Peter the Wild Boy. (See Wild Boy.)

Peter’s Gate (St.), the gate of purgatory, guarded by an angel stationed there by St. Peter. Virgil conducted Dantê through hell and purgatory; and Beatrice was his guide through the planetary spheres. Dantê says to the Mantuan bard—

…lead me,
That I St. Peter’s gate may view…
Onward he [Virgil] moved, I close his steps pursued.

Dante: Hell, i. (1300).

Peter’s Letters to his Kinsfolk. Sketches of Scotch society, by Lockhart (1819).

Peterborough, in Northamptonshire; so called from Peada (son of Pendar king of Mercia), who founded here a monastery in the seventh century. In 1541 the monastery (then a mitred abbey) was converted by Henry VIII. into a cathedral and bishop’s see. Before Peada’s time, Peterborough was a village called Medhamsted.—Drayton: Polyolbion, xxiii. (1622).

Peterloo (The Field of), an attack of the military on a reform meeting held in St. Peter’s Field, at Manchester, August 16, 1819. Of course the word is a skit on that of “Waterloo.”

Peterson, a Swede, who deserts from Gustavus Vasa to Christian II. king of Denmark.—Brooke: Gustavus Vasa (1730).

Petit André, the executioner.—Sir W. Scott: Quentin Durward (time, Edward IV.).

Petit Perroquet, a king’s gardener, with whom the king’s daughter fell in love. It so happened that a prince was courting the lady, and, being jealous of Petit Perroquet, said to the king that the young man boasted he could bring hither Tartaro’s horse. Now, Tartaro was a huge giant and a cannibal. Petit Perroquet, however, made himself master of the horse. The prince next told the king that the young gardener boasted he could get possession of the giant’s diamond. This he also contrived to obtain. The prince then told the king that the young man boasted he could bring hither the giant himself; and the way he accomplished the feat was to cover himself first with honey, and then with feathers and horns. Thus disguised, he told the giant to get into the coach he was driving, and he drove him to the king’s court, and then married the princess.—Rev. W. Webster: Basque Legends (1877).

Peto, lieutenant of “captain” sir John Falstaff’s regiment. Pistol was his ensign or ancient, and Bardolph his corporal.—Shakespeare: 1 and 2 Henry IV. (1597-8).

Petowker (Miss Henrietta), of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. She marries Mr. Lillyvick, the collector of water-rates, but elopes with an officer.—Dickens: Nicholas Nickleby (1838).

Petrarch (The English). Sir Philip Sidney (1554–1586) is so called by sir Walter Raleigh.

Petrarch and Laura. Laura was a lady of Avignon, the wife of Hugues de Sade, née Laura de Noves, the mistress of the poet Petrarch. (See Laura and Petrarch, p. 597.)

Petrarch of Spain, Garcilaso de la Vega, born at Toledo (1530–1568, or according to others, 1503–1536).

Petrified City (The), Ishmonie, in Upper Egypt. So called from the number of statues seen there, and traditionally said to be men, women, children, and dumb animals turned into stone.—Kircher: Mundus Subterraneus (1664).

Petronius (C. or T.), a kind of Roman “beau Brummell” in the court of Nero. He was a great voluptuary and profligate, whom Nero appointed Arbiter Elegantiæ, and considered nothing comme il faut till it had

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