Horse to House that Jack Built

Horse (The Wooden), a huge horse constructed by Ulysses and Diomed, for secreting soldiers. The Trojans were told by Sinon it was an offering made by the Greeks to the sea-god, to ensure a safe home- voyage, adding that the blessing would pass from the Greeks to the Trojans if the horse were placed within the city walls. The credulous Trojans drew the monster into the city; but at night Sinon released the soldiers from the horse and opened the gates to the Greek army. The sentinels were slain, the city fired in several places, and the inhabitants put to the sword. The tale of the “Wooden Horse” forms no part of Homer’s Iliad, but is told by Virgil in his Æneid. Virgil borrowed the tale from Arctions of Miletus, one of the Cyclic poets, who related the story of the “Wooden Horse” and the “burning of Troy.”

A very similar stratagem was employed in the seventh century A.D. by Abu Obeidah in the siegh of Arrestan, in Syria. He obtained leave of the governor to deposit in the citadel some old lumber which impeded his march. Twenty boxes (filled with soldiers) were accordingly placed there, and Abu, like the Greeks, pretended to march homewards. At night the soldiers removed the sliding bottoms of the boxes, killed the sentries, opened the city gates, and took the town.—Ockley: History of the Saracens, i. 187.

The capture of Sark was effected by a similar trick. A gentleman of the Netherlands, with one ship, asked permission of the French to bury one of his crew in the chapel. The request was granted, but the coffin was full of arms. The pretended mourners, being well provided with arms, fell on the guards and took the island by surprise.—Percy: Anecdotes, 249. (See Forty Thieves, p. 388.)

Muskat is said to have been taken by the Arabs, in the seventeenth century, by means of a somewhat similar stratagem. They entered the town in the guise of peaceful peasants, hiding their arms in bundles of firewood, and took the opportunity of the Portuguese garrison being assembled without arms at chapel to attack and massacre them.—Ross: Annals of Omar.

Merlin’s Wooden Horse, Clavileno. This was the horse on which don Quixote effected the disenchantment of the infanta Antonomasia and others. (See Clavileno, p. 215.)

Horse (The Enchanted), a wooden horse with two pegs. By turning one of the pegs the horse rose into the air, and by turning the other it descended where and when the rider listed. It was given by an Indian to the shah of Persia, as a New Year’s gift. (See Firouz Schah, p. 369.)—Arabian Nights (“The Enchanted Horse”). (See Horse of Brass.)

Horse. The 15 points of a good horse.

A good horse sholde have three propyrtees of a man, three of a woman, three of a foxe, three of a haare, and three of an asse. Of a man, bolde, prowde, and hardye. Of a woman, fayre-breasted, faire of heere, and easy to move. Of a foxe, a fair taylle, short eers, with a good trotte. Of a haare, a grate eye, a dry head, and well rennynge. Of an asse, a bygge chynn, a flat legge, and a good hoof.—Wynkyn de Worde (1496),

Horse-hair breeds Animals. According to legend, if the hair of a horse is dropped into corrupted water, it will turn to an animal.

A horse-hair laid in a pale-full of turbid water, will in a short time stir, and become a living creature. - Holinshed: Description of England, 244.

Horse Neighing, a Royal Lot. On the death of Smerdis, the several competitors for the Persian crown agreed that he whose horse neighed first should be appointed king. The horse of Darius neighed first, and Darius was made king. Lord Brooke calls him a Scythian; he was son of Hystaspês the satrap.

The brave Scythian Who found more sweetness in his horse’s neighing Than all the Phrygian, Dorian, Lydian playing.
   —Lord Brooke.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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