Fighting Prelate to Fion

Fighting Prelate (The), Henry Spencer, bishop of Norwich. He opposed the rebels under Wat Tyler with the temporal sword, absolved them, and then sent them to the gibbet. In 1383 he went to assist the burghers of Ghent in their contest with the count of Flanders.

The bishop of Norwich, the famous “Fighting Prelate,” had led an army into Flanders.—Lord Campbell.

Filch, a lad brought up as a pickpocket. Mrs. Peachum says, “He hath as fine a hand at picking a pocket as a woman, and is as nimble-fingered as a juggler. If an unlucky session does not cut the rope of thy life, I pronounce, boy, thou wilt be a great man in history” (act i. I).—Gay: The Beggar’s Opera (1727).

Filer, a lean, churlish man, who takes poor Toby Veck’s tripe, and delivers him a homily on the sinfulness of luxury and self-indulgence.—Dickens: The Chimes (1844).

Filia Dolorosa, the duchesse d’Angoulême, daughter of Louis XVI. Also called “The Modern Antigonê” (1778–1851).

Filio-que. The following is the knotty point of theological controversy between the Eastern and Western Churches: Does the Holy Ghost proceed from the Father and the Son (filio-que), or from the Father only? Of course, in the Nicene Creed in the Book of Common Prayer, the question is settled so far as the Church of England is concerned.

Fillan, son of Fingal and Clatho, the most highly finished character in the poem of Temora. Fillan was younger than his nephew Oscar, and does not appear on the scene till after Oscar’s death. He is rash and fiery, eager for military glory, and brave as a lion. When Fingal appointed Gaul to command for the day, Fillan had hoped his father’s choice might have fallen to his own lot. “On his spear stood the son of Clatho … thrice he raised his eyes to Fingal; his voice thrice failed him as he spoke. … He strode away; bent over a distant stream … the tear hung in his eye. He struck at times the thistle’s head with his inverted spear.” Yet showed he no jealousy, for when Gaul was in danger, he risked his own life to save him. Next day was Fillan’s turn to lead, and his deeds were unrivalled in dash and brilliancy. He slew Foldath, the general of the opposing army, but when Cathmor “lord of Atha,” the commander-in-chief, came against him, Fillan fell. His modesty was then as prominent as his bravery. “Lay me,” he said to Ossian, “in that hollow rock. Raise no stone above me. … I am fallen in the first of my fields, fallen without renown.” Every incident of Fillan’s life is beautiful in the extreme.—Ossian: Temora, v.

Fillpot (Toby), a thirsty old soul, who “among jolly topers bore off the bell.” It chanced as in dog days he sat boosing in his arbour, that he died “full as big as a Dorchester butt.” His body turned to clay, and out of the clay a brown jug was made, sacred to friendship, mirth, and mild ale.

His body, when long in the ground it had lain,
And time into clay had resolved it again,
A potter found out in its covert so snug,
And with part of fat Toby he formed this brown jug,
Now sacred to friendship, to mirth, and mild ale.
So here’s to my lovely sweet Nan of the vale.
   —Rev. F. Fawkes (1721–1777).

N.B.—The two best drinking-songs in the language were both by clergymen. The other is, I Cannot Eat but Little Meat, by John Still, bishop of Bath and Wells (1543–1607).

Filomena (Santa). At Pisa the church of San Francisco contains a chapel lately dedicated to Santa Filomena. Over the altar is a picture by Sabatelli, which represents Filomena as a nymph-like figure floating down from heaven, attended by two angels bearing the lily, the palm, and a javelin. In the foreground are the sick and maimed, healed by her intercession.

Nor ever shall be wanting here
The palm, the lily, and the spear:
The symbols that of yore
St. Filomena bore.
   —Longfellow: Sta. Filomena.

Longfellow calls Florence Nightingale “St. Filomena” (born at Florence, 1820).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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