Acestes to Adah

Acestes . In a trial of skill Acestês, the Sicilian, discharged his arrow with such force that it took fire from the friction of the air.—Virgil: Æneid, v.

Like Acestes’ shaft of old,
The swift thought kindles as it flies.
   —Longfellow: To a Child.

Achates [A-ka-teze], called by Virgil “fidus Achates.” The name has become a synonym for a bosom friend, a crony, but is generally used laughingly.

He, like Achates, faithful to the tomb.
   —Byron: Don Juan, i. 159.

Acheria, the fox, went partnership with a bear in a bowl of milk. Before the bear arrived, the fox skimmed off the cream and drank the milk; then, filling the bowl with mud, replaced the cream atop. Says the fox, “Here is the bowl; one shall have the cream, and the other all the rest: choose, friend, which you like.” The bear told the fox to take the cream, and thus bruin had only the mud.—A Basque Tale.

A similar tale occurs in Campbell’s Popular Tales of the West Highlands (iii. 98), called “The Keg of Butter.” The wolf chooses the bottom when “oats” were the object of choice, and the top when “potatoes” were the sowing.

Rabelais tells the same tale about a farmer and the devil. Each was to have on alternate years what grew under and over the soil. The farmer sowed turnips and carrots when the under-soil produce came to his lot, and barley or wheat when his turn was the over-soil produce.

Acheron, the “River of Grief,” and one of the five rivers of hell; hell itself. (Greek, acoV rew, “I flow with grief.”)

Sad Acheron of sorrow, black and deep.
   —Milton: Paradise Lost, ii. 578 (1665).

Achilles , the hero of the allied Greek army in the siege of Troy, and king of the Myrmidons. (See Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, p. 10.)

The English Achilles, John Talbot, first earl of Shrewsbury (1373–1453).

The duke of Wellington is so called sometimes, and is represented by a statue of Achilles of gigantic size in Hyde Park, London, close to Apsley House (1769–1852).

The Achilles of Germany, Albert, elector of Brandenburg (1414–1486).

Achilles of Rome, Sicinius Dentatus (put to death B.C. 450).

Achilles’ Heel, the vulnerable part. It is said that when Thetis dipped her son in the river Styx to make him invulnerable, she held him by the heel, and the part covered by her hand was the only part not washed by the water. This is a post-Homeric story.

[Hanover] is the Achilles’ heel to invulnerable England.—Carlyle.

(Sometimes Ireland is called the Achilles’ heel of England.)

Similarly, the only vulnerable part of Orlando was the sole of his foot, and hence when Bernardo del Carpio assailed him at Roncesvallês, and found that he could not wound him, he lifted him up in his arms and squeezed him to death, as Herculês did Antæos.

Achilles’Spear. (See Spear OF…)

Achitophel, “Him who drew Achitophel,” Dryden, author of the famous political satire of Absalom and Achitophel. “David” is Charles II.; his rebellious son “Absalom” is the king’s natural son by Lucy Waters,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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