Alcides to Alexander the Great

Alcides, Herculês, son of Alcæus; any strong and valiant hero. The drama called Herculês Furens is by Euripidês. Seneca has a tragedy of the same title.

The Tuscan poet [Ariosto] doth advance
The frantic paladin of France [Orlando Furioso];
And those more ancient do enhance
Alcidês in his fury.
   —Drayton: Nymphidia (1563–1631).

Where is the great Alcidês of the field,
Valiant lord Talbot, earl of Shrewsbury?
   —Shakespeare: I Henry VI. act iv. sc. 7 (1589).

Alcina, Carnal Pleasure personified. In Bojardo’s Orlando Innamorato she is a fairy, who carries off Astolfo. In Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso she is a kind of Circê, 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 dictates.

Alciphron, 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.

Alciphron, “the epicurean,” the hero of T. Moore’s romance called The Epicurean.

Like Alciphron, we swing in air and darkness, and know not whither the wind blows us.—Putnam’s Magazine.

Alcmena (in Molière, Alcmène), the wife of Amphitryon, general of the Theban army. While her hus band i s absent warring against the Teleboans, Jupiter assumes the form of Amphitryon; but Amphitryon himself returns home the next day, and great confusion arises between the false and true Amphitryon, which is augmented by Mercury, who personates Sosia, the slave of Amphitryon. By this amour of Jupiter, Alcmena becomes the mother of Herculês. Plautus, Molière, and Dryden have all taken this plot for a comedy entitled Amphitryon.

Alcofribas, the pseudonym assumed by Rabelais in his Gargantua and Pantagruel. Alcofribas Nasier is an anagram of “François Rabelais.”

The inestimable life of the great Gargantua, father of Pantagruel, heretofore composed by M. Alcofribas, abstractor of the quintessence, a book full of pantagruelism.—Rabelais: Introduction (1533).

Alcolomb, “subduer of hearts,” daughter of Abou Aibou of Damascus, and sister of Ganem. The caliph Haroun-al-Raschid, in a fit of jealousy, commanded Ganem to be put to death, and his mother and sister to do penance for three days in Damascus, and then to be banished from Syria. The two ladies came to Bagdad, and were taken in by the charitable syndec of the jewellers. When the jealous fit of the caliph was over, he sent for the two exiles. Alcolomb he made his wife, and her mother he married to his vizier.—Arabian Nights (“Ganem, the Slave of Love”).

Alcuith, mentioned by Bede, is Dumbarton.

Alcyon, “the wofullest man alive,” but once “the jolly shepherd swain that wont full merrily to pipe and dance,” near where the Severn flows. One day he saw a lion’s cub, and brought it up till it followed him about like a dog; but a cruel satyr shot in mere wantonness. By the lion’s cub he means Daphne, who died in her prime, and the cruel satyr is death. He said he hated everything—the heaven, the earth, fire, air, and sea, the day, the night; he hated to speak, to hear, to taste food, to see objects, to smell, to feel; he hated man and woman too, for his Daphne lived no longer. What became of this doleful shepherd the poet could never ween. Alcyon is Sir Arthur Gorges.—Spenser: Daphnaida (in seven fits, 1590).

And there is that Alcyon bent to mourn,
Though fit to frame an everlasting ditty,
Whose gentle sprite for Daphne’s death doth turn
Sweet lays of love to endless plaints of pity.
   —Spenser: Colin Clout’s Come Home Again (1591).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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