Errua to Essays and Reviews

Errua (“the mad-cap”), a young man whose wit defeated the strength of the giant Tartaro (a sort of one- eyed Polypheme). Thus the first competition was in throwing a stone. The giant threw his stone, but Errua threw a bird, which the giant supposed to be a stone, and as it flew out of sight, Errua won the wager. The next wager was to throw a bar of iron. After the giant had thrown, Errua said, “From here to Salamanca;” whereupon the giant bade him not to throw, lest the bar of iron should kill his father and mother, who lived there; so the giant lost the second wager. The third was to pull a tree up by the roots; and the giant gave in because Errua had run a cord round a host of trees, and said, “You pull up one, but I pull up all these.” The next exploit was at bedtime: Errua was to sleep in a certain bed; but he placed a dead man in the bed, while he himself got under it. At midnight Tartaro took his club and belaboured the dead body most unmercifully. When Errua stood before Tartaro next morning, the giant was dumfounded. He asked Errua how he had slept. “Excellently well,” said Errua, “but somewhat troubled by fleas.” Other trials were made, but always in favour of Errua. At length a race was proposed, and Errua sewed into a bag the bowels of a pig. When he started, he cut the bag, strewing the bowels on the road. When Tartaro was told that his rival had done this to make himself more fleet, be cut his belly, and of course killed himself.—Rev. W. Webster: Basque Legends (1877).

(The reader will readily trace the resemblance between this legend and the exploits of Jack the Giant- killer. See also Campbell’s Popular Tales of the West Highlands, ii. 327, and Grimm’s Valiant Little Tailor.)

Erse , the native language of the West Highlanders of Scotland. Gaelic is a better word.

Erse is a corruption of Irish, from the supposition that these Highlanders were a colony from Ireland; but whether the Irish came from Scotland or the Scotch from Ireland, is one of those knotty points on which the two nations will never agree. (See Fir-Bolg.)

Erskine (The Rev. Dr.), minister of Greyfriar’s Church, Edinburgh.—Sir W. Scott: Guy Mannering (time, George II.).

Ertanax, a fish common in the Euphratês, the bones of which were believed to impart courage and strength.

A fish … haunteth the flood of Eufratês … it is called an ertanax, and his bones be of such a manner of kind that whoso handleth them he shall have so much courage that he shall never be weary, and he shall not think on joy nor sorrow that he hath had, but only on the thing he beholdeth before him.—Sir T. Malory: History of Prince Arthur, iii. 84 (1470).

Erudite (Most). Marcus Terentius Varro is called “the most erudite of the Romans” (B.C. 116–27).

Erysichthon [Erri-sik-thon], a grandson of Neptune, who was punished by Cerês with insatiable hunger, for cutting down some trees in a grove sacred to that goddess. (See Erisichthon.)

Erythræan Main (The), the Red Sea. The “Erythræum Marê” included the whole expanse of sea between Arabia and Africa, including the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.

The ruddy waves he cleft in twain
Of the Erythræan main.
   —Milton: Psalm cxxxvi. (1623).

Erythre, Modesty personified, the virgin page of Parthenia or maiden chastity, in The Purple Island, by Phineas Fletcher (1633). Fully described in canto x. (Greek, eruthros, “red,” from eruthriao, “to blush.”)

Escalus, an ancient, kind-hearted lord in the deputation of the duke of Vienna.—Shakespeare: Measure for Measure (1603).

Escalus, prince of Verona.—Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet (1598).

Escanes, one of the lords of Tyre.—Shakespeare: Pericles Prince of Tyre (1608).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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