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 naïveté was quite captivating. When she quitted the bridegroom’s house, she said, “Good-bye, sir Adam, good-bye. 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 Grea t 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 seventeenth century.

E’en Scipio, or a victor yet more cold, Might have forgot his virtue at her sight.
   —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 beauty.”

Contractions. The following is probably the most remarkable:—“Utacamund” is by the English called Ooty (India). “Cholmondeley,” contracted into Chumly, is another remarkable example.

Conventual 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 Condé to the king.

Cook’s Oracle (The), by Dr. Kitchener (1821).

Cook’s Tale (The), in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. (See Gamelyn.)

Cooks (Wages received by). In Rome as much as £800 a year was given to a chef de cuisine; but Carême received £1000 a year.

Cooks of Modern Times. Carême, called “The Regenerator of Cookery” (1784–1833); Vatel, cook to the great Condé; Ude, the most learned of all cooks, at Crockford’s during the regency; Weltje, cook to the prince regent; Charles Elmé Francatelli, who succeeded Ude at Crockford’s, then in the Royal Household,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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