Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama, Vol 1
The Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D.
Part 10 out of 15
Uther Pendragon. Constans was a monk, but at the death of his father
he laid aside the cowl for the crown. Vortigern caused him to be
assassinated, and usurped the crown. Aurelius Ambrosius succeeded
Vortigern, and was himself succeeded by his younger brother, Uther
Pendragon, father of King Arthur. Hence it will appear that Constans
was Arthur's uncle.
CONSTANT (_Ned_), the former lover of Lady Brute, with whom she
intrigued after her marriage with the surly knight.--Vanbrugh, _The
Provoked Wife_ (1697).
_Constant_ (_Sir Bashful_), a younger brother of middle life, who
tumbles into an estate and title by the death of his elder brother. He
marries a woman of quality, but finding; it _comme il faut_ not to let
his love be known, treats her with indifference and politeness, and
though he dotes on her, tries to make her believe he loves her not.
He is very soft, carried away by the opinions of others, and is an
example of the truth of what Dr. Young has said, "What is mere good
nature but a fool?"
_Lady Constant_, wife of Sir Bashful, a woman of spirit, taste, sense,
wit, and beauty. She loves her husband, and repels with scorn an
attempt to shake her fidelity because he treats her with cold
indifference.--A. Murphy, _The Way to Keep Him_ (1760).
CONSTAN'TIA, sister of Petruccio, governor of Bologna, and mistress of
the duke of Ferrara.--Beaumont and Fletcher, _The Chances_ (1620).
_Constantia_, a _protegee_ of Lady McSycophant. An amiable girl, in
love with Egerton McSycophant, by whom her love is amply returned.--C.
Macklin, _The Man of the World_ (1764).
CON'STANTINE (_3 syl._), a king of Scotland, who (in 937) joined Anlaf
(a Danish king) against Athelstan. The allied kings were defeated at
Brunanburh, in Northumberland, and Constantine was made prisoner.
Our English Athelstan ...
Made all the Isle his own,
And Constantine, the king a prisoner hither brought.
Drayton, _Polyolbion_, xii. 3 (1613).
CONSTANTINOPLE (_Little_), Kertch was so called by the Genoese from
its extent and its prosperity. Demosthenes calls it "the granary of
CONSUELO (_4 syl._), the impersonation of moral purity in the midst of
temptations. Consuelo is the heroine of a novel so called by George
Sand (i.e. Mde. Dudevant).
CONTEMPORANEOUS DISCOVERIES. Goethe and Vicq d'Azyrs discovered at the
same time the intermaxillary bone. Goethe and Von Baer discovered at
the same time Morphology. Goethe and Oken discovered at the same time
the vertebral system. _The Penny Cyclopaedia_ and _Chambers's Journal_
were started nearly at the same time. The invention of printing is
claimed by several contemporaries. The processes called Talbotype and
Daguerreotype were nearly simultaneous discoveries. Leverrier and
Adams discovered at the same time the planet Neptune.
[Illustration] This list may be extended to a very great length.
CONTENTED MAN (_The_). Subject of a poem by Rev. John Adams in 1745
No want contracts the largeness of his thoughts,
And nothing grieves him but his conscious faults,
He makes his GOD his everlasting tower
And in His firm munition stands secure.
CONTEST _(Sir Adam_). Having lost his first wife by shipwreck, he
married again after the lapse of some twelve or fourteen years. His
second wife was a girl of 18, to whom he held up his first wife as a
pattern and the very paragon of women. On the wedding day this first
wife made her appearance. She had been saved from the wreck; but Sir
Adam wished her in heaven most sincerely.
_Lady Contest_, the bride of Sir Adam, "young, extremely lively, and
prodigiously beautiful." She had been brought up in the country, and
treated as a child, so her _naivete_ was quite captivating. When
she quitted the bride-groom's house, she said, "Good-by, Sir Adam,
good-by. I did love you a little, upon my word, and should be really
unhappy if I did not know that your happiness will be infinitely
greater with your first wife."
_Mr. Contest_, the grown-up son of Sir Adam, by his first wife.--Mrs.
Inchbald, _The Wedding Day_ (1790).
ALEXANDER THE GREAT having gained the battle of Issus (B.C. 333), the
family of King Darius fell into his hands; but he treated the ladies
as queens, and observed the greatest decorum towards them. A eunuch,
having escaped, told Darius that his wife remained unspotted, for
Alexander had shown himself the most continent and generous of
men.--Arrian, _Anabasis of Alexander_, iv. 20.
SCIPIO AFRICANUS, after the conquest of Spain, refused to touch a
beautiful princess who had fallen into his hands, "lest he should be
tempted to forget his principles." It is, moreover, said that he sent
her back to her parents with presents, that she might marry the man to
whom she was betrothed. A silver shield, on which this incident was
depicted, was found in the river Rhone by some fishermen in the
E'en Scipio, or a victor yet more cold,
Might have forgot his virtue at her sight.
N. Rowe, _Tamerlane_, iii. 3 (1702.)
ANSON, when he took the _Senhora Theresa de Jesus_, refused even to
see the three Spanish ladies who formed part of the prize, because he
was resolved to prevent private scandal. The three ladies consisted of
a mother and her two daughters, the younger of whom was "of surpassing
CONVEN'TUAL FRIARS are those who live in _convents_, contrary to the
rule of St. Francis, who enjoined absolute poverty, without land,
books, chapel, or house. Those who conform to the rule of the founder
are called "Observant Friars."
CONVERSATION SHARP, Richard Sharp, the critic (1759-1835.)
COOK WHO KILLED HIMSELF (_The_). Vatel killed himself in 1671, because
the lobster for his turbot sauce did not arrive in time to be served
up at the banquet at Chantilly, given by the Prince de Conde to the
COOKS OF MODERN TIMES. Careme, called "The Regenerator of Cookery"
(1784-1833). Charles Elme Francatelli, cook at Crockford's, then in
the Royal Household, and lastly at the Reform Club (1805-1876). Ude,
Gouffe, and Alexis Soyer, the last of whom died in 1858.
COOKERY (_Regenerator of_), Careme (1784-1833.)
(Ude, Gouffe, and Soyer were also regenerators of this art).
COOPER (_Anthony Ashly_,) earl of Shaftesbury, introduced by Sir W.
Scott in _Peveril of the Peak_ (time, Charles II.)
COPHET'UA or COPET'HUA, a mythical king of Africa, of great wealth,
who fell in love with a beggar-girl, and married her. Her name was
Penel'ophon, but Shakespeare writes it Zenel'ophon in _Love's Labour's
Lost_, act iv. sc. 1. Tennyson has versified the tale in _The
Beggar-Maid._--Percy, _Reliques_, I. ii. 6.
COPLEY (_Sir Thomas_), in attendance on the earl of Leicester at
Woodstock.--Sir W. Scott, _Kenilworth_ (time, Elizabeth).
COPPER CAPTAIN (_A_), Michael Perez, a captain without 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 his own
trap, for he marries Estifania, a woman of intrigue, fancying her to
be the heiress Margaritta. The captain gives the lady "pearls," but
they are only whitings' eyes. His wife says to him:
Here's a goodly jewel..
Did you not win this at Goletta, captain?..
See how it sparkles, like an old lady's eyes..
And here's a chain of whitings' eyes for pearls..
Your clothes are parallels to these, all counterfeits.
Put these and them on you're a man of copper,
A copper,... copper captain.
Beaumont and Fletcher, _Rule a Wife and
Have a Wife_ (1640).
COPPERFLELD (_David_), the hero of a novel by Charles Dickens. David
is Dickens himself, and Micawber is Dickens's father. According to
the tale, David's mother was nursery governess in a family where
Mr. Copperfield visited. At the death of Mr. Copperfield, the widow
married Edward Murdstone, a hard, tyrannical man, who made the home of
David a dread and terror to the boy. When his mother died, Murdstone
sent David to lodge with the Micawbers, and bound him apprentice to
Messrs. Murdstone and Grinby, by whom he was put into the warehouse,
and set to paste labels upon wine and spirit bottles. David soon
became tired of this dreary work, and ran away to Dover, where he was
kindly received by his [great]-aunt Betsey Trotwood, who clothed him,
and sent him as day-boy to Dr. Strong, but placed him to board with
Mr. Wickfield, a lawyer, father of Agnes, between whom and David a
mutual attachment sprang up. David's first wife was Dora Spenlow, but
at the death of this pretty little "child-wife," he married Agnes
Wickfield.--C. Dickens, _David Copperfield_ (1849).
COPPERHEADS, members of a faction in the North, during the civil war
in the United States. The copperhead is a poisonous serpent, that
gives no warning of its approach, and hence is a type of a concealed
or secret foe. (_The Trigonecephalus contortrix_.)
COPPERNOSE (_3 syl_.). Henry VIII. was so called, because he mixed so
much copper with the silver coin that it showed after a little wear
in the parts most pronounced, as the nose. Hence the sobriquets
"Coppernosed Harry," "Old Copper-nose," etc.
COPPLE, the hen killed by Reynard, in the beast-epic called _Reynard
the Fox_ (1498).
CORA, the gentle, loving wife of Alonzo, and the kind friend of Rolla,
general of the Peruvian army.--Sheridan, _Pizarro_ (altered from
CORA MUNRO, the daughter of an English officer and the elder of the
sisters whose adventures fill Cooper's _Last of the Mohicans._ Cora
loves Heyward the as yet undeclared lover of Alice, and has, herself,
attracted the covetous eye of Magua, an Indian warrior. He contrives
to gain possession of her, and drawing his knife, gives her the choice
between death and his wigwam.
Cora neither heard nor heeded his demand ... Once
more he struggled with himself and lifted
the keen weapon again--but just then a piercing
cry was heard above them, and Uncas
appeared, leaping frantically from a fearful
height upon the ledge. Magua recoiled a step,
and one of his assistants, profiting by the chance,
sheathed his own knife in the bosom of Cora.
CO'RAH, in Dryden's satire of _Absalom and Architophel_, is meant for
Dr. Titus Oates. As Corah was the political calumniator of Moses and
Aaron, so Titus Oates was the political calumniator of the pope and
English papists. As Corah was punished by "going down alive into the
pit," so Oates was "condemned to imprisonment for life," after being
publicly whipped and exposed in the pillory. North describes Titus
Oates as a very short man, and says, if his mouth were taken for the
centre of a circle, his chin, forehead, and cheekbones would fall in
Sunk were his eyes, his voice was harsh and loud,
Sure signs he neither choleric was, nor proud;
His long chin proved his wit; his saint-like grace,
A Church vermilion, and a Moses' face;
His memory miraculously great
Could plots, exceeding man's belief, repeat.
Dryden, _Absalom and Achitophel_, i. (1631).
CORBAC'CIO _(Signior)_, the dupe of Mosca the knavish confederate of
Vol'pone (_2 syl_.). He is an old man, with seeing and hearing faint,
and understanding dulled to childishness, yet he wishes to live on,
Feels not his gout nor palsy; feigns himself
Younger by scores of years; flatters his age
With confident belying it; hopes he may
With charms, like Aeson, have his youth restored.
Ben Jonson, _Volpone or the Fox_ (1605).
Benjamin Johnson [1665-1742] ... seemed to be proud to wear the poet's
double name, and was particularly great in all that author's plays
that were usually performed, viz "Wasp," in _Bartholomew Fair_;
"Corbaccio;" "Morose," in _The Silent Woman_; and "Ananias," in _The
C. Dibdin says none who ever saw W. Parsons (1736-1795) in "Corbaccio"
could forget his effective mode of exclaiming "Has he made his
will? What has he given me!" but Parsons himself says: "Ah! to see
'Corbaccio' acted to perfection, you should have seen Shuter. The
public are pleased to think that I act that part well, but his acting
was as far superior to mine as Mount Vesuvius is to a rushlight."
COR'BANT, the rook, in the beast-epic of _Reynard the Fox_ (1498).
(French, _corbeau_, "a rook.")
CORCE'CA _(3 syl_.), mother of Abessa. The word means "blindness of
heart," or Romanism. Una sought shelter under her hut, but Corceca
shut the door against her; whereupon the lion which accompanied Una
broke down the door. The "lion" means _England_, "Corceca"
_popery_, "Una" _protestantism_, and "breaking down the door" _the
Reformation_.--Spenser, _Faery Queen_, i. 3 (1590).
CORDAY (_Marie Anne Charlotte_), descendant of the poet Corneille.
Born in Normandy 1768. She killed the bloody Marat in the bath and was
guillotined for the deed, July, 1793.
CORDE'LIA, youngest daughter of King Lear. She was disinherited by her
royal father, because her protestations of love were less violent than
those of her sisters. Cordelia married the king of France, and when
her two elder sisters refused to entertain the old king with his
suite, she brought an army over to dethrone them. She was, however,
taken captive, thrown into prison, and died there.
Her voice was ever soft,
Gentle, and low; an excellent thing in woman.
Shakespeare, _King Lear_, act v. sc. 3 (1605).
CORFLAM'BO, the personification of sensuality, a giant killed by
Arthur. Corflambo had a daughter named Paea'na, who married Placidas,
and proved a good wife to him.--Spenser, _Faery Queen_, iv. 8 (1596).
CORIAT (_Thomas_) died 1617, author of a book called _Crudities_.
Besides, 'tis known he could speak Greek,
As naturally as pigs do squeak.
Lionel Cranfield, _Panegyric Verses on T. Coriat_
But if the meaning was as far to seek
As Coriat's horse was of his master's Greek,
When in that tongue he made a speech at length,
To show the beast the greatness of his strength.
G. Wither, _Abuses Stript and Whipt_ (1613).
COREY (_Bromfield_). An amiable Boston aristocrat in W. D. Howells's
story, _The Rise of Silas Lapham_. His father complains of his want of
energy and artistic tastes, but allows him "to travel indefinitely."
He remains abroad ten years studying art, comes home and paints an
amateurish portrait of his father, marries and has a family, but
continues a dilettante, never quite abandoning his art, but working
at it fitfully. He does nothing especially clever, but never says
anything that is not clever, and is as much admired as he is beloved.
At heart he is true, however cynical may be his words, and throughout
he is the _gentleman_ in grain, and incorruptible (1885).
CORIN, "the faithful shepherdess," who, having lost her true love by
death, retired from the busy world, remained a virgin for the rest
of her life, and was called "The Virgin of the Grove." The shepherd
Thenot (final _t_ pronounced) fell in love with her for her
"fidelity," and to cure him of his attachment she pretended to love
him in return. This broke the charm, and Thenot no longer felt that
reverence of love he before entertained. Corin was skilled "in the
dark, hidden virtuous use of herbs," and says:
Of all green wounds I know the remedies
In men and cattle, be they stung by snakes,
Or charmed with powerful words of wicked art,
Or be they love-sick.
--John Fletcher, _The Faithful Shepherdess_, i. 1, (1610).
_Cor'in, Corin'eus_ (3 _syl_.), or _Corine'us_ (4 _syl_.) "strongest
of mortal men," and one of the suite of Brute (the first mythical king
of Britain.) (See CORINEUS.)
From Corin came it first? [_i.e., the Cornish hug in wrestling_].
M. Drayton, _Polyolbion_, i. (1612).
CORINEUS (3 _syl_). Southey throws the accent on the _first_ syllable,
and Spenser on the _second_. One of the suite of Brute. He overthrew
the giant Goem'agot, for which achievement he was rewarded with
the whole western horn of England, hence called Corin'ea, and the
inhabitants Corin'eans. (See CORIN).
Corineus challenged the giant to wrestle with him. At the beginning
of the encounter, Corineus and the giant standing front to front held
each other strongly in their arms, and panted aloud for breath; but
Goemagot presently grasped Corineus with all his might, broke three
of his ribs, two on his right side and one on his left. At which
Corineus, highly enraged, roused up his whole strength, and snatching
up the giant, ran with him on his shoulders to the neighboring shore,
and getting on to the top of a high rock, hurled the monster into the
sea ... The place where he fell is called Lam Goemagot or Goemagot's
Leap, to this day.--Geoffrey, _British History_, i. 16 (1142).
When father Brute and Cor'ineus set foot On the white island first.
Southey, _Madoc_, vi. (1805).
Cori'neus had that province utmost west. To him assigned.
Spenser, _Faery Queen_, ii. 10 (1500).
Drayton makes the name a word of four syllables, and throws the accent
on the last but one.
Which to their general then great Corine'us had.
Drayton, _Polyolbion_, i. (1612).
CORINNA, a Greek poetess of Boeotia, who gained a victory over Pindar
at the public games (fl. B.C. 490).
... they raised
A tent of satin, elaborately wrought
With fair Corinna's triumph.
Tennyson, _The Princess_, iii.
_Corinna_, daughter of Gripe, the scrivener. She marries Dick Amlet.
Sir John Vanbrugh, _The Confederacy_ (1695).
See lively Pope advance in jig and trip
"Corinna," "Cherry," "Honeycomb," and "Snip;"
Not without art, but yet to nature true,
She charms the town with humor just yet new.
Churchill, _Roseiad_ (1761).
Corinne' (2 _syl_.) the heroine and title of a novel by Mde. de Stael.
Her lover proved false, and the maiden gradually pined away.
_A Corinthian_, a rake, a "fast man." Prince Henry says (1 _Henry IV_.
act ii. sc. 4.) "[_They_] tell me I am no proud Jack, like Falstaff,
but a Corinthian, a lad of mettle."
CORINTHIAN TOM, "a fast man," the sporting rake in Pierce Egan's _Life
CORIOLA'NUS _(Caius Marcius_), called Coriolanus from his victory
at Cori'oli. His mother was Vetu'ria (_not Volumnia_), and his wife
Volumnia (not _Virgilia_). Shakespeare has a drama so called. La
Harpe has also a drama entitled _Coriolan_, produced in 1781.--Livy,
_Annals_, ii. 40.
I remember her [_Mrs. Siddons_] coming down the stage in the triumphal
entry of her son Coriolanus, when her dumb-show drew plaudits that
shook the house. She came alone, marching and beating time to the
music, rolling ... from side to side, swelling with the triumph of her
son. Such was the intoxication of joy which flashed from her eye and
lit up her whole face, that the effect was irresistible.--C.M. Young.
CORITA'NI, the people of Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire,
Leicestershire, Rutlandshire, and Northamptonshire. Drayton refers to
them in his _Polyolbion_, xvi. (1613).
CORMAC I., son of Conar, a Cael, who succeeded his father as "king of
Ireland," and reigned many years. In the latter part of his reign the
Fir-bolg (or Belgae settled in the south of Ireland), who had been
subjugated by Conar, rebelled, and Cormac was reduced to such
extremities that he sent to Fingal for aid. Fingal went with a large
army, utterly defeated Colculla "lord of Atha," and re-established
Cormac in the sole possession of Ireland. For this service Cormac gave
Fingal his daughter Roscra'na for wife, and Ossian was their first
son. Cormac I. was succeeded by his son Cairbre; Cairbre by his son
Artho; Artho by his son Cormac II. (a minor); and Cormac II., (after a
short interregnum) by Ferad-Artho.--Ossian.
CORMAC II. (a minor), king of Ireland. On his succeeding his father
Artho on the throne, Swaran, king of Lochlin [_Scandinavia_] invaded
Ireland, and defeated the army under the command of Cuthullin.
Fingal's arrival turned the tide of events, for the next day Swaran
was routed and returned to Lochlin. In the third year of his reign
Torlath rebelled, but was utterly discomfited at lake Lago by
Cuthullin, who, however, was himself mortally wounded by a random
arrow during the persuit. Not long after this Cairbre rose in
insurrection, murdered the young king, and usurped the government. His
success, however, was only of short duration, for having invited Oscar
to a feast, he treacherously slew him, and was himself slain at the
same time. His brother Cathmor succeeded for a few days, when he also
was slain in battle by Fingal, and the Conar dynasty restored. Conar
(first king of Ireland, a Caledonian) was succeeded by his son Cormac
I; Cormac I. was succeeded by his son Cairbre; Cairbre by his son
Artho; Artho by his son Cormac II.; and Cormac II (after a short
interregnum) by his cousin Ferad-Artho.--Ossian, _Fingal, Dar-Thula
COR'MACK _(Donald)_, a Highland robber-chief.--Sir W. Scott, _Fair
Maid of Perth_ (time, Henry IV).
COR'MALO, a "chief of ten thousand spears," who lived near the waters
of Lano (a Scandinavian lake). He went to Inis-Thona (an island of
Scandinavia), to the court of King Annir, and "sought the honor of the
spear" (i.e. a tournament). Argon, the eldest son of Annir, tilted
with him and overthrew him. This vexed Cormalo greatly, and during a
hunting expedition he drew his bow in secret and shot both Argon and
his brother Ruro. Their father wondered they did not return, when
their dog Runa came bounding into the hall, howling so as to attract
attention. Annir followed the hound, and found his sons both dead. In
the mean time his daughter was carried off by Cormalo. When Oscar, son
of Ossian, heard thereof, he vowed vengeance, went with an army to
Lano, encountered Cormalo, and slew him. Then rescuing the
daughter, he took her back to Inis-Thona, and delivered her to her
father.--Ossian, _The War of Inis-Thona._
COR'MORAN' _(The Giant_), a Cornish giant slain by Jack the
Giant-killer. This was his first exploit, accomplished when he was a
mere boy. Jack dug a deep pit, and so artfully filmed it over atop,
that the giant fell into it, whereupon Jack knocked him on the head
and killed him.
CORNAVII, the inhabitants of Cheshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire,
Warwickshire, and Worcestershire. Drayton refers to them in his
_Polyolbion_, xvi. (1613).
CORNE'LIA, wife of Titus Sempronius Gracchus, and mother of the two
tribunes Tiberius and Caius. She was almost idolized by the Romans,
who erected a statue in her honor, with this inscription: CORNELIA,
MOTHER OF THE GRACCHI.
Clelia, Cornelia,... and the Roman brows
Tennyson, _The Princess_, ii.
CORNET, a waiting-woman on Lady Fanciful. She caused great offence
because she did not flatter her ladyship. She actually said to
her, "Your ladyship looks very ill this morning," which the French
waiting-woman contradicted by saying, "My opinion be, matam, dat your
latyship never look so well in all your life." Lady Fanciful said to
Cornet, "Get out of the room, I can't endure you;" and then turning to
Mdlle, she added, "This wench is insufferably ugly.... Oh, by-the-by,
Mdlle., you can take these two pair of gloves. The French are
certainly well-mannered, and never flatter."--Vanbrugh, _The Provoked
[Illustration] This is of a piece with the archbishop of Granada and
his secretary Gil Blas.
CORNEY (_Mrs_.), matron of the workhouse where Oliver Twist was born.
She is a well-to-do widow, who marries Bumble, and reduces the pompous
beadle to a hen-pecked husband.--C. Dickens, _Oliver Twist_, xxxvii.
CORNFLOWER (_Henry_), a farmer, who "beneath a rough outside,
possessed a heart which would have done honor to a prince."
_Mrs. Cornflower_, (by birth Emma Belton), the farmer's wife abducted
by Sir Charles Courtly.--Dibdin, _The Farmer's Wife_ (1789).
CORNIOLE GIOVANNI DELLE, i.e. Giovanni of the Cornelians, the cognomen
given to an engraver of these stones in the time of Lorenzo di Medici.
His most famous work, the Savonarola in the Uffoziel gallery.
CORN-LAW RHYMER (_The_), Ebenezer Elliot (1781-1849).
CORNWALL (_Barry_), an imperfect anagram of Bryan Waller Proctor,
author of _English Songs_ (1788-1874).
COROMBONA (_Vittoria_), the White Devil, the chief character in
a drama by John Webster, entitled _The White Devil, or Vittoria
CORO'NIS, daughter of Phoroneus (3 _syl_.) king of Pho'cis,
metamorphosed by Minerva into a crow. CORPORAL (_The Little_). General
Bonaparte was so called after the battle of Lodi(1796).
CORRECTOR (_Alexander the_), Alexander Cruden, author of the
_Concordance to the Bible_, for many years a corrector of the press,
in London. He believed himself divinely inspired to correct the morals
and manners of the world (1701-1770).
COURROUGE' (2 _syl_.), the sword of Sir Otuel, a presumptuous Saracen,
nephew of Farracute (3 _syl_.). Otuel was in the end converted to
CORSAIR (_The_), Lord Conrad, afterwards called Lara. Hearing that the
Sultan Seyd [_Seed_] was about to attack the pirates, he assumed the
disguise of a dervise and entered the palace, while his crew set fire
to the Sultan's fleet. Conrad was apprehended and cast into a dungeon,
but being released by Glulnare (queen of the harem), he fled with her
to the Pirates' Isle. Here he found that Medo'ra (his heart's darling)
had died during his absence, so he left the Island with Gulnare,
returned to his native land, headed a rebellion, and was shot.--Byron,
_The Corsair_, continued in _Lara_ (1814).
(This tale is based on the adventures of Lafitte, the notorious
buccaneer. Lafitte was pardoned by General Jackson for services
rendered to the States in 1815, during the attack of the British on
COR'SAND, a magistrate at the examination of Dirk Hatteraick at
Kippletringan.--Sir W. Scott, _Guy Mannering_ (time George II).
CORSICAN GENERAL (_The_), Napoleon I., who was born in Corsica
COR'SINA, wife of the corsair who found Fairstar and Chery in the boat
as it drifted on the sea. Being made very rich by her foster-children,
Corsina brought them up as princes. Comtesse D'Aunoy, _Fairy Tales_
(The Princess Fairstar, 1682).
CORTE'JO, a cavaliere servente, who as Byron says in _Beppo_:
Coach, servants, gondola, must go to call,
And carries fan and tippet, gloves and shawl.
Was it not for this that no cortejo ere
I yet have chosen from the youth of Sev'ille?
Byron, _Don Juan_, i. 148 (1819).
CORVI'NO (_Signior_), a Venetian merchant, duped by Mosca into
believing that he is Vol'pone's heir.--Ben Jonson, _Volpone or the
CORYATE'S CRUDITIES, a book of travels by Thomas Coryate, who called
himself the "Odcombian Legstretcher." He was the son of the rector of
CORYCIAN NYMPHS (_The_), the Muses, so called from the cave of Corycia
on Lyeorca, one of the two chief summits of Mount Parnassus, in
COR'YDON, a common name for a shepherd. It occurs in the _Idylls_ of
Theocritos; the _Eclogues_ of Virgil; _The Cantata_, v., of Hughes,
_Cor'ydon_, the shepherd who languished for the fair Pastorella (canto
9). Sir Calidore, the successful rival, treated him most courteously,
and when he married the fair shepherdess, gave Corydon both flocks
and herds to mitigate his disappointment (canto 11).--Spenser, _Faery
Queen_, vi. (1596).
_Cor'ydon_, the shoemaker, a citizen.--Sir W. Scott, _Count Robert of
Paris_ (time, Rufus).
CORYPHAEUS OF GERMAN LITERATURE _(The)_, Goethe.
The Polish poet called upon ... the great Corypheeus of German
literature.--W. R. Morfell, _Notes and Queries_, April 27, 1878.
CORYPHE'US (4 _syl_.), a model man or leader, from the Koruphaios or
leader of the chorus in the Greek drama. Aristarchos is called _The
Corypheus of Grammarians_.
COSETTE. Illegitimate child of Fantine, a Parisian _grisette_. She
puts the baby into the care of peasants who neglect and maltreat the
little creature. She is rescued by the ex-convict Jean Valjean, who
nurtures her tenderly and marries her to a respectable man.--Victor
Hugo, _Les Miserables._
COSME _(St.)_, patron of surgeons, born in Arabia. He practised
medicine in Cilicia with his brother St. Damien, and both suffered
martyrdom under Diocletian in 303 or 310. Their fete day is December
27. In the twelfth century there was a medical society called _Saint
COS'MIEL (3 _syl_.), the genius of the world. He gave to
Theodidactus a boat of asbestos, in which he sailed to the sun and
planets.--Kircher, _Ecstatic Journey to Heaven._
COSMOS, the personification of "the world" as the enemy of man.
Phineas Fletcher calls him "the first son to the Dragon red" (_the
devil_). "Mistake," he says, "points all his darts;" or, as the
Preacher says, "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity." Fully described in
_The Purple Island_, viii (1633). (Greek, _kosmos_, "the world.")
COS'TARD, a clown who apes the court wits of Queen Elizabeth's time.
He uses the word "honorificabilitudinitatibus," and some of his
blunders are very ridiculous, as "ad dunghill, at the fingers' ends,
as they say" (act v. I).--Shakespeare, _Love's Labour's Lost_ (1594).
COSTIGAN, Irish Captain in _Pendennis_, W. M. Thackeray.
COSTIN _(Lord)_, disguised as a beggar, in _The Beggar's Bush_, a
drama by Beaumont and Fletcher (1622).
COTE MALE-TAILE _(Sir)_, meaning the "knight with the villainous
coat," the nickname given by Sir Key (the seneschal of King Arthur) to
Sir Brewnor le Noyre, a young knight who wore his father's, coat with
all its sword-cuts, to keep him in remembrance of the vengeance due to
his father. His first achievement was to kill a lion that "had broken
loose from a tower, and came hurling after the queen." He married a
damsel called Maledisaunt (3 _syl_.), who loved him, but always chided
him. After her marriage she was called Beauvinant.--Sir T. Malory,
_History of Prince Arthur_, ii. 42-50 (1470).
COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT; Poem in which Burns depicts the household of
a Scottish peasant gathering about the hearth on the last evening of
the week for supper, social converse and family worship. The picture
of the "Saint, the Father and the Husband" is drawn the poet's
own father. COTYTTO, Groddess of the Edoni of Thrace. Her orgies
resembled those of the Thracian Cybele (_3 syl_).
Hail goddess of nocturnal sport,
Dark-veiled Cotytto, to whom the secret flame
Of midnight torches burns.
Milton, _Comus_, 136, etc. (1634.)
COULIN, a British giant pursued by Debon till he came to a chasm 132
feet across which he leaped; but slipping on the opposite side, he
fell backwards into the pit and was killed.
And eke that ample pit yet far renowned
For the great leap which Debon did compell
Coulin to make, being eight lugs of grownd,
Into which the returning back he fell.
Spencer, _Faery Queen_, ii. 10 (1590.)
COUNT OF NARBONNE, a tragedy by Robert Jephson (1782). His father,
Count Raymond, having poisoned Alphonso, forged a will barring
Godfrey's right, and naming Raymond as successor. Theodore fell in
love with Adelaide, the count's daughter, but was reduced to this
dilemma: if he married Adelaide he could not challenge the count and
obtain the possessions he had a right to as grandson of Alphonso; if,
on the other hand, he obtained his rights and killed the count in
combat, he could not expect that Adelaide would marry him. At the end
the count killed Adelaide, and then himself. This drama is copied from
Walpole's _Castle of Otranto_.
COUNT ROBERT OF PARIS, a novel by Sir W. Scott, after the wreck of
his fortune and repeated strokes of paralysis (1831). The critic can
afford to be indulgent, and those who read this story must remember
that the sun of the great wizard was hastening to its set. The time of
the novel is the reign of Rufus. COUNTRY (_Father of his_). Cicero
was so called by the Roman senate (B.C. 106-43). Julius Caesar was
so called after quelling the insurrection in Spain (B.C. 100-43).
Augustus Caesar was called _Pater atque Princeps_ (B.C. 63, 31-14).
Cosmo de Medici (1389-1464). Washington, defender and paternal
counsellor of the American States (1732-1799). Andrea Dorea is so
called on the base of his statue in Genoa (1468-1560). Andronlcus
Palaeologus II. assumed the title (1260-1332). (See 1 _Chron_. iv.
COUNTRY GIRL (_The_), a comedy by Garrick, altered from Wycherly. The
"country girl" is Peggy Thrift, the orphan daughter of Sir Thomas
Thrift, and ward of Moody, who brings her up in the country in perfect
seclusion. When Moody is 50 and Peggy is 19, he wants to marry her,
but she outwits him and marries Bellville, a young man of suitable age
COUNTRY WIFE (_The_), a comedy by William Wycherly (1675).
Pope was proud to receive notice from the
author of _The Country Wife_.--R. Chambers,
_English Literature_, i. 393.
COUPEE, the dancing-master, who says "if it were not for
dancing-masters, men might as well walk on their heads as heels." He
courts Lucy by promising to teach her dancing.--Fielding, _The Virgin
COURTAIN, one of the swords of Ogier the Dane, made by Munifican. His
other sword was Sauvagine.
But Ogier gazed upon it [_the sea_] doubtfully
One Moment, and then, sheathing, Courtain, said,
"What tales are these?"
W. Morris, _The Earthly Paradise_ ("August").
COURTALL, a fop and consummate libertine, for ever boasting of his
love-conquests over ladies of the _haut monde_. He tries to corrupt
Lady Frances Touchwood, but is foiled by Saville.--Mrs. Cowley, _The
Belle's Stratagem_ (1780).
COURTLY (_Sir Charles_), a young libertine, who abducted the beautiful
wife of Farmer Cornflower.--Dibdin, _The Farmer's Wife_ (1780).
COUSIN COPELAND, a little old bachelor, courtly and quaint, who lives
in "Old Gardiston," the home of his ancestors "befo' de wah." He has
but one suit of clothes, so he dresses for dinner by donning a ruffled
shirt and a flower in his buttonhole. His work is among "documents,"
his life in the past; without murmur at poverty or change he keeps
up the even routine of life until one evening, trying to elevate his
gentle little voice as he reads to his niece, so as to be heard above
the rain and wind, it fails.
"Four days afterward he died, gentle and
placid to the last. He was an old man, although
no one had ever thought so."--Constance
Fennimore Woolson, _Southern Sketches_, (1880).
COUSIN MICHEL or MICHAEL, the nickname of a German, as John Bull is of
an Englishman, Brother Jonathan of an American, Colin Tampon a Swiss,
John Chinaman a Chinese, etc.
COUVADE (_2 syl._), a man who takes the place of his wife when she is
in child-bed. In these cases the man lies a-bed, and the woman does
the household duties. The people called "Gold Tooth," in the confines
of Burmah, are _couvades_. M. Francisque Michel tells us the custom
still exists in Biscay; and Colonel Yule assures us that it is common
in Yunnan and among the Miris in Upper Assam. Mr.
Tylor has observed the same custom among the Caribs of the West
Indies, the Abipones of Central South America, the aborigines of
California, in Guiana, in West Africa, and in the Indian Archipelago.
Diodorus speaks of it as existing at one time in Corsica; Strabo says
the custom prevailed in the north of Spain; and Apollonius Rhodius
that the Tabarenes on the Euxine Sea observed the same:
In the Tabarenian land,
When some good woman bears her lord a babe,
'_Tis he_ is swathed, and groaning put to bed;
While she arising tends his bath and serves
Nice possets for her husband in the straw.
Apollonius Rhodius, _Argonautic Exp_
COVERLEY (_Sir Roger de_), a member of an hypothetical club, noted
for his modesty, generosity, hospitality, and eccentric whims; most
courteous to his neighbors, most affectionate to his family, most
amiable to his domestics. Sir Roger, who figures in thirty papers
of the _Spectator_, is the very beau-ideal of an amiable country
gentleman of Queen Anne's time.
What would Sir Roger de Coverley be without
his follies and his charming little brain-cracks? If
the good knight did not call out to the people
sleeping in church, and say "Amen" with such
delightful pomposity; if he did not mistake Mde.
Doll Tearsheet for a lady of quality in Temple
Garden; if he were wiser than he is ... of
what worth were he to us? We love him for his
vanities as much as for his virtues.--Thackeray.
COWARDS and BULLIES. In Shakespeare we have Paroles and Pistol; in Ben
Jonson, Bobadil; in Beaumont and Fletcher, Bessus and Mons. Lapet,
the very prince of cowards; in the French drama, La Capitan, Metamore,
and Scaramouch. (See also BASILISCO, CAPTAIN NOLL BLUFF, BOROUGHCLIFF,
CAPTAIN BRAZEN, SIR PETRONEL FLASH, SACRIPANT, VINCENT DE LA ROSA,
COWPER, called "Author of _The Task_," from his principal poem
COXCOMB (_The Prince of_) Charles Joseph Prince de Ligne (1535-1614).
Richard II. of England (1366, 1377-1400).
Henri III, of France, _Le Mignon_ (1551, 1574-1589).
COXE (_Captain_), one of the masques at Kenilworth.--Sir W. Scott,
_Kenilworth_ (time, Elizabeth).
COY BISHOP. Best friend and unconscious foil to Avis Dobell in
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps' _Story of Avis_. "Her face is as innocent of
sarcasm as a mocking bird's;" she "is one of the immortal few who can
look pretty in their crimping-pins;" she "has the glibness of most
unaccentuated natures;" she admires Avis without comprehending her,
and she makes an excellent wife to John Rose, a practical young
CRABSHAW (_Timothy_), the servant of Sir Launcelot Greaves's
squire.--Smollett, _Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves_ (1760).
CRABTREE, in Smollett's novel called _The Adventures of Peregine
_Crabtree_, uncle of Sir Harry Bumber, in Sheridan's comedy, _The
School for Scandal_ (1777).
_Crabtree_, a gardener at Fairport.--Sir W. Scott, _The Antiquary_
(time George III.).
CRAC (_M. de_), the French Baron Munchausen; hero of a French
CRACKENTHORP (_Father_), a publican.
_Dolly Crackenthorp_, daughter of the publican.--Sir W. Scott,
_Redgauntlet_ (time, George III.).
CRACKIT (_Flash Toby_), one of the villains in the attempted burglary
in which Bill Sikes and his associates were concerned.--C. Dickens,
_Oliver Twist_ (1837.)
CRA'DLEMONT, king of Wales, subdued by Arthur, fighting for
Leod'ogran, king of Cam'eliarn (3 _syl_.).--Tennyson, _Coming of
CRADOCK (_Sir_), the only knight who could carve the boar's head which
no cuckold could cut; or drink from a bowl which no cuckold could
quaff without spilling the liquor. His lady was the only one in King
Arthur's court who could wear the mantle of chastity brought thither
by a boy during Christmas-tide.--Percy, _Reliques, etc._, III. iii.
CRAIGDAL'LIE (_Adam_), the senior baillie of Perth.--Sir W. Scott,
_Fair Maid of Perth_ (time, Henry IV.).
CRAIG'ENGELT (_Captain_), an adventurer and companion of Bucklaw. Sir
W. Scott, _Bride of Lammermoor_ (time, William III.).
CRAIK MAMSELL. A murderer who allows suspicion to fall upon the
innocent in Anna Katherine Green's story, _Hand and Ring_ (1883).
CRAMP (_Corporal_), under captain Thornton.--Sir W. Scott, _Bob Roy_
(time, George I.)
CRAN'BOURNE, (_Sir Jasper_), a friend of Sir Geoffrey Peveril--Sir W.
Scott, _Peveril of the Peak_ (time, Charles II.).
CRANE (_Dame Alison_), mistress of the Crane inn, at Marlborough.
_Gaffer Crane_, the dame's husband.--Sir W. Scott, _Kenilworth_ (time,
_Crane (Ichabod)_, a credulous Yankee schoolmaster. He is described as
"tall, exceedingly lank, and narrow-shouldered; his arms, legs, and
neck unusually long; his hands dangle a mile out of his sleeves; his
feet might serve for shovels; and his whole frame is very loosely hung
The head of Ichabod Crane was small and
flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy
eyes, and a long snipe nose, so that it looked
like a weather-cock perched upon his spindle
neck to tell which way the wind blew.--W. Irving,
_Sketch-Book_ ("Legend of Sleepy Hollow.")
CRANES (1 _syl_.). Milton, referring to the wars of the pygmies and
the cranes, calls the former
That small infantry
Warred on by cranes.
_Paradise Lost_, i. 575 (1665).
CRANION, queen Mab's charioteer.
Four nimble gnats the horses were,
Their harnesses of gossamere,
Fly Cranion, her charioteer.
M. Dayton, _Nymphidia_ (1563-1631).
CRANK (_Dame_), the papist laundress at Marlborough.--Sir W. Scott,
_Kenilworth_ (time, Elizabeth).
CRA'PAUD (_Johnnie_), a Frenchman, as John Bull is an Englishman,
Cousin Michael a German, Colin Tampon a Swiss, Brother Jonathan a
North American, etc. Called Crapaud from the device of the ancient
kings of France, "three toads erect saltant." Nostradamus, in the
sixteenth century, called the French _crapauds_ in the well-known
Les anciens crapauds prendront Sara.
("Sara" is Aras backwards, a city taken from the Spaniards under
Louis XIV.) CRATCHIT (_Bob_ or _Robert_), 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 selfishness.
_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.--C. Dickens, _A Christmas Carol_ (in five staves,
CRAW'FORD (_Lindsay, earl of_), the young earl-marshal of
Scotland.--Sir W. Scott, _Fair Maid of Perth_ (time, Henry IV.).
_Craw'ford (Lord)_, captain of the Scottish guard at Plessis les
Tours, in the pay of Louis XI.--Sir W. Scott, _Quentin Durward_ (time,
CRAWLEY (_Sir Pitt_), of Great Gaunt Street, and of Queen's Crawley,
Hants. A sharp, miserly, litigious, vulgar, ignorant baronet, very
rich, desperately mean, "a philosopher with a taste for low life," and
intoxicated every night. Becky Sharp was engaged by him to teach his
two daughters. On the death of his second wife, Sir Pitt asked her to
become lady Crawley, but Becky had already married his son, Captain
Rawdon Crawley. This "aristocrat" spoke of "brass fardens," and was
unable to spell the simplest words, as the following specimen will
show:--"Sir Pitt Crawley begs Miss Sharp and baggidge may be hear on
Tuseday, as I leaf ... to-morrow erly." The whole baronetage, peerage,
and commonage of England did not contain a more cunning, mean,
foolish, disreputable old rogue than Sir Pitt Crawley. He died at the
age of fourscore, "lamented and beloved, regretted and honored," if we
can believe his monumental tablet.
_Lady Crawley_. Sir Pitt's first wife was "a confounded quarrelsome,
high-bred jade." So he chose for his second wife the daughter of Mr.
Dawson, iron-monger, of Mudbury, who gave up her sweetheart, Peter
Butt, for the gilded vanity of Crawleyism. This ironmonger's daughter
had "pink cheeks and a white skin, but no distinctive character, no
opinions, no occupation, no amusements, no vigor of mind, no temper;
she was a mere female machine." Being a "blonde, she wore draggled
sea-green or slatternly sky-blue dresses," went about slip-shod and in
curl-papers all day till dinner-time. She died and left Sir Pitt for
the second time a widower, "to-morrow to fresh woods and pastures
_Mr. Pitt Crawley_, eldest son of Sir Pitt, and at the death of his
father inheritor of the title and estates. Mr. Pitt was a most proper
gentleman. He would rather starve than dine without a dress-coat and
white neckcloth. The whole house bowed down to him; even Sir Pitt
himself threw off his muddy gaiters in his son's presence. Mr. Pitt
always addressed his mother-in-law with "most powerful respect," and
strongly impressed her with his high aristocratic breeding. At Eton
he was called "Miss Crawley." His religious opinions were offensively
aggressive and of the "evangelical type." He even built a
meeting-house close by his uncle's church. Mr. Pitt Crawley came
into the large fortune of his aunt, Miss Crawley, married Lady Jane
Sheepshanks, daughter of the Countess of Southdown, became an M.P.,
grew money-loving and mean, but less and less "evangelical" as he grew
great and wealthy.
_Captain Rawdon Crawley_, younger brother of Mr. Pitt Crawley. He was
in the Dragoon Guards, a "blood about town," and an adept in boxing,
rat-hunting, the fives-court, and four-in-hand driving. He was a young
dandy, six feet high, with a great voice, but few brains. He could
swear a great deal, but could not spell. He ordered about the
servants, who nevertheless adored him; was generous, but did not pay
his tradesmen; a Lothario, free and easy. His style of talk was, "Aw,
aw; Jave-aw; Grad-aw; it's a confounded fine segaw-aw--confounded as I
ever smoked. Gad-aw." This military exquisite was the adopted heir of
Miss Crawley, but as he chose to marry Becky Sharp, was set aside for
his brother Pitt. For a time Becky enabled him to live in splendor
"upon nothing a year," but a great scandal got wind of gross
improprieties between Lord Steyne and Becky, so that Rawdon separated
from his wife, and was given the governorship of Coventry Isle by Lord
Steyne. "His Excellency Colonel Rawdon Crawley died in his island of
yellow fever, most deeply beloved and deplored," and his son Rawdon
inherited his uncle's title and the family estates.
_The Rev. Bute Crawley_, brother of Sir Pitt. He was a "tall, stately,
jolly, shovel-hatted rector." "He pulled stroke-oar in the Christ
Church boat, and had thrashed the best bruisers of the town. The Rev.
Bute loved boxing-matches, races, hunting, coursing, balls, elections,
regattas, and good dinners; had a fine singing voice, and was very
popular." His wife wrote his sermons for him.
_Mrs. Bute Crawley_, the rector's wife, was a smart little lady,
domestic, politic, but apt to overdo her "policy." She gave
her husband full liberty to do as he liked; was prudent and
thrifty.--Thackeray, _Vanity Fair_ (1848).
CRAYDOCKE _(Miss)._ Quaint friend of the Ripwinkleys and of everybody
else who figures in A.D.T. Whitney's _Real Folks_, and other of her
books. "Around her there is always springing up a busy and a spreading
crystallizing of shining and blessed elements. The world is none too
big for her, or for any such, of course."
CRAY'ON _(Le Sieur de_), one of the officers of Charles "the Bold,"
Duke of Burgundy.--Sir W. Scott, _Anne of Geierstein_ (time, Edward
_Crayon (Geoffrey), Esq._, Washington Irving, author of _The
CREA'KLE, a hard, vulgar school-master, to whose charge David
Copperfield was entrusted, and where he first made the acquaintance of
The circumstance abont him which impressed
me most was that he had no voice, but spoke in
a whisper.--C. Dickens, _David Copperfield_, vi.
CREAM CHEESE _(Rev.)_, an aesthetic divine whose disciple Mrs.
Potiphar is in _The Potiphar Papers_.--George William Curtis (1853).
CREBILLON OF ROMANCE _(The)_, A. Francois Prevost d'Exiles
CREDAT JUDAEUS APELLA, NONEGO (Horace, _Sat. I_. v. 100). Of "Apella"
nothing whatever is known. In general the name is omitted, and the
word "Judaeus" stands for any Jew. "A disbelieving Jew would give
credit to the statement sooner than I should."
CRES'SIDA, in Chaucer CRESSEIDE (2 _syl_.), a beautiful, sparkling,
and accomplished woman, who has become a by-word for infidelity. She
was the daughter of Calchas, a Trojan priest, who took part with the
Greeks. Cressida is not a character of classic story, but a mediaeval
creation. Pope says her story was the invention of Lollius the
Lombard, historiographer of Urbino, in Italy. Cressida betroths
herself to Troilus, a son of Priam, and vows eternal fidelity. Troilus
gives the maiden a _sleeve_, and she gives her Adonis a _glove_, as a
love-knot. Soon after this betrothal an exchange of prisoners is made,
when Cressida falls to the lot of Diomed, to whom she very soon yields
her love, and even gives him the very sleeve which Troilus had given
her as a love-token.
As air, as water, wind, or sandy earth.
Yea, let [_men_] say to stick the heart of falsehood,
"As false as Cressid."
(Shakespeare, _Troilus and Cressida_, act iii. sc. 2)
CRESSWELL (_Madame_), a woman of infamous character, who bequeathed
L10 for a funeral sermon, in which nothing ill should be said of her.
The Duke of Buckinham 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 Shad-well, married
Cress-well, lived at Clerken-well, and died in Bride-well."
CRESSY MCKINSTRY. Belle of Tuolumne County, California; pretty, saucy
and illiterate. She conceives the idea of getting an education, and
attends the district school, breaking an engagement of marriage to do
this; bewitches the master, a college graduate, and confesses her love
for him, but will not be "engaged:"
"I don't know enough to be a wife to you just now and you know it. I
couldn't keep a house fit for you and you couldn't keep me without
it.... You're only a dandy boy, you know, and they don't get married
to backwood Southern girls."
After many scrapes involving perils, shared together, and much
love-making, he is stunned one morning to learn that Cressy is married
to another man, whom she had feigned not to like.--Bret Harte,
CRETE (_Hound of_), a blood-hound.--See _Midsummer Night's Dream_, act
iii. sec. 2.
Coupe le gorge, that's the word; I thee defy again,
O hound of Crete!
Shakespeare, _Henry V_. act ii. sc. 1 (1599).
_Crete (The Infamy of)_, the Minotaur.
[_There_] lay stretched
The infamy of Crete, detested brood
Of the feigned heifer.
Dante, _Hell_, xii. (1300, Cary's translation).
CREVECOUR (2 _syl_.). The count Philip de Crevecour is the envoy sent
by Charles "the Bold," duke of Burgundy, with a defiance to Louis XI.,
king of France.
_The Countess of Crevecour_, wife of the count.--Sir W. Scott,
_Quentin Durward_ (time, Edward IV.).
CRIB (_Tom_), Thomas Moore, author of _Tom Crib's Memorial to
CRILLON. The following story is told of this brave but simple-minded
officer. Henry IV., after the battle of Arques, wrote to him thus:
Prends-toi, brave Crillon, nous avons vaincu a Arques, et tu n'y etais
The first and last part of this letter have become proverbial in
When Crillon heard the story of the Crucifixion read at Church, he
grew so excited that he cried out in an audible voice, _Ou etais
tu, Crillon_? ("What were you about, Crillon, to permit of such
[Illustration: symbol] When Clovis was told of the Crucifixion, he
exclaimed, "Had I and my Franks been by, we would have avenged the
wrong, I warrant."
CRIMO'RA AND CONNAL. Crimora, daughter of Rinval, was in love with
Connal of the race of Fingal, who was defied by Dargo. He begs his
"sweeting" to lend him her father's shield, but she says it is
ill-fated, for her father fell by the spear of Gormar. Connal went
against his foe, and Crimora, disguised in armor, went also, but
unknown to him. She saw her lover in fight with Dargo, and discharged
an arrow at the foe, but it missed its aim and shot Connal. She ran in
agony to his succor. It was too late. He died, Crimora died also, and
both were buried in one grave. Ossian, _Carric-Thura._
CRINGLE (_Tom_), Hero of sea-story by Michael Scott, _Tom Cringle's
CRISPIN (_St._). Crispinos and Crispianus were two brothers, born at
Rome, from which place they traveled to Soissons, in France (about
A.D. 303), to propagate the gospel, and worked as shoe-makers, that
they might not be chargeable to any one. The governor of the town
ordered them to be beheaded the very year of their arrival, and they
were made the tutelary saints of the "gentle craft." St. Crispin's Day
is October 25.
This day is called the feast of Crispian..
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered.
Shakespeare, _Henry V_. act iv. sc. 3 (1599).
CRITIC (_A Bossu_), one who criticizes the "getting up" of a book more
than its literary worth; a captious, carping critic. Rene le Bossu was
a French critic (1631-1680).
The epic poem your lordship bade me look at,
upon taking the length, breadth, height, and
depth of it, and trying them at home upon an
exact scale of Bossu's, 'tis out, my lord, in every
one of its dimensions. Admirable connoisseur!
(Probably the scale referred to was that of Bossut the mathematician,
and that either Bossu and Bossut have been confounded, or else that a
pun is intended).
_Critic (The)_, by R. B. Sheridan, suggested by _The Rehearsal_
[Illustration] _The Rehearsal_ is by the Duke of Buckingham (1671).
CRITICS (_The Prince of_), Aristarchos of Byzantium, who compiled, in
the second century B.C., the rhapsodies of Homer.
CROAKER, guardian to Miss Richland. 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 "May be not."
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 grumbling, atrabilious
husband. She is mirthful, light-hearted, and cheerful as a lark.
The very reverse of each other. She all laugh
and no joke, he always complaining and never
sorrowful.--Act i. 1.
_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.--Goldsmith, _The Good Natured Man_ (1768).
CROCODILE (_King_). The people of Isna, in Upper Egypt, affirm that
there is a king crocodile as there is a queen bee. The king crocodile
has ears but no tail, and has no power of doing harm. Southey says
that though the king crocodile has no tail, he has teeth to devour his
people with.--Browne, _Travels_.
_Crocodile (Lady Kitty)_, meant for the Duchess of Kingston.--Sam.
Foote, _A Trip to Calais_.
CROCUS, a young man enamoured of the nymph Smilax, who did not return
his love. The gods changed him into the crocus flower, to signify
CROESUS, king of Lydia, deceived by an oracle, was conquered by Cyrus,
king of Persia. Cyrus commanded a huge funeral pile to be erected upon
which Croesus and fourteen Lydian youths were to be chained and burnt
alive. When this was done, the discrowned king called on the name of
Solon, and Cyrus asked why he did so. "Because he told me to call no
one happy till death." Cyrus, struck with the remark, ordered the fire
of the pile to be put out, but this could not be done. Croesus then
called on Apollo, who sent a shower which extinguished the flames, and
he with his Lydians came from the pile unharmed.
[Illustration] The resemblance of this legend to the Bible account
of the Jewish youths condemned by Nebuchadnezzar to be cast into the
fiery furnace, from which they came forth uninjured, will recur to the
reader.--_Daniel_, iii. _Croesus's Dream_. Croesus dreamt that his
son, Atys, would be slain by an iron instrument, and used every
precaution to prevent it, but to no purpose; for one day Atys went to
chase the wild boar, and Adrastus, his friend, threw a dart at the
boar to rescue Atys from danger; the dart, however, struck the prince
and killed him. The tale is told by William Morris in his _Earthly
CROFTANGRY (_Mr. Chrystal_), a gentleman fallen to decay, cousin of
Mrs. Martha Bethune Baliol, to whom at death, he left the MS. of two
novels, one _The Highland Widow_, and the other _The Fair Maid of
Perth_, called the _First_ and _Second Series_ of the "Chronicles of
Canongate" (_q. v._). The history of Mr. Chrystal Croftangry is given
in the introductory chapters of _The Highland Widow_, and continued in
the introduction of the _The Fair Maid of Perth_.
Lockhart tells us that Mr. Croftangry is meant for Sir Walter Scott's
father and that "the fretful patient at the death-bed" is a living
CROFTS _(Master)_, the person killed in a duel by Sir Geofrey Hudson,
the famous dwarf.--Sir W. Scott, _Peveril of the Peak_ (time, Charles
CROKER'S MARE. In the proverb _As coy as Croker's Mare_. This means
"as chary as a mare that carries crockery."
She was to them as koy as a croker's Mare.
J. Heywood, _Dialogue_ ii. 1 (1566).
CROKERS. Potatoes are so called because they were first planted
in Croker's field, at Youghal, in Ireland.--J. R. Planche,
_Recollections, etc_. ii. 119.
CROM'WELL _(Oliver)_, introduced by Sir W. Scott in _Woodstock_.
_Cromwell's daughter Elizabeth_, who married John Claypole. Seeing her
father greatly agitated by a portrait of Charles I., she gently and
lovingly led him away out of the room.--Sir W. Scott, _Woodstock_
_Cromwell_ is called by the Preacher Burroughs "the archangel who did
battle with the devil."
_Cromwell's Lucky Day_. The 3rd September was considered by Oliver
Cromwell to be his red-letter day. On the 3rd September, 1650, he won
the battle of Dunbar; on 3rd September, 1651, he won the battle of
Worcester; and on 3rd September, 1658, he died. It is not, however,
true that he was born on 3rd September, as many affirm, for his
birthday was 25th April, 1599.
_Cromwell's Dead Body Insulted_. Cromwell's dead body was, by the
sanction, if not by the express order of Charles II., taken from its
grave, exposed on a gibbet, and finally buried under the gallows.
[Illustration] Similarly, the tomb of Am'asis, king of Egypt, was
broken open by Camby'ses; the body was then scourged and insulted in
various ways, and finally burnt, which was abhorrent to the Egyptians,
who used every possible method to preserve dead bodies in their
The dead body of Admiral Coligny [_Co.leen.ye_] was similarly insulted
by Charles IX., Catherine de Medicis, and all the court of France, who
spattered blood and dirt on the half-burnt blackened mass. The king
had the bad taste to say over it:
Fragrance sweeter than a rose
Rises from our slaughtered foes.
It will be remembered that Coligny was the guest of Charles, his only
crime being that he was a Huguenot.
CROOK-FINGERED JACK, one of Macheath's gang of thieves. In eighteen
months' service he brought to the general stock four fine gold watches
and seven silver ones, sixteen snuff-boxes (five of which were gold),
six dozen handkerchiefs, four silver-hilted swords, six shirts, three
periwigs, and a "piece" of broadcloth. Pea'chum calls him "a mighty
cleanhanded fellow," and adds:
"Considering these are only the fruits of his leisure hours, I don't
know a prettier fellow, for no man alive hath a more engaging presence
of mind upon the road."--Gay, _The Beggar's Opera_. I. 1 (1727).
CROP _(George)_, an honest, hearty farmer, who has married a second
wife, named Dorothy, between whom there are endless quarrels. Two
especially are noteworthy. Crop tells his wife he hopes that better
times are coming, and when the law-suit is over "we will have roast
pork for dinner every Sunday." The wife replies, "It shall be lamb."
"But I say it shall be pork." "I hate pork, I'll have lamb." "Pork, I
tell you." "I say lamb." "It shan't be lamb, I will have pork." The
other quarrel arises from Crop's having left the door open, which he
asks his wife civilly to shut. She refuses, he commands; she turns
obstinate, he turns angry; at length they agree that the person who
first speaks shall shut the door. Dorothy speaks first, and Crop gains
the victory.--P. Hoare, _No Song, no Supper_ (1754-1834).
CROPLAND (_Sir Charles_), an extravagant, heartless libertine and man
of fashion, who hates the country except for hunting, and looks on
his estates and tenants only as the means of supplying money for his
personal indulgence. Knowing that Emily Worthington is the daughter
of a "poor gentleman," he offers her "a house in town, the run of his
estate in the country, a chariot, two footmen, and L600 a year;" but
the lieutenant's daughter rejects with scorn such "splendid infamy."
At the end Sir Charles is made to see his own baseness, and offers the
most ample apologies to all whom he has offended.--G. Colman, _The
Poor Gentleman_ (1802).
CROQUEMITAINE [_Croak.mit.tain_], the bogie raised by fear. Somewhere
near Saragossa was a terrible castle called Fear Fortress, which
appeared quite impregnable; but as the bold approached it, the
difficulties of access gradually gave way and even the fortress itself
vanished into thin air.
_Croquemitaine_ is a romance in three parts; the first part is a
tournament between the knights of Marsillus, a Moorish king, and the
paladins of Charlemagne; the second part is the siege of Saragossa
by Charlemagne; and the third part is the allegory of Fear Fortress.
Mitaine is the godchild of Charlemagne, who goes in search of Fear
CROQUIS (_Alfred_), Daniel Maclise, R.A. This pseudonym was attached
to a series of character-portraits in _Frazer's Magazine_ between the
years 1830 and 1838. Maclise was born 1811, and died 1870.
CROS'BIE (_William_), provost of Dumfries, a friend of Mr. Fairford
_Mrs. Crosbie_, wife of the provost, and a cousin of Eedgauntlet.--Sir
W. Scott. _Redgauntlet_, (time, George III.).
CROSBITE (2 _syl_.), a barrister.--Sir W. Scott, _Redgauntlet_ (time
CROSS PURPOSES, a farce by O'Brien. There are three brothers named
Bevil--Francis, an M.P., Harry, a lawyer, and George, in the Guards.
They all, unknown to each other, wish to marry Emily Grub, the
handsome daughter of a rich stockbroker. Francis pays court to the
father, and obtains his consent; Harry to the mother, and obtains her
consent; and George to the daughter, whose consent he obtains, and the
two elder brothers retire from the field. The fun of the farce is the
contention of the Grubs about a suitable husband, their joy at finding
they have all selected Mr. Bevil, and their amazement at discovering
that there are three of the same name.
CROSS'MYLOOF, a lawyer.--Sir W. Scott, _Heart of Midlothian_ (time,
CROTHAR, "Lord of Atha," in Connaught (then called Alnec'ma). He was
the first and most powerful chief of the Fir-bolg ("bowmen") or Belgae
from Britain who colonized the _southern_ parts of Ireland. Crothar
carried off Conla'ma, daughter of Cathmin, a chief of the Cael or
Caledonians, who had colonized the _northern_ parts of Ireland and
held their court in Ulster. As Conlama was betrothed to Turloch,
a Cael, he made an irruption into Connaught, slew Cormul, but was
himself slain by Crothar, Cormul's brother. The feud now became
general, "Blood poured on blood, and Erin's clouds were hung with
ghosts." The Cael being reduced to the last extremity, Trathel (the
grandfather of Fingal) sent Conar (son of Trenmor) to their relief.
Conar, on his arrival in Ulster, was chosen king, and the Fir-bolg
being subdued, he called himself "the King of Ireland."--Ossian,
_Crothar_, vassal king of Croma (in Ireland), held under Artho,
over-lord of all Ireland. Crothar, being blind with age, was attacked
by Rothmar, chief of Tromlo, who resolved to annex Croma to his own
dominion. Crotha sent to Fingal for aid, and Fingal sent his son
Ossian with an army; but before he could arrive Fovar-Gormo, a son of
Crothar, attacked the invader, but was defeated and slain. When Ossian
reached Ulster, he attacked the victorious Rothmar and both routed the
army and slew the chief.--Ossian, _Croma_.
CROTO'NA'S SAGE, Pythagoras, so called because his first and chief
school of philosophy was established at Crotna (fl. B.C. 540.)
CROWDE'RO, one of the rabble leaders encountered by Hudibras at a
bear-baiting. The academy figure of this character was Jackson or
Jephson, a milliner in the New Exchange, Strand, London. He lost a leg
in the service of the roundheads, and was reduced to the necessity of
earning a living by playing on the _crowd_ or _crouth_ from ale-house
to ale-house.--S. Butler, _Hudibras_, i. 2 (1664).
(The _crouth_ was a long box-shaped instrument, with six or more
strings, supported by a bridge. It was played with a bow. The last
noted performer on this instrument was John Morgan, a Welshman, who
CROWE _(Captain)_, the attendant of Sir Launcelot Greaves (1 _syl_.),
in his peregrinations to reform society. Sir Launcelot is a modern Don
Quixote, and Captain Crowe is his Sancho Panza.
CROWFIELD _(Christopher)_, a pseudonym of Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe
CROWN. Godfrey, when made the overlord of Jerusalem, or "Baron of the
Holy Sepulchre," refused to wear a crown of gold where his Saviour had
only worn a crown of thorns.
Canute, after the rebuke he gave to his flatterers, refused to wear
thenceforth any symbol of royalty at all.
Canute (truth worthy to be known)
From that time forth did for his brows disown
The ostentatious symbol of a crown,
Esteeming earthly royalty
Presumptuous and vain.
CROWNED AFTER DEATH. Inez de Castro was exhumed six years after her
assassination, and crowned queen of Portugal by her husband, Don
Pedro. (See INEZ DE CASTRO.)
CROWQUILL _(Alfred)_, Alfred Henry Forrester, author of _Leaves from
my Memorandum-Book_ (1859), one of the artists of _Punch_ (1805-1872).
CROYE _(Isabelle, countess of)_, a ward of Charles "the Bold," duke of
Burgundy. She first appears at the turret window in Plessis les
Tours, disguised as Jacqueline; and her marriage with Quentin Durward
concludes the novel.
_The Countess Hameline of Croye_, aunt to Countess Isabelle. First
disguised as Dame Perotte (2 _syl_.) at Plessis les Tours; afterwards
married to William de la Marck.--Sir W. Scott, _Quentin Durward_
(time, Edward IV).
_Croye (Monseigneur de la_), an officer of Charles "the Bold," duke of
Burgundy.--Sir W. Scott, _Anne of Geierstein_ (time, Edward IV.).
CROYSA'DO _The Great_, General Lord Fairfax (1611-1671).--S. Butler,
CRUDOR _(Sir)_, the knight who told Bria'na he would not marry her
till she brought him enough hair, consisting of ladies' locks and the
beards of knights to purfle his cloak with. In order to obtain this
love-gift, the lady established a toll, by which every lady who passed
her castle had to give the hair of her head, and every knight his
beard, as "passing pay," or else fight for their lives. Sir Crudor
being overthrown by Sir Calidore, Briana was compelled to abolish this
toll.--Spencer, _Faery Queen_, v. 1. (1596).
CRUEL _(The)_, Pedro, king of Castle (1334, 1350-1369).
CRUIK'SHANKS _(Ebenezer)_, landlord of the Golden Candlestick inn. Sir
W. Scott, _Waverley_ (time, George II.).
CRUM'MLES _(Mr. Vincent_), the eccentric but kind-hearted manager of
the Portsmouth Theatre.
It was necessary that the writer should, like
Mr. Crummles, dramatist, construct his piece in
the interest of "the pump and washing-tubs."--
_Mrs. Crummles_, wife of Mr. Vincent Crummles, 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 Crummles_, daughter of the manager, and called in the
play-bills "the infant phenomenon."--C Dickens, _Nicholas Nickleby_
CRUNCHER (_Jerry_), an odd-job man in Tellson's bank. His wife was
continually saying her prayers, which Jerry termed "flopping." He was
a "resurrection man."--C. Dickens, _A Tale of Two Cities_ (1859).
CRUPP _(Mrs.)_, a typical humbug, who let chambers in Buckingham
Street for young gentlemen. David Copperfield lodged with her.--C.
Dickens, _David Copperfield_ (1849).
CRUSHED BY ORNAMENTS. Tarpeia, daughter of the governer of the Roman
citadel on the Saturnian Hill, was tempted by the gold on the Sabine
bracelets and collars to open a gate of the fortress to the besiegers
on condition that they would give her the ornaments which they wore on
their arms. Tarpeia opened the gate, and the Sabines as they passed
threw on her their shields, saying, "These are the ornaments worn by
the Sabines on their arms," and the maid was crushed to death. G.
Gilfillan, alluding to Longfellow, has this erroneous allusion:
His ornaments, unlike those of the Sabine
_[sic]_ maid, have not crushed him.--_Introductory
Essay to Longfellow_.
CRUSOE _(Robinson)_, the hero and title of a novel by Daniel Defoe.
Robinson Crusoe is a shipwrecked sailor, who leads a solitary life
for many years on a desert island, and relieves the tedium of life by
ingenious contrivances (1719).
(The story is based on the adventures of Alexander Selkirk, a Scotch
sailor, who in 1704 was left by Captain Stradding on the uninhabited
island of Juan Fernandez. Here he remained for four years and four
months, when he was rescued by Captain Woods Rogers and brought to
Was there ever anything written by mere
man that the reader wished longer except _Robinson
Crusoe, Don Quixote_ and _The Pilgrim's Progress!_--Dr.
CRUTH-LODA, the war-god of the ancient Gaels.
On thy top, U-thormo, dwells the misty Loda:
the house of the spirits of men. In the end of
his cloudy hall bends forward Cruth-Loda of
swords. His form is dimly seen amid the wavy
mists, his right hand is on his shield.--Ossian,
CUCKOLD KING _(The)_, Sir Mark of Cornwell, whose wife Ysolde [_E.
seld_] intrigued with Sir Tristram (his nephew), one of the knights of
the Round Table.
CUD'DIE or CUTHBERT HEADRIGG, a ploughman, in the service of Lady
Bellenden of the Tower of Tillietudlem.--Sir W. Scott, _Old Mortality_
(time, Charles II.).
CUDDY, a herdsman, in Spenser's _Shephearde's Calendar._
_Cuddy_, a shepherd, who boasts that the charms of his Buxo'ma far
exceed those of Blouzelinda. Lobbin, who is Blouzelinda's swain,
repels the boast, and the two shepherds agree to sing the praises of
their respective shepherdesses, and to make Clod'dipole arbiter of
their contention. Cloddipole listens to their alternate verses,
pronounces that "both merit an oaken staff," but, says he, "the herds
are weary of the songs, and so am I."--Gay, _Pastoral_, i. (1714).
(This eclogue is in imitation of Virgil's _Ecl_. iii.)
CULDEES _(i.e. sequestered persons_), the primitive clergy
of presbyterian character, established in Io'na or Icolmkill
_[I-columb-kill]_ by St. Columb and twelve of his followers in 563.
They also founded similar church establishments at Abernethy, Dunkeld,
Kirkcaldy _[Kirk-Culdee]_, etc., and at Lindesfarne, in England. Some
say as many as 300 churches were founded by them. Augustine, a bishop
of Waterford, began against them in 1176 a war of extermination, when
those who could escape sought refuge in Iona, the original cradle of
the sect, and were not driven thence till 1203.
Peace to their shades! the pure Culdees
Were Albyn's _[Scotland's]_ earliest priests of God,
Ere yet an island of her seas
By foot of Saxon monk was trod.
CULLOCH _(Sawney)_ a pedlar.--Sir W. Scott, _Guy Mannering_ (time,
CULPRIT FAY, a sprite condemned for loving a mortal maiden to catch
the spray-gem from the sturgeon's "silver bow," and light his torch
with a falling star.--Joseph Rodman Drake, _The Culprit Fay_ (1847).
CUMBERLAND (_John of_). "The devil and John of Cumberland" is a
blunder for "The devil and John-a-Cumber." John-a-Cumber was a famous
He poste to Scotland for brave John-a-Cumber,
The only man renowned for magick skill.
Oft have I heard he once beguylde the devill.
A. Munday, _John-a-Kent and John-a-Cumber_
_Cumberland (William Augustus, duke of_), commander-in-chief of
the army of George II., whose son he was. The duke was especially
celebrated for his victory of Cullo'den (1746); but he was called "The
Butcher" from the great severity with which he stamped out the clan
system of the Scottish Highlanders. He was wounded in the leg at
the battle of Dettingen (1743). Sir W. Scott has introduced him in
_Waverley_ (time, George II.).
Proud Cumberland prances, insulting the slain,
And their hoof-beaten bosoms are trod to the plan.
Campbell, _Lochiel's Warning_.
CUMBERLAND POET (_The_), William
Wordsworth, born at Cockermouth (1770-1850).
CUMNOR HALL, a ballad by Mickel, the lament of Amy Robsart, who had
been won and thrown away by the Earl of Leicester. She says if roses
and lilies grow in courts, why did he pluck the primrose of the field,
which some country swain might have won and valued! Thus sore and sad
the lady grieved in Cumnor Hall, and ere dawn the death bell rang, and
never more was that countess seen.
[Illustration] Sir W. Scott took this for the groundwork of his
_Kenihvorth_, which he called _Cumnor Hall_, but Constable, his
publisher, induced him to change the name.
CUNEGONDE _[Ku'.na.gond]_, the mistress of Candide (2 _syl_.). in
Voltaire's novel called _Candide_. Sterne spells it "Cunegund."
CUN'NINGHAM _(Archie)_, one of the archers of the Scotch guards at
Plessis les Tours, in the pay of Louis XI.--Sir W. Scott, _Quentin
Durward_ (time, Edward IV.).
CU'NO, the ranger, father of Agatha.--Weber, _Der Freischuetz_ (1822).
CUNO'BELINE, a king of the Silures, son of Tasciov'anus and father of
Caractacus. Coins still exist bearing the name of "Cunobeline," and
the word "Camalodunum" _[Colchester]_, the capital of his kingdom. The
Roman general between A.D. 43 and 47 was Aulus Plautius, but in 47
Ostorius Scapula took Caractacus prisoner.
Some think Cunobeline is Shakespeare's "Cymbeline," who reigned from
B.C. 8 to A.D. 27; but Cymbeline's father was Tenantius or Tenuantius,
his sons Guide'rius Arvir'agus, and the Roman general was Caius
... the courageous sons of our Cunobelin
Sank under Plautius' sword.
Drayton, _Polyolbion_, viii. (1612).
CUNSTANCE or CONSTANCE (See CUSTANCE).
CUPID AND PSYCHE [_Si.ky_] an episode in _The Golden Ass_ of Apuleius.
The allegory represents Cupid in love with Psyche. He visited her
every evening, and left at sunrise, but strictly enjoined her not
to attempt to discover who he was. One night curiosity overcame her
prudence, and going to look upon her lover a drop of hot oil fell on
his shoulder, awoke him, and he fled. Psyche now wandered in search
of the lost one, but was persecuted by Venus with relentless cruelty.
Having suffered almost to the death, Cupid at length married her, and
she became immortal. Mrs. Tighe has a poem on the subject. Wm. Morris
has poetized the same in his _Earthly Paradise_ ("May"); Lafontaine
has a poem called _Psyche_, in imitation of the episode of Apuleius;
and Moliere has dramatized the subject.
CU'PIDON (_Jean_). Count d'Orsay was so called by Lord Byron
(1798-1852). The count's father was styled _Le Beau d' Orsay._
CUR'AN, a courtier in Shakespeare's tragedy of _King Lear_ (1605).
CURE DE MEUDON, Rabelais, who was first a monk, then a leech, then
prebendary of St. Maur, and lastly cure of Meudon (1483-1553).
CU'RIO, a gentleman attending on the Duke of Illyria.--Shakespeare,
_Twelfth Night_ (1614).
_Curio_. So Akenside calls Mr. Pulteney, and styles him "the betrayer
of his country," alluding to the great statesman's change of politics.
Curio was a young Roman senator, at one time the avowed enemy of
Caesar, but subsequently of Caesar's party, and one of the victims of
the civil war.
Is this the man in freedom's cause approved.
The man so great, so honored, so beloved ...
This Curio, hated now and scorned by all,
Who fell himself to work his country's fall?
Akenside, _Epistle to Curio_.
CURIOUS IMPERTINENT (_The_), a tale introduced by Cervantes in his
_Don Quixote_. The "impertinent" is an Italian gentleman who is silly
enough to make trial of his wife's fidelity by persuading a friend to
storm it if he can. Of course his friend "takes the fort," and the
fool is left to bewail his own folly.--Pt. I. iv. 5 (1605).
CURRER BELL, the _nom de plume_ of Charlotte Bronte, author of _Jane
Eyre_ [_Air_] (1816-1855).
CURTA'NA, the sword of Edward the Con'fessor, which had no point, and
was therefore the emblem of mercy. Till the reign of Henry III., the
royal sword of England was so called.
But when Curtana will not do the deed,
You lay the pointless clergy-weapon by,
And to the laws, your sword of justice, fly.
Dryden, _The Hind and the Panther_, ii. (1687).
CURTA'NA or COURTAIN, the sword of Ogier the Dane.
He [_Ogier_] drew Courtain his sword out of its
W. Morris, _Earthly Paradise_, (634).
CURT-HOSE (2 _syl_.). Robert II. duc de Normandie (1087-1134).
CURT-MANTLE, Henry II. of England
(1133, 1154-1189). So called because he wore the Anjou mantle, which
was shorter than the robe worn by his predecessors.
CURTIS, one of Petruchio's servants.--Shakespeare, _Taming of the
PARSON CUSHING, pastor of the Orthodox Church in Poganuc. In fits of
learned abstraction, he fed the dog surreptitiously under the table,
thereby encouraging his boys to trust his heart rather than his
tongue. He justifies the expulsion of the Indian tribes by Scripture
texts, and gathers eggs in the hay-mow with Dolly; upholds the
doctrines of his denomination and would seal his faith with his blood,
but admits that "the Thirty-nine articles (with some few exceptions)
are a very excellent statement of truth." He is Catholic without
suspecting it.--Harriet Beecher Stowe, _Poganuc People_, (1878).
CUSTANCE, daughter of the Emperor of Rome, affianced to the Sultan of
Syria, who abjured his faith and consented to be baptized in order
to marry her. His mother hated this apostasy, and at the wedding
breakfast slew all the apostates except the bride. Her she embarked
in a ship, which was set adrift and in due time reached the British
shores, where Custance was rescued by the Lord-constable of
Northumberland, who took her home, and placed her under the care of
his wife Hermegild. Custance converted both the constable and his
wife. A young knight wished to marry her, but she declined his suit,
whereupon he murdered Hermegild, and then laid the bloody knife beside
Custance, to make her suspected of the crime. King Alia examined the
case, and soon discovered the real facts, whereupon the knight was
executed, and the king married Custance.
The queen-mother highly disapproved of the match, and during the
absence of her son in Scotland embarked Custance and her infant boy in
a ship, which was turned adrift. After floating about for five years,
it was taken in tow by a Roman fleet on its return from Syria, and
Custance with her son Maurice became the guests of a Eoman Senator. It
so happened that Alla at this same time was at Rome on a pilgrimage,
and encountered his wife, who returned with him to Northumberland
and lived in peace and happiness the rest of her life.--Chaucer,
_Canterbury Tales_ ("The Man of Law's Tale," 1388).
_Custance_, a gay and rich widow, whom Ralph Roister Doister wishes
to marry, but he is wholly baffled in his scheme.--Nicholas TJdall,
_Ralph Roister Doister_ (first English comedy, 1534).
CUTE _(Alderman)_, a "practical philosopher," resolved to put down
everything. In his opinion "everything must be put down." Starvation
must be put down, and so must suicide, sick mothers, babies, and
poverty.--C. Dickens, _The Chimes_ (1844).
CUTHAL, same as Uthal, one of the Orkneys.
CUTHBERT _(St.)_, a Scotch monk of the sixth century.
CUTHBERT BEDE, the Rev. Edw. Bradley, author of _Verdant Green_
CUTHO'NA, daughter of Rumar, was betrothed to Conlath, youngest son of
Morni, of Mora. Not long before the espousals were to be celebrated,
Toscar came from Ireland, and was hospitably entertained by Morni. On
the fourth day, he saw Cuthona out hunting, and carried her off by
force. Being pursued by Conlath, a fight ensued, in which both the
young men fell, and Cuthona, after languishing for three days, died
also.--Ossian, _Conlath and Cuthona_.
CUTHULLIN, son of Semo, commander of the Irish army, and regent during
the minority of Cormac. His wife was Brag'elo, daughter of Sorglan. In
the poem called _Fingal_, Cuthullin was defeated by Swaran, king of
Lochlin _[Scandinavia]_, and being ashamed to meet Fingal, retired
from the field gloomy and sad. Fingal having utterly defeated Swaran,
invited Cuthullin to the banquet, and partially restored his depressed
spirits. In the third year of Cormac's reign, Torlah, son of Can'tela,
rebelled. Cuthullin gained a complete victory over him at the lake
Lego, but was mortally wounded in the pursuit by a random arrow.
Cuthullin was succeeded by Nathos, but the young king was soon
dethroned by the rebel Cairbre, and murdered.--Ossian, _Fingal_ and
_The Death of Cuthullin_.
CUTLER _(Sir John)_, a royalist, who died 1699, reduced to the utmost
Cutler saw tenants break, and houses fall. For very want he could not
build a wall. His only daughter in a stranger's power, for very want
he could not pay a dower. A few gray hairs his reverend temples
crowned, 'Twas very want that sold them for two pound....
Cutler and Brutus, dying, both exclaim, "Virtue and wealth, what are
ye but a name?" Pope, _Moral Essays_, iii. (1709).
CUTPURSE (_Moil_), Mary Frith, the heroine of Middleton's comedy
called _The Roaring Girl_ (1611). She was a woman of masculine vigor,
who not unfrequently assumed man's attire. This notorious cut-purse
once attacked General Fairfax on Hounslow Heath, but was arrested and
sent to Newgate; she escaped, however, by bribing the turnkey, and
died of dropsy at the age of 75. Nathaniel Field introduces her in his
drama called _Amends for Ladies_ (1618).
CUTSHAMAQUIN, an Indian Sachem, whose disobedient and rebellious son
was "dealt with" publicly by John Eliot. At the second summons and
serious admonition, the lad repented and confessed humbly, "and
entreated his father to forgive him, and took him by the hand, at
which his father burst forth into great weeping."--John Eliot, _The
Clear Sunshine of the Gospel Breaking Forth Upon the Indians_ (1648).
CUTTLE (_Captain Edward_), a great friend of Solomon Gills, ship's
instrument maker. 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 on." The kind-hearted seaman was very fond of
Florence Dombey, and of Walter Gay, whom he called "Wal'r." When
Florence left her father's roof, Captain Cuttle sheltered her at the
Wooden Midshipman. One of his favorite sentiments was "May we never
want a friend, or a bottle to give him."--C. Dickens, _Dombey and Son_
("When found, make a note of," is the motto of _Notes and Queries_.)
CYC'LADES (3 _syl_.), some twenty islands, so called from the classic
legend that they _circled round_ Delos when that island was rendered
stationary by the birth of Diana and Apollo.
CYCLIC POETS, a series of epic poets, who wrote continuations or
additions to Homer's _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_; they were called "Cyclic"
because they confined themselves to the _cycle_ of the Trojan war.
AG'IAS wrote an epic on "the return of the Greeks from Troy" (B.C.
ARCTI'NOS wrote a continuation of the _Iliad_, describing the taking
of Troy by the "Wooden Horse," and its conflagration. Virgil has
copied from this poet (B.C. 776).
EU'GAMON wrote a continuation of the _Odyssey_. It contains the
adventures of Telegonos in search of his father Ulysses. When he
reached Ith'aca, Ulysses and Telemachos went against him, and
Telegonos killed Ulysses with a spear which his mother Circe had given
him (B.C. 568).
LES'CHES, author of the _Little Iliad_, in four books, containing the
fate of Ajax, the exploits of Philoctetes, Neoptol'emos, and Ulysses,
and the final capture of Troy (B.C. 708).
STASI'NOS, "son-in-law" of Homer. He wrote an introduction to the
CYCLOPS. Their names are Brontes, Steropes, and Arges. (See SINDBAD,
_Cyclops (The Holy)_. So Dryden in the _Masque of Albion and
Albanius_, calls Richard Rumbold, an Englishman, the chief conspirator
in the "Ryehouse Plot." He had lost one eye, and was executed.
CYDIP'PE (3 _syl_), a lady courted by Acontius of Cea, but being
unable to obtain her, he wrote on an apple, "I swear by Diana that
Acontius shall be my husband." This apple was presented to the
maiden, and being persuaded that she had written the words, though
inadvertently, she consented to marry Acontius for "the oath's sake."
Cydippe by a letter was betrayed,
Writ on an apple to th' unwary maid
Ovid, _Art of Love_, 1.
CYL'LAROS, the horse of Pollux according to Virgil (_Georg_. iii.
90), but of Castor according to Ovid _(Metam._ xii. 408). It was
coal-black, with white legs and tail.
CYLLE'NIUS, Mercury; so called from Mount Cylene, in Arcadia, where he
CYM'BELINE (3 _syl_.), mythical king of Britain for thirty-five years.
He began to reign in the nineteenth year of Augustus Caesar. His father
was Tenantius, who refused to pay the tribute to the Romans exacted of
Cassibelan after his defeat by Julius Caesar. Cymbeline married
twice. By his first wife he had a daughter named Imogen, who married
Posthumus Leonatus. His second wife had a son named Cloten by a former
husband.--Shakespeare, _Cymbeline_ (1605).
CYMOCHLES _[Si. mok'.leez]_, brother of Pyroch'les, son of Aerates,
husband of Acras'ia the enchantress. He sets out against Sir Guyon,
but being ferried over Idle Lake, abandons himself to self-indulgence,
and is slain by King Arthur (canto 8).--Spencer, _Faery Queen_, ii. 5,
CYMOD'OCE (4 _syl_.). The mother of Mar'inel is so called in bk.
iv. 12 of the _Faery Queen_, but in bk. iii. 4 she is spoken of as
Cymo'ent "daughter of Nereus" (2_syl_.) by an earth-born father, "the
CYMOENT. (See CYMODOCE.)
CYM'RY, the Welsh.
The Welsh always called themselves "Cym-ry", the literal meaning of
which is "aborigines." ... It is the same word as "Cimbri." ... They
call their language "Cymraeg," _i.e_, "the primitive tongue."--E.
CYNGAEI'ROS, brother of the poet AEschylos. When the Persians, after the
battle of Marathon, were pushing off from shore, Cyngaeiros seized one
of their ships with his right hand, which being lopped off, he grasped
it with his left hand; this being cut off, he seized it with his
teeth, and lost his life.
ADMIEAL BENBOW, in an engagement with the French, near St. Martha, in
1701, had his legs and thighs shivered into splinters by chain-shot;
but (supported on a wooden frame) he remained on deck till Du Casse
ALMEYDA, the Portuguese Governor of India, had his legs and thighs
shattered in a similar way, and caused himself to be bound to the
ship's mast, that he might wave his sword to cheer on the combatants.
JAAFER, at the battle of Muta, carried the sacred banner of the
prophet. One hand being lopped off, he held it with the other; this
also being cut off, he held it with his two stumps, and when at last
his head was cut off, he contrived to fall dead on the banner, which
was thus detained till Abdallah had time to rescue it and hand it to
CYNE'THA(3 _syl._), eldest son of Cadwallon (king of North Wales). He
was an orphan, brought up by his uncle Owen. During his minority, Owen
and Cynetha loved each other dearly; but when the orphan came of age
and claimed his inheritance, his uncle burnt his eyes out by exposing
them to plates of hot brass. Cynetha and his son Cadwallon accompanied
Madoc to North America, where the blind old man died while Madoc was
in Wales preparing for his second voyage.--Southey, _Madoc_, i. 3
Cadwallonis erat primaevus jure Cynetha:
Proh pudor! hunc oculis patruus privavit Oenus.
CYNIC TUB (_The_), Diog'enes, the Cynic philosopher lived in a tub,
and it is to this fact that illusion is made in the line:
[_They_] fetch their doctrines from the Cynic tub.
Milton, _Comus_, 708 (1634).
CY'NOSURE (3 _syl_.), the pole-star. The word means "the dog's tail,"
and is used to signify a guiding genius, or the observed of all
observers. Cynosu'ra was an Idaean nymph, one of the nurses of Zeus (1
CYN'THIA, the moon or Diana, who was born on Mount Cynthus, in Delos.
Apollo is called "Cynthius."
... watching, in the night,
Beneath pale Cynthia's melancholy light.
Falconer, _The Shipwreck_, iii. 2 (1756).
_Cyn'thia._ So Spenser, in _Colin Clout's Come Home Again_, calls
Queen Elizabeth, "whose angel's eye" was his life's sole bliss, his
heart's eternal treasure. Ph. Fletcher, in _The Purple Island_, iii.,
also calls Queen Elizabeth "Cynthia."
Her words were like a stream of honey fleeting..
Her deeds were like great clusters of ripe grapes...
Her looks were like beams of the morning sun
Forth looking thro' the windows of the east...
Her thoughts were like the fumes of frankincense
Which from a golden censer forth doth rise.
Spenser, _Colin Clout's Come Home Again_ (1591).
_Cyn'thia_, daughter of Sir Paul Pliant, and daughter-in-law of Lady
Pliant. She is in love with Melle'font (2 _syl_.). Sir Paul calls her
"Thy"--W. Congreve, _The Double Dealer_ (1694).
CYN'THIA WARE. Auburn-haired girl living upon Lost Creek in Tennessee,
in love with Evander Price, a young blacksmith. When he is sent to the
penitentiary upon a false accusation, she labors unceasingly for a
year to obtain his pardon. A year after it is granted, she learns that
he is doing well in another State and has forgotten her. In time, he
returns, married and prosperous, and calls upon his old friends upon
"His recollections were all vague, although at
some reminiscence of hers he laughed jovially,
and ''lowed that in them days, Cinthy, you
an' me had a right smart notion of keepin' company
tergether.' He did not notice how pale
she was, and that there was often a slight spasmodic
contraction of her features. She was
busy with her spinning-wheel, as she placidly
replied: 'Yes,--'though I always 'lowed ez I
counted on livin' single.'"--Charles Egbert Craddock,
_In the Tennessee Mountains_ (1885).
CYP'RIAN _(A)_, a woman of loose morals; so called from the island
Cyprus, a chief seat of the worship of Venus or Cyp'ria.
_Cyp'rian (Brother)_, a Dominican monk at the monastery of
Holyrood.--Sir W. Scott, _Fair Maid of Perth_ (time, Henry IV.).
CYRENA'IC SHELL _(The)_, the lyre or strain of Callini'achos, a Greek
poet of Alexandria, in Egypt. Six of his hymns in hexameter verse are
For you the Cyrenaic shell
Behold I touch revering.
Akenside, _Hymn to the Naiads_.
Back to Full Books