioneers. He 
was known as Le Gros Serpent (the Great 
Serpent) because of his cunning and 
stealth, Cooper's portrayal of Chingach- 
gook and his son TJncas (q.v ) was greatly 
criticized as an over-idealized conception 
of the American Indian. 

Chios. The man of Chios. Homer, who 
lived at Chios, near the JEge'an Sea. 
Seven cities claim to be his place of 

Smyrna, Rhodes, Colophon, Salamis, Chios, Argos, 
Athe'njB Varro 

Chi'ron. The centaur who taught 
Achilles and many other heroes music, 
medicine, and hunting. Jupiter placed 
him in heaven among the stars as 
Sagittarius (the Archer). 

In the Inferno Dante gives the name 
to the keeper of the lake of boiling blood, 
in the seventh circle of hell. 

Chlo'e. The shepherdess beloved by 
Daphnis in the pastoral romance of 
Longus, entitled Daphnis and Chloe, and 
hence a generic name among romance 
writers and pastoral poets for a rustic 
maiden not always of the artless 

In Pope's Moral Essays (ii) Chloe is 
intended for Lady Suffolk, mistress of 
George II. " Content to dwell in decen- 
cies for ever " , and Prior uses the name 
for Mrs. Centlivre. 

Chloe, Aunt. In Harriet Beecher Stowc's 
Uncle Tom's Cabin (q.v.), the good old 
wife of Uncle Tom. 

Chlc'ris. The ancient Greek name of 
Flora (q.v). 

Chocolate Soldier, The. A character in 
Shaw's Arms and the Man (q.v.) and the 

name of the popular comic opera which 
was unofficially founded on the drama; 
hence, a soldier more remarkable for his 
faculty of appearing to good effect in 
uniform than for his fighting ability. 

Choir Invisible, The. A novel by James 
Lane Allen (Am. 1897). John Gray, an 
idealistic school teacher, falls in love with 
Mrs. Falconer, but because of her mar- 
riage ties, she keeps their relationship 
that of friendliness only When years 
later she writes that she is free and has 
always loved Gray, he has incurred other 
obligations. The title is borrowed from 
the first line and title of George Eliot's 
poem, may I join the choir invisible. 

Choke, General. In Dickens' Martin 
Chuzzlewit, a lank North American gentle- 
man, " one of the most remarkable men 
in the century " He was editor of The 
Watertoast Gazette , and a member of " The 
Eden Land Corporation." It was General 
Choke who induced Martin Chuzzlewit 
to stake his all in the Eden swindle. See 

Chosen People. The Jews, so called 
because of the divine promises of special 
protection recorded in the Biblical nar- 

Chouans, The (Les Chouans). A his- 
torical novel by Balzac (Fr. 1829). ^ The 
heroine is the beautiful spy, Marie de 
Verneuil (qv) and the hero the Marquis 
de Montauran, a Royalist leader. The 
Chouans were French insurgents of the 
Royalist party during the Revolution. 
Jean Cottereau was their leader, nick- 
named Chouan (a corruption of Fr. cliat- 
huant, a screech-owl), because he was 
accustomed to warn his companions of 
danger by imitating the screech of an owl. 
They were also known as " Companions 
of Jehu" (<jw.). 

ChnemhiTda. See KricmJnld. 

Chris'tabel. The heroine of a frag- 
mentary poem of the same title by 
Coleridge (1810). Her purity and inno- 
cence are threatened by the wicked 
enchantress, Lady Gcraldinc. 

Christabelle. In Percy's Rehqites I, i. 4, 
daughter of " a bonnie king of Ireland," 
beloved by Sir Cauhno (q*v.). 

Christian. The hero of Bunyan's 
Pilgrim's Progress (qv.); the "pilgrim" 
of the title, whose journey from the City 
of Destruction to the Celestial City forms 
the substance of Part i. 

Christian. A follower of Christ. So 
called first at Antioch (Acts xi. 26). 

Most Christian Doctor. John Charlier de 
Gerson (1363-1429). 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Most Christian King. The title of 
the King of France. Pepm le Bref was so 
styled by Pope Stephen III (714-768) 
After 1469, when it was conferred upon 
Louis XI, it was regularly used. 

Founder of Christian Eloquence. Louis 
Bordaloue, the French preacher (1632- 

For the Christian Cicero, the Christian 
Virgil, etc , see under Cicero, Virgil. 

Christian II. King of Illyna in Daudet's 
Kings in Exile (q.v). He is meant for 
Francis II, king of Naples, who abdicated 
in 1860. 

Christian de Neuvillette. The hand- 
some but stupid lover of Roxane for 
whom Cyrano supplies the eloquence in 
Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac (qv) 

Christian, Edward. In Scott's Peveril 
of the Peak, a conspirator who has two 
aliases, " Richard Gan'lesse " and " Simon 
Can'ter " 

Colonel William Christian. Edward's 
brother, shot for insurrection. 

Christian, The. A novel by Hall Caine 
(Eng 1897). " The Christian " is John 
Storm, first a clergyman and later a 
member of a monastic brotherhood, but 
his love for the music-hall singer and 
actress, Glory Quayle, a woman very 
much of this world, finally breaks down 
his faith and resolution. 

Christian'a. The wife of Christian in 
Pt. li of Runyan's Pilgrim's Progress, 
who started with her children and Mercy 
from the City of Destruction long after 
her husband. She was placed under the 
guidance of Mr. Great-Heart, and went, 
therefore, in "silver slippers" along the 
thorny road. 

Christie, Anna. See Anna Christie. 

Christie Johnstone. A novel by Charles 
Rcade (1855), the story of a Scots fisher- 
girl and her artist lover, Charles Gatty. 
Gatty's mother opposes the match, but 
when Christie saves his life, her opposition 
is removed. The Viscount Ipsden, whose 
health has been impaired by his cousin 
Barbara Sinclair's refusal to marry him, 
meets Christie in the course of following 
his physician's prescription to mingle with 
humble folk and " relieve one fellow 
creature a day." Eventually Barbara 
relents and marries the Viscount. 

Christie Mahon. In Synge's Playboy 
of the Western World (q.v.) 

Christina Pontif ex. In Butler's Way of 
All Flesh (q.v.). 

Christmas Carol. A Christmas story in 
prose by Dickens (1843). The subject is 
the conversion of Scrooge, " a grasping 

old sinner/' to generous good temper, by 
a series of dreams. See Scrooge 

For Kate Douglas Wiggin's story, The 
Birds' 1 C/uistnias Carol, see under Birds 3 . 

Christinas Day. December 25th. 

Christopher, St. See under Saint. 

Chronicle, Anglo-Saxon. See Anglo- 
Saxon Chronicle. 

Chronicles. Two books of the Old 
Testament bear this title. 

Chronon-hotcn-thorogos. A burlesque 
pomposo, King of Queerummania, m 
Henry Carey's farce of the same name 
" the most tragical tragedy ever trage- 
dized " (1734). The name is used for 
any bombastic person who delivers an 
inflated address. See Aldiborontephos- 

Chrysale. In Moliere's comedy, Les 
Femmes Savantes (q.v.), a simple-minded, 
hen-pecked French tradesman, whose wife 
Philaminte neglects her house for the 
learned languages, women's rights, and 
the aristocracy of mind. 

Chryseis. In Homer's Iliad, daughter 
of Chryses, piiest of Apollo, famed for 
her beauty. During the Trojan War 
Chryseis was taken captive and allotted 
to Agamemnon, king of Argos, and when 
he refused to accept ransom for her, 
Chryses called down a plague, so that 
Agamemnon was forced to let her go. 

Chucks. An amusing boatswain who 
served under Captain Savage in Marryat's 
Peter Simple (1833). 

Churchill, Winston (1871- ) Ameri- 
can novelist, author of Richard Carvel, 
The Crisis , The Crossing, Coniston, The 
Inside of the Cup, A Far Country. See 
those entries. 

Chushingura, The. See Eonin. 
Chuzzlewit, Martin. The hero of 
Dickens' Martin Chuzzleuit (q.v.). At first 
he is both selfish and exacting, but the 
hardships he undergoes in America com- 
pletely transform him, and he becomes 
worthy of Mary Graham, whom he 

Martin Chuzzlewit, Senior. Grandfather 
to the hero of the same name, a stern old 
man, whose kind heart has been turned 
to gall by the selfishness of his relations. 
He goes to live in Pecksniff's house, and 
pretends to be weak in intellect, but keeps 
his eyes open, and is able to expose the 
canting scoundrel. 

Jonas Chuzzlewit. Son of Anthony, of 
the " firm of Anthony Chuzzlewit and 
Son, Manchester warehousemen." A con- 
summate villain. He attempts to poison 
his old father, murders Montague Tigg, 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

who knows his secret, marries Mercy 
Pecksniff, his cousin, and leads her a life 
of utter misery. He poisons himself to 
save his neck from the gallows. 

This fine young man had all the inclination of a 
profligate of the first water, and only lacked the one 
good trait in the common catalogue of debauched 
vices open-handedness to be a notable vagabond 
But there his griping and penurious habits stepped 
in Chap xi 

Anthony Chuzzlewit. The cousin of 
Martin Chuzzlewit, the grandfather. 
Anthony is an avaricious old hunks, proud 
of having brought up his son Jonas to be 
as mean and grasping as himself 

Ciacco'. In Dante's Inferno, a glutton, 
spoken to by Dante, in the third circle 
of hell, the place to which gluttons are 
consigned to endless woe. The word 
means " a pig," and is not a proper name, 
but only a symbolical one. He is intro- 
duced into Boecacio's Decameron ix. 8. 

Cic'ero. The great Roman orator, 
philosopher, and statesman (B. C. 106- 
43), Marcus Tulhus He is often referred 
to as Tully. His essays on Friendship 
(De Amicitia) and Old Age (De Senectute) 
are Latin classics as are his orations 
against the conspirator Catiline (q v.) 

La Bouche de Ciceron (Cicero's mouth). 
Philippe Pot, prime minister of Louis XI. 

The Cicero of France. Jean Baptist e 
Massillon (1663-1742). 

The Cicero of Germany. Johann III, 
elector of Brandenburg (1455-1499). 

The Cicero of the British Senate. George 
Canning (1770-1827). 

The British Cicero. William Pitt, Earl 
of Chatham (1708-1778). 

The Christian Cicero. Lucius Ccclius 
Lactantius, a Christian father, who died 

The German Cicero. Johann Sturm, 
printer and scholar. (1507-1589 ) 

Cid. A corruption of seyyid. Arabic 
for lord. The title given to Roderi'go 
or Ruy Diaz de Bivar' (born about 1040, 
died 1099), also called El Campeador, 
the national hero of Spain and champion 
of Christianity against the Moors. His 
exploits, real and legendary, form the basis 
of many Spanish romances and chronicles, 
as well as Corneille's tragedy, Le Cid 

The Cid } s horse. Babie'ca. 

The Cid's sword. Cola'da The sword 
taken by him from King Bucar was called 

Cid Hamet Benengeli The suppo- 
sititious author upon whom Cervantes 
fathered The Adventures of Don Quixote. 

Spanish commentators have discovered 
this pseudonym to be only an Arabian 
version of Signior Cervantes. Cid, i.e. 
" signior' 7 ; Hamet, a Moorish prefix, and 
Ben-en-geli, meaning " son of a stag." 
So cervato (a young stag) is the basis of 
the name Cervantes 

Cimmerian Darkness. Intense dark- 
ness Homer places the legendary Cim- 
merians beyond Oceanus, in a land of 
never-ending gloom; and immediately 
after Cimmcria he places the empire 
of Hades. Pliny (Historia Naturahs, 
vi. 14) places Cimmena near the lake 
Avernus, in Italy, where " the sun never 

Cimourdean. A character in Victor 
Hugo's Ninety-Three (qv). 

Cincinna'tus. A legendary Roman hero 
of about B C. 500 to 430, who, after 
having been consul years before, was 
called from his plough to be Dictator. 
After he had conquered the JEquians and 
delivered his country from danger, he 
laid down his office and returned to his 

The Cincinnatus of the Americans. 
George Washington (1732-1799). 

The Cincinnatus of the West. William 
Henry Harrison (1797-1801), president of 
the United States. 

Cinderella (little cinder girl). Heroine 
of a fairy talc of very ancient, probably 
Eastern, origin, that was mentioned in 
German literature in the 16th century 
and was populanzed by Perrault's Contcs 
de ma m&re I'oye (1697). Cinderella is 
drudge of the house, dirty with house- 
work, while her elder sisters go to fine 
balls. At length a fairy enables her to go 
to the prince's ball, the prince fulls in love 
with her, and she is discovered by means 
of a glass slipper which she drops, and 
which will fit no foot but her own. 

J. M. Barrio has a modern play entitled 
A Kiss for Cinderella (Bug. 1916). The 
heroine is " Miss Thing, the Penny 
Friend " who keeps a day-nursery for war 
babies and, like Cinderella, has her dreams, 
which finally come true. 

Cinq-Mars, Henri, Marquis de. A 
French nobleman (1620-1642) who plotted 
against Richelieu when the latter opposed 
his love for Marie de Gonzague. Alfred 
de Vigny made him the hero of a historical 
novel, Cinq-Mars ou une Conjuration sur 
Louis XIII (Fr. 1826), which was later 
the basis of an opera by Gounod (1877). 

Cinquain. A five-line stanza, particu- 
larly the form invented by Adelaide 
Crapsey, a minor American poet. 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Just now, 

Out of the strange 

Still dusk as strange as still 

A \\hite moth flew Why am I grown 

So cold 

Adelaide Crapsey The Warning 

Cinque Cento. The Italian name for 
the sixteenth century (1501-1600), applied 
as an epithet to art and literature with 
much the same significance as Renaissance 
or Elizabethan. The great men of the 
period included Ariosto, Tasso, Raphael, 
Titian and Michael Angelo. It was the 
revival of the classical or antique, but is 
often used as a derogatory term, implying 
debased or inferior art 

Cinque Ports, The. Originally the 
five seaports, Hastings, Sandwich, Dover, 
Romney, and Hythe, which were granted, 
special privileges from the 13th to the 
17th centuries, and even, later, in consider- 
ation of their pro viding ships and men 
for the defence of the Channel. Subse- 
quently Winch elsea and Rye were added. 

Cintr6, Claire de. In Henry James' 
American (qv.), the widow with whom 
Christopher Newman falls in love. 

Cipan'go or Zipango. A marvellous 
island described in the Voyages of Marco 
Polo, the Venetian traveler. He described 
it as lying some 1500 miles from land. 
This island was an object of diligent 
search with Columbus and other early 
navigators; but it belongs to that wonder- 
ful chart which contains the El Dorado 
of Sir Waiter Raleigh, the Utopia of Sir 
Thomas More, the Atlantis of Lord Bacon, 
the Laputa of Dean Swift, and other 
places better known in story than in 

Cir'ce. A sorceress in Greek myth- 
ology, who lived in the island of JBsea 
When Ulysses landed there, Circe turned 
his companions into swine, but Ulysses 
resisted this metamorphosis by virtue 
of a herb called moly (q*v), given him by 

Who knows not Circe, 

The daughter of the Sun, whose charmed cup 
Whoever tasted lost his upright shape, 
And downward fell into a grovelling swine 

Milton: Comus, 50-53 

Circumlocu'tion Office. A term applied 
in ridicule by Dickens in Little Dornt 
to public offices in England, because each 
person tries to shuffle off every act to 
some one else; and before anything is 
done it has to pass through so many 
departments and so much time elapses 
that it is hardly worth having bothered 
about it. 

Whatever was required to be done, the Circumlocu- 
tion Office was beforehand, with all the public depart- 
ments in the art of perceiving How not to do it 
Dickens. Little Domt, ch. x. 

Cistercians. A monastic order, founded 
at Cister'cium or Citeaux by Robert, 
abbot of Moleme, in Burgundy, m 1098, 
as a branch of the Benedictines The 
monks are known also as Bernardines, 
owing to the patronage of St. Bernard of 
Clairvaux about 1200. In 1664 the order 
was reformed on an excessively strict 
basis by Jean le Boutillier de Ranee. 

Citizen King, The. Louis Philippe, the 
first elective king of France (1773, 1830- 
1849, abdicated and died 1850) 

Citizen of the World, The. A series of 
satires by Oliver Goldsmith (1762), pub- 
lished with the subtitle Letters from a 
Chinese Philosopher Residing in London 
to his Friends in the East Lien Chi 
Altangi, the " Chinese philosopher," Beau 
Tibbs (qv) and the " Man in Black " 
who was Lien's companion at the theater 
are entertaining personalities, through 
whom the author makes his comments 
on contemporary English life. 

City. Strictly speaking, a large town 
with a corporation and cathedral; but 
any large town is so called in ordinary 
speech. In the Bible it means a town 
having walls and gates. 

The City of a Hundred Towers. Pavia, 
in Italy; famous for its towers and 

The City College. Newgate. The wit 
belongs to the days when Newgate was 
used as a prison. 

The City of Bells Strasburg. 

The^ City of Brotherly Love. A nickname 
of Philadelphia (Gr. Philadelphia means 
a brotherly love ") 

The ^ City of David. Jerusalem. So 
called in compliment to King David (2 
Sam. v. 7, 9). 

The City of Destruction. In Bunyan's 
Pilgrim's Progress, the world of the 
unconverted. Bunyan makes Christian 
flee from it and journey to the " Celestial 
City/ 7 thereby showing the " walk of a 
Christian " from conversion to death. 

The City of God. The Church, or whole 
body of believers; the kingdom of Christ, 
in. contradistinction to the City of 
Destruction (qv). The phrase is that of 
St. Augustine; one of his chief works 
bearing that title, De Civitate Dei. 

The City of Lanterns. A supposititious 
city in Lucian's Veres Histonce, situated 
somewhere beyond the zodiac. Cp. 

The City of Legions. Caerleon-on-Usk, 
where King Arthur held his court. 

The City of Lilies. Florence. 

The City of Magnificent Distances. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Washington; famous for its wide avenues 
and splendid vistas. 

The City of Palaces. Agrippa, in the 
reign of Augustus, converted Rome from 
" a city of brick huts to one of marble 
palaces." Calcutta is called the City of 

City of Refuge Moses, at the command 
of God, set apart three cities on the east 
of Jordan, and Joshua added three others 
on the west, whither any person might 
flee for refuge who had killed a human 
creature madveitently. The three on 
the east of Jordan were Bezer, ^amoth, 
and Golan; the three on the west were 
Hebron, Shechem, and Kedesh (Deut. iv. 
43; Josh, xx. 1-8). 

By Mohammedans, Medi'na, in Arabia, 
where Mahomet took refuge when driven 
by conspirators from Mecca, is known 
as the City of Refuge. He entered not as 
a fugitive, but in triumph 622 A. D. Also 
called the City of the Prophet. 

The City of St. Michael. Dumfries, of 
which city St. Michael is the patron saint. 

The City of Saints. Montreal, in 
Canada, is so named because all the 
streets are named after saints. Salt Lake 
City, Utah, U. S A., also is known as the 
City of the Saints, from the Mormons who 
inhabit it. 

The Cities of the Plain. Sodom and 

Abram duelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot 
dwelled m the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent 
toward Sodom Gen xm, 12 

The City of the Golden Gate. San 
Francisco See Golden Gate. 

The City of the Prophet. Medina. See 
City of Refuge. 

The City of the Seven Hills. Rome, 
built on seven hills (Urbs septacollu) . 
The hills are the Aventine, Cselian, 
Capitoline, Esquilme, Palatine, Quirinal, 
and Viminal. 

The City of the Sun. Baalbec, Rhodes, 
and Heliopolis, which had the sun for 
tutelary deity, were so called. It is 
also the name of a treatise on the 
Ideal Republic by the Dominican friar 
Campanclla (1568-1639), similar to the 
Republic of Plato, Utopia of Sir Thomas 
More, and Atlantis of Bacon. 

The City of the Three Kings. Cologne, 
the reputed burial-place of the Magi 

The City of the Tribes. Galway; because 
it was anciently the home of the thirteen 
" tribes" or chief families, who settled 
there in 1232 with Richard de Burgh. 

The City of the Violated Treaty. Lim- 

erick; because of the way in which the 
Pacification of Limerick (1691) was 
broken by England. 

The City of the Violet Crown. Athens 
is so called by Aristophanes. 
Celestial City. See under Celestial. 

Cream City Milwaukee is sometimes 
so called from its numerous cream- 
colored brick houses 

Crescent City. New Orleans, from its 
location on the curving Mississippi River. 

Elm City. New Haven, Conn , so called 
from its magnificent elm trees 

Empire City. New York, so called from 
its^ commercial importance and because 
it is the metropolis of the Empire State. 

Eternal City. Rome. See also under 

Forest City. Cleveland, Ohio, has been 
so called. 

Heavenly City. The New Jerusalem; 

Holy City. See under Holy. 

Imperial City. Rome, the seat of 

Marsh City. Petrograd from its low- 
lying situation and frequent floods. 

Monumental City. Baltimore, XI. S , 
is so called because it abounds in monu- 

Nameless City. Ancient Rome, so 
called from a superstition that any one 
who uttered its mystical name would 

Puritan City. Boston, Mass., the 
metropolis of the Puritan settlements of 
New England. 

Quaker City. Philadelphia, so called 
from its Quaker founders. 

Railroad City. Indianapolis, Ind., has 
been so called because of its importance 
as a railroad center. 

Smoky City. Pittsburgh, so called from 
the dirt and smoke of its industries. 

Twin Cities Minneapolis arid St Paul, 
two cities of about equal importance 
across the ^ Mississippi River from each 
other near its head in Minnesota. 

Windy City. Chicago is so called from 
its stiff lake breezes. 

Mobtown. Baltimore, so called from a 
reputation for lawlessness. 

Porkopohs. Chicago, the center of the 
meat-packing industry. 
Queen of the Adriatic. Yenice. 
City and Country Mouse. See Mouse. 
Claes-Molina, Balthazar. In Babac's 
novel, The Quest of the Absolute (La 
Recherche de L'Absolu, 1834) a chemist 
who spent a huge fortune and neglected 
his family completely in the " quest " of 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


the secret of chemical affinity. He died 
crying " Eureka." 

Clan-na-Gael, The. An Irish Fenian 
organization founded in Philadelphia in 
1881, and known in secret as the " United 
Brotherhood " , its avowed object being 
to secure " the complete and absolute 
independence of Ireland from Great 
Britain, and the complete severance of all 
political connection between the two 
countries, to be effected by unceasing 
preparation for armed insurrection in 

Clarchen. The heroine of Goethe's 
historical drama Egmont (q.v), noted for 
her constancy and devotion. 

Clare, Angel. A leading character in 
Hardy's Tess of the D } Urbervilles (qv.). 

Clarence. A play by Booth Tarkington 
(Am. 1869- ), with a college professor 
as its central figure. 

Clari. An opera by J. Howard Payne 
and Sir Henry Bishop (1823), with the 
subtitle The Maid of Milan. It is remem- 
bered chiefly because of the famous song 
Home, Sweet Home, which was one of its 

Clarissa Harlowe. A novel by Richard- 
son (1749), the full title of which is The 
History of Clarissa Harlowe. As one of 
the earliest English novels it exercised a 
marked influence on the development of 
fiction. It is constructed as a series of 
letters to Clarissa's friend, Miss Howe. 
To avoid a marriage to which her heart 
cannot consent, but to which she is urged 
by her parents, Clarissa casts herself on 
the protection of a lover, named Lovelace, 
who abuses the confidence reposed in him. 
He afterwards proposes marriage; but 
she rejects his proposal, and retires to a 
solitary dwelling, where she pines to death 
with grief and shame. See Harlowe. 

Clark's Field. A novel by Robert 
Hernck (Am. 1914). Ardelle Clark, an 
orphan, is heir to a huge fortune from the 
sale of " Clark's Field/' which has 
remained vacant in the midst of a great 
industrial district. She marries Archie 
Davis, a shiftless art student, and they 
squander the inheritance freely. Among 
the workmen on their great estate in 
California is a mason named Tom Clark 
who, Aclele discovers, is a distant cousin 
and, as she believes, an equal heir to the 
estate. After his brave but unsuccessful 
effort to save her child from fire, she 
decides to recognize his claim; and when 
this decision cannot be legally carried out, 
she asks his assistance in using the money 
for the welfare of the industrial com- 

munity in which " Clark's Field " was 

Clarke, Micafa. See Micah Clarke. 

Classic Races. The five chief horse- 
races in England, viz. the 2,000 and 1,000 
guinea races for two-year-olds, run at 
Newmarket; the Oaks for fillies only, 
three years old (1,000), the Derby for 
colts and fillies three years old, and the 
St, Leger for colts and fillies, those which 
have run in the Oaks or Derby being 

Classics. The best authors. The 
Romans were divided by Ser'vius into five 
classes. Any citizen who belonged to the 
highest class was called class'icus, all 
the rest were said to be infra classem 
(unclassed). From this the best authors 
were termed dass'io, aucto'res (classic 
authors), i e. authors of the best or first 
class. The high esteem in which Greek 
and Latin were held at the revival of 
letters obtained for these authors the 
name of classic, emphatically, and when 
other first-rate works are intended some 
distinctive name is added, as the English, 
French, Spanish, etc., classics, 

Claudio. (1) In Shakespeare's Measure 
for Measure (qv), brother of Isabella and 
the suitor of Juliet. He is imprisoned by 
Lord Angelo for the seduction of Juliet, 
and his sister Isabella pleads for his 
release. (2) In Shakespeare's Much Ado 
about Nothing (qv), Lord Claudio of 
Florence is a friend of Don Pedro, prince 
of Aragon, and engaged to Hero. 

Clau'dius. In Shakespeare's Hamlet 
(q v.), Hamlet's uncle, who poisoned his 
brother, married the widow, and usurped 
the throne. 

Glaus, Peter. See Klaus, Peter. 

Glaus, Santa. See Santa Claus. 

Clavering, Sir Francis. In Thackeray's 
Pendennis (q v ), a dissipated baronet who 
marries the rich mother of Blanche Amory 
(q.v), only to discover that her scoun- 
drelly first husband is still alive and eager 
for blackmail. See Altamont; Amory. 

Claverings, The. A novel by Anthony 
Trollope (1867). The hero is Harry 
Clavering, a rector's son and a somewhat 
fickle but likable young man. 

Clavijo. A drama by Goethe (Ger. 
1774) based on the career of Don Jose* 
Clavijo y Foxardo (1730-1806). This 
Spanish official seduced a sister of 
Beaumarchais and suffered consequent 
disgrace. Beaumarchais wrote his drama 
Eugenie around the same episode. 

Clavile'no. In Don Quixote (II, iii. 4 
and 5), the wooden horse on which the 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Don got astride in order to disenchant 
the Infanta Antonoma'sia and her hus- 
band, who were shut up in the tomb of 
Queen Magun'cia, of Canday'a. It was 
the very horse on which Peter of Provence 
carried off the fair Magalo'na; it was 
constructed by Merlin, and was governed 
by a wooden pin in the forehead. The 
word means Wooden Peg. Cp Cambuscan. 

Clay, Robert. The hero of Soldiers of 
Fortune (q.v.) by Richard Harding Davis. 

Clayhanger, A novel by Arnold Bennett 
(Eng 1910). Under the domination of his 
old father Darius, the hero, Edwin 
Clayhanger is forced into the family 
printing business He falls in love with 
Hilda Lessways, who is visiting in town, 
but learns that Hilda is the wife of George 
Cannon. Much later he finds her living 
in wretched quarters and learns that 
Cannon is a bigamist and the marriage 
void. His old father dies, and Edwin 
marries Hilda. 

In Hilda Lessways the same events 
are narrated from Hilda's point of view. 
These Twain continues the study of the 
two temperaments into their married life, 
and The Roll Call (1919) carries their 
story still further. In all four books 
Hilda's son George plays an important 
part. As a boy of ten he does much to 
bring Edwin and Hilda together and 
after their marriage his experiences are 
the leading element. 

Cleante. A favorite name with Molidre: 
(1) In his Malade Imaginaire, the lover 
of Angelique, the daughter of Argan 
(q.v}] (2) in L'Avarc, the son of Ilarp- 
agon (q.v)] and in Tartuffo, the brother- 
in-law of Orgon. 

Cleave, Richard. The hero of Mary 
Johnston's Long Roll (q.v.). 

Clegg", Jane. See Jane Clegg. 

Cleish'botham, Jededi/ah. The imag- 
inary editor, schoolmaster and parish clerk 
of Gandercleuch, who employed his 
assistant teacher, Peter Pattieson, to write 
down The Tales of My Landlord (q.v). 
Of course the real author is Sir Walter 
Scott (1771-1832). Jodcdiah Cloish- 
botham is also introduced in the preface 
to The Black Dwarf. 

Clelia or Cloe'lia. In the legendary 
history of Borne, a Roman maiden, one 
of the hostages given to Por'sena. She 
made her escape from the Etruscan camp 
by swimming across the Tiber. She was 
sent back by the Romans, but Porsena 
not only set her at liberty for her gallant 
deed, but allowed her to take with her 
a part of the hostages. Mile, de Scudery 

took this story as the framework for her 
celebrated romance Clehe, published in 
ten volumes (Fr 1654-1660). Like her 
Cyrus (q v.), it deals with contemporary 
French life under the thin disguise of 
other times and other scenes. 

Clelie. A novel by Mile, de Scude*ry. 
See Clelia above. 

Clement, St. See under Saint. 

Clementi/na, The lady. In Richard- 
son's novel Sir Charles Grandison, an 
amiable, accomplished, but unfortunate 
woman, deeply in love with Sir Charles 
Grandison Sir Charles, however, married 
Harriet Byron. 

Cle'ofas, Don. The hero of a novel 
by Le fr'age, entitled Le Diable Boiteux 
( The Devil on Tu o Sticks) A fiery young 
Spaniard, proud, high-spirited and re- 
vengeful, noted for gallantry, and not 
without generous sentiments. His guide 
is the fiend Asmodeus (gv.). 

Cleom'brotcs. A philosopher who so 
admired Plato's discourse on the immor- 
tality of the soul (in the Phcedo) that he 
jumped into the sea in order to exchange 
this life for a better. Ho was called 
Ambrario'ta, from Ambrafda, in Epirus, 
the place of his birth. 

Cleon. In Browning's poem of this 
name the writer is supposed to be one 
of the poets alluded to by St. Paul in 
Acts xvii. 28 (" As certain also of your 
own poets have said "). Cleon believes in 
Zeus under the attributes of the one God, 
but sees nothing in his belief to warrant 
the hope of immortality, which discon- 
certs him. The poem is a protest against 
the inadequacy of the earthly life. 

Cleopatra. Queen of Egypt, wife of 
Ptolemy Dionysius. She was driven from 
her throne, but re-established by Julius 
Cjpsar, B. C. 47. Antony, captivated by 
her, repudiated his wife, Octavia, to live 
with the fascinating Egyptian. After 
the loss of the battle of Actium, Cleopatra 
killed herself by an asp. She is the heroine 
of many tragedies, of which the most no- 
table in English are Shakespeare's Antony 
and Cleopatra (1608) Dryden's All -for 
Love or the World Well Lost (1682) and 
Shaw's Cwsar and Cleopatra (1908). There 
is an Italian tragedy by Alfieri (1773), 
and French tragedies by E. Jodelle, 
CUopatre Captive (1550); Jean Mairet, 
CUopatre (1630); Isaac de Bcnscrade 
(1670), J. F. Marmontel (1750), and 
Mde. de Girardin (1847). Rider Haggard 
has a romance called Cleopatra (1889). 
(See Harmachis.) 

Ckopa'tra and her pearL It is said that 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Cleopatra made a banquet for Antony, 
the costliness of which excited his aston- 
ishment; and, when Antony expressed his 
surprise, Cleopatra took a pearl ear-drop, 
which she dissolved in a strong acid, and 
drank to the health of the Homan trium- 
vir, saying, " My draught to Antony 
shall far exceed it " 

Cleopatra's Needle. The obelisk so 
called, now in London on the Thames 
Embankment, was brought there in 1878 
from Alexandria, whither it and its fellow 
(now in Central Park, New York) had 
been moved from Heliopolis by Augustus 
about B. C. 9, It has no connection with 
Cleopatra, and it has carved on it hier- 
oglyphics that tell of its erection by 
Thothmes III, a Pharaoh of the 18th 
dynasty who lived many centuries before 
her time, 

Cleopatra's nose. It was Blaise Pascal 
(d. 1662) who said, " If the nose of Cleo- 
patra had been shorter, the whole face 
of the earth would have been changed " 
(Pense'es vni 29), the allusion, of course, 
being to the tremendous results brought 
about by her enslavement through her 
charm and beauty, first of Julius Caesar 
and then of Mark Antony. 

Clerk's or Clerkes Tale. (In Chaucer's 
Canterbury Tales. See Grisildd) The 
Clerk is probably best described in the 
following well-known lines: 

A Clerk ther was of Oxcnford also 

That unto loffik hadde longe y-go . . 

For him was lever have at his beddes heed 

Twenty bokes, clad in blak or red 

Of Aristotle and his philosophy 

Than robes riche, or fithele, or gay sautrye . . . 

Sounmftp in moral vcrtu was his speche, 

And gladly woldc he Icrnc and gladly teche 

Chaucer Prologue to the Canterbury Tales 

Cleveland, Grover. President of the 
United States (1885-1889)^ Under the 
name of Peter Stirling he is the hero of 
Paul Leicester Ford's Honorable Peter 

Clich6. Literally a stereotype plate; 
hence a stereotyped expression, a stock 
phrase, such as " few and far between," 
" ever and anon/' " at the eleventh 

CM Dwellers, The. A novel by Henry 
Fuller (Am. 1893), concerning a hetero- 
geneous group of characters of varying 
social backgrounds, all of whom work 
in a huge office building in Chicago. The 
term is often used with reference to 
modern city life. 

Cliffe, Geoffrey* A character in Mrs. 
Humphry Ward's Marriage of William 
Ashe (q.v.). 

Clifford, Paul. See Paul Clifford. 

Clixn of the Clough. See Clyrn. 

Climax means a ladder (Gr ), and is the 
rhetorical figure in which the sense rises 
gradually in a series of images, each 
exceeding its predecessor in force or 
dignity. Popularly, the word is used to 
denote the last step in the gradation, 
the point of highest development. 

Clinker, Humphrey. See Humphrey 

Clio. In classic mythology, one of the 
nine Muses, the inventress of historical 
and heroic poetry. 

Addison adopted the name as a pseu- 
donym, perhaps because many of his 
papers in the Spect^cor are signed by one 
of the four letters in this word, probably 
the initial letters of Chelsea, London, 
Islington, Office. 

Clitandre. In Moliere's comedy, Les 
Femmes Savantes (q v ), a wealthy bour- 
geois, in love with Hennette, " the 
thorough woman, 3 ' by whom he is beloved. 
Her elder sister Armande also loves him. 

Cloak and Sword Plays. Swash- 
buckling plays, full of fighting and ad- 
venture. The name comes from the 
Spanish comedies of the 16th century 
dramatists, Lope de Vega and Calderon 
the Commedia de capa y espada; but 
whereas with them it signified merely a 
drama of domestic intrigue and was 
named from the rank of the chief charac- 
ters, in France and, through French 
influence, in England it was applied 
as above. 

Knight of the Cloak. See under Knight. 
Clockmaker, The. See Slick, Sam. 
Cloe. See Chloe. 

Cloister and the Hearth, The, A his- 
torical novel by Charles Reade (1861). 
The action takes place on the Continent 
in the latter years of the 15th century; 
and among the historical characters of 
note introduced are Froissart, Gringoire, 
Deschamps, Luther, Villon and the child 
Erasmus. The interest centers in the love 
story of Erasmus' parents Gerard, a 
talented young writer and the red-haired 
Margaret, daughter of Peter Brandt. 
A forged letter convinces Gerard of 
Margaret's death and he becomes a 
monk, but after many misadventures, 
the pair meet again at last. 

Clonbrony, Lord and Lady, The chief 
characters in Maria Edgeworth's Absentee 

Clootie, Auld. See Auld Clootie. 
Clorin'da. The pagan heroine whose 
praises are sung in Tasso's Jerusalem 
Delivered, daughter of Sena'pus of 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Ethiopia (a Christian). Because she was 
born white, her mother changed her for 
a black child The eunuch Arse'tes was 
entrusted with the infant Clorinda, and 
as he was going through a forest, saw a 
tiger, dropped the child, and sought 
safety in a tree The tiger took the babe 
and suckled it, after which the eunuch 
carried the child to Egypt. In the siege 
of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, Clonnda 
was a leader of the pagan forces Tancred 
fell in love with her, but slew her unknow- 
ingly in a night attack. Before she expired 
she received Christian baptism at the 
hands of Tancred, who greatly mourned 
her death. 

Cloten. In Shakespeare's Cymbehne, 
a vindictive lout, son of the second wife 
of Cymbeline by a former husband. He 
is noted for " his unmeaning frown, his 
shuffling gait, his burst of voice, his bust- 
ling insignificance, his fever-and-ague fits 
of valor, his froward tetchiness, his 
unprincipled malice, and occasional gleams 
of good sense." Cloten is the rejected 
lover of Imogen. 

Clotho. One of the Three Fates in 
classic mythology. She presided over 
birth, and drew from her distaff the 
thread of life; Atropos presided over 
death and cut the thread of life; and 
Lachesis spun the fats of life between 
birth and death. (Gr, kldtho, to draw 
thread from a distaff.) 

Cloud-cuckoo-land or Cloud-cuckoo 
town (Gr. Nephelo^Coccygia). An ideal- 
istic plan to reform the world; any 
visionary scheme. So called from the city 
in the clouds in Aristophanes' comedy, 
The Birds (q.v.). 

Cloudesley, William of. See William 
of Cloudesley. 

Clouds, The. The best-known comedy 
of Aristophanes (Gr. B. C. 422), a satire 
on Socrates and the Sophists. The young 
Athenian, Pheidippides, is a caricature of 
the Alcibiades of history. Under Socrates' 
instruction he becomes so bereft of 
common virtues and so adept in proving 
that black is white that his irate father 
sets fire to Socrates' house. 

dough, Arthur Hugh (1819-1861) 
English poet. Matthew Arnold wrote the 
elegy, Thyrsis (q.v.) in his memory. 

Clout, Colin. See Colin Clout 

Clutterbuck, Captain. The hypothetical 
editor of some of Sir Walter Scott's novels, 
as The Monastery and The Fortunes of 
Nigel. Captain Clutterbuck is a retired 
officer, who employs himself in anti- 
quarian researches, idle literary pursuits. 

The Abbot is dedicated by the " author 
of Waverleij " to " Captain Clutterbuck/' 

late of His Majesty's infantry 


Clyzn, Yeobright. (In Hardy's Return 
of the Native.) See Yeobright, Clym. 

Clym of the Clough. A noted archer 
and outlaw, supposed to have lived 
shortly before Robin Hood, who, with 
Adam Bell (q v ) and William of Cloudesly, 
forms the subject of one of the ballads in 
Percy's Rehques, the three becoming as 
famous in the north of England as Robin 
Hood and Little John in the midland 
counties. Their place of resort was in 
Englewood Forest, near Carlisle Clym 
of the Clough means Clement of the 
Cliff. He is mentioned in Ben Jonson's 
Alchemist (I. ii, 46) 

Clytemnestra. In Greek legend, the 
wife of Agamemnon (q.v), whom she and 
her paramour Aegisthus murdered after 
his return from Troy. She was slain by 
her son Orestes. For dramas in which 
she appears, see Agamemnon; Orestes. 

Clyt'ie. In classical mythology, an 
ocean nymph, in love with Apollo Meet- 
ing with no return, she was changed into 
the heliotrope, or sunflower, which, tradi- 
tionally, still turns to the sun, following 
him through his daily course, 

Coalition Goy eminent. A government 
formed by various parties by a mutual 
surrender of principles; such as the 
Ministry of the Duke of Portland which 
included Lord North and Fox in 1783, 
and fell to pieces in a few months, and 
that of Lord Salisbury with the old Whig 
Party headed by Lord Harlington in 
1886. The most famous Coalition in 
British history, however, is that formed 
in May, 1915, by Mr. Asquith, when 
Mr. Bonar Law with the Unionist and 
Conservative parties joined the Liberals 
the whole being under Mr. Asquith 
for the bettor conduct oi the Great War 
which had then been in progrens for 
nearly ten months. In spite of a General 
Election at the end of the War in 1018 
and many changes of Government Mr. 
Lloyd George succeeded Mr. Asqmth as 
Premier in December, 1916 the Coali- 
tion lasted till October, 1922. 

Coals. To carry coals to Newcastle * To 
do what is superfluous; to take something 
where it is already plentiful. Newcastle, 
of course, is a great coal port. The 
French say, " Porter de I'cau d la rivi&rc " 
(to carry water to the river). 

To heap coals of fire on one's head. To 
melt down his animosity by deeds of 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Kindness; to repay bad treatment with | 
good. (Prov. xxv. 21, 22) ! 

Cobb, Irvin (1876- ^ ). American 
fiction writer and humorist. 1 

Cocagne or Cocaigne. See Cockaigne. I 

Cock. Cock of the walk The dominant ' 
bully or master spirit The place where 
barndoor fowls are fed is the walk, and 
if there is more than one cock they will 
fight for the supremacy of this domain. 

Cock and Bull story A far-fetched 
tale with little foundation in fact. The 
derivation is obscure, 

Cock Robin. The hero of a nursery 
rhyme beginning, " Who killed Cock 
Robin? " 

Cock-pit of Europe. Belgium has for 
long been so called because it has been 
fche site of more European battles than 
any other country. 

Cock Lane Ghost. A tale of terror 
without truth, an imaginary tale of 
norrors. In Cock Lane, Smithfield (1762), 
certain knockings were heard, which 
Mr. Parsons, the owner, declared pro- 
ceeded from the ghost of Fanny Kent, 
who died suddenly, and Parsons wished 
Deople to suppose that she had been 
murdered by her husband. All London 
was agog with this story; but it was found 
out that the knockings were produced 
by Parsons' daughter (a girl twelve years 
ol age) rapping on a board which she took 
into her bed Parsons was condemned 
to stand in the pillory. 

Cockade State. Maryland. See States. 

Cockaigne, The Land of. An imaginary 
land of pleasure, wealth, luxury, and 
idleness. London is so called. Boileau 
applies the word to Pans. This mythical 
Utopia (spelled also Cokayne and Cocagne) 
was the subject of many mock-serious 
poems of the Middle Ages. According 
to a typical account of the 13th century, 
the houses were made of barley-sugar 
and cakes, the streets were paved with 
pastry, and the shops supplied goods 
without requiring money in payment. 
James Branch Cabell makes Jurgen 
(q.v ) visit Cocaigne in his satiric romance 
Jurgen and describes it as a land of 
curious delights, presided over by Anaitis 

Cock'atrice. A fabulous and heraldic 
monster with the wings of a fowl, tail of a 
dragon, and head of a cock So called 
because it was said to be produced from 
a cock's egg hatched by a serpent. Accord- 
ing to legend, the very look of this 
monster would cause instant death. In 
consequence of the crest with which the 

head is crowned, the creature is called a 
basilisk (q.v) Isaiah says, " The weaned 
child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' 
den " (xi, 8), to signify that the most 
obnoxious animal should not hurt the 
most feeble of God's creatures 

Figuratively, it means an insidious, 
treacherous person bent on mischief 

They will kill one another by the look, like cocka- 
trices Shakespeare Twelfth Night, m 4 

Cockney. This is the M.E. coheney, 
eting " a cock's egg " (-ey = A.S. seg, 
an egg), Le a small egg with no yolk that 
is occasionally laid by hens; hence applied 
originally to a foolish, spoilt, cockered 

I made thee a wanton and thou hast made me a fool, 
I brought thee up like a cockney and thou hast handled 
me like a cock's-eomb, I made more of thee than became 
a father and thou less of me than beseemed a child 
Lyly: Euphues (1578) 

From this the word came to signify a 
foolish or effeminate person, hence, by 
the country-dwellers the majority of 
the population it was applied to towns- 
men generally, and finally became re- 
stricted to its present meaning, one born 
within sound of Bow Bells, London; one 
possessing London peculiarities of speech 
etc.; one who, hence, is or is supposed 
to be wholly ignorant of country 
sports, country life, farm animals, plants, 
and so on. 

As Frenchmen love to be bold, Flemings to be drunk, 
Welchmen to be called Britons, and Irishmen to be 
costermongers , so cockneys, especially she cockneys, 
love not aqua-vitae when 'tis good for them Dekker 
Webster Westward Hoe, II, n (1607) 

Shakespeare uses the word for a 
squeamish woman: 

Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney did to the eels, when 
she put them into the paste alive King Lear, n 4. 

The Cockney School. A nickname given 
by Lockhart (see quotation below) to 
the group of writers including Leigh 
Hunt, Hazlitt, Shelley, and Keats, most 
of whom were Londoners or lived in 
London. Lockhart was a strong partisan 
of the Lake School (q.v.) and had great 
animosity against writers with other aims 
or principles. Hunt he called " the 
Cockney Homer," Hazlitt " the Cockney 
Aristotle," and Haydon "the Cockney 

If I may be permitted to have the honour of christen- 
ing it, it may be henceforth referred to by the designa- 
tion of the "Cockney School" Lockhart. Blackwood's 
Magazine, Oct , 1817 

The king of cockneys. A master of the 
revels chosen by students of Lincoln's Inn 
on Childermas Day (December 28th). 
Codes, Horatius. See Horatius 
Cocy'tus. One of the five rivers of hell 
in Greek mythology. The word means the 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

" river of lamentation " The unburied 
were doomed to wander about its banks 
for 100 years. It flows into the river 

Coeiebs* Wife. A bachelor's ideal of 
a model wife. Coelebs is the hero of a 
novel by Mrs. Hannah More, entitled 
C celebs in Search of a Wife (1809). 

Coeur de Lion. Richard I of England 
(1157, 1189-1199); so called from the 
prodigies of personal valor performed by 
him in the Holy Land 

Coffin, Long Tom. A famous sailor in 
Cooper's sea novel, The Pilot (qv). Of 
Nantucket origin, Long Tom loves the 
sea with passionate devotion and hates 
land as passionately. As an ex-whaler 
he flourishes a harpoon even on board a 
man-of-war. His simple, hardy ^ virtues 
and his thorough professional skill have 
caused him to be regarded as a Leather- 
stocking of the sea, and he rivals the 
famous scout for first place in popularity 
among Cooper's characters. 

Cogito, ergo sum. The axiom formu- 
lated by Descartes (1596-1650) as the 
starting-place of his system of philosophy: 
it means "I think, therefore I am." 
Descartes, at the beginning, provisionally 
doubted everything, but he could not 
doubt the existence of the ego, for the 
mere fact that I doubt presupposes the 
existence of the I; in other words, the 
doubt could not exist without the I. 

Cohen, Mirah. In George Eliot's 
Daniel Deronda (q.v), the beautiful 
Jewess whom Deronda married. She is 
also known as Mirah Lapidoth. 

Mordecai Cohen. Mirah' s lost brother 
Ezra, an idealistic Jew, on fire with plans 
for the advancement of the race. The 
character is said to have been drawn 
from a Jewish journeyman watchmaker 
named Cohn or Kohn. 

" A. man steeped in poverty and obscurity, weakened 
by disease, consciously within the shadow of advancing 
death, but living an intense life in an invisible past 
and future, careless of his personal lot, except for its 
possibly making some obstruction to a conceived good 
which he would never share except as a brief inward 
vision a day afar off, whose sun would never warm 
him, but into which he threw ma soul's desire, with a 
passion often wanting to_ the personal motives of 
healthy youth " Ch xlui 

Coignard, Jerome. An irreverent, 
licentious abbe", who is nevertheless some- 
thing of the philosopher and saint; the 
chief character in Anatole France's novels 
At the Sign of the Heine Pedauque (La 
Rotissene de la Reine Pedauque, 1893) and 
its sequel, The Opinions of Monsieur 
Jerome Coignard. Coignard is one of 
France's most popular characters and 

is said to be a mouthpiece for many of 
the author's opinions 

Cokes or Cook's Tale. (In Chaucer's 
Canterbury Tales ) See Gamelyn. 

Colas Breugnon, Burgundian. A ro- 
mance of 16th century Burgundy by 
Romain Holland (Fr.^ 1919). The hero 
and supposed narrator is an old craftsman, 
who indulges in delightful reminiscences. 
Cole, KEig. A legendary British king, 
described in the nursery rhyme as " a 
merry old soul " fond of his pipe, fond 
of his glass, and fond of his " fiddlers 
three." Robert of Gloucester says he 
was father of St. Helena (and conse- 
quently grandfather of the Emperor 
Constantino); and Colchester has been 
said to have been named after hiro, 
though it is more probable that the town 
is named from Lat. colonia, John Mase- 
field has a narrative poem entitled King 
Cole (Eng. 1921) and E. A. Robinson 
(Am. 1869- ) has a King Cole amoiv; 
the characters of his Tilbury Town (q.v >. 
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772-1833/. 
English poet, famous for his Ancient 
Mariner (qv.), Kubla Khan (qv.), Chnv- 
abel (qv) etc. 

Colin Clout. A name which Spenser 
assumes in The Shepherd's Calendar, and 
in other pastoral poems, particularly Coliti 
Clout's Come Home Again, which repre- 
sents his return from a visit to Sir Walter 
Raleigh, " the Shepherd of the Ocean/' 
Skclton previously (about 1520) used the 
name as the title of a satire directed 
against the abuses of the Church. 

Colin Tampon. The nickname of a 
Swiss, as John Bull is of an Englishman, 
Brother Jonathan of a North American, 
and Monsieur Crapaud of a Frenchman. 
Collean, May. The heroine of a Scotch 
ballad, which relates how " fause Sir 
John " carried her to a rock for the 
purpose of throwing her down into the 
sea; but May outwitted him, and sub- 
jected him to the same fate as he had 
designed for her. 

Collectivism. A system in which the 
government would be the sole employer, 
the sole landlord, and the sole paymaster. 
Private property would be abolished, 
the land, mines, railways, etc., would be 
nationalized as the post office, telegraphs, 
telephones, etc., are now; every one would 
be obliged to work for his living, and the 
State obliged to find the work 

Collier, Old Cap. A character of dime- 
novel fame. The Old Cap Collier Library 
was published by the house of Munro 
during the latter part of the 19th centurv. 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Irvin S. Cobb wrote, in the Captain's 
defence, A Plea for 0V Cap Collier (Am, 
1921), a sketch of the dime-novel. 

Coffin, Jacques, The most consummate 
villain and criminal of Balzac's Comedie 
Humaine, playing a part in many of the 
novels In Father Gonot (Le Pere Goriot), 
under the name and disguise of Vautrin 
he makes love to the landlady whose cheap 
scanty fare he eats, until the spiteful 
Mile. Michonneau gives him up to the 
police. He appears in Scenes from a 
Courtesan's Life (Les Splendeurs et Miseres 
des Courtisanes) and The Last Incarnation 
of Vautrin (La Derniere Incarnation de 
Vautnn) as a Spanish priest and philos- 
opher. In this guise he befriends the 
discouraged Lucien. de Rubempre and 
makes use of Luclen's love affair with 
Esther Van Gobseck to secure money 
from Esther's wealthy admirer, Nucingen. 
Finally both Lucien and Collin are given 
over to justice, but Collin, by placing his 
knowledge of the criminal world at the 
service of the police, wins for himself 
safety. To his comrades in crime Collin 
is known as Tramp e-le-Morte. 

Collins, Mr. In Jane Austen's Pride 
and Prejudice, a self-important clergyman, 
very much the toady and the prig. 
Elizabeth Bennett refuses him, and he 
marries Charlotte Lucas. He is con- 
sidered one of Jane Austen's best-drawn 

Collins, Wilkie (1824-1889). English 
novelist, best known as the author of 
The Moonstone and The Woman in White 

Cologne. The three kings of Cologne. 
The three Wise Men of the East, the Magi 
(q.v.)j Gaspar, Melehior, and Balthazar, 
whose bones, according to medieval leg- 
end, were deposited in Cologne Cathedral. 

Colonel Carter of Cartersville. A novel 
of Southern life by F. Hopkinson Smith 
(Am. 1891). Colonel Carter is a typical 
Virginia gentleman of the old school 
A dramatic version won popular favor m 
1892 and he reappeared in Colonel Carter's 
Christmas (1903). 

Colonna,Guido. The Pisan commander, 
husband of Monna Vanna (q v.) in 
Maeterlinck's drama of that name. 

Corophon, The end of a book; the 
statement containing information about 
the date, place, printer, and edition which, 
in the early days of printing, was given at 
the end of the book but which, now ap- 
pears on the title page. From Gr. kplo- 
phon, the top or summit, a word which, 
according to Strabo, is from Col'oplaoii, 

a city of lo'nia, the inhabitants of which 
were such excellent horsemen that they 
would turn the scale of battle to the side 
on which they fought; hence To add 
a colophon means " to supply the finish- 
ing stroke." 


Complementary colors. Colors which, in 
combination, produce white light. Red 
and green, orange and blue, violet and 
yellow are complementary. 

"The color transmitted is always complementary to 
the one reflected " Brewster Optics, xu 

Fundamental colors. The seven colors 
of the spectrum: violet, indigo, blue, 
gre_en, yellow, orange, and red. Or red, 
yellow, blue, also called primary or simple 

Secondary colors. Those which result 
from the mixture of two or more primary 
or simple colors, such as green, which is a 
blend of blue and yellow. 

National colors: 

Great Britain Red, white, and blue. 

Argentine Blue and white 

Austria Red, white, and red. 

Belgium Blacl, yellow, and red. 

Bolivia Red, yellow, and green. 

Brazil Green and yellow 

Bulgaria White, green, and red. 

Chili White, blue, and red. 

China Yellow ochre. 

Colombia Yellow, blue, and red 

Costa Rica Blue, white, red, white, and Hue 

Cuba Five horizontal stripes, blue and white. 

Denmark Red, with white cross 

Ecuador Three horizontal stripes, yellow, blue, 

and red, the yellow being twice the 

width of the others. 

France Blue, white and red, vertical stripes 

Germany Black, red and white (Imperial) , black, 

red and gold (Republican) 

Greece Nine horizontal stripes, blue and white. 

Guatemala Blue, white and blue, vertical stripes 

Hayti Blue and red 

Honduras Blue, white, and blue, horizontal stripes 
Irish. Free State Orange, white and green 

Italy Green, white, and red, vertical stripes 

Japan White, with red disk in center, from 

which spring sixteen red rays to edge. 

Liberia Eleven horizontal stripes, red and white 

Luxemburg Red, white, and blue. 

Morocco Red 

Mexico Green, white, and red, vertical stripes. 

Monaco Red and white, horizontal. 

Netherlands Red, white, and blue, horizontal stripes 

Nicaragua Blue, white, and blue, horizontal stripes. 

Norway Red, with blue cross bordered with white. 

Panama Blue, white, red 

Paraguay Red, white, blue, in horizontal stripes 

Peru Red, whi e and red, vertical stripes 

Persia White, top edge green, bottom edge red 

Portugal Blue and white 

Houmama Blue, yellow, and red, vertical stripes. 

Russia White, with blue St Andrew's cross. 

Salvador Nine horizontal stripes, blue and white. 

Serbia Red, blue, and white. 

Siam. Red, with a white elephant. 

Sweden Blue, with yellow cross 

Switzerland Red, with white cross. 

Turkey Green and red. 

Uruguay Nine horizontal stripes, blue and white 

United States Stars on blue, white with red stripes. 

Venezuela Yellow, blue, and red, horizontal stripes 

Colors: In Symbolism, Ecclesiastical 
Use, etc. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 


In blazonry, sable, signifying prudence, wisdom, and 
constancy , it is engraved by perpendicular and hori- 
zontal lines crossing each other at right angles 

In art, signifying evil, falsehood, and eiror 

In Church decoration it is used for Good Friday 

As a mortuary color, signifying grief, despair, death (In 
the Catholic Church violet may be substituted for 
black ) , , 

In metals it is represented by lead 

In, precious & tones it is represented by the diamond 

In planets it stands for Saturn 


Hope, love of divine works, (in dresses) divine contem- 
plation, piety, sincerity 

In blazonry, azure, signifying chastity, loyalty, fidelity, 
it is engraved by horizontal lines 

In art (as an angel's robe) it signifies fidelity and iaitn 
(as the robe of the Virgin Mary), modesty and (in 
the Catholic Church) humility and expiation 

In Church decoration, blue and green are used mdulcr- 
ently for ordinary Sundays, and blue for all week- 
days after Trinity Sunday 

As a mortuary color it signifies eternity (applied to 
Deity), immortality (applied to man) 

In metals it is represented by tin 

In precious stones it is represented by sapphire 

In pfanetb it stands for Jupiter 

Pale Blue: 

Peace, Christian prudence, love of good works, a serene 


Faith, gladness, immortality, the resurrection of the 

just, (in dresses) the gladness of the faithful 
In blazonry, veit, signifying love, ]oy, abundance, it is 

engraved from left to right 
In art, signifying hope, joy, youth, spring (among the 

Greeks and Moors it signifies victoiy) 
In Church decoration it signifies God's bounty, mirth, 

gladness, the resurrection, and is used indifferently 

with blue for ordinary Sundays 
In metals it is icpresentcd by copper. 
In precious stones it is represented by tb.o emerald 
In planets it stands for Venus, 

Pale Green: 



Justice, royalty 

In blazonry, purpuro, signifying temperance, it la 

engraved by lines slanting from, right to left 
In art, signifying royalty 


Martyrdom, for faith, charity, (in dresses) divine love 
In blazonry, gules, blood-red is called sanguine The 

former signifies magnanimity and the latter fortitude, 

it is engraved by perpendicular lines 
In Church decorations it is used for martyrs, for Ash 

Wednesday, for the last throe days of Holy Week, 

and for Whit Sunday 

Colossians, The Epistle to the. One of 

the books of the New Testament, written 
by " Paul the apostle " to the people of 
Colossce, in Asia Minor, during his im- 
prisonment at Home. 

Colosseum, The great Flavian am- 
phitheater of ancient Rome, said to be 
so named from the colossal statue of 
Nero that stood close by in the Via Sacra. 
It was begun by Vespasian in A, D. 72, 
and for 400 years was the scene of the 
gladiatorial contests. The ruins remaining 

are still colossal and extensive, but quite 
two-thirds of the original building have 
been taken away at different times and 
used for building material. 

Byron, adapting the exclamation of the 
8th century pilgrims (and adopting a 
bad spelling), says: 

While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand, 
When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall, 
And when Rome falls the world 

Childe Harold, IV exlv 

The name has since been applied to 
other amphitheaters and places of amuse- 

Colossus or Colossos (Lat. and Gr. 
for a gigantic statue) The Colossus of 
Rhodes, completed probably about B. C. 
280, was a representation of the sun-god, 
Helios, and commemorated the successful 
defence of Rhodes againat Demetrius 
Poliorcctcs in B. C. 304. It was one of 
the Seven Wonders of the World, it stood 
105 feet high, and is said to have been 
made from the warlike engines abandoned 
by Demetrius by the Rhoclian sculptor 
Chares, a pupil of Lysippus. The story 
that it was built striding across the 
harbor and that ships could pass full 
sail, between its logs, rose in the 16th 
century, but has nothing to suppoit to; 
neither Strabo nor Pliny makes mention 
of it, though both describe the statue 

Columbia. A poetic name for America, 
or for the United States of America, from 
Christopher Columbus, the discoverer of 
the New World. It is in common use in 
patriotic songn and pageants, Columbia 
is usually personified as a woman in 
white flowing garments, draped with an 
American flag 

Columfoiad, The. An epic poem by 
Joel Barlow first published in briefer form 
as The Vision of Columbus (17S7) and of 
interest chiefly as a specimen of early 
American literature. Columbus is taken 
by Hesper, the spirit of the Western. 
World, to the Mount of Vision and there 
foresees the history of the North American 
continent up to the times of the poet. 

Cpl'umbine. A stock character in old 
Italian comedy, where she first appeared 
about 1560, and thence transplanted to 
English pantomime. She \vas the daugh- 
ter of Pantaloon (q.v,) t and the sweetheart 
of Harlequin (qv.)j and, like him, was 
supposed to be invisible to mortal eyes. 
Columbina in Italian is a pot name for a 
lady-love, and means dove-like. Bee also 

Columbus Day. October 12 eh, an Araeri- 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


can holiday in commemoration of the 
discovery of America, October 12th, 

Column or Coiyum. A popular news- 
paper feature which has become some- 
thing of an American institution. It 
appears daily and contains a heterogeneous 
mixture of prose and poetry, humor and 
satire, narrative and comment, much of 
the material being supplied by con- 
tributors. Many well-known humorous 
characters have been created by American 
columnists, notably Dulcy, Archie the 
Cockroach, Hermione and the Old Soak. 
See those entries 

Colvilie, Theodore. The middle-aged 
hero of Ho wells 5 Indian Summer (q.v.). 

Colyum. See Column. 

Comedie Humaine, La. (The Human 
Comedy). The name given by Balzac to 
his great project of representing, in his 
novels, a complete social history of his 
own day. In the preface of The Cat and 
the Racket Balzac discusses the scope of 
the Comedie Humaine. It comprises three 
main divisions, Studies of Manners, 
Studies of Philosophy and Studies of 
Marriage, the first named being sub- 
divided into Scenes of Private Life, of 
Provincial Life, of Parisian Life, of 
Country Life, of Political Life and of 
Military Life. Some of the projected 
novels were not completed, but there 
are no less than ninety-two in the series 
as it stands today. Many of the same 
characters appear in several novels. 

Comedy of Errors. A drama by Shake- 
speare (c. 1591). ^Emilia, wife of JUgeon, 
has twin sons, both named Antipholus, 
who are shipwrecked in infancy and 
carried, one to Syracuse, the other to 
Ephesus. The play represents Antipholus 
of Syracuse going in search of his brother; 
and to make the confusion of identities 
more absurd, the brothers each have a 
slave named Dromio and the Dromios 
are also indistinguishable twins. Adriana, 
the wife of the Ephesian, mistakes the 
Syracusan for her husband and later has 
her real husband arrested as a madman. 
Great confusion results, but ultimately 
the matter is brought into court, and not 
only do the brothers recognize each 
other at last, but their mother ^Emiha, 
an abbess in whose priory the Syracusan 
had taken refuge during the excitement, 
and their father JSgeon, who had come 
to Ephesus in search for his son, 
appear in court and the entire family is 
reunited. The source of the plot is the 
Mencechmi of Plautus. 

Comedy, Tiie Divine, See Divine 

Comedy, The Human. See Comedie 
Humaine, above. 

Comic Supplement. The cartoon sec- 
tion of an American newspaper; particu- 
larly those series of cartoons which 
present the adventures of certain humor- 
ous characters whose story is carried on 
from day to day. Among the most 
popular characters of the comic supple- 
ment, whose names have been adopted 
into common speech are Barney Google, 
Buster Brown, the Gumps, Jiggsie and 
Miggsie, the Katzenjammer Kids, Mutt 
and Jeff and Skeezix of Gasoline Alley. 
See those entries; also Toonerville Trolley. 

Coming' Race, The. A satiric romance 
by Bulwer Lytton (1870), in which an 
American discovers a sort of Utopia 
inhabited by a strange race of beings 
called " Vnlya 3) or " Ana " who are far 
ahead of mankind in their scientific 
attainments. They are scornful of democ- 
racy, which they call Koombosh, or 
government of the ignorant. 

Commander of the PaithfuL A title 
of the Caliphs, first assumed by Omar I. 
(581, 634-644). 

Commandment. The Ten Command- 
ments. The Decalogue; the laws given to 
Moses on tables of stone at Mount Sinai 
(Ex xx. 1-18). 

The ten commandments. The ten fingers 
or nails. (Shakespeare; 2 Henry VI, i. 3 ) 

The eleventh commandment. Thou shalt 
not be found out. 

Common, Doll. A young woman in 
Ben Jonson's comedy The Alchemist (q.v.), 
in league with Subtle the alchemist, and 
with Face his ally. 

Common Sense. A political treatise by 
Thomas Paine (1776) largely influential 
in bringing about the American Declara- 
tion of Independence. 

Commoner. The Great Commoner. 
The elder William Pitt (1708-1778), 
afterwards Earl of Chatham. 

Commons. The name of the oldest 
public park in Boston is "Boston Com- 
mon/' so called because it was originally 
the "commons" or public pasture. 

Commonwealths, Ideal The most 
famous ideal, or imaginary, Common- 
wealths are those sketched by Plato in 
the Republic (from which all the others 
derive), by Cicero in his De RepuUica, 
by St Augustine in his De Civitate Dei 
(The City of (?od), by Dante in his De 
Monarchia by Sir Thomas More in 
Utopia (1516), by Bacon in the New 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Atlantis (a fragment, 1616), by Cam- 
panella, a Dominican friar (about 1630), 
and Samuel Butler's Erewhon (1872). 

To these some would add Johnson's 
Rasselas (1759), Lytton's Coming Race 
(1871), Bellamy's Looking Backward 
(1888), Wm Morris' News from Nowhere 
(1891), and some of Mr. H. G. Wells' 
romances, such as In the Days of the Comet 
(1906) and The World Set Free (1914). 

Companions of Je'hu. The Chouans 
(q v.) were so called, from a fanciful 
analogy between their self-imposed task 
and that appointed to Jehu, on being 
set over the kingdom of Israel. Jehu 
was to cut off Ahab and Jez'ebel, with 
all their house, and all the priests of Baal. 
The Chouans were to cut off all who 
assassinated Louis XVI, and see that his 
brother (Jehu] was placed on the throne. 

Compensation. One of the best-known 
and most characteristic essays of Ralph 
Waldo Emerson (Am. 1841). 

Compleat Angler, The. A famous 
volume on fishing by Izaak Walton 
(1653). It has the subtitle Contemplative 
Man's Recreation, being " a Discourse 
on Rivers, Fish-ponds, Fish and Fishing " 

Complex. One of the new and more 
popular terms of psychoanalysis (q.v.); 
in general terms, any deeply rooted, sub- 
conscious association of ideas with a 
strong emotional tone, so functioning 
that reference to a minor idea on the 
fringe of the main association or even 
slightly connected with it, tends to bring 
to the fore the entire feeling-tone and so 
prevent rational thought or action. 
According to the Freudians (qv.), such 
complexes may be resolved or sublimated 
through psychoanalysis. The specific 
nature of a complex will be more evident 
from the following specially named 
complexes which have become popularized 
by the psychoanalytic craze of recent 

Inferiority Complex. A feeling of being 
inferior to other people, usually deeply 
rooted in subconscious childhood associa- 
tions that operate to prevent normal 
mental activity. 

Messiah Complex. A delusion that one 
is born to do great things, to be a sort of 

Narcissism. The term given by the 
Freudians to the complex of self-love, 
with obvious allusion to Narcissus (q.v ) 
who fell in love with his own reflection, 

(Edipus Complex. Any undue or un- 
healthy attachment of a child for his 
mother, which, according to the Freu- 

dians, is apt to be morbidly suppressed 
and to cause great mental distress through 
illogically remote manifestations in later 
years. The allusion to the involuntary 
incest of the Greek hero, (Edipus (q.v.} is 

Complutensian Polygot, See Bible 
Specially Named. 

Comstock, Anthony. An American re- 
former (1844-1915), spokesman for the 
New York Society for the Suppression of 
Vice. His name is frequently used as a 
synonym for a strait-laced and narrow- 
minded Puritan. 

Co'mus. In Milton's masque of this 
name (1634) Comus is the god of sensual 
pleasure, son of Bacchus and Circe The 
name is from the Gr. komos, carousal. 

In the masque the elder brother is 
meant for Viscount Brackley, the younger 
brother is Mr. Thomas Egerton, and the 
lady is Lady Alice Egerton, children of 
the Earl of Bridgewater, at whose castle 
in Ludlow it was first presented. The 
lady is left in the woods by her two 
brothers, who go in search of " cooling 
fruit " for her. She falls into the hands of 
Comus, but the brothers come to her 
rescue just as the god is offering his 
captive a magic potion; and Sabrina 
(qv) is invoked to break the spell. 

Conach/ar. In Scott's Fair Maid of 
Perth the Highland apprentice of Simon 
Glover, the old glover of Perth. Conachar 
is in love with his master's daughter, 
Catharine, called " the fair maid of 
Perth"; but Catharine loves and ulti- 
mately marries Henry Smith, the armorer. 
Conachar is at a later period Ian Eachin 
MTan, chief of the clan Quhele. W. W. 
Story describes him as " the sullen, 
irritable, proud and revengefxil coward, 
Conacher, whom we cannot but pity while 
we despise him." 

Co'nan. The Thersi'tes of Fingal (in 
Macpherson's Oman); brave even to 

Blow for blow, or claw for claw, as Conan 
said. Conan made a vow never to take a 
blow without returning it; when he 
descended into the infernal regions, the 
arch fiend gave him a cuff, which Conan. 
instantly returned, saying " Claw for 

Conchy. See Conscientious Objector. 

Conclama'tio. Amongst the ancient 
Eomans, the loud cry raised by those 
standing round a death-bed at the moment 
of death. It probably had its origin in the 
idea of calling back the departed spirit, 
and was similar to the Irish howl over the 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


dead. " One not howled over " (corpus 
nondum condama'tum) meant one at the 
point of death, and " one howled for " 
was one given up for dead or really 
deceased. Hence the phrase conclamatum 
est, he is dead past all hope, he has been 
called and gives no sign. Virgil makes the 
palace ring with howls when Dido burnt 
herself to death 

Lamentis, gernituque, et foemineo ululato, 
Tevta fremunt Mneid, iv 667 

Concord Hymn. A poem by Ralph 
Waldo Emerson (Am. 1803-1882), sung 
at the completion of the Bunker Hill 
Monument in 1836. It contains the 
much-quoted lines: 

Here once the embattled farmers stood 
And fired the shot heard round the world. 

Concordat. An agreement made be- 
tween a ruler and the Pope; as the 
Concordat of 1801 between Napoleon 
and Pius VII; the Concordat of 1516 
between Francois I and Leo X to abolish 
the "pragmatic sanction 77 ; and the 
Germanic Concordat of 1448 between 
Frederick III and Nicholas V. 

Condon, Linda. See Linda Condon. 

Condpttie'ri. Leaders of mercenaries 
and military adventurers, particularly 
from about the 14th to 16th centuries. 
The most noted of these brigand chiefs in 
Italy were Guarme'ri, Lando, Frances'co 
of Carmag'nola, and Francesco Sforza. 
The singular is Condotti^re. 

Confederate States. See States. 

Confessions of an English Opium 
Eater. A celebrated volume by Thomas 
De Quincey (1821). It describes the 
mental and physical effects of opium 

Congreve, William (1670-1729). The 
most prominent English dramatist of the 
Restoration period. His best-known com- 
ediejS* are The Double Dealer, Love for 
Love and The Way of the World (q.v.). 

Coningsby or the New Generation. A 
political novel by Disraeli (1844). The 
hero, Harry Coningsby, is the mouth- 
piece of the political group known as 
Young England (qv.); and in sharp 
contrast to him is his grandfather, the 
Marquis of Monmouth, a shrewd and 
worldly representative of the old school. 
Coningsby 's love affair with the daughter 
of a self-made man named Millbank is 
kept distinctly subordinate to the political 
interest. A noteworthy character is the 
Jew, Sidonia, said to have been drawn 
partly from Baron Alfred de Rothschild 
and partly from the author himself. He 
has wealth, strength of body and of 

intellect and unswerving devotion to high 
ideals In Coningsby Disraeli introduced 
many prominent figures of contemporary 
affairs in thinly veiled disguise and much 
of its popularity may be credited to the 
interest of identification. Gladstone is 
said to be depicted as Oswald Millbank; 
the Marquis of Hertford as the Marquis 
of Monmouth ; and as for the hero, 
Coningsby, he has been variously identi- 
fied as Lord Littleton, Lord Lincoln or 
George Smythe. 

The characters are supposed to be as follows. 
Croker is Rigby, Monmouth is Lord Howard; Eskdale, 
Lowther; Urmsby, Irving, Lucretia is Mde Zichy, 
the countess Colonna is Lady Strachan, Sidonia is baron 
A de Rothschild, Henry Sidney is Lord John Manners; 
Belvoir, the duke of Rutland. Notes and Queries. 
March 6, 1875 

Coniston. A political novel by Winston 
Churchill (Am. 1906), narrating the 
career of Jethro Bass, the local " boss." 
His corrupt political practices separate 
him from the girl he loves and later from 
her daughter, whom he has taken to live 
with him. 

Conkey Chickweed. See Chickweed, 

Connecticut Yaiikee in King Arthur's 
Court, A. A satirical romance by Mark 
Twain (Am. 1889), narrating the imag- 
inary adventures of a 19th century Yankee 
who suddenly wakes up in a court 
of medieval chivalry. His knowledge 
of modern inventions, together with Ms 
native shrewdness, gives him many an 
opportunity to impress and outwit the 
valorous but slow-moving knights of 
King Arthur. 

Conqueror. The Conqueror. A historical 
novel by Gertrude Atherton (Am. 1902), 
based on the career of Alexander Hamilton 

Alexander the Great. The conqueror 
of the world. (E. C. 356-323.) 

Alfonso I, of Portugal. (About 1109- 

Aurungzebe the Great. The most 
powerful of the Moguls. (1619, 1659- 

James I of Aragon. (1206, 1213-1276). 

Mohammed II, Sultan of Turkey. 

Othman or Osman I. Founder of the 
Turkish power. (1259, 1299-1326.) 

Francisco Pizarro. Conquistador. So 
called because he conquered Peru. (1475- 

William, Duke of Normandy. So called 
because he obtained England by conquest. 
(1027, 1066-1087.) 

Conquest, The. The accession of 
William I to the crown of England (1066). 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

So called because his right depended on 
his conquest of Harold, the reigning king 

Conquest of Canaan, The. A poem by 
Timothy Dwight (1785) based on the Old 
Testament book of Joshua and called by 
its author " the first American epic." 
Joshua was the leader under whom the 
Jews entered the Promised Land of 
Canaan and defeated the inhabitants 

The phrase was taken as the title of 
a novel by Booth Tarkmgton (Am 1905), 
dealing with small-town politics. The 
hero is Joe Louden, a young lawyer who 
finally becomes mayor of his town. 

Conquest of Granada, The. A mock 
serious history by Washington Irving 
(Am. 1829), purporting to be written by 
the priest Fray Agapida. This book, 
which gives an account of the conflict 
between Spanish Christians and Moors 
in the days of Ferdinand, was Irving' s 
favorite among his own works 

For Dryden's tragedy Almanzor and 
Almahide or The Conquest of Granada, 
see under Almanzor. 

Conquest of Mexico, The. One of the 
two principal works of the American 
historian William Hicklmg Prescott (1796- 
1859). The other is The Conquest of Peru 

Con'rad. Hero of Byron's poem, The 
Corsair (q.v). He was afterwards called 
Lara (q 0.) in the poem of that title. 

Conrad in Quest of his Youth. A novel 
by Leonard Merrick (Eng 1903), the 
whimsical story of a middle-aged man who 
tries to recover something of the delight 
in Bohemian life that he liad known as a 
youth, but falls asleep at the crucial 
moment in an affair of love and adventure 

Conrad, Joseph (Josef Konrad Kor- 
zeniowski) (1857-1924). English novelist, 
of Polish birth and upbringing His 
principal novels are Almayer's Folly, An 
Outcast of the Islands, The Nigger of the 
Narcissus, Lord Jim, Nostromo, Romance 
(with Ford Madox Hueffer), Under 
Western Eyes, Chance, Victory, The Arrow 
of Gold, The Rescue. See those entries. 
Conrad has an autobiographical volume 
entitled A Personal Record. 

Conroy, Gabriel. See Gabriel Conroy. 

Conscience. Conscience clause. A clause 
in an Act of Parliament to relieve persons 
with conscientious scruples from certain 
requirements in it. It generally has 
reference to religious matters, but it 
came into wider prominence in connection 
with the English Compulsory Vaccination 
Act of 1898. 

Conscience Money. Money paid anony- 
mously to a local or national government 

by persons who have defrauded the reve- 
nue, or who have understated their income 
to the income-tax assessors; also any 
money secretly refunded on the dictates 
of conscience 

Conscientious Objector. One who takes 
advantage of a conscience clause (qv.), 
and so does not have to comply with 
some particular requirement of the law in 
question. In England, the name used 
to be applied specially to those who would 
swear legally that they had a conscientious 
objection to vaccination; but during the 
recruiting campaigns of the Great War 
it was given usually with bitterness and 
contempt to those who escaped, or 
attempted to escape, the duty imposed 
upon all fit men between certain ages of 
serving with the armed forces of the 
Crown by producing conscientious objec- 
tions (on religious grounds) to fighting. 
These were also known as Conchies and 

Conscript Fathers. In Lat Patres 
Conscnpti. The Roman senate. Romulus 
instituted a senate consisting of a hundred 
elders, called Patres (Fathers). After 
the Sabmes joined the State, another 
hundred were added Tarquinius Priscus, 
the fifth king, added a third hundred, 
called Patres Minorum Gentium When 
Tarquinius Superbus, the seventh and 
last king of Rome, was banished, several 
of the senate followed him, and the 
vacancies were filled up by Junius Brutus, 
the first consul. The new members were 
enrolled in the senatorial legister, and 
called Conscnpti; the entire body was 
then addressed as Patres [et] Conscnpti 
or Patres, Conscnpti. 

Constance. Mother of Prince Arthur 
and widow of Geoffrey Plantagenet por- 
trayed in Shakespeare's King John (1598). 
See also Cunstance, 

Constance of Beverley. In Scott's 
Marmion (qv), a Benedictine nun, who 
fell in love with Marmion, and, escaping 
from the convent, lived with him as a 
page. Marmion proved faithless; and 
Constance, falling into the hands of 
the Benedictines, was tried for violating 
her vows and immured in the convent 

Constantin, L'AbM. See Abbe Con- 
stantin, L 3 . 

Constantino, Lady Viviette. Heroine of 
Hardy's Two on a Tower (qv). 

Consuelo. One of the best known of 
George Sand's novels (Fr. 1844), which, 
together with its sequel The Countess of 
Rudolstadt (La Comtesse de Rudolstadt) , 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


relates the adventures of the beautiful 
Venetian singer Consuelo She grows up 
in the streets, but is given a musical 
education by Porpoio, a maestio who 
becomes interested in her gifts After 
she has made her debut in opera, she 
visits the castle of the Rudolstadts in 
Bohemia and there mames Count Albert 
of Rudolstadt on his deathbed. Albert 
is a firm believer in the occult and expects 
to be reborn, but instead he comes to 
life after burial, having been in a deep 
trance. In the sequel Consuelo and her 
husband go on together through life 
affirming a sort of occult gospel that 
brings them great satisfaction 

Consul Bifo'ulus. See under Bibulus. 

Contes de Fees, by Claude Perrault 
(1697). Fairy tales in French prose that 
furnished a source book for many old tales 
and nursery rhymes. They have been 
translated into English 

Continental System. A name given 
to Napoleon's plan for shutting out 
Great Britain from all commerce with 
the continent of Europe He forbade 
under pain of war any nation of Europe 
to receive British exports, or to send 
imports to any of the British dominions. 
It began November 21st, 1806. 

Conway, Cabal. See Cabal. 

Cook's or Cokes Tale. (In Chaucer's 
Canterbury Tales.) See Gamely n. 

Cooper, James Fenimore (1789-1851). 
American novelist. He is best known for 
his Leather stocking Tales (see Leather- 
stocking)^ which include The Deerslayer, 
The Pathfinder, The Last of the Mohicans, 
The Pioneers, The Prairie. Other novels 
are The Spy, Red Rover, The Pilot, The 
Bravo. See those entries. 

Cophet'ua. A King Cophetua. Any 
one who marries far below his station, 
from a mythical king of Africa, of great 
wealth, who fell in love with a beggar-girl, 
and married her. He is the hero of a 
ballad in Percy's Reliques, and Tennyson 
has versified the tale in The Beggar-Maid. 

Copper Captain, A. A poseur, a mas- 
querader, from the famous character so 
called in Beaumont and Fletcher's Rule a 
Wife and Have a Wife (1624). The Copper 
Captain is Michael Perez, a captain with- 
out money, but with a plentiful stock of 
pretence, who seeks to make a market of 
his person and commission by marrying 
an heiress. He is caught in Ms own trap, 
for he marries Estifania, a woman of 
intrigue, fancying her to be the heiress 
Margaritta. His wife says to him 

Here's a goodly jewel 

Did jou not van this at Golettu,, captain . . 
See ho\v it sparkles, liko an old lady's eyes 
And here'b a chain of \vhitmgs' e>cs for pearls 
Your clothes are parallel to thest, all counterfeits. 
Put these and them on, you're a, man of copper, 
A copper copper captain 

Fletcher Rule a Wife and Have a W%fe 

Copperfield, David. See David Copper- 

Copperheads. Secret foes Copper- 
heads are poisonous snakes of North 
America (Tngonocephalus contortrix}, 
which, unlike the rattlesnakes, give no 
warning of their attack. The name was 
applied by the early colonists to the 
Indians, then to the Dutch (see Washing- 
ton Irvmg's History of New York), and, 
finally, in the Civil War to the pro- 
Southerners among the Northerners, the 
covert friends of the Confederates. 

Copts. The Jacobite Christians of 
Egypt who have been since the Council 
of Chalcedon in 451 in possession of the 
patriarchal chair of Alexandria. The 
word is probably derived from Coptos, 
the metropolis of the Theba'id. These 
Christians conduct their worship in a 
dead language called " Coptic " (language 
of the Copts). 

Copyright. The exclusive right of multi- 
plying for sale copies of works of litera- 
ture, art, etc., or substantial parts thereof, 
allowed to the author or his assignees. 

United States copyrights may be 
secured under the Act of March 4, 1909 
(as amended), for a period of twenty-eight 
years and a twenty-eight-year renewal 
is allowed, making the entire period of 
possible copyright, fifty-six years. Serial 
rights, motion picture rights, etc., are often 
disposed of separately and the matter is 
an intricate one. International copyright 
was established in 1891, but is regarded 
as inadequate and a matter for agitation. 

The first copyright Act in England is 
that of 1709; modifications and additions 
to it were made at various times, and in 
1842 a new Act was passed granting copy- 
right for forty-two years after publication 
or until the expiration of seven years from 
the death of the author, whichever 
should be the longer. 

This Act was superseded by the Copy- 
right Act of 1911, under which the period 
of protection was extended to fifty years 
after the death of the author, irrespective 
of the date of publication of the book. 
This Act deals also with the copyright in 
photographs, engravings, architectural 
designs, musical compositions, gramo- 
phone records, etc. 

Coquette, The. An early American 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

novel by Hannah Webster Foster (1797) 
which ran through thirty editions in 
forty years, but is now forgotten. It 
was based on the tragic story of Elizabeth 
Whitman of Hartford. 

Cora Munroe. In Cooper's Last of the 
Mohicans (qv). 

Corceca. The typifieation of blindness 
of heart (Lat. cor, heart, coecus, blind) 
in Spenser's Faerie Queene (I, in) She is 
a blind old woman, mother of Abessa 
(Superstition) and is often regarded as a 
personification of Romanism 

Cordelia. In Shakespeare's King Lear 
(q v.)j the youngest of Lear's three daugh- 
ters, and the only one that loved him. 
Cordelia's gift. A " voice ever soft, gentle 
and low, an excellent thing in woman." 

Cordelier, i.e " cord-wearer ;; A Fran- 
ciscan friar of the strict rule, an Obser- 
vantin. See Franciscans. In the Middle 
Ages they distinguished themselves in 
philosophy and theology. Duns Scotus 
was one of their most distinguished 
members. The tale is that in the reign 
of St. Louis these Minorites repulsed an 
army of infidels, and the king asked who 
those gens de cordehcs (corded people) 
were From this they received their 

In the French Revolution the name 
Club des Cordeliers was given to a political 
club, because it held its meetings in an 
old convent of Cordeliers. The Cordeliers 
were the rivals of the Jacobins, and 
numbered among their members Pare* (the 
president), Danton, Marat, Camille Des- 
moulins, Hubert, Chaumette, Dufournoy 
de Vilhers, Fabre d'Eglantine, and others. 

II ne faut pas parler Latin devant les 
Cordeliers. Don't talk Latin before the 
Cordeliers, i.e. the Franciscans. A com- 
mon French proverb, meaning that one 
should be careful what one says on a 
subject before those who are masters of it 

Cordon (Fr.). A'nbbon or cord; espe- 
cially the ribbon of an order of chivalry: 
also, a line of sentries or military posts 
enclosing some position; hence, an en- 
circling line. 

Cordon bleu. A knight of the ancient 
order of the St. Esprit (Holy Ghost); so 
called because the decoration is sus- 
pended on a blue ribbon. It was at one 
time the highest order in the kingdom of 

The title is also given, as a facetious 
compliment, to a good cook; and to a 
member of the " Blue Ribbon Army 7; 
(q v.)j i.e. a teetotaler. 

Cordon noir. A knight of the Order of 

St. Michael, distinguished by a black 

Cords of Vanity. A novel of con- 
temporary life by James Branch Cabell 
(Am. 1905), a story, chiefly, of the numer- 
ous love affairs of Robert Etheridge 
Townsend, a rising young author. John 
Charteris (qv} is also a prominent 

Corey, Bromfield. An aristocratic 
Bostoman art connoisseur who appears in 
Howells 3 Rise of Silas Lapham and The 
Minister's Charge. He is considered one 
of Howells 7 most amiable and delightful 

Corey, Giles. See Giles Corey. 

Corey, Tom. A character in Howells' 
Rise of Silas Lapham (q.v.). 

Corinne or Italy. A novel by Madame 
de Stael (Fr. 1766-1817) Corinne's lover, 
Oswald, marries her younger sister Lucile 
instead and Corinne's consequent suffering 
brings about her death. The book is 
famed for its descriptions of Italy; and 
Cormne, whose mother was Italian, 
represents the ideal qualities of Italy as 
her sister does those of England. 

Corin'thian. A licentious libertine; also 
a gentleman sportsman who rides his own 
horses on the turf, or sails his own yacht. 
The immorality of Corinth was proverbial 
both in Greece and Rome. The sporting 
rake in Pierce Egan's Life in London 
(1821) was known as " Corinthian Tom," 
and in Shakespeare's day a " Corinthian " 
was the " fast man " of the period. Cp. 

I am no proud Jack, like Falstaff , but a Corinthian, 
a lad of mettle, a good boy 1 Henry IF, 11 4 

Corinthian brass. An alloy made of a 
variety of metals (said to be gold, silver, 
and copper) melted at the conflagration* 
of Corinth in B. C. 146, when the city 
was burnt to the ground by the consul 
Mummius. Vases and other ornaments, 
made by the Romans of this metal, were 
of greater value than if they had been 
silver or gold. 

I think it may be of Corinthian brass, 
Which was a mixture of all metals, but 
The brazen uppermost 

Byron: Don Juan, vi 56 

Coriola'nus, Caius Marcius. A legend- 
ary Roman general called Coriolanus 
from his victory over the Volscians at 
Con'oli. Returning to Rome in triumph 
he is elected consul, but opposes the 
plebeian interests and is shortly afterwards 
banished He joins his former enemies the 
Volscians against Rome, but is finally 
persuaded to give up the siege by the 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


entreaties of his wife and mother Shake- 
speaie has a drama Conolanus (c 1608- 
1610) In the classic sources his mother 
was Veturia, not Volumma and his wife 
Volumnia not Virgilia as Shakespeare 
has called them 

Corleone. One of the novels of F. 
Marion Crawford's Saracmesca series. 
See Saracmesca. 

Cor'moran'. The Cornish giant who, 
in the nursery tale, fell into a pit dug by 
Jack the Giant-killer. For this doughty 
achievement Jack received a belt from 
King Arthur, with this inscription 

This is the valiant Cornish man 
That slew the giant Cormoran 

Jack the Giant-killer 

Corn Cracker State. Kentucky. See 

CorneiHe, Pierre (1606-1684) One of 
the greatest of French dramatists, famous 
for his tragedies of The Cid, Horace 7 etc. 
See those entries 

Cornelia, In Roman history, wife of 
Titus Sempromus Gracchus, and mother 
of the two tribunes, Tiberius and Caius 
She was almost idolized by the Hornans, 
who erected a statue in her honor, with 
this inscription, Cornelia, Mother of the 

Cornelia's jewels. One day a lady from 
Campa'nia called upon Corne'lia, the 
mother of the Gracchi, and after showing 
her jewels, requested in return to see 
those belonging to the famous mother- 
in-law of Africanus. Cornelia sent for her 
two sons, and said to the lady, " These 
are my jewels, in which alone I delight." 

Cornucopia. The horn of plenty given 
by Zeus to Amalthea (q.v). 

Corporal. The little Corporal. Napoleon 
Bonaparte, so called after the battle of 
Lodi (1796). 

Corporal John. John Churchill, the 
duke of Marlborough (1650-1722). 

Corposant. The St. Elmo's Fire (g.v.) 
or " Castor and Pollux " of the Romans; 
the ball of fire which is sometimes seen 
playing round the masts of ships in a 
storm So called from Span, corpo santOj 
holy body. Sometimes known as coma- 

Corpus Christi. A festival of the 
Church, kept on the Thursday after 
Trinity Sunday, in honor of the Eucharist. 
It was instituted by Urban IV in 1264, 
and was the regular time for the perform- 
ance of religious dramas by the trade 
guilds. In England many of the Corpus 
Christi plays of York, Coventry, and 
Chester are still extant. 

Corpus Christi College at Cambridge 
was founded in 1352, and the College 
of the same name at Oxford in 1516. 

Corsair 7 means properly " one who 
gives chase." Applied to the pirates of 
the northern coast of Africa. (Ital corso, 
a chase, Fr corsaire; Lat cursus.) The 
Corsair is the title of a narrative poem in 
three cantos by Byron (1814) The hero 
is Conrad, chief of the pirates, afterwards 
known as Lara in the poem of that title 
which relates his last adventures Jle 
enters the palace of the Sultan Seyd in 
the disguise of a dervish but is discovered 
and thrown into a dungeon. Gulnare, 
queen of the harem, releases him and 
follows him from the palace disguised 
as a page Upon returning to the Pirates 
Isle, he finds that Medora, his true love, 
has died during his absence, so he returns 
to his native land, heads a rebellion and is 
shot. On his death his page Kaled is 
discovered to be Gulnare in disguise 
Byron is said to have based The Corsair 
and Lara on the career of Lafitte, a 
notorious American buccaneer, pardoned 
by General Jackson for sei vices rendered 
in 1815 during the attack of the British 
on New Orleans. 

Cor'tes. The Spanish or Portuguese 
parliament. The word means " court 
officers " 

Cortez. The Spanish conqueror of 
Mexico. He is an important figure in 
The Fair God (#.#.), a historical romance 
by Lew Wallace. 

Corybantes. The Phrygian priests of 
Cybele, whose worship was celebrated 
with orgiastic dances and loud, wild 
music. Hence, a wild, unrestrained dancer 
is sometimes called a corybant. 

Cor'ytion. A conventional name for a 
rustic, a shepherd; a brainless, love-sick 
spoony, from the shepherd in Virgil's 
Eclogue VII, and in Theocritus. 

Coryphaeus. The leader and speaker 
of the chorus in Greek dramas; hence, 
figuratively, the leader generally, the 
most active member of a board, company, 
expedition, etc. 

The Coryphceus of German literature. 
Goethe (1749-1832). 

The Corypho3us of Grammarians. Aris- 
tarchus (B. C. 220-143). 

Cosette. In Victor Hugo's Les Miser- 
ables (qv.), the daughter of Fantine. 
While she is still a little girl, Jean Valjean 
rescues her from a wretched existence 
and becomes the most devoted of fathers. 
Eventually she falls in love wita Marius 
and marries him. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Cosine, St. See under Saint. 

Cos'tard. In Shakespeare's Love's La- 
bour's Lost, a clown who apes the court 
wits of Queen Elizabeth's time He uses 
the word " hononficabilitudimtatibus," 
and some of his blunders are very ridic- 
ulous, as " ad dunghill, at the fingers' 
ends, as they say " 

Costigan, Captain. The father of Miss 
Fothermgay, in Thackeray's Pendenms. 
He is a happy-go-lucky Irishman, an 
ex-army officer, usually known as " Cos " 
to his companions. Though he is none 
too particular about his own reputation, 
he has always an eye out for his daughter's 
good name and fortune When he learns 
that Pen has no special prospects finan- 
cially, he makes his daughter break her 

Emily Costigan. The Captain's daugh- 
ter, an actress engaged, for a time, to Pen. 
She was better known under her stage 
name of Miss Fotheringay 

Cotter's Saturday Night, The. A poem 
by Burns (1787) famous for its description 
of Scottish peasant life. 

Cotton, John (1585-1652). One of the 
most famous of the early New England 
clergy. Antagonist of Roger Williams. 
Wrote sermons and letters. 

Cotton Plantation State. Alabama. See 

Cotyt'to The Thracian goddess of 
immodesty, worshipped at Athens with 
licentious rites See Baptes. 

Hail! goddess of nocturnal sport, 
Dark-veiled Cotytto 

Milton Comus, 129, 130. 

Coulin, A British giant mentioned by 
Spenser (Faerie Queene, IT, x. 11); he was 
pursued by Debon until he came to a 
chasm, and, after leaping it, he slipped on 
the opposite side, fell back, and was killed. 

Count of Monte Cristo, The. A romance 
by Alexandre Dumas (Fr 1844) When 
the story opens, the young hero, Edmond 
Dantes, is on the point of becoming 
captain of his vessel and of marrying his 
sweetheart, Mercedes. On a false charge 
of political intrigue made by jealous 
rivals, he is sentenced to life imprison- 
ment in the Chateau dTf He digs a 
passageway through the thick walls of 
the Chateau with infinite labor and 
finally makes his escape. A half-mad 
fellow prisoner, a Catholic Abbe* with 
whom he had established communica- 
tions, had told him of a buried treasure 
on the island of Monte Cristo. With this 
treasure he becomes a powerful and 
mysterious figure and eventually exacts 

a fearful revenge from all those who have 
wronged him. 

Count Robert of Paris. A novel by Sir 
Walter Scott (1831), relating the adven- 
tures of Count Robert and his wife 
Brenhilda, who set out together on the 
First Crusade (1096-1099) Vying in 
interest with Robert is Hereward the 
Saxon, one of the Varangian guard of the 
Emperor, Alexius Comnenus. Hereward 
enlists under the Count's banner and 
discovers in Brenhilda 3 s maid Bertha his 
old Saxon sweetheart 

Countercheck Quarrelsome. Sir, how 
dare you utter such a falsehood? Sir, 
you know that it is not true This, in 
Touchstone's classification (Shakespeare's 
As You Like It, v. 4), is the third remove 
from the he direct, or rather, the he direct 
in the third degree. 

The Reproof Valiant, the Countercheck Quarrelsome 
the Lie Circumstantial, and the Lie Direct, are not 
clearly denned by Touchstone, but That is not true, how 
dare you utter such, a falsehood, if you say so, you are 
a liar, you lie, or are a liar, seem to fit the four degrees. 

Country Doctor, The. (Le Medecin de 
Campagne ) A novel by Balzac (Fr. 
1833). The principal character is Dr. 
Benassis (qv). 

Country, Father of his. See under 

Coup (Fr). Properly a blow or stroke, 
but used both in French and English in a 
large number of ways, as for a clap of 
thunder, a draught of liquids, a piece of 
play in a game (a move in chess, etc.), a 
stroke of policy or of luck, a trick, etc. 

A good coup. A good hit or haul. 

Coup d'essai. A trial-piece; a piece of 
work serving for practice. 

Coup d'etat. A state stroke, and the 
term is applied to one of those bold meas- 
ures taken by a government to prevent 
a supposed or actual danger; as when a 
large body of men are arrested suddenly 
for fear they should overturn the govern- 

The famous coup d'6tat, by which Louis 
Napoleon became possessed of absolute 
power, took place on December 2nd, 1851. 

Coup de grace. The finishing stroke; 
the stroke of mercy. When a criminal 
was tortured by the wheel or otherwise, 
the executioner gave him a coup de grace, 
or blow on the head or breast, to put him 
out of his misery. 

Coup de main. A sudden stroke, a 
stratagem whereby something is effected 
suddenly; a coup. 

Coup d'ceil. A view, glance, prospect; 
the effect of things at the first glance; 
literally " a stroke of the eye." 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Coup de pied de Vane. Literally, a kick 
from the ass's foot, figuratively, a blow 
given to a vanquished or fallen man; a 
cowardly blow, an insult offered to one 
who has not the power of returning or 
avenging it. The allusion is to the fable 
of the sick lion kicked by the ass 

Coup de soleil A sunstroke, any malady 
produced by exposure to the sun. 

Coup de Ihedtre An unforeseen or 
unexpected turn in a drama producing 
a sensational effect, a piece of claptrap, 
something planned for effect. 

Coup manque. A false stroke, a miss, a 

Courtship of Miles Standisli, The. A 
narrative poem, by Longfellow (Am 1858), 
based on the early history of the Pilgrim 
Fathers (qv). Miles Standish, the bluff 
middle-aged soldier of the colony, wished 
to marry the Puritan maid, Priscilla, but 
instead of presenting his own cause, he 
sent his young friend, John Alden. 
Pnscilla's answer was, " Why don't you 
speak for yourself, John?"; and although 
John was too loyal to speak for himself 
at once, eventually all ended happily 
for the two lovers. 

If you would be served you must serve yourself, and 

No man can gather cherries in Kent at the season of 


Longfellow Courtship of Miles Standish, ix 

Courvoisier, Eugen. The hero of Jessie 
Fothergill's First Viohn (q.v.). 

Cousin Betty (Cousine Bette). A novel 
by Balzac (Fr. 1846). See Fischer, 

Cousin Jacky or Jan. A Cornishrnan. 

Cousin Michel or Michael. The nick- 
name of a German, as John Bull is of an 
Englishman, Brother Jonathan of an 
American, Colin Tampon a Swiss, John. 
Chinaman a Chinese, etc. 

Cousin Pons. A novel by Balzac (Fr. 
1847). See Pons. 

Oolite que oolite (Fr.). Cost what it 
may, at any price, be the consequences 
what they may. 

All the mother was in arms to secure her daughter's 
happiness, coAte que cotite. Chas Reade Hard Cash 

Couvade. The name given by anthro- 
pologists to the custom prevalent among 
some primitive races by which the father 
of a newly born infant makes a pretence 
of going through the same experiences 
as the mother, lies up for a time, abstains 
from certain foods, etc., as though he, 
too, were physically affected by the 
birth (from Fr. couver 7 to hatch). The 
custom has been observed by travelers 
in Guiana and other parts of South 

America, among some African tribes, in 
parts of China, Borneo, etc., and it was 
noted by the ancients as occurring in 
Corsica and among the Celtibenans. 

Covenanters. A term applied, during 
the English civil wars, to the Scotch 
Presbyterians, who, in 1643, united by 
" solemn league and covenant " (see 
under Solemn) to resist the encroach- 
ments of Charles I on religious liberty. 

Coventry. Coventry Mysteries or Plays. 
One of the important series of English 
L'ystery Plays (qv), so called because 
they were acted at Coventry 

To send one to Coventry To take no 
notice of him, to make him feel that he is 
in disgrace by having no dealings with 
him Cp. Boycott. It is said that the 
citizens of Coventry had at one time so 
great a dislike to soldiers that a woman 
seen speaking to one was instantly 
tabooed; hence, when a soldier was sent 
to Coventry he was cut off from all social 

Hutton, in his History of Birmingham, 
gives a different version. He says that 
Coventry was a stronghold of the parlia- 
mentary party in the civil wars, and 
that troublesome and refractory royalist 
prisoners were sent there for safe custody. 

Peeping Tom of Coventry. See Godiva. 

Coverdale, Miles. The narrator of 
Hawthorne's Blithedale Romance (q v.) and 
a leading character in the story. 

Coyerdale's Bible. See Bible, the 

Cov'erley. Sir Roger de Coverky. A 
member of an hypothetical club in the 
Spectator, " who lived in Soho Square 
when he was in town " Sir Roger is 
the type of an English squire in the 
reign of Queen Anne. He figures in 
thirty papers of the Spectator (qv). 

Who can be insensible to his unpretending virtues and 
amiable weaknesses, his modesty, generosity, hospi- 
tality, and eccentric \\ buns , the respect for his neighbors, 
and the affection of his domesti cs ? Hazhtt 

The well-known country dance was 
known by this name (or, rather, as Roger 
of Coverly) many years before Addison's 

Cowley, Abraham (1618-1667) English 
poet and prose writer. His best known 
poem is The Davideis. 

Cowper, William (1731-1800). English 
poet His best-known poems are John 
Gilpin (q.v ) and The Task 

Cowperwood, Frank. The central figure 
of Theodore Dreiser's novels The Finan- 
cier (Am. 1912) and The Titan (1914). 
Cowperwood is a ruthlessly dominating 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Philadelphia financier who finally receives 
a prison sentence for illegal dealings 
In The Titan he puts his prison life behind 
him and builds up another great fortune 
in Chicago. He marries his former 
mistress, but continues to indulge in 
innumerable affairs with women The 
novels are said to be in some respects 
based on the career of Charles T. Yerkes 

Crabshaw, Timothy. A servant in 
Smollett's Adventures of Sir Launcelot 
Greaves (1760) 

Cracker State. Georgia. See States. 

Cradle of Liberty. Faneuil Hall in 
Boston is so called from its use as a 
meeting-place for the American patriots 
during the Revolutionary era 

Craddock, diaries Egbert. The nom de 
plume of Mary N. Murfree, author of 
In the Tennessee Mountains. 

Cradock. See Caradoc. 

Crampart. In the medieval beast epic 
Reynard the Fox, the king who made a 
wooden horse which would travel 100 
miles an hour. 

Swifter than Crampart' s horse Quick as 
lightning; quick as thought. 

Crane, Ichabod. The gawky and timor- 
ous schoolmaster in Washington Irving' s 
Legend of Sleepy Hollow. " He was 
tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow 
shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that 
dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet 
that might have served for shovels, and 
his whole frame most loosely hung 
together. . . He was, in fact, an odd 
mixture of small shrewdness and simple 
credulity." Ichabod is one of the best- 
known characters in all American litera- 
ture. For the tale, see Sleepy Hollow 

Crane Stephen (1870-1900). American 
novelist, author of The Red Badge of 
Courage (q.v). 

Cranford. A story by Mrs. Gaskell 
(1853) dealing with the life of the peaceful 
little English village of Cranford, inhab- 
ited chiefly by old ladies who practice 
" elegant economy " and a quaint social 
decorum, under the leadership of the 
Honorable Mrs. Jamieson. The chief 
characters are the two Miss Jenkyns, 
Miss Deborah, the elder, a great admirer 
of the involved sentences of Samuel 
Johnson and very firm as to the proprie- 
ties, and her gentle, lovable, timid sister, 
Miss Mattie. After Deborah's death 
and the failure of the bank, Miss Mattie 
is forced to open a little shop, but soon 
afterward her brother Peter, who had 
run. away from home as a boy, returns from 
India with a considerable fortune. One 

of the most interesting episodes of the 
book is concerned with the noisy and 
likable Captain Brown, a bull in a china 
shop among the old ladies of Cranford 
disapproved of because he prefers Dickens 
to Dr. Johnson and speaks aloud of his 
poverty, but greatly mourned when he 
sacrifices his life to save a child from 
being run over by a train. 

Cranmer's Bible. See Bible, the English. 

Cra'paud or Johnny Crapaud. A 
Frenchman; according to Guillim's Dis- 
play of Heraldry (1611), so called 
from a device of the ancient kings of 
France, " three toads (Fr. crapauds) 
erect, salt ant 7; 

Crapsey, Adelaide (1878-1914). Ameri- 
can poet. Her poems were very few and 
were not published until after her death. 
See Cinquain. 

Crashaw, Richard (1613-1650). English 
lyric poet, exponent of the " Metaphysical 
School " (q.v). His best-known poem is 
The Flaming Heart. 

Cratchit, Bob or Robert. In Dickens 
Christmas Carol (qv.), clerk of Ebenezer 
Scrooge, stock-broker. Though Bob 
Cratchit has to maintain nine persons 
on 15s. a week, he has a happier home 
and spends a merrier Christmas than his 
master, with all his wealth and selfish- 

Tiny Tim Cratchit The little lame son 
of Bob Cratchit, the Benjamin of the 
family, the most helpless and most 
beloved of all. Tim does not die, but 
Ebenezer Scrooge, after his change of 
character, makes him his special care. 

Crawford, P. Marion (1854-1909). 
American novelist, author of Mr. Isaacs, 
the Saracinesca series, Via Crucis, etc. 
See those entries. 

Crawford, Mary; also Henry Crawford. 
Characters in Jane Austen's novel, Mans- 
field Park (q.v.). 

Crawley. Crooked as Crawley or Crawley 
brook, a river in Bedfordshire. That 
part called the brook, which runs into the 
Ouse, is so crooked that a boat would 
have to go eighty miles in order to make 
a progress direct of eighteen. (Fuller: 

Crawley. Captain Rawdon Crawley. 
The husband of Becky Sharp in Thack- 
eray's Vanity Fair (qv). He separated 
from his wife and ended his days as 
governor of Coventry Island. 

Sir Pitt Crawley. Rawdpn's father, a 
rich, vulgar baronet, " a philosopher with 
a taste for low life." On the death of his 
second wife Sir Pitt proposed to Becky 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Sharp, but she had already married his 

Mr. Pitt Crawley. Sir Pitt's eldest son. 
He inherited fortunes from his father 
and from the aunt who disowned Rawley 
for his marriage to Becky. 

Mr. and Mrs Bute Crawley. A "tall, 
stately, jolly, shovel-hatted rector," 
brother of Sir Pitt and his politic little 

Crawley, Rev. Josiah. In Trollope's 
Last Chronicle of Bar set (see Barsetshire), 
a proud and sensitive country clergyman, 
driven almost out of his mind by financial 
pressure He is accused of having stolen a 
check, and in spite of his absolute integ- 
rity, has hard work to allay suspicion 
because of his unpleasant and formidable 
manner, which keeps even his best friends 
at a distance 

Crayant. The name given to one of 
the daughters of Chanticleer, the Cock, 
in Caxton's version of Reynard the Fox. 
Her sisters were Coppen and Cantart. 

Cray'on, Geoffrey, Esq. A pseudonym 
of Washington Irving, author of The 
Sketch Book (1820). 

Crea'kle. In Dickens 7 David Copper- 
field, a hard, vulgar schoolmaster, to 
whose charge David was entrusted, and 
in whose school he first made the acquaint- 
ance of Steerforth. 

The circumstance about him which impressed me 
most was that he had no voice, but spoke in a whisper 
Dickens David Copperfield, vi. 

Cream City, Milwaukee. See under 

Cream of the Jest, The. A novel by 
James Branch Cabell (Am. 1917). The 
hero, Felix Kennaston, is a rather un- 
attractive American author of forty or 
thereabouts who lives a prosaic enough 
existence in a little Virginia town by day; 
but by night he visits the magic realm 
of Poictesme (q.v), where he loves the 
elusive, beautiful Ettare. 

Cremo'na. A violin of the greatest 
excellence; so called from Cremo'na, in 
Lombardy, where in the 17th and early 
18th centuries lived violin makers of 
world-wide notoriety, such as An'drea 
Arna'ti and Antonio his son, Anto'nius 
Stradiva'rms his pupil, and Giuseppe 
Guarne'rius the pupil of Stradiva'nus. 

Cre'ole. A descendant of white people 
born in Mexico, South America, and the 
West Indies. (Span, criadillo, diminutive 
of criadOj bred, brought up, native to the 
locality ) 

fhe Creole State. Louisiana. See States. 

Crescent, The. Turkey, from the 
crescent moon on its flag. 

The Crescent City. New Orleans. See 
under City. 

Cressida or Cresseyde. See Troilus 
and Cressida. 

Cressweil, Madame. A woman of 
infamous character who bequeathed 10 
for a funeral sermon, in which nothing 
ill should be said of her. The Duke of 
Buckingham wrote the sermon, which 
was as follows. " All I shall say of her is 
this she was born well, she married 
well, lived well, and died well, for she 
was born at Shadwell, married to Cress- 
well, lived at Clerken-well, and died in 
Bride-well " 

Creusa. In classic myth, the daughter 
of Priam and wife of ^Eneas. 

Crichton, Admirable. See Admirable 

Cricket on the Hearth, The. A 
Christmas tale, by Dickens (1845) See 

Cri'key. An exclamation; a mild oath; 
originally a euphemistic modification of 

Crillon. Where wert thou, Crillon? 
Crillon, surnamed the Brave, in his old 
age went to church, and listened intently 
to the story of the Crucifixion In the 
middle of the narrative he grew excited, 
and, unable to contain himself, cried out, 
" Ou 6tais-tu, Cnllonf" (What were you 
about, Crillon, to allow of such things 
as these?) 

Crillon (1541-1615) was one of the 
greatest captains of the 16th century. 
He fought at the battle of Ivry (1590), 
and was entitled by Henri IV " le brave 
des braves." 

Henri IV, after the battle of Argives (1589), wrote to 
Crillon "Prend-toi, brave Crillon, nous awns va^ncu & 
Arques, et tu n'y tais pas " This letter has become 

Crime and Punishment. A novel by 
Dostoevski (Rus. 1866). The _ student 
Raskalmkov, almost out of his mind with 
poverty and depression, murders an old 
woman money-lender. Tormented by his 
thoughts, he finds a friend in Sonia, a girl 
who is attempting by prostitution to save 
her family from starving. After she reads 
aloud to him the story of Lazarus, he 
feels sure of her sincerity. He confesses 
his crime and is sentenced to seven years 
in Siberia, but looks forward hopefully to 
the future 

Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard, The (Le 
Crime de Sylvestre Bonnard). A novel by 
Anatole France (Fr. 1881). Sylvestre 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Bonnard is a delightfully kind-hearted, 
absent-minded old archeologist whose 
immense learning has served only to 
make him more lovable His simple 
wants are cared for by his vigilant and 
devoted servant Therese This old scholar 
commite the " crime " of kidnapping a 
minor, Jeanne Alexandra, the orphaned 
daughter of the only love of his bygone 
youth, from a miserable school where 
she is abused and unhappy. Many 
threatening complications result, but 
when it is discovered that Jeanne's 
guardian is an embezzler, she is made the 
legal ward of M. Bonnard. 

Cri&h/na. See Krishna 

Crisis, The. A novel of Civil War 
times by Winston Churchill (Am 1901) 
The hero is Stephen Brice, a young New 
England lawyer in the South, the heroine 
Virginia Carvel, a loyal daughter of the 
courtly old Southerner, Colonel Carvel. 
Of course the lovers are estranged by the 
conflict, but after many adventures, 
come together at last The novel intro- 
duces Lincoln and Grant and contains, 
among other interesting tvpes, the charac- 
ters of Eliphalt Hopper, the carpet bagger, 
and Judge Whipple, the abolitionist. 

Crispin, St. See under Saint 

Critic, The. A famous comedy by 
Sheridan (1779), a satire on the con- 
temporary stage, with the subtitle A 
Tragedy Rehearsed. The principal charac- 
ters are Sir Fretful Plagiary, the author, 
Dangle, the critic, and Puff, the promoter. 
The burlesque tragedy rehearsed, The 
Spanish Armada, introduces the Governor 
of Tilbury Fort, his daughter Tilburma 
and her lover Whiskerandos See under 
separate entries 

Critique of Pure Reason. A famous 
philosophical treatise by Immanuel Kant 
(Ger 1781). 

Croaker. A famous character in Gold- 
smith's Good-natured Man (1768), guardian 
to Miss Richland. Croaker is never so 
happy as when he imagines himself a 
martyr. He loves a funeral better than 
a festival, and delights to think that the 
world is going to rack and ruin. His 
favorite phrase is " Maybe not. 57 

A poor, fretful soul, that has a new distress for every 
hour of the four and twenty Act i 1 

Mrs Croaker. The very reverse of her 
husband. She is mirthful, light-hearted, 
and cheerful as a lark. 

Leontine Croaker. Son of Mr. Croaker. 
Being sent to Paris to fetch his sister, he 
falls in love with Olivia Woodville, whom 
he brings home instead, introduces her to 

Croaker as his daughter, and ultimately 
marries her 

Croaker Papers, The. A series of satires 
on contemporary American life (1819) by 
Fitz-Greene Halleck and Joseph Rodman 

Crockett, David. A celebrated Ameri- 
can frontiersman (1786-1830). His auto- 
biography (1834) was very popular He 
is the hero of a drama by Frank Murdock 
(Am. 1874) entitled Davy Crockett 

Croc'odile. A symbol of deity among 
the Egyptians, because, says Plutarch, 
it is the only aquatic animal which has 
its eyes covered with a thin transparent 
membrane, by reason of which it sees 
and is not seen, as God sees all, Himself 
not being seen. To this he subsequently 
adds another reason, saying, " The Egyp- 
tians worship God symbolically in the 
crocodile, that being the only animal 
without a tongue, like the Divine Logos, 
which standeth not in need of speech." 
(De I side et Osiride, vol n p. 381 ) 

Achilles Tatius says, " The number of 
its teeth equals the number of days in a 
year/' Another tradition is, that during 
the seven days held sacred to Apis, the 
crocodile will harm no one 

Croc'odite's tears Hypocritical tears. 
The tale is, that crocodiles moan and sigh 
like a person in deep distress, to allure 
travelers to the spot, and even shed 
tears over their prey while in the act of 
devouring it. 

i As the mournful crocodile 

j With sorrow snares relenting passengers 

Shakespeare 2 Henry VI, m 1 

Cro'cus. In classic legend, a young man 
enamored of the nymph Smilax, who did 
not return his love. The gods changed 
him into the crocus flower, to signify 
unrequited love. 

Croesus. Rich as Crcesus. Croesus, king 
of Lydia (B. C. 560-546), was so rich and 
powerful that all the wise men of Greece 
were drawn to his court, and his name 
became proverbial for wealth 

Croftangry, Mr. Chrystal. The pre- 
tended editor of Scott's two novels, The 
Highland Widow and The Fair Maid of 
Perth. Lockhart tells us that Mr. Croft- 
angry is meant for Sir Walter Scott's 
father, and that " the fretful patient at 
the death-bed " is a living picture. 

Cromwell's Bible. See Bible, the 

Cronus. One of the Titans of Greek 
mythology, son of Uranus and Ge, father 
(bv Rhea) of Hestia, Demeter, Hera, 
Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus. He dethroned 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


his father as ruler of the world, and was 
m turn dethroned by his son, Zeus. By 
the Romans he was identified with Saturn 

Crosby, Jane. The heroine of Owen 
Davis' play, Icebound (qv). 

Cross, The cross is not solely a Chris- 
tian symbol, originating with the cruci- 
fixion of the Redeemer In Carthage it 
was used for ornamental purposes, runic 
crosses were set up by the Scandinavians 
as boundary marks, and were erected over 
the graves of kings and heroes, Cicero 
tells us (De Divinatione, 11. 27, and 80, 81) 
that the augur's staff with which they 
marked out the heaven was a cross, the 
Egyptians employed the same as a sacred 
symbol, and two buns marked with the 
cross were discovered at Hercula'neum. 
It was a sacred symbol among the Aztecs 
long before the landing of Cortez; in 
Cozumel it was an object of worship, in 
Tabasco it symbolized the god of ram, 
and in Palinque it is sculptured on the 
walls with a child held up adoring it. 

The cross is not only a Christian symbol, it -was also a 
Mexican symbol It was one of the emblems of Quetz-il- 
coatl, as lord of the four cardinal points, and the four 
\unds that blow therefrom Fiske Discovery of 
America, vol 11 ch vm 

The cross of the crucifixion is legend- 
arily said to have been made of four sorts 
of wood (palm, cedar, olive, and cypress), 
to signify the four quarters of the globe. 

Ligna crucis palma, cedrus, cupressus, ol'iva 

In his Monasteries of the Levant (1849) 
Curzon gives the legend that Solomon 
cut down a cedar and buried it on the 
spot where the pool of Bethes'da^ stood 
later. A few days before the crucifixion, 
this cedar floated to the surface of t the 
pool, and was employed as the upright 
of the Savior's cross. 

It is said that Constantino, on his 
march to Rome, saw a luminous cross in 
the sky, in the shape and with the 
motto In hoc vinces, by this \sign] 
conquer. In the night before the 
"77* battle of Saxa Rubra (312) a vision 
appeared to the Emperor in his sleep, 
commanding him to inscribe the cross and 
the motto on the shields of his soldiers. 
He obeyed the voice of the vision, and pre- 
vailed The monogram is xPio-ro? (Christ) 
See Gibbon's Decline and Fall, ch. xx. 

This may be called a standing legend, for, besides 
St Andrew's cross, and the Dannebrog (qv}, there is 
the storv concerning Don Alonzo before the battle of 
Ourique in 1139, when the figure of a cross appeared 
in the eastern sky, Christ, suspended on it, promised 
the Christian king a complete victory, and the Moors 
were totally routed This legend is commemorated by 
Alonzo's device, in a field argent five escutcheons azure, 
in the form of a cross, each escutcheon being charged 

with five bezants, m memory of the five wounds of 
Christ See Labarum 

The Invention of the Cross A church 
festival held on May 3, in commemoration 
of the discovery (Lat. invemrc, to discover) 
of the Cross (326) by St Helena (qv}. 
At her direction, after a lono; and difficult 
search in the neighborhood of the Holy 
Sepulcher (which had been ovci -built 
with heathen temples), the remains of the 
three buiied crosses were found These 
were applied to a sick woman, and that 
which effected her cure was declared to 
be^ the True Cross The Empress had 
this enclosed in a silver shrine (after 
having carried a large piece to Home), 
and deposited in a chinch that was built 
on the spot for the purpose. 

In heraldry, as many as 285 varieties 
of cross have been recognized, but the 
twelve in ordinary use, and from ^hieh 
the others are derived, are (1) The ordi- 
nary cross, (2) the cross humette, or 
couped, (3) the cross urde*, or pointed; 
(4) the cross potent, (5) the cross crosslet; 
(6) the cross botonne, or trefle; (7) the 
cioss molme, (8) the cross potence, (9) the 
cross fleury; (10) the cross pate; (11) the 
Maltese cross (or eight-pointed cross); 
(12) the cross cleclie* and fitche". 

As a mystic symbol the number of 
crosses may be reduced to four: 

The Greek cross (+), found on Assyrian 
tablets, Egyptian and Persian monu- 
ments, and on Etruscan pottery. 

The crux decussata (X), generally called 
St Andrew's cross. Quite common in 
ancient sculpture 

The Latin cross (i), or crux immissa. 
This symbol is found on coins, monu- 
ments, and medals long befoie the 
Christian era. 

The tau cross (T), or crux commissa. 
Very ancient indeed, and supposed to be 
a phallic emblem. 

The tau cross with a handle ( T ) , or 
crux ansata, is common to several Egyp- 
tian deities, as Isis, Osiris, etc ; and is the 
emblem of immortality and life generally 
The circle signifies the eternal preserver 
of the world, and the T is the monogram 
of Thoth, the Egyptian Mercury, meaning 

Cross and BaU. The orb of royalty 
is a sphere or ball surmounted by a cross, 
an emblem of empire introduced in repre- 
sentations of our Savior The cross 
stands above the ball, to signify that the 
spiritual power is above the temporal. 

Cross-word puzzle. A kind of game 
consisting of filling in a checkerboard 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

pattern with, the letters of certain words 
called for by descriptive phrases such as 
" an animal in four letters/ 7 " a verb 
meaning ' to begin V 

Crossing, The. A historical novel by 
Winston Churchill (Am. 1901), dealing 
with the ending of the Revolution and the 
Clark expedition westward. George Roger 
Clark is a prominent character. Among 
the other historical personages introduced 
are Daniel Boone and Andrew Jackson 
The hero is David Ritchie, leader of the 
Kentucky pioneers who accompany the 

Crossjay Patterne. A lazy and lovable 
young imp in Meredith's novel* The 
Egoist (q.v). 

Crotchet Castle. A novel by T. L. 
Peacock (1831) relating the sayings and 
doings, but chiefly the sayings, of the 
eccentric guests of Mr. Crotchet of 
Crotchet Castle 

Crothers Samuel McChord (1857- 
) American essayist. His best- 
known volume is entitled The Gentle 

Crow. As the crow flies. The shortest 
route between two given places. 

J must 'pluck a crow with you; I have a 
crow to pick with you. I am displeased 
with you, and must call you to account. 
I have a small complaint to make against 

To crow over one. To exult over a 
vanquished or abased person The allu- 
sion is to cocks, who always crow when 
they have vanquished an adversary. 

To eat crow. To take back what one 
has said. 

Crow, Jim. See Jim Crow. 
Crowde'ro. In Butler's poem Hudibras 
(q.v), one of the rabble leaders encoun- 
tered by Hudibras at a bear-baiting. The 
original was one Jackson or Jephson, a 
milliner, of the New Exchange, Strand. 
Crowe, Captain. In Smollett's Adven- 
tures of Sir Launcelot Greaves (1760) the 
attendant of Sir Launcelot Greaves in his 
peregrinations to reform society. Sir 
Launcelot is a modern Don Quixote, and 
Captain Crowe is his Sancho Panza. 

Captain Crowe had commanded a merchant-ship in 
the Mediterranean trade for many years, and saved 
some money by dint of frugality and traffic He was 
an excellent seaman, brave, active, friendly in his way, 
and scrupulously honest, but as little acquainted with 
the world as a sucking child, whimsical, impatient, and 
so impetuous that he could not help breaking in upon 
the conversation, whatever it might be, with repeated 
interruptions When he himself attempted to 

speak, he never finished his period. Smollett: The 
Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves 

Crowfield, Christopher. A pseudonym 

of Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe (1814- 

Crown. In heraldry, nine crowns are 
recognized* The oriental, the triumphal 
or imperial, the diadem, the obsidional 
crown, the civic, the crown vallery, the 
mural crown, the naval and .the crown 

Among the Romans of the Republic 
and Empire crowns of various patterns 
formed marks of distinction for different 
services, the principal ones were. 

The blockade crown (coro'na obsidiona'lis) , presented 
to the general who liberated a beleaguered army This 
vtas made of grass and wild flowers gathered from the 

A camp crown (corona castrenses) was given to him, 
who first forced his way into the enemy's camp It was 
made of gold, and decorated -with palisades 

A civic crown to one who saved a c%ms or Roman 
citizen in battle It was of oak leaves, and bore the 
inscription, HOGS i e hostem occidit, ct'vem serva'- 
mt (a foe he slew, a citizen saved) 

A mural crown was given to that man who first scaled 
the wall of a besieged town It was made of gold and 
decorated "\\ith battlements 

A naval crown, of gold, decorated with the beaks of 
ships, was given to him who won a naval victory 

An olive crown was given to those who distin- 
guished themselves in battle in some way not specially 

An ova'tion crown (coro'na ova'tio) was by the Romans 
given to a general in the case of a lesser victory It was 
made of myrtle 

A triumphal crown was by the Romans given to the 
general who obtained a triumph It was made of laurel 
or bay leaves Sometimes a massive gold crown was 
given to a victorious general 

The iron crown of Lombardy is the 
crown of the ancient Longobardic kings 
It was used at the coronation of Agilulph, 
King of Lombardy, in 591, and among 
others that have since been crowned 
with it are Charlemagne, as King of 
Italy (774), Henry of Luxemburg (the 
Emperor Henry VII), as King of Lom- 
bardy (1311), Frederick IV (1452), 
Charles V (1530), and in 1805 Napoleon 
put it on his head with his own hands. 

In 1866, at the conclusion of peace, 
it was given up by Austria to Italy and 
was replaced in the cathedral at Monza, 
where Charlemagne had been crowned, 
and whence it had been taken in 1859. 
The crown is so called from a narrow, 
band of iron about three-eighths of an 
inch broad, and one-tenth of an inch in 
thickness, within it, said to be beaten out 
of one of the nails used at the Crucifixion. 
According to tradition, the nail was given 
to Constantine by his mother, St. Helena, 
who discovered the cross. The outer 
circlet is of beaten gold, and set with 
precious stones. 

The crown, in English coinage, is a 
five-shilling piece, and is so named from 
the French denier a la couronne, a gold 
com issued by Philip of Valois (1339) 
bearing a large crown on the obverse. 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


The English crown was a gold coin of 
about 43^ grs. till the end of Elizabeth's 
reign, except for a silver crown which was 
issued in the last coinage of Henry VIII 
and one other of Edward VI. 

Croy, Kate. One of the chief characters 
of Henry James* Wings of a Dove (q.v ). 

Croye, Isabella, Countess of. A ward 
of Charles " the bold," duke of Burgundy 
in Scott's Quentin Durward (q.v ). She 
first appears at the turret window in 
Plessis les Tours, disguised as Jacqueline. 
Her marriage with Quentin Durward 
concludes the novel 

Cruise of the Snark, The. A book by 
Jack London (Am. 1911) recording a 
Pacific voyage. 

Cram'mles, Mr. Vincent. In Dickens' 
Nicholas Nickleby (1838) the eccentric 
but kind-hearted manager of the Ports- 
mouth Theater. 

Mrs. Crummies Wife of Mr. Yincent 
Crummies, a stout, ponderous, tragedy- 
queen sort of a lady. She walks or rather 
stalks like Lady Macbeth, and always 
speaks theatrically Like her husband, 
she is full of kindness, and always willing 
to help the needy. 

Miss Ninetta Crummies. Daughter of 
the manager, and called in the play-bills 
" the infant phenomenon." 

Cruncher, Jerry. In Dickens' Tale of 

Two Cities, an odd-job man in Tellson's 

bank His wife was continually saying 

her prayers, which Jerry termed " flop- 

ing." He was a " resurrection man " 

Crusades. Wars undertaken in late 
medieval times by Christians against 
the Turks and Saracens for the recovery 
of the Holy Land and, nominally at least, 
for the honor of the cross. 

The seven principal Crusades. 

(1) 1096-1100 Preached up by Peter the Hermit 
Led by Godfrey of Bouillon, who took Jerusalem and 
founded a Christian kingdom in Palestine, himself 
becoming King of Jerusalem 

(2) 1147-1149 At the instigation of St Bernard 
Led by Louis VII and the Emperor Conrad It \\as a 

(3) 1189-1193. Led by Ihchard Lionheart, Frederick 
Barbarossa, and Philip Augustus It did not succeed in 
recapturing Jerusalem, which the Mohammedans had 
taken m 1187 

(4) 1202-1204 Led by Baldwin of Flanders and the 
Doge of Venice It established a Latin Empire at 

(5) 1228-1229 Led by Frederick II Palestine was 
ceded to Frederick, who was crowned king of Jerusalem 

(6) 1248-1254 and (7) 1268-1270 Unsuccessful ex- 
peditions undertaken by St Louis, Louis IX of 

The so-called ''Children's Crusade," in which thou- 
sands of young people were lost by disease, ship- 
wreck, and as captives and slaves, took place in 1212. 

Cra'soe. A solitary man; the only 
inhabitant of a place. The tale of Defoe, 

which describes Robinson Crusoe as cast 
on a desert island, is well known See also 
Robinson Crusoe. 

Cuba. The Roman deity who kept 
guard over infants in their cribs and sent 
them to sleep. Lat. cubo, to he down in 

Cubists. A school of modern artists 
which emphasizes volume and endeavors 
to convey impressions by the use of solids 
and geometric figures. Cp. Futurists. 

Cubs. In American baseball parlance, 
the Chicago Americans. Cp. Baseball 

Cucking-stool. A kind of chair formerly 
used for ducking scolds, disorderly women, 
dishonest apprentices, etc , in a pond. 
" Cucking " is from the old verb cuck, 
to void excrement, and the stool used was 
often a closest ool. 

Now, if one cucking-stool was for each scold, 
Some towns, I fear, would not their numbers hold 
Poor Robin (1746). 

Cuckold. The husband of an adul- 
terous wife; so called from cuckoo, the 
chief characteristic of this bird being 
to deposit its eggs in other birds 7 nests. 
Johnson says " it was usual to alarm 
a husband at the approach of an adulterer 
by calling out ' Cuckoo/ which by mistake 
was applied in time to the person warned." 
Greene calls the cuckoo " the cuckold's 
quirister " (Quip for an Upstart Courtier, 
1592), and the Romans used to call an 
adulterer a " cuckoo/' as " Te cuc'ulum 
uxor ex lustris rapit " (Plautus: Asinaria, 
v. 3). Cp Aotceon; Horn 

Cud'die or Cuthbert Headiigg. See 

Cliffy. A negro; both a generic word 
and proper name; possibly from the 
English slang term " cove." 

Sambo and Cuff ey expand under every sky. Mrs* 
Beecher Stowe Uncle Tom's Cabin 

Cui bono? Who is benefited thereby? 
To whom is it a gain? A common, but 
quite erroneous meaning attached to the 
words is, What good will it do? For what 
good purpose? It was the question of the 
Roman judge L. Cassius Pedanius. See 
Cicero, Rose. Am., xxx. 84. 

Cato, that great and grave philosopher, did commonly 
demand, when any new project was propounded unto 
him, ffu.% bono, what good will ensue in case the same is 
effected? Fuller Worthies (The Design, i ). 

Cul de Sac (Fr.). A blind alley, or alley 
blocked up at one end like a sack. Figura- 
tively, an argument, etc., that leads to 

Cullfiian Diamond. The largest dia- 
mond ever known. It was discovered in 
1905 at the Premier Mine in South Africa, 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

and when found weighed 3,025 3 xi carats 
(about 1 Ib, 6 oz ), as against the 186r b - 
carats of the famous Koh-i-Nur (qv) in 
its uncut state. It was purchased by the 
South African Government for 150,000 
and presented to Edward VII, and now 
forms part of the Crown Jewels, its 
estimated value being over 1,000,000. 
It was cut into a number of stones, of 
which the two largest weigh over 516 
and 309 carats respectively. It was 
named from the manager of the mine 
at the time of its discovery. 

Culprit Fay, The. A nature fantasy and 
fairy tale in verse by Joseph Rodman 
Drake (Am. 1795-1820), published post- 
humously in 1S35. 

Cuncta'tor (Lat. the delayer). Quintus 
Fa'bms Max'imus (d. B. C. 203), ^the 
Roman general who baffled Hannibal 
by avoiding direct engagements, and wear- 
ing him out by marches, countermarches, 
and skirmishes from a distance. This 
was the policy by which Duguesclin 
forced the English to abandon their 
French possessions in the reign of Charles 
V. Cp Fabian. 

Cunegonde. In Voltaire's Candide 
(q.v.), the Baron's daughter beloved 
through long years by the hero. Cp. 

Cunizza. Heroine of Browning's Sor- 
dello (q.v), called Palma until the end of 
the poem. Dante refers to her in his 
Paradiso ix 32 as in paradise. She was 
the sister of Ezzelmo III. 

Cunstance. In The Man of Law's Tale 
one of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, a 
model of resignation, daughter of the 
Emperor of Rome. The Sultan of Syria, 
in order to marry her, turned Christian, 
whereupon his mother murdered him, and 
turned Cunstanee adrift on a raft. The 
raft stranded on a rock near Northumber- 
land, Cunstance was rescued, and eventu- 
ally, after having been falsely accused of 
murder and proved innocent, was married 
to King Ella or Alia. She presented him 
with a son (Maurice), but during the 
King's absence Ella's mother, angry with 
Cunstance for introducing Christianity, 
put her on a raft with her baby. They 
were rescued by a senator and taken to 
Rome, whither Ella, having put his 
mother to death, went on pilgrimage 
to atone for his crime. Here he fell in 
with Ms wife, who returned with him to 
Northumberland, and lived in peace and 
happiness the rest of her life. 

Cupid. The god of love in Roman 
mythology (Lat. cupido , desire, passion), 

identified with the Greek Eros, son of 
Mercury and Venus He is usually 
represented as a beautiful winged boy, 
blindfolded, and carrying a bow and 
arrows, and one legend says that he 
wets with blood the grindstone on which 
he sharpens his arrows. 

Ferns et Cupido, 
Semper ardentes acuens sagittas 

Horace 2 Odes, vm 14, 15 

Cupid and Psyche. An exquisite episode 
in the Golden Ass (q v ) of Apule'ius. 
It is an allegory representing the progress 
of the soul to perfection William Morris 
retells the story in his Earthly Paradise 
(May). See Psyche. 

Cupid and Campaspe. A well-known 
lyric by John Lyly that appeared first 
in his drama Alexander and Campaspe 

Cupid and my Campaspe play'd 
At cards for kisses; Cupid paid. 

Cupid's golden arrow. Virtuous love. 
Cupid's leaden arrow, sensual passion. 

Cur'an. A courtier in Shakespeare's 
tragedy of King Lear. 

Curb Market. In American financial 
parlance, the market for speculative 
stocks offered by interests not large or 
stable enough to be listed on the Stock 
Exchange. The Curb Market was held 
daily out-of-doors, on Broad Street in the 
heart of the financial district, until 
within the last few years. It is now 
held indoors, but continues to be known 
as the Curb. 

Cure de Meudon i.e. Rabelais (c. 
1495-1553), who was first a monk, then 
a leech, then prebend of St Maur, and 
lastly cur6 of Meudon. 

Cure'tes. A. mythical people of Crete, 
to whom the infant Zeus was entrusted 
by his mother Rhea By clashing their 
shields they drowned the cries of the 
infant, to prevent its father (Cronus) 
from finding the place where the babe 
was hid. 

Curfew Bell. A ^ bell that announces 
the time at which lights and fires are to 
be extinguished (Fr. couvre-feu, put out 
the fire); especially the bell rung in the 
reigns of William I and II at sunset in 
summer and at eight o'clock in winter 
for this purpose. 

The curfew tolls the knoll of parting day 

Cray Elegy- 

Curiatii, The. In Roman legendary 
history, the three brothers who engaged 
in combat against the three HoratiL See 

Curlylocks. The heroine of a familiar 
nursery rhyme: 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


"Curb locks, Curlylocks, \vilt thou be mine, 
Thou shalt not \v ash the dishes nor yet feed the sw me 
But sit on a cushion and se\v a fine seam 
And feed upon strawberries, sugar and cream " 

Currer Bell. See under Bell. 

Curse. Curses, like chickens, come home 
to roost. Curses fall on the head of the 
curser, as chickens winch stray during 
the day return to their roost at night 

Cursing by bell, booh, and candle. See 

Curse of Cain One who is always on 
the move and has no abiding place is 
said to be " cursed with the curse of 
Cain " The allusion is to (rod's judgment 
on Cain after he had slain his brother 

And nov\ art thou cursed from the earth, . a 
fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth 
Gen iv. 11-12 

Curse of Scotland. The nine of dia- 
monds The two most plausible sugges- 
tions are these (1) The nine of diamonds 
in the game of Pope Joan is called the 
Pope, the Antichrist of the Scotch re- 
formers. (2) In the game of comette, 
introduced by Queen Mary, it is the great 
winning card, and the game was the curse 
of Scotland because it was the rum of so 
many families 

Curtain. Curtain lecture. The nagging 
of a wife after she and her husband 
are in bed. See Caudle Lecture. 

Curtain raiser. See Lever de rideau. 

To ring down the curtain. To bring 
a matter to an end A theatrical term. 
When the play is over, the bell rings and 
the curtain comes down. 

Curta'na. The sword of mercy borne 
before the English kings at their corona- 
tion, it has no point and is hence shortened 
(O.Fr. curt, Lat. curtus). It is called the 
sword of Edward the Confessor, which, 
having no point, was the emblem of 
mercy. The royal sword of England was 
so called to the reign of Henry III. 

But when Curtana will not do the deed 
You lay the pointless clergy- weapon by, 
And to the lawb, your sword of justice fly 

Dryden Hind and Panther, Pt li 419 

Custance. See Cunstance. 

Custom of the Country, The. A novel 
by Edith Wharton (Am. 1913), dealing 
with divorce. The heroine, Undine 
Spragg, a crude, ambitious Western girl 
of great physical attractions is divorced 
three times before she finally finds her 
own level and marries the youth from her 
home town who has become a millionaire. 

Cuthbert. In England, a name given 
in contempt during the World War to 
fit and healthy men of military age who, 

particularly in government offices, were 
not " combed out " to go into the Army, 
also, to one who actually avoided military 
service. It was coined by " Poy," the 
cartoonist of the Evening News, who 
represented these civilians as frightened- 
looking rabbits. 

8t Cuthbert. See under Saint. 

Cutpurse. Now called ^ " pickpocket " 
The two words are of historical value. 
When purses were worn suspended from 
a girdle, thieves cut the string by which 
the purse was attached; but when pockets 
were adopted, and purses were no longer 
hung on the girdle, the thief was no 
longer a cutpurse, but became a pick- 

To have an open ear, a quick eye, and a nimble hand, 
Is necessary for a cutpurse SkaKeweare Winter's 
Tale, 14 3 

Moll Cutpurse. The familiar name of 
Mary Frith (about 1585-1660), a woman 
of masculine vigor, who not unfrequently 
assumed mail's attire. She was a notorious 
thief and once attacked General Fairfax 
on Hounslow Heath, for which she was 
sent to Newgate. She escaped by bribery, 
and died at last of dropsy in the seventy- 
fifth year of her age. Middleton and 
Dekker's play, The Roaring Girl (1611) 
is founded on her doings. 

Cuttle. Captain Cuttle An eccentric, 
kind-hearted sailor in Dickens 7 Dombey 
and Son; simple as a child, credulous of 
every tale, and generous as the sun. 
Captain Cuttle had been a skipper, had 
a hook instead of a right hand, and always 
wore a very hard glazed hat. He was in 
the habit of quoting, and desiring those 
to whom he spoke " to overhaul the 
catechism till they found it"; but, he 
added, " When found, make a note of." 

Cybele. In classic myth (but originally 
in Phrygia), the wife of Cronus, mother 
of the gods of Olympus, identified with 
Rhea (q.v). In Rome she became known 
as the Great Mother of the Gods (Magna 
Deum Mater), and was one of the most 
important deities of the Empire. 

Cyclic Poets. Epic poets who, on the 
death of Homer, caught the contagion 
of his poems, and w ro * e continuations, 
illustrations, or additions thereto. These 
poets wrote between B. C 800 and 550, 
and were called cyclic because they con- 
fined themselves to the cycle of the Trojan 
War. The chief were Ag'ias, Arcti'nos, 
Eu'gamon, Les'ches, and Strasinos. 

Cyclops (Gr , circular-eye). One of a 
group of giants that, according to legend, 
inhabited Thrace. They had only one 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

eye, and that in the center of their fore- 
head, and their work was to forge iron for 

Roused -with the sound, the mighty family 
Of one-eyed brothers hasten to the shore 
And gather round the bellov, mg Polypheme 

Addison Milton Imitated 

Cydo'pean Masonry. The old Pelasgic 
ruins of Greece, Asia Minor, and Italy, 
such as the Gallery of TYryns the Gate 
- of Lions at Mycenae, the Treasury of 
Athens, and the Tombs of Phoroneus 
and Dan'aos. They are composed of 
huge blocks fitted together without 
mortar, with marvelous nicety, and are 
fabled to be the work of the Cyclops. 
The term is also applied to similar struc- 
tures m many parts of the world. 

Cylle'nius. Mercury So called from 
Mount Cylle'ne, in Peloponnesus, where 
he was born 

Cymbeline. A drama by Shakespeare 
(c. 1610). Posthumus, who had secretly 
married Imogen, the daughter of Cymbe- 
line, king of Britain, is banished by the 
King when he hears of the marriage, ^and 
goes to Rome. Here he meets lachimo, 
an Italian libertine, and the two, con- 
versing of the fidelity of wives, make a 
wager concerning Imogen's faithfulness, 
lachimo by craftiness secures access to 
Imogen's bedroom, steals a bracelet from 
her while she is asleep and convinces 
Posthumus that he has won the wager. 
Posthumus orders his servant to put 
Imogen to death, but instead she escapes 
in boy's clothing. In a hut in the forest 
she discovers her two long-lost brothers 
who had been abducted by Belarius 
years before. Eventually lachimo' s villainy 
is exposed, Cymbeline welcomes back his 
two sons, his daughter and her repentant 
husband and all ends happily. The plot 
of Cymbeline is from the Decameron of 
Boccaccio (Day ii 9). 

Cymochles. In Spenser's Faerie Queene 
(II, iv, v, vi, and viii), a man of prodigious 
might, brother of Pyroch'les, son of 
Acra'tes and Despite, and husband of 
Acra'sia, the enchantress. He sets out to 
encounter Sir Guyon, but is ferried over 
the idle lake by Phse'dria and forgets him- 
self; he is slain by King Arthur. 

Cymod'oce. A sea nymph and com- 
panion of Venus in Virgil's Georgics (iv, 
338) and JSneid (y. 826). In Spenser's 
Faerie Queene (III, iv and IV, xii), she is a 
daughter of Nereus and mother of 
Marinell by Dumann. She frees Florimel 
from the power of Proteus. The word 
means " wave-receiving/' 

The Garden of Cymod'oce. Sark, one 
of the Channel Islands. It is the title of 
a poem by Swinburne in his Songs of the 

Cynara. The lady to whom the best- 
known poem of Ernest Dowson (Eng. 
1867-1900) is addressed Each stanza 
closes, " I have been faithful to thee, 
Cynara, in my fashion." The poem has a 
Latin title- Non sum qualis eram bonce 
sub regno Cynarce. 

Cynic, A snarling, churlish person. 
The ancient school of Greek philosophers 
known as the Cynics was founded by 
Antisthenes, a pupil of Socrates, and 
made famous by his pupil, Diogenes 
(qv). They were ostentatiously con- 
temptuous of ease, luxury, or wealth, 
and were given their name because 
Antis'thenes held his school in the Gym- 
nasium, Cynosar'ges (white dog), so 
called because a white dog once carried 
away part of a victim which Diome'os 
was there offering to Hercules. 

Cynic Tub. The tub from which 
Diogenes lectured. Similarly we speak 
of the " Porch " (q.v), meaning Stoic 
philosophy, the " Garden" (qv.}, Epicu- 
rean philosophy; the " Academy " (qv.), 
Platonic philosophy, and the " Colon- 
nade," meaning Aristotelian philosophy. 

[They] fetch their doctrines from the Cynic tub 

Milton Comus, line 708 

Cy'nosure. The Pole star; hence, 
the observed of all observers. Greek 
for dog's tail, and applied to the con- 
stellation called "Ursa Minor. As sea- 
men guide their ships by the north star, 
and observe it well, the word " cynosure " 
is used for whatever attracts attention, as 
" The cynosure of neighboring eyes 7 ' 
(Milton) j especially for guidance in some 
doubtful matter 

Cyn'tMa. The moon: a surname of 
Ar'temis or Diana. The Roman Diana, 
who represented the moon, was called 
Cynthia from Mount Cynthus in Delos, 
where she was born. Pope, speaking 
of the inconstant character of woman, 
" matter too soft a lasting mark to bear/' 

Come, then, the colors and the ground prepare 
Dip in the rainbow, trick her off in air, 
Choose a firm cloud, before it fall, and in it 
Catch, ere she change, the Cynthia of the minute 
Epistle, 11 17-20 

By Elizabethan poets Spenser, Phin- 
eas Fletcher, Raleigh, Ben Jonson, and 
others the name was one of the many 
that was applied to Queen Elizabeth. 

Cyprian. Cyprus was formerly famous 
for the worship of Venus; hence the 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


adjective has been applied to lewd or 
profligate persons and prostitutes. 

Cyrano de Bergerac, A drama by 
Edmond Rostand (Fr. 1897). The hero, 
Cyrano de Bergerac was a real character, 
a 17th century French poet contemporary 
with Mohere In the drama he is valiant 
and romantic in the extreme, but des- 
perately sensitive regarding the size of 
his nose Although he adores the beautiful 
Roxane, he wins her love, through his 
ardent, poetical letters, not for himself 
but for the handsome and stupid Christian 
de Neuvillette, whom he also prompts to 
eloquence under Roxane's balcony at 
night. Christian and Roxane marry and 
though Christian is killed in battle almost 
immediately, Cyrano keeps his secret 
and feeds her love for the dead man by 
his friendly visits for long years until 
at last, when he is dying, the truth is 

Cyrus. Cyrus the Great (d. B. C. 529), 
founder of the Persian empire, is the 
ostensible hero of Mile de ScudeYy's long 
pastoral romance Artamene ou le Grand 
Cyrus, published in ten volumes, 1648- 

1653. Cyrus is brought up by shepherds 
under the name of Artamenes but after 
a long series of adventures, finally gains 
his rightful position on the throne. Most 
of the characters are slightly disguised 
portraits of the author's contemporaries 
in 17th century France, Cyrus is Louis 
XIV and Sappho Mile de Scudery herself 
In spite of its length, the romance enjoyed 
great prestige It was the source for 
Dryden's dramas, Secret Love, Marriage 
a la Mode and Aurengzebe and for Banks* 
Cyrus the Great. 

Cythera. A name for Venus; so called 
from Cythe'ra (now Cerigo), a mountain- 
ous island of Laco'nia noted for the 
worship of Aphrodite (or Venus). The 
tale is that Venus and Mars, having 
formed an illicit affection for each other, 
were caught in a delicate net made by 
Vulcan, and exposed to the ridicule of 
the court of Olympus 

Joseph Hergesheimer called a modern 
novel Cytherea (Am. 1922). 

Czar. See Rulers, Titles of. 

Czerlaski, Countess. A character in 
George Eliot's Amos Barton (qv.). 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 


D.T.'s. A contraction of delirium 

Da Capo (D.G.). (ltd.) A musical 
term meaning, from the beginning that 
is, finish with a repetition of the first 

D'Amunzio. See Annunzio, Gabnele d\ 

Daciexv Percy. A brilliant young poli- 
tician in Meredith's novel, Diana of the 
Crosswalks (q v ) 

Dactyls. Mythic beings connected with 
the worship of Cybele, in Crete, to whom 
is ascribed the discovery of iron Their 
number was originally three the 
Smelter, the Hammer, and the Anvil; 
but was afterwards increased to five males 
and five females, whence their name 
Dactyls or Fingers. 

Dactyl In prosody a dactyl is a poetic 
foot consisting of a long syllabi ejfollo wed 
by two short ones, as possible, wonderful, 
laborer. Dactylic verse is verse based 
on dactyls. Longfellow's Evangehne is a 
well-known example of dactylic hex- 

This is the forest pnrnseval, the murmuring pines 
and the hemlocks 

Longfellow Evangehne 1 1 

Dae'dalus. In classic legend, a Greek 
who formed the Cretan labyrinth, and 
made for himself wings, by means of 
which he flew from Crete across the 
Archipel'ago. He is said to have invented 
the saw, the axe, the gimlet, etc., and his 
name is perpetuated in the words dcedal, 
skilful, fertile of invention, dcedahan, laby- 
rinthine or ingenious, etc. Cp. Icarus, 

Dago. An American nickname for an 
Italian immigrant, sometimes used with 
reference to other foreigners. 

Dagobert. King Dagobert and St. Eloi. 
There is a French song very popular with 
this title. St. Eloi tells the king his coat 
has a hole in it, and the king replies, 
" C'est vrai, le tien est bon; pr$te-le moi." 
Next the saint complains of the king's 
stockings, and Dagobert makes the same 
answer. Then of his wig and cloak, to 
which the same answer is returned. After 
seventeen complaints St. Eloi said, " My 
king, death is at hand, and it is time to 
confess," when the king replied, "Why 
can't you confess, and die instead of me? " 

Da'gon, A god of the Philistines, sup- 
posed from very uncertain etymo- 
logical and mythological indications to 
have been symbolized as half man and 
half fish. 

Dagon his name, sea-monster, upward man 
And downward fish, yet had his temple high 
Rear'd in Azo'tus, dreaded through the coast] 
Of Palestine, in Gath and As'calon, 
And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds 

Milton Paradise Lost, i 462 

Dag'onet, Sir. The fool of King Arthur 
in the Arthurian legends. He was knighted 
by the King himself. 

Dahak. The Satan of Persia Accord- 
ing to Persian mythology, the ages of the 
world are divided into periods of 1,000 
years. When the cycle of "chihasms" 
(1,000-year periods) is complete, the 
reign of Ormuzd will begin, and men will 
be all good and all happy, but this event 
will be preceded by the loosing of Dahak, 
who will break his chain and fall upon 
the world, and bring on man the most 
dreadful calamities. 

Dai'kokn. One of the seven gods of 
Good Fortune in the Japanese pantheon. 
He is invoked specially by artisans. He 
sits on a ball of rice, holding a magic 
mallet, each stroke of which confers 
wealth, and is usually accompanied by a 
rat. He is one of the most popular of the 
Japanese gods. 

Daimio or Daimyo. (Chinese dai myo, 
great name.) A Japanese nobleman. 

Dain Maroola. In Conrad's Lord Jim 
(qv), the son of Chief Doramin and 
Jim's best friend in Patusan. 

Daisy Ashford. See Ashford, Daisy. 

Daisy Miller. A short story by Henry 
James (Am. 1878), a pathetic tale of an 
unsophisticated, " strikingly, admirably 
pretty " girl from Schenectady who runs 
athwart European conventions. With her 
complacent mother and ill-mannered little 
brother Randolph, she travels about 
Europe with tragic results 

Daisy, Solomon. Parish clerk in 
Dickens' Barnaby Rudge. 

Dale, Laetitla. A character in George 
Meredith's novel, The Egoist (qv.). 

Dalgarno, Lord Malcolm of. In Scott's 
Fortunes of Nigel, a profligate young 
nobleman. It was for striking Dalgarno 
with his sword that Nigel was obliged 
to seek refuge in Alsatia. Dalgarno's 
villainy to the Lady Hermione excites 
the displeasure of King James, but he 
wins forgiveness by marrying her He is 
finally shot by Captain Colepepper. 

Dalgetty, Dugald of Drumthwacket. 
The Laird of Drumthwacket in Scott's 
Legend of Montrose, a soldier of fortune in 
the service of the Earl of Monteith. He is 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


a pedant and a braggart, one of Scott's 
most celebrated characteis. The original 
was probably a ceitain Munro who wrote 
an account of the campaigns of Scotch 
and English auxilianes in the island of 
Swinemunde in 1630. 

Daly, T. A. (1871- ). American poet 
best known for his Italian dialect poems 
and sometimes called the " laureate of 
the dago " 

Damayanti. A heroine of Hindu 
legend. See Nala. 

Dame Care (Frau Sorge). A novel by 
Sudermann (Ger. 1SSS). The hero is 
Paul Meyeihofer, a boy whose struggles 
against poverty and sordid family diffi- 
culties are attended always by Dame 
Care At length his prospective maniage 
to his only love, Elsbeth Douglas, opens 
up a way of escape. 

Dam/odes' Sword. Evil foreboded or 
dreaded. Dam/ocles, a sycophant of 
Diqnysius the Elder, of Syracuse, was 
invited by the tyrant to try the felicity 
he so much envied Accepting, he was 
set down to a sumptuous banquet, but 
overhead was a sword suspended by a 
hair. Damocles was afraid to stir, and 
the banquet was a tantalizing torment to 

Damce'tas. A herdsman. Theocritus 
and Virgil use the name in their pastorals. 

And old Da-moetas loved to hear our song 

Milton Lye idat, 

Da'mon. The name of a goatherd in 
Virgil's Eclogues, and hence used by 
pastoral poets for rustic swains. 

Da'mon and Pyth'ias. Inseparable 
friends. They were Syiacusans of the 
first half of the 4th century B. C. Pythias, 
condemned to death by Dionysius the 
tyrant, obtained leave to go home to 
arrange Ms affairs on condition that 
Damon agree to take his place and be 
executed should Pythias not return. 
Pythias was delayed, Damon was led to 
execution, but his friend arrived just in 
time to save him. Dionysius was so 
struck with this honorable friendship 
that he pardoned both of them. 

Spenser fables that in the temple of Venus, Hercules 
and Hylas, Jonathan and David, Theseus and Pinthous, 
Pylades and Orestes, Titua and Gesippus, 

Damon and Pythias whom death could not sever- 

All these and all that ever had been tyde 
In bands of friendship, there did live for ever 

Queene: IV. x 27 

Dan. From Dan to Beer'sheba. From 
one end of the kingdom to the other, all 
over the world; everywhere. The phrase 
is Scriptural, Dan being the most northern 
and Beersheba the most southern city 
of the Holy Land. 

Dan'ae. An Argive princess, daughter 
of Acns'ius, King of Argos. He, told that 
his daughter's son would put him to 
death, resolved that Dan'ae should never 
many, and accordingly locked her up in 
an inaccessible tower Zeus foiled the king 
by changing himself into a shower of 
gold, under which guise he icadily found 
access to the fair prisoner, and she thus 
became the mother of Perseus. 

Dana'ides. The fifty daughters of 
Dan'aus, King of Argos They married 
the fifty sons of .ZEgyptus, and all but 
Hypermnestra, wife of Lynceus, at the 
command of their father muidcred their 
husbands on their wedding night They 
were punished in Hades by having to 
draw water everlastingly in sieves from 
a deep well Hence Danaid's wotk is 
endless and purposeless labor. 

Dance of Death. An allegorical repre- 
sentation of Death leading all sorts and 
conditions of men in a dance to the grave, 
originating in Germany in the 14th 
century as a kind of morality play, 
quickly becoming popular in France and 
England, and surviving later principally 
by means of pictorial art. There is a 
series of woodcuts, said to be by Hans 
Holbein (1538), representing Death danc- 
ing after all sorts of persons, beginning 
with Adam and Eve. He is beside the 
judge on his bench, the priest in the 
pulpit, the nun in her cell, the doctor in 
his study, the bride and the beggar, the 
king and the infant, but is " swallowed up 
at last." 

Dandin, George. See George Dandin. 

Dando. One who frequents hotels, 
restaurants, and such places, satisfies 
his appetite, and decamps without pay- 
ment. From Dando, hero of many popu- 
lar songs in the early 19th century, who 
was famous for such procedure 

Dangle. In Sheridan's comedy The 
Critic (1779), a gentleman bitten with 
the theatrical mania, who annoys a 
manager with impeitment flatteiy and 
advice It is said that Thomas Vaughan, 
a playwright of small reputation, was 
the original of this character. 

Daniel. A hero of the Old Testament 
whose deeds and prophecies are recorded 
in the book of Daniel. He was cast into 
a den of lions for continuing to pray to 
his own God while in captivity in Babylon, 
but was found unhurt the following 
morning. Daniel was famed as the 
interpreter of two dreams of Nebuchad- 
nezzar and of the Handwriting on the 
Wall (q.v.). 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

A Daniel come to Judgment An impar- 
tial judge The phrase was first used by 
Shylpck, in Shakespeare's Merchant of 
Venice, when he thought Portia was 
deciding in his favor, and later by 
Gratiano to mock the defeated Jew. 

Daniel Deronda. A novel by George 
Eliot (1868). The heroine, Gwendolyn 
Harleth, finds in Daniel Deronda the 
only man she knows who is indifferent to 
her charms; and in her efforts to win his 
regard, especially after her unhappy mar- 
riage to the rich but tyrannical Henleigh 
Grandcourt, she gradually develops her 
finer qualities. When Grandcourt drowns 
in the moment of delay before Gwendolyn 
throws him a rope, she blames herself 
bitterly and finds comfort only in Der~ 
onda's sympathetic advice. Deronda is 
a man of the highest ideals, who has been 
brought up by his rich guardian, Sir Hugo 
Malhnger in the belief that he is a 
Christian, but learns that he is a Jew. 
He marries Mirah Cohen (or Lapidoth), 
a beautiful Jewess whom he had saved 
from suicide, and in the idealistic Morde- 
cai, who turns out to be Mirah's lost 
brother Ezra, he finds a friend who 
inspires him with the cause of Jewish 
nationalism. After Mordecai's death, 
he and Mirah go to Palestine to live. 

For the character of the hero, see under 

Dan'nebrog" or Danebrog. The national 
flag of Denmark (brog is Old Danish for 
cloth). The tradition is that Waldemar II 
of Denmark saw m the heavens a fiery 
cross which betokened his victory over 
the Estho'nians (1219). 

The order of Danebrog. The second of 
the Danish orders of knighthood, insti- 
tuted in 1219 by Waldemar II, restored by 
Christian V in 1671, and several times 
modified since. 

Danny Deever. A well-known poem in 
Rudyard Kipling's Barrack- Room Ballads 
which tells of the hanging of Danny 
Deever for having murdered a sleeping 

Dans'ker. A Dane. Denmark used to 
be called Danske. Hence Polo'nius says 
to Reynaldo, " Inquire me first what 
Danskers are in Pans " (Hamlet) li. 1.) 

Dante and Beatrice. See Beatrice. 

Dantes, Edmund. The titular hero of 
Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo (qv.). 

Daphnalda. An elegy by Spenser 
(1591) on Douglas Howard Gorges, the 
only daughter of Lord Bmdon. In general 
design and several details it is indebted 
to Chaucer's Boke of the Duchesse. 

Daplme. In Greek mythology, daugh- 
ter of a river-god, loved by Apollo. She 
fled from the amorous god, and escaped 
by being changed into a laurel, thence- 
forth the favorite tree of the sun-god. 

Dapih'nis. In Greek mythology, a 
Sicilian shepherd who invented pastoral 
poetry. He was a son of Mercury and a 
Sicilian nymph, was protected by Diana, 
and was taught by Pan and the Muses. 

Dapper. In Ben Jonson's Alchemist, a 
lawyer's clerk, who went to Subtle " the 
alchemist/' to be supplied with a familiar 
to make him win in horse-racing, cards, 
and all games of chance. Dapper was told 
to prepare himself for an interview with 
the fairy queen by taking " three drops of 
vinegar in at the nose, two at the mouth, 
and one at either ear/' " to cry hum thrice 
and buzz as often " 

Dapple. The donkey ridden by Sancho 
Panza, in Cervantes' romance of Don 
Quixote (q.v ). 

Darby and Joan. The type of loving, 
old-fashioned, virtuous couples. The 
names belong to a ballad called The 
Happy Old Couple, probably written by 
Henry Woodfall, and the characters are 
said to be John Darby, of Bartholomew 
Close, who died 1730, and his wife. Wood- 
fall served his apprenticeship as a printer 
to John Darby. Some authorities at- 
tribute the ballad to Matthew Prior. 

Darcy. The hero of Jane Austen's 
Pride and Prejudice (<?#.). 

Dari'us. A Greek form of Persian dara, 
a king, or of Sanskrit darj, the maintainer 
Gushtasp or Kishtasp assumed the title 
on ascending the throne in B C. 521, and 
is generally known as Darius the Great 

Legend relates that seven Persian 
princes agreed that he should be king 
whose horse neighed first, and the horse 
of Darius was the first to neigh. 

It is said that Darius III (Codoman- 
nus), the last king of Persia, who was 
conquered by Alexander the Great (B. C. 
331), when Alexander succeeded to the 
throne, sent to him for the tribute of 
golden eggs, but the Macedonian an- 
swered, " The bird which laid them is 
flown to the other world, where Darius 
must seek them." The Persian King then 
sent him a bat and ball, in ridicule of his 
youth; but Alexander told the messengers, 
with the bat he would beat the ball of 
power from their master's hand. Lastly, 
Darius sent him a bitter melon as emblem 
of the grief in store for Mm; but the 
Macedonian declared that he would make 
the Shah eat his own fruit. 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 



The Dark Ages. The earlier centuries 
of the Middle Ages (qv)- 3 roughly, the 
era between the death of Charlemagne 
and the close of the Carlo vingian dynasty; 
so called because of the intellectual dark- 
ness characteristic of the period. 

The Dark and Bloody Ground. A name 
for the State of Kentucky, either (1) from 
the early warfare with the Indians, or 
(2) a translation of the Indian name of 
the State. 

The Dark Continent. Africa, concerning 
which the world was so long " in the 
dark," and which, also, is the land of 
dark races 

A dark horse. A racing term for a 
horse of good pretensions, but of which 
nothing is positively known by the 
general public. Its merits are kept dark 
from betters and bookmakers The term 
is widely used in the political field for a 
candidate brought forward at the last 

Dark Flower, The. A novel by John 
Galsworthy (Eng. 1913) relating the love 
affairs of Mark Lennan. The " dark 
flower " is passion. 

Dark Lady of the Sonnets. The mys- 
terious person to whom Shakespeare 
addressed his sonnets. She has been the 
subject of much interesting speculation. 
George Bernard Shaw has a play so called 
(Eng. 1910). 

Darley Arabian. About 1700 a Mr. 
Darley, of Yorkshire, imported into 
England from Aleppo three thoroughbred 
Arabian stallions which became the 
founders of the line of thoroughbreds in 
England. Darley Arabian, the sire of 
Flying Childers, and great-great-grandsire 
of Eclipse j was one; the others were 
Byerby Turk and Godolphin Barb. From 
the first comes the Herod breed, and from 
the second the Matchem. 

Darling of the Graces. (1) Aristophanes 
(B. C. 444-380); (2) Heine (1789-1856). 

Darling 1 , Wendy, Michael and John. 
In Barrie's Peter Pan (qv.) t the children 
whom Peter teaches to fly with him to 
Never-Never Land. 

Darlington, Lord. In Wilde's play 
Lady Windermere' s Fan t the lover of Lady 

Darnay, Charles. In Dickens' Tale of 
Two Cities, the lover and afterwards the 
husband of Lucie Manette. He bore a 
strong likeness to Sydney Carton (q.v ). 

Darnel, Aurelia. A character in Smol- 
lett's novel, The Adventures of Sir Launce- 
lot Greaves (1760). Walter Scott calls her 

tc by far the most feminine and at the 
same time lady-like person to whom the 
author has introduced us." 

Barrel of the Blessed Isles. A novel by 
Irving Bacheller (Am 1903), concerning 
an old clock-maker who dwells in the 
" Blessed Isles J; of the imagination. 

Dar'tle, Rosa. In Dickens 7 David 
Copperfield (1849), companion of Mrs. 
Steerforth She loved Mrs Steerforth's 
son, but her love was not reciprocated. 
Miss Dartle was a vindictive woman, 
noted for a scar on her lip, which told tales 
when her temper was aroused. This scar 
was from a wound given by young Steer- 
forth, who struck her on the lip when a 

Darwinian Theory. Charles Darwin 
published in 1859 a work entitled Origin 
of Species, to prove that the numerous 
species now existing on the earth sprang 
originally from one or at most a few 
primal forms; and that the present 
diversity is due to special development 
and natural selection. 

Darwin's missing link. See Missing 

Dashwood, Elinor and Marianne. Joint 
heroines of Jane Austen's Sense and 
Sensibility (qv). 

Dauber. Title and hero of a narrative 
poem by John Masefield (Eng 1875- ), 
the tragic story of an artist-sailor who 
was the butt of all his companions' jokes. 
Daudet, Alphonse (1840-1897) French 
novelist, author of Tartann of Tarascon, 
The Nabob, Kings in Exile, Sapho, etc 
See those entries. 

Daughter of the Middle Border. See 
Middle Border. 

Dauphin. The heir of the French crown 
under the Valois and Bourbon dynasties. 
Guy VIII, count of Vienne, was the first so 
styled, because he wore a dolphin as his 
cognizance. The title descended in the 
family till 1349, when Humbert III ceded 
his seigneurie, the Dauphine", to Philippe 
VI (de Valois), one condition being that 
the heir of France assumed the title of 
le dauphin. The first French prince so 
called was Jean, who succeeded Philippe; 
and the last was the Due d'Angoul&me, 
son of Charles X, who renounced the 
title in 1830. 

Grand Dauphin. Louis, due de Bour- 
gogne (1661-1711), eldest son of Louis 
XIV, for whose use was published the 
Latin classics entitled Ad Usum Delphi'ni. 
Second or Little Dauphin. Louis, son 
of the Grand Dauphin (1682-1712). 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Davenport, Griffith. See Griffith Daven- 

David. The shepherd king of the Old 
Testament (1 Sam. xvi-1 Kings 11), the 
reputed author of many of the Psalms 
He was the youngest son of Jesse, " ruddy 
and withal of a beautiful countenance and 
goodly to look upon. JJ David was secretly 
anointed king by the prophet Samuel 
while Saul was still on the throne and the 
stories of his early life are concerned 
with his immortal friendship for Saul's 
son Jonathan and Saul's growing jealousy. 
He killed Gohath, the huge champion of 
the Philistines, when no one else would 
venture to respond to the giant's chal- 
lenge, and with his harp he charmed 
away the black moods of King Saul For 
many years, however, he was forced to 
flee from Saul's anger. 

After the death of Saul and Jonathan, 
David became king of Israel His latter 
years were concerned with his guilty love 
for Bathsheba (q v ) and his grief over the 
revolt of his son Absalom (qv). 

David is the hero of Peelc's drama 
David and Bethsabe (1598), of Drayton's 
narrative poem David and Gohath (1630), 
and of two long poems entitled Davideis, 
one by Abraham Cowley, the other by 
Thomas Elwood. Stephen Phillips (Eng 
1868-1915) has a poetic drama entitled 
The Sin of David. 

David, in Dryden's satire of Absalom 
and Achitophel, is meant for Charles II 
As David's beloved son Absalom rebelled 
against him, so the Duke of Monmouth 
rebelled against his father Charles II 
As Achitophel was a traitorous counsellor 
to David, so was the Earl of Shaftesbury 
to Charles II As Hushai outwitted 
Achitophel, so Hyde (duke of Rochester) 
outwitted the Earl of Shaftesbury, etc 

Auspicious prince, 

Thy longing country's darling and desire, 
Their cloudy pillar, and their guardian fire 
The people's prayer, the glad diviner's theme, 
The voung men's vision, and the old men'? dream 
Dryden Absalom and Achitophel, i 231-240 

David BaJfour, Being Memoirs of His 
Adventures at Home and Abroad A novel 
by Robert Louis Stevenson (Eng. 1893), a 
sequel to Kidnapped (qv). It concerns 
David's efforts to bring about the escape 
of his Jacobite fuend Alan Breck Stewart 
and his brother, and the love and 
eventual marriage of David aad Catriona 

David Copperfield. A novel by Charles 
Dickens, admittedly largely biographical. 
As a mere boy, after his mother's death 
David is sent by his harsh stepfather. 

Mr Murdstone, to London, where he 
pastes labels on bottles in a warehouse by 
day and is the single lodger of the poverty- 
stricken hopeful Micawbers. He finally 
runs away to his great-aunt Betsy 
Trotwood at Dover, where he finds a 
genuine welcome After a period of school 
life, he settles down to work with Mr. 
Wickfield, a lawyer, and finds a warm 
friend in Wickneld's daughter Agnes. 
He maines Dora Spenlow, a fascinating 
little " child-wife/' but after her death 
he marnes Agnes Wickfield See separate 
characters, Peggotfy, Steet forth, Micawber, 
Heep, etc 

David Crockett. See Crockett, David 

David Gamut. In Cooper's Last of the 
Mohicans (q.v}. 

David Haruxn. A novel by E. N. 
Westcott (Am. 189S), The humorous 
flavor for which the book is noted comes 
from its chief character, David Harurn, 
the shrewd if unlettered philosopher of 
the New York country town of Home- 
ville. David is a country banker whose 
chief recreation is that of horse-trading 
A love story is interwoven, the principals 
of which are Mary Blake and John Lenox, 
the latter a young man of good antece- 
dents who takes a position in David 
Har urn's bank. 

David Quixano. In ZangwilPs Melting 
Pot (q.v ) 

David Levinsky, The Rise of. A novel 
by Abraham Cahan (Am. 1917) telling the 
story of a Russian Jew who emigrates 
to America and becomes, finally, the chief 
figure in the New York cloak and suit 

David RicMe. In Deland's Awakening 
of Helena Richie (q v.) . 

Davide'is. An epic poem in four books 
by Abraham Cowley (1656) describing the 
troubles of King David. 

There is another sacred poem so called by Thomas 
Elwood (1712). 

Davis, Fannie Stearns (Mrs. A. McK. 
Gifford) (1884- ). Contemporary Amer- 
ican poet. Her volumes are Myself and I, 
Crack O'Dawn and Ancient, Beautiful 

Da'vus. A plain, uncouth servitor. 
A common name for a slave in Greek and 
Roman plays, as in the Andria of Terence. 

His face made of brass, like a vice in a game, 
His gesture like Davus, whom Terence doth name 

Tusser Five Hundred Points of Good 
Husbandry, hv (1557) 

Davits sum, non (E'dipus. I am a 
homely man, and do not understand hints, 
innuendoes, and riddles, like (Echpus 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


(q.v). The proverb is used by Terence, 
Andria, 1, 2, 23. 

Davy. In Shakespeare's 2 Henry 71, 
the varlet of Justice Shallow, who so 
identifies himself with his master that he 
considers himself half host, half varlet 
Thus when he seats Bardolph and Page 
at table, he tells them they must take 
" his " good will for their assurance of 

Davy Crockett. See Crockett, David 

Davy Jones. A sailor's name for the 
supposed evil spirit of the sea. 

He's gone to Davy Jones' locker. The 
nautical way of saying that a messmate 
is dead and has been buried at sea. It 
has been conjectured that Jones is a 
corruption of Jonah, the prophet who was 
thrown into the sea. 

Daw, Marjorie. See Marjorie Daw. 

Dawkins, Jack. A character in Dickens 7 
Oliver Twist, better known by the sobri- 
quet of the " Artful Dodger " (qv). 

Day, Fancy. Heroine of Hardy's Under 
the Greenwood Tree (qv). 

Day of Doom, The. A poem on the last 
judgment by Michael Wiggles worth (Am. 
1631-1705) which was widely read in 
colonial days. 

Day of the Barricades, Dupes. See 
those words. 

Day's Work, The. A volume of short 
stories by Rudyard Kipling (Eng. 1898). 

De. For such names as De Barrel, De 
Bracy, see under Barrel, Bracy ^ etc. 

De facto (Lat.). Actually, in reality; 
in opposition to de jure, lawfully or right- 
fully. Thus John was de facto king, but 
Arthur was so de jure. A legal axiom says: 
" de jure Judices, de facto Juratores, 
respondent 71 ; Judges look to the law, 
juries to the facts. 

De la Mare, Walter (1873- ). Con- 
temporary English poet, best known for 
his Peacock Pie and other volumes of 
children's verse. 

De Morgan, William (1839-1917). 
English novelist. His best-known novels 
are Joseph Vance (qv.) 9 Ahce-for-Shwt 
(q.v.) and It Can Never Happen Again. 
De Morgan was frequently called " the 
modern Dickens/' 

De Profundis (Lat.). Out of the deep; 
hence, an extremely bitter cry of wretched- 
ness. Ps. 130 is so called from the 
first two words in the Latin version. It 
forms part of the Roman Catholic burial 
service. Oscar Wilde's personal essay of 
confession and reminiscence written in 
prison was given this title. 

De Quincey, Thomas (1785-1859). 

English author, famous for his Confessions 
of an English Opium-Eater 

De trop (Fr) Supererogatory, more 
than enough, also " one too many 5 '; 
when a person's presence is not wished 
for, that person is de trop 

Rien de trop, let nothing be in excess. 
Preserve in all things the golden mean 

Deacon's Masterpiece, The. ee One 
Hoss Shay. 

Dead Pan See Pan. 

Dead Souls, A humorous novel by 
N > V Gogol (Rus. 1846) The hero, 
Chichikov, in order to obtain a lar^e 
tract of colonization land in southern 
Russia (the size of the tract offered being 
dependent on the number of serfs to till 
it), goes about Russia buying up " dead 
souls " that is, serfs (souls) who have 
died since the last census and are there- 
fore not yet officially, dead. His travels 
and adventures give the author opportu- 
nity for portrayal of all classes of Russian 
society. The schemer is detected and put 
in prison, but escapes and settles down as 
a country gentleman 

Deadeye, Dick. In Gilbert and Sulli- 
van's comic opera, Pinafore (qv), a 
terrible villain 

Deadwood Dick. A hero of dime-novel 
fame created by Edward L Wheeler. 
His adventures appeared in Beadle's 
Half -Dime Pocket Library from 1884 on, 
with such titles as Deadwood Dick on 
Deck, or Calamity Jane, the Heroine of 
Whoop Up, The Double Daggers or 
Deadwood Dick's Defiance, etc. He is 
said to have had a prototype in Robert 
Dickey (1840-1912), a trapper and fur 
merchant of the American West, many 
of whose adventures furnished plots for 
Wheeler's thrillers. 

Deans, Douce Davie. In Scott's Heart 
of Midlothian (qv.), a cowherd at Edin- 
burgh, full of eccentricities, but affection- 
ate and kind. He is immovable where his 
devotion to his religious convictions is 

Jeanie Deans. Daughter of Douce 
Davie, one of Scott's most famous charac- 
ters (see Heart of Midlothian). She had a 
prototype in Helen Walker, to whose 
memory Sir Walter Scott erected a tomb- 
stone in Irongray Churchyard. 

Effie Deans. Jeanie's half sister, 
betrayed by George Staunton and im- 
prisoned for child murder. 

Death, Dance of. See under Dance. 

Debatable Land. A tract of land 
between the Esk and Sark, claimed by 
both England and Scotland, and for a 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

long time the subject of dispute. It was 
the haunt of thieves and vagabonds 

Debonair (Le Debonnaire). Louis I of 
France (778, 814-840), also called The 
Pious , son and successor of Charlemagne, 
a man of courteous manners, cheerful 
temper, but effeminate and deficient in 
moral energy. 

Deborah. In the Old Testament 
(Judges iv, v), a Hebrew prophetess who 
went with Barak to battle against Sisera 
and afterwards celebrated the victory 
in a famous song. She was one of the 
judges of Israel. Cp Jael 

Decam/eron. The collection of 100 
tales by Boccaccio (1353) represented as 
having been told in ten days (Gr. deka, 
ten, hemera, day) during the plague at 
Florence in 1348. The storytellers were 
also ten (seven ladies and three gentlemen) 
and they each told a tale on each day. 

Dechartre. A sculptor in The Red Lily 
(q v.} by Anatole France. 

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 
The. A famous historical work by 
Gibbon (1776). 

Decoration Day. May 30th; set apart 
in the United States for decorating the 
graves of those who fell in the Civil War 

Decoud. A young j ournalist in Conrad's 
Nostromo (q.v.). 

Decretals. The name given by eccle- 
siastical historians to the second part of 
the canon law, which contains the decrees 
and decisions of the early popes on 
disputed points. 

The False or Forged Decretals were 
designed to support the claim of the popes 
to temporal as well as spiritual authority, 
and purport to be the decisions of some 
thirty popes of the first three centuries. 
The Isidorian Decretals, which form part 
of them, were compiled in the 9th century, 
and assigned to Isidore of Seville, who died 
in 636. They comprise nearly a hundred 
letters written in the names of the early 
popes, as Clement and Anacletus, as well 
as letters from their supposed corre- 
spondents and acts of fictitious councils. 

The 9th century forgery known as 
the Donation of Constantine is also among 
the False Decretals. This purports to 
relate how Constantine the Great, when 
he retired to the Bosporus in 330, con- 
ferred all his rights, honors, and property 
as Emperor of the West on the Pope of 
Rome and his successors. It is said, also, 
to have been confirmed by Charlemagne. 
Dedlock, Sir Leicester, bart A person- 
age in Dickens' Bleak House who has 

a general opinion that the world might 
get on without hills, but would be " totally 
done up " without Dedlocks. He loves 
Lady Dedlock, and believes in her 
implicitly. Sir Leicester is honorable 
but intensely prejudiced, and proud as 
" county " can make a man. His pride 
has a most dreadful fall when the guilt 
of Lady Dedlock becomes known. 

Lady Dedlock. Wife of Sir Leicester 
beautiful, cold, and apparently heartless, 
but she is weighed down with this terrible 
secret, that before marriage she had had 
a daughter by Captain Hawdon. This 
daughter is Esther [Summerson], the 
heroine of the novel. 

Deer slayer, The. A historical novel by 
Cooper (Am 1841) one of the Leather- 
stocking series. (See also Leatherstocking.) 
It treats of Natty Bumpo, or Leather- 
stocking, as a young hunter of twenty, 
of his warm friendship for the Indian 
Chmgachgook and his blighted love 
affair with Judith Hutter, a girl who 
showed the same taint of the settlements 
that was to embitter the scout's life under 
many guises. 
Deev. See Div. 

Deever, Danny. See Danny Deever. 
Defarge, In Charles Dickens' Tale of 
Two Cities^ a revolutionist, keeper of a 
wine-shop in the Faubourg St. Antoine, 
in Paris. He is a bull-necked, implacable- 
looking man. 

Mme. Defarge. His wife, a dangerous 
woman, with great force of character; 
everlastingly knitting. 

Def en'der of the Faith. A title (Lat. 
fidei defensor) given by Pope Leo X to 
Henry VIII of England, in 1521, for a 
Latin treatise On the Seven Sacraments. 
Many previous kings, and even, subjects, 
had been termed " defenders of the 
Catholic faith/' "defenders of the Church/' 
and so on, but no one had borne it as a 
title. The sovereign of Spain is entitled 
Catholic, and of France Most Christian. 

Richard II, in a writ to the sheriffs, 
uses these words: " Ecclesia cujus nos ' 
defensor sumus," and Henry VII, in the 
Black Book, was styled Defender of the 

De'ficit, Madame. Marie Antoinette; 
so called because she was always demand- 
ing money of her ministers, and never had 
any. According to the Revolutionary 

La Boulang&re a des 6<ms, 
Qui ne Ixu content gu&re. 

See Baker. 

Defoe, Daniel (1659-1731). English 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


fiction writer famous as the author of 
Robinson Crusoe (g.v.). Among his less- 
known works of fiction are Captain 
Singleton, Moll Flanders (qv), A Journal 
of the Plague Year and Colonel Jack. 

Deformed Transformed, The. A drama 
by Byron (1824). The hero, Arnold, 
hates life because he is horribly deformed, 
but when he is by magic transformed into 
the shape of his own choice, he goes forth 
a young Achilles, on adventure bent. 
He joins the besieging army of Bourbon 
at Rome, and attempts to rescue the 
beautiful but disdainful Ohmpia, but 
here the drama breaks off. 

Dei Judicium (Lat). The judgment 
of God; so the judgment by ordeals (q.v) 
was called, because it was taken as certain 
that God would deal rightly with the 

De'iani/ra. Wife of Hercules, and the 
inadvertent cause of his death. Nessus 
(qv) told her that any one to whom she 
gave a shirt steeped in his blood, would 
love her with undying love. She gave 
it to her husband, and it caused him such 
agony that he burnt himself to death on 
a funeral pile. Deianira killed herself for 

Deiph'obus. In classic legend, one of 
the sons of Priam, and, next to Hector, 
the bravest and boldest of all the Trojans. 
On the death of his brother Paris, he 
married Helen; but Helen betrayed him 
to her first husband, Menela'us, who slew 
him. He appears in the Iliad and Mneid, 
and also in Shakespeare's Troilus and 

r Dekker, Thomas (1570-1641). English 
dramatist. His best-known plays are 
Old Fortunatas and Satiromastix. 

Deland, Margaret (1857- ). Ameri- 
can novelist and short story writer, 
author of John Ward, Preacher, Philip 
and His Wife, The Awakening of Helena 
Richie and several volumes of " Old 
Chester" stories. See under above- 
named titles; also Old Chester. 

Delec'table Mountains. In Bunyan's 
Pilgrim's Progress, a range of hills from 
the summits of which the Celestial City 
could be seen. These mountains were 
beautiful with woods, vineyards, fruits 
of all sorts, flowers, springs and fountains, 

Now there were on the tops of these mountains shep- 
herds feeding their flocks The pilgrims, therefore, 
went to them, and leaning on their staffs they 

asked, "Whose delectable mountains are these, and 
whose be the sheep that feed upon them?" The 
shepherds answered, ' ' These mountains are Emmanuel's 
land, . and the sheep are His, and He laid down 
Hia life for them " Bunyan: Pilgrim's Progress, i. 

Delia. Any female sweetheart, one of 
Virgil's shepherdesses; the lady-love of 
Tibullus The Delia of Pope's Satires 
(i 81) is the second Lady Dolorame of 
Ledwell Park. 

Delias. The Delian ship (ie. the ship 
of Delos) that Theseus made and on which 
he went to Crete when he slew the 
Minotaur. In memory of this it was sent 
every fourth year with a solemn deputa- 
tion to the Delian Apollo. During the 
festival, which' lasted thirty days, no 
Athenian could be put to death, and as 
Socrates was condemned during this 
period his death was deferred till the 
return of the sacred vessel The ship had 
been so often repaired that not a stick of 
the original vessel remained at that time. 

Delight. The delight of mankind. So 
Titus, the Roman emperor, was entitled 
(40, 79-81). 

Delilah. In the Old Testament (Judges 
xvi), the woman of the Philistines who 
betrayed Samson (q.v.) } hence any fasci- 
nating and deceitful woman. 

Delia Cras'cans or Delia Crus'can 
School. A school of poetry started by 
some young Englishmen at Florence 
in the latter part of the 18th centuryr"" 
Their silly, sentimental affectations, which 
appeared in the WorW and the Oracle, 
created for a time quite a furore, but 
were mercilessly gibbeted in the Baviad 
and Hamad of Gifford (1794 and 1795). 
The clique took its name from the famous 
Accademia della Crusca (literally, Acad- 
emy of Chaff) which was founded in 
Florence in 1582 with the object of 
purifying the Italian language sifting 
away its " chaff " and which (in 1611) 
published an important dictionary Robert 
Merry, who signed himself Delia Crusca, 
James Cobb a farce-writer, James Boswell 
(biographer of Dr. Johnson), O'Keefe, 
Morton, Reynolds, Hoi croft, Sheridan, 
Colman, the younger, Mrs. H. Cowley, 
and Mrs. Robinson were the best-known 
exponents of the school. 

Delmare, Colonel. In George Sand's 
Indiana (qv), the old husband of the 

Delobelle. An actor in Daudet's 
Fromont Jeune et Risler Atne. His 
deformed daughter Desiree Delobelle is 
the pathetic heroine of the tale. 

Delorme, Marion. See Marion Delorme. 

Delos. A floating island, according to 
Greek legend, ultimately made fast to the 
bottom of the sea by Posei'don. Apollo 
having become possessor of it by exchange 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

made it his favorite retreat It is the 
smallest of the Cyclades. 

Delphi or Delphos A town of Pho'cis 
at the foot of Mount Parnassus (the 
modern Kastn), famous for a temple of 
Apollo and for an oracle which was 
silenced only in the 4th century A. D 
by Theodosius, and was celebrated in 
every age and country. 

Delphiiie. A novel by Madame de 
Stael (Fr. 1802), the tale of a girl whose 
lover is faithless and who dies of a broken 

Madame Delphine. A story by G. W. 

Deluge, The. The second of a Polish 
historic trilogy by Sienkiewicz. See With 
Fire and Sword. 

Delville, Mortimer. The hero of Fanny 
Burney's Cecilia (qv) 

Derneter, One of the great Olympian 
deities of ancient Greece, identified with 
the Roman Ceres (g.v,). She was the 
goddess of fruits, crops, and vegetation 
generally, and the protectress of marriage. 
Persephone (Proserpine) was her daughter. 
See Proserpine; Eleusinian Mysteries. 

Demstrios. In CabelPs Domnei (qv), 
Perion's rival who kept Melicent captive 
for years. 

Demetrius. In Shakespeare's Mid- 
summer Night's Dream (qv), a young 
Athenian in love with Hermia After 
the fairies have done their work, he is 
content to marry his old love, Helena. 

Democ'ritus. The laughing philosopher 
of Abde'ra (lived about B. C. 460-357). 
He should rather be termed the deriding 
philosopher, because he derided or laughed 
at people's folly or vanity It is said that 
he put out his eyes that he might think 
more deeply. 

Democritus, dear droll, revisit earth, 
And with our follies glut thy heightened mirth 


Democ'ritus Junior. Robert Burton 
(1577-1640) author of The Anatomy of 

Demod/ocos. A minstrel who, accord- 
ing to Homer (Odyss. viu), sang the 
amours of Mars and Venus in the court 
of Alcin'ous while Ulysses was a guest 

Such as the wise Demodicos once told 
In solemn songs at King Alcmous' feast, 
While sad Ulysses' soul and all the rest 
Are held, with his melodious harmony, 
In willing chains and sweet captivity 

Milton Vacation Exercise (1627) 

Demogorgon. A terrible deity, whose 
very name was capable of producing 
the most horrible effects. He is first 
mentioned by the 4th century Christian 

writer, Lactantius, who, in so doing, is 
believed to have broken the spell of a 
mystery, for Demogorgon is supposed to 
be identical with the infernal Power of 
the ancients, the very mention of whose 
name brought death and disaster, to 
whom reference is made by Lucan and 
others : 

Must I call your master to my aid, 
At \\hose dread name the trembling furies quake, 
Hell stands abashed, and earth's foundations shake 9 
Rows Lucan' 6 Phar^aha, \i 

Hence Milton speaks of " the dreaded 
name of Demogorgon " (Paradise Lost, 
li. 965). According to Ariosto, Demo- 
gorgon was a king of the elves and fays 
who lived on the Himalayas, and once 
in five years summoned all his subjects 
before him to give an account of their 
stewardship. Spenser (Faerie Queene, IV. 
ii. 47) says that he dwells in the deep 
abyss with the three fatal sisters Shelley 
so calls eternity in Prometheus Unbound. 

Dempster, Janet. The heroine of 
George Eliot's Janet's Repentance (qv.). 
Her husband, Robert Dempster, is also a 
prominent character. 

Dendin, Peter. In Rabelais' Gargantua 
and Pantagruel, an old man, who had 
settled more disputes than all the magis- 
trates of Poitiers, though he was no judge. 
His plan was to wait till the litigants 
were thoroughly sick of their contention, 
and longed to end their disputes, then 
would he interpose, and his judgment 
could not fail to be acceptable. 

Tenot Dendin. Son of the above, but, 
unlike his father, he always tried to 
crush quarrels in the bud; consequently, 
he never succeeded in settling a single 
dispute submitted to his judgment. 

Racine has introduced the same name 
in his comedy called Les Plaideurs (1669), 
and Lafontame in his Fables, (1668). 

Denham, Ruth. Heroine of T. B. 
Aldrich's Queen of Sheba (q.v). 

Denis, St. See St Denys under Saint. 

Denise. Title and heroine of a problem 
play by Alexandre Dumas fils (Fr. 1886). 
Denise is a charming young woman with 
a past, beloved in the present by the high- 
minded Comte Andr6 de Bardannes. 

Dennis, Father. The lovable hot- 
tempered Roman Catholic chaplain of an 
Irish regiment in India, who appears in 
Kipling's Mutiny of the Mavericks and 
other of his stories. 

D6nouement. (Fr. denouer, to untie.) 
The untying of a plot; the winding-up of a 
novel or play. 

Densher, Merton. In Henry James' 
Wings of a Dove (q.v.) } the young journalist 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


who is engaged to Kate Croy but at 
Kate's urging marries the wealthy Milly 

Denys, St. See under Saint. 

Derby Stakes. Started by Edward 
Stanley, the twelfth Earl of Derby, in 
1780. the year after his establishment of 
the Oaks stakes (qv). 

Derby Day is the day when the Derby 
stakes are run for, during the great Epsom 
Summer Meeting, it is usually either the 
Wednesday before or the second Wednes- 
day after Whit Sunday. The Derby, 
known as the " Blue Ribbon of the Turf ," 
is for colts and fillies of three years old 
only, consequently, no horse can win it 
twice. The name of the race is pronounced 
Darby, that of the town and county 
Durby. See Classic Races. 

Deronda, Daniel. The hero of George 
Eliot's Daniel Deronda (q.v). 

"His eyes had a peculiarity which has drawn many 
men into trouble, they were of a dark yet mild intensity, 
which seemed to express a special interest in every one 
on whom he fixed them, and might easily help to bring 
on him those claims which ardently sympathetic people 
are often creating in the minds of those \vho need 
help " Ch xxi\ 

Desborough, Colonel. In Scott's Wood- 
stock, one of the parliamentary com- 

Desborough, Lucy. Heroine of Mere- 
dith's novel, Richard Feverel (q.v ) 

Descent of Man, The. The scientific 
volume, published in 1871, which, together 
with his earlier Origin of Species, embodies 
the evolutionary theories of Charles 
Darwin, the naturalist. 

Desdemo'na. Heroine of Shakespeare's 
Othello (qv.). 

The soft simplicity of Desdemona, confident of merit 
and conscious of innocence, her artless perseverance in 
her suit, and her slowness to suspect that she can be 
suspected, are proofs of Shakespeare's skill in human 
nature Dr Johnson 

Deserted Village, The. A famous 
descriptive poem by Oliver Goldsmith 
(1770). See Auburn. 

Desgenais. A character who appeared 
in Alfred de Musset's Confessions of a 
Child of the Age and whose name and 
general character were taken over by 
Barriere m his Marble Heart (originally 
Les Filles de Marbre) (1853), in The 
Parisians of the Decadence and other 
plays He is a cynical philosopher and 
moralist, who preaches virtue from a sort 
of enlightened self interest but is con- 
vinced of the futility of all moralizing. 

Despair, Giant. Tn Bunyan's Pilgrim's 
Progress, a giant who lived in Doubting 
Castle. He took Christian and Hopeful 
captives for sleeping on his grounds, and 
locked them in a daik dungeon from 

Wednesday to Saturday, without " one 
bit of bread, or drop of drink, or ray of 
light " By the advice of his wife, Diffi- 
dence, the giant beat them soundly " with 
a crab-tree cudgel." On Saturday night 
Christian remembered he had a key in 
his bosom, called " Promise," which would 
open any lock in Doubting Castle. So he 
opened the dungeon door and they both 
made their escape with speed. 

Dessalle, Jeanne. The heroine of 
Fogazzaro's novels, The Sinner and The 
Saint. See Maironi, Piero. 

Destiny, The Man of. Napoleon 
Bonaparte. See under Man. 

Deucalion's Flood. The Deluge, of 
Greek legend. Deucalion was son of 
Prometheus and Clymene, and was king 
of Phthia, in Thessaly. When Zeus sent 
the deluge Deucalion built a ship, and 
he and his wife, Pyrrha, were the only 
mortals saved. The ship at last rested 
on Mount Parnassus, and Deucalion was 
told by the oracle at Themis that to 
restore the human race he must cast the 
bones of Ms mother behind him. His 
interpretation of this was the stones of 
his mother Earth, so the two cast these 
as directed and those thrown by Deuca- 
lion became men, and those thrown by 
his wife became women. 

Bayard Taylor has a lyrical drama 
entitled Prince DeuJcahon (Am. 1878), in 
which he takes Deukalion and Pyrrha 
over all the earth and through all ages of 

Deuceace, Hon. Algernon Percy. One 
of Thackeray's characters, a worthless 
rascal who is the hero of The Amours 
of Mr. Deuceace, and appears in The 
Shabby Genteel Story, Vanity Fair, Penden- 
nis and The Raven 3 s wing. In the first- 
mentioned, he fleeces an acquaintance out 
of a huge sum, but is himself fooled into 
marrying an heiress who loses her wealth 
by eloping without consent. 

Deukalion. See Deucalion. 

Deus. Deus ex machina. The inter- 
vention of some unlikely event in order 
to extricate one from difficulties; such as, 
in a novel, a forced incident, like the 
arrival of a rich uncle from the Indies to 
help a young couple in their pecuniary 
embarrassments. Literally, it means 
" a god (let down upon the stage) from 
the machine," the " machine " being 
part of the furniture of the stage in an 
ancient Greek theatre. 

Deuteronomy. The Greek name of the 
fifth book of the Old Testament. The 
word means, " the Law repeated." 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Deutschland liber Hles e> (Germ. Ger- 
many above all.) An expression of German 
patriotism that came into common use 
in other countries during the World War. 

Devil. The name usually given to the 
chief of devils, known as The Devil is 
Satan. He is also called Lucifer and 
Mephistopheles and is popularly referred 
to as Auld (or Old) Nick, Hornie, Clootie, 
Hangie, the Auld Ane, etc. See those 
entries for individualized legendary con- 
ceptions and use in literature, also 
Asmodeus, Astarotte, Beelzebubj Samael. 

The devil is frequently represented 
with a cloven foot, because by the Rab- 
binical writers he is called seinzzim (a 
goat). As the goat is a type of unclean- 
ness, the prince of unclean spirits is aptly 
represented under this emblem. 

A printer's devil. A printer's message 
boy; formerly, the boy who took the 
printed sheets from the tympan of the 
press. Moxon says (1683): "They do 
commonly so black and bedaub them- 
selves that the workmen do jocosely 
call them devils." The black slave 
employed by Aldo Manuzio, Venetian 
printer, was thought to be an imp. Hence 
the following proclamation. 

I, Aldo Manuzio, printer to the Doge, have this day 
made public exposure of the printer's devil All who 
think he is not flesh and blood may come and pinch him 
Proclamation of Aldo Manuzio, 1490 

The Devil's Advocate. A carping or 
adverse critic. From the Advocatus 
diabolij the person appointed to contest 
the claims of a candidate for canonization 
before a papal court. He advances all 
he can against the candidate, and is 
opposed by the Advocatus dei (God's 
Advocate), who says all he can in support 
of the proposal. 

Devil may care. Wildly reckless; also a 
reckless fellow. 

Devil on two sticks. The English name 
of Le Sage's novel Le diable boiteux (1707) 
in which Asmodeus (q v ) plays an impor- 
tant part. It was dramatized by Foote 
in 1768. As slang the term is applied to a 
crusty old cripple 

Devil's apple. The mandrake; also the 
thorn apple. 

Devil's Bible. See Devil's Books below. 

Devil's bones. Dice, which are made of 
bones and lead to ruin. 

Devil's books, or Devil's picture-book. 
Playing cards. A Presbyterian phrase 
used in reproof of the term King's Books, 
applied to a pack of cards, from the 
Fr. livre des quatre rois (the book of the 
four kings). Also called the Devil's Bible. 

Devil Dick. A nickname of Richard 

Porson (1759-1808), the great English 
Greek scholar 

Robert the Devil. See Robert Le Diable. 

The French Devil Jean Bart (1651- 
1702), an intrepid French sailor, born at 

The devil's missionary. A nickname 
given to Voltaire (1694-1778), and very 
likely to others. 

Son of the devil. Ezzeli'no (1194- 
1259), the noted Ghibellme leader and 
Governor of Vicenza; so called for his 
infamous cruelties 

The White Devil of Walla'chia. Scan- 
derbeg, or George Castrio'ta (1403- 
1468), was so called by the Turks. 

Devilshoof. The chief of the gipsy 
band in Balfe's opera, The Bohemian 
Girl (q.v). 

Dewy, Dick. Hero of Hardy's Under 
the Greenwood Tree (q.v). 

Dey. See Rulers, Titles of. 

Diafoiras, Thomas. In Moliere's com- 
edy, Le Malade Imaginaire, two pompous 
doctors, father and son, caricatures of 
the medical men of the period. The 
younger Dr. Diafoirus is a suitor for the 
hand of Angelique, but loses her to 

Diamond. A corruption of adamant. 
So called because the diamond, which 
cuts other substances, can be cut or 
polished with no substance but itself 
(Gr. a damao } what cannot be subdued). 

In Spenser's Faerie Queene (Bk. iv), 
Diamond is one of the three sons of 
Ag'ape. He was slain by Cam'balo. 
Cp. Triamond. 

A diamond of the first water. A specially 
fine diamond, one of the greatest value 
for its size. The color or luster of a 
diamond is called its " water." Hence, 
figuratively, " a man of the first water " 
is a man of the highest merit. 

A rough diamond. An uncultivated 
genius; a person of excellent parts, but 
without society manners. 

The diamond jousts. Jousts instituted 
by King Arthur, " who by that name had 
named them, since a diamond was the 
prize. 77 The story, as embroidered by 
Tennyson in his Launcelot and Elaine from 
Malory (Bk. xviii, ch. 9-20) is that Arthur 
found nine diamonds from the crown of a 
slain knight and offered them as the 
prize of nine jousts in successive years. 
Launcelot had won them all, but when 
he laid them before the queen, Guine- 
vere, in a fit of jealousy the result of 
believing false rumors about Launcelot 
and Elaine flung them into the river 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


a moment before the corpse of Elaine 
passed in the barge 

The Diamond Necklace The famous 
" Diamond Necklace Aft air " of French 
history (1783-1785) centers round Mane 
Antoinette Cardinal de Rohan, a profli- 
gate churchman, entertained a passion 
for the queen; and an adventuress, the 
Countess de Lamotte, partly by means 
of the Queen's signatures, which were 
almost certainly forged, induced him to 
purchase for the Queen, for about 85,000, 
a diamond necklace, originally made for 
Mme Dubarry. The cardinal handed 
the necklace to the countess, who sold 
it to an English jeweler and kept the 
money. When the time of payment 
arrived Boehmer, the jeweler, sent 
his bill in to the Queen, who denied 
all knowledge of the matter. A nine 
months' trial ensued which created 
immense scandal. 

Diamond Pitt Thomas Pitt (1653- 
1726), owner of the famous Pitt Diamond 
and grandfather of the Earl of Chatham, 
was so known. 

Diamond. The little dog belonging 
to Sir Isaac Newton. One winter's morn- 
ing he upset a candle on his master's 
desk, by which papers containing minutes 
of many years' experiments were de- 
stroyed. On perceiving this terrible 
catastrophe Newton exclaimed: " Oh, 
Diamond, Diamond, thou little knowest 
the mischief thou hast done! " and at 
once set to work to repair the loss. 

Dian'a. (1) An ancient Italian and 
Roman divinity, later identified with 
the Olympian goddess Artemis, who 
was daughter of Zeus and Leto, and 
twin-sister of Apollo. She was the goddess 
of the moon and of hunting, protectress 
of women, and in earlier times at 
least the great mother goddess or 
Nature goddess. Cp. Selene. The temple 
of Diana at Epb/esus, built by Dinochares, 
was set on fire by Erostratus for the sake 
of perpetuating his name. The lonians 
decreed that any one who mentioned his 
name should be put to death, but this 
very decree gave it immortality The 
temple was one of the Seven Wonders 
of the World. 

Diana of Ephesus. This statue, a cone 
surmounted by a bust covered with 
breasts, we are told, fell from heaven. 
If so, it was an aerolite; but Minucius 
(2nd century A. D.), who says he saw it, 
describes it as a wooden statue, and Pliny, 
a contemporary, tells us it was made of 

Great is Diana of the Ephesians A 
phrase sometimes used to signify that 
self-interest blinds the eyes, from the 
story told in Acts xix 24-28 of Demetrius, 
the Ephesian silversmith who made 
shrines for the temple of Diana. 

The Tree of Diana. See Philosopher's 
Tree under Tree. 

(2) Diana is the heroine and title of a 
pastoral by Montemayor, imitated from 
the Daphms and Chloe of Longos. Al- 
though by a Portuguese author, it was 
written in Spanish (1560). 

Diana of the Cros sways. A novel by 
George Meiedith (Eng. 1885). Diana, 
the witty and charming if somewhat 
capricious Irish heroine, marries Warwick, 
but soon finds that he is uncongenial. 
Hearing her name unpleasantly coupled 
with that of Lord Dannisburgti, one of 
the cabinet members, Warwick sues for 
divorce, but Diana successfully opposes 
the suit, leaves her husband and becomes 
celebrated for her novels and her salon. 
She has an affair with the brilliant young 
politician Percy Dacier and on one 
occasion all but elopes with him; later 
in an impetuous moment she sells to a 
newspaper a political secret which he has 
told her in confidence. Although Warwick 
dies a few days later, her chance of happi- 
ness with Dacier is gone, and she finally 
marries Thomas Redworth, the faithful 
and worthy suitor who has extricated 
her from numerous difficulties and has 
persistently " believed in the soul of 

This novel was based on the career of 
Caroline Norton, but in his second edition 
Meredith cautioned his readers against 
applying its incidents to any individual 
in a literal fashion. 

Diane de Cadignan. (In Balzac's 
novels.) See Cadignan, Diane de. 

Diane de Lys. A novel by Alexandre 
Dumas fils (Fr. 1851), dramatized two 
years later under the same title. It centers 
about a love affair between the titular 
heroine and the ardent young sculptor, 
Paul Aubrey, with Diane's neglectful 
husband as the third character of impor- 

Diano'ra. In Boccaccio's Decameron 
(x. 5), the wife of Gilberto of Friu'li, loved 
by Ansaldo. In order to rid herself of^his 
importunities, she vowed never to yield 
to his suit till he could " make her garden 
at midwinter as gay with flowers as it 
was in summer " (meaning never) . Ansaldo, 
by the aid of a magician, accomplished 
the appointed task; but when the lady 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

told him her husband insisted on her 
keeping her promise, Ansaldo, not to be 
outdone in generobity, declined to take 
advantage of his claim, and from that 
day forth was the firm and honorable 
Iriend of Gilberto. The Franklin's Tale 
of Chaucer is substantially the same story 
See Dorlgen 

Diav'olo, Fra. See Fra Diavolo. 

Dick Deadeye. See Deadeye, Dick 

Dick, Deadwood. See Deadwood Dick. 

Dick Dewy. In Hardy's Under the 
Greenwood Tree (q.v). 

Dick Heldar. In Kipling's Light that 
Failed (qv.). 

Dick, Mr. In Dickens' David Copper- 
field (1849), an amiable, half-witted man, 
devoted to David's great-aunt, Miss 
Betsey Trotwood, who thinks him a pro- 
digious genius. 

Dick Turpin, See Turpin, Dick. 

Dickens, Charles (1812-1870). One of 
the greatest of Enghsh novelists. His 
novels include- 

PickwicL Papers 

Oliver Twist 

Nicholas NicLleby 

The Old Curiosity Shop 

Barnaby Rudge 

A Christmas Carol 

Martin Chuzzlewit 

The Chimes 

The Cricket on the Hearth 

Dombey and Son 

David Copperfield 

Bleak House 

Hard Times 

Little Dornt 

A Tale of Two Cities 

Great Expectations 

Our Mutual Friend 

The Mystery of Edwin Drood 

See those entries. 

The Modern Dickens. William De Mor- 
gan (Eng 1839-1917), author of Joseph 
Vance, Alice-for-Short and other novels, 
is so called because of his Victorian manner 
and emphasis on character rather than 

Dickinson, Emily (1830-1886). Ameri- 
can poet. Her poems are all very short. 
They were not published until after her 

Dickon. In Percy Mackaye's Scare- 
crow (gw.)f a "Yankee improvisation of 
the Prince of Darkness." 

Dictator of Letters. Francois Marie 
Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778) called the 
Great Pan. 

Didactic Poetry. Poetry which uses 
the beauties of expression, imagination, 
sentiment, etc , for teaching some moral 
lesson, as Pope's Essay on Man, or the 
principles of some art or science, as 
Virgil's Georgics, Garth's Dispensary, or 

Darwin's Botanic Garden. (Gr didasko, 
I teach ) 

Di'do. The name given by Virgil to 
Elissa, founder and queen of Carthage 
She fell in love with .ZEneas, duven by 
a stoun to her shores, who, after abiding 
awhile at Carthage, was compelled by 
Mercury to leave the hospitable queen 
Elista, in grief, burns herself to death on a 
funeral pile, (JEneid, i 494-m 650.) 
Dido is leally the Phoenician name of 
Astarte (Artemis), goddess of the moon 
and protectress of the citadel of Carthage. 
Ovid, in his Heroides, has a letter sup- 
posed to be v.ntten by Dido to ..'Eneas, 
reminding him of all she had done for him, 
and imploring him to lemain There are 
several English tragedies on Queen Dido 
Dido, Queen of Carthage, by Nash and 
Marlowe (1594), Dido and sSneas, by 
D'Urfey (1721); the opera of Dido and 
dEneas, by Purcell (1657), also Dido, an 
opera, by Marmontel (1703), Didon 
Abbandonata, by Metastasio (1724). 

Die-hards. In political phraseology 
Die-hards are the crusted members of 
any party (particularly the Tones who 
opposed any reform of the House of 
Lords, and the Unionists who refused 
to budge an inch in the direction of 
Irish Home Rule) who stick to their long- 
held theories through thick and thin, 
regardless of the changes that tune or 
a newly awakened conscience may bring 

Diego, San. A modification of Santiago 
(St. James), champion of the red cross 
and patron saint of Spam Sec under 

Dies. Dies hoe (Lat Day of Wrath) 
A famous medieval hymn on the last 
judgment, probably the composition of 
Thomas of Cela'no, a native of Abruzzi, 
who died in 1255. It is derived from the 
Vulgate version of Joel ii 31, and used 
by Catholics in the Mass for the Dead and 
on All Souls' Day. Scott has introduced 
the opening into his Lay of the Last 

Dies II.TI, dies ilia 
Solvet saeclum m fa villa, 
Tcste David cum Sibylla 

Dietrich of Bern. The name given by 
the German minnesingers to Theod'onc 
the Great (454-526), king of the Ostro- 
goths (Bern = Verona) He appears in 
many Middle High German poems, 
especially the Nibclungenhed, where he is 
one of the liegemen of King Etzel. 

Diggory Venn. In Hardy's Return of 
the Native (q v ) . 

Diman'che, Monsieur. A dun. The 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


term is from Moliere's Don Juan, and 
would be, in English, Mr. Sunday. 

Bimmesdale, Rev. Arthur. In Haw- 
thorne's Scailet Letter (q y), the father of 
Hester Prynne's illegitimate child After 
years of cowardly silence he finally made 
public confession. 

Dinah, In Uncle Tom's Cabin, by 
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1850) the cook 
in St Glair's household. The name is a 
common one for a negro cook or servant. 

Dink Stover at Yale. A novel by Owen 
Johnson. See Varmint. 

Dinmont, Dandle. In Scott's Guy 
Mannering, an eccentric and humorous 
store-farmer at Charlie's Hope. He is 
called " The Fighting Dinmont of Liddes- 
dale. j; Dandie Dinmont. is considered 
one of Scott's best-drawn characters. 

Dinsmore, Elsie. See Elsie Dinsmore 

Diog'enes. A noted Greek cyme philos- 
opher (about B. C. 412-323), who, ac- 
cording to Seneca, lived in a tub Another 
well-known tale is that he went about m 
daylight with a lantern, looking for an 
honest man. When Alexander went to see 
him, the young King of Macedonia 
introduced himself with these words: 
" I am Alexander, surnamed the Great," 
to which the philosopher replied: " And 
I am Diogenes, surnamed the Dog " 
When Alexander asked if he could do the 
philosopher any favor, Diogenes replied, 
" Yes, move out of my sunshine," to 
which Alexander is said to have answered, 
"If I were not Alexander, I should be 
Diogenes.' 7 

The whole world was not half so wide 

To Alexander, when he cried 

Because he had but one to sub'due, 

As was a paltry narrow tub to 

Diogcnos Butler IJud^bras, i 3 

Diogenes was the surname of Romanus 
IV, Emperor of the East, 1067-1071. 

Diome'des or Dipmed. In Greek 
legend, a hero of the siege of Troy, king of 
.Eto'lia, brave and obedient to authority, 
lie survived the siege, but on his return 
home found his wife hying in adultery, 
and saved his life by living an exile in 
Italy. His horses were Dinos and Lampon. 
See Horse 

Diom'cde'an swop. An exchange in 
which all the benefit is on one side. The 
expression is founded on an incident 
i elated by Homer in the Iliad. Glaucus 
recognizes Diomed on the battlefield, 
and the friends change armor: 

For Diomed's brass arms, of mean device. 
For which nine oxen paid (a vulgar price), 
He gave his own, of gold divinely wrought, 
An hundred beeves the shining purchase bought. 
Pope: Iliad, vi. 

Dio'ne. A Titaness; daughter of Oce- 
anus and Tethys, and mother by Jupiter 
of Venus. The name has been applied to 
Venus herseli, and Julius Caesar, who 
claimed descent from her, was hence 
sometimes called Dioncem Ccesar. 

So voung Dione, nursed beneath the \va\es, 
And rocked by Nereids in their coral caves . 
Lisped her s\\eet tones, and tried her tender smiles 
Darwin: Economy of Vegetation, 11 

Dionysia. See Bacchanalia. 

Diony'sus. The Greek name of Bacchus 

Dioscu'ri Castor and Pollux (q.v.). 
Gr. Dios kouros, sons of Zeus. 

Dipsas. A serpent, so caked because 
those bitten by it suffered from intolerable 
thirst. (Gr. dipsa, thirst ) Milton refers 
to it in Paradise Lost, x. 526. 

Dircse'an Swan. Pindar; so called from 
Dirce, a fountain in the neighborhood 
of Thebes, the poet's birthplace (B. (7. 
518-442). The fountain is named from 
Dirce, who was put to death by the sons 
of Antiope for her brutal treatment of 
their mother, and was changed into the 
spring by Bacchus. 

Direct Action. A method of attaining 
or attempting to attain, political ends by 
non-political means (such as striking or 
withdrawing labor). If, for instance, any 
vital section of the community, such 
as the railwaymen or miners, desired 
nationalization and came out on strike 
with a view to intimidating the nation 
into giving it, after the nation, speaking 
through its elected representatives, had 
refused it, that would be a case of direct 

Direc'toiy, The. In French history, the 
constitution of 1795, when the executive 
was vested in five " Directors/ 7 one of 
whom retired every year. After a sickly 
existence of four years, it came to an end 
at Napoleon's coup d'etat of 18 Brumaire 
(November 9th), 1799. 

Dirk Hatteraick. (In Scott's Guy Man- 
nering) See Hatteraick. 

Dis. Pluto 

*'Proser'pine gathering flowers, 
Herself a fairer flower, by gloomy Dis 
Was gathered " 

Milton: Paradise Lost, iv 270 

Disastrous Peace, The. (La Paix 
Malheureuse). A name given to the 
Treaty of Gateau Cambr6sis (1559), which 
followed the battle of Gravelines It was 
signed by France, Spain, and England, 
and by it France ceded the Low Countries 
to Spain, and Savoy, Corsica, and 200 
forts to Italy, 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Discharge Bible. See Bible, Specially 

Dishart, Gavin. The titular hero of 
Barriers Little Minister (q.v.). He also 
appears in Auld Licht Idylls. 

Dismas or Dysznas. The name usually 
given, in the apocryphal gospels, to the 
penitent thief who was crucified with 
Jesus. The impenitent thief is commonly 
known as Gesmas or Gestas. Longfellow, 
in his Golden Legend, calls the penitent 
Titus and his fellow thief Dumachus. 

Dispensation (Lat. dispensatio, from 
dis- and pendere, to weigh) The system 
which God chooses to dispense or establish 
between Himself and man. The dispensa- 
tion of Adam was that between Adam and 
God; the dispensation of Abraham, and 
that of Moses, were those imparted to 
these holy men; the Gospel dispensation is 
that explained in the Gospels. 

A dispensation from the Pope. Per- 
mission to dispense with something en- 
joined, a license to do what is forbidden, 
or to omit what is commanded by the 
law of the Church, as distinct from the 
moral law. 

Disraeli, Benjamin (Lord Beaconsfield) 
(1804r-1881). English statesman and 
novelist. His novels include Vivian Grey, 
Coningsby, Tancred, etc. See those entries. 

Distaffi'na. The heroine of Rhode's 
burlesque, Bombastes Furioso (q v.) . 

Dithyram'foic (Gr , dithyrambos, a chonc 
hymn). Dithyrambic poetry was origin- 
ally a wild, impetuous kind of Dorian 
lyric in honor of Bacchus, traditionally 
ascribed to the invention of Arion of 
Lesbos (about B. C. 620), who has hence 
been called the father of dithyrambic 

Diy or Deev. The generic name of 
certain malignant demons of Persian 
mythology, ferocious and gigantic spirits 
under the sovereignty of Ebhs. 

At Lahore, in the Mogul's palace, are pictures of 
Dews and Dives v*ith long horns, staring eyes, shaggy 
hair, great fangs, ugly paws, long tails, and such horrible 
deformity, that I wonder the poor women are not 
frightened William Finch Purchas* Pilgrims, vol i 

Diver, Colonel. In Dickens' Martin 
Chuzzlewit (1844), editor of the New York 
Rowdy Journal) in America. 

Dives. The name popularly given to 
the rich man (Lat dives, rich) in Jesus' 
parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. 
(Luke xvi 19-31) It is taken from the 
Vulgate, where the word dives occurs. 

Divide and Govern (Lat. divide et 
impera). A maxim of Machiavelli (1469- 
1527) meaning that if you divide a nation 
into parties, or set your enemies at logger- 

heads, you can have your own way. 
Coke, in his Institutes (pt. iv. cap. i) 
speaks of the maxim as " that exploded 
adage/ 7 

Every city or house divided against itself shall not 
stand Matt xn 25 

Divine, The. 

Theoplirastus, the name of the Greek 
philosopher (B. C. 390-287), means the 
Divine Speaker, an epithet bestowed on 
him by Aristotle, on account of which he 
changed his name from Tyrtamus. 

Hypa'tia (c. 370-415), who presided 
over the Neoplaton'ic School at Alex- 
andria, was known as the Divine Pagan. 

Jean de Ruysbroek was called the Divine 

A name given to Michaelangelo (1475- 
1564) was the Divine Madman. 

Ariosto (1474-1533), Italian poet, Ra- 
phael (1483-1520), the painter, Luis de 
Morales (1509-1586), a Spanish religious 
painter, and Ferdinand de Herrcra (1534- 
1567), the Spanish lyric poet, were all 
known as the Divine. 

The divine right of kings. The notion 
that kings reign by direct ordinance of 
God, quite apart from the will of the 
people. This phrase was much used in 
the 17th century on account of the pre- 
tensions of the Stuart kings. The idea 
arose from the Old Testament, where 
kings are called " God's anointed," be- 
cause they were God's vicars on earth, 
when the Jews changed their theocracy 
for a monarchy. 

The right divine of kings to govern wrong. 

Pope. Dunciad, iv. 188 

Divine Comedy (Dwina Commedid). 
An epic by Dante Alighie'ri, divided into 
three parts' Inferno (1300), Purgatory 
(1308), and Paradise (1311). Dante called 
it a comedy , because the ending is happy 
and his countrymen added the word 
divine from admiration of the poem. The 
poet depicts a vision, in which he is con- 
ducted, first by Virgil (human reason) 
through hell and purgatory; and then by 
Beatrice (revelation) and finally by St. 
Bernard through the several heavens, 
where he beholds the Triune God. 

Hell or the Inferno is represented as a 
funnel-shaped hollow, formed of gradually 
contracting circles, the lowest and smallest 
of which is the earth's center Purgatory 
is a mountain rising solitarily from the 
ocean on that side of the earth which is 
opposite to us It is divided into terraces, 
and its top is the terrestrial paradise. 
From this " top " the poet ascends 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


through the seven planetary heavens, the 
fixed stais, and the " pnnium mobile," 
to the empyre'an or seat of God. 

Divine Fire, The. A novel by May 
Sinclair (Eng. 1905), a study of tempera- 
mental genius. The hero, Keith Richman, 
a young Cockney poet, is said to have been 
drawn in some measure from the poet, 
Ernest Dowson. 

Dixie or Dixie's Land. An ideal country, 
a sort of Utopia in the southern part of the 
United States, hence a general term for 
the states south of the Mason and Dixon 
line. The term was popularized by the 
song Dixie , written by D. D. Emmett 
and first sung in public by Bryant's Negro 
Minstrels m New York in 1859 During 
the Civil War, the song became a great 
favorite with the Confederate soldiers. 

Originally, however, Dixy referred not 
to the South, but to Manhattan Island, 
and this use of the term was said to be 
current for about fifty years before the 
song was written According to the 
account usually given, Dixy or Dixie was 
a slave-holder of Manhattan Island, who 
removed his slaves to the Southern States, 
where they had to work harder and fare 
worse; so that they were always sighing 
for their old home, which they called 
" Dixie's Land." Imagination and dis- 
tance soon advanced this island into a 
sort of Delectable Country or Land of 

Dizzy. A nickname of Benjamin Dis- 
raeli, earl of Beaconsfield (1805-1881). 

Dja'bal. In Browning's tragedy, The 
Return of the Druses (qv], a man who 
poses as divine from patriotic motives 
and stabs himself when his scheme is 

Djin'nestan'. See Jinnistan. 

Dmitri, In Dostoievski's Brothers Kara- 
mazov (q #.), the eldest of the brothers. 

Dmitri Rudin. A novel by Turgenev 
(Rus 1860), a keen study of a man whose 
colossal vanity leads him to think himself 
a genius, but who is contented with 
fascinating a few ladies and talking 

Dobbin, Captain, afterwards Colonel. 
In Thackeray's Vanity Fair (q.v.), the 
faithful friend of George Osborne and 
lover of Amelia Sedley. He is ungainly 
and self-effacing, for years he devotes him- 
self to Amelia's welfare without demand- 
ing anything in return. At last he is 
rewarded with her hand. Dobbin's 
sterling qualities place him in sharp 
contrast with many of the other, more 

worldly, self-assertive characters of the 

Doboobie, Dr. Demetrius. In Scott's 
Kemlworth, a doctor who taught Wayland 
Smith (q v ) something of his art. 

Dobson, Austin (1840-1921). English 
poet. His poems are of the light, gay sort 
known as vers de societe (q v.). 

Doctor. A scholastic or honorary title 
conferred by a university The word 
doctor is commonly synonymous with 
physician, from the degree M.D., doctor 
of medicine. In the medieval universities 
doctors were advanced students who were 
usually also teachers. The degree Ph D., 
doctor of philosophy, is regularly con- 
ferred by American universities on the 
satisfactory completion of the equivalent 
of about three years' study beyond the 
bachelor's degree (see B.A , B.S ) includ- 
ing the presentation of an original thesis. 

Other doctors' degrees than the Ph D. 
such as LL D , doctor of law, Litt D., 
doctor of literature are honorary and 
are conferred by a university for high 
distinction in any field, often regardless of 
whether the recipient has done academic 
work at that or any other university. 

In the Middle Ages, the Schoolmen or 
theologians who lectured in the cloisters 
and Cathedral schools were called doctors, 
and many of them became known under 
special titles, as: 

Admirable Doctor (Doctor mirdbilis). 
Roger Bacon (12147-1294), the English 
medieval philosopher 

Angelic Doctor. Thomas Aqui'nas 
(1224-1274), also known as the Angel of 
the Schools, was so called, because he dis- 
cussed the knotty points in connection 
with the being and nature of angels. 

Authentic Doctor. A title bestowed on 
the scholastic philosopher, Gregory of 
Rim'ini (d. 1358). 

Dimne Doctor. Jean de Ruysbroeck, 
also called the Ecstatic Doctor (see below). 

Eloquent Doctor. Peter Aure'olus (14th 
century), archbishop of Aix, a schoolman. 

Ecstat'ic Doctor. Jean de Ruysbroeck, 
the mystic (1294-1381). 

Enlightened Doctor. Raymond Lully of 
Palma (about 1234-1315), a Spaniard, 
and one of the most distinguished of the 
13th century scholastic philosophers 

Evangelic Doctor. John Wychf (1320- 
1384), " the morning star of the Reforma- 

Illuminated Doctor. Raymond Lully 
(1254-1315), the Spanish scholastic phi- 
losopher; also Johann Tauler (1294-1361), 
the German mystic. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Invincible Doctor. William of Occam 
(d. 1347), or Ockham (a village in Suirey), 
the scholastic philosopher. He was also 
called Doctor Singula'ris, and Pnnceps 
Nominalium, for he was the reviver of 

Irrefragable Doctor. Alexander Hales 
(d. 1245), an English Franciscan, author 
of Summa Theologice, and founder of the 
scholastic theology. 

Mellifluous Doctor. St Bernard (1091- 
1153), whose writings were called a " river 
of Paradise." 

Profound Doctor Thomas Bradwar- 
dine, Richard Middleton, and other 14th 
century scholastic philosophers were given 
the title Most Profound Doctor. JDgidius 
de Columna (d. 1316), a Sicilian school- 

Seraphic Doctor St Bonaventura, the 
scholastic philosopher (1221-1274), placed 
by Dante among the saints of his Paradiso. 

Singular Doctor. William Occam, Doctor 
Smgulans ct Invincibihs (1276-1347) 
See Invincible Doctor above. 

Subtle Doctor. The Scottish schoolman 
and Franciscan friar, Duns Scotus (about 

Universal Doctor. Alain de Lille (1114- 
1203), one of the Schoolmen. 

Well-founded Doctor. JSgid'ms de Col- 
umna. (1316) 

Doctors of the Church. Certain early 
Christian Fathers, especially four in the 
Greek (or Eastern) Church and four in the 
Latin (or Western) Church. 

(a) Eastern Church. St. Athanasius of 
Alexandria (331), who defended the divin- 
ity of Christ against the Arians, St Basil 
the Great of Cscsarea (379) and his co- 
worker St. Gregory of Nazianzum (376) ; 
and the eloquent St. John Chrysostom 
(398), Archbishop of Constantinople. 

(b) Western Church St. Jerome (420), 
translator of the Yulgate, St. Ambrose 
(397), bishop of Milan, St. Augustine 
(430), bishop of Hippo; and St. Gregory 
the Great (604), the pope who sent 
St. Augustine to England. 

Dr. Adrian. A novel by Couperus. 
See Small Souls. 

Dr. Breen's Profession. A novel by 
W. D. Howells (Am. 1881). The heroine, 
Grace Breen, as the outcome of an un- 
happy love affair, plunges into the profes- 
sion of medicine m the effort to make 
herself of some real service in the world 
and so find the peace that is otherwise 
denied her. 

Dr. Faustus. See under Faust. 

Dr. FeE. See Fell 

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. See Jekyll 

Dr. Lavendax's People. A volume of 
stories by Margaiet Deland. See Lavendar, 

Dr. Luke of the Labrador. A narrative 
by Norman Duncan based on the career 
of Dr. William T. Grenfell, a medical 
missionary in Labrador. 

Dr. Marigold's Prescriptions. A Christ- 
mas number of All the Year Round for 
1865, by Dickens. Dr Marigold is an 
itinerant Cheap Jack, called " doctor " in 
compliment to the medical man who 
attended at his birth, and would only 
accept a tea-tray for hi, fee The death 
of little Sophy in her fathei's arms, while 
he is convulsing the rustic crowd with 
his ludicrous speeches, is the central inci- 
dent of the tale. 

Doctor of Physic's Tale or Physicians 
Tale. (In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales) 
See Virginia. 

Dr. Sevier. A story of life in New 
(Means by G. W. Cable (Am. 1822). 
Dr. Sevier is a physician of New Orleans, 
of high-minded but somewhat severe 
character and manner. 

Dr. Syntax. Sec Syntax. 

Dr. Thome. A novel by Anthony 
Trollope, one of his Chronicles of Barsct- 
shire. See Barsetshire; Thome 

Dodd, David. An important character 
in Charles Reade's Love Me Little, Love 
Me Long (1859) and in its sequel, Hard 
Cash (1864) He is a seaman, completely 
at home on shipboard but extremely ill at 
ease on land. The first mentioned novel 
treats of his successful wooing of Lucy 
Fountain In the latter his struggles to 
bring home a large sum in " hard cash " 
result in his losing his mind, and as " Silly 
Billy Thompson " he escapes from a 
burning lunatic asylum to a frigate and 
lives through a series of exciting adven- 
tures before fate restores to him his 
reason, his wife and daughter and his 
bank account of " hard cash." This novel 
was written as an exposure of conditions 
in the private lunatic asylums of England 
and as such aroused much discussion. 

Julia Dodd David's daughter, the 
exuberant young heroine of Hard Cash 

Dodd Family Abroad, The. A satiiic 
romance by Charles Lever, ridiculing 
English travelers in Europe. The Dodds 
are Anglo-Irish. 

Dodge, Esq., Steadfast. In Cooper's 
novels, Homeward Bovnd and Home as 
Found, an American journalist typical 
of all the unpleasant qualities which 
Cooper saw in his fellow countrymen 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


after his own travels abroad This charac- 
ter and others of a similar nature did much 
1,o involve Cooper in controversies, legal 
and otherwise, and to dull his popularity. 

Dodger, Artful. (In Dickens' Oliver 
Twist} See Aitjul Dodger. 

Dodo (Pg. doudo, silly). An extinct 
species of bird somewhat larger than a 
turkey formerly found on the island oi 
Mauritius It could not fly. E. F. Benson 
borrowed the word for his novel Dodo, 
a Detail of Today (Eng. 1893), in which 
the heroine is said to be drawn from 
Margot Asqmth, then Alice or Margot 

Dodo'na. A famous oracle in the 
village of Dodona in Epi'rus, and the 
most ancient of Greece It was dedicated 
to Zeus, and the oracles were delivered 
from the tops of oak and other trees, the 
j ustlmg of the wind in the branches being 
interpreted by the priests. Also, brazen 
vessels and plates were suspended from 
1he branches, and these, being struck 
together when the wind blew, gave various 
sounds from which responses were con- 
cocted. Hence the Greek phi as 3 KalLos 
Dodones (biass of Dodona), meaning a 
babbler, or one who talks an infinite 
deal of nothing. 

The black pigeons of Dodo'na Two 
black pigeons, we are told, took their 
flight fiom Thebes, in Egypt; one flew 
to Libya, and the other to Dodo'na. On 
Hie spot where the former alighted, the 
temple of Jupiter Ammoii was erected; 
in the place where the other settled, the 
oracle of Jupiter was established, and 
there the responses were made by the 
black pigeons that inhabited the sur- 
lounding groves This fable is probably 
based on a pun upon the word peleiai, 
which ubiially meant " old women," but 
in the dialect of the Epi'rots signified 
pigeons or doves. 

Dods, Meg. In Scott's novel, St. 
Ronan's Well, landlady of the Claclian, 
or Mowbery Arms inn at St. Ronan's Old 
Town The inn was once the manse, 
and Meg Dods reigned there despotically, 
but her wines were good and her cuisine 
excellent. This is considered one of the 
best low comic characters in the whole 
range of fiction. 

She had hair of a brindled colour, betwixt black and 
grey, which was apt to escape in elf-locks from under 
her mutch when fehc was thrown into violent agitation, 
long skinny hands terminated by stout talons, grey eyes, 
thin lips, a robust person, a broad though fat chest, 
capital wind, and a voice that could match a choir of 
fishwonion >SV W Scott St Ronan's Well, i 

Dodson. and Fogg, Messrs, In Dickens 7 

Pickwick Papers (1836), two unprincipled 
lawyers, who undertake on speculation 
to bring an action against Mr. Pickwick 
for " breach of promise," and file accord- 
ingly the famous suit of " Bar dell v. 
Pickwick." The names Dodson and Fogg 
are frequently used as synonymous with 
unscrupulous or dishonest solicitors. 

Doe. John Doe and Richard Roe Any 
plaintiff and defendant in an action of 
ejectment. They were sham names used 
at one time to save certain "niceties of 
law" ; but the clumsy device was abolished 
in 1852. Any mere imaginary persons, or 
men of straw are so called. 

Doeg. In the satire of Absalom and 
Achilophel, by Dryden and Tate, Doeg is 
meant for Elka'nah Settle, a poet who 
wrote satires upon Dryden, but was no 
match for his great rival Doeg in the 
Biblical narrative was Saul's herdsman, 
who had charge of his mules and asses. 
He told Saul that the priests of Nob 
had provided David with food, whereupon 
Saul sent him to put them to death, and 
eighty-five were ruthlessly massacred. 
(1 Sam. xxi. 7, xxii. 18) 

"Doeg, though without knowing how or why, 
Made still a blundering kind of melody . . 
Let him rail on, let his invective Muse 
Have four-and-twenty letters to abuse, 
Which if he jumbles to one line of sense, 
Indict him of a capital offence " 

Absalom and Achitophel, Part u 

Dog. Dogs as the best loved of all 
animals figure prominently in legend and 
fiction. In medieval art they symbolize 
fidelity. A dog is represented as lying 
at the feet of St. Bernard, St. Benignus, 
and St Wendelm, as licking the wounds 
of St. Roch; as carrying a lighted torch in 
representations of St Dominic. In monu- 
ments the dog is placed at the feet of 
women to symbolize affection and fidelity, 
as a lion is placed at the feet of men to 
signify courage and magnanimity. Many 
of the Crusaders are represented with 
their feet on a dog, to show that they 
followed the standard of the Lord as 
faithfully as a dog follows the footsteps of 
his master. 

Among the many dogs whose names 
have become proverbial are Argus, Aubry's 
dog or the Dog of Montargis, Beautiful 
Joe, Beth Gelert, Boatswain, Bob Son 
of Battle, Bran, Buck, Diamond, Jip 
Katmir and Toby. See under those 
entries, also Mahdbharata. 

A black dog has walked over him. Said 
of a sullen person. Horace tells us that 
the sight of a black dog with its pups was 
an unlucky omen, and the devil has been 
frequently symbolized by a black dog. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

A cat and dog life. See Cat (To live a, 

A dead dog. Something utterly worth- 
less. A Biblical phrase (see 1 Sam xxiv 
14, " After whom is the king of Israel 
come out? After a dead dog? ") Cp also 
Is thy Servant, etc , below. There is no 
expression in the Bible of the fidelity, 
love, and watchful care of the dog 

A dog in a doublet. A bold, resolute 
fellow. In Germany and Flanders the 
strong dogs employed for hunting the 
wild boar were dressed in a kind of buff 
doublet buttoned to their bodies Rubens 
and Sneyders have represented several 
in their pictures. A false friend is called 
a dog in one's doublet. 

A dog in the manger. A churlish fellow, 
who will not use what is wanted by 
another, nor yet let the other have it to 
use. The allusion is to the well-known 
fable of a dog that fixed his place in a 
manger, and would not allow an ox to 
come near the hay. 

A dog's life. A wretched life or a life of 

Gingham dog. See under Gingham. 

A living dog is better than a dead lion. 
The meanest thing with life in it is better 
than the noblest without. The saying is 
from Eccles. ix. 4. 

Between dog and wolf. The hour of 
dusk. " Entre chien et loup" 

I am his Highness' dog at Kew; Pray 
tel[ me } sir, whose dog are you? Frederick 
Prince of Wales had a dog given him by 
Alexander Pope, and these words are said 
to have been engraved on his collar. They 
are still sometimes quoted with reference 
to an overbearing, bumptious person. 

Is thy servant a dog } that he should do 
this thing f Said in contempt when one 
is asked to do something derogatory or 
beneath one. The phrase is (slightly 
altered) from 2 Kings viii. 13. 

It was the story of the dog and the shadow. 
A case of one who gives up the substance 
for its shadow, of one who throws good 
money after bad, of one who gives certa 
pro incertis. The allusion is to the well 
known fable of the dog who dropped his 
bone into the stream because he opened 
his mouth to seize the reflection of it. 

Let sleeping dogs he*; don't wake a 
sleeping dog. Let well alone; if some 
contemplated course of action is likely to 
cause trouble or land you in difficulties 
you had better avoid it. 

It is nought good a slepmg hound to wake, 
Nor yeve a, wight a cause to devyne 

Chaucer. Trotlus and Cnseyde, iii. 764. 

Love me love my dog. If you love me 
you must put up with my faults, my little 
ways, or (sometimes) my friends. 

Si Roch and his dog Two inseparables. 
See under Saint 

To rain cats and dogs. See Cat (It is 
raining, etc ) . 

To wake a sleeping dog See Let sleeping 
dogs he, above 

Try it on the dog f A jocular phrase used 
of medicine that is expected to be un- 
palatable, or of food that is suspected of 
being not quite fit for human consumption 

Dog-days. Days of great heat. The 
term comes from the Romans, who called 
the six or eight hottest weeks of the 
summer canicula'res dies. According to 
their theory, the dog-star or Sinus, rising 
with the sun, added to its heat, and the 
dog-days (about July 3 to August 11) 
bore the combined heat of the dog-star 
and the sun. See Dog-star 

Dog-fall. A fall in wrestling, when 
the two combatants touch the ground 

Dog-grass. Couch grass (Triticu r em- 
pens), which is eaten by dogs when they 
have lost their appetite; it acts as an 
emetic and purgative. 

Dog-head The part of a gun which 
bites or holds the flint. 

Dog-Latin. Pretended or mongrel Latin. 
An excellent example is Stevens 7 definition 
of a kitchen: 

As the law classically expresses it, a kitchen is 
"camera necessaria pro usus cookare, cum. saucepanms, 
stewpannis, scullcro, dressero, coalholo stovis, srnoak- 
jacko, pro roastandum, boilandum, fryandum et plum- 
pudding-mixandum . " A Law Report (Daniel v 

Dog-star. Sirius, the brightest star 
in the firmament, whose inflnence was 
anciently supposed to cause great heat, 
pestilence, etc. See Dog-days. 

Dogberry and Verges. In Shake- 
speare's Much Ado about Nothing, two 
ignorant conceited constables, who greatly 
confound their words. Dogberry calls 
" assembly " dissembly; " treason " he 
calls perjury; " calumny " he calls bur- 
glary; " condemnation," redemption, " re- 
spect," suspect. When Conrade says, 
" Away! you are an ass, " Dogberry tells 
the town clerk to write him down " "an 
ass." " Masters," he says to the officials, 
" remember I am an ass." " Oh that I 
had been writ down an ass! " 

Doge. See Rulers, Titles of. 

Doister, Ralph Roister. See Ralph 
Roister Doister. 

DoE Common. See Common. 

Doll Tearsheet* See Tearsheet. 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Dollar, The Almighty. See Almighty 

Doll's House, The. A drama by 
Hennk Ibsen (Nor. 1879). The " doll/ 7 
Nora Helmer, with a naive innocence of 
the realities of life that is the result of 
her petted existence, commits forgery 
to secure money for her sick husband. 
The results of her act awaken her to a 
new world. When the danger from the 
law is past, her resentment at being 
treated as a doll forces her to leave home 
to learn something about life for herself. 

Dolls, Mr. In Dickens' novel Our 
Mutual Friend, a nickname for the 
drunken old father of Jenny Wren (qv). 

Dolly Varden. In Dicksns' Borndby 
Rudge, daughter of Gabriel Varden, lock- 
smith. She was loved to distraction by 
Joe Willet, Hugh of the Maypole Inn, 
and Simon Tappertit. Dolly dressed in 
the Watteau style, and was lively, pretty, 
and bewitching Her name is given to 
a certain style of woman's dress or hat. 

Doltaire. A dashing Frenchman in 
Gilbert Parker's Seats of the Mighty 

Dombey and Son. A novel by Charles 
Dickens (1846). Mr Dombey. A purse- 
proud, self-contained London merchant, 
living in Portland Place, Bryanstone 
Square, with offices in the City. His god 
was wealth, and his one ambition was to 
have a son, that the firm might be known 
as " Dombey and Son." When Paul was 
born, his ambition was attained, his 
whole heart was in the boy, and the loss 
of the mother was but a small matter. 
The boy's death turned his heart to 
stone, and he treated his daughter 
Florence not only with utter indifference, 
but as an actual interloper. Mr. Dombey 
married a second time; but his wife eloped 
with his manager, James Carker. 

Paul Dombey. Son of Mr. Dombey; a 
delicate, sensitive little boy, quite un- 
equal to the great things expected of him. 
He was sent to Dr. Blirnber's school, but 
soon gave way under the strain of school 
discipline. In his short life he won the 
love of all who knew him, and his sister 
Florence was especially attached to him. 
His death is one of the famous passages 
of fiction. During his last days he was 
haunted by the sea, and was always 
wondering what the wild waves were 

Florence Dombey. Mr. Dombey's daugh- 
ter; a pretty, amiable, motherless child, 
who incurred her father's hatred because 
she lived and thrived while her younger 

brother, Paul, dwindled and died Florence 
hungered to be loved, but her father had 
no love to bestow on her She mairied 
Walter Gay. 

DomdanieL A fabled abode of evil 
spirits, gnomes, and enchanters, " under 
the roots of the ocean " oft Tunis, or else- 
where. It first appears in Chaves and 
Gazette's Continuation of the Arabian 
Nights (1788-1793), was introduced b} 
Southey into Ms Thalaba (qv), and usea 
by Carlyle as synonymous with a den of 
iniquity. The word is Lat. domus, house 
or home, Daniehs, of Daniel, the latter 
being taken as a magician. 

Domesday Book. The book containing 
a record of the census or survey of England, 
giving the ownership, extent, value, etc , 
of all the different holdings, undertaken 
by order of William the Conqueror in 
1086. It is in Latin, is written on vellum, 
and consists of two volumes. The value 
of all estates is given, firstly, as in the 
time of the Confessor; secondly, when 
bestowed by the Conqueror, and, thirdly, 
at the time of the survey. It is also called 
The King's Book, and The Winchester 
Roll because it was kept there. Printed 
in facsimile in 1783 and 1816. 

The book was so called from A.S. doom, 
judgment, because every case of dispute 
was decided by an appeal to these 
registers. Edgar Lee Masters gave the 
title to a volume of poetry (Am. 1920), a 
sort of sequel to his Spoon River Anthology 
(qv) in which the coroner investigating 
the mysterious death of Elenor Murray 
searches out all the remote causes. 

Dominic, St. See under Saint. 

Dominicans. An order of preaching 
friars, instituted by St. Dominic in 1215, 
and introduced into England (at Oxford) 
in 1221. They were formerly called in 
England Black Friars, from their black 
dress, and in France Jac'obins, because 
their mother-establishment in Paris was 
in the Rue St. Jacques. 

Dominick, Friar or Father. The titular 
hero of Dryden's comedy, The Spanish 
Friar, a kind of ecclesiastical Falstaff, 
a most immoral, licentious Dominican, 
who for money would prostitute even 
the Church and Holy Scriptures. 

He is a huge, fat, religious gentleman , big 
enough to be a pope His gills are as rosy as a turkey- 
cock's His big belly walks in, state before him, like a 
harbinger, and his gouty legs come limping after it 
Never was such a tun of devotion seen Dryden The 
Spanish Fryar, n 3 

Dominie Sampson. (In Scott's Guy 
Mannering.) See Sampson. 

Domnei, A Comedy of Woman Worship. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

A novel by James Branch Cabell (Am. 
1920) originally published, in 1913, under 
the title The Soul of Melicent It is a story 
of the unconquerable love of Penon and 
Melicent, two medieval lovers who are 
separated by a rival lover, Demetnos of 
Anatolia, who keeps Melicent captive 
for long years, but the true lovers win 
through to happiness at last The scene is 
laid in Poictesme (q v ) and the heroine, 
Melicent, is the daughter of Count 
Manuel, the hero of Figures of Earth. 

Don. A man of mark, an aristocrat. 
At the universities the masters, fellows, 
and noblemen are termed dons. The 
word is the Spanish form of Lat. dominus. 

Don Alvaro. The husband of Mencia of 
Mosquera (qv) in Le Sage's Gil Bias; also 
a character in Verdi's opera, La Forza del 
Destino (qv.). 

Don Carlos. The name of several 
tragedies, notably one by Schiller (Ger. 
1786), based on the life of Don Carlos, 
son of Philip II of Spain, and dealing with 
his unhappy love for Elizabeth of Valois, 
who for reasons of state marries his father, 
and his fatal connection with the revolt 
against his father in the Netherlands. 
There is an opera by Verdi (1867) based 
on Schiller's tragedy. Other dramas on 
the same theme include one by Otway 
in English (1672), by M. de CMnier in 
French (1789) and by Alfieri in Italian 
about the same time 

Don Carlos (Charles V) is one of the 
clnef characters in Victor Hugo's drama 
Hernam (q v ) and Verdi's opera, Ernam, 
founded on the play 

In Verdi's opera La Forza del Destino 
(q.v.) } Leonora's revengeful brother is 
named Don Carlos di Vargas. 

Don Cherubim. In Le Sage's Bachelor 
of Salamanca (q.v.). 

Don Cleofas. (In Le Sage's Devil on 
Two Sticks.} See Cleofas, Don; Asmodeus. 

Don Florestan. See Florestan. 

Don Giovanni. An opera by Mozart 
(1787), book by Da Ponte. The plot deals 
with the adventures of the Spanish lib- 
eitme Don Juan (q.v.). After he and his 
servant Leporello have put through one 
piece of villainy after another, the statue 
of a nobleman Don Juan has murdered 
appears and takes him off to the infernal 
regions. A second title of the opera is 
The Marble GuesL 

Don Ippolito. In Howells' Foregone 
Conclusion (##.). 

Don John. (In Shakespeare's Much 
Ado about Nothing.) See John, Don. 

Don Jos6. (In Byron's Don Juan and 

in Bizet's opera, Carmen ) See Jose, Don. 

Don Ju'axi. Don Juan Tenono, the 
hero of a large number of plays and 
poems, as well as of Mozart's opera, Don 
Giovanni, was the son of a leading family 
of Seville in the 14th century, and killed 
the commandant of Ulloa after seducing 
his daughter. To put an end to his 
debaucheries the Franciscan monks en- 
ticed him to their monastery and killed 
him, telling the people that he had been 
carried off to hell by the statue of the 
commandant, which was in the grounds. 

His name has passed into a synonym 
for a rake, roue* or aristocratic liber- 
tine, and in Mozart's opera (17S7) Don 
Giovanni's valet, Lepoiello, says his 
master had " in Italy 700 mistresses, 
in Germany SOO, in Turkey and France 
91, in Spam 1,003" His dissolute life 
was first dramatized by Gabriel Tellez in 
the 17th century, then by Holier e in his 
Don Juan on le Festin de Pierre, also by 
Corneille, Shadwell, Grabbe (German), 
Dumas, and others, and in the 20th 
century by George Bernard Shaw, (third 
act of Man and Supeiman, 1903), 
Bataille, and Rostand (La Derniere 
Nuit de Don Juan). 

In Byron's well-known poem Don Juan 
(1819-1824), when Juan was sixteen years 
old he got into trouble with Donna Julia, 
and was sent by his mother, then a 
widow, on Ins travels. His adventures 
in the Isles of Gieece, at the Russian 
Court, in England, etc , form the story 
of the poem, which, though it extends to 
sixteen cantos and nearly 16,000 lines, 
is incomplete. 

Byron's Don Juan is not the legendary 
character except in name and in the fact 
that he is a young Spanish aristocrat. 
His adventures include amatory episodes, 
but his restless, i omantie, gloomy temper- 
ament is quite distinct from the gallant 
frivolity of the traditional Don Juan. 
See Haidee; Dudu. 

Don Orsino. One of the novels of 
F. Marion Crawford's Saracmesca series. 
See Saracinesca. 

Don Pedre. (In Molidre's Sicihen.) 
See Pedre. 

Don Pedro. (In Meyerbeer's opera, 
L'Africaine^) See Pedro. 

Don Quixote. The hero of the great 
romance of that name by the Spaniard, 
Cervantes, published at Madrid, Pt. i, 
1605, Pt. ii, 1615. He is a gaunt country 
gentleman of La Mancha, gentle and 
dignified, affectionate and simple-minded, 
but so crazed by reading books of knight- 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


errantry that he believes himself called 
upon to redress the wrongs of the whole 
world, and actually goes forth to avenge 
the oppressed and run a tilt with their 
oppiessors Hence, a Quixotic man, or 
a Don Quixote, is a dreamy, unpractical, 
but essentially good, man one with a 
" bee in Ins bonnet." 

Don Quixote's lady love is the fair 
Dulcinea (qv). He engages for his squire 
Sancho Panza, a middle-aged ignorant 
rubtic, selfish but full of good sense, a 
gourmand but attached to his master, 
shrewd but credulous. The knight thinks 
wind-mills to be giants, flocks of sheep 
to be armies, inns to be castles, and galley- 
slaves oppressed gentlemen; but the 
squire sees them in their true light. 
Ultimately, the kmght is restored to his 
right mind, and cues like a peaceful 
Christian. The object of this romance was 
to laugh down the romances of chivalry 
of the Middle Ages. See also Windmills. 

It seemed unto hi n [Don Qjivof -J very requisite and 
behooveful thit he hi n->olt should become i 

knight-errant, and go throughout the world, with his 
horse and armour, to seek adventures, and practise in 
person all that he had re id was used by knights of yore; 
revenging ill kinds of injuries, and offering himself to 
occasions and dangers, \\hich, being once happily, 
achieved, might gam him etern il renown Cervantes' 
Don Quixote (Shdton 1 9 ti 10 12 ) 

Don Ruy Gomez. In Victor Hugo's 
Hernani (qv) 

Don Sebastian. A tragedy by Dry den 
(1690) The hero is Sebastian, king of 
Portugal, who was defeated and taken 
prisoner by the Moors in 1574. See also 

Donatello, Count. The irresponsible 
faunhke Italian who gives the title to 
Hawthorne's Maible Faun (qv). 

Donation of Constantine. Sec Decretals 

Donizetti, Gaetano (1797-1848) Italian 
composer. His best-known, operas are 
Lucrezia Borgia, Lucia di Lamniermoor 
and La Favorila. See those entries. 

Donkin. A Cockney sailor in Conrad's 
Nigger oj the Narcissus (q.v ) 

Donnithorne, Arthur. A pi eminent 
character in George Eliot's Adam Bede 


Donnybrook Fair. This fair, held in 
August from the time of King John, 
till 1855, was noted for its bacchanalian 
orgies and light-hearted rioting Hence 
it is proverbial for a disorderly gathering 
or a regular rumpus. The village was a 
mile and a half southeast of Dublin, 
and is now one of its suburbs. 

Do'ny. FlonmePs dwarf. (Spenser: 
Faerie Queene, III, v, V, ii.) 

Dooley, Mr. A famous humorous per- 

sonage created by the American j ournalist, 
F P. Dunne. A middle-aged Insh- 
Amencan and the presiding genius of a 
saloon in Archey Road, Chicago, Mr 
Dooley is never at a loss for an occasion 
or a topic on which to exercise his ready 
wit and common sense His friend, Mr 
Hennessey, usually meets him half way, 
and his neighbor, Mr. McKenna, is full 
of sceptical questions Mr. Dooley' s 
reputation was made in the newspapers at 
the time of the Spanish-American War. 
Mr. Dooley in Peace and War appeared in 
1898 It was followed by Mr Dooley in 
the Hearts of His Countrymen (1899), Mr 
Dooley's Philosophy (1900), Mr. Dooley's 
Opinions (1901), Obse7 valions by Mr. 
Dooley (1902), Mr. Dooley' s Dissertations 
(1906), Mr. Dooley Says (1910) and 
Mr. Dooley On Making a Will and Other 
Necessary Evils (1919) 

Doolin of Mayence. The hero of a 
French chanson de geste of the 14th 
century, and of a 15th century prose 
romance. He was the father of Ogier 
the Dane (q.v). 

Doolin j s sword. Merveilleuse (won- 

Doolittle. The picturesque, disreputable 
old dustman in Shaw's drama, Pygmalion 

(q #0 

Doolittle, Hilda. See H D. 

Doomsday Book. See Domesday. 

Doone, Lorna. See Lorna Doone. 

Dora. (1) The child-wife of David 
Copperfield. See Spenlow, Dora. 

(2) A narrative poem by Tennyson 

Dorado, El. See El Dorado. 

Doramin. The old native chief in 
Conrad's Lord Jim (q.v.) 

Dorante. A name introduced into 
three of Molifcre's comedies. In Les 
Fdcheux he is a courtier devoted to the 
chase. In the play UEcole des Femmes 
he is a chevalier. In Le Bourgeois Gentil- 
homme he is a count in love with the 
Marchioness Donmene. 

Dorax. In Dryden's tragedy, Don 
Sebastian, the assumed name of Don 
Alonzo of Alcazar, when he deserted 
Sebastian, king of Portugal, turned rene- 
grade, and joined the emperor of Barbary. 

Dor'cas Society. A woman's circle 
for making clothing ^ for the poor. So 
called from Dorcas, in Acts ix. 39, who 
made " coats and garments " for widows. 

Dorian. See Doric. 

Doric. Pertaining to Doris, one of the 
divisions of ancient Greece, or to its 
inhabitants, a simple, pastoral people. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Dorian Mode. In musical antiquities, 
a simple, solemn form of music, the first 
of the authentic Church modes. 

Doric dialect The dialect spoken by 
the natives of Doris, in Greece. It was 
broad and hard Hence, any broad 
dialect like that of rustics Bloomfield 
and. Robert Burns are examples of British 

Doric order. The oldest, strongest, and 
simplest of the Grecian orders of archi- 

The Done Land. Greece, Doris being 
a part of Greece. 

The Do'ric reed. Pastoral poetry. 
Everything Doric was^ very plain, but 
cheerful, chaste and solid. 

Dor'igen. The heroine of Chaucer's 
Franklin's Tale, which was taken from 
Boccaccio's Decameron (X. v), the original 
being in the Hindu Vetdla Panchavinsati. 
She was married to Arvir'agus, but was 
greatly beloved by Aurelius, to whom 
she had been long known. Aurelius tried 
to win her, but Dorigen would not listen 
to him till the rocks round the coast of 
Britain were removed " and there n'is 
no stone yseen " Aurelius, by the aid of a 
magician, caused them all to disappear, 
and claimed his reward. Dorigen was 
very sad, but her husband insisted that 
she should keep her word, and she went 
to meet Aurelius, who, when he saw her 
grief and heard what Arviragus had 
counseled, said he would rather die than 
injure so true a wife and noble a gentle- 
man. Cp. Dianora. 

Dorimant. A witty, aristocratic liber- 
tine in Etherege's comedy, The Man of 
Mode (1676), said to have been drawn 
from the Earl of Rochester. The name 
later came to be used lor any gay, un- 
principled young man. 

Dorlmene. In Molire's comedy Le 
Manage Force, a young girl who marries 
Sganarelle (q.v.), an old man of sixty-three. 
In Le Cocu Imaginaire, she is Sganarelle's 

Dorothe'a. The heroine of Goethe's 
poem entitled Hermann and Dorothea 

Dorothea Brooke. In George Eliot's 

Middlemarch (qv) 

Dorothea, St, See under Saint. 

Dorothy la Desiree. In CabeU/s Jurgen 

(q.v)j the girl whom Jurgen had loved 

as a young man. She jilted him to become 

a countess, but when he was given his 

year of renewed youth, he saw once more 

by magic the young and beautiful girl 

of his ideals. Dorothy la Desir6e was one 

of the daughters of Manuel (qv), the 
hero of Figures of Earth. 

Dorrit, Amy. Heroine of Dickens' 
novel, Little Dorrit (q v ) 
Dory, John. See John Dory. 
Dostoievski, Feodor Mikhailovich 
(1821-1881). Russian novelist, author of 
The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and 
Punishment, The Idiot, etc. See those 

Dot. (In Dickens' Cricket on the Hearth.) 
See Peerybingle 

Dotheboys Hall. A school in Dickens' 
Nicholas Nickleby where boys were taken 
in and done for by Mr. Wackford Squeers, 
a puffing, ignorant, overbearing brute, 
who starved them and taught them 

It is said that Squeers was a caricature 
of a Mr Shaw, a Yorkshire schoolmaster; 
but Mr. Shaw has been defended as a 
kind-hearted man, whose boys were well 
fed, happy, and not ill taught. Like 
Squeers he had only one eye, and one 
daughter The ruthless exposure of this 
land of " school ;; led to the closing or 
reformation of many of them. 

Dou'ai Bible. See Bible, the English. 
The English college at Douai was founded 
by William Allen (afterwards cardinal) in 
1568. The Douai Bible translates such 
words as repentance by the word penance, 
etc., and the whole contains notes by 
Roman Catholic divines. 

Doubting Castle. In Bunyan's Pilgrim 7 s 
Progress, the castle of Giant Despair, into 
which Christian and Hopeful were thrust, 
but from which they escaped by means 
of the key called " Promise " 

Doughboy. An American soldier. The 
term was in use long before the World 

Douglas. A family famed in Scotch 
history, legend and romance. There were 
two branches, the Black Douglases or 
senior branch and the Red Douglases, 
who came to the fore later. They are 
prominent in Scott's novels, notably the 

(1) Sir James, the first of the Black 
Douglases, hero of Castle Dangerous (q.v ) 
known as " the Good Sir Jarnes." This 
was also the Douglas which was such a 
terror to the English that the women used 
to frighten their unruly children by 
saying they would " make the Black 
Douglas take them." He first appears in 
Castle Dangerous as " Knight of the 
Tomb " The following nursery rhyme 
refers to Mm: 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Hush ye, hush ye, little pet ye; 
Hush ye, hush ye, do not fret ye, 
The Black Douglas shall not get thee 

Sir W Scott Tales of a Grandfather. 

(2) Archibald the Grim, natural son of 
st the Good Sir James " He is prominent 
In The Fair Maid of Perth. 

(3) James Douglas } earl of Morton, one 
of the Red Douglases He figures promin- 
ently in The Monastery and The Abbot. 

(4) Ellen Douglas. Heroine of Scott's 
narrative poem, The Lady of the Lake. 

The Douglas Larder. The flour, meal, 
wheat, and malt of Douglas Castle, 
emptied on the floor by good Lord James 
Douglas, in 1307, when he took the 
castle from the English garrison. Having 
staved in all the barrels of food, he next 
emptied all the wine and ale, and then, 
having slain the garrison, threw the dead 
bodies into this disgusting mess, " to eat, 
drink, and be merry " Scott gives the 
story in his Tales of a Grandfather. 

See also Bell-the-Cat. 

The Douglas Tragedy. A ballad in 
Scott's Border Minstrelsy, telling how 
Lord William steals away Lady Margaret 
Douglas and is pursued by her father 
and two brothers. A fight ensues; the 
father and his two sons are sore wounded, 
Lord William, also wounded, creeps to 
his mother's house and there dies; and 
the lady dies next morning. 

Dowlas, Mr. A generic name for a 
linendraper, who sells dowlas, a coarse 
linen cloth, so called from Daoulas, in 
Brittany, where it was manufactured. 

Mrs Quickly I bought you a dozen of shirts to your 

Falstaff Dowlas, filthy dowlas' I have given them 
away to bakers' wives, and they have made bolters of 

Quick. Now, as I am. true woman, hollartd of eight 
shillings an ell Shakespeare 1 Henrjj IV, 111 3 

Downfall, The (La Debacle), One of 
Zola's Rougon Macquart novels (q*v). 

Downing Street. A name often given 
to the heads of the British Government 
collectively, from No. 10 Downing Street 
(Westminster), the official town residence 
of the Prime Minister, where the meetings 
of the Cabinet are usually held. The 
street was named in honor of Sir George 
Downing (d. 1684), a noted Parliamenta- 
rian and ambassador, who served under 
both Cromwell and Charles II. 

Dow'sabell. A common name for a 
sweetheart, especially an unsophisticated 
country girl, in poems of Elizabethan 
times. It is the Fr. douce et belle, sweet 
and beautiful. 

It were not good to cast away as pretty a 

dowsabell as any could chance to see in a summers day. 
The London Prodigal, IV, i (1605). 

Drayton has a poem, The Ballad of 

Dowson, Ernest (1867-1900). English 
poet. His best-known poems are Cynara 
(q*v ) , and The Pierrot of the Minute. 

Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan (1859- ). 
English novelist, best known for his 
series of novels concerning Sherlock 
Holmes (q v ) and for his historical novels, 
Micah Clarke and The White Company. 

Dr. For titles of novels etc. beginning 
with Dr , see under Doctor. 

Dra'chenfels (Ger Dragon-rock). So 
called from the legend that it was the 
home of the dragon slain by Siegfried, 
the hero of the Nibelungenhed. 

The castled crag of Drachenfels 

Frowns o'er the wide and winding Rhine, 

Whose breast of waters broadly swells 
Between the banks which bear the vine 

Byron Childe Harold ni 55. 

Draco'nian Code. One very severe 
Draco was an Athenian law-maker of 
the 7th century B. (7., and the first to 
produce a written code of laws for Athens. 
As nearly every violation of his laws 
was a capital offence, Dema'des the 
orator said " that Draco's code was 
written in blood." 

Dragon. The Greek word drakon 
comes from a verb meaning " to see," 
to " look at," and more remotely " to 
watch " and " to flash." 

A dragon is a fabulous winged croco- 
dile, usually represented as of large size, 
with a serpent's tail; whence the words 
serpent and dragon are sometimes inter- 
changeable. The word was used in the 
Middle Ages as the symbol of sin in 
general and paganism in particular, the 
metaphor being derived from Rev. xiL 9, 
where Satan is termed " the great dragon " 
and Ps. xci. 13, where it is said that the 
saints " shall trample the dragon under 
their feet." Hence, in Christian art the 
dragon symbolizes Satan or sin, as when 
represented at the feet of Christ and the 
Virgin Mary- and St. John the Evange- 
list is sometimes represented holding a 
chalice, from which a dragon is issuing. 

A Jlying dragon* A meteor. 

The Chinese dragon. In China, a five- 
clawed dragon is introduced into pictures 
and embroidered on state dresses as an 

The Dragon of Wantley. See Wantley. 

To sow dragons' teeth. To foment con- 
tentions; to stir up strife or war, especially 
to do something that is intended to put 
an end to strife but which brings it about 
later. See Cadmus. 

Among the many saints who are usually 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

pictured with dragons may be mentioned 
St. Michael, St George, St. Margaret, 
Pope Sylvester, St. Samson (Archbishop 
of Dol), St Don'atus, St Clement of 
Metz, St Romam of Rouen, who de- 
stroyed the huge dragon, La Gargouillo, 
which ravaged the Seme, St. Philip the 
Apostle, who killed another at Hierapohs, 
in Phrygia, St. Martha, who slew the 
terril)le dragon, Tarasque, at Aix-la- 
Chapelle; St Florent, who lolled a dragon 
which haunted the Loire, St Cado, St 
Maudet, and St. Pol, who did similar 
feats in Brittany; and St. Keyne of 

Among the ancient Britons and Welsh 
the dragon was the national symbol on 
the war standard; hence the term, Pen- 
dragon (g.i.) for the dux bellorum, or 
leader in war (pen = head or chief) . 

See also Fafner; Grendel. 

Drake, an English Epic. A long narra- 
tive poem by Alfred Noyes (Eng. 1880- 
), dealing with the adventures of the 
famous English sailor and explorer, 

Drake, Joseph Rodman (1795-1820). 
American poet of the early national period 
His best-known poem is The Culprit Fay 

Dram Shop, The (U Assommoir). One 
of Zola's Bougon Macquart novels (qv) 

Drama, Father of (French, Spanish 
etc). See under Father. 

Dramatic Unities. See Unities. 

Dram'atis Perso'nse. The characters 
of a drama, novel, or (by extension), of 
actual transaction. 

Drang nach Osten (Ger. pressure 
toward the East) The German policy of 
extending its influence toward the East, 
much talked of before and during the 
World War. 

Dra'pier's Letters. A series of letters 
written by Dean Swift to the people of 
Ireland and published in 1724, advising 
them not to take the copper money 
coined by William Wood. The patent 
had been granted to him by George I 
through the influence of the Duchess 
of Kendal, the king's mistress, and Wood 
and the Duchess were to share the profits 
(40 per cent). These letters, which were 
signed " M. B. Drapier," crushed the 
infamous job and the patent was cancelled. 

Draupadi. A heroine of the great 
Hindu epic, the Mahabharata (q.v.), the 
wife won by Arjuna and shared by the 
five Pandavas. 

Draupnir. In Scandinavian mythology, 
Odin ? s magic ring, from which every 
ninth night dropped eight rings equal in 

size and beauty to itself. It was fashioned 
by the dwarfs 

Dravot, Daniel. Heio of Kipling's Man 
Who Would Be King (qv}. 

Draw'cansir. A builcsque tyrant in 
Buckingham's Rehearsal (1671), hence, 
a blustetmg braggart The character was 
a caricature of Drydcn's Almanzor (Con- 
quest of Gnmadd). Diawcansir's opening 
speech (he has only three) is 

Ho th it daies drink, and for that drink dares die, 
And, knowing this*, dares yuL drink on, am I 

Rehearsal, iv 1 

which parodies Almanzor's: 

lie \vtio dares love, and for that love mast die, 
And, knowing tins, dares yet love on, am I 

II Conquest, of Granada, IV m 

Cp. Bayes, Bobadil 

Drayton, Michael (1563-1631) English 
poet, best known for his Poly olb ion, a 
long work concerning the geography and 
legendary history of England 

Dream Life. A sequel to Mitchell's 
Reveries of a Bachelor (qv.). 

Dream'er. The Immortal Dreamer 
John Bunyan (1628-1688) 

Dreams, The Gates of. There are two, 
viz that of ivory and that of horn. 
Dreams which delude pass through the 
Ivory Gate, those which come true pass 
through the Gate of Hoin. 

That children droam not the first half-year, that men 
dream not in some countries, with many more, are unto 
me sick men's dreams, di earns out of the ivory gate, and 
visions before midnight Sir Thos Bra wn,e On. 

This fancy depends upon two puns: 
ivory in Greek is elephas, and the verb 
elephavro means " to cheat with empty 
hopes " ; the Greek for horn is keras, and 
the verb karanoo means " to accomplish." 

Anchi'ses dismisses JEne'as through the 
ivory gate, on quitting the infernal 
regions, to indicate the unreality of his 

Dred. A novel by Harriet Beecher 
Stowe (Am. 1856). Drcd, the hero, is a 
runaway slave. 

Dred Scott Decision. A famous decision 
of the U. S. Supreme Court (1856) ruling 
that a slave was property and had no 
personal rights. 

Dreikaiser Bund. (Ger three Emperors' 
alliance). Cooperation between the em- 
perors of Germany, Austria and Russia 
during the years 1872-1879. 

Dreiser, Theodore (1871- ) Ameri- 
can novelist, author of Sister Carrie, The 
Financier, The Genius, etc. See those 

Dreyfusard', Drey'fusite. An advocate 
of the innocence of Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, 
an officer of the French artillery, of 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Jewish descent, who was convicted in 
1894 on a charge of having betrayed 
military secrets, degraded and sent to 
Devil's Island. In 1899 the first trial was 
annulled. He was brought back to 
France, retried, and again condemned, 
but shortly afterwards pardoned, though 
it was not until 1914 that he was finally 
and completely rehabilitated. Cp. Ber- 

D'ri and I. A novel by Irving Bacheller 
(Am 1901). The hero is the hired man, 
Darius Olin, nicknamed D'ri and the 
story centers about his adventures and 
those of his employer's son, Ramon Bell, 
during the War of 1812. 

Drmkwater, John (1882- ). English 
poet and dramatist, noted for his historical 
plays, Abraham Lincoln, Mary Stuart, and 
Robert E. Lee. 

Driver of Europe (Le Cocker de I' Europe) 
So the Empress of Russia used to call the 
Due de Choiseul (1719-1785), minister of 
Louis XV, because he had spies all over 
Europe, and thus ruled its political cabals. 

Dro'mio. The brothers Dromio. Two 
brothers exactly alike, who served two 
brothers exactly alike The mistakes 
of masters and men form the iun of 
Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors, based 
on the Mencech'mi of Plautu^. 

Drood, Edwin. The hero of a novel 
called The Mystery of Edwin Drood, by 
Dickens. Only eight numbers appeared 
They were published in 1870, the year of 
the author's death 

Drugger, Abel. In Ben Jonson's comedy 
The Alchemist (1610), a seller of tobacco, 
artless and gullible in the extreme. He 
was building a new house, and came to 
Subtle " the alchemist/ 7 to know on which 
side to set the shop-door, how to dispose 
the shelves so as to ensure most luck, on 
what days he might trust his customers, 
and when it would be unlucky for him so 
to do 

Druid. A member of the ancient 
Gaulish and British order of priests, 
teachers of religion, magicians, or sor- 
cerers. The word is the Lat. drmdce or 
druides (always plural), which was bor- 
rowed from the Old Irish drui and Gaelic 
draoi. The druidic cult presents many 
difficulties, and practically our only 
literary sources of knowledge of it are 
Pliny and the Commentaries of Csesar, 
whence we learn that the rites of the 
Druids were conducted in oak groves 
and that they regarded the oak and the 
mistletoe with peculiar veneration; that 
they studied the stars and nature gener- 

ally, that they believed in the transmigra- 
tion of souls, and dealt in u magic " Their 
distinguishing badge was a serpent's egg 
(see below), to which very powerful 
properties were credited The order 
seems to have been highly organized, and 
according to Strabo every chief had his 
druid, and every chief druid was allowed 
a guard of thirty men. 

In Butler's Hudibras (III. i) there is 
an allusion to the 

Money by the Druids borrowed, 
In t'other world to be i estored 

This refers to a legend recorded by one 
Patricias ( ? St. Patrick) to the effect that 
the Druids were wont to borrow money 
to be repaid in the life to come. His words 
are, " Drmdce pecuniam mutuo accipiebant 
in poster iore vita redditun." 

The Druids' egg. This wonderful egg 
was hatched by the joint labor of several 
serpents, and was buoyed into the air by 
their hissing. The person who caught 
it had to ride off at full speed, to avoid 
being stung to death; but the possessor 
was sure to prevail in every contest, and 
to be courted by those in power. Pliny 
says he had seen one of them, and that it 
was about as large as a moderate-sized 

Drum. A popular name in the 18th 
century and later for a crowded 
evening party, so called from its noise 
with, perhaps, a side allusion to the tea- 
kettle and kettle- 

Tin-) is a riotous assembly of fashionable people, of 
both sexes, at a pnvatc house, consisting of some 
hundreds, not unaptly stiled a drum, from the noise 
and emptiness of the entertainment Smolhlt Admce, 
a Satire (1746) 

John (or Jack) Drum's entertainment. 
Turning an unwelcome guest out of doors. 

O! for the love of laughter, let him fetch his drum, 
he says he has a stratagem for 't \\ hen your lordship 
sees the bottom of his success in 't, and to ^hat metal 
this counterfeit lump of ore \vill be melted, if you give 
him not John Drum's entertainment, your inclining 
cannot be removed ShaLespeare All's "Well, in 6 

Marston wrote a comedy with the title 
Jack Drum's Entertainment (1600) ,^ in 
which he is supposed to have satirized 
Ben Jonson. 

Drummers. An Americanism foi com- 
mercial travelers, their vocation being 
to collect customers as a recruiting officer 
" drums up " recruits. 

Drunken Parliament. See Parliaments. 

Drury Lane. This famous London 
street (and, consequently, the theater) is 
named irom Drury House, built in the 
time of Henry VIII by Sir William Drury. 
It stood on a site about in the middle 
of the present Aldwych. The theater 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

is the fourth of the name, the first having 
been opened in 1663. 

Dru'ses. A people and sect of Syria, 
living about the mountains of Lebanon 
and Anti-Libanus. Their faith is a mix- 
ture of the Pentateuch, the Gospel, the 
Koran, and Sufism. They offer up their 
devotions both in mosques and churches, 
worship the images of saints, and yet 
observe the fast of Ram'adan. Their 
name is probably from that of their first 
apostle, Ismail Darazi, or Durzi (llth 
century A. D). Browning has a tragedy 
The Return of the Druses (qv}. 

Dry'ad. In classical mythology, a tree- 
nymph (Gr. drus, a tree) who was sup- 
posed to live in the trees and die when 
the trees died. Eurydice, the wife of 
Orpheus the poet, was a dryad Also 
called hamadryads (Gr. Aama, with). 

Dry'asdust. The name given by Scott 
to the fictitious " reverend Doctor," a 
learned pundit, to whom he addressed 
the prefaces, etc., of many of his novels: 
hence, a heavy plodding author, very 
prosy, very dull, and very learned, an 

The Prussian Dryasdust, otherwise an honest fellow, 
and not afraid of labour, excels all other Dryasdusts yet 
known He writes big books wanting in almost 

every quality, and does not even give an Index to them 

Dryden, Joh*i (1631-1700) The great- 
est literary figure of his age and one of 
the chief English poets. He is best known 
for his political satire Absalom and Achito- 
phel (q.v.), his religious allegories Religio 
Laici and The Hind and the Panther, the 
lyrics Song for St. Ceceha's Day and 
Alexander's Feast and the tragedy All for 
Love or the World Well Lost (q.v). His 
most important prose work is his Essay 
of Dramatic Poesie. 

Dryfoos, Conrad. A leading character 
in Howells 7 Hazard of New Fortunes (q.v.). 
His father and sisters are also prominent 
in the novel. 

Du. For such names as Du Croisy, see 
under Croisy, etc. 

DuMaurier, George (1834-1896). Eng- 
lish novelist, best known as the author 
of Trilby and Peter Ibbetson. See those 

Duchess de Langeais, The, A story by 
Balzac (Fr. 1834) usually published as 
part of The Thirteen (U Histoire des 
Treize ) See under Langeais. 

Duchess of Malfi, The. A drama by 
Webster (c. 1618). The Duchess was 
twin-sister of Ferdinand, duke of Calabria 
She fell in love with Antonio, her steward, 
and gave thereby mortal offence to her 

twin-brother Ferdinand, and to her 
brother, the cardinal. She and her 
children are finally sti angled but not 
before she has been made to endure a 
series of horrible tortures of mind and 

Duck. A lame duck. A stock-jobber 
who will not, or cannot, pay his losses. 
Also any one who is unable to discharge 
his obligations or play his part in the 

To make ducks and drakes of one's 
money To throw it away as stones with 
which " ducks and drakes " are made on 
water The allusion is to the sport of 
throwing stones to skim over water for 
the sake of seeing them ricocheting or 

"What figured slates are best to make 
On watery surface duck and drake " 

Butler. Hudibras, n 3 

"Mr Locke Harper found out, a month after his 
marriage, that somebody had made ducks and drakes 
of his wife's money" Dinah M. Craik Agatha's 
Husband, chap xxm 

Duckling, Ugly. See Ugly Duckling. 

Dudu. In Byron's Don Juan, one of 
the three beauties of the harem, into 
which Juan, by the sultana's order, had 
been admitted in female attire. Next 
day, the sultana, out of jealousy, ordered 
that both Dudu and Juan should be 
stitched in a sack and cast into the sea; 
but, by the connivance of Baba, the chief 
eunuch, they effected their escape. 

A land of sleeping Venus seemed Dudu 
But she was pensive more than melancholy . . 
The strangest thing was, beauteous, she was holy, 
Unconscious, albeit turned of quick seventeen 

Don Juan Canto vi 42-44. 

Duen'de. A Spanish goblin or house- 
spirit. Cal'deron has a comedy called 
La Dama Duenda. 

Duer'gar. A Norse name for the 
dwarfs of Scandinavian mythology; they 
dwell in rocks and hills, and are noted 
for their strength, subtlety, magical 
powers, and skill in metallurgy. Accord- 
ing to the Gylfaginning they owe their 
origin to the maggots in the flesh of the 
first giant, Ymir (q.v.). 

Dues'sa (Double-mind or Falsehood). 
In Spenser's Faerie Queene (Bk. I) the 
" scarlet woman/' typifying the Roman 
Catholic Church, and (Bk. V) Mary 
Queen of Scots. She was the daughter of 
Deceit and Shame, and assumed divers 
disguises to beguile the Red Cross Knight. 
In Bk. I she is stripped of her gorgeous 
disguise, is^ found to be a hideous hag, 
and flees into the wilderness for con- 

Duke's Children, The. A novel by 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Anthony Trollope (1880). See Omnium, 
Duke of. 

Dulcar'non, The horns of a dilemma 
(or Syllogismum cornu'tuni); a puzzling 
question From an Arabic word meaning 
" the possessor of two horns " The 47th 
proposition of the First Book of Euclid 
is called the Dulcarnonj as the 5th is the 
Pons Asmorum, because the two squares 
which contain the right angle roughly 
represent horns. 

To be in Dulcarnon. To be in a quan- 
dary, or on the horns of a dilemma. 

To send one to Dulcarnon. To daze 
with puzzles. 

Dulcin'ea. A lady-love. Taken from 
Don Quixote's amie du cceur. Her real 
name was Aldonza Lorenzo, but the 
knight dubbed her Dulcm'ea del Tobo'so. 
" Her flowing haii," says the knight, " is 
of gold, her forehead the Elysian fields, 
her eyebrows two celestial arches, her 
eyes a pair of glorious suns, her cheeks 
two beds of roses, her lips two coral 
portals that guard her teeth of Oriental 
pearl, her neck is alabaster, her hands are 
polished ivory, and her bosom whiter than 
the new-fallen snow." 

I must ever have some Dulcinea in rny head it 
harmonises the soul Sterne 

"Sir, " said Don Quixote, "she is not a descendant of 
the ancient Can, Curtii, and Scipios cf Rome, nor of the 
modern Colonas and Orsini, nor of the Rebillas and 
Villanovas of Valencia, neither is &he a descendant of 
the Palafoxes, Newcas, Rocabertis, Corellas, Lunas, 
Alagones, Ureas, Fozes, and Gurreas of Aragon neither 
does the Lady Dulcinea descend from the Cerdas, Man- 
nquez, Mendozas, and Guznnans of Castile, nor from 
the Alencastros, Pallas, and Menezes of Portugal, but 
she derives her origin from a family of Toboso, near 
Mancha " (Bk 11 , ch v ) 

Sancho Panza says she was " a stout- 
built sturdy wench, who could pitch the 
bar as well as any young fellow in the 

Dulcy. A character created by the 
columnist F. P, A. and later made the 
titular heroine of a comedy by George S. 
Kaufman and Marc Connelly (Am. 1921) 
In the course of her well-meaning self- 
appointed task of helping her husband 
put through an important business deal, 
Dulcy makes one blunder after another, 
but is blissfully unaware of her own 
limitations and gathers in all the credit 
when the deal goes through. 

Duli'a. See Latria. 

Dum sola (Law Lat). While single or 

Dum spiro, spero (Lat). Literally, 
while I breathe, I hope; while there's 
life, there's hope. It is the motto of 
Viscount Dillon. 

Dum vivimus vivamus (Lat.). While 

we live, let us enjoy life. The motto 
adopted by Dr. Doddndge (1702-1751), 
who translated and expanded it into 
the subjoined epigram* 

"Live, \\hile you live," the epicure would say, 
"And seize the pleasures of the present day " 
"Live, \vhile you live," the sacred preacher cries, 
"And give to God each moment as it flies," 
Lord, in my views let each united be, 
I live in pleasure, \vhen I live to thee 

Du'machus. The impenitent thief is 
so called in Longfellow's Golden Legend, 
and the penitent thief is called Titus See 

Dumain. In Shakespeare's Love's 
Labour's Lost (qv), a French lord in 
attendance on Ferdinand, king of Navarre. 
He agreed to spend three years with the 
King m stedy, during which time no 
woman was to approach the court Of 
course, the compact was broken as soon 
as made, and Dumain fell in love with 

Dumas, Alexandre (Alexandre Dumas, 
pere) (1802-1870). French novelist His 
best-known novels are The Three Muske- 
teers with sequels, and The Count of Monte 
Cnsto and The Black Tulip. See those 

Alexandre Dumas fils< son of the above, 
was the author of the Dame aux Camehas 
translated as Camitte (q v.} . 

Dumb Ox, The. St. Thomas Aquinas 
(1224-1274), known afterwards as " the 
Angelic Doctor " or " Angel of the 
Schools." Albertus Magnus, the tutor 
of the " dumb ox, 7 ' said of him: " The 
dumb ox will one day fill the world with 
his lowing." The name was given to him 
by his fellow students at Cologne from 
his taciturnity and dreaminess. 

Dumbiedikes, The old laird of. In 
Scott's Heart of Midlothian, an exacting 
landlord, taciturn and obstinate. 

The laird of Dumbiedikes had hitherto been moderate 
in his exactions . . but when a stout, active young 
fellow appeared he began to think so broad a 

pair of shoulders might bear an additional burden He 
regulated, indeed, his management of his dependents 
as carters do their horses, never failing to clap an 
additional brace of hundred-weights on a new and 
wilhng horse Heart of Midlothian, chap 3 

The young laird of Dumbiedikes. A 
bashful young laird, in love with Jeanie 
Deans, but Jeanie marries the Presby- 
terian minister, Reuben Butler. 

Dumont, Lewis. The hero of William 
Gillette's drama, Secret Service (qv). 

Dunbar, WiUiam (1460-1520). Scot- 
tish poet. 

Duncan. In Shakespeare's tragedy. 
Macbeth (q.v.), the King of Scotland, 
murdered by Macbeth. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Duncan Gray. A ballad by Burns (1792) 
with the refrain "Ha, ha' the wooing 
o't." Duncan wooed a young lass called 
Maggie, but she " coost her head fu' 
high, looked asklent," and bade him 
behave himself. " Duncan fleeehed, and 
Duncan prayed/ 7 but Meg was deaf to 
his pleadings, so Duncan took himself 
off in dudgeon This was more than 
Maggie meant, so she fell sick and like 
to die. As Duncan " could na be her 
death/' he came back and all ended 

Dun'ciad. The dunce-epic, a satire by 
Alexander Pope, first published in 1728 
with Theobald figuring as the Poet 
Laureate of the realm of Dullness, but 
repubhshed with an added fourth part in 
1741 with Colley Gibber in that r61e. 
His installation is celebrated by games, 
the most important being the proposal 
to read, without sleeping, two voluminous 
works one in verse and the other in 
prose; as every one falls asleep, the games 
come to an end. The Laureate is later 
taken to the temple of Dullness, and is 
lulled to sleep on the lap ot the goddess; 
and, dung his slumber, sees in a vision 
the past, present, and future triumphs 
of the empire. Finally, the goddess, 
having destroyed order and science, 
establishes her kingdom on a firm basis, 
gives directions to her several agents to 
prevent thought and keep people^ to 
foolish and trifling pursuits, and Ni^ht 
and Chaos are restored, and the poem 

Dundrea'ry, Lord. The impersonation 
of a good-natured, indolent, blundering, 
empty-headed swell, from the chief 
character in Tom Taylor's Our American 
Cousin (1858). E A. Sothern created the 
character by the genius of his acting 
and the large additions he made to the 
original text, in which this English 
personage had been given only forty-seven 

The word Dundrearies, designating a 
style of wearing whiskers, comes from 
this character. 

Bunkers. See Tunkers. 

Dunmow. To eat Dunmow bacon. To 
live in conjugal amity, without even 
wishing the marriage knot to be less 
firmly tied. The allusion is to a custom 
said to have been instituted by Juga, 
a noble lady, in 1111, and restored by 
Robert de Fitzwalter in 1244, which was, 
that I 

any person from any part of England going to Dunmow, 
in Essex, and humbly kneeling on two stones at the 

church door, may cliim a gammon of bacon, if he can 
swear that for twelve months and a day he has never 
ha.d a household bra\\l or wished himself unmarried 

Between 1244 and 1772 eight claimants 
were admitted to eat the flitch Allusions 
to the custom are very frequent in 17th 
and 18th century literature, and in the 
last yeais of the 19th century it was 
revived Later it was removed to Ilford. 
The oath administered is in doggerel, 
somewhat as follows: 

You shall swear, by the custom of our confession, 

That you never made any nuptial transgression 

Since you \v ere married man and wife, 

By household brawls or contentious strife; 

Or, since the p^ish clerk said "Amen," 

Wished yourselves unmarried again, 

Or, in a t\velvemcnth and a day, 

Repented not in thought any way, 

If to these terms, without all fear, 

Of your own accord you will freely sWear, 

A gammon of bacon you shall receive, 

And bear it hence with our good leave 

For this is our custom at Dunmow well known 

The sport is ours, but the bacon your own 

Dunne, Finley Peter (1867- ). 
American humorist, creator of Mr. Dooley 
(see Dooley). 

Dunsany, Lord (1878- ) Poet and 
dramatist of the modern Irish school. 
His best-known plays are probably // and 
King Argimenes and the Unknown 

Dunstan Cass. In George Eliot's Silas 
Marner (qv). 

Dunstan, St. Pee under Saint. 

Duodecimo. A book whose sheets are 
folded into twelve leaves each (Lat. duode- 
c'm, twelve), often called "twelvemo," 
from the contraction 12mo. The book 
is naturally a small one, hence the expres- 
sion is sometimes applied to other things 
of small size, such as a dwarf. 

Dupes, Day of the. In French history, 
November 11, 1630, when Marie de 
Me'dici and Gaston, Due d'Orl^ans 
extorted from Louis XIII a promise that 
he would dismiss his minister, the 
Cardinal Richelieu. The cardinal went 
in all speed to Versailles, the king repented, 
and Richelieu became more powerful 
than ever. Marie de Me'dici and Gaston, 
the " dupes," had to pay dearly for their 
short triumph. 

Dupin, C. Auguste. A brilliant ama- 
teur detective of Paris who appears in 
Poe's Murders in the Rue Morgue, The 
Mystery of Marie Roget and The Purloined 
Letter. He is said to have been drawn 
from a real character, a certain C. Auguste 
Dupont, whose exploits were reported to 
Poe by a friend. 

Duranda'na or Durin'dana. Orlando's 
sword, given him by his cousin Malagi'gi. 
It once belonged to Hector, was made by 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


the fairies, and could cleave the Pyrenees 
at a blow. 

Nor plaited shield, nor tempered casque defends, 
Where Durmdana's trenchant edge descends 

Orlando Funoso, BL v. 

D'UrberviHes, Tess of the. See under 

DurfoeyHeld, Tess. Heroine of Hardy's 
novel, Tess of the D 3 Urbervilles (qv*). 

Durga. One of the names of the Hindu 
goddess Kali (q v.) , the wife of Siva. 

Durgin, Jeff. The hero of Howells' 
Landlord of the Lion Inn. 

Durham, Henrietta. Heroine of Flo- 
tow's opera, Martha (q.v.) 

Durrie, James and Henry. Two 
brothers, principal characters in Steven- 
san's Master of Ballantrce (qv). 

Durward, Quentin. See Quentin Dur- 

Dusantes, The. A sequel to F. U. 
Stockton's Casting Away of Mrs. Leeks 
and Mrs Aleshine (q.v.}. 


Dutch Auction An " auction " in which 
the bidders decrease their bids till they 
come to the minimum price. Dutch gold 
is no gold at ail; Dutch courage is no 
real courage, Dutch concert is no music 
at all, but mere hubbub; and Dutch 
auction is no auction, or increase of bids 
but quite the contrary. 

DUch Comfort. J Tis a comfort it was 
no worse The comfort derivable from 
the consideration that how bad soever the 
evil which has befallen you, a worse evil 
is at least conceivable. 

Dutch Concert. A great noise and 
uproar, like that made by a party of 
Dutchmen in sundry stages of intoxica- 
tion, some singing, others quarreling, 
speechifying, wrangling, and so on. 

Dutch Courage The courage excited 
oy drink; pot valor 

Dutch Republic, Rise of the. See under 

Dutch Treat Refreshments paid for 
individually; each one " treats " only 

Dutch Uncle I will talk to you like a 
Dutch uncle Will reprove you smartly. 
Well t I'm a Dutchman! An exclamation 
of strong incredulity. 

Duval, Claude. A highwayman, famed 
in legend and ballad He was hanged at 
Tyburn in 1670 and provided with an 
epitaph beginning: 

"Here lies Du Vail Reader, if male thou art 
Look to thy purse, if female, to thy heart "' 

Duval, Madame. In Fanny Burney's 
novel Evelina (qv), the heroine's vulgar 
old grandmother 

Duvarney, Alixe. The heroine of 
Gilbert Parker's Seals of the Mighty (q v ) 
Dwarf. Dwarfs have figured in the 
legends and mythology of nearly every 
race, and Pliny gives particulars of 
whole races of them, possibly following 
travelers' leports of African pigmies. 
Among the Teutonic and Scandinavian 
peoples dwarfs held an important place 
in mythology. They generally dwelt in 
rocks, caves, and recesses of the earth, 
were the guardians of its mineral wealth 
and precious stones, and \v ere very skilful 
in the working of these They had their 
own king, as a rule were not inimical to 
man, but could, on occasion, be intensely 
vindictive and mischievous They play 
an important role in the Kibchingen Ring 

In England diminutive persons 
dwarfs were popular down to the 18th 
century as court favorites or hcuschold 
pets; and in later times they have fre- 
quently been exhibited as curiosities 
at circuses, etc. 

The Black Dwarf. A gnome of the 
most malignant character, once held by 
the dalesmen of the border as* the author 
of all the mischief that befell their flocks 
and herds. Scott has a novel so called 
(1816), in which the name is given to 
Sir Edward Mauley, alias Elshander, 
the recluse, Cannie Elshie, and the Wise 
Wight of Mucklestane Moor. 

See also Alberich, Tom Thumb. 

Dwight, Timothy. American poet of 
the Revolutionary period, known for his 
Conquest of Canaan (q v.) 

Dymphna, St. See under Saint 

Dynasts, The. A dramatic poem, of 
epic scope by Thomas Hardy (published 
1903-1908) dealing with the Napoleonic 

Dysxnas. See Dismas. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 


E.G., eg. (Lat. exempli gra'tia). By 
way of example, for instance 

Fluribus Unum (Lat). One unity 
composed of many parts The motto of 
the United States of America, taken from 
Moretum (line 103), a Latin poem attri- 
buted to Virgil. 

Eagle. Thy youth is renewed like the 
eagle's (Ps. cm 5) This refers to the 
ancient superstition that every ten years 
the eagle soars into the " fiery region/ 7 
and plunges thence into the sea, where, 
moulting its feathers, it acquires new life. 
Gp Phceniv. 

She saw where he upstarted brave 

Out of the \\ell 

As eagle fresh out of the ocean wave, 

Where he hath lefte his plumes all hory gray, 

And decks himself with f ethers youthly gay 

Spenser Faerie Qmene, I, xi 34 

The American Eagle. A widely used 
national symbol. See Spread Eagle. 

The Golden Eagle and the Spread Eagle 
are commemorative of the crusades, they 
were the devices of the emperors of the 
East, and formerly figured as the ensigns 
of the ancient kings of Babylon and 
Persia, of the Ptolemies and Seleu'eides 
The Romans adopted the eagle in con- 
junction with other devices, but Ma'rius 
made it the ensign of the legion, and 
confined the other devices to the cohorts 
The French under the Empire assumed 
the same device. 

In Christian art, the eagle is emblematic 
of St John the Evangelist, because, like 
that bird, he looked on "the sun of 
glory " 

St Augustine, St. Gregory the Great, 
and St Prisca are also often shown with 
an eagle In heraldry, it signifies fortitude. 

The Eagle. Gaudenzio Ferrari (1481- 
1549), the Milanese painter. 

The Eagle of the doctors of France. 
Pierre d'Ailly (1350-1420), French cardi- 
nal and astrologer, who calculated the 
horoscope of our Lord, and maintained 
that the stars foretold the deluge 

The Eagle of Brittany Bertrand 
Duguesclin (1320-1380), Constable of 

The Eagle of Divines. St. Thomas 
Aquinas (1225-1274). 

The Eagle of Meaux. Jacques B6nigne 
Bossuet (1627-1704), Bishop of Meaux, 
the grandest and most sublime of the 
pulpit orators of France. 

The Eagle of the North. Count Axel 

Oxenstierna (1583-1654), the Swedish 
statesman, was so called. 

The two-headed eagle. The German 
eagle has its head turned to our left hand, 
and the Roman eagle to our right hand 
When Charlemagne was made " Kaiser 
of the Holy Roman Empire," he joined 
the two heads together, one looking east 
and the other west, consequently, the late 
Austrian Empire, as the direct successor 
of the Holy Roman Empire, included the 
Double-headed Eagle in its coat of arms. 

In Russia it was Ivan Vasihevitch who 
first assumed the two-headed eagle, when, 
in 1472, he married Sophia, daughter of 
Thomas Palseologus, and niece of Con- 
stantme XIV, the last Emperor of 
Byzantium The two heads symbolize 
the Eastern or Byzantine Empire and the 
Western or Roman Empire 

Earnshaw, Catherine. The heroine of 
Emily Bronte's Withering Heights (qv]. 

Ears to Ears Bible. See Bible, Specially 

Earthly Paradise, The. In medieval 
times it was a popular belief that paradise, 
a land or island where everything 
was beautiful and restful, and where 
death and decay were unknown, still 
existed somewhere on earth and was to 
be found for the searching It was usually 
located far away to the east, Cosmas 
(7th centuiy) placed it beyond the ocean 
east of China, in 9th century maps it is 
shown in China itself, and the fictitious 
letter of Prester John to the Emperor 
Emmanuel Comnenus states that it was 
within three days' journey of his own 
territory a " fact " that is corroborated 
by Mandeville. The Hereford map (13th 
century) shows it as a circular island near 
India, from which it is separated not only 
by the sea, but also by a battlemented 
wall Cp. Brandan, St 
^ The Prologue^ to William Morris 7 collec- 
tion of narrative poems with this title 
(1868-1871) tells how a party of adven- 
turers left a Scandinavian port during a 
pestilence to search for the Earthly 
Paradise. After many misadventures 
the remnant of the band discovered it, 
were hospitably received, and regaled 
their hosts each month with versified 
renderings of old world stories from 
classical and Scandinavian legend. 

Easiest Way, The. A drama by Eugene 
Walter (Am. 1908). The heroine, Laura 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Murdock, an actress with a past, has 
been genuinely drawn to John Madison, 
a reckless, caie-free Western newspaper 
reporter, and has promised to marry him 
While Madison, whose love steadies him, 
is saving money for the venture, Laura 
goes back to the stage and soon takes to 
" the easiest way " in spite of her resolves 
She attempts to lie to Madison when he 
comes for her unexpectedly, but he learns 
the truth and leaves her. 

East. The Far East. China, Japan and 
neighboring sections of the Orient. 

The Middle East A term used some- 
what loosely to designate the region 
between the Near and Far East 

The Near East The countries that 
were comprised in the Turkish empire 
before the World War. 

Down East. In New England 

3 Way Down East. Name of a popular 
American play of rural life. 

East and West Poems. A volume by 
Bret Harte (Am. 1871) See Pike. 

East Lynne. A novel by Mrs Henry 
Wood (1861) which was immensely 
popular, particularly in a dramatic ver- 
sion Its heroine, Lady Isabel Vane, after 
running off with another man, returns 
to her remarried husband, completely 
disguised as a nurse hired to care for her 
own children, and successfully keeps up 
the pretence over a considerable period 
of time. In the end she and her husband 
are reconciled. 

East Side, The. The slums; the East- 
side tenement districts of New York City, 
inhabited almost entirely by foreigners. 

Easter. The name was adopted for the 
Christian Paschal festival from A.S. 
eastre, a heathen festival held at the vernal 
equinox in honor of the Teutonic goddess 
of dawn, called by Bede Eostre (cognate 
with Lat. aurora and Sanskrit ushas, 
dawn) . On the introduction of Christianity 
it was natural for the name of the heathen 
festival to be transferred to the Christian, 
the two falling about the same time. 

Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after 
the Paschal full moon, i e. the full moon 
that occurs on the day of the vernal 
equinox (March 21st) or on any of the next 
28 days. Consequently, Easter Sunday 
cannot be earlier than March 22nd, or later 
than April 25th. This was fixed by the 
Council of Nice, A. D. 325. 

It was formerly a common belief that 
the sun danced on Easter Day. 

Btit oh, she dances such a way, 
No sun upon an Easter day 

Is half so fine a sight 
S%r John Suckling. Ballad upon a Wedding. 

Eatanswill Gazette. A journal of some 
importance in Dickens' Pickwick Papers 
(qv), the persistent opponent of the 
Eatanswill Independent. 

Eben Hoiden. A novel by Irving 
Bacheller (Am 1900). The chief interest 
of the book lies in the character and 
quaint sayings of Eben Hoiden, the sturdy 
and loyal " lured man." There is a love 
affair in which the orphaned William 
and Hope B rower, the daughter of the 
kindly couple who have given Eben 
Hoiden and William a home, are the 

EbUs. A jinn of Arabian mythology, 
the ruler of the evil genii, or fallen angels. 
Before his fall he was called Azaz'el (q #.) 
When Adam was created, God com- 
manded all the angels to worship him; 
but Ebhs replied, " l\Ie thou hast created 
of smokeless fire, and shall I reverence a 
creature made of dust? " God was very 
angry at this insolent answer, and turned 
the disobedient angel into a Sheytan 
(devil), and he became the father of devils. 

Another Mohammedan tradition has it 
that befoie life was breathed into Adam 
all the angels came to look at the shape 
of clay, among them Eblis, who, knowing 
that God intended man to be his superior, 
vowed never to acknowledge him as such 
and kicked the figure till it rang. 

When he said unto the angels, "Worship Adam," all 
worshipped him except Eblis Koran, 11 

Eblis had five sons, viz (1) Tvr, author 
of fatal accidents; (2) Awar, the demon of 
lubricity, (3) Dasim, author of discord; 
(4) Sutj father of lies; and (5) Zalambur, 
author of mercantile dishonesty. 

Ecce liomp (Lat , Behold the man). 
The name given to many paintings of 
our Lord crowned with thorns and bound 
with ropes, as He was shown to the people 
by Pilate, who said to them, " Ecce 
homo? " (John xix. 5), especially those by 
Correggio, Titian, Guido, Van Dyck, 
Rembrandt, Poussm, and Albert Durer. 
In 1865 Sir John Seeley published a survey 
of the life and work of Christ with the 
title Ecce Homo. 

Eccles, Robert. A character in Mere- 
dith's Ehoda Fleming, weak and dissipated 
but likable. 

Ecclesias'tes. One of the books in the 
Old Testament, formerly ascribed to 
Solomon, because it says (verse 1), "The 
words of the Preacher, the son of David, 
king in Jerusalem," but now generally 
assigned to an unnamed author of the 
3rd century B. C. The Hebrew name is 
Koheleth, which means "the Preacher." 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

The refrain of the book is " Vanity of 
vanities, all is vanity " 

Eccleslas'ticus. One of the books of 
the Old Testament Apocrypha, tradition- 
ally (and probably correctly) ascribed 
to a Palestinian sage named Ben Sirah, 
or Jesus, the Son of Sirach 

Echegaray, Jose (1833-1916). Spanish 
dramatist. His best-known play is The 
Great Galeoto (q.v) Echegaray was a 
recipient of the Nobel prize 

Echidna. A monster of classical my- 
thology, half woman, half serpent She 
was mother of the Chimsera, the many- 
headed dog Orthos, the hundred-headed 
dragon of the Hesperides, the Col'chian 
dragon, the Sphinx, Cer'berus, Scylla, the 
Gorgons, the Lernsean hydra, the vulture 
that gnawed away the liver of Prome'- 
theus, and the Nem'ean lion. 

Spenser makes her the mother of the 
Blatant Beast (qv). 

Echidna is a Monster direful! dred, 

Whom Gods doe hate, and heavens abhor to see, 

So hideous is her shape, so huge her bed, 
That even the hellish fiends affrighted bee 

At sight thereof, and from her presence flee 
Yet did her face and former parts professe 
A faire young Mayden full of comely glee, 

But all her hinder parts did plaine expresse 
A monstrous Dragon, full of fearfull uglmesse 
Faerie Queene, VI, vi 10 

Echo. The Romans say that Echo 
was a nymph in love with Narcissus, 
(qv), but because her love was not 
returned, she pined away till only her 
voice remained. 

Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that hv'st unseen 

Within thy airy shell, 
By slow Meandpr's margent green . . 
Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair 
That bkest thy Narcissus are? 

Milton Comus, 230 

Eck'hardt. A faithful EcLhardt, who 
warneth every one. Eckhardt, in German 
legends, appears on the evening of 
Maundy Thursday to warn all persons 
to go home, that they may not be injured 
by the headless bodies and two-legged 
horses which traverse the streets on 
that night. 

Eclec'tics. The name given to those 
who do not attach themselves to any 
special school (especially philosophers 
and painters), but pick and choose from 
various systems, selecting and harmoniz- 
ing those doctrines, methods, etc , which 
suit them (Gr. ek-legein, to choose, select) . 

Ecole des Famines, L'. (The School for 
Wives). A comedy by Moli6re. For the 
plot, see Agnes. 

Ecstatic Doctor. See under Doctor. 

Ector, Sir. In Arthurian romance, the 
foster-father of King Arthur, and father 

of Sir Kay. Tennyson gives this role to 
Sir Anton instead. 

The child was delivered unto Merlin, and he bare it 
forth unto Sir Eetor, and made a holy man to christen 
him, and named him Arthur, and so Sir Ector's -wife 
nourished him with her o\\n pap Malory Le Morte 
d' Arthur, I, in 

Edda. This name which may be 
from Edda, the great-grandmother in the 
Old Norse poem Rigsthul, or from the old 
Norse odhr, poetry is given to two 
separate works or collections, viz The 
Elder or Poetic Edda, and The Younger 
Edda, or Prose Edda of Snom The first- 
named was discovered in 1643 by an 
Icelandic bishop, and consists of mythol- 
ogical poems dating from the 9th century 
and supposed to have been collected in 
the 13th century. They are of unknown 
authorship, but were erroneously attrib- 
uted to Ssemund Sigfusson (d 1133), and 
this has hence sometimes been called 
Scemund's Edda The Younger Edda is a 
work in prose and verse by Snorn Sturlu- 
son (d. 1242), and forms a guide to poets 
and poetry. It consists ot the Gijlfagin- 
ning (an epitome of Scandinavian mythol- 
ogy), the Bragai aeour or sayings of Bragi, 
the Shaldskaparmal (a glossary of poetical 
expressions, etc ), the Hattatal (a list of 
meters, with examples of all known forms 
of verso), with a preface, history of the 
origin of poetry, lists of poets, etc. 

Eden. Paiadise, the country and 
garden in which Adam and Eve were 
placed by God (Gen n. 15) The word 
means delight, pleasure. It is often used 
to describe a place of charming scenery. 
In Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit Eden was 
a dismal swamp somewhere in the United 
States, the climate of which generally 
proved fatal to the poor dupes who were 
induced to settle there thi ough the swind- 
ling transactions of Gencial Scadder and 
General Choke. So dismal and dangerous 
was the place, that even Mark Tapley 
was satisfied to have found at last a place 
where he could " come out jolly with 

Edgar. The hero of Scott's Bride of 
Lammermoor (q.v ), the master of Ravens- 
wood, son of Allan of Ravenswood, a 
shabby Scotch nobleman The story 
also forms the substance of Donizetti's 
opera, Lucia di Lammermoor In the 
novel Edgar perishes in the quicksands 
at Kelpies Flow, but in the opera he btabs 

Edgar Huntley. A once-famous detec- 
tive story by Charles Brockden Brown 
(Am 1801) 

Edgeworth, Maria (1767-1849). English 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


novelist, author of Castle Rackrent (qv) 

Edmund. In Shakespeare's King Lear 
(qv}, the natural son of the Earl of 
Gloucester. Both Gonenl and Regan, 
daughters of King Lear, were in love with 
him Regan, on the death of her husband, 
designed to marry Edmund, but Goneril, 
out of jealousy, poisoned her. 

Edmund Bertram. In Jane Austen's 
Mansfield Park (q.v}. 
' Edricson, Alieyne. Hero of A. Conan 
Doyle's White Company (qv). 

Ed'yrn. Son of Nudd, called the 
" Sparrowhawk," m Tennyson's Marriage 
of Geraint (Idylls of the King), which was 
founded on the story of Geraint, Son of 
Erbin, in Lady Charlotte Guest's transla- 
tion of the Mabmogion He ousted Yn'iol 
from his earldom, and tried to win E'nid, 
the earl's daughter, but was overthrown 
by Geraint and sent to the court of King 
Arthur, where his whole nature was com- 
pletely changed, and " subdued to that 
gentleness which, when it weds with 
manhood, makes a man " 

Edward II. King of England (1284- 
1327). Christopher Marlowe's historical 
drama of this title (1594) is generally 
considered his masterpiece. 

Edward IV. King of England (1442- 
1483) He is introduced into Shakespeare's 
historical dramas, 2 and 3 Henry VI and 
Richard III and appears in Scott's Anne 
of Geier stein. 

Edward VI King of England (1537- 
1553) As Prince of Wales he is the 
" prince " in Mark Twain's burlesque, 
The Prince and the Pauper (q.v ) . 

Edwin and Angelina. The hero and 
heroine of a famous ballad by Oliver 
Goldsmith (1767), called The Hermit 
Angelina was the daughter of a wealthy 
lord " beside the Tyne." Her hand was 
sought in marriage by many suitors, 
amongst whom was Edwin, " who had 
neither wealth nor power, but he had 
both wisdom and worth. " Angelina loved 
him, but " trifled with him," and Edwin, 
in despair, left her, and retired from the 
world. One day, Angelina, in boy's 
clothes, asked hospitality at a hermit's 
cell; she was kindly entertained, told her 
tale, and the hermit proved to be Edwin. 
From that hour they never parted 

A correspondent accuses me of having taken this 
ballad from The Friar of Orders Gtoy but if 

there is any resemblance between the two, Mr Percy's 
ballad is taken from mine I read my ballad to Mr 
Percy, and he told me afterwards that he had taken rny 
plan to form the fragments of Shakespeare into a ballad 
gf ki own, Signed, 0. Goldsmith (17Q7), 

Two familiar lines are from this ballad. 

Man uants but little here below, 
Nor wants that little long 

Effen'di A Turkish title, about equal 
to the English " Mr " or " Esq " ^but 
always following the name It is given 
to emirs , men of learning, the high priests 
of mosques, etc 

Ege'ria. In Roman legend, the nymph 
who instructed Numa in his wise legisla- 
tion, hence, a counsellor, adviser. 

Ege'us. Father of Her'mia in Shake- 
speare's Midsummer Night's Dream (qv} 

Eggleston, Edward (1837-1902). Ameri- 
can novelist, author of The Hoosier 
Schoolmaster (q v ) . 

Egil. Brother of Wieland or Volund 
the Vulcan of Northern mythology. Egil 
was a great archer, and m the Saga of 
Thidnk there is a tale told of him the 
exact counterpart of the famous story 
about William Tell and the apple See Tell. 

Eg'lamour. In Shakespeare's Two 
Gentlemen of Verona, the person who aids 
Silvia, daughter of the Duke of Milan, 
in her escape. 

Eglantine, IVfadaire. The name of the 
Prioress (q.v) in Chaucer's Canterbury 

Egmont. A historical tragedy by 
Goethe (Ger. 1788) The hero is the 
Count of Egmont (1522-1568), a Flemish 
general and patnot who was executed 
for his opposition to Philip II. Goethe 
has departed from history by making him 
fall in love with the beautiful but low- 
born Clarchen. 

Egoist, The. A novel by George Mere- 
dith (Eng. 1879). The "egoist" is Sir 
Willoughby Patterne of Patterne Hall, 
possessed of good looks, wealth and all 
the virtues except humility and a sense 
of humor. He invites his fiancee, Clara 
Middleton, and her father, ^a clergyman 
who loves good food and wine, to spend 
a month at the Hall where he is the idol 
of his two old aunts. Clara, " a rogue in 
porcelain " as Mrs Mountstuart Jenkin- 
son, the clever widow who regulates the 
social life of the countryside, pronounces 
her, is soon longing to extricate hex self 
from the attentions of her self-centered 
lover. She is thankful for the diversion of 
Patterned gay Irish guest, De Crave, v ho 
makes violent love to her, but gives her 
confidence to Vernon Whitford, Patterne J s 
cousin and secretary, tutor to the lazy and 
impish young Crossjay. Patterne, who 
has had a sad experience previously, is in 
mortal dread of being jilted by Clara and 
to preserve his dignity proposes to his 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

former worshipper Laetitia Dale, whom 
he had made use of for this same puipose 
before. Many complications arise, but 
Vernon and Clara finally confess their 
love and Patterns is forced to plead with 
the now thoroughly disillusioned Laetitis 
to become the mistress of Patterne Hall. 

Egyptian. Egyptian bondage. Cruel 
servitude, such as that of the Israelites in 
Egypt, whom their taskmasters forced to 
make "bricks without straw." 

Egyptian darkness. Great darkness, 
from Exod x. 22. 

Egyptian disposition. A thieving disposi- 
tion. An Egyptian is a gipsy, so called 
because gipsies were at one time supposed 
to 3}ave come from Egypt 

Egyptian Solomon. Rameses III 

Eighth Wonder of the World. See 

Eikon BasiTike (Gr. royal likeness) 
A book originally published in 1649 
(? 1648) as by Charles I, purporting to 
set forth the private meditations, prayers, 
thoughts on the political situation, etc , 
of the king during and before his ini- 

Erisonment. Its authorship was claimed 
y John Gauden at the ti:ii3 ol the 
Restoration (when he was seeking to 
obtain a bishopric, and was made Bishop 
of Worcester), but who was the actual 
author is still an open question. 

an incomparable picture of a stedfast prince, 
who acknowledges his weakness yet asserts the purity of 
his motives, the truth of his pDhtical and religious prin- 
ciples, the supremacy of his conscience Such a dramatic 
presentment would not be above the ability of Gauden 
and it is quite possible that he had before him, when he 
wrote, actual meditations, prayers and memoranda of 
the king, which perished when they had been copied and 
had found their place in the masterly mosaic W H 
Hutton. in Camb Hist of Eng Lit , vol VII, ch vi 

Eisteddfod. The meetings of the Welsh 
bards and others now held annually for 
the encouragement of Welsh literature 
and music. (Welsh, " a sessions/' from 
eistedd, to sit.) 

Ekdal, Hjalmer. A character in Ibsen's 
Wild Duck (q.v,). His supposed daughter, 
Hedwig, is the heroine. 

El Dora'do (Sp. the gilded) Originally 
the name given to the supposed King of 
Manoa, the fabulous city of enormous 
wealth localized by the early explorers on 
the Amazon. He was said to be covered 
with oil and then powdered with gold- 
dust, an operation performed from time 
to time so that he was permanently, and 
literally, gilded. Many expeditions, both 
from Spain and England (two of which 
were led by Sir Walter Raleigh) tried to 
discover this king, and the name was later 
transferred to his supposed territory. 

Hence any extraordinarily rich region, of 
vast accumulation of gold, precious stones, 
or similar wealth. 

Edgar Allan Poe has a poem called 
Eldorado (Am. 1849) Voltaire makes 
Candide visit El Dorado in his satiric 
romance, Candide, and Milton describes 
it in Paradise Lost vi. 411. 

Elaine. In Arthurian romance the 
name is given to two maidens, both of 
whom were in love with Launcelot The 
first was the daughter of King Peleas 
(q.vjj who wished her to marry Launcelot 
When Launcelot refused, Elaine was 
made by magic to assume the form of 
Guinevere She became, through this 
deception, the mother of Sir Galahad 

The other Elaine is known as the " lily 
maid of As'tolat " (q.v.), who in Tenny- 
son's Launcelot and Elaine (Idylls of the 
King), in which he follows Malory (Bk. 
xviu, ch 9-20) , loved Sir Launcelot " with 
that love which was her doom " Sir 
Launcelot's love was bestowed on the 
queen, and Elaine, realizing the hope- 
lessness of her situation, died By her 
request her dead body was placed on a 
barge; a lily was in her right hand, and a 
letter avowing her love and showing the 
innocence of Launcelot in the left. An 
old servitor rowed, and when the barge 
stopped at the palace entrance, Arthur 
ordered the body to be brought in. The 
letter was read and Arthur directed that 
the maiden should be buried like a queen, 
with her sad story blazoned on her tomb. 
Tennyson has told her story in his Lady of 
Shalott also. 

EFberich. The most famous dwarf of 
German romance. See Alberich. 

Eleanor Crosses. The crosses erected 
by Edward I to commemorate his queen, 
Eleanor, whose body was brought from 
Nottinghamshire to Westminster for 
burial. At each of the following places, 
where the body rested, a cross was set up. 
Lincoln, Newark, Grantham, Leicester, 
Stamford, Geddington, Northampton, 
Stony Stratford, Woburn, Dunstable, St. 
Albans, Waltham, West Cheap (Cheap- 
side) and Westminster. 

Elector. A prince who had a vote in 
the election of the Emperor of the Holy 
Roman Empire. In 1806 Napoleon broke 
up the old Empire, and the College of 
Electors was dissolved. 

The Great Elector Frederick William 
of Brandenburg (1620-1688). 

plectra. (1) One of the Pleiades (q.v.), 
wife of Dardanus. She is known as " the 
Lost Pleiad/' for it is said that she dis- 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


appeared a little before the Trojan war, 
that she might be saved the mortification 
of seeing the ruin of her beloved city. 
She showed herself occasionally to mortal 
eye, but always in the guise of a comet 

(2) Another, better known Electro, of 
classic myth is the daughter of Agamem- 
non and Glytemnestra, sister of Iphigema 
and of Orestes. She assisted Orestes in 
avenging their father's death by slaying 
their mother, Clytemnestra. For the use 
of this legend in drama, see Orestes. 

Eleemon. The hero of Southey's 
ballad, All for Love or A Sinner Saved 


Elegiacs. Verse consisting of alternate 
hexameters (q.v) and pentameters (qv), 
so called because it was the meter in which 
the elegies of the Greeks and Romans 
were usually written. In Latin it was 
commonly used by Ovid, Catullus, Tibul- 
lus, and others. The following is a good 
specimen of English elegiacs: 

Man with inviolate caverns, impregnable holds in his 

Depths no storm can pierce, pierced with a shaft of 

the sun 
Man that is galled with his confines, and burdened yet 

more with his vastness, 

Born too great for his ends, never at peace with his 

Sir William Watson Hymn to the Sea (1899) 

Elegy. A poem of lament over some one 
who is dead. Among the great English 
elegies are Milton ; s Lycidas, Shelley's 
Adonais, Tennyson's In Memoriam and 
Matthew Arnold's Thijrsis. (See those 
entries) A reflective poem in plaintive 
or sorrowful mood is also called an elegy. 
Gray's Elegy in a Country Churchyard is 
the most celebrated of this latter type. 

Elena. Heroine of Turgenev's On the 
Eve (q.v.). 


King of the White Elephant^ The 
proudest title borne by the old kings of 
Ava and Siam. In. Ava the sacred white 
elephant bore the title of " lord/ 7 and 
had a minister of high rank to superintend 
his household. 

Only an elephant can bear an elephant's 
load. An Indian proverb: Only a great 
man can do the work of a great man; also, 
the burden is more than I can bear; it is a 
load fit for an elephant. 

The land of the White Elephant, Siam. 

To have a white elephant to keep. To 
have an expensive and unprofitable 
dignity to support, or some possession 
the expense or responsibility of which is 
more than it is worth. The allusion is to 
the story of a King of Siam who used to 

make a present of a white elephant to 
courtiers whom he wished to ruin 

Eleusin'ian Mysteries, The religious 
rites in honor of Deme'ter or Ceres, per- 
formed originally at Eleusis, Attica, but 
later at Athens as part of the state religion. 
There were Greater and Lesser Eleusinia, 
the former being celebrated between 
harvest and seedtime and the latter in 
early spring Little is known about the 
details, but the rites included sea bathing, 
processions, religious dramas, etc , and 
the initiated attained thereby a happy 
life beyond the grave. 

Eleven. At the eleventh hour. Just in 
time; from the parable in Matt. xx. 

The Eleven Thousand Virgins. See 
Ursula under Saint 

Elf. Originally a dwarfish being of 
Teutonic mythology, possessed of magical 
powers which it used either for the benefit 
or to the detriment of mankind. Later 
the name was restricted to a malignant 
kind of imp, and later still to those airy 
creatures that dance on the grass in the 
full moon, have fair golden hair, sweet 
musical voices, magic harps, etc. 

Elfzide Swancourt. In Hardy's Pair 
of Blue Eyes (qv}. 

Eli. In the Old Testament, the priest 
of the temple to whom Samuel (q.v ) 
ministered as a child. 

EUa. The assumed name of Charles 
Lamb, author of the Essays of Elia, 
contributed to the London Magazine 
between 1820 and 1825. 

El'idure. A legendary king of Britain, 
who, according to some accounts, was 
advanced to the throne in place of his 
elder brother, Arthgallo (or Artegal), 
supposed by him to be dead. ^Arthgallo, 
after a long exile, returned to his country, 
and Ehdure resigned to him the throne. 
Wordsworth has a poem on the subject 
(Artegal and Ehdure) , and Milton (History 
of Britain, Bk. i) says that Ehdure had 
u a mind so noble, and so moderate, as is 
almost incredible to have been ever 

Eligius, St. See under Saint. 

Elilm. In the book of Job, the young 
man who attempts to reason with Job 
about his troubles after the three false 
comforters have finished speaking. 

Elijah. In the Old Testament, a 
prophet who lived in the days of Ahab, 
king of Israel During a drought which 
he foretold, he was fed by ravens by the 
brook Chenth (1 Kings xviii. 6). He 
opposed the prophets of Baal (q.v.) and 
challenged them to a dramatic contest 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

on Mount Carmel, where two altars were 
built, one to Baal and one to Jehovah 
Baal was deaf to the repeated cries of his 

Erophets, but Jehovah answered Elijah 
y sending hre from heaven The story of 
Elijah's discouragement under the juniper 
tree is well known Elijah did not die, but 
was carried up to heaven in a whulwind 
He cast his mantle on Ehsha whom he 
had anointed prophet in his stead, hence 
Elijah 3 s mantle signifies succession to any 

Elinor Dashwood. In Jane Austen's 
Sense and Sensibility (q v) . 

Eliot, George (Mary Ann Evans, later 
Mrs. Cross) (1819-1880). English novelist, 
author of Scenes of Clerical Life, Adam 
Bede, The Mill on the Floss, Silas Marner, 
Romola, Felix Holt, Middleman ch and 
Daniel Deronda. See those entries 

Eliphaz. In the Old Testament, one of 
Job's three false comforters See Job. 

Elisha. One of the prophets of the Old 
Testament, successor to Elij ah He worked 
many miracles. See Naaman, Shunam- 

Elis'sa. Step-sister of Medi'na and 
Peris'sa, and mistress of Hudibras in 
Spenser's Faerie Queene (II, li) She 
typifies moral deficiency and moroseness; 

evermore did seeme 

As discontent for want of merth or meat; 
No solace could her Paramour mtreat 
Her once to show, ne court nor dalliance, 
But with bent lowrmg browe&, as she would threat, 
She scould, and frownd with froward countenance, 
Unworthy of faire ladies comely governance 

Faerie Queene, II, 11, 35 

Eliva'gar. In Scandinavian mythology, 
a cold venomous stream which issued 
from Nifiheim, in the abyss called the 
Gmnunga Gap, and hardened into layer 
upon layer of ice. See Hvelgelmir. 

Elixir of Life. The supposed potion 
of the alchemists that would prolong 
life indefinitely. It was imagined some- 
times as a dry drug, sometimes as a fluid. 
Elixir (Arabic, a powder for sprinkling 
on wounds) also meant among alchemists 
the philosopher's stone, the tincture for 
transmuting metals, etc , and the name 
is now given to any sovereign remedy for 
disease especially one of a "quack " 

Eliza. " Sterne's Eliza " to whom that 
novelist addressed his Letters to Eliza 
published m 1775 was a Mrs. Draper, 
wife of a counsellor of Bombay. Cp. 
Brahmine and Brahmin. 

Eliza Harris. A slave in Uncle Tom's 
Cabin (q.v.) by Harriet B^echer Stowe. 

Elisabeth. The heroine of Wagner's 
opera Tannhauser (q v) 

Elizabeth and Her German Garden 
A story by Countess Von Armm, later 
Countess Russell (1898) written in the 
foiin of a journal descriptive of country 
life Elizabeth calls her husband " the 
Man of Wrath " and her children are the 
'April,' 1 "May" and "June" babies. 

Elizabeth Ferguson. In Deland's Iron 
Woman (q.v). 

Elizabeth Jane Henchard (in reality 
Elizabeth Jane Newson ) In Hardy's 
Mayor of Caster bridge (q v.). 

Elizabeth, Queen (1533-1603) She is a 
prominent character in Scott's Kenil- 
worth. According to Scott her charac- 
ter was " strangely compounded of the 
strongest masculine sense with those 
foibles which are chiefly supposed proper 
to the female sex Her subjects had the 
full benefit of her virtues, which far pre- 
dominated over her weaknesses, but her 
courtiers and those about her person 
had often to sustain sudden and embarrass- 
ing turns of caprice, and the sallies of a 
temper which was both jealous and 
despotic " 

Elizabeth or The Exiles of Sibetia. A 
novel by Sophie Cottin (Fr. 1805), con- 
cerning a Polish family exiled in Siberia 
for political reasons. Elizabeth made a 
long and dangerous journey on foot to 
seek pardon for her parents from the 
Czar Alexander at the Russian court. 

Elizabeth, St. (of Hungary). See under 

Elizabethan. After the style of things 
in the reign of Queen Elizabeth (1558- 
1603). Elizabethan architecture is a 
mixture of Gothic and Italian, prevalent 
in the reigns of Elizabeth and James I, 
and when referring to literature Eliza- 
bethan is generally held to include the 
writers of the time of James I. By Eliza- 
bethan Drama is meant the drama of the 
period from the accession of Queen 
Elizabeth until the closing of the theaters 
in 1642. 

EUa or AHa, Rin. The husband of 
Cunstance (qv.) in Chaucer's Man of 
Law's Tale, one of the Canterbury Tales. 
Elle et Lui. A novel by George Sand 
(Fr. 1859) depicting the author's relations 
with Alfred de Musset twenty-five years 
before. Alfred de Musset had died two 
years before the publication of this book, 
but his brother Paul wrote Lui et Elle in 
protest at George Sand's interpretation 
of her breaking off -with D$ Musket). 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


Ellen Montgomery. In Warner's Wide 
Wide World (q.v). 

Eliida. Heroine of Ibsen's drama, The 
Lady from the Sea (q.v.). 

Elliziham, Gertrude. The heroine of 
Bronson Howard's drama, Shenandoah 

Elliot, Anne. The gentle heroine of 
Jane Austen's Persuasion (qi\). 

Ellison, Kitty. Heroine of W. D. 
Ho wells' Chance Acquaintance (qv.). She 
also appears in Their Wedding Journey 

Elm City. New Haven. See under 

Elm Tree on the Mall, The. A novel 
by Anatole France. See under BergereL 

Elohim. The plural form of the Heb. 
eloahj God, sometimes used to denote 
heathen gods collectively (Chemosh, 
Dagon, Baal, etc), but more frequently 
used as a singular denoting one god, or 
God Himself See next article, 

Elohis'tic and Jehovis'tic Scriptures 
Elohim and Jehovah (Jahveh or Yahve) 
are two of the most usual of the many 
names given by the ancient Hebrews to 
the Deity, and the fact that they are 
both used with interchangeable senses 
in the Pentateuch gave rise to the theory, 
widely held by Hebraists and Biblical 
critics, that these books were written, 
at two widely different periods. The 
Elohistic paragraphs, being more simple, 
more primitive, more narrative, and more 
pastoral, are held to be the older; while 
the later Jehovistic paragraphs, which 
indicate a knowledge of geography and 
history, seem to exalt the priestly office, 
and are altogether of a more elaborate 
character, were subsequently enwoven 
with these. This theory was originally 
stated by Jean Astruc, the French scholar, 
in his Conjectures sur les memoir es origin- 
aux, dont il paroit que Moyses'est servi pour 
composer le livre de la Genese (1753), a 
book which formed the starting-point ot 
all modern criticism of the Pentateuch. 

Eloi or Eligius, St. See under Saint. 

Eloi'sa. The supposed writer of Pope's 
Epistle from Eloisa to Abelard (1717). 
She is better known as Heloise. See 

Eloquent. The old man eloquent. (1) 
Isoc'rates, the Greek orator (B. C. 436- 
338), (2) Gladstone (1809-1898), 

The eloquent doctor. Peter Aure'olus, 
Archbishop of Aix, a schoolman. 

Elshender the Recluse. One of the 
names given to Sir Edward Mauley, hero 
of Scott's Black Dwarf (q.v.) and usually 
known as " the Black Dwarf." 

Elsie. The heroine of Longfellow's 
Golden Legend, a farmer's daughter who 
offers to sacrifice her life to cure Prince 
Henry of Hoheneck of leprosy but becomes 
his bride instead The tale first appeared 
as a medieval romance called Heinrich 
von Aue (q y.) 

Elsie Dinsmore. Title of one and 
heroine of innumerable " Elsie Books " by 
Martha ^Finley (Am. 1828-1909), Elsie 
was a pious little prig, a paragon of all 
the virtues Her story proved so popular 
with girl readers that the series was 
continued until long after she became a 

Elsie Venner. A novel by Oliver Wendell 
Holmes (Am. 1861) The heroine shows 
both physical and moral manifestations 
of a snake-like nature, supposedly caused 
by a rattler bite from which her mother 
suffered just before her birth. Stimulated 
by a love affair she struggles against this 
nature and eventually conquers it, but 
dies as a result 

Elsmere, Robert. See % Robert Elsmere. 

Elsted, Thea. A leading character in 
Ibsen's Hedda Gabler (q.v ) . 

Elton, Mr. and Mrs. In Jane Austen's 
novel Emma (q.v), a young clergyman 
and his wife. 

Elves. See Elf. 

EM 'no. In Bellini's opera, La Sonnam- 
bula (q.v ), a wealthy farmer, in love with 
Ami'na the somnambulist. 

Elvi'ra. (1) The heroine of Bellini's 
opera, I Puritani (q.v.). 

(2) The heroine of Verdi's opera, 
Ernani (q.v). 

Ely'sium. The abode of the blessed in 
Greek mythology; hence the Elysian 
Fields, the Paradise or Happy Land of 
the Greek poets. Elysian means happy, 

Em. The unit of measure in printing. 
The standard is a pica em, and the width 
of a line is measured by the number of 
m's laid on their sides thus g g g 
that would equal the measure required. 
A system was introduced some years ago, 
the unit of which is a " point " equal to 
one-seventy-second of an inch, all letters, 
spaces, rules, etc., are multiples of this 
" point," and the system is known as 
the " point system." Pica is 12 point. 
The point system is gradually superseding 
the older method. 

Emerald. The Em'erald Isle. Ireland- 
This term was first used by Dr. Drennan 
(1754-1820), in the poem called Erin. 
Of course, it refers to the bright green 
verdure of the island. 


Handbook for Readers and Writers 

Emerson, Ealph Waldo (1803-1882) 
American essayist and poet. Among his 
most famous essays are Nature (q.v), 
Representative Men (q.v.}. Friendship , 
Compensation, The Oversold. 

Emile. A famous educational romance 
by Jean Jacques Rousseau (Fr. 1762) 
describing in loose, story form the 
bringing-up of the boy Emile according 
to the so-called principles of nature. 
It had a notable influence on pedagogical 
theory. The fifth and last book deals 
with the education of Sophie, a girl 
intended for Emile's wife. 

Emilia. (1) In Shakespeare's Othello 
(qv)j wife of lago, the ancient of Othello 
in the Venetian army. She is induced by 
lago to purloin a certain handkerchief 
given by Othello to Desdemona. lago 
then prevails on Othello to ask his wife 
to show him the handkerchief; but she 
cannot find it, and lago tells the Moor 
she has given it to Cassio as a love-token. 
At the death of Desdemona, Emilia, who 
till then never suspected the real state 
of the case, reveals the truth of the 
matter, and lago rushes on her and kills 

The virtue of Emilia is such as we often find, worn 
loosely, but not cast off, easy to commit small crimes, 
but quickened and alarmed at atrocious villainies 
Dr Johnson 

(2) The heroine of Chaucer's Knight's 
Tale, beloved by Palamon and Arcite. 
See Palamon. 

(3) An attendant in Shakespeare's 
Winter's Tale. 

(4) The lady-love of Peregrine Pickle, 
in The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, 
by Smollett (1751). 

See also Sandra Belloni. 

Emilia, Dona. The wife of Charles 
Gould in Conrad's Nostromo (q.v.). 

Emilie. The " divine Emilie," to whom 
Voltaire wrote verses, was the Marquise 
du Ch&telet, with whom he lived at Cirey 
for some ten years, between 1735 and 

Emir. See Rulers, Titles of. 

Em'ly Peggotty or Little Em'ly. (In 
Dickens 7 David Copperfield.) See under 

Emma. A novel by Jane Austen 
(1816). The heroine, Emma Wqodhouse, is 
wealthy, and with no responsibilities other 
than her devotion to her invalid father, 
finds time heavy on her hands. To divert 
herself she plays with other people's 
affairs, but makes one well-meaning blun- 
der after another. She encourages Harriet 
Smith to aspire to the hand of a young 
clergyman, Mr. Elton, but the latter 

finally brings home as Mrs. Elton a wife 
who has been described as " the finished 
type of a feminine bore." Other moves, 
notably interference in the love affairs of 
Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill, are 
not much more successful When Harriet 
transfers her affections to Emma's brother- 
in-law Knightly, a middle-aged land- 
owner of irank and generous, if somewhat 
dictatorial, nature, Emma discovers that 
her long friendship for Knightly has 
grown into something stronger and 
marries him herself. The best-drawn 
character in Emma is the good-hearted 
talkative village spinster, Miss Bates. 

Emmerich. In Cabell's novels of 
medieval Poictesme (qv), the son and 
successor of Count Manuel. 

Emmy Lou. A girls' story by George 
Madden Martin. 

Emped'ocles. One of Pythagoras's 
scholars, who threw himself secretly into 
the crater of Etna, that people might 
suppose the gods had carried him to 
heaven, but alas' one of his iron pattens 
was cast out with the larva, and recog- 

He who to be deemed 
A god, leaped fondly into Etna flames, 

Milton Paradise Lost, m 469 

Matthew Arnold published a dramatic 
poem called Empedocles on Etna (1853). 

Emperor. See Rulers, Titles of. 

Emperor Jones. A drama by Eugene 
O'Neill (Am. 1920). Emperor Jones is a 
lordly American negro who has landed 
by chance in Africa, set up an empire in 
miniature and made himself rich trading 
on the superstitions of the natives. The 
drama shows him making his escape 
through the dense forest with the terrible 
drum of the now infuriated savages 
sounding behind him. As the strain 
begins to tell on him, layer after layer of 
his cocksure feeling of civilized superiority 
is stripped off, until finally he becomes 
the victim of his own terror. 

Empire. Empire City. New York City. 
Empire State. New York. Empire State 
of the South. Georgia. See also under 
Cities and States. 

Empirics. An ancient Greek school 
of medicine founded by Serap'ion of 
Alexandria", who contended that it is not 
necessary to obtain a knowledge of the 
nature and functions of the body in order 
to treat diseases, but that experience is 
the surest and best guide (Gr. empeiros t 
experienced, from peira, trial). They were 
opposed to the Dogmatic School founded 
by Hippocrates, which made certain 

Handbook for Readers and Writers 


dogmas or theoretical principles the basis 
of practice. Hence any quack or pre- 
tender to medical skill is called an empiric. 
Empyre'an. According to Ptolemy, 
there are five heavens, the last of which 
is pure elemental fire and the seat of 
deity; this fifth heaven is called the 
empyrean (Gr. empuros, fiery); hence, 
in Christian angelology, the abode of God 
and the angels. 

Now had the Almighty Father from above 
From the pure empyrean where He sits 
High throned above all height, bent down his eye 
Milton Paradise Lost, in 56. 

En bloc (Fr.). The whole lot together; 
en masse. 

En evidence (Fr.). To the fore. 

jy[ r has been much en evidence of late in the 

lobby, but as he has no seat, his chance of being in the 
ministry is very problematical Newspaper paragraph. 

En famille (Fr.). In the privacy of 
one's own home. " Living en famille " is 
keeping oneself pretty much to oneself, 
not going out or paying calls to any great 

Engargon (Fr.). As a bachelor. "To 
take me en g argon" without ceremony, 
as a bachelor fares in ordinary life. 

En grande toilette ; en grande tenue 
(Fr). In full dress; popularly, in the 
height of fashion. 

En masse (Fr.). The whole lot just 
as it stands; the whole. 

En papillotes (Fr.) . In a state of un- 
dress; literally, in curl-papers. Cutlets 
with frills on them are en papillotes. 

En passant (Fr.). By the way. A 
remark made en passant is one dropped 
in, almost an aside. 

En pension (Fr.). Pension is payment 
for board and lodging; hence, a boarding- 
house. " To live en pension }} is to live at a 
boarding-house or at a hotel, etc., for 
a charge that includes board and lodging. 
En rapport (Fr.). IB. harmony with; 
in sympathetic lines with. 

En Route. A novel by J. K. Huysman 
(Fr. 1895), dealing with the religious 
experiences of a blase" and dissipated 
young Parisian named Dartal, who yields 
to the esthetic spell of Christian mysti- 
cism. It is the middle volume of a trilogy. 
Encel'adus. In classic mythology, the 
most powerful of the hundred-armed 
giants, sons of Tartarus and Ge, who 
conspired against Zeus (Jupiter). The 
king of gods and men cast him down at 
Phieg'ra, in Macedonia, and threw Mount 
Etna over Mm. The poets say that the 
flames of the volcano arise from the 
breath of this giant. Longfellow has a 
poem called Enceladus. 

So fierce Enceladus in Phlegra stood. 

Hoole Jerusalem Delivered, 

I tell you, younglings, not Encelados, 

With all his threat'nmg band of Typhon's brood . . 

Shall seize this prey out of his father's hands 

Shakespeare- Titus Andronicus, iv 2 

Encyclopedists. The author-editors of 
the famous French Encyclopedia (1751- 
1765). They included Diderot, Voltaire, 
D'Alembert, Montesquieu, Housseau and 

Indor, Witch of. See under Witch. 
Endym'ion. In Greek mythology, a 
beautiful youth, sometimes said to be 
a king and sometimes a shepherd, who, 
as he slept on Mount Latmus, so moved 
the cold heart of Selene, the moon god- 
dess, that she came down and kissed him 
and lay at his side. He woke to find her 
gone, but the dreams which she gave him 
were so strong and enthralling that he 
begged Zeus to give him immortality and 
allow Mm to sleep perpetually on Mount 
Latmus. Other accounts say that Selene 
herself bound him by enchantment so 
that she might come and kiss him when- 
ever she liked. Keats used the story as 
the framework of his long allegory, 
Endymion (1817), and it forms the basis 
of Lyly's comedy, Endimion, the Man in 
the Moone (1585). Longfellow has a poem 
so called. Disraeli gave the name Endy- 
mion to one of his political novels (1835). 
The hero is Endymion Farrars. 

Enfant Terrible (Fr.). Literally, a 
terrible child. A precocious child; one 
who says or does awkward things at 
inconvenient times and " gives his elders 

Englander. A name applied, now only 
humorously or somewhat contemptuously, 
by foreigners to Englishmen. 

Little Englander. One who would rather 
see England small, contented, and as 
self-contained as possible than have her 
the head of a wor