Ring the Bells Backwards to Road to Ruin

Ring the Bells Backwards (To), to ring a muffled peal, to lament. Thus John Cleveland, wishing to show his abhorrence of the Scotch, says—

How! Providence! and yet a Scottish crew!…
Ring the bells backwards. I am all on fire;
Not all the buckets in a country quire
Shall quench my rage.

   —The Rebel Scot (1613–1659).

(See Bells Tolled Backwards, P. 107.)

Ringdove (The Swarthy). The responses of the oracl e of Dodona, in Epiros, were made by old women called “pigeons,” who derived their answers from the cooing of certain doves, the bubbling of a spring, the rustling of the sacred oak [or beech], and the tinkling of a gong or bell hung in the tree. The women were called pigeons by a play on the word pellæ, which means “old women” as well as “pigeons;” and as they came from Libya they were swarthy.

According to fable, Zeus gave his daughter Thebê two black doves endowed with the gift of human speech; one of them flew into Libya, and the other into Dodona. The former gave the responses in the temple of Ammon, and the latter in the oracle of Dodona.

…beech or lime,
Or that Thessalian growth
In which the swarthy ringdove sat,
And mystic sentence spoke.


Ringhorse (Sir Robert), a magistrate at Old St. Ronan’s.—Sir W. Scott: St. Ronan’s Well (time, George III.).

Ringwood, a young Templar.—Sir W. Scott: Fortunes of Nigel (time, James I.).

Ringwood (The earl of), a cynic in Thackeray’s novel called The Adventures of Philip (1861).

Rintherout (Jenny), a servant at Monkbarns to Mr. Jonathan Oldbuck the antiquary.—Sir, W. Scott: The Antiquary (time, George III.).

Riou (Captain), called by Nelson “The Gallant and the Good;” fell in the battle of the Baltic.

Brave hearts! to Britain’s pride
Once so faithful and so true,
On the deck of fame that died,
With the gallant, good Riou.

Campbell: Battle of the Baltic (1777–1844).

R.I.P., i.e. requiescat in pace.

Rip van Winkle slept twenty years in the Kaatskill Mountains of North America. (See Winkle.)

Epimenidês the Gnostic slept for fifty-seven years.

Nourjahad, wife of the Mogul emperor Geangir, who discovered the otto of roses, is only in a temporary sleep.

Gyneth slept 500 years, by the enchantment of Merlin.

The seven sleepers slept for 250 years in mount Celion.

St. David slept for seven years. (See Ormandine, p. 784.)

(The following are not dead, but only sleep till the fulness of their respective times:—Elijah, Endymion, Merlin, king Arthur, Charlemagne, Frederick Barbarossa and his knights, the three Tells, Desmond of Kilmallock, Thomas of Erceldoune, Bobadil el Chico, Brian Boroimhe, Knez Lazar, king Sebastian of Portugal, Olaf Tryggvason, the French slain in the Sicilian Vespers, and a few others.)

  By PanEris using Melati.

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