Skeffington to Sleary

Skeffington, author of Sleeping Beauty, Maids and Bachelors, etc.

And sure great Skeffington must claim our praise
For skirtless coats, and skeletons of plays.
   —Byron: English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809).

Skeggs (Miss Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia), the companion of “lady Blarney.” These were two flash women introduced by squire Thornhill to the Primrose family, with a view of beguiling the two eldest daughters, who were both very beautiful. Sir William Thornhill thwarted their infamous purpose.—Goldsmith: Vicar of Wakefield (1766).

Skeleton at the Feast. Plutarch says that in Egyptian banquets towards the close a servant brought in a skeleton, and cried aloud to the guests, “Look on this! Eat, drink, and be merry; for tomorrow you die!” Herodotos says the skeleton was a wooden one, about eighteen inches in length. (See I Cor. xv. 32; see also remember thou art mortal; p. 907.)

The stranger feasted at his board;
But, like the skeleton at the feast,
That warning timepiece never ceased:
“For ever—Never! Never—For ever!”

   —Longfellow: The Old Clock on the Stairs.

Skelton (Sam), a smuggler.—Sir W. Scott: Redgauntlet (time, George III.).

Sketch-book (The), a series of short tales, etc., by Washington Irving (1820).

Sketches by Bez, i.e. by Dickens (1836).

Sketches of Irish Character, by Mrs. S. C. Hall (1829).

Sketchley (Arthur), George Rose, author of Mrs. Brown (her observations, on men and objects, polities and manners, etc.).

Skettles (Sir Barnet), of Fulham. He expressed his importance by an antique gold snuff-box and silk handkerchief. His hobby was to extend his acquaintances, and to introduce people to each other. Skettles, junior, was a pupil of Dr. Blimber.—Dickens: Dombey and Son (1846).

Skevington’s Daughter, an instrument of torture invented by Skevington, lieutenant of the Tower in the reign of Henry VIII. It consisted of a broad iron hoop, in two parts, jointed with a hinge. The victim was put into the hoop, which was then squeezed close and locked. Here he remained for about an hour and a half in the most inexpressible torture. (Generally corrupted into the “Scavenger’s Daughter.”)

Skewton (The Hon. Mrs.), mother of Edith (Mr. Dombey’s second wife). Having once been a beauty, she painted when old and shrivelled, became enthusiastic about the “charms of nature.” and reclined in her bath-chair in the attitude she assumed in her barouche when young and well off. A fashionable artist had painted her likeness in this attitude, and called his picture “Cleopatra.” The Hon. Mrs. Skewton was the sister of the late lord Feenix, and aunt to the present lord.—Dickens: Dombey and Son (1846).

Skies, snobs. (See Sky-lark.)

Skiffins (Miss), an angular, middleaged woman, who wears “green kid gloves when dressed for company.” She marries Wemmick.—Dickens: Great Expectations (1860).

Skimpole (Harold), an amateur artist, always sponging on his friends. Under a plausible, light-hearted manner, he was intensely selfish; but Mr. Jarndyce looked on him as a mere child, and believed in him implicitly.—Dickens: Bleak House (1852).

(The original of this character was Leigh Hunt, who was greatly displeased at the skit.)

  By PanEris using Melati.

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