Fiona to Fitz-Boodle

Fiona, a series of traditionary old Irish poems on the subject of Fion (Finn or Fingal) M‘Comnal and the heroes connected with him.

Fionnuala, daughter of Lir. Being transformed into a swan, she was doomed to wander over certain lakes and rivers of Ireland till the Irish became Christians, but the sound of the first mass-bell in the island was to be the signal of her release. (See Lir.)

Silent, O Moyle, be the roar of thy water [County Tyrone] …
While murmuring mournfully Lir’s lonely daughter
Tells to the night-star her tale of woes.
When shall the “swan,” her death-note singing,
Sleep, with wings in darkness furl’d?
When will heaven, its sweet “bell” ringing,
Call my spirit from this stormy world?
   —Moore: Irish Melodies, iv. (“The Song of Fionnuala”).

Fips, a mysterious person living at Austin Friars (London). He is employed by old Martin Chuzzlewit to engage Tom Pinch at a weekly salary as librarian to the Temple Library.—Dickens: Martin Chuzzlewit (1844).

Fir-bolg [i.e. bowmen, from bolg, “a quiver”], a colony of Belgæ from Britain, led by Larthon to Ireland and settled in the southern parts of the island. Their chief was called “lord of Atha” (a country of Connaught), and thence Ireland was called Bolga. Somewhat later a colony of Caledonians from the western coast of Scotland settled in the northern parts of Ireland, and made Ulster their head-quarters. When Crotha was “lord of Atha,” he carried off Conlama (daughter of the Cael chief) by force, and a general war between the two races ensued. The Cael was reduced to the last extremity, and sent to Trathal (grandfather of Fingal) for aid. Trathal accordingly sent over Conar with an army, and on his reaching Ulster he was made “king of the Cael” by acclamation. He utterly subdued the Fir-bolg, and became “king of Ireland;” but the Fir-bolg often rose in insurrection, and made many attempts to expel the race of Conar.—Ossian.

Fire a Good Servant, but Bad Master.

For fire and people doe in this agree,
They both good servants, both ill masters be.
   —Brooke: Inquisition upon Fame, etc. (1554–1628).

Fire-Brand of France (The), John Duke of Bedford, regent of France (1389–1435).

John duke of Bedford, styled “The Fire-brand of France.”
   —Drayton: Polyolbion, xviii. (1613).

Fire-drake, a fire which flies in the night, like a dragon. Metaphorically, it means a spitfire, an irritable, passionate person.

Common people think the fire-drake to be a spirit that keepeth some hid treasure, but philosophers affirm it to be a great unequal exhalation inflamed between two clouds, the one hot and the other cold, which is the reason that it smoketh. The middle part … being greater than the rest, maketh it seeme like a bellie, and the two ends are like unto a head and taile.—Bullokar: Expositor (1616).

Fire-new, i.e. bran-new (brennan, “to burn,” brene, “shining”).

Your fire-new stamp of honour is scarce current.
   —Shakespeare: Richard III. act i. sc. 3 (1597).

Fire-Worshippers (The), the third tale told by Feramorz to Lalla Rookh. It is in eight-syllable rhymes; and divided into four parts, each of which is about 500 lines. The tale (a very sad one) is as follows: Hafed (a fire-worshipper), seeking to kill Al Hassan (emir of Arabia), who had come to Persia to extirpate the Ghebers, accidentally meets Hinda the emir’s daughter, and they mutually fall in love with each other. Hafed visits Hinda for several evenings in her bower, and then tells her they must part, for her father would never consent to their marriage. He then drops quietly from her bower, and joins his companions in the Ghebers’ glen. Hinda, hearing that her father is preparing an expedition against the Ghebers, falls in a swoon, and her father, ignorant of the cause, sends her to her Arabian home; but the vessel in

  By PanEris using Melati.

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