painted; then girding on his Caliburn, which was an excellent sword, made in the isle of Avallon; he took in his right hand his lance Ron, which was hard, broad, and fit for slaughter.—Geoffrey: British History, ix. 4 (1142).

Priest of Nature, sir Isaac Newton (1647–1727).

Lo! Newton, priest of nature, shines afar,
Scans the wide world, and numbers every star.

Campbell: Pleasures of Hope, i. (1799).

Prig, a knavish beggar.—Fletcher: The Beggars’ Bush (1622).

Prig (Betsey), an old monthly nurse, “the frequent pardner” of Mrs. Gamp; equally ignorant, equally vulgar, equally selfish, and brutal to her patients.

“Betsey,” said Mrs. Gamp, filling her own glass, and passing the teapot [of gin], “I will now propoge a toast: ‘My frequent pardner Betsey Prig.”’ “Which, altering the name to Sairah Gamp, I drink,” said Mrs. Prig, “with love and tenderness.”—Dickens: Martin Chuzzlewit, xlix. (1843).

Primer (Peter), a pedantic country schoolmaster, who believes himself to be the wisest of pedagogues.—Foote: The Mayor of Garratt (1763).

Primitive Fathers (The), The five apostolic fathers contemporary with the apostles (viz. Clement of Rome, Barnabas, Hermas, Ignatius, and Polycarp), and the nine following, who all lived in the first three centuries: Justin, Theophilus of Antioch, Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, Cyprian of Carthage, Origen, Gregory “Thaumaturgus,” Dionysius of Alexandria, and Tertullian.

(For the “Fathers” of the fourth and fifth centuries, see Greek Church, p. 447; Latin Church, p. 594.)

Primrose (The Rev. Dr. Charles), a clergyman, rich in heavenly wisdom, but poor indeed in all worldly knowledge. Amiable, charitable, devout, but not without his literary vanity, especially on the Whistonian theory about second marriages. One admires his virtuous indignation against the “washes,” which he deliberately demolished with the poker. In his prosperity, his chief “adventures were by the fireside, and his migrations were from the blue bed to the brown.”

Mrs. [Deborah] Primrose, the doctor’s wife, full of motherly vanity, and desirous to appear genteel. She could read without much spelling, prided herself on her housewifery, especially on her gooseberry wine, and was really proud of her excellent husband.

(She was painted as “Venus,” and the vicar, in gown and bands, was presenting to her his book on “second marriages,” but when complete the picture was found to be too large for the house.)

George Primrose, son of the vicar. He went to Amsterdam to teach the Dutch English, but never once called to mind that he himself must know something of Dutch before this could be done. He becomes captain Primrose, and marries Miss Wilmot, an heiress.

(Goldsmith himself went to teach the French English under the same circumstances.)

Moses Primrose, younger son of the vicar, noted for his greenness and pedantry. Being sent to sell a good horse at a fair, he bartered it for a gross of green spectacles with copper rims and shagreen cases, of no more value than Hodge’s razors (ch. xii.).

Olivia Primrose, the eldest daughter of the doctor. Pretty, enthusiastic, a sort of Hebê in beauty. “She wished for many lovers,” and eloped with squire Thornhill. Her father found her at a roadside inn, called the Harrow, where she was on the point of being turned out of the house. Subsequently, she was found to be legally married to the squire.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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