“‘Papa gives a pretty form to the lips. ‘Papa, ‘potatoes, ‘poultry,’ ‘prunes and prisms.’ You will find it serviceable if you say to yourself on entering a room, ‘Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes, and prisms.”’—Dickens: Little Dorrit (1855).

General Burgoyne, in The Heiress, makes lady Emily tell Miss Alscrip that the magic words are “nimini pimini;” and that if she will stand before her mirror and pronounce these words repeatedly, she cannot fail to give her lips that happy plie which is known as the “Paphian mimp.”—The Heiress, iii. 2 (1781).

Prusio, king of Alvarecchia, slain by Zerbino.—Ariosto: Orlando Furioso (1516).

Pry (Paul), one of those idle; meddling fellows, who, having no employment of their own, are perpetually interfering in the affairs of other people.—Poole: Paul Pry (1825).

Prydwen or Pridwin (q.v.) called in the Mabinogion the ship of king Arthur. It was also the name of his shield. Taliessin speaks of it as a ship, and Robert of Gloucester calls it a shield.

Hys sseld that het Prydwen.
Myd ys suerd he was ygurd, that so strong was and kene;
Calybourne yt was ycluped, nas nour no such ye wene.
In ys right hond ys lance he nom, that ycluped was Ron. I 174.

Prynne (Hester), in Hawthorne’s novel entitled The Scarlet Letter (1850).

Psalmanazar (George). (See under Forgers, etc., p. 385.)

Psalmist (The). King David is called “The Sweet Psalmist of Israel” (2 Sam. xxiii. I).

Psalms. One hundred and fifty pieces of poetry composed by different persons and collected together in the Old Testament.

In the Septuagint the whole collection is styled Yalmoi (Psalms), songs sung to a musical accompaniment. In the New Testament the Psalter is called BibloV Yalmwn “the Book of Psalms” (Luke xx. 42; Acts i. 20).

The Psalms are divided into five books.

The first book consists, with two or three exceptions, of Psalms of David; the second, of a series of Psalms by the sons of Korah, and another series by David; the third, of two minor collections, one supposed to be by Asaph, and the other by the sons of Korah. In the fifth we have one group of “Pilgrim songs” (p. 846), and another group of “Hallelujah Psalms,” each of them manifestly, in the first instance, distinct hymn-books or liturgies.—Perowne: The Psalms, vol. i. p. 74.

Perowne thinks that the Psalms now classed in the first book were nearly all written by David, and were probably collected by Solomon, who would naturally provide for the preservation of his father’s poetry. The next collection was not completed till the time of Hezekiah. Probably we owe the preservation of many of the Psalms attributed to David, and grouped in the second book, to “the men of Hezekiah.” In the time of Ezra and Nehemiah the Psalter was enriched by a large number of songs written during and after the Exile. The fourth and fifth books are due, in the main, to this period; but now and then we find an earlier psalm, probably some relic of the ancient psalmody of Israel, not hitherto classed in any collection, and, perhaps, preserved by oral repetition from father to son.

The most ancient songs, those of David and of David’s time, are chiefly contained in Pss. i-xli. In xliii—lxxxix. mainly those of the middle period of Hebrew poetry. In xc.—cl. by far the majority are of the later date, composed during or after the Babylonish captivity.—Perowne: Psalms, vol. i. p. 79.

The following psalms are supposed to refer to incidents in the life of David:—

  By PanEris using Melati.

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