Hobby-horse to Holland in England

Hobby-horse, in the morris-dance, a pasteboard horse which a man carries and dances about in, displaying tricks of legerdemain, such as threading a needle, running daggers through his cheeks, etc. The horse had a ladle in its mouth for the collection of half-pence. The colour of the hobby-horse was a reddish white, and the man inside wore a doublet, red on one side and yellow on the other. (See Morris-Dance.)

Clo. They should be morris-dancers by their gingle, but they have no napkins.
Coc. No, nor a hobby- horse.—B. Jonson: The Metamorphosed Gipsies.

N.B.—In Norwich, till the middle of the nineteenth century, a kind of hobby-horse was carried about. It represented a huge dragon, and was preceded by whifflers, who flourished their swords with wonderful agility to keep off the crowd. When the procession was discontinued, “Snap” was deposited in Guild Hall, Norwich.

Hobby-horse, a favourite pursuit, a corruption of hobby-hause (“hawk-tossing”), a favourite diversion in the days of falconry. The term has become confounded with the wicker hobby-horse, in which some one, being placed, was made to take part in a morris-dance.
Why can’t you ride your hobby-horse without desiring to place me on a pillion behind you?—Sheridan: The Critic, i. 1(1779).

Hobby-horse (The), one of the masquers at Kennaquhair Abbey—Sir W. Scott: The Abbot (time, Elizabeth).

Hobinol or Hobbinol is Gabriel Harvey, physician, LL.D., a friend and college chum of Edmund Spenser the poet. Spenser, in Eclogue iv, makes Thenot inquire, “What gars thee to weep?” and Hobinol replies it is because his friend Colin, having been flouted by Rosalind (Eclogue i.), has broken his pipe and seems heart-broken with grief. The not then begs Hobinol to sing to him one of Colin’s own songs, and Hobinol sings the lay of “Elisa queen of the shepherds” (queen Elizabeth), daughter of Syrinx and Pan (Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII.). He says Phœbus thrust out his golden head to gaze on her, and was amazed to see a sun on earth brighter and more dazzling than his own. The Graces requested she might make a fourth grace, and she was received amongst them and reigned with them in heaven. The shepherds then strewed flowers to the queen, and Elisa dismissed them, saying that at the proper season she would reward them with ripe damsons (Eclogue iv.). Eclogue ix. is a dialogue between Hobinol and Diggon Davie, upon Popish abuses. (See Diggon Davie.)—Spenser: Shephearde’s Calendar (1572).

Hobnelia, a shepherdess, in love with Lubberkin, who disregarded her. She tried by spells to win his love, and after every spell she said—

With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.
   —Gay: Pastoral, iv. (1714).

(An imitation of Virgil’s Bucolic, viii., “Pharmaceutria.”)

Hobson (Tobias), a carrier who lived at Cambridge in the seventeenth century. He kept a livery stable, but obliged the university students to take his hacks in rotation. Hence the term Hobson’s choice came to signify “this or none.” Milton (in 1660) wrote two humorous poems on the death of the old carrier.

Hochspringen (The young duke of), introduced in Donnerhugel’s narrative.—Sir W. Scott: Anne of Geierstein (time, Edward IV.).

Hocus (Humphry), “the attorney” into whose hands John Bull and his friends put the law-suit they carried on against Lewis Baboon (Louis XIV.). Of course, Humphry Hocus is John Churchill, duke of Marlborough, who commanded the army employed against the Grand Monarque.

Hocus was an old cunning attorney; and though this was the first considerable suit he was ever engaged in, he showed himself superior in address to most of his profession. He always kept good clerks. He loved money, was smooth-tongued, gave good words, and seldom lost his temper…He provided plentifully for his family; but he loved himself better than them all. The neighbours reported that he was hen-pecked,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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