Sinon to Sixteen-String Jack

Sinon, the crafty Greek who persuaded the Trojans to drag the Wooden Horse into their city.—Virgil. Æneid, ii. Dantê, in his Inferno, places Sinon, with Potiphar’s wife, Nimrod, and the rebellious giants, in the tenth pit of Malêbolgê (see p. 523).

Sintoism, the primitive religion of Japan. It recognizes Tien (“the sun”) as the supreme deity, under whom is a crowd of inferior gods and goddesses. The priests eat no animal food. The name is derived from Sin, a demi-god.

Sintram, the Norwegian hero of La Motte Fouqué’s romance. Sintram was the son of “Biorn of the fiery eyes” and his saintly wife Verena. They lived in the castle of Drontheim.

Siona, a seraph to whom was committed the charge of Bartholomew the apostle.—Klopstock: Messiah, iii. (1748).

Sipha, the guardian angel of Andrew the brother of Simon Peter.—Klopstock: The Messiah, iii. (1748).

Siphax, a soldier, in love with princess Calis, sister of Astorax king of Paphos. The princess is in love with Polydore the brother of general Memnon (“the mad lover”).—Beaumont and Fletcher: The Mad Lover (1617).

(Beaumont died 1616.)

Sir Oracle, a dictatorial prig; a dogmatic pedant.

I am sir Oracle,
And when I ope my lips, let no dog bark.
   —Shakespeare: Merchant of Venice, act i. SC. I (1598).

Sire. Chaucer uses this word for mother. Thus, in the “Cook’s Tale,” the wrestler says mockingly to young Gamelyn, “Who is thy fader? who is thy sire?”

Sirens, three sea-nymphs, who se usual abode was a small island near cape Pelorus, in Sicily. They enticed sailors ashore by their melodious singing, and then killed them. Their names are Parthenopê, Ligeia, and Leucothea.—Greek Fable.

Sirloin of Beef. James I., on his return from a hunting excursion, so much enjoyed his dinner, consisting of a loin of roast beef, that he laid his sword across it, and dubbed it sir Loin. At Chingford, in Essex, is a place called “Friday Hill House,” in one of the rooms of which is an oak table with a brass plate let into it, inscribed with the following words; “All Lovers of Roast beef will like to know that on this table a Loin was knighted by King James the first on his return from hunting in epping Forest.”

The tradition is that James said, “Bring hither that sur-loin, sirrah, for it is worthy of a more honourable post, being, as I may say, not sur-loin but Sir-Loin, the noblest joint of all.”

Knighting the loin of beef is also ascribed to Charles II.

Our second Charles, of fame facete,
On loin of beef did dine;
He held his sword, pleased, o’er the meat:
“Arise, thou famed sir Loin.”
   —Ballad of the New sir John Barleycorn.

Henry VIII. is credited with knighting the loin before either Charles II. or his grandfather James I. The tale is that, dining with the abbot of Reading, the burly monarch ate so heartily of a loin of beef, that the abbot said he would give 1000 marks for such an appetite. “Done,” said the king, and kept him in the Tower a prisoner, till his appetite was ravenous. It was then that he called the sur-loin of beef “Sir Loin.”

A sir-loin of beef was so knighted, saith tradition, by king Henry.—Fuller: Church History of Britain, vi. 2, p. 299 (1655).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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