JOHN o' Groat

JOHN (The Gospel of St.), the fourth book of the New Testament, generally called “the Spiritual Gospel,” because it shows Christ as the “Son of God,” while the other three evangelists speak of Him mainly as the “Son of man.” It passes over the birth, baptism, and temptation of Jesus, but records five miracles, four discourses or addresses, and four events not mentioned in the three synoptic Gospels.

(1) The five miracles—

Turning water into wine (ch. ii. 1-11); healing the son of the nobleman of Capernaum (ch. iv. 43-54); healing the man at the pool of Bethesda (ch. v.); giving sight to the man born blind (ch. ix.); and the raising of Lazarus from the dead (ch. xi.).

(2) The four discourses or addresses—

The discourse with Nicodemus (ch. iii. 1-21); the discourse with the woman of Samaria (ch. iv. 1-42); Christ’s address to His disciples on the prospect of death (chs. xiv.-xvii.); and His words on the cross (ch. xix. 26, 27, 28).

(3) The four events—

The pre-existence of Christ (ch. i. 1-4); the doubts of Thomas (ch. xx. 26-29); Christ’s appearance to Mary after the Resurrection (ch. xx. 14-18); and His appearance to His disciples at the sea of Tiberias (ch. xxi. 1-24).

John (The herb) , also called St. Johnwort, devil-fuge, heal-all, etc. It is mentioned by Pliny and Discoridês . Called “devil-fuge” because it was supposed to be a charm against evil spirits. Called “heal-all” because it was at one time considered a panacea both for external injuries and for internal complaints. Its Latin name is Hypericum perforatum. The -icum is the Greek eikwn, “a phantom,” from its supposed charm against ghosts and evil spirits.

John, a proverbially unlucky name for royalty. (See Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, p. 684, col. 2.)

We shall see, however, that this poor king [Robert II.] remained as unfortunate as if his name had still been John [he changed it from John to Robert].—Sir W. Scott: Tales of a Grandfather, i. 17.

John, a Franciscan friar.—Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet (1598).

John, the driver of the Queen’s Ferry diligence.—Sir W. Scott: The Antiquary (time, George III.).

John (Don), the bastard brother of Don Pedro prince of Aragon. In order to torment the governor, don John tries to mar the happiness of his daughter Hero, who is about to be married to lord Claudio. Don John tells Claudio that his fiancée has promised him a rendezvous by moonlight, and, if Claudio will hide in the garden, he may witness it. The villain had bribed the waiting-woman of Hero to dress up in her mistress’s clothes and to give him this interview. Claudio believes the woman to be Hero, and when the bride appears at the altar next morning he rejects her with scorn. The truth, however, comes to light; don John takes himself to flight; and Hero is married to lord Claudio, the man of her choice.—Shakespeare: Much Ado about Nothing (1600).

I have seen the great Henderson [1747–1785].… His “don John” is a comic “Cato,” and his “Hamlet” a mixture of tragedy, comedy, pastoral, farce, and nonsense.—Garrick (1775).

John (Friar), a tall, lean, widemouthed, long-nosed friar of Seville, who despatched his matins and vigils quicker than any of his fraternity. He swore like a trooper, and fought like a Trojan. When the army from Lernê pillaged the convent vineyard, friar John seized the staff of a cross and pummelled the rogues without mercy, beating out brains, smashing limbs, cracking ribs, gashing faces, breaking jaws, dislocating joints, in the most approved Christian fashion; and never was corn so mauled by the flail as were these pillagers by “the batôn of the cross.”—Rabelais: Gargantua, i. 27 (1533).

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