Pygmy to Python
Pygmy, a dwarf. The pygmies were a nation of dwarfs, always at war with the cranes of Scythia. They were not above a foot high, and lived somewhere at the end of the eartheither in Thrace, Ethiopia, India, or the Upper Nile. The pygmy women were mothers at the age of three, and old women at eight. Their houses were built of egg-shells. They cut down a blade of wheat with an axe and hatchet, as we fell huge forest trees.
One day, they resolved to attack Herculês in his sleep, and went to work as in a siege. An army attacked each hand, and the archers attacked the feet. Herculês awoke, and with the paw of his lion-skin overwhelmed the whole host, and carried them captive to king Eurystheus.
Swift has availed himself of this fable in Gullivers Travels (Lilliput, 1726).
Schweinfurth, it is said, met the Akkers (pygmies) in the Mombuttu country.
Dr. Ludwig Wolf and Wissman, who recently explored the Sankuru, also came upon a nation of pygmies, not exceeding 14 metre in height. These dwarfs are called Batua, and their chief employment is the manufacture of palm oil. The main height of these little folk is 13 metre.
Stanley came upon pygmies in his African exploration. He saw the first specimen at an Arab settlement near the Amiri Fallsa woman thirty-three inches in height. The pygmies are said to be thickly scattered north of the Sturi, from the Ngaiyu eastward.Stanley: Darkest Africa, pp. 197, 198.
Pyke and Pluck (Messrs.), the tools and toadies of sir Mulberry Hawk. They laugh at all his jokes, snub all who attempt to rival their patron, and are ready to swear to anything sir Mulberry wishes to be confirmed.Dickens: Nicholas Nickleby (1838).
Pylades and Orestes, inseparable friends. Pyladês was a nephew of king Agamemnon, and Orestês was Agamemnons son. The two cousins contracted a friendship which has become proverbial. Subsequently, Pyladês married Orestêss sister Electra.
(Lagrange-Chancel has a French drama entitled Oreste et Pylade (1695). Voltaire also (Oreste, 1750). The two characters are introduced into a host of plays, Greek, Italian, French, and English, See Andromache, p. 43.)
Pyracmon, one of Vulcans work-men in the smithy of mount Etna. (Greek, Pûr akmôn, fire anvil.)
The which in Lipari do day and night
Frame thunderbolts for Jove.
Spenser: Faërie Queene, iv. 5 (1596).
Pyramid. According to Diodorus Siculus (Hist., i.) and Pliny (Nat. Hist., xxxvi. 12), there were 360,000 men employed for nearly twenty years upon one of the pyramids.
The largest pyramid was built by Cheops or Suphis, the next largest by Cephrerês or Sen-Suphis, and the third by Mencherês last king of the fourth Egyptian dynasty, said to have lived before the birth of Abraham.
(Respecting the third pyramid, there is a tradit ion that it was built by Rhodopis or Rhodopê, the Greek courtezan. Rhodopis means the rosy-cheeked.)
Tennyson: The Princess, ii. (1830).
Pyramid of Mexico. This pyramid is said to have been built in the reign of Montezuma emperor of Mexico (14661520). Its base is double the size of Cheopss pyramid, that is, 1423 feet each side, but its height
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd,
and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.