Phyllis to Picrochole's Counsellors

Phyllis, a Thracian who fell in love with Demophoön. After some months of mutual affection, Demophoon was obliged to sail for Athens, but promised to return within a month. When a month had elapsed, and Demophoon did not put in an appearance, Phyllis so mourned for him that she was changed into an almond tree, hence called by the Greeks Phylia. In time, Demophoon returned, and, being told the fate of Phyllis, ran to embrace the tree, which, though bare and leafless at the time, was instantly covered with leaves, hence called Phylla by the Greeks.

Let Demophoon tell
Why Phyllis by a fate untimely fell.
   —Ovid: Art of Love, iii.

Phyllis, a country girl in Virgil’s third and fifth Eclogues. Hence, a rustic maiden. Also spelt Phillis (q.v.).

Phyllis, in Spenser’s eclogue Colin Clout’s Come Home Again, is lady Carey, wife of sir George Carey (afterwards lord Hunsdon, 1596). Lady Carey was Elizabeth, the second of the six daughters of sir John Spenser of Althorpe, ancestor of the noble houses of Spenser and Marlborough.

No less praiseworthy are the sisters three,
The honour of the noble family
Of which I meanest boast myself to be,…
Phyllis, Charyllis, and sweet Amaryllis:
Phyllis the fair is eldest of the three.
   —Spenser: Colin Clout’s Come Home Again (1594).

Phyllis and Brunetta, rival beauties. Phyllis procured for a certain festival some marvellous fabric of gold brocade in order to eclipse her rival; but Brunetta dressed the slave who bore her train in a robe of the same material and cut in precisely the same fashion, while she herself wore simple black. Phyllis died of mortification.—The Spectator (1711, 1712, 1714).

Phynnodderee, a Manx spirit, similar to the Scotch brownie. Phynnodderee is an outlawed fairy who absented himself from Fairy-court on the great levée day of the harvest moon. Instead of paying his respects to king Oberon, he remained in the glen of Rushen, dancing with a pretty Manx maid whom he was courting.

Physic a Farce is (His). Sir John Hill began his career as an apothecary in St. Martin’s Lane, London; became author, and amongst other things wrote farces. Garrick said of him—

For physic and farces, his equal there scarce is: His farces are physic, his physic a farce is.

Physician (The Beloved), St. Luke the evangelist (Col. iv. 14).

Physician or Fool. Plutarch, in his treatise On the Preservation of Health, tells us that Tiberius used to say, “A man is his own physician or a fool at forty.”

Physicians (The prince of), Avicenna the Arabian (980-1037).

Physignathos, king of the frogs, and son of Pelus (“mud”). Being wounded in the battle of the frogs and mice by Troxartas the mouse king, he flees ingloriously to a pool, “and, half in anguish of the flight, expires” (bk. iii. 112). The word means “puffed chaps.”

Great Physignathos I from Pelus’ race,
Begot in fair Hydromedê’s embrace.
   —Parnell: Battle of the Frogs and Mice, i. 1 (about 1712).

Physiology (The Father of), Albert von Haller (1708–1777).

Pibrac (Seigneur de), poet and diplomatist, author of Cinquante Quatrains (1574). Gorgibus bids his daughter study Pibrac instead of trashy novels and poetry.

Lisez-moi, comme il faut, au lieu de ces sornettes,
Les Quatrains de Pibrac, et les doctes Tablettes
Du conseiller Matthieu; I’ouvrage est de valeur,…
La Guide des pécheurs est encore un bon livre.
   —Molière: Sganarelle, i. 1 (1660).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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