Dactyle to Danaid

Dactyle (Will). “That smallest of pedants.”—Steele: The Tatler.

D’Acunha (Teresa), waiting-woman to the countess of Glenallan.—Sir W. Scott: Antiquary (time, George III.).

Daffodil. When Persephonê, the daughter of Demeter , was a little maiden, she wandered about the meadows of Enna, in Sicily, to gather white daffodils to wreathe into her hair; and being tired, she fell asleep. Pluto, the god of the infernal regions, carried her off to become his wife, and his touch turned the white flowers to a golden yellow. Some remained in her tresses till she reached the meadows of Acheron; and falling off there grew into the asphodel, with which the meadows thenceforth abounded.

She stepped upon Sicilian grass,
Demeter’s daughter, fresh and fair,
A child of light, a radiant lass,
And gamesome as the morning air.
The daffodils were fair to see,
They nodded lightly on the lea;
Persephonê! Persephonê!
   —Jean Ingelow: Persephone.

Dagon, sixth in order of the hierarchy of hell: (1) Satan, (2) Beëlzebub, (3) Moloch, (4) Chemos, (5) Thammuz, (6) Dagon. Dagon was half man and half fish. He was worshipped in Ashdod, Gath, Ascalon, Ekron, and Gaza (the five chief cities of the Philistines). When the “ark” was placed in his temple, Dagon fell, and the palms of his hands were broken off. (See Derceto.)

Next came …
Dagon … sea-monster, upward man
And downward fish.
   —Milton: Paradise Lost, i. 457, etc. (1665).

Dagonet (Sir), king Arthur’s fool. One day sir Dagonet, with two squires, came to Cornwall, and as they drew near a well sir Tristram soused them all three in; and dripping wet made them mount their horses and ride off, amid the jeers of the spectators (pt. ii. 60). Introduced by Tennyson in his Idylls (“The Last Tournament”).

King Arthur loved sir Dagonet passing well, and made him knight with his own hands; and at every tournament he made king Arthur laugh.—Sir T. Malory: History of Prince Arthur, ii. 97 (1470).

(Justice Shallow brags that he once personated sir Dagonet, while he was a student at Clement’s Inn.—Shakespeare: 2 Henry IV. act ii. sc. 2, 1598.)

Tennyson deviates in this, as he does in so many other instances, from the old romance. The History says that king Arthur made Dagonet knight “with his own hands,” because he “loved him passing well;” but Tennyson says that sir Gawain made him “a mock-knight of the Round Table.”—The Last Tournament, 1.

Dagonet is also a pen-name of Mr. G. R. Sims.

Daily News (The), a London newspaper; first appeared on January 21, 1846.

Daily Telegraph (The), a London newspaper; first appeared on June 29, 1855.

Daisy (Solomon), one of the “quadrilateral” in Dickens’s novel of Barnaby Rudge. The other three are Tom Cobb, Phil Parkes, and Matt, senior.

Daldah, Mahomet’s favourite white mule.

Dale (Parson), a clergyman in My Novel, by Lord Lytton. Not unlike Goldsmith’s parson in the Deserted Village, or George Herbert.

Dalga, a Lombard harlot, who tries to seduce young Goltho, but Goltho is saved by his friend Ulfinore.—Davenant: Gondibert (died 1668).

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