Ponce de Léon to Popes

Ponce de Léon, the navigator who went in search of the Fontaine de Jouvence, “cur fit rajovenir la gent.” He sailed in two ships on this “voyage of discoveries,” in the sixteenth century.

Like Ponce de Léon, he wants to go off to the Antipodes in search of that Fontaine de Jouvence which was fabled to give a man back his youth.—Véra, 130.

Pond of the Prophet (The), a well of life, from which all the blessed will drink before they enter paradise. The water is whiter than milk, and more fragrant than musk.

Ponent Wind (The), the west wind, or wind from the sunset. Lev’ant is the east wind, or wind from the sunrise.

Forth rush the Levant and the Ponent winds.

Milton: Paradise Lost, x. 704 (1665).

Pongo, a cross between “a land-tiger and a sea-shark.” This terrible monster devastated Sicily, but was slain by the three sons of St. George.—R. Johnson: The Seven Champions, etc. (1617).

Ponocrates , the tutor of Gargantua.—Rabelais: Gargantua (1533).

Pons Asinorum [“the asses’ bridge”], the fifth proposition bk. i. of Euclid’s Elements, too difficult for “asses” or stupid boys to get over.

A most improper term. It is the asses’ trap, not their bridge. Their “stone of stumbling and rock of offence.”

Pontius Pilate’s Body-Guard, the 1st Foot Regiment. In Picardy the French officers wanted to make out that they were the seniors; and, to carry their point, vaunted that they were on duty on the night of the Crucifixion. The colonel of the 1st Foot replied, “If we had been on guard, we should not have slept at our posts” (see Matt, xxviii. 13).

Pontoys (Stephen), a veteran in sir Hugo de Lacy’s troop.—Sir W. Scott: The Betrothed (time, Henry II.).

Pony (Mr. Garland’s), Whisker (q.v.).

Poole , in Dorsetshire; once “a young and lusty sea-born lass,” courted by great Albion, who had by her three children, Brunksey, Fursey, and [St.] Hellen. Thetis was indignant that one of her virgin train should be guilty of such indiscretion; and, to protect his children from her fury, Albion placed them in the bosom of Poole, and then threw his arms around them.—Drayton: Polyolbion, ii. (1612).

Poor (Father of the), Bernard Gilpin (1517–1583).

Poor Gentleman (The, a comedy by George Colman the younger (1802). “The poor gentleman” is lieutenant Worthington, discharged from the army on half-pay, because his arm had been crushed by a shell in storming Gibraltar. On his half-pay he had to support himself, his daughter Emily, an old corporal, and a maiden sister-in-law. Having put his name to a bill for £500, his friend died without effecting an insurance, and the lieutenant was called upon for payment. Imprisonment would have followed if sir Robert Bramble had not most generously paid the money. With this piece of good fortune came another—the marriage of his daughter Emily to Frederick Bramble, nephew and heir of the rich baronet.

Poor Jack, a popular sea-song by Charles Dibdin (1790). The last two lines are—

There’s a sweet little cherub that sits up alott,
To keep watch o’er the life of poor Jack.

Poor John, a hake dried and salted.

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