Dervise to Devereux

Dervise [“a poor man”], a sort of religious friar or mendicant among the Mohammedans.

Desborough (Colonel), one of the parliamentary commissioners.—Sir W. Scott: Woodstock (time, Commonwealth).

Desdemona, daughter of Brabantio a Venetian senator, in love with Othello the Moor (general of the Venetian army). The Moor loves her intensely, and marries her; but Iago, by artful villainy, induces him to believe that she loves Cassio too well. After a violent conflict between love and jealousy, Othello smothers her with a bolster, and then stabs himself.—Shakespeare: Othello (1611).

The soft simplicity of Desdemona, confident of merit and conscious of innocence, her artless perseverance in her suit, and her slowness to suspect that she can be suspected, are proofs of Shakespeare’s skill in human nature.—Dr. Johnson.

Desert Fairy (The). This fairy was guarded by two lions, which could be pacified only by a cake made of millet, sugar-candy, and crocodiles’ eggs. The Desert Fairy said to Allfair, “I swear by my coif you shall marry the Yellow Dwarf, or I will burn my crutch.”—Comtesse D’Aulnoy: Fairy Tales (“The Yellow Dwarf,” 1682).

Deserted Daughter (The), a comedy by Holcroft. Joanna was the daughter of Mordent; but her mother died, and Mordent married lady Anne. In order to do so he ignored his daughter and had her brought up by strangers, intending to apprentice her to some trade. Item, a money-lender, acting on the advice of Mordent, lodges the girl with Mrs. Enfield, a crimp, where Lennox is introduced to her, and obtains Mordent’s consent to run away with her. In the interim Cheveril sees her, falls in love with her, and determines to marry her. Mordent repents, takes the girl home, acknowledges her to be his daughter, and she becomes the wife of the gallant young Cheveril (1784).

(This comedy has been recast, and called The Steward.)

Deserted Village (The), a descriptive poem in heroic verse, with rhymes, by Goldsmith (1770). The poet has his eye chiefly on Lissoy, in Kilkenny West (Ireland), its landscapes and characters. Here his father was pastor. He calls the village Auburn, but tells us it was the seat of his youth, every spot of which was dear and familiar to him. He describes the pastor, the schoolmaster, the ale-house; then tells us that luxury has killed all the simple pleasures of village life, but asks the friends of truth to judge how wide the limits “between a splendid and a happy land.” Now the man of wealth and pride

Takes up a space that many poor supplied:
Space for his lake, his parks’ extended bounds,
Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds.
   —Goldsmith (1770).

Some think Springfield, in Essex, is the place referred to.

A traveller, whom Washington Irving accepts as an authority, identified Lissoy’s ale-house, with the sign of the Three Pigeons swinging over the door-way, as “that house where nutbrown draughts inspired,” and “where once the signpost caught the passing eye.”—Redway, in Notes and Queries, October 12, 1878.

Dr. Goldsmith composed his Deserted Village whilst residing at a farm-house nearly opposite the church here [i.e. Springfield]. Joseph Strutt, the engraver and antiquary, was born here in 1749, and died 1802.—Lewis: Topographical Dictionary of England (article “Springfield,” 1831).

Deserter (The), a musical drama by Dibdin (1770). Henry, a soldier, is engaged to Louisa, but during his absence some rumours of gallantry to his disadvantage reach the village; and, to test his love, Louisa in pretence goes with Simkin as if to be married. Henry sees the procession, is told it is Louisa’s weddingday, and in a fit of desperation gives himself up as a deserter, and is condemned to death. Louisa goes to the king, explains the whole affair, and returns with his pardon as the muffled drums begin to beat.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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