Taprobana to Tasso and Leonora

Taprobana, the island of Ceylon.—Ariosto: Orlando Furioso (1516).

Tapwell (Timothy), husband of Froth, put into business by Wellborn’s father, whose butler he was. When Wellborn was reduced to beggary, Timothy behaved most insolently to him; but as soon as he supposed he was about to marry the rich dowager lady Allworth, the rascal fawned on him like a whipped cur.—Massinger: A New Way to Pay Old Debts (1625).

Tara (The Hill of), in Meath, Ireland. Here the kings, the clergy, the princes, and the bards used to assemble in a large hall, to consult on matters of public importance.

The harp that once thro’ Tara’s halls
The soul of music shed,
Now hangs as mute on Tara’s walls
As if that soul were fled.

Moore: Irish Melodies (“The Harp that Once …” 1814).

The Fes of Tara, the triennial convention established by Ollam Fodlah or Ollav Fola, in B.C. 900 or 950. When business was over, the princes banqueted together, each under his shield suspended by the chief herald on the wall according to precedency. In the reign of Cormac, the palace of Tara was 900 feet square, and contained 150 apartments, and 150 dormitories each for sixty sleepers. As many as 1000 guests were daily entertained in the hall.

Tara’s Psaltery or Psalter of Tara, the great national register or chronicles of Ireland, read to the assembled princes when they met in Tara’s Hall in public conference.

Their tribe, they said, their high degree,
Was sung in Tara’s Psaltery.

   —Campbell: O’Connor’s Child.

Tarpa (Spurius Metius), a famous critic of the Augustan age. He sat in the temple of Apollo with four colleagues to judge the merit of theatrical pieces before they were produced in public.

He gives himself out for another Tarpa; decides boldly, and supports his opinions with loudness and obstinacy.—Lesage: Gil Blas, xi. 10 (1735).

Tarpeian Rock. So called from Tarpeia, daughter of Spurius Tarpeius governor of the citadel on the Saturnian (i.e. Capitoline) Hill of Rome. The story is that the Sabines bargained with the Roman maid to open the gates to them, for the “ornaments on their arms.” As they passed through the gates, they threw on her their shields, saying, “These are the ornaments we bear on our arms.” She was crushed to death, and buried on the Tarpeian Hill. Ever after, traitors were put to death by being hurled headlong from the hill-top.

Bear him to the rock Tarpeian, and from thence
Into destruction cast him.

   —Shakespeare: Coriolanus, act iii. sc. 1 (1610).

N.B.—G. Gilfillan, in his introduction to Longfellow’s poems, makes an erroneous allusion to the Roman traitress. He says Longfellow’s “ornaments, unlike those of the Sabine [sic] maid, have not crushed him.”

Tarquin, a name of terror in Roman nurseries.

The nurse, to still her child, will tell my story,
And fright her crying babe with Tarquin’s name.

   —Shakespeare: Rape of Lucrece (1594).

The Fall of Tarquin. The well-known Roman story of Sextus Tarquinius and Lucretia has been dramatized by various persons, as: N. Lee (1679); John Howard Payne, Brutus or The Fall of Tarquin (1820)—this is the tragedy in which Edmund Kean appeared with his son Charles at Glasgow, the father taking “Brutus” and the son “Titus.” Arnault produced a tragedy in French, entitled Lucréce, in 1792; and Ponsard in 1843. Alfieri has a tragedy called Brutus, on the same subject. It also forms indirectly the subject of one of the lays of lord Macaulay, called The Battle of the Lake Regillus (1842), a battle undertaken by

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