In this word Shakespeare has preserved the correct accent: “As hardy as the Nemean lion’s nerve” (Hamlet, act i. sc. 5); but Spenser incorrectly throws the accent on the second syllable, which is e short: “Into the great Nemean lion’s grove” (Faërie Queene, v. 1).

Ere Nemea’s boast resigned his shaggy spoils.
   —Statius: The Thebaid, i.

Nemesis, the Greek personification of retribution, or that punishment for sin which sooner or later overtakes the offender.

… and some great Nemesis
Break from a darkened future.

   —Tennyson: The Princess, vi. (1847).

Nemo, the name by which captain Hawdon was known at Krook’s. He had once won the love of the future lady Dedlock, by whom he had a child called Esther Summerson; but he was compelled to copy law-writings for daily bread, and died a miserable death from an overdose of opium.—Dickens: Bleak House (1852).

Nepenthe or Nepenthes, a care-d ispelling drug, which Polydamna, wife of Thonis king of Egypt gave to Helen (daughter of Jove and Leda). A drink containing this drug “changed grief to mirth, melancholy to joyfulness, and hatred to love.” The water of Ardenne had the opposite effects. Homer mentions the drug nepenthê in his Odyssey, iv. 228.

That nepenthês which the wife to Thone
In Egypt gave to Jove-born Helena.

   —Milton: Comus, 675 (1634).

Nepenthê is a drink of sovereign grace,
Devisèd by the gods for to assuage
Heart’s grief, and bitter gall away to chase
Which stirs up anger and contentious rage;
Instead thereof sweet peace and quietage
It doth establish in the troubled mind …
And such as drink, eternal happiness do find.

   —Spenser: Faërie Queene, iv. 2 (1596).

Nephelo-Coccygia, the cloudland of air castles. The word means “cuckoo cloudland.” The city of Nephelo- Coccygia was built by cuckoos and gulls, and was so fortified by clouds that the gods could not meddle with the affairs of its inhabitants.—Aristophanês: The Birds.

The name occurs also in Lucian’s Verœ Historiœ.

Without flying to Nephelo-Coccygia, or to the court of queen Mab, we can meet with sharpers, bullies, … impudent debauchees, and women worthy of such paramours.—Macaulay.

Nepomuk or Nepomuck (St. John), canon of Prague. He was thrown from a bridge in 1381, and drowned by order of king Wenceslaus, because he refused to betray the secrets confided to him by the queen in the holy rite of confession. The spot whence he was cast into the Moldau is still marked by a cross with five stars on the parapet, indicative of the miraculous flames seen flickering over the dead body for three days. Nepomuk was canonized in 1729, and became the patron saint of bridges. His statue in stone usually occupies a similar position on bridges as it does at Prague.

Like St. John Nepomuck in stone,
Looking down into the stream.

   —Longfellow: The Golden Legend (1851).

(The word is often accented on the second syllable.)

Neptune (Old Father), the ocean or sea-god.

Nerestan, son of Gui Lusignan D’Outremer king of Jerusalem, and brother of Zara. Nerestan was sent on his parole to France, to obtain ransom for certain Christians who had fallen into the hands of the Saracens. When Osman, the sultan, was informed of his relationship to Zara, he ordered all Christian captives to be at once liberated “without money and without price.”—Hill: Zara (adapted from Voltaire’s tragedy).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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