Friar's Tale to Froth

Friar’s Tale (The), by Chaucer, in The Canterbury Tales (1388). An archdeacon employed a sumpnour as his secret spy to find out offenders, with the view of exacting fines from them. In order to accomplish this more effectually, the sumpnour entered into a compact with the devil disguised as a yeoman. Those who imprecated the devil were to be dealt with by the yeoman-devil, and those who imprecated God were to be the sumpnour’s share. They came in time to an old woman “of whom they knew no wrong,” and demanded twelve pence “for cursing.” She pleaded poverty, when the sumpnour exclaimed, “The foul fiend fetch me if I excuse thee!” and immediately the foul fiend at his side did seize him, and made off with him.

Fribble, a contemptible mollycoddle, troubled with weak nerves. He “speaks like a lady for all the world, and never swears. … He wears nice white gloves, and tells his lady-love what ribbons become her complexion, where to stick her patches, who is the best milliner, where they sell the best tea, what is the best wash for the face, and the best paste for the hands. He is always playing with his lady’s fan, and showing his teeth.” He says when he is married—

All the domestic business will be taken from my wife’s hands. I shall make the tea, comb the dogs, and dress the children myself.”—Garrick: Miss in Her Teens, ii. (1753).

Friday (My Man), a young Indian, whom Robinson Crusoe saved from death on a Friday, and kept as his servant and companion on the desert island.—Defoe: Robinson Crusoe (1709).

Friday Street (London). So called because it was the street of fishmongers, who served the Friday markets.—Stow.

Friday Tree (A), a trial, misfortune, or cross; so called from the “accursed tree” on which the Saviour was crucified on a Friday.

Friend (The Poor Man’s), Nell Gwynne (1642–1691).

Friend of Man (The), the marquis de Mirabeau; so called from one of his books, entitled L’Ami des Hommes (1715–1789).


Frenchmen: Montaigne and Etienne de la Boëtie.

Germans: Goethe and Schiller. (See Carlyle’s Schiller, p. 108.)

Greeks: Achillês and Patroclos; Diomedês and Sthenalos; Epaminondas and Pelopidas; Harmodios and Aristogiton; Herculês and Iolaos; Idomeneus and Merion; Pyladés and Orestês; Septimios and Alcander; Theseus and Pirithoös.

Fews: David and Jonathan; Christ and the beloved disciple.

Syracusians: Damon and Pythias; Sacharissa and Amoret.

Trojans: Nisus and Euryalus.

Of Feudal History: Amys and Amylion.

Miscellaneous: Braccio (sometimes called Fra Bartolomeo) and Mariotto, artists; Basil and Gregory; Burke and Dr. Johnson; Hadrian and Antinous ; F. D. Maurice and C. Kingsley; William of Orange and Bentinck. (See Macaulay’s History, vol. i. 411, two-vol. edit.)

Friendly (Sir Thomas), a gouty baronet living at Friendly Hall.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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