Brougham's Plaid Trousers to Brunello

Brougham’s Plaid Trousers. The story goes that lord Brougham [Broom] once paid a visit to a great cloth factory in the north, and was so pleased with one of the patterns that he requested to be supplied with “a dozen pieces for his own use,” meaning, of course, enough for a dozen pairs of trousers. The clothier sent him “a dozen pieces,” containing several hundred yards, so that his lordship was not only set up for life in plaid for trousers, but had enough to supply a whole clan.

Browdie (John), a brawny, big-made Yorkshire corn-factor, bluff, brusque, honest, and kind-hearted. He befriends poor Smike, and is much attached to Nicholas Nickleby. John Browdie marries Matilda Price, a miller’s daughter.—Dickens: Nicholas Nickleby (1838).

BROWN (Vanbeest), lieutenant of Dirk Hatteraick.—Sir W. Scott: Guy Mannering (time, George II.).

Brown (Jonathan), landlord of the Black Bear at Darlington. Here Frank Osbaldistone meets Rob Roy at dinner.—Sir W. Scott: Rob Roy (time, George I.).

Brown (Mrs.), the widow of the brother-in-law of the hon. Mrs. Skewton. She had one daughter, Alice Marwood, who was first cousin to Edith (Mr. Dombey’s second wife). Mrs. Brown lived in great poverty, her only known vocation being “to strip children of their clothes, which she sold or pawned.”—Dickens: Dombey and Son (1846).

Brown (Mrs.), a “Mrs. John Bull,” with all the practical sense, kind-heartedness, absence of conventionality, and the prejudices of a well-to-do but half-educated Englishwoman of the middle shop class. She passes her opinions on all current events, and travels about, taking with her all her prejudices, and despising everything which is not English.—Arthur Sketchley [Rev. George Rose].

Brown (Yellowish). (See Isabella.)

Brown the Younger (Thomas), the nom de plume of Thomas Moore, in The Two-penny Post-bag, a series of witty and very popular satires on the prince regent (afterwards George IV.), his ministers, and his boon companions. Also in The Fudge Family in Paris, and in The Fudges in England (1835).

Brown, Jones, and Robinson, three Englishmen who travel together. Their adventures, by Richard Doyle, were published in Punch. In them is held up to ridicule the gaucherie, the contracted notions, the vulgarity, the conceit, and the general snobbism of the middle-class English abroad.

Browne (General) paid a visit to lord Woodville. His bedroom for the night was the “tapestried chamber,” where he saw the apparition of “the lady in the sacque;” and next morning he relates his adventure.—Sir W. Scott: The Tapestried Chamber (time, George III.).

Browne (Hablot Knight) illustrated some of Dickens’s novels, and took the pseudonym of “Phiz” (1812–1882).

Brown’s School Days (Tom), a story by T. Hughes (1856).

Browns. To astonish the Browns, to do or say something regardless of the annoyance it may cause or the shock it may give to Mrs. Grundy. Anne Boleyn had a whole clan of Browns, or “country cousins,” who were welcomed at court in the reign of Elizabeth. The queen, however, was quick to see what was gauche, and did not scruple to reprove them for uncourtly manners. Her plainness of speech used quite to “astonish the Browns.”

Brownists. (See Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, p. 181.)

Brownlow, a most benevolent old gentleman, who rescued Oliver Twist from his vile associates. He refused to believe in Oliver’s guilt of theft, although appearances were certainly against him, and he even took the boy into his service.—Dickens: Oliver Twist (1837).

Broxmouth (John), a neighbour of Happer the miller.—Sir W. Scott: The Monastery (time, Elizabeth).

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