Philomenesdied of laughter at seeing an ass eating the figs provided for his own dessert.Valerius Maximus.
Placut (Phillipot) dropped down dead while in the act of paying a bill.Bacaberry the Elder.
Quenelault, a Norman physician of Montpellier, died from a slight wound made in his hand in the extraction of a splinter.
Saufeius (Spurius) was choked supping up the albumen of a soft-boiled egg.
Zeuxis, the painter, died of laughter at sight of a hag which he had just depicted.
Death Proof of Guilt. When combats and ordeals were appealed to, in the belief that God would defend the right, the death of either party was considered a sure proof of guilt.
For, by his death, we do perceive his guilt.
Shakespeare: 2 Henry VI. act ii. sc. 3 (1591).
Debatable Land (The), a tract of land between the Esk and the Sark. It seems properly to belong to Scotland, but having been claimed by both crowns, was styled The Debatable Land. Sir Richard Graham bought of James I. of England a lease of this tract, and got it united to the county of Cumberland. As James ruled over both kingdoms, he was supremely indifferent to which the plot was annexed.
Debon, one of the companions of Brute. According to British fable, Devonshire is a corruption of Debons- share, or the share of country assigned to Debon.
Deborah Debbitch, governante at lady Peverils.Sir W. Scott: Peveril of the Peak (time, Charles II.).
Decadi, plu. decadis, the holiday every tenth day, in substitution of the Sunday or sabbath, in the first French Revolution.
All décadi he labours in the corner of the Augustin cloister, and he calls that his holiday.The Atelier du Lys, ii.
Decadists. Those who conformed to the decade system of time introduced by Fabre dEglantine in 1793. So called because the year was divided into ten months, the week into ten days, and the month into thrice-ten days. Decade is from the Greek word deka, ten.
There were 360 days in Mons. DEglantines year, but there are 365 days in a solar year; so Mons. DEglantine called the five odd days sans-culottides, or holidaysa most clumsy contrivance. In fact, the decimal system may be useful perhaps in many calculations, but will not work in the laws of Nature.
Decameron (The), by Boccaccio (1350), a collection of tales (in Italian prose) supposed to be told by ten persons, seven gentlemen and three ladies who had retired to a pleasant retreat during a plague. Several of these tales have been a hunting-ground of poets and novelists; Chaucer, Shakespeare, Keats, Tennyson, and many others are indebted to them. G. Standfast and many others have published English versions, and one forms a volume of Bohns Library.
Decem Scriptores, a collection of ten ancient chronicles on English history, edited by Twysden and John Selden. The names of the chroniclers are Simeon of Durham, John of Hexham, Richard of Hexham, Ailred of Rieval, Ralph de Diceto, John Brompton of Jorval, Gervase of Canterbury, Thomas Stubbs, William Thorn of Canterbury and Henry Knighton of Leicester.
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