Rapier (The), was introduced by Rowland York in 1587.
He [Rowland York] was a Londoner, famous among the cutters in his time for bringing in a new kind of fightto run the point of a rapier into a mans body before that time the use was with little bucklers, and with broadswords to strike and never thrust, and it was accounted unmanly to strike under the girdle.Carleton: Thankful Remembrance (1625).
Rare Ben. Ben Jonson, the dramatist, was so called by Shakespeare (15741637).
Raredrench (Master), apothecary.Sir W. Scott: Fortunes of Nigel (time, James I.).
Rascal, worthless, lean. A rascal deer is a lean, poor stag. Brutus calls money rascal counters, i.e. contemptible, ignoble coin.
To lock such rascal counters from his friends,
Be ready, gods, with all your thunderbolts;
Dash him to pieces!
Shakespeare: Fulius Cæsar, act iv. sc. 3 (1607).
Rashleigh Osbaldistone, called the scholar, an hypocritical and accomplished villain, killed by Rob Roy.Sir W. Scott: Rob Roy (time, George I.).
Surely never gentleman was plagued with such a family as sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone of Osbaldistone Hall. (1) Percival, the sot; (2) Thorncliff, the bully; (3) John, the gamekeeper; (4) Richard, the horse- jockey; (5) Wilfred, the fool; (6) Rashleigh, the scholar and knave.
Rasselas, prince of Abyssinia, fourth son of the emperor. According to the custom of the country, he was confined in a private paradise, with the rest of the royal family. This paradise was in the valley of Amhara, surrounded by high mountains. It had only one entrance, which was by a cavern under a rock concealed by woods, and closed by iron gates. The prince, having made his escape with his sister Nekayah and Imlac the poet, wandered about to find out what condition or rank of life was the most happy. After careful investigation, he found no lot without its drawbacks, and resolved to return to the happy valley.Dr. Johnson: Rasselas (1759).
The mad astronomer, who imagined that he possessed the regulation of the weather and the distribution of the seasons, is an original character in romance; and the happy valley, in which Rasselas resides, is sketched with poetic feeling.Young.
Rat destroys a whole Province (A). One of the richest provinces of Holland was once inundated by a hole made in the dykes by a single water-rat.
(How great a fire a little spark kindleth!)
Rat without a Tail. Witches could assume any animal form, but the tail was ever wanting. Thus, a cat without a tail, a rat without a tail, a dog without a tail, were witch-forms. (See Macbeth, act i. sc. 3.)
Ratcliffe (James), a notorious thief.Sir W. Scott: Heart of Midlothian (time, George II.).
Ratcliffe (Mr. Hubert), a friend of sir Edward Manley the Black Dwarf.Sir W. Scott: The Black Dwarf (time, Anne).
Ratcliffe (Mrs.), the widow of don Carlos who rescued Sheva at Cadiz from an auto da fe.
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