Kay to Kensington

Kay (Sir), son of sir Ector, and foster-brother of prince Arthur, who made him his seneschal or steward. Sir Kay was ill-tempered, mean-spirited, boastful, and overbearing. He had not strength of mind enough to be a villain like Hagen, nor strength of passion enough to be a traitor like Ganelon and Mordred; but he could detract and calumniate, could be envious and spiteful, could annoy and irritate. His wit consisted in giving nicknames: Thus he called young Gareth “Big Hands” (Beaumains), “because his hands were the largest that ever any one had been.” He called sir Brewnor “The Shocking Bad Coat” (La Cote Male- tailé), because his doublet fitted him so badly, and was full of sword-cuts.—Sir T. Malory: History of Prince Arthur, i. 3, 4, 120, etc. (1470). (See Key.)

(Tennyson introduces sir Kay in his Idylls of the King.)

Kayward, the name of the hare in the beast-epic of Reynard the Fox (1498).

Keblah, the point towards which Mohammedans turn their faces in prayer.

Kecksey, a wheezy old wittol, who pretends to like a termagant wife who can flirt with other men—ugh, ugh!—he loves high spirits—ugh, ugh!—and to see his wife—ugh, ugh!—happy and scampering about—ugh, ugh!—to theatres and balls—ugh, ugh!—he likes to hear her laugh—ugh, ugh!—and enjoy herself—ugh, ugh! Oh! this troublesome cough!—ugh, ugh!—Garrick: The Irish Widow (1757).

Kederli, the St. George of Mohammedan mythology. Like St. George, he slew a monstrous dragon to save a damsel exposed to its fury, and, having drunk of the water of life, rode through the world to aid those who were oppressed.

Keelavine (Mr.), painter at the Spa hotel.—Sir W. Scott: St. Ronan’s Well (time, George III.).

Keene (Abel), a village schoolmaster, afterwards a merchant’s clerk. Being led astray, he lost his place and hanged himself.—Crabbe: Borough, xxi. (1810).

Keepers (of Piers Plowman’s visions), the Malvern Hills. Piers Plowman (W. or R. Langland, 1362) supposes himself fallen asleep on the Malvern Hills, and in his dream he sees various visions of an allegorical character pass before him. These “visions” he put into poetry, the whole containing 15,000 verses, divided into twenty parts, each part being called a passus or separate vision.

Keepers of Piers Plowman’s vision, thro’ the sunshine and the snow.
   —Mrs. Browning: The Lost Bower.

Kehama, the almighty rajah of earth, and all-powerful in Swerga or heaven. After a long tyranny, he went to Pandalon (hell) to claim domination there also. Kehama demanded why the throne of Yamen (or Pluto) was supported by only three persons, and was told that he himself must be the fourth. He paid no heed to this prophecy, but commanded the amreeta-cup or draught of immortality to be brought to him, that he might quaff it and reign for ever. Now, there are two immortalities—the immortality of life for the good, and the immortality of death for the wicked. When Kehama drank the amreeta, he drank immortal death, and was forced to bend his proud neck beneath the throne of Yamen, to become the fourth supporter.—Southey: Curse of Kehama (1809).

Ladurlad was the person subjected to the “curse of Kehama,” and under that name the story will be found.

Kela, now called Calabar.

Sailing with a fair wind, we reached Kela in six days, and landed. Here we found lead-mines, some Indian canes, and excellent camphor.—Arabian Nights (“Sinbad,” fourth voyage).

Keltie (Old), innkeeper at Kinross.—Sir W. Scott: The Abbot (time, Elizabeth).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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