Dinah to Dionysia

Dinah, daughter of Sandie Lawson, landlord of the Spa hotel.—Sir W. Scott: St. Ronan’s Well (time, George III.).

Dinah (Aunt) leaves her nephew, Walter Shandy, £1000. This sum of money, in Walter’s eye, will suffice to carry out all the wild schemes and extravagant fancies that enter into his head.—Sterne: Tristram Shandy (1759).

Dinah, in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Mrs. Beecher Stowe (1850). She is the cook in St. Clair’s household.

Dinant, a gentleman who once loved and still pretends to love Lamira, the wife of Champernel.—Beaumont and Fletcher: The Little French Lawyer (printed 1647).

Dinarzade , sister of Scheherazadê sultana of Persia. Dinarzadê was instructed by her sister to wake her every morning an hour before daybreak, and say, “Sister, relate to me one of those delightful stories you know,” or “Finish before daybreak the story you began yesterday.” The sultan got interested in these tales, and revoked the cruel determination he had made of strangling at daybreak the wife he had married the preceding night.

Dinas Emrys or “Fort of Ambrose” (i.e. Merlin), on the Brith, a part of Snowdon. When Vortigern built this fort, whatever was constructed during the day was swallowed up in the earth during the night. Merlin (then called Ambrose or Embres-Guletic) discovered the cause to be “two serpents at the bottom of a pool below the foundation of the works.” These serpents were incessantly struggling with each other; one was white, and the other red. The white serpent at first prevailed, but ultimately the red one chased the other out of the pool. The red serpent, he said, meant the Britons, and the white one the Saxons. At first the Saxons (or white serpent) prevailed, but in the end “our people” (the red serpent) “shall chase the Saxon race beyond the sea.”—Nennius: History of the Britons (842).

And from the top of Brith, so high and wondrous steep,
Where Dinas Emris stood, showed where the serpents fought
The white that tore the red, for whence the prophet taught
The Britons’ sad decay.
   —Drayton: Polyolbion, x. (1612).

Dine with Democritos (To), to be choused out of your dinner.

A “Barmecide feast ” is no feast at all. The allusion is to Barmecide, who invited Schacabac to dine with him, and set before him only empty plates and dishes, pretending that the “viands” were most excellent. (See p. 90.)

Dine with duke Humphrey (To), to have no dinner to go to. The duke referred to was the son of Henry IV., murdered at St. Edmundsbury, and buried at St. Alban’s. It was generally thought that he was buried in the nave of St. Paul’s Cathedral; but the monument supposed to be erected to the duke was in reality that of John Beauchamp. Loungers, who were asked if they were not going home to dinner, and those who tarried in St. Paul’s after the general crowd had left, were supposed to be so busy looking for the duke’s monument that they disregarded the dinner hour.

Dine with Mahomet (To), to die. Similar to the classic phrase, “To sup with Pluto.”

Dine (or Sup) with sir Thomas Gresham, to have no dinner or supper to go to. At one time the Royal Exchange was the common lounging-place of idlers and vagabonds.

Tho’ little coin thy purseless pockets line,
Yet with great company thou’rt taken up;
For often with duke Humphrey thou dost dine,
And often with sir Thomas Gresham sup.
   —Hayman: Epigram on a Loafer (1628).

Dine with the Cross-Legged Knights (To), to have no dinner to go to. Lawyers at one time made appointments with their clients at the Round Church, and here a host of dinnerless vagabonds loitered about all day, in the hope of picking up a few pence for little services.

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.