O. P. Q., Robert Merry (1755–1798); object of Gifford’s satire in the Baviad and Mœviad; and of Byron’s in his English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. He married Miss Brunton, the actress.

And Merry’s metaphors appear anew,
Chained to the signature of O. P. Q.
Byron: English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809).

Opus Magnus, by Roger Bacon; dedicated to pope Clement IV. (1267).

Opus Minus, by the same author (posthumous).

Opus Tertium, by the same author (posthumous).

(Roger Bacon lived 1214–1292.)

Oracle (To Work the), to raise money by some dodge. The “Oracle” was a factory established at Reading, by John Kendrick, in 1624. It was designed for returned convicts and any one out of employment. So when a workman “had no work to do,” he would say, “I must go and work the Oracle,” i.e. I must go to the Oracle for work. (See Equivokes, p. 327.)

Oracle of the Church (The), St. Bernard (1091–1153).

Oracle of the Holy Bottle (The), an oracle sought for by Rabelais, to solve the knotty point “whether Panurge should marry or not.” The question had been put to sibyl and poet, monk and fool, philosopher and witch, but none could answer it. The oracle was ultimately found in Lantern-land.

This, of course, is a satire on the celibacy of the clergy and the withholding of the cup from the laity. Shall the clergy marry or not?—that was the moot point; and the “Bottle of Tent Wine,” or the clergy, who kept the bottle to themselves, alone could solve it. The oracle and priestess of the bottle were called Bacbuc (Hebrew for “bottle”).—Rabelais: Pantagruel, iv., v. (1545).

Oracle of the Sieve and Shears (The), a method of divination known to the Greeks. The modus operandi in the Middle Ages was as follows:—The points of a pair of shears were stuck in the rim of a sieve, and two persons supported the shears with their finger-tips. A verse of the Bible was then read aloud, and while the names of persons suspected were called over, the sieve was supposed to turn when the right name was suggested. (See Key And Bible, p. 565.)

Searching for things lost with a sieve and shears.Ben Jonson: The Alchemist, i, 1 (1610).

Oracle of Truth, the magnet.

And by the oracle of truth below,
The wondrous magnet, guides the wayward prow.

   —Falconer: The Shipwreck, ii. 2 (1756).

Oracles. (See Equivokes, p. 327.)

Orange (Prince of), a title given to the heir-apparent of the king of Holland. “Orange” is a petty principality in the territory of Avignon, in the possession of the Nassau family.

Orania, the lady-love of Amadis of Gaul.—Lobeira: Amadis of Gaul (fourteenth century).

Orator Henley, the Rev. John Henley, who for about thirty years delivered lectures on theological, political, and literary subjects (1692–1756).

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.